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Carrot and Muesli Muffins

24 Apr

This is another Vegie Smugglers recipe. I know I’ve been posting a lot of them lately but they are so great. If you are looking for some new ideas, go and check it out. I have bought both books and one of the lunchbox inspirations and unlike a lot of other cookbooks I have found myself cooking several recipes from them, unlike other books where I will cook one and that will be it. You can download free samples from the website as well if you want to “try before you buy”.

I thought these muffins sounded great. They would be perfect for a breakfast on the run or a healthy morning tea.

Thomas is a pretty fussy eater. He doesn’t like vegetables – refuses to eat them. So I do do a lot of cooking where the vegetables are hidden. With our cooking together, we do talk about the ingredients that go in and this is a perfect recipe to show children that eating carrots doesn’t have to be an unpleasant experience. Thomas helped me grate the carrot and put it in the bowl and when it came time to eat the muffins, he didn’t even think about the carrots because they tasted so good.

 

Ingredients:

11⁄2 cups self raising flour

1⁄4 cup brown sugar (used about a tablespoon less that this and found they were sweet enough)

1 carrot, grated

1 cup muesli

1⁄4 cup grapeseed oil

1 cup milk

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 overripe banana, mashed

Method:

Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease/line a 12 hole muffin tray.

Sift flour into a large bowl. Mix in the sugar, carrot and muesli.

In another bowl, whisk together the oil, milk, egg and banana. Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until just combined.

Divide out into muffin tray. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean.

The recipe says it makes 12 but I made 24 mini muffins and 6 larger ones. The mini muffins I cooked for about 20 minutes.

 

Banana Blueberry Bread

21 Mar

I have cooked this banana bread a couple of times now. It’s easy, works every time and it’s tasty. Thomas loves banana and blueberry bread. He goes on an outing with his Nana sometimes on a Saturday morning to a cafe and they have banana and blueberry bread and a milkshake. It’s a very special time for them.

Thomas really enjoyed helping to recreate his special cafe food. Lots of measuring, pouring and mixing with this recipe and like muffins, there’s no electric mixers although it does take quite a while too cook and then cool before you can eat it so you need a little bit of patience.

 

Ingredients (serves 12)

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 265g (1 3/4 cups) self-raising flour
  • 40g (1/4 cup) plain flour (I used wholemeal plain flour)
  • 140g (2/3 cup, firmly packed) brown sugar
  • 195g (3/4 cup) mashed overripe banana (approximately 2 medium bananas)
  • 125ml (1/2 cup) reduced-fat milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 50g butter, melted, cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 x 125g punnets blueberries (I thought this was a bit too much and the next time only used just over half this amount. Probably about 300g)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 20 x 10cm (base measurement) loaf pan with melted butter to lightly grease. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Sift the combined flour into a large bowl. Stir in the sugar. Combine the banana, milk, egg, butter and vanilla in a medium bowl.
  3. Add the banana mixture and blueberries to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and smooth the surface. Bake in oven, covering with foil if necessary to prevent overbrowning, for 50-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Set aside in the pan for 5 minutes to cool before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

    I divide this up into individual portions, cover in glad wrap and freeze. It will keep in the freezer for up to a month. Next time we might try it with raspberries…

Strawberry, Apple and Wheatgerm Muffins

13 Feb

Delicious and nutritious… Sorry about the photo but all but these 4 muffins were devoured before I could take the pic!

Cooking is a sensory experience. It involves all five senses in the one experience – sight, smell, touch, sound and most rewarding taste! Children look at ingredients and touch them as they add them to the bowl, they smell as foods are being prepared and cooked, listen as foods are cooking (boiling water, sizzling onions) and taste the final product.

During your cooking with children, encourage the use of the senses. It can be easy to get caught up in the physical and mathematical aspects of cooking and forget the sensory ones. Ask your child questions about texture, encourage them to touch the individual ingredients – “does it feel soft or rough?”, encourage them to hypothesize about the taste “do you think this honey will taste sweet or sour?”, encourage them to smell the ingredients and look at the different colours, shapes and textures.

From early in their lives, children learn about the environment and the world around them using their senses. Involving them in sensory play from an early age will assist brain development. As children get older, they are still in need of sensory experiences to continue to strengthen brain pathways and aid their learning. To read more about brain development and other sensory play ideas go to Childhood 101.

 

Ingredients:

125g butter, melted

2 1/2 cups wholemeal self raising flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup wheatgerm

3/4 cup brown sugar (I used about 1/2)

2 eggs lightly beaten

1 cup fresh milk

2 tablespoons honey

2 Granny Smith apples peeled and grated – squeeze to remove excess juice)

250g strawberries hulled and quartered lengthways

 

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease 12 x 1/2 cup muffin tin.

2. Sift flour into a large bowl. Add cinnamon, wheat germ and brown sugar. Mix well.

3. Combine eggs, honey and butter in a jug.

4. Add egg mixture, apple and strawberries to flour and mix to combine. Spoon mixture into muffin pans bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool in pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for 3 months.

Source: Fresh For Kids

Banana and Blueberry Muffins

4 Feb

These are yummy. We’ve made them a few times and they always go down a treat. Especially with my little blueberry lover! Thomas basically goes through a punnet of blueberries every day. I think I’m going to have to start buying the frozen ones now that they are going out of season…

Muffins of any kind are great to make with smaller children. They don’t require any electric beaters, there is lots of hands on measuring and pouring and they are reasonably healthy and nutritious (the fruit and vegetable kind). This recipe is from taste.com.au.

Thomas was really keen on measuring all the ingredients for this recipe. It got a bit messy with flour everywhere! He can recognise the different measurements on the cups and identifies the one he needs when I read the recipe out. He is really starting to become more independent in the kitchen these days. It’s wonderful to see.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups self-raising flour (I have also used gluten free flour successfully with this recipe)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 200g tub natural yoghurt
  • 80g polyunsaturated margarine, melted, cooled
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 medium green apple, peeled, grated
  • 1/2 cup honey ( I only use about 1/3 cup if that)
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190°C/170°C fan-forced. Line twelve 1/3 cup-capacity non-stick muffin holes with large paper cases. Sift flour and cinnamon into a bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup rolled oats. Make a well in the centre.
  2. Add eggs, yoghurt, margarine, banana, apple and honey. Stir to just combine. Fold in blueberries. Divide mixture between paper cases. Sprinkle tops with remaining rolled oats. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into 1 muffin comes out clean.
  3. Remove muffins to a wire rack to cool. These muffins can also be frozen.
A little bit of wholesome goodness in a sweet treat :-).

Pumpkin, Spinach and Ham Muffins

19 Jun

When I first tasted these muffins I wasn’t fussed (neither was Thomas) but they do grow on you with more bites… They are actually quite good. I think Thomas was expecting his usual carrot and zucchini muffins – always good to mix things up!

I always have leftover pumpkin in the fridge which inevitably gets thrown out so I thought these muffins might be a good way to use it up rather than throw it out.

The recipe was one that I found on the internet a long time ago (not sure where) and I just added a few things to it.

Ingredients:

300g pumpkin peeled and chopped

2 cups self raising flour (I used 1 cup self raising and 1 cup wholemeal self raising)

1/4 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup cheese

100g shaved ham sliced finely

1 cup baby spinach

Extra grated cheese for topping

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C and use an olive oil spray to grease 12 cup muffin pan
  2. Steam pumpkin for 10 minutes or until soft
  3. Allow to cool then mash with oil
  4. Combine pumpkin mash and eggs in a bowl whisk to combine
  5. Sift flour into bowl, add cheese, spinach and ham and stir until combined
  6. Spoon into muffin pans and sprinkle with extra cheese
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden (or until skewer inserted into middle comes out clean).
Can be frozen and defrosted in the microwave or lunch box.

Banana Yoghurt Muffins

30 May

Thomas’ cousin was coming for morning tea this morning so we decided to make some yummy muffins. I think bananas and yoghurt are 2 of Thomas’ favourite foods (in the healthy category anyway!) so these muffins sounded perfect to me!

This recipe came from my friend Claire :-), she found it on the taste.com.au website.

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup caster sugar (I only used 1/4 cup)
1 cup natural yoghurt (I used vanilla yoghurt)
1 egg
2/3 cup vegetable oil
2 large bananas, mashed

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Lightly grease a 12-hole, 1/3 cup-capacity muffin pan. Sift flour and sugar into a bowl.
  2. Combine yoghurt, egg, oil and 1 cup mashed banana in a large bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients, stirring until just combined.
  3. Spoon mixture into muffin holes. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  4. Stand muffins in pan for 5 minutes. Turn onto a wire rack to cool completely. Serve warm or cold. Can be frozen and reheated.
The recipe made 12 large muffins and there was some left over so I made 12 mini muffins also. Perfectly bite sized.
I got a bit distracted and didn’t hear the timer so ours are a little ‘browner’ on the top but still taste delicious!
This recipe is really easy and tastes so good. The best thing is that most of the ingredients I have in my fridge or cupboard most of the time so they can be made at short notice any time you need a little snack. Perfect for cooking with kids…

Spinach, Bacon and Corn Muffins

17 Apr

We went out for brunch recently and I had the yummiest spinach, bacon and corn muffin! It was absolutely derricious – served with warm butter… When I got home, I went on a mission to recreate this yummy masterpiece that I (by now) I had probably built up in my mind.

I found this recipe for savoury muffins on the Western Star Butter website. It was just a basic recipe so I added my own twist to it.

What  you will need:

2 cups self raising flour (for a healthier option, try wholemeal self raising flour)

3/4 cup grated tasty cheese

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves

125g butter melted

1 cup milk

1 egg lightly beaten

1 cup chopped bacon – pre cook in frying pan or microwave

125g creamed corn

1 spring onion finely sliced

1 cup baby spinach leaves shredded

Method:

Combine flour, cheese, parsley, spinach, creamed corn, onion and bacon in a bowl.

Add butter, milk and egg and stir with a large metal spoon until just combined.

Spoon mixture into 12 1/3 cup muffin pans.

Bake at 180C for 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked.

What I loved about this recipe is that Thomas and I were able to go out into our newly planted vegie patch and pick some baby spinach and parsley. He is learning so much from having just a few pots of herb and vegetable plants. It’s a wonderful way for children to learn about how food grows and how to take responsibility for living things. He also gets a great sense of pride and achievement when we are able to cook with what we have grown.

A vegie garden doesn’t have to be huge or expensive. Just a few pots and a few plants is enough. Put them in an area that is accesible to children so they can observe their growth. A great mathematics activity to do with preschoolers is to measure plants as they grow. Use a ruler and graph the measurements each day.

And while I don’t think these muffins were as good as the one I had had, they still tasted pretty good…