Thursday, March 22, 2012

Why I Love to Make Muffins

When I realized how non-nutritious even organic cold cereal is, and I tossed it aside for our family, I lamented the loss of ease in preparing breakfast for this large brood.  It was so easy to have one of the older children just pull out a box and serve all 11 of the children (infant not included).  While we didn't have cold cereal every day due to the expense (usually 3 large boxes to feed everyone), it was still my go-to plan for rushed mornings.

I'm happy to report that I've found something BETTER.... muffins!

1.  Muffins can be made ahead in large batches and frozen (very easy mornings)

2.  Muffins can be made in all sorts of varieties.  I have a basic muffin recipe that I just add ingredients to to make different types (see below).

3.  Muffins lend themselves very easily to the soaking of grains which enhances the absorption of nutrients and is much easier on the gut.

So, why are they BETTER than cold cereal?!


As you can imagine, breakfast alone, 13 cereal bowls filled our dishwasher.  With muffins, I simply hand the children a napkin, their muffin and a fruit and breakfast is served and cleaned up in no time.

Here is my basic muffin recipe.  Usually the grains get soaked the night before in the buttermilk, but if you don't have time or forget, then they are still better than store-bought boxed cereal.

This recipe makes almost 2 1/2 dozen muffins depending on the size and the add-ins you use.  It can be cut in half or doubled.  But, I suggest always making at least this size and freezing your extras if you don't have a mega-sized family.

4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour 
( I like to use half hard red and half hard white, but anything will work)
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups buttermilk (or sour milk if you don't have buttermilk on hand)
2 eggs
1 cup lightly melted butter (or oil)
1 cup honey

With a whisk mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  (If you are soaking overnight, just add the buttermilk to the flour and let it sit overnight.)  Make a well in the center and pour in the wet ingredients.  Begin by whisking the wet ingredients and slowly incorporating the dry ingredients, this help to not overmix.  (If your flour has been soaked then you may need a wooden spoon to break up the flour and incorporate into the mixture.)

Drop by spoonfuls into a prepared muffin tin and back for 12 - 15 minutes at 350 degrees.  Let cool in the pan for about 5 minutes then remove to cooling racks.  Cool completely before freezing.

Some add in ideas:

2 tsp of cinnamon and 1 tsp of nutmeg for a spice muffin
2 peeled and diced apples
2 mashed bananas
chopped nuts
2 cups fresh or frozen berries

This post is part of Simple Lives Thursday, Full Plate Thursday and Pennywise Platter.

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