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Muffins For Everyone.

Categories: Cooking, Food, Lunches, Uncategorized


I started out thinking I’d share a meal plan with you all and then, next week report back with the results of my family’s reaction and the ease of preparation. The ultimate goal being 3-5 more dishes I could add to my ‘Whip It Up’ quick dinner file. However, this morning I remembered my husband is in Los Angeles for the week and there’s nothing like cooking full meal for my kids and myself. Well there is something like it, something as irritating and pointless, like visiting the DMV.

Rather than torture myself, this week we’ll be eating a lot of plain pasta, cereal and other breakfast foods disguised as dinner.

I thought instead we could look at muffins! I’ve been having trouble packing lunches which are reasonably balanced and which the kids are able to consume in their limited lunch hours. The muffin could be the perfect food in this case because you can hide quite a bit of nutrition into just one.I decided to try this recipe because they’re full of things my kids enjoy eating already like raisins, carrots and apples. Plus this recipe hides some whole wheat flour and wheat germ in it.

carrots muffins

The recipe called for shredded carrots and in an attempt to save time, since I don’t have a food processer, I bought these. The problem is these shredded carrots are a little more like match stick cut carrots. This did not bode well. But wait, it’s getting worse!

mixed up

At this point it looks a little like meatloaf, but smells a lot sweeter. I consider jumping ship at this point because it looks really gross and I’m having a hard time believing anything resembling a muffin will come from this.

But then, something amazing happened.

muffins cooked

They looked a lot like muffins, with no antennae-like carrots sticking out the top.

Next I had to give them to the kids and I expected some major resistance but as predicted their muffin-like appearance fooled the children into happily inhaling them, barely noting the vegetables co-mingling with the fruits.

These weren’t particularly difficult or time consuming to make, but if you’re pressed for time I don’t see this making a jump on the priority list. I’ve frozen two of them to see how well they defrost. If that works you could potentially make a double batch.

Next week find out if my kids ate this when I surprised them with it in their lunch boxes.

banana dog

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20 comments so far...

  • When you wrote about packing lots of nutrition into a muffin, I immediately thought of morning glory muffins. Ha. I’m precogniscient.

    The banana and peanut-butter thing, while kinda cool, would not be allowed in any of the elementary schools my children have attended. Peanuts are Banned Substances, which is a pity and a shame.

    My kids (teens, now) love apple slices with peanut-butter on top for snack. Mom likes them too. :-)

    MaryP  |  September 25th, 2007 at 6:43 pm

  • great photos!! the muffins look yummy - even if you think it looked gross - the pics make me want to attempt it!

    hmm what else could you use instead of peanutbutter for the banana? all i coudl think of was hummas - ewwww

    Kate  |  September 25th, 2007 at 7:58 pm

  • Oooo - peanut butter and Nutella! Really, almost anything and Nutella. Mmmmm.

    WendyP  |  September 26th, 2007 at 2:59 am

  • I’ve tried using whole wheat flour in cookies and muffins, in varying ratios, and I really don’t like the consistency. Which is a shame, b/c I’d much rather use it than white.

    You know what other secret ingredient is great in these muffins? Tofu. You can add half a pkg. of firm tofu to the batter, and you’d never know it was in there. It practically makes them a meal!

    Sheryl  |  September 26th, 2007 at 9:38 am

  • I love hiding the nutritious stuff in food. Next week I’ll be putting a spinach brownie in E’s lunchbox. He loves them…I kid you not. He’s none the wiser…they just taste a bit chewier than usual. His pediatrician laughed and then asked for the recipe. There are some really good carrot cookies too (although I smear them with cream cheese frosting which kind of cancels out all the carroty goodness.)

    mary  |  September 26th, 2007 at 1:39 pm

  • Mary - could you share the recipe? Spinach is not something my daughter will try, ever.

    Nataly  |  September 26th, 2007 at 2:34 pm

  • I am so making the banana-peanutbutter-almost-a-hotdog thing. Brilliant!! Thanks!

    Linsey  |  September 26th, 2007 at 4:07 pm

  • I love the banana in a hotdog bun idea! My son would totally eat that. If I make him a hamburger he will balk at it and whine, but if I make the hamburger into the shape of a hotdog and put it in a hotdog bun, he will ask for two.

    I never thought of muffins at lunch, maybe with a yogurt… Good Ideas Melissa!

    Just Beachy  |  September 26th, 2007 at 4:41 pm

  • Brilliant! I make muffins that contains a bag of spinach in them, along with whole wheat flour, wheat germ, flax, nutrit. yeast flakes, ect…My kids inhale them. I laugh everytime they ask for one.

    Kristyn  |  September 26th, 2007 at 4:46 pm

  • I would also like the spinach brownie recipe if you are willing to share. My spinach muffins are a hit, but a little green. (I tell them I add a little green color in them to make them “fun”) It would be nice to hide it in the chocolate.

    Kristyn  |  September 26th, 2007 at 4:48 pm

  • Also try pancakes, always a hit when daddy is away, “Breakfast for Dinner” When they can have pancakes or waffles.

    Coury  |  September 26th, 2007 at 4:54 pm

  • For all of us moms at nut free schools: replace the peanut butter with soy nut butter.

    mamaloo, the doula  |  September 26th, 2007 at 6:01 pm

  • holy crap - are you kidding me? there is such a thing as a nut-free school? i don’t have kids, but i like to read posts by mothers - it’s amazing how much life has changed for kids since i was little.

    denise  |  September 26th, 2007 at 6:42 pm

  • We have a nut free table at lunch. No peanut snacks in the classroom of my daughter’s class though.

    msummers  |  September 26th, 2007 at 7:15 pm

  • For those of you who do not have food processors: call me crazy, but I love my Presto Salad Shooter. I use it to shred cheese (and carrots) mostly, but it will also slice things up (messily) for stir fry or casseroles. It does an awesome job chopping up nuts for baking too. What I mostly love is that it fits in a drawer and you can throw the top part in the dishwasher so clean up is easy. Wow! I’m my very own Infomercial! Sorry…

    Valorie  |  September 26th, 2007 at 9:16 pm

  • Wow! Your kids actually ate the muffins?!? I’m way impressed. Tried the Vegan Lunchbox’s “Whole Meal Muffin” on mine…went over as well as rat poison. On a more positive note. My waaaay picky eaters will actually eat some of the recipes found in this awesome cookbook written by a mom in the DC ‘burbs where I live.

    Mia  |  September 27th, 2007 at 12:19 am

  • I have an update on the muffins. It’s not good.

    I’ll be getting that book soon.

    msummers  |  September 27th, 2007 at 1:34 am

  • [...] The Shocking Results From The Banana Hot Dog Experiment: [...]

    Work It, Mom! | A Community for Professional Moms  |  October 2nd, 2007 at 2:20 pm

  • Oops…sorry about that…didn’t see the recipe request until now. (Thanks Robin!)

    Spinach Brownies

    3 large eggs
    21 ounces brownie mix, (That’s the family sized box)
    10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed
    1/4 cup vegetable oil
    1/3 cup carrot juice (I use apple juice instead)
    1 tablespoon milk

    Heat oven to 350 degrees.
    Line a 9″x13″ pan with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
    Squeeze out the liquid from the spinach.
    Place spinach, vegetable oil, milk and carrot juice in a blender and puree until smooth.
    In a large bowl, combine the brownie mix, 3 eggs, and the spinach mixture until well blended.
    Spread batter into pan and bake 40 minutes.
    You can make it fancy by microwaving 1/2 cup of milk chocolate chips…spread it atop the brownies and let cool. I’ve never done that though.

    mary  |  October 2nd, 2007 at 9:40 pm

  • [...] blog have been sneaking vegetables into baked goods, check out Mary’s spinach brownie recipe here. I also wrote about the method at my other column at Alpha [...]

    Work It, Mom! | A Community for Professional Moms  |  October 9th, 2007 at 3:35 pm

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