Mini Quiche Muffins

mqmuff4

Tonight, we have several church meetings and activities planned, so I baked up some dinner-on-the-go mini-quiche muffins for the family.

The only problem: these savory muffins taste *so* good that they might not make it past after-school snack time!

mqmuff5My kids prefer these quiches with cheese and bacon toppings, as pictured, but I’ve also had great success making them with diced zucchini, tomatoes, snapped beans–you name it–in place of the unhealthy cheese and bacon version pictured here. (My husband–who hates zucchini–devoured the zucchini version!).

Here’s how they look on the inside:

mqmuff3

The diced potatoes in these “quiche cups” tend to settle at the bottom, thereby rendering them stable enough to eat on-the-run without any dishes (I grab a few napkins).

Here’s the recipe:

Mini-Quiche Muffins

6 eggs

1 and 1/2 cups milk

3/4 cup of biscuit mix (Like Bisquick, or make your own)

1 and 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

1 pound potatoes, boiled until barely tender, then diced

1/2 a medium onion, chopped

1/3 cup of shredded cheese (can be Parmesan for veggie quiches, cheddar for bacon quiche, mozzarella for Italian-themed, or Monterey jack for salsa-topped huevos rancheros style)

Diced veggies, crumble bacon, or other toppings ,as desired

Directions:

Whisk eggs, milk, biscuit mix, salt, and pepper. Stir in potatoes, onion, cheese, and other veggies as desired (save a few for toppings, to make the quiches look nicer).

Pour 1/3 cup of batter into regular-sized muffin tin cups that have been sprayed well with healthy cooking spray (I use olive oil spray). Top each cup with extra veggies or bacon, for appearances’ sake, if desired.

Bake at 425 (F) for fifteen minutes.

mqmuff2

Healthy, Kid-Friendly Sweet Potato Muffins

 

sweetpotatomuffins2My kids won’t eat sweet potatoes, no matter how I prepare them. I’ve tried cream-cheese frosted sweet potato breads that taste like pumpkin bread, I’ve tried cheesecake-style sweet potato cakes with pecan-caramel crusts, but all to no avail. My kids won’t touch them, and this frustrated me because I live in the south, where sweet potatoes are a local staple that I can buy fresh from the farm (I’m supporting local farmers, and they’re very healthy, to boot!).

One day, I found a sugar-free sweet potato muffin recipe in this cookbook, but it called for white flour and freeze-dried sweet potatoes which the “Thrive” company no longer sells:

thrive cookbook cover

So I tweaked their recipe and tried making a healthier version with whole wheat flour.

The problem: resulting muffins had a gritty, sandy texture (from the fresh-ground flour) and the sweet potato was overpowering.

I did some more tweaking, and found that by soaking the flour before mixing it into the batter, resulting muffins were soft and sponge-y as if I had used white flour. The sugar-free-ness was still apparent (my kids rejected them yet again), so I tossed in some vanilla chips and decided to just cut my losses and make the things appealing, already. I mean, I just wanted them to eat at least one sweet potato in their lives!

So here’s the recipe that finally won the kids over–they ate every last muffin pictures in these shots:

sweetpotato muffins

~ Flour Soak:

1 and 1/2 cups fresh ground wheat four (use less if using store-bought, which is more dense due to settling)

1/2 cup apple juice

1/2 cup milk (I use almond or coconut milk)

1/4 cup canola oil

1/2 cup honey

1 cup cooked, mashed sweet potato (skin removed before mashing)

Whisk together the liquid ingredients, above, then allow them to soak while you clean your kitchen, make dinner, and prepare the other ingredients (at least a half an hour should be your goal)

~ Then combine the following in a small bowl:

1/2 cup un-soaked whole wheat flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon iodized salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

Whisk together, then stir them into the Flour Soak until combined.

~ Stir in:

1 cup vanilla chips

~ To Bake:

Drop into cooking-sprayed muffins tins using an ice cream or cookie scoop (regular ice cream scoop for mini-muffins; large cookie scoop for regular-size muffins), then bake in a preheated 350-degre oven for 9-12 minutes (do the toothpick test to make sure they are done).

DSCN2251

Bananas N’ Bran Breakfast Muffins

Sshh! Don’t tell my kids that these delicious, carmel-y muffins are actually a good-for-you breakfast of whole grains and nutrients!

I invented this particular recipe after wondering what to do with some leftover bran cereal. Because bran flakes are so similar to Raisin Bran (which has more sugar than Fruit Loops!), I determined to make a healthy, wheat flour and oats muffin that also tastes good enough that the kids would eat it.

The secret: bananas! They are so sweet that I only needed a half cup of sugar. So I chose brown sugar, which always adds a hint of caramel flavoring to any baked good. Mmmm!

Here’s a great tip for saving brown bananas for future baking projects: Don’t EVER put them in containers, or they turn a nasty brackish brown. Instead, freeze bananas in the container mother nature originally gave them and just toss them into the freezer. Here are the frozen bananas I used for this recipe:

These were frozen solid, so I just microwaved them for a minute. Here’s what you see inside once they have thawed. They keep a nice, light color while frozen:

So here’s the recipe:

1 cup of bran flakes cereal

1 cup rolled oats (NOT instant oats)

1 cup wheat flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 tsp nutmeg

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Then, in a separate bowl, combine the following:

2 large eggs

2 bananas, mashed

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 cup milk w/ 1 tablespoon of vinegar, left to sit 5 min)

1/3 cup canola or sunflower oil (NOT vegetable oil, which is bad for kids’ health)

Whisk together, then fold into the bowl of dry ingredients

Drop into greased muffin tins, using a large ice cream scoop (to keep muffins uniform in shape). Bake at 400 degrees for 25-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Sugar-Free Apple Spice Muffins

Did you know that cinnamon is a calming spice? If your kids could use a little calming (and a little less hyperactivity-inducing sugar) after the holidays, give my Sugar-Free Apple Spice Muffins a try! These are healthy enough to be a meal at breakfast, hearty enough to curb the appetite at snack time, and sweet enough to be a dessert!

Here’s the recipe:

1 and 1/4 cups of whole wheat flour

1 cup rolled oats

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 and 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup apple juice

2 cups diced apples (can substitute raisins or other diced fruits)

1/4 cup canola oil

Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl; set aside. Combine wet ingredients in a smaller bowl, then add apples. Pour entire mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Bake in greased mini muffin tins for 7-10 minutes at 400 degrees (or in regular-sized tins for 15-20 minutes).

Candycane & Cocoa Muffins

After Christmas, I invented a fun muffin that helped me get rid of all the leftover candy canes:

This muffin’s pock-marked surface was caused by all the candy cane bits in the batter that melted away as the muffins baked. For a smoother surface, you can substitute peppermint extract and still get the warm, cozy flavor of candy canes and hot cocoa! :)

Here’s the recipe:

1.5 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 tablespoon baking powder

3-4 candy canes, crushed to very small bits (can substitute 1/2 tsp peppermint extract, added to liquid mixture)

1 cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup milk

6 tablespoons canola oil

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Combine wet ingredients, then pour them into the dry mixture. Mix until just combined, then bake in well-greased mini muffin cups at 400 degrees for 8-11 minutes. Top with candy cane powder (the residue you’ll find in your chopper/food processor after crushing the candy canes).

Squash N’ Wheat Blender Pancakes

Like I said in my last posting, I’ve got summer squash growing like crazy in my garden, so I had to find another way to sneak the stuff into my kids’ diet, since they refuse to eat actual, visible pieces of squash or zucchini! So yesterday, I invented these lovely, whole wheat summer squash/zucchini pancakes:

DSCN1465Using summer squash gave these pancakes a beautiful golden color, and using the blender to grind my wheat made them super-healthy AND super easy, because I didn’t have to haul out the wheat grinder!

Here’s the recipe:

Squash N’ Wheat Blender Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup of whole wheat grains
  • 1/2 cup of oat groats, kamut, or spelt grains
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 large summer squash (or zucchini) quartered, with the seeds scraped out
  • 2 eggs
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder (for thicker, fluffier pancakes, use Rumford baking powder. See note, below)

Directions:

Place wheat, oat grains, and milk in the blender. (Note: you can also just use one full cup of wheat, but the pancakes won’t be as soft if you do)DSCN1456

Can you tell the difference? Oat groats on the left, wheat berries on the right!

DSCN1457

Blend on high speed for two minutes. The resulting batter will be pretty thick:

DSCN1458Then add your quartered summer squash or zucchini pieces:

DSCN1459

And blend on high speed for another minute or so. Add remaining ingredients EXCEPT baking powder. Blend to combine, then add in baking powder last of all and blend for another minute. If you are using Rumford baking powder,  the batter will visibly puff up and rise to the top of the blender. This makes the pancakes softer and fluffier than white flour pancakes, so kids will never notice the whole grains!

Pour batter onto hot griddle, and turn after bubbles start to appear on the surface:

DSCN1463The resulting pancakes look so yummy that your kids will never know that they’re loaded with veggies and whole grains:

DSCN1462These pancakes tasted so good that my eleven month-old devoured them, even WITHOUT syrup! :)

DSCN1470

Sugar Free Summer Squash Muffins

With fresh vegetables and whole grain flour, these muffins are healthy enough to serve for breakfast, but yummy enough to taste like dessert!

DSCN1451

I invented these muffins last night, because my garden has produced quite the bumper crop of summer squash this year:

DSCN1446The resulting recipe turned out some very healthy, yet delicious muffins! In my pictures, you are seeing mini-muffins with mini chocolate chips (smaller muffins=less mess). But you could easily make them as regular-sized muffins with regular-sized chocolate chips, too!

Here’s the recipe:

Sugar Free Summer Squash Muffins

  • 3 cups grated/shredded summer squash
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs

Slice the summer squash and remove their seeded centers. Shred the squash on the fine setting of your cheese grater or food processor. Place the zucchini on a finely woven cotton towel like this:

DSCN1447

Next, close the towel around the squash and squeeze out excess liquid, like this:

DSCN1448

You should end up with a play-doughy ball of summer squash pulp that looks like this:

DSCN1449

Next, add honey, eggs, vanilla, and oil to the squash in a medium-sized bowl and stir to combine.

In a separate, larger bowl, combine the following:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup chopped nuts (or mini semi-sweet chocolate chips–which I use because otherwise my kids won’t eat muffins this healthy). Can also add chopped dates, craisins, or raisins.

Combine dry ingredients, then stir in the squash mixture. Next add:

  • 1 egg white, beaten until thick and foamy

(Note: this egg white is optional, but I like to add it because it makes the muffins lighter, fluffier, and they puff out more in the pan when I add it).

Drop muffins into tins sprayed with canola oil cooking spray, using an ice cream scoop to ensure uniform sizes (or use a large cookie scoop for regular-sized muffin tins, since in this picture, I was using mini muffin tins)

DSCN1450

Bake them at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes (remember: this is for mini muffins. You want 15-20 minutes for regular-sized). These tasty muffins hide the vegetables so well, that all you see is a hint of gold on the inside (unlike zucchini, which leaves green tints in baked goods, thereby alerting my children to their healthy content!)

DSCN1453

I made these muffins last night. Now that we have early church, I don’t have time to cook on Sunday mornings, so once the kids are up and dressed, I hand them each a baggie with 3 or 4 mini-muffins on our way out to the car. By the time we get to church, they eat them all gone! What a great way to have a quick–yet healthy!–breakfast.

DSCN1454

Pineapple Upsidedown Muffins

dscn1299

With brown sugar in the batter and pineapple chunks in the center, these muffins taste so incredibly dessert-like that my kids devoured them without stopping to notice the coarse whole grain flour and precious little oil I used to make them! They gobbled them up so quickly that next time, I will have to double the batch if I want any leftovers to freeze for quick breakfasts on-the-run!

dscn1298

Here’s the recipe:

Pineapple Upsidedown Muffins

2 cups  fresh-ground whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 large egg

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

2/3 cup buttermilk (or regular milk mixed w/ 2 teaspoons vinegar and left to curdle for 5 min)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or 2 tsp imitation)

1 egg white, beaten until stiff

1 cup pineapple chunks, drained.

dscn1296Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl ,whisk together all remaining ingredients EXCEPT the egg white. Add wet ingredients to the large bowl and stir until just combined. Fold in the egg white until just combined.

Drop batter into canola-sprayed mini muffin cups using a mini cookie scoop. Press one pineapple chunk into the center of each muffin, then top with another half scoop of batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

Breakfast Bar Muffins

dscn1247

I like the convenience of breakfast bars, but hate the cost (four buck for six bars? COME ON!), added preservatives, high fructose corn syrups, and very environmentally not-friendly wasteful packaging!

And so I invented these–my yummy breakfast muffins, loaded with the tasty flavors of whole grain flour, oats, and fruit jam!

dscn1249

You can use any jam that you have on hand instead of the apricot jam I recommend, but I recommend it be something light in color (think marmalade*, peach jam, apple butter) or else your muffins will take on the pinkish or blue-ish hues of strawberry or grape jams!

Here’s the recipe

Breakfast Bar Muffins

1 cup quick oats

1 cup whole grain flour (can be wheat, spelt, seven-grain, whatever)

1/4 cup sugar (can substitute honey)

3 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg

1/2 cup fat free milk

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 cup apricot preserves (can substitute peach jam, apply jelly, or orange marmalade*)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg white, beaten stiff

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl until combined. In a separate bowl, mix egg, milk, oil, jam, and vanilla, then stir into dry ingredient. Fold in beaten egg white, then drop into greased muffins tins and sprinkle extra oats on top. bake at 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes for large muffins, or 8-10 minutes for mini-muffins (pictured here)

dscn1248

 * For an AMAZING do-it-yourself, environmentally-friendly homemade marmalade recipe and instructions, you have got to check out this recipe, from one of my favorite blogs ever!

 

Zesty Tamale Muffins

This is the perfect way to eat Mexican when you’re on-the-go!

tammuff

Don’t be fooled by the outside appearance of this muffin! It’s cornbread-like appearance can be deceiving, but the muffin base is definitely not the sweet-salty flavor of cornbread! Instead, is is straight-up true tamale saltiness!

Inside each salty cornmeal muffin you can use whatever tamale filling you like best (and I have some suggestions, too!)

dscn1254

Here’s the recipe:

Zesty Tamale Muffins

1 and 1/2 cups fresh ground flour

1 cup cornmeal

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon salt

Combine these ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the following:

1/3 cup canola oil

2 eggs

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

Stir wet mix into the dry ingredients above. Then add:

1 egg white, beaten until stiff

Fold the beaten egg white into batter, then drop one scoop of batter into greased muffins tins, using an ice cream scoop. Top batter with a smaller scoop of taco meat, tamale filling, or my mixture* idea below:

dscn1250

You can also top this filling with chese, which I did not do in the photo, but which makes these much more kid-friendly.

Next, cover filling with a second ice cream scoop of the batter:

tammuff3

Bake at 400 degrees for twenty minutes, then allow to cool for ten minuted before removing from tins (when they’re really hot and soft, they can fall apart if you try to remove them from the tins too soon!).

These taste great when spread with sour cream! :)

*For my filling, I sauteed six ounces of chorizo sausage with a diced onion and minced garlic clove, then drained the oil and dropped it into the center of the tamale batter. This is spicy and not very kid-friendly, but I sure liked it! :)

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 41 other followers