July 2, 2009

N.P.B.W.W.F. Muffins

I'm attempting to modify my muffin recipe to increase the nutritiousosity (including the fiber, Jane!), since we eat those things pretty much every day. Amy suggested using peanut butter instead of butter, which not only improves the Fat Quantity/Quality situation, but also increases the protein and fiber. My Peanut Allergy Consultant Kelsey says she thinks this could also be done with SunButter, a peanut butter alternative made from sunflower seeds.

I'm also experimenting with replacing some of the white flour with whole wheat flour and flax seed meal. This morning I made a double batch, which uses 3 and 1/3 cups of flour. I used 1/3 cup flax seed meal, 2/3 cup whole wheat flour, and 2 and 1/3 cups white flour, and the muffins were way drier and way less yummy. But! Everyone ATE them.

When making such changes, I recommend first depriving the children of muffins for a week. If you have Delicious Buttery White Flour muffins on Monday, and Nutritiouser Peanut Butter Whole Wheat Flax muffins on Tuesday, you may find yourself in the midst of a protest. But if you have D.B.W.F. muffins on Monday, Boring Unappealing Cereals for a week, and then N.P.B.W.W.F. muffins the following Monday, you will (we hope) get more of a "Yay, muffins!" reaction.

Another change I'm making is I'm greasing the muffin cups instead of using papers. Reynold's finally pushed me too far: The papers used to cost 39 cents for 50. Then they were 59 cents for 50, and I was still on board. Now they are 89 cents, and the package only has 35 papers in it. No! I DRAW THE LINE!

So I'm Crisco-ing (I tried pan spray first, but it didn't work well), and then having to wash the pans afterward, and I am split in my opinion of this. On one hand, it is easier than I'd thought it would be (though I did have to get a new muffin pan, since one of mine wasn't coated). On the other hand, I find it makes me less inclined to make muffins, and when a batch DOES stick to the pans for some reason, it makes me LOSE MY BAKIN' MIND. So there's that. But I am absolutely not paying nearly 3 cents EACH for BAKING CUPS.

32 comments:

Pam said...

I don't have them (yet) but I've seen silicone baking cups -- reusable!

MRS said...

Hey! I tried making muffins the other day with wheat germ. I think that you can use it to relace, like, 1/4 c of flour. It says on the bag. Supposed to be full of healthful things. My husband didn't noitice a thing different. Maybe you can give that a try, too.

Hillary said...

I was going to suggest the silicone baking cups, too, though you still have to wash the things. I detest washing muffin tins. I'm not sure washing baking cups would be any better.

Anonymous said...

The silicone ones are so good, and EASY to wash... not like metal. The baked stuff just slides right out and washes right off. No need for grease!

Smiling Mama said...

I was going to suggest the silicone cups as well. I bet you could find some super cute colors!

Alice said...

i should really start making muffins, because every time i read a muffin post i get sad, and jealous that i don't have any muffins of my own.

Nowheymama said...

When I try to make recipes healthier, I sometimes add one new ingredient at a time, so the family doesn't notice the progression from batch to batch.

I've given up on muffin papers, too. Hmm...silicone. Interesting.

Hotch Potchery said...

umm, does greasing the muffin tin over power the healthiness of the other stuff you are putting in your muffins?

I am surprised that wheat flour was dryer...interesting.

I am very impressed you make sure your kids eat breakfast every day.

Sarah M. said...

Oh, definitely post once you figure out a new recipe. I have some sunbutter that I've been trying to think of ways to use it.

picklemouse said...

Whole wheat flour absorbs more moisture than white flour. So as a general rule you'll want to increase the moisture content a little whenever adjusting a recipe to use whole grains.

You could also try subbing wheat bran for some of the white flour; it changes the texture less than using whole wheat flour. It's a little lighter, less dense. It doesn't contain any gluten, though, so you don't want to replace a large proportion, or your muffins will be wimpy...

Clare said...

You could also use soy nut butter, or add soy flour for a bit of the white flour. And, white whole wheat flour is much lighter in texture than red whole wheat flour (which is the version most common in grocery stores). Applesauce is also a nice sub for butter or oil in a recipe -- maybe do half peanut butter and half applesauce, which might make them moister (and sweeter, too). Or, you could add a "frosting" made from fage yogurt and a bit of honey or pureed fruit. Happy Baking!

LoriD said...

I only use whole-wheat flour in all my muffins now. Most cookies too. And pancakes. Here's the trick: either use less flour (if it calls for 2 cups, use 1-3/4 cups) OR up the liquid content (more mashed stuff or oil). Also, you need to bake it right away. The longer you let it sit, the more liquid will be absorbed by the flour and it will become dry. You do so much baking that you know what the consistency of muffin batter should be; if it seems too thick, adjust the recipe to make it the right consistency.

Jess said...

OK, I'd never heard of silicone baking cups, but now I want them, thanks to your comment section. And also one of those cute little cupcake carriers. Even though I don't bake muffins or cupcakes and I never carry them anywhere, either. Maybe when we have kids?

wheelmaker said...

I remember King Arthur Flour has some recipes for whole grain baking and there are some adjustments that will make the baked goods come out better.
http://www.kingarthurflour.com/baking/bookstore.html
I tried the brownies once & enjoyed them, though they're not quite the same as regular brownies.

Carmen said...

Yup, just yesterday I bought some silicone baking cups at Safeway. Initial outlay will be more, but the thought of never having to use those paper ones again is worth it. I bought just 12 so I'll see how they work and then get another set. But now I dream of getting themed ones: Valentine's Day, Hallowe'en, etc. I'm nothing if not a sucker for themed kitchen items.

Christina said...

Oh I love sunflower seed butter! Never thought to utilize it in baking .. vewy vewy interesting.

I didn't know they made silicone baking cups, have only seen the loaf pans and other sizes. My friend had the loaf pans and they didn't hold their shape during baking, the sides would poke out as the bread baked, looking almost like an explosion had occurred in the center of the bread, forcing it outwards in every direction.

Tess said...

I have the silicone muffin...thingee (not TIN, so...WHAT?) and I like(ish) it. It freaks me out a bit the way it flops all around and has to have the metal skeleton and whatnot, which is a little fussy for my taste.

I have also seen STONEWARE muffin...thingees in the Pampered Chef catalog. If those things work with age like the cookie sheets and bread pans do, I bet that would be a winner.

Sally said...

I too was going to suggest adding some applesauce to the batter to help balance the whole wheat flour dryness. Can't wait to hear (and try!) the recipe when you get it all worked out. Happy Baking!

jen said...

You can put the silicone right in the muffin tins just like papers. But the ones I have do not flop around (they aer Wilton brand - I have some cheapo ones from the dollar store and they are floppy but I still don't use anything) I don't like them though because you still have to spray them. But get yourself a Misto and use olive oil instead of crisco! I use olive oil fo everything now adn i don't notice a bad taste when using it to grease pans for baking stuff. I bake my muffins right in the tin, sprayed with o.o. and just wipe it down with a dry towel until next time.

Kim said...

I once considered myself a muffin expert, but after reading all this I realize I'm a sad, sad ameteur.

JEN said...

I think the flax is great idea because it adds moisture. I also substitute applesauce or pumpkin for butter/oil. I don't eat wheat but make mine with a flour called "Teff" which is super nutritious and barely detectable to kids if you cut it with other flours.

Another good way to get children or picky adults to eat the above is throw in a few bluberries or chocolate chips for each one so that they don't appear "healthy".

Claire said...

I asked a chick at Michael's how she kept cakes from sticking to pans when they do their cake decorating classes. She said to use equal parts cooking oil, crisco and flour to make a sort of paste to grease your pans with. I am not kidding when I say it makes whatever you're baking FALL right out of the pan. Seriously the greatest tip I've ever gotten. It works so well, even on this fancy-dancy bundt pan I have that looks like a cathedral. the cake just slips right out.

Sixminutes said...

I can't even tell you how impressed I am that you take the time to figure out the unit cost for everything....AND bake delicious muffins. I make vague attempts at figuring out what things actually cost but then get distracted and give up. I love that you're so on top of it.

JennB said...

If you're looking for healthy muffin recipes, I highly recommend EatingWell, especially for their Blueberry Coconut Macadamia Nut muffins....

Also, if you do get a new pan, I love my Pampered Chef pan and after a little while it gets a nice little natural non-stick thing going on so it's easy to use AND clean sans muffin papers.

Good luck!

Mairzy said...

Swistle! I'm absolutely interrupting this thread with a completely unrelated comment, but did you see that the second edition of TBNW comes out on Tuesday? Isn't that terribly exciting, aside from the fact that it's a month AFTER the birth of my most recent baby?

-- Mairzy

Kristine said...

I have the silicone ones, they are great - do not make mini meatloafs in them, they stain. That is all.

Erica said...

I'm not reading any other comments first, so I'm sure I'm not the only one to suggest this, but maybe investing in some of those silicone cups instead of paper? Then they're reusable, so points for greenness. No scrubbing pans, so points for laziness. Seems like a good idea to me, especially if you can find some of those bad boys on clearance at Target.

xxoo

Mom et al said...

Well, I know it's already been mentioned, but I'm a weight watchers member and they always suggest using applesauce as a butter substitute. I've never tried it with muffins, but for cookies and brownies it comes out pretty darn good!

Heather said...

I use a non-stick muffin pan with canola spray and I've never ever had a muffin stick, I just run the knife around to loosen them up. Also I leave them in the pan a couple of minutes to help them solidify/pull away from the edges.

I make a yummy lemon muffin where you have a mix of a quarter cup of sugar and quarter cup of lemon juice which you stir and pour over the muffins the moment they come out of the oven. A bit of the juice runs down into the tin and moistens up the muffins, perhaps something like that might aid the wholemeal muffin experiment?

Rah said...

Even if they do release the muffins easily (which mine didn't always), silicone cups have to be washed! As large as your family is (just a statement of fact; no judgement implied), you might consider getting the muffin papers from a restaurant supply. I found several sources online. The bakery quality ones are more expensive, but the "regular" ones can be pretty cheap if you buy 500.

Mommy Daisy said...

To the commentor about the Pampered Chef Muffin Pan: Yes, they work just as well as the other stones. The only muffin pan I have is the PC one (I used to be a PC consultant).

The other suggestion I have is to try Pam with flour (made for baking). I've used this before and it is WONDERFULLY better than regular Pam for baking. No mess! I loved it, but there is the price factor. So I don't buy it myself, but if you make enough muffins it might be worth it for you.

brightfeather said...

Don't shoot! But, well... pureed avocado is also a great substitute for fat. Don't get me wrong, it is fat, but it's supposed "good" fats. Hopefully, your kids will react better than my baby did. My brother fed her some guacamole and she freaked. He had to wash her mouth out before she'd stop screaming. I, of course, being a wonderful, sweet Auntie, gave her vanilla ice cream to make things better!