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! 🙂
I sure wish I could get my camera to do justice to these heavenly, delicious, meal-on-the-go muffins, but they look all bumpy because I use home-mashed potatoes (I live in Idaho–using instant potatoes is a felony here!). Those of you who do use instant potatoes will find that your muffins have a much smoother shape and texture–not the rocky surfaces seen here:
I invented this super-scrumptious muffin so that I could have some sort of grab-n-go lunches in my freezer for days when I was going to be running errands or working, and didn’t want to rely on fast food for me or my kids. I always bake these as a mini muffin to help save on calories per serving, because they do have cheese and bacon in them, but I leave the skins on my potatoes and use wheat flour, so they are still healthier than any restaurant version.
Oh yeah–they taste better, too! Here’s the recipe:
Loaded Baked Potato Muffins
2 egg yolks
3 cups mashed potatoes (or 3 cups grated raw potatoes, squeezed dry in a dish towel)
1/4 cup grated onion
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 stiffly beaten egg whites
1 cup crumbled cooked bacon
3/4 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup sliced chives (optional)
Stir the egg yolks into the potatoes and onion. In a separate bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to potato mixture, then fold in the oil and beaten egg whites. Stir in bacon bits and cheese (along with chives, if using them). Spray mini-muffin tins with canola cooking spray, then drop muffins into tins using a regular-sized ice cream scoop. Batter must fill cups because muffins won’t rise much. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes, until edged are dark brown and crisp, insides resemble dry mashed potatoes. Garnish tops with extra shredded cheese and bake another couple of minutes.
Refrigerate in air-tight container within 2 hours of baking.
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:
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:
Just toss it in the blender and blend until it looks like flour!
Here’s the recipe:
Raspberries N’ Cream Muffins
2/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup canola oil
1 and 1/2 cups sugar
2 egg whites
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? 🙂
*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.
This Valentine’s Day, I resolved to help the environment by NOT buying those little paper Valentines for my children to distribute amongst their classmates. You know–the ones that they all pass around at school, after which the kids just rip them open, pull out the candy inside, and toss the card.
Tonight, instead, we all made Chocolate Zucchini Muffin Tarts and frosted them for the girls to take to school and give them out to their friends. Sure, they’re frosted, but they were made in mini-muffin pans, so kids will only get one small mouthful of sugar–sure beats the other junk they’re getting elsewhere! 🙂
Here is the recipe (thanks to Ice Cream for giving this to me!)
6 Tbsp. Cocoa Powder
2 C. sugar
1/2 C. canola oil
1/2 c. apple sauce
2 C. Grated Zucchini (grated small, then squeezed in paper towels to remove excess water)
MIX ALL TOGETHER, then add:
2 C. Whole Wheat Flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
***Mix quickly and drop into cooking spray-coated mini muffin tins and bake for eight to twelve minutes, or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
These chocolate zucchini muffins are very healthy, but as I mentioned above, we desecrated their healthiness with a little Valentine’s Day makeover!
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!
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