Posts Tagged With: low-fat

muffins for Monday – 3.25.12 – nut & honey

Anyone remember this commercial?

Or this one:

Or this one:

Well, this morning, Micah asked me what kind of muffins I was going to make for the week. I’d been eyeing a jar of honey and a bag of pecans in the pantry and considered replying like a sane person with “honey pecan.” Then my mind flitted to the phrase “honey nut,” like in Honey Nut Cheerios. Even that would’ve been a reasonable response.

But in the end, my terrible sense of humor and love for bad puns overcame my better judgment, and I replied, “Nut ‘n’ honey.”

Groans ensued, and I immediately needed to find those old cereal commercials to see if they were as dumb as I remembered. They were. But back when I was a five/six/seven-year old kid watching them on TV for the first time, I remember laughing. Hysterically. In fact, I always wanted my mom to buy that cereal so I could have conversations like the ones in the commercials with my little brother, or my Mammaw, or whoever would give in and play along. (Have I mentioned that I was kind of a strange kid?)

I don’t think my mom ever bought Nut and Honey Crunch, though, mostly because she insisted on a pretty regular rotation of plain cereals: plain Corn Flakes, plain Rice Krispies, plain Cheerios, plain Chex. The sweetest cereals we ever ate were Kix and Life (though never Berry Berry Kix or Cinnamon Life–just the unflavored varieties).

Our friends probably hated spending the night with us. Where are the Lucky Charms? What about Cocoa Puffs? Can we at least have some sugar to dump on this cardboard??

My Mammaw, though in a perfect position to be a food role model, wouldn’t eat any of the cereals at our house without a healthy dose of added sucrose. (Which, given some of the other things she liked to eat, shouldn’t come as a surprise.)

Besides sleepovers at friends’ houses (friends with cool parents, that is), the only time we ever got to indulge in overly sweet breakfast monstrosities like these was at Christmas, when we would find an 8-pack of these wrapped under the tree:

Gee, whiz! Thanks, Mom! Er, I mean...thanks, Santa Claus!
(image from Amazon.com)

At the time, though of course I ate my mom’s boring cereal choices without complaint, I was convinced that her low-sugar rule was horribly unfair. Just like it wasn’t fair that all the other kids at school got to play on the Nintendo (we didn’t have one) and drink soda with dinner (you can imagine my mom’s thoughts about that one).

Now, I’m glad Mom made us eat unsweetened cereals and drink milk instead of soda, because as an adult I am absolutely unable to eat a bowl of Froot Loops for breakfast (ugh!), and I rarely crave a Coke. It’s a lot easier to make healthy choices when the unhealthy ones kind of gross you out. 🙂

(I do wish she’d caved on the Nintendo, though. My video game handicap is about the same as your average five-year-old’s, thanks to my lifelong lack of eye-thumb coordination.)

But I digress. Rewind to this morning’s conversation:

“What kind of muffins are you making today?” asks Micah.

“Nut ‘n’ honey!” I chirp.

Groan.

The name of this week’s muffins for Monday might echo the silliest 80’s commercial pun ever penned, but they did turn out nice:

A muffin so pretty, even our blooming camellias want a taste.

I can’t tell you how the taste of my nut ‘n’ honey muffins compares to Kellogg’s Nut & Honey…Crunch! because I’ve never tasted the stuff, but how ’bout you make the muffins on your own and compare for yourself?

What’s in it:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup honey

Step-by-step:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F, and get a 12-cup muffin pan ready.
  • Mix all the dry ingredients (flour through pecans) in one bowl. Mix the wet ingredients (everything else) in another. Then combine.
  • Spoon into your muffin cups and bake for 12-15 minutes, then let cool.

The batter for these muffins is a little thicker than you might be used to if you’ve tried some of my other muffin recipes, because when I substituted honey for some of the brown sugar, I decided to leave out the milk (lest my batter become too runny). But the chopped pecans yield a nice crunch, and the honey flavor is perfect: light, a little floral, but not too sweet. Just like my mom would prefer.

What kind of cereal did you eat growing up?

Categories: recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

muffins for Monday – 3.18.12 – pb&j

Today’s muffin experiment: capturing the magic of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich–but in a muffin!

(No, my green cutting board isn't the most pristine background--but I sure do like the color.)

 

I love peanut butter. Probably more than I should. I can eat it by the spoonful straight from the jar, and often do. I love peanut butter sandwiches, peanut butter cookies…even peanut butter and bacon burgers, which I first got the guts to try a few years ago at Clocked here in Athens. (It sounds weird, I know, but they’re amazing!)

I could eat peanut butter every day, maybe at every meal, and be perfectly happy…

…so why on earth have I never thought to make peanut butter muffins?

Well, now I have, and let me tell you, these things are delicious, and despite the whole wheat and oats, they don’t taste healthy at all. They’re almost like dessert. (Actually, I did eat one for dessert tonight.)

What’s in it:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite jam or jelly

Step-by-step:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Prepare 12 muffin cups. (You might want to make a point to use paper liners or a little extra cooking spray/butter for these because they’re a tad stickier than my normal recipe.)
  • Mix the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar in one bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs. Whisk in the peanut butter, then the yogurt, then the milk.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then divide the batter into your 12 muffin cups.
  • Top each muffin with a spoonful of jelly. Then, use a toothpick to swirl your jelly around in the batter.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Let the muffins cool (at least a little), and then enjoy (preferably with a tall glass of milk).

About the jelly: I didn’t swirl mine enough, and it kinda sunk from the tops of my muffins down to the bottoms, making for some pretty gooey, messy undersides. They were still delicious, but the jelly wasn’t really dispersed throughout the muffin like I wanted it to be, and my fingers did get a little sticky.

Again, about the jelly: I used FROG jam. It isn’t made of frogs, I promise!–just fig, raspberry, orange, and ginger. These would be delicious with regular old grape or strawberry, though, or any other jam or jelly.

I’m really looking forward to breakfast this week. 🙂

Categories: recipes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

muffins for Monday – base recipe #3 – whole wheat oatmeal muffins

This might be my favorite muffin recipe because I can make it even if I don’t have any good fresh fruit or vegetables to throw in, plus it’s really easy to adapt. (This one is also lower in fat than the first two because it doesn’t contain butter. Not that I have anything against butter, and you could certainly add some if you want to make these extra moist. Or, you could just butter them afterwards like Micah always does.)

What’s in it:

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup milk

Step-by-step:

  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Prepare 12 (yes, 12!) muffin cups for action.
  • Mix the oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and brown sugar in one bowl.
  • In another bowl, beat the eggs, add the yogurt, then add the milk.
  • Combine the wet and dry ingredients, then divide into your 12 muffin cups.
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes. Then, well, you know what to do.

Why I like these: they’re like a blank canvas, just waiting for inspiration to strike!

The first time I made this recipe, I added a cup of chopped walnuts and 2 tablespoons of orange zest to the dry ingredients, and I substituted orange juice for the milk. The result? These yummy, nutty, orange-y babies:

(Yes, I ate a couple of bites of this one before I realized I ought to snap a photo. It just smelled so heavenly, I couldn’t resist!)

The second time I made this recipe, I added 1/2 cup cocoa powder to the dry ingredients and about 3/4 a cup of dried cranberries at the end. No photos of this variation, but they were pretty yummy.

My favorite version so far? Add 1/2 tablespoon lemon extract to the wet ingredients OR a few tablespoons of lemon zest to the dry. At the end, fold in 1/3 of a cup of sunflower seeds. (I used the unroasted, unsalted variety, but I’ll bet the roasted and salted kind would give these muffins a yummy salty-sweet kick!)

I’m calling this batch “sunshine muffins,” and not just because they’re such a lovely golden brown. The flavor last week was lemon and sunflower seeds, and after trying one of these babies I can say that it did indeed brighten my day.

Categories: recipes | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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