On the Go Morning Muffins

Good Morning Muffins from Flour

My jaw kind-of dropped the first time I read this recipe: zucchini, apples, coconut, pecans, raisins, oats and wheat bran! What wasn’t in this muffin? And could it really taste okay? And would any of my kids eat it? Well, I was pleasantly surprised by this success–it’s feels so satisfying to place all of these powerhouse ingredients together, and then for it to turn out beautifully. I enjoy them, and so do, well, two of my kids. That’s not bad success around here. The other great plus to these muffins: they stay soft for days, even though they tend to shrink down into their wrappers a bit. I wish I had the wherewithal to bake a batch of these every week! This recipe comes from the Flour cookbook. The recipe says it yields 12 muffins, but it works out to be more like 18 for me.

Good Morning Muffins

1/4 c. wheat bran
1/2 c. hot water
1 small zucchini, grated (about 1-1/2 c. packed)
1/2 c. raisins
1/2 c. pecan halves, roughly chopped, toasted
1/2 c. sweetened flaked coconut
1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped (about 1 c.)
2/3 c. packed light brown sugar
3 eggs
3/4 c. canola oil
1 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 c. old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant or quick cooking)
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. ground cinnamon

Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a standard 12-cup muffin tin, cot with nonstick cooking spray, or line with paper liners.

In a medium bowl, stir together the wheat bran and hot water until the bran is completely moistened. Add the zucchini, raisins, pecans, coconut, and apple and stir until well mixed.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and lightens. (If you use a handheld mixer, this same step will take 6 to 8 minutes.) On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil and then the vanilla. Don’t pour the oil in all at once. Add it slowly so it has time to incorporate into the eggs and doesn’t deflate the air you have just beaten into the batter. Adding it should take about 1 minute. When the oil and vanilla are incorporated, remove the bowl from the mixer stand.

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon until well mixed. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and fold carefully just until the dry and wet ingredients are well combined. Then add the bran mixture and fold again just until well combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it evenly and filling the cups to the rim (almost overflowing.)

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the muffins are lightly browned on top and spring back when pressed in the middle with a fingertip. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, then remove the muffins from the pan.

The muffins taste best the day you bake them, but they can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If you keep them for longer than 1 day, refresh them in a 300 degree F oven for 4 to 5 minutes. Or, you can freeze them, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, for up to 1 week, reheat, directly from the freezer, in a 300 degrees F oven for 8 to 10 minutes.

New Favorite Granola

Granola is like bread for me–I have a clear favorite for a few months, maybe even a few years, and then I have to start trying other recipes to see if something better’s out there. This granola has been my favorite for about a year now, and I make it sometimes as many as two times a week. (My oldest son Henry came home from school last week and ate four cups of it. FOUR CUPS of it. I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t think any stomach could handle that much granola). Anyway, this recipe comes from Lucinda Scala Quinn’s Mad Hungry, but I’ve made a change or two. 

Great Granola

5 c. rolled oats
1 c. coconut
1/2 c. wheat germ
1/4 c. sesame seeds
1/2 c. nuts (I use sliced almonds or chopped pecans)
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. water
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1/2 t. salt
1 c. dried fruit (craisins, raisins, or whatever. We never get around to adding any, though!)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees, and place an oven rack in the center of your oven. Prepare a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, combine oats, coconut, wheat germ, sesame seeds, and nuts.

Over the stove or in the microwave, heat the honey and oil until dissolved. Add the water, vanilla, and salt. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients, and mix. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes, until golden brown, stirring every 20 minutes to prevent scorched edges. Cool completely on a rack, and then store in airtight containers for as long as two weeks!

 

Healthy & Happy Pancakes

I was pleasantly surprised at the amazing reception these pancakes have had at my house. Usually my kids can sniff out “healthy” food before they try it, and the idea of something being good for them is so completely revolting, that they then won’t eat a bite. Luckily, these pancakes have a very normal appearance, and my kids reported that they LOVED them. I was so glad. We have had them four times in the last two weeks! I’ve intentionally doubled the recipe, and then refrigerated the leftover batter, because they are just as delicious cooked up the next day. This recipe comes from The Frog Commissary Cookbook

Healthy & Happy Pancakes

1/2 c. shredded, sweetened coconut (you can pulse this as well, for a finer texture)
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. old fashioned oats (I’ve blended these for a few seconds and left them whole–depends what type of texture you want!)
1 T. baking powder
1 t. salt
1/3 c. brown sugar
1 T. corn oil
2 c. milk
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. sunflower seeds or chopped pecans (optional–my kids didn’t love these, so I left them out)

Whisk together the coconut, wheat flour, oats, baking powder, salt, and brown sugar in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the milk, egg, vanilla, and oil. Make a well in the dry ingredients, and add the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined, and cook on a hot griddle (375 degrees) until browned on both sides.

Serving suggestions: Honey butter (terrific! We love just the honey butter with these), sauteed peaches or apples, or maple syrup.

Baked Coconut Shrimp

Coconut ShrimpSuch a great recipe from March’s Everyday Food. I’m not a huge fan of shrimp, but I loved these. We devoured them all quite quickly and I can’t wait to make them again. Enjoy!

Baked Coconut Shrimp

3 T. vegetable oil
1 1/2 c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 c. sweetened shredded coconut, roughly chopped
1/2 c. Dijon mustard
1/2 t. curry powder
2 large egg whites
1 lb. large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails left on
1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Set a wire rack in a rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium. Add panko and toast, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer panko to a medium bowl; stir in coconut. In another medium bowl, whisk together Dijon, curry powder, and egg whites.
  3. Dip shrimp in Dijon mixture, then coat with panko mixture, gently pressing to adhere. Place shrimp on rack and bake until opaque throughout, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with lime wedges.