Monday, September 3, 2012

Kid Bites: Healthy Morning Muffins

In our household, cereal is not the usual breakfast option for us. We have a box waiting for those hurried mornings, but generally we like to have something a bit more substantial to start out our days.

Muffins are just the thing. They are quick and easy to throw together and can be customized to suit anyone's tastes rather effortlessly. When I make muffins for the kids (hubbie included), I like to healthify it as best I can while still making them appealing to all. Substitutions such as whole wheat flour are key in this process as well as reducing sugar quantities. They key is to tantalize taste buds with an abundance of textures and flavors. This involves sprinkling a dash of demerara sugar on the tops of the muffins for an added crunch or adding nuts and a handful of chocolate chunks, raisins, or other dried fruit.

A lot of sniffing is involved when cooking with kids...

Additionally, the muffins I make involve no mixer or other kitchen appliance except, of course, the oven, so my children are free to lend a helping hand. This muffin recipe is so easy, my son did all the prep himself with the exception of chopping the chocolate. Throwing in a handful of chocolate chips would have been a suitable task for him, but I generally use a higher quality chocolate that is not available in chocolate chip form.

Children tend to get a bit whisk-happy which may lead to a tougher muffin, so make sure to keep an eye out for overmixing. My son has learned to fold batter like a pro, so this was not a problem and the resulting muffins were tender and fluffy on the inside with a slight crunch from the sugar on the top. We kept the add-ins to just 1/4 cup of chocolate chunks.

When baking with kids, waiting for the oven to work its magic can be tough for children anticipating their delicious treats. This recipe was fantastic in that it only took 18 minutes in the oven. These were for standard-sized muffins. If you bake up a batch of one-bite, poppable mini muffins, it will take even less time!

Waiting for fresh-from-the-oven muffins can be hard for a little munchkin...
I think he handled it well...!
With school starting this week, I'm sure finding one of these in their lunchbox to munch on as a healthy dessert component to their lunches would put a smile on almost any child's face!

I think they liked them... I only have two kids and a hubby and these are the wrappers they left behind!
My sweet pup's "I love you PLUS I'm utterly adorable.. may I please have a nibble?" face.. It's hard to say no.

Healthy Morning Muffins
By: Leelabean

Makes 12 standard muffins


3/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c whole wheat flour
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/2 to 3/4 c sugar (1/2 c was sufficient for our family)
1 large egg
1 c buttermilk
1/3 c canola oil
2 t vanilla extract
3 T milk
1/4 to 1/2 c chocolate chunks, nuts or dried fruit chunks
demarara sugar, to top the muffins

Set your oven to 400F and place an oven rack in the center position of the oven. Spray a muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray or line it with wrappers.
In one bowl, whisk the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together. In another bowl, whisk the sugar, egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, and milk together until uniform in consistency.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and fold them together being careful not to overmix the batter. Then fold in your add-ins. You can toss your add-ins in a little flour to coat before adding them to the batter, so that they stay suspended in your muffins during baking and do not all end up at the bottom of the muffins.
Fill the muffin tins 2/3 full with batter. Top the batter with a sprinkling of demerara sugar and bake them for 16-19 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let them cool for about 10 minutes and then enjoy. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.


  1. your photos are great! I need to try these!

  2. Thanks, Rachel! Let me know what you think of them. You can always freeze them and pop in the microwave for a quick healthy muffin on the go - these may come in handy in the next few months for you! :)