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.
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.
With fresh vegetables and whole grain flour, these muffins are healthy enough to serve for breakfast, but yummy enough to taste like dessert!
I invented these muffins last night, because my garden has produced quite the bumper crop of summer squash this year:
The 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:
Next, close the towel around the squash and squeeze out excess liquid, like this:
You should end up with a play-doughy ball of summer squash pulp that looks like this:
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)
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!)
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.
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!
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
1/2 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)
The yogurt in these muffins helped hide the grainy texture of the whole wheat. My kids devoured them!
Because 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 large 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.
*Remember, for healthier muffins, you can replace the butter with applesauce, and you can use fresh blueberries instead of the nuggets!