Category Archives: Breakfast

Oatmeal Pancakes

The other day, I  had some egg whites leftover.  I was searching the lovely internet for ideas on how to use them.  That’s where I came across this recipe for Oatmeal Protein Pancakes over at Slender Kitchen.  I skimmed the recipe, decided I didn’t have (and probably never would have) the exact ingredients used, but knew I could come up with something that would work.  Now, I love me some pancakes, but they’re basically everything I’m not supposed to be eating now.  These use whole oatmeal, eggs, greek yogurt and no white flour or sugar.  I made them silver dollar sized and ate 4.  My boys ate 6 each.  I’m hooked and I hope you will be too.

The process is simple.  Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.  Feel free to mix up the spices however you want.  Then, generously grease a non-stick skillet or griddle that is over low heat.  Pour batter onto greased griddle until pancakes are the size you want.  Smaller pancakes are easier to flip and these can stick.  When the batter is bubbly and dry around the edges, flip.

DSCN1809

They’ll be golden brown and fluffy.  I didn’t even use any syrup on mine (though, the boys did).

DSCN1812

Recipe:

1 cup old fashioned oatmel

1 5.3 ounce container greek yogurt

6 egg whites or 3 whole eggs

1 medium banana or 1/2 cup cooked sweet potato

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Place all ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.  Heat a non-stick skillet or griddle over low heat. When surface is hot, grease liberally.

Pour out a small amount (2-3 tablespoons) of batter onto skillet.  Cook until bubbly and dry around the edges.  Flip and cook until golden brown.  Serve warm with butter and maple syrup if desired.

Whole Wheat and Oatmeal Blueberry Muffins

On Friday evening, I did something I have never done.  I drove into town and then into the parking lot of a local middle school.  I carried an empty plastic tote with me as I walked through the cold and into the cafeteria.  I was greeted at the door by a woman with a smile and a clipboard.  She checked my name and confirmation code and directed me to a table.  It was at that moment where I met my new love.  The excitement I experienced in the next few minutes was barely containable.  Carefully, I loaded potatoes, rainbow chard, orange peppers, romaine lettuce, broccoli, strawberries, oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, red pears and blueberries into my empty tote and walked back to my car – all while repeating to myself, “all this for $15.00!?!?”.  I had just picked up my first Bountiful Basket and I couldn’t wait to get home and start cooking with all this wonderful food.  I’ve planned my menu the next two weeks around the items in my basket, but I couldn’t wait to go grocery shopping to start cooking.  First thing Saturday morning I pulled out those blueberries and stirred up some muffins.  These aren’t just any old muffins either.  They’re packed full of whole grains and protein.

The method is so simple I didn’t even take pictures.  I did take one pre-baking picture just to show off these plump, juicy blueberries.

DSCN1771

These bake up a little dense, but they are tasty and filling.  The bread itself is not very sweet, so if your blueberries aren’t nice and sweet, you may want to add some extra honey to the batter. My kids ate two of these each and then had a third for a snack later.  I didn’t dare tell them how healthy they are.

muffin

Recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup oatmeal

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

1/4 cup melted butter or oil

1 Tablespoon honey

1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk or any milk

1 5.3 ounce container low fat greek yogurt

1 cup blueberries

Preheat oven to 325*.  Grease muffin tin or line with baking cups.

In a medium sized mixing bowl, stir together flour, oatmeal, baking soda, baking powder and salt.  In a separate bowl, stir together eggs, melted butter, honey, almond milk and yogurt.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until mixed.  Carefully fold in blueberries.

Scoop batter into prepared tins.  This should make 12 muffins.

Bake at 325* for 15-20 minutes.

Gingerbread French Toast

I know it is late, but I couldn’t let today pass without sharing this breakfast recipe.  I’ve cooked it as a casserole twice this week and come home with an empty pan both times.  I can’t take all the credit though.  A few days ago, a friend of mine asked me if I could come up with a recipe for gingerbread French toast.  She had visited a national diner chain and ordered it from their holiday menu.  Somehow, they manages to serve her DRY French toast.  How does that happen? I mean, it’s bread soaked in custard! I thought about making some gingerbread and then just using it to make French toast, but honestly, I’m never going to do that in real life.  I don’t like to share recipes with you that I don’t use because they’re just too darn impractical (well, except for my caramel apple cinnamon rolls, and they are TOTALLY worth it).I decided it would be way simpler to put the flavors of gingerbread into the egg custard.  I pulled out all those classic gingerbread flavors and started mixing them into the eggs and milk.  I dipped some bread and threw it on the griddle and what came out was honestly delectable.  That bread was completely transformed.  My kids asked for seconds (and thirds).  The baby calls it cake.  Hopefully, you’ll just call it a breakfast staple.  Oh, and if you want to make it for a crowd, just triple the recipe, cut your bread in chunks, put it all in a greased 13×9 pan in the fridge overnight and bake it at 350* for 25 minutes (put some chunks of butter on the top in the last 10 minutes for extra goodness).

Start by whisking together an egg, milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, vanilla, molasses and brown sugar.  You’re going to realize right away that this smells just like fresh gingerbread.  It also will be nice and brown already.

DSCN1572

Dip your bread slices.  I used some leftover whole wheat bread this time, but I’ve also used honey oat bread and whole grain bread.  All of them taste absolutely delicious.  Use whatever sandwich bread you keep on hand. Make sure you let it soak up a decent amount of the egg mixture.

DSCN1573

Place soaked bread slices on a buttered griddle heated to 250*.  There’s enough sugar in the egg mixture that you don’t want to cook it too hot or the outside will burn before the custard sets.

DSCN1574

When both sides are golden brown, transfer from griddle to plate.  Top with butter and powdered sugar and dig in.  I serve this without syrup, but you finish it any way you want (fresh whipped cream would be delicious).

DSCN1577

Oh, and if you decide to make it as a casserole, it will smell like heaven and look something like this.

DSCN1597

Recipe:

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ginger

dash nutmeg

dash clove

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 Tablespoon molasses

1 Tablespoon brown sugar

4-5 slices of bread

Heat a griddle to 250*

Whisk together egg, milk, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, clove, vanilla, molasses and brown sugar until completely mixed.

Butter warm griddle.

Dip both sides of each slice of bread in egg mixture and place on buttered griddle.  Cook for 3-4 minutes per side until golden brown and set.  Serve warm with butter and powdered sugar.

Apple Oatmeal Bread

Yesterday’s beignets are fabulous, really, but if they’re a bit too labor intensive (and a lot too unhealthy) for you, I’ve got you covered today.  This breakfast bread is not overly sweet and really is good for you.  It also smells amazing.  There’s no oil or butter in this bread, but the apples and applesauce keep it nice and moist.  And, 3 eggs may seem like a lot, but they help with rise and stability.

Start by mixing your dry ingredients.  I use oat flour, but I make it myself.  Just take some old fashioned oats and zip them in your blender or food processor until they are ground fine.  I also use tapioca starch in this recipe.  If you don’t have any, you can just use regular flour.  If you’ve got it, and you keep gluten free oats around, this recipe is gluten free.

Then,  I put all my wet ingredients into the blender.  Blending them until frothy helps keep the bread from being so dense.  Gently stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir just until combined.  Then, let it set while your oven preheats (about 20 minutes).  It will look like this.

DSCN1423

Now, gently fold in your whole oatmeal and diced apples.  Try not to knock out too much of the air.

DSCN1428

Pour batter into a greased loaf pan.  Top with maple almonds and bake until set. If the almonds start to get too brown, cover with a sheet of foil until the bread finishes.

DSCN1430

Allow to cool.  Carefully remove loaf from pan and slice.  The ends are cut off this piece because the boys were literally hanging on my legs begging for a bite.

DSCN1437

Recipe:

1 cup oat flour

1/4 cup tapioca starch

1/4 cup coconut flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ginger

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 teaspoon vanilla

3 eggs

1 5.3 ounce container vanilla greek yogurt

1 cup whole rolled oats

1 apple, diced

3/4 cup sliced almonds

1 Tablespoon real maple syrup

Stir together oat flour, tapioca starch, coconut flour, salt, ginger, cinnamon and baking powder in a mixing bowl.

Add applesauce, vanilla, eggs and yogurt to blender.  Blend until well mixed and frothy.

Gently stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just incorporated.  Allow to sit for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350*.

Fold rolled oats and diced apple into the batter.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.

Stir together almonds and maple syrup.  Sprinkle over the top of batter in the loaf pan.

Bake at 350* for 25-30 minutes.  Cool completely before removing from loaf pan.

Beignets

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked if I had a recipe for beignets.  I didn’t.  Truth is, I’ve only had beignets once that I remember.  My mom (or aunt, I’m honestly not sure) had a beignet mix.  We made them.  They were not good.  Seriously, we threw fried dough in the trash because no one would eat it.  So, I spent the last few weeks doing some research online and talking with friends who live in beignet country.  I had a pretty good idea of what a good result would look like and I decided to try it.  This is not a completely original recipe.  I simply used the traditional recipe I found at least a dozen different places and swapped out melted butter for the shortening – because butter is always better.

I took the finished product to my Sunday School class (also known as my baking guinea pigs – and they’re ok with that).  I took a butter batch and a shortening batch and the preferences were split right down the middle.  I will say that I preferred the butter fresh out of the oil (hence why I’m sharing that one), but the longer they sat, the tougher they got.  The texture using shortening is definitely better if you plan on making these ahead (but really, why wouldn’t you eat a doughnut fresh out of the fryer?).

Start by mixing the water, sugar and yeast and letting it proof for 5-10 minutes.  Then add eggs, salt, evaporated milk and part of the flour.  Everything I read was insistent that a well hydrated dough was key to great beignets, so I let this sponge rest for 30 minutes before I did anything else. Then, I switched from my paddle attachment to my dough hook and added my melted butter and enough flour to get a dough that felt sticky but didn’t actually stick to my fingers (a lot like the dough for my cinnamon rolls). DO NOT knead this dough.  You’re not looking to create a lot of gluten strings (and therefore chew) with this dough.

DSCN1443

Cover this and let it set in the fridge overnight.  Yup, overnight.  Nope, you can’t shortcut it.  Seriously, to get a well hydrated dough, it needs to sit that long and rise slowly.  In the morning, start your oil over medium low heat.  Use a thermometer.  If the oil temperature isn’t right, you’re going to end up with black outsides and raw insides or really greasy cooked dough.

DSCN1445

While your oil is heating up, roll your beignet dough into a rectangle that is 1/4″ thick.  Then, use a sharp knife to cut it into 2″ squares.  They don’t have to be perfect, just similar.

DSCN1444

Carefully drop dough squares into the hot oil 3-4 at a time. They’ll sink at first and then float to the top on their own.  That’s ok.  When you can tell one side is starting to brown, use two wooden sticks to help you flip them.  You’re going to flip them a couple of times.  If you let them get too brown on one side, they may not stay flipped.  Please forgive this picture.  My husband took it and the boys were kinda out of control when he did.

DSCN1449

Remove finished beignets from the oil and place on paper towels to drain.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy (as soon as you can pick them up without burning your fingers).

DSCN1447

Recipe:

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

1/2 cup sugar

1 package active dry yeast

2 eggs

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup evaporated milk

6-7 cups flour

1/4 cup melted butter

oil for frying

powdered sugar

Mix together water, sugar and yeast.  Allow to bloom for 5-10 minutes.

Use the paddle attachment on your mixer to stir in eggs, salt and evaporated milk.  Then stir in 3 cups flour just until mixed.  Remove paddle attachment from mixer and allow sponge to sit for 30 minutes.

Use dough hook attachment to stir in melted butter.  Add remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until desired consistency is reached.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When you are ready to fry beignets, heat 2″ of oil in a heavy saucepan to 375*.

While oil is heating, roll beignet dough to 1/4″ thick.  Use a sharp knife to cut dough into approximately 2″ squares.

Carefully drop 3-4 squares into hot oil.  Flip beignets several times during cooking.  Cook for 5-7 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and cooked through in the middle.

Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar while still warm.

Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls

Yeah, you read that right, Caramel Apple Cinnamon Rolls.  And, what could possibly be more decadent than combining these two sinful treats? I have worked for several years to develop the perfect cinnamon roll recipe.  I’ve taken bits from here and there and changed techniques and altered amounts and cooking times. Seriously, these cinnamon rolls are perfect with a little powdered sugar icing.  But, why stop there? Add some thin sliced apples to the filling and then top it with rich caramel.  This is NOT a quick recipe, not by a long shot.  But, aren’t the best things in life worth waiting for?  As a caution, you probably want to make these when you are taking food somewhere.  Otherwise, you really will end up eating the whole pan (which is only bad if you value the current size of your waistline).

For the best time management, start your dough first.  Mix the yeast, water, milk and sugar together and let the yeast bloom for about 10 minutes.  Add in the salt, egg and soft butter.  Then, add in the flour.  I start with 1 1/2 cups and my paddle attachment.  It should look something like this.

DSCN1355

Then, I switch to my dough hook and add flour 1/2 cup at a time until it reaches the right consistency.  It will be soft and still sticking to the bowl at the bottom.  Don’t add more flour.  You want it to be soft so your rolls don’t dry out.  These will be golden brown on top, but soft and tender (unless you add too much flour, then they will be dry and crispy). Cover this and let it rise until double.

DSCN1358

Next, I slice apples super thin on my mandolin.  Leave the peels on, unless you’re just absolutely opposed to apple skins, then, by all means, peel the apples first.  If you don’t have a mandolin, slice them as thinly as you can by hand.  Super-thin slices really do work best.

DSCN1359

Cook those down with some butter over VERY low heat for about an hour.  The apples will be soft, but also dry.  Don’t skip this step to save time.  If you put fresh apples in your cinnamon rolls, you’ll end up with a soggy mess.  Trust me. Set your pan of apples aside to cool.

DSCN1360

Mix up the cinnamon/sugar filling.  Brown sugar and a high cinnamon to sugar ratio keeps the filling from being too sweet.  A little flour keeps it from melting out during rise and bake time.

After your dough has risen, gently remove it from the bowl and put it on a heavily floured surface.  Roll it into a rectangle that is about 18″x24″x1/4″.  Keeping the dough nice and thing makes sure that you never get a bit of bread without a good amount of filling too.

DSCN1368 DSCN1369

Spread melted butter over the dough.  Be sure to leave about 1/2″ unbuttered along one long side so you can seal it.  Then, cover the butter with your cinnamon sugar.  Go all the way to the edges of the dough.  Top that with your cooled apples.

DSCN1370

Starting at the edge with filling on it, roll tightly.  Seal edge and slice into 1″ thick rolls.  Place in a pan and refrigerate overnight.  You could cook these same day, just let them rise for about 30 minutes on the counter.

DSCN1371

Are you tired yet? Almost done.  Now you make the caramel.  Add sweetened condensed milk, brown sugar, light corn syrup and butter to a heavy sauce pan.

DSCN1361

Cook and stir over low heat for 25-35 minutes or until lightly browned.  Then add vanilla and salt.  This will set up slightly.  You’ll probably have to warm it a bit before spreading over your  baked cinnamon rolls.

DSCN1365

The next morning, take the cinnamon rolls out of the fridge, preheat your oven, bake, frost and enjoy!

DSCN1382 DSCN1383

Recipe:

Dough:

1/4 cup lukewarm water

1 package yeast

3/4 cup lukewarm milk

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/4 cup room temperature butter

1 1/2-3 cups flour

Filling:

2 apples

5 Tablespoons room temperature butter – divided

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons cinnamon

1 Tablespoon flour

Using the paddle attachment on your mixer, mix together water, yeast, milk and sugar. Let sit for 5-10 minutes so yeast can bloom.  Add in salt, egg and butter.  Mix well.  Add in 1 1/2 cups flour and mix well. Change out paddle for dough hook and add flour 1/2 cup at a time  Dough should be soft and pulling away from edges, but not the bottom, of the bowl.  Knead for 2 minutes.  Cover and let rise until double – about an hour.

Core apples and slice thinly on a mandolin (or by hand).  Add apples and 1 Tablespoon butter to a small saucepan. Cook over very low heat until apples are tender and liquid has cooked away (45 mins-1 hour).  Set aside to cool.

While apples are cooking, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Set aside.

When dough has doubled, gently remove it from bowl and place on a heavily floured surface. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll into an 18″x24″ rectangle.  Dough will be about 1/4″ thick.

Spread dough with 4 Tablespoons room temperature butter.  Leave about 1/2″ of dough on one long side unbuttered.  Spread cinnamon sugar mixture over the buttered dough.  Scatter cooked apples over the cinnamon sugar.

Starting with the long side of the dough that is covered with filling, tightly roll to unbuttered edge. Seal by pinching dough together.  Slice into 1″ rolls and place in a baking dish.  Cover and place in fridge overnight.

The next morning, remove rolls from fridge.  Preheat oven to 350*. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden brown. Top with caramel while still warm.

Caramel:

1 can sweetened condensed milk

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon salt

Place milk, butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a heavy sauce pan.  Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in vanilla and salt.

Guiltless Banana Cream “Pie”

I don’t do health food.  I do food that tastes good, uses quality ingredients, and pleases and nurtures my family. A year ago, that food looked a lot different than it does today.  My doctor and I got together and he was genuinely worried about my weight.  I’ve lost around 50 pounds since then with his help and a combination of things.  One of those was drastically cutting back the number of simple sugars and processed grains I ate.  Which ruined my bowl of cereal and made dessert an actual ‘treat’ instead of a daily requirement.  I struggled for a long time.  I felt like I was being punished.  I would literally break into hysterical sobs if my family mentioned they didn’t really like what I had cooked.  Little by little, I started finding foods that satisfied me and still fit into the whole grain, lower glycemic index diet I was supposed to be eating.  And, a LOT of them actually tasted good!

This is one of those that I discovered just a few weeks ago.  One of the biggest changes for me was breakfast.  I love a BIG bowl of cereal with ice cold milk.  Cutting this from my eating hurt me in two ways – I no longer knew what to have for breakfast and my calcium intake tanked (I don’t like milk alone).  After a long battle about not wanting to drink my calories, I tried a smoothie and was hooked.  Then, my blender broke.  It  a moment of desperation, I mashed a banana with a fork, stirred in my yogurt, flax and almond milk and threw it in the fridge to get nice and cold.  The next morning, I grabbed my glass and walked out the door to take my daughter to school.  I took a long drink, not sure what to expect, and I was hooked.  Who needs cereal when you can have dessert for breakfast for less than 300 calories.  A quick dietary rundown for those who are interested: 247.5 calories, 23.75 from fat; 7g fat, 0g saturated fat; 479 mg Potassium; 31g carbs, 8.25 fiber, 14 sugar, 18g protein, 52% calcium.  Seriously! And half those sugars are natural from the banana.  Lately, I’ve taken to mixing this up and tossing it in the freezer for a couple of hours.  Yup, that’s right.  Ice cream for breakfast and I don’t have to feel bad about eating it. Here’s what it looks like scooped into my bowl (this is half of the recipe, so half the nutritional values I listed).

DSCN1209

Recipe:

1/2 very ripe banana, mashed

1 – 5.3 ounce greek yogurt (I use Dannon Light and Fit Toasted Coconut Vanilla)

3 Tablespoons flax meal

3/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Stir all ingredients together until completely mixed.  To serve chilled, refrigerate a couple of hours or overnight.  To serve frozen, freeze in a bowl or other container for 3 hours.  Stir every hour to keep a soft consistency being sure to scrape sides of container.

Smoked Sausage Hash

The last few days have been unusually busy and exhausting.  Even with no Friday night practice or Saturday game this weekend, I came to tonight feeling drained.  Dinner had to be filling and simple.  And, for my sanity, it had to be something no one would complain about.  This recipe fits the bill.  There are seldom any leftovers, but when there are, they make a great breakfast – just cook up an egg to your preference and voila!  Or, you could toss in some green chile, scrambled egg and cheese and roll it all up in a tortilla (which is what my husband prefers).  Anyway, for dinner, start by cubing up a large sweet potato (you could use two or three smaller ones, but I hate peeling the dang things). Then toss them into a hot skillet with some butter.

DSCN0989

Turn the heat down to medium low or low (depending on how hot your burner is).  Lid them and let them cook for a few minutes until they start to get  brown.  Stir them around and add 1/4-1/2 cup water to the pan and lid it again.  When the water cooks off and the potatoes are mostly tender, add the sausage (which you can cut up before you start cooking or while the potatoes are cooking).My usual grocery store has stopped carrying full sized links of the smoked sausage brand I like best.  Thankfully they still carry it in bratwurst-size links and they work just fine for this recipe.

DSCN0990

Season with salt, pepper, onion powder and chile powder.  Cook until the sausage starts to brown and the potatoes are completely tender.

DSCN0992

Before anyone asks, yes, those are canned green beans on the plate.  Yes, I ate them AND served them to my family.  No, I am not ashamed.  They’re convenient, quick and reminiscent of my childhood.  Of course, they taste distinctly better if you add a little bacon grease, grated garlic (on my microplane so it is superfine) and black pepper to the pan and let it get toasty before you add the green beans.  Which just happens to be exactly what I did.

Recipe:

1 large or 2-3 small sweet potatoes

14-16 oz of your favorite smoked sausage

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon chile powder

Peel sweet potato and dice into 1/4″ cubes.  Split sausage down the middle and cut into half moon shapes.

Heat non-stick skillet and butter over medium heat until hot.  Add sweet potatoes, reduce heat and cover.  Cook for 4-5 minutes or until potatoes start to brown.  Stir, add water and replace lid.  Cook until all water is gone and potatoes are mostly tender (5-10 minutes).  Remove lid.  Add sausage, salt, pepper, onion powder and chile.  Continue cooking over medium low heat until sausage is brown and potatoes are tender.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

You may start to notice that I make a lot of breakfast breads.  I cook them both for my Sunday school class and also for my MOPS meetings.  Today’s banana oatmeal muffins will travel with me to the first MOPS meeting of the year tomorrow.  For two blessed hours, someone else will watch our children while we gather as women and nourish each others souls and stomachs.  These really are easy to whip up, and aside from the stick of butter, not terribly bad for you.

DSCN0968

Start by mixing up two really ripe bananas with a stick of softened butter and a 1/2 cup of sugar.  I like to do this with a fork so that I can mash the banana up some, but still leave some chunks. It will look curdled, so don’t throw it out when you see this.

DSCN0961 

Add in a couple of eggs, some vanilla and buttermilk.  Then add your flour, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and stir just until everything is incorporated.  The more you stir it, the tougher and drier your muffins will be.

DSCN0962

Scoop this slightly sticky batter evenly into 12 muffin cups. If you want them to come out of the pan perfectly (or if you aren’t using a silicone muffin tin), go ahead and spray with no stick spray or use muffin liners.

DSCN0963 

Bake for 15 minutes.  They’ll puff up some, get ever so slightly brown and maybe even crack just a bit.  Your house will smell like heaven.  It will be hard, but let them cool before you remove them and start eating.  They taste great, but it isn’t worth burning your hands and mouth (trust me, this is experience speaking).  Besides, if you scorch your tastebuds with the first  bite, you’ll miss out on the rest of that muffin (and the other 11, if you’re anything like me).

DSCN0966

Recipe:

2 very ripe bananas

1 stick butter, softened

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk*

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400*.  Grease 12 muffin cups (or line with paper liners).

Mash together banana and butter with a fork.  Stir in sugar (mixture will look curdled).  Add in eggs, buttermilk* and vanilla. Add oatmeal, flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt and stir just until combined.

Spoon batter evenly into prepared muffin cups.  Bake at 400* for 15 minutes. Cool completely before removing from pans.

*If you don’t have buttermilk, you can substitute regular milk or add 1 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice to your measuring cup and fill to the 1/2 cup mark with milk. 

 

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

Lots of people in the United States are sending their kids back to school today.  My daughter is actually starting her 3rd week of first grade and I’m almost past wanting to cry when I drop her off.  Every day except Friday I pack her lunch.  Every day I offer peanut butter and jelly as a sandwich option and secretly hope that’s what she will choose.  I mean, who doesn’t love sticky peanut butter and sweet jelly sandwiched between two slices of whole wheat bread? My daughter, that’s who.  Peanut butter has never really been a favorite food of hers.  It is one of mine though, and these muffins make it easy to share that love with  in a format that is both portable and more refined than sandwich triangles.  Peanut butter and jelly for breakfast? Yes, please.DSCN0937These super easy muffins start by mixing up a whole wheat batter packed with peanut butter flavor.  It will be super thick, almost like drop biscuit dough.  You use half the batter to partially fill 12 regular size muffin cups.  Then, add a generous dollop of your favorite jelly or jam – I used seedless blackberry jam this time, but strawberry is excellent too.  Then, top the jam with more batter.  Before they go in the oven, they’ll look something like this.

DSCN0927

If you’re not using a silicone muffin pan, you definitely want to use cupcake liners or grease your muffin tins before you start filling them up.  Make sure you let the muffins cool before you take them out.  You don’t want them to fall apart.  This is one of the few times I make muffins and serve them room temperature rather than piping hot. 

Recipe:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 cup buttermilk*

2 eggs

1/3 cup honey**

1 cup peanut butter

1/3 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup jelly or jam

Preheat oven to 350*.  Prepare muffin tins by greasing or lining with paper cupcake liners.  Stir together flour, salt and baking powder.  In a separate bowl, mix together buttermilk, eggs, honey, peanut butter and melted butter.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until combined. 

Fill 12 muffin cups about 1/3 full (about 1/4 cup batter).  Since batter is so thick, you may need to use your fingers to press it out until it covers the bottom of the muffin cup.  Spoon about 2 teaspoons of jelly into the center of each muffin cup.  Top with remaining batter.  It is ok to fill your muffin cups to the top.  Make sure the batter covers the jelly.  Bake for 15-20 minutes or until slightly browned on top.  Remove pans from oven and let muffins cool completely before removing from pans. 

*If you do not have buttermilk, you can add 2 teaspoons white vinegar to your measuring cup and then fill to the 1 cup line with regular milk and let sit for two minutes.  Or, you can just use regular milk.

**This batter is more savory than sweet.  I like the balance of savory muffin and sweet jam filling.  However, if you would like a sweeter muffin, go ahead and double the amount of honey or add a few Tablespoons of white sugar.