bocadelicatering__1440521664_174.1.17.29.jpgI have loved muffins for as far back as I can remember. Growing up they were always a staple in our house and I think one of the reasons for that is their versatility. They can be sweet or savoury and can easily be incorporated into a meal or even replace a meal.

I’m sure one of the reasons muffins were always available in my house growing up was the fact that not only are they quick and easy to make, but they are budget friendly in a growing household—and they fill up the tummy nicely. I think for most of my childhood I came home from school and had a muffin and a fruit. On very rare occasions they were those huge store brought muffins which I thought was great. Now as an adult I appreciate home baked over store bought.

With my own growing boys now, I too am making muffins for snacks and for the school lunch boxes. One of my boys’ favourites is blueberry, especially when blueberry season hits, since you can use fresh over frozen berries. Having a great muffin tin is also key. I don’t mind using muffin liners but for some muffins they are just better baked right in the muffin tin.

When my sons were little of course it was always mini muffins that I made. They are perfectly sized for little hands and bellies. Now I usually just make regular sized muffins but occasionally the boys beg for mini muffins. For some reason the size of the muffin matters, because when I make the minis they devour them all quite quickly. My teenage son will leave the kitchen with about 8 of them on his plate, and then he wonders where they’ve all gone the next day. Oh to be 14 again, when your greatest worry is where did all the muffins go.

One of the best things about muffins is that they can be sweet or savoury and they are perfect for the school lunchbox. With my boys I find if I give them easier to eat foods in their lunches, there’s a better chance of them actually eating it.

Perfect for school lunches

I found this Corn Dog Muffin recipe and it is #1 to make on my “make for school lunches” list. Feel free to incorporate your own favourite corn muffin recipe here instead of a packaged mix. Thanks recipegirl.com for this find.

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Corn Dog Muffins

Ingredients:

2 (8.5 ounce) packages corn bread mix
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
9 whole hot dogs, diced
1 cup grated cheddar cheese

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease mini muffin tins.

In a large bowl, stir together cornbread mix and brown sugar. In a small bowl whisk together eggs and milk, and then stir into dry mixture until moistened. Mix in hot dogs and cheese.

Spoon a good Tablespoonful into muffin tins, making sure you get some hot dog in each spoonful.

Bake 10 to 12 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool for about 10-15 minutes in the pan before removing. For easy removal, cut around outsides of the muffins, then tip upside down onto a large cutting board & urge the muffins out using a knife to tap the bottoms of the muffin tins. They should slide right out.

Small treats

Since I have many diet restrictions I have had to sadly cut most muffins out of my diet, but I did find a great recipe for flourless muffins that is easily adaptable to make many varieties. They are so delicious that when I make them they usually are gone by the end of the day. Between myself, my husband, the boys, and the fact that they are mini, they don’t stand a chance of lasting longer than 24 hours. They are perfect for a sweet treat and pick me up in the afternoon, but I have also been known to eat them for breakfast.

I originally got the recipe inspiration from hungryhappens.com and have adapted it my liking. If you love it, she has other varieties also. Here’s the recipe, try them out, I guarantee they will be a hit.

Flourless Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup agave
1 lrg egg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Grease or spray your mini muffin pan with coconut oil.  OR use muffin cups.

Combine all ingredients and lastly fold in chocolate chips.  I used some extra chips to garnish the tops – but that’s entirely optional.

Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Muffins that make a meal

Since I prefer not to have to eat out for lunches or snacks, I always like to have foods in the house that I can take with me when I’m out for the day. Muffins are easy to take along and there are some great ways to make them a complete meal. You can make them with protein powder and get added nutrients by packing them with nuts, seeds and fruits. This

September I’m going back to being a student myself, so I’m on the hunt for some great recipes for my back to school lunches.

I find a lot of the “healthier” muffin recipes can be dry, and for me a dry muffin just isn’t a muffin at all. Through my healthy baking experiences I’ve found the key to a great recipe is using bananas for moisture.

This recipe from allrecipes.com looks amazing and if you prefer not to use vegetable oil like me, you can easily replace it with olive oil or coconut oil.

healthy muffins.jpgHearty breakfast Muffins

Ingredients:

2 carrots, shredded
2 bananas, mashed
1 zucchini, shredded
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup yogurt
2 eggs
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper liners.

Mix carrots, banana, zucchini, vegetable oil, yogurt, and eggs together until fully incorporated.

Whisk flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Mix brown sugar, oats, coconut, pecans, cherries, cinnamon, salt, and ginger into flour mixture until all ingredients are coated in flour. Stir wet ingredients into flour mixture until just combined. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean and edges are slightly brown, 17 to 22 minutes.

Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

I know there are so many moms out there like me who love summer break simply for the fact that we get a break from packing school lunches. With these recipes I will be a little more prepared every morning when it comes to lunch packing time and the kids and I will have a perfect after school snack waiting for us when we get home.

Bestbuy.ca has some great baking accesories and lunchboxes to get you prepared for back to school.

Title image bocadelicatering.com


Lindsey Reed

 

By Lindsey Reed
, Family and FitnessI am a mom of two boys who loves reading and trail runs. I am passionate about health, fitness and food and write about these topics and more on my personal blog organicfitnesstips.net. I love to communicate with readers of my articles so please leave comments here or contact me on Twitter @LindseyDReed.