Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Kid-Friendly Muffin Recipe

As we try and battle this picky toddler stage, I find myself trying to find different ways to get more nutrients into Nathan's daily diet.

Muffins are convenient, portable, and pre-portioned! One issue I took with many of the popular muffin recipes I find online is the high amounts of sugar and low amounts of vitamins. So, if you want a big more bang for your nutritional buck, try a few of these substitutions with your favorite recipes.

Substitute some (around 1/3) of your flour for flax meal. Also, because flax can absorb quite a bit of liquid, add ~2 TBS extra liquid to your recipe to make up for it.

Add 1 cup of shredded veggies - zucchini and carrots work very well. They don't take over the flavor too much and add vitamin C (zucchini) or vitamin A (carrots). Shred them extra-small for particularly picky eaters. Also, zucchini contains lots of water, so you could reduce some of the liquid in your recipe ~2 TBS to make up for it (if you do this AND sub in flax meal, it breaks even!) Or, you could lay out the shreds on a paper towel for a couple of minutes to dry them off a bit.

Less Sugar:
Reduce the sugar. So many muffin recipes have dessert-worthy amounts of sugar, when I always thought muffins were supposed to be healthier than cupcakes. I have been able to cut sugar amounts in half and had no problem getting the little guy to eat the resulting cupcakes!

I adapted the following recipe from allRecipes and Nathan has loved them. Here is the adapted version:

Cranberry Zucchini Muffins

1/2 cup flax meal
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons orange zest
1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups chopped cranberries
1 cup zucchini, shredded

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray or grease a 12 cup and 6 cup muffin tin.
-Mix together the flax meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, orange peel, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger.
-Add shortening; stir in juice, vanilla, eggs, cranberries and zucchini. Pour into muffin cups and bake for ~25 minutes.

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