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.
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
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).
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:
Using 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)
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)
Can you tell the difference? Oat groats on the left, wheat berries on the right!
Blend on high speed for two minutes. The resulting batter will be pretty thick:
Then add your quartered summer squash or zucchini pieces:
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:
The resulting pancakes look so yummy that your kids will never know that they’re loaded with veggies and whole grains:
These pancakes tasted so good that my eleven month-old devoured them, even WITHOUT syrup! 🙂