Category Archives: Fruit Muffins

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.

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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).

Pineapple Upsidedown Muffins

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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!

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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.

 

Sugar-Free Pumpkin-Chocolate Muffins

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The pumpkin in this batter helps hide the gritty texture of your wheat flour, so you can grind your wheat as coarse as you want (within reason) and your kids will still devour these scrumptious yet healthy muffins. Mine sure do! 🙂

Here’s the recipe:

Sugar-Free Pumpkin Muffins

1 and 3/4 cups of whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup canola oil

1/4 cup apple sauce

1/2 cup honey

1/3 cup water

3/4 cup raisins or coconut (I prefer sugar-free or regular miniature semisweet chocolate chips–NOT milk chocolate which is too sugary.  The raisins just weren’t as kid-friendly)

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately, then mix together until combined.  Bake in muffin cups at 350 for 20-25 minutes for regular size muffins or 8-12 minutes for mini muffins.

Raspberries N’ Cream Muffins (Whole Grain)

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The cream cheese batter for these muffins makes such a smooth-textured muffin that kids will never notice the whole grain flour!

Instead of white flour, I used a cracked, seven-grain cereal:

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You can buy Bob’s Red Mill seven grain cereal at most grocery stores (cereal and baking aisles) or you can buy it here. You can then grind this cereal in your home blender, if the grains are already cracked, like this:

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Just toss it in the blender and blend until it looks like flour!

Here’s the recipe:

Raspberries N’ Cream Muffinsdscn1201

2/3 cup cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup canola oil

1 and 1/2 cups sugar

2 egg whites

1 egg

1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 cups fresh-ground, 7-grain flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup buttermilk (or 1/2 cup regular milk with 1.5 tsp vinegar; let sit 5 minutes)

1/2 cup Raspberry Nuggets*

Beat cream cheese, oil, and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg whites, egg, and vanilla. Combine dry ingredients separately, then fold into cream cheese mixture with buttermilk and raspberry nuggets.

Bake in canola-sprayed muffin tins at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes (mini-muffins) or 18-24 minutes (regular muffins).

These muffins are more of a dessert because they contain cream cheese and sugar and taste like cheesecake! But as far as desserts go, they’re ultra-healthy—how many cheesecakes have *you* eaten that are made from whole grains? 🙂

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dscn1200*I used raspberry nuggets for the mini-muffins pictured here because I make them in large batches to freeze. Whenever I’m going on the road with the kids, I just grab a bag and go, and I can’t have real raspberries thawing and getting raspberry juice all over my kids’ clothes. You can use real raspberries, instead, though.

Yogurt Wheat Blueberry Muffins

The yogurt in these muffins helped hide the grainy texture of the whole wheat. My kids devoured them!

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dscn11301Because I prefer mini-muffins (less mess ’cause kids can pop them into their mouths), I did not use real blueberries. The blueberries I buy are so large that I would only get about one blueberry per muffin.  Also, my children were constantly getting blueberry juice stains on their clothes, so I started buying these imitation blueberry nuggets. They are imitation, but not unhealthy. I bought them at a baking supply shop, but you can buy them online, too–just click here.

Here’s the recipe:

Yogurt Wheat Blueberry Mini Muffins

3 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup sugar (or honey)

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cups vanilla or lemon yogurt

3 tablespoons grated lemon or orange rind

2 large eggs

1/2 cup canola oil (or apple sauce for less fat)

1/2 cup imitation blueberry nuggets

Spray mini-muffin cups with canola oil cooking spray. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix dy ingredients in dscn1129large bowl. Whisk yogurtn eggs, and citrus rind together in smaller bowl. Gently fold yogurt mixture into dry ingredients., then fold in the melted butter. Do not over-mix. Then gently add in blueberry nuggets.

Using a mini-cookie scoop, drop batter into mini-muffin cups. Bake for eight-to-ten minutes or until golden in color, browning on the edges, and toothpick inserted in the center comes out w/ sparse crumbs.

 

dscn1131*Remember, for healthier muffins, you can replace the butter with applesauce, and you can use fresh blueberries instead of the nuggets!