July 24, 2009

Increased-Nutrition Muffin Recipe

You guys were so nice about yesterday's hand-wringing. Such support and reassurance! I am beginning to think I could say I had a bowl of kittens with milk for breakfast, and at least some of you would say, "Awwwwww, CUTE!"

In fact, I started feeling like maybe I COULD go to BlogHer, if I started thinking about it a year in advance, and if I took a bunch of you with me to say "Awwwww, CUTE!" whenever I ran for cover and/or said something lame, and if we had our own slogan, like, "We're scared. We don't do so well with personal interaction. We're going anyway" (catchy, yes? I see t-shirts), and if I roomed with my friend of twenty years (OMG, twenty??) Astarte so I would only be HALF as fretful about sharing/snoring, and if I checked through some luggage so I could bring several large bottles of liquid, and if I just went ahead and hid in the bathroom when I felt like it but put up a sign indicating WHICH bathroom so you could join me if you were so inclined.

But I was telling my mom about it, and my mom has known me for many many years, and she said that if I started talking seriously about this she was calling a psychiatrist. She says she thinks I'm just feeling left out, and that if I were to actually GO I would be wretched, and not in an amusing, endearing, "Awwwww, CUTE!" way either. It is possible she is right. It is a little difficult to separate Social Fantasy from Social Reality.

I am ready to debut the increased-nutrition muffin recipe I've been working on. But first: you will need to go buy some silicone muffin cups liners, because they hugely improved everything about these muffins except the clean-up. I don't recommend a silicone baking PAN: I tried one of those and it kept making the muffins all singed (that looks like "sing"ed, but it's "singe"d) (well now singe doesn't look right either) (SCORCHED, it kept making the muffins all scorched). The silicone LINERS don't, for some reason. In fact, I am now using silicone liners in my silicone muffin pan, as well as in my metal muffin pans.

I bought three sets of the liners at Home Goods. The first set was Trudeau (same as the measuring cups/spoons I like), and I found them on clearance but the usual price is $6 for 6 of them, which is pretty steep. So the next set I bought was some other brand ( <---poor reporting skillz) (I'll see if I can find out which kind the next time I go to H.G.) (edit: okay, they're Chef Select Ergo), and it was $5 for 12 cups, which is better---and to my surprise the CUPS were better, too: the Trudeau ones were good enough that they made me decide to switch to silicone, but the other brand were so great the muffins lifted right out of them instead of needing to be encouraged.
Encouraging a silicone muffin cup: hold the top of the muffin in one hand, and push a ripple of muffin cup all the way around the muffin with your other thumb.

So I bought a second set of the other brand---and they were not as good. Very odd. The first set was bright pink and orange, and those are the best; the second set was light pink and light blue, and they're more like the Trudeau.

Well. Anyway. Start with silicone muffins cups, because greasing the pans did not work out for me and maybe it won't work out for you either: not only was it messy, but the muffins tasted singed scorched. I don't grease the silicone, but maybe I should. I'm not washing them either, but maybe I should. It's all experimental at this point. Here's the recipe:

Swistle's Whole-Wheat Pumpkin Peanut-Butter Chocolate-Chip Flax-Seed-Meal Muffins
1/3 cup flax seed meal
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
someone's partially-eaten banana, mashed up, OR 1/4 cup applesauce
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1/2 cup peanut butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If your oven is like mine, one back burner gets hot when the oven is on. So I take a small saucepan, I put the butter and the peanut butter in it, and I let it soften/melt on that back burner while I'm getting the other stuff together. I turn the burner on for a minute or two at the end if things aren't melty enough, but the peanut butter scorches super-easily. You could also microwave.

Where were we? Oh yes: just starting out. In a biggish bowl, mix the flax seed meal, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium bowl, mix the eggs, pumpkin, banana/applesauce, and vanilla, and then add the melty butter and peanut butter mixture. When it's all stirred up, add the chocolate chips and stir again.

Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff, and stir just until the dry stuff disappears. Spoon into a silicone-muffin-cup-lined muffin pan. Bake 24 minutes. Wait a few minutes, then remove muffins from silicone muffin cups and perch them on the edges of the pan to cool. (The cups are harder to remove if they cool all the way.)

I get 12-15 muffins from this recipe, depending on how generously I scoop them and how much banana someone didn't eat.

So! Recipe notes:

• I think the muffins are mighty tasty, especially the morning they're baked, but I increased the whole wheat and flax gradually, so perhaps it would be more of a shock going directly. I started with 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1/6 cup flax seed meal (rough measurement---just half of the 1/3 cup measure I used for the flour), and and 1 cup white flour.

• I also decreased the chocolate chips from 1 cup, so perhaps starting with 1 cup would be an easier transition.

• I started with 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup butter. I tried it with all peanut butter and no butter, but I thought even a tablespoon of butter improved the whole recipe.

• Since flour brands can vary tremendously, I'll mention I used King Arthur Traditional 100% Whole Wheat Flour. I chose it for no particular reason other than "that's the one our grocery store carries."

• I tried it with bananas instead of pumpkin and the muffins were too sweet and too sticky. Not a failure, but noticeably too sweet/sticky. I'll bet 1/2 cup of pumpkin, 1 banana, and 1/4 cup applesauce would be good. Or 3/4 cup pumpkin and a whole banana.

• I'll bet it would be good with nuts, but I haven't tried it because the children won't eat nuts, and if I lose the "fling them on the table and let the children scrabble for them" convenience, then what, I ask you, is the point?

• We usually finish off a batch in one day, but if I have leftovers I like to heat them up in the microwave to make the chocolate chips melty again. Ten seconds for a muffin works well in my microwave.


Nowheymama said...

Now even more intrigued about the muffin cups.

My husband is the baker in our family, and he thinks King Arthur flour is the best, FWIW.

Also, thank you for linking to Astarte the other day. I now have a wonderful, new-to-me blog to read, and a pretty Astarte bracelet on my wrist!

Alexa said...

These look so yummy...I'm on weight Watchers so I plugged in the nutritionals if anyone is interested:
for 15 muffins it is 3 points a muffin, 12 muffins it is 4 points a muffin. These have so many yummy things in them I can't wait to try them.

Kristi said...

I know exactly what you mean about those blasted silicone muffin cups! Some work okay and some Not So Much even if they are the same brand. Hello, product consistency!

These look good - I'll give them a try. Thanks for posting.

marybt said...

A nice bowl of kittens and milk is my favorite thing to have for breakfast.

HollyLynne said...

I took a break from eating my breakfast kittens to read this recipe and THANK YOU for posting it. My husband is a peanut butter addict, he'll love this one :)

vague said...

I am going to try these out soon! I have to admit I'll be substituting apple sauce for the eggs, though (I don't do eggs), but I bet these'll be really good. Thanks for posting the recipe, Swistle.

Sam said...

You know...certain people *cough* would love it if your muffin recipes where occasionally the gluten free variety *cough* *cough*. Because I'm very sad that I'm not at Blogher AND I can't eat your muffins. *wail* *sniffle*

Sixminutes said...

I have to say regarding what your mom said to you, sometimes the people who know us best hold us back. Especially parents. They have an idea of what they think we SHOULD be, or what we WERE, rather than who we are now, or who we could be.

Does that make any sense? If you want to go next year, go! Something good always comes of getting out of our comfort zone. (Which I need to remember...)

Lauren said...

I made a delicious batch of Decreased Nutrition Muffins from your old recipe this morning. We had a bunch of peaches about to spoil so I used finely diced peach for my mushy stuff and cinnamon and ginger for the spices. They're SO yummy. And as a bonus they are an effective way to get peaches into a constipated 1-yr-old. It's all fun around here this morning!

Firegirl said...

But would you put sugar on the kittens or eat them with just milk?

Katy said...

Swistle, look, I promised another blogger that i would go with her next year.

If you decide to go then I promise not to say, "oohh, cute," but instead to ply you with your drink of choice and run interference.

And for the record, I worked with a man who was possible the most socially-phobic person EVER, so no fear that I won't find it cute.

Barbara said...

I just copied and printed this one. I WILL be buying some silicon cup liners. Soon. Thanks.

Astarte said...

First, TWENTY YEARS! OMG. You're right, it *has* been that long!!!!! WOW! We've known each other over half our lives!

Second, damn silicone pan. I scorched my muffins, too, last time I used them.

Third, we have no Homegoods up here! I miss them SO MUCH. ARGH!

JK said...

I made the muffins. I went for maximal nutrition! I put in 1/2 cup of flax 'cause I misread. :-)

I also dumped all wet and dry stuff together in the mixer (because my girls were helping me bake and I had no control and two bowls were way too complicated!) and the muffins came out just yummy.

I used my silicone muffin pans and I don't have a scorched flavor. I oiled and floured the pan though. Do you do that?

JK said...

ps just read you're not greasing them... i vote for greasing. Also, I throw mine in the dishwasher.

low maintenance around here!

Laura said...

Hm. Do you taste the peanut butter? Not fans of peanut butter tasting baked goods around here.

We have tons of frozen pumpkin around here that we need to use up (We sorta, well, recycle the Halloween pumpkin into food after the event.) so this'd be wonderful!

Swistle said...

They do have a peanut butter taste, but not strong. I don't like peanut butter baked goods either (peanut butter cookies, peanut butter pie, etc.), but I like these.

You might also be able to use Sunbutter, which is more expensive but made with sunflower seeds instead of peanuts, or you could use 1/2 cup of butter instead of the peanut butter and 1 T. butter.

brightfeather said...


emilie said...

Hey there! I read your blog often, but this is my first official comment. Ta da! I am inspired by these muffins since I love pumpkin anything. I'm also one of the unfortunate multitude who only recently discovered a gluten allergy is why my life up to that point was one big upset stomach, and I've been on a "try this recipe with gluten-free flour and see if it's delicious" kick. This looks like a good one to try. :)
If anyone is interested, the Bob's Red Mill All Purpose GF baking flour usually works well in the "this-for-that process (except for the whole *rising* thing that breads are supposed to do. Still working on that.)