Grow Your Own Way · kid-friendly · Recipes

Strawberry Mini Muffins

It is peak strawberry picking season in New England right now, so I thought it would be a great time to test some new dessert recipes. I could never get bored of my two favorites — strawberry shortcakestrawberry-rhubarb crumble — but it’s always good to experiment with new baking ideas! Inspired by how much Georgia loved some tiny cupcakes a friend made last weekend, I whipped up a simple recipe for Miniature Strawberry Muffins during nap time last Sunday. It was a huge hit with both of us, and we do consider ourselves strawberry (and muffin) experts 🙂IMG_0405

I bought a one-pound container of strawberries and probably used about half, give or take. Georgia and I just sliced up the rest for a refreshing snack!

Strawberry Mini Muffins

Makes 24 muffins in about 45 minutes of hands-on time.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 stick of butter (unsalted), softened to room temperature
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 C (plus 1 TBSP) TigerNut Flour*
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, acidified^^
  • 1/2 cup of strawberries, diced very small
  • a pinch of salt

^^ Acidified milk is produced by adding lemon juice to pasteurized milk at room temperature, then letting it sit for a few minutes so that it appears to curdle. The milk isn’t actually souring, you’re just altering its taste and texture to mimic that of buttermilk. The ratio to use is 1 cup of milk to one halved lemon, juiced. In this recipe you can use 1/2 the cup to start and then add in a bit more if the batter seems too thick as you’re mixing.

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 375 and spray a miniature muffin tin with baking spray. Set the butter out to warm to room temperature.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a stand mixer (or hand mixer) until combined, then add the egg.

Sift together one cup of flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Alternate adding the dry ingredients and the milk to the mixer on low.

In a small bowl, toss the chopped strawberries with the TBSP of flour.* Fold the strawberries into the batter.

Drop tablespoons of the batter into each muffin tin, filling them about 2/3 high.

Bake for 14-16 minutes or until they are turning golden at the edges and are springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and let them cool in the muffin tin for another 15 minutes.

If you used a non-stick pan in particular, your muffins should release very easily when you’re ready to eat them! Ours kept in the fridge for exactly one week.

*RECIPE NOTES

Why add lemon to milk in this recipe? Because I didn’t have buttermilk handy, and acidifying milk with lemon is the best way to achieve the same result. Buttermilk’s role in baking is to lighten your batter, as the acids in buttermilk “get fizzy” when they make contact with baking soda or powder. This reaction makes baked goods airy and tender, and cancels out the sour taste of buttermilk (or ‘soured’ whole milk). You can also add vinegar to milk to achieve the same effect if you have a recipe that calls for buttermilk and you have none handy. Or, you can thin sour cream or plain yogurt with water. All these options will play the same role in your batter, and are only slightly less creamy in texture than buttermilk would be.

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You can use any type of flour, but I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to try TigerNut flour along with a host of other organic & paleo-friendly products from OrganicGemini in Brooklyn recently. They are best known for their TigerNut Horchata, which comes in more than half a dozen flavors such as strawberry, chai and banana. TigerNuts are actually tubers, or small root vegetables. Nut-free and gluten-free, they make an appealing baking substitute for kids and classrooms with allergies! Next time I have to bake for Georgia’s school, this will be my go-to flour.

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Last note: adding flour to the strawberries before putting them into your batter helps keep the chopped fruit from sinking to the bottom as your muffins bake. This is a good tip to follow for any similar recipe.

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I really hope you enjoy this one! It made for a great daycare snack for G, and a “pre-breakfast breakfast” for me. (I wake up hungry but don’t have time to eat an actual meal and get G to school and us to work, so I eat my ‘real’ breakfast at my desk every morning). We finished the last two after dinner yesterday, and I seriously wish there were more right about now!

Recipes

Breakfast Egg Muffins

These are my new “thing.” I make them on Sundays and have a whole batch for the week. Two muffins + Dunks coffee + my desk = Amanda’s weekday morning breakfast. 

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I have a resolution to eat more breakfast and lunch (and, heck, dinner) that I’ve made at home, because we are “modeling” good food habits for G, but also because daycare is really freakin’ expensive. These fit the bill and are pretty tasty.

Breakfast Egg Muffins

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 dozen eggs
  • veggies of choice, chopped/diced (I use bell peppers)
  • 1 small onion, chopped (optional)
  • cheese of choice (I use sharp cheddar or feta)
  • milk of choice (I use almond)
  • Pam spray or oil of choice, to coat muffin tin

DIRECTIONS

Before you start: Decide whether you will be making 6 or 12 muffins. I usually eat 2 of these per day for breakfast, plus some fruit (and coffee!), so a dozen will get you through the week and then some. But you can make half a dozen just as easily, if you think you won’t eat them all within the week. They only keep about 5-7 days in the fridge. You can also make this with a greater ratio of egg whites to yolks, and if you’re using a deeper muffin tin (such as silicone) then you may want to use a couple more eggs. 1 egg fills roughly 1 compartment and therefore makes 1 muffin.

  • Spray the pan with cooking spray or coat with a healthy oil by hand using a balled-up paper towel. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
  • Prep your veggies: dice the bell pepper(s) and 1 small onion into small pieces. Set aside.
  • Prep your eggs: using either all or half a dozen, crack them into a bowl and whisk. Add salt and or pepper if desired.
  • Add a few veggies, onions and cheese to each compartment, filling about halfway to 3/4 full.
  • Pour the egg mixture over each compartment, stopping at most a quarter of the way before it’s full. They taste worse if they are overfull and “blossom” too high above the pan!
  • Bake about 25 minutes or until they are just browning and the eggs are set.

These reheat great in the microwave, as long as you don’t overdo them (I’d say 30 seconds to 1 minute is best). If you plan to store them for later, in the fridge OR freezer, just make sure you let them cool first. They do well in a plastic bag or a glass container. You can customize this with any ingredients you prefer, including real or fake ham or bacon, and you can use muffin tin liners as well. And of course, feel free to add any additional seasonings you might enjoy. I hope you like them!

What else do you make for breakfast when you have to eat on the go, or are looking to save money? I’ve gone through phases of making smoothies — especially in summer — and also baking this vegetarian Egg McMuffin casserole every weekend to get me through the workday mornings. I’m also considering trying bake-ahead oatmeal in the slow cooker with nuts and berries. Have you done that?? If so, share!

Drinks & Smoothies · Recipes

Orange Berry Smoothie

Is anyone else out there feeling desperate for simple, healthful food after that holiday? Yeah, me too. As much as I love stuffing, casseroles and pie, they do take a toll on your energy level, complexion and waistline. Personally what I’ve been craving is fresh fruit, lots of water and NO bread! So I threw together a refreshing smoothie and a batch of low-fat breakfast muffins with broccoli and feta (which I’ll post here in a few days). Enjoy:

Orange Berry Smoothie

A refreshing blend of orange, strawberry & banana with coconut milk for creaminess.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup coconut milk (light)
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1 banana, frozen or fresh

Directions

Blend all ingredients together and enjoy cold. Makes enough for two!

I used a frozen banana because I always keep them handy; a little over a cup of the OJ and coconut milk, because that’s what I had left in the jugs in my fridge; and a heaping cup full of frozen strawberries.You can use full-fat coconut milk if you don’t mind the extra calories, and of course you can substitute greek yogurt to make it extra thick.

This is SO fresh and tasty in the morning!