Tag Archives: muffins

Kale Carrot Applesauce Spice Muffins

6 Apr

My daughter turned a year old yesterday.

I’m not really sure how it happened.

She had my Lemon, Brown Sugar, and Olive Oil Cupcakes frosted with whipped cream for her birthday cake, with fresh berries.  And oh my did she love it!

But after yesterday’s indulgences (way too much pizza – thanks Grandpa! – and cake), I thought it would be good to have something quite healthy for breakfast.  Well, sort of healthy.  Healthy-ish?

You see, she’s been on a bread kick.  She loves anything baked.  Takes after me, I suppose. She used to be the kid who would sit down and plow through a plate of sauteed spinach or kale, no problem.  But lately…  She’s getting into the toddler years (she started walking in earnest 5 weeks ago) and starting some toddler pickiness.

So this morning I made eggs.  And served them with avocado.  And berries (which she scarfed; kiddo loves her fruit too!).  And these.

Oh my.  These.

They are nothing short of delicious.  You must know I like “healthy” (and don’t need things to be quite sweet).  But even if you are a little less ready to try “healthy” food, do give these muffins a try.  They really are extremely tasty, and have a lot of great nutrients inside!


Kale Carrot Applesauce Spice Muffins

Adapted heavily from 365 Days of Kale

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh raw kale
  • 1 large carrot (you could really even use two)
  • 1/2 cup plain (full-fat) European-style or Greek yogurt (more protein this way!)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar or honey
  • 2 tbsp good oil (I used olive)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (honestly you could probably use all whole wheat but I didn’t want them heavy)
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp clove
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.

In the food processor, finely chop kale and carrot.  I added the yogurt and applesauce and just blended the whole thing up together until it was all the texture of applesauce.

Put Kale mixture in a large bowl and add the rest of the wet ingredients (egg, sugar/honey, oil, and extracts).  Mix well.

In a small bowl, mix together dry ingredients (flours, baking powder and soda, salt, and spices).

Carefully mix the dry and wet ingredients until just combined. Scoop into lined muffin cups. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a light touch on the top of the muffin meets resistance.  Makes about 16 regular-sized muffins.

These don’t have a lot of fat in them, so they WILL stick to the liners.  It’s ok – they’re still delicious. 😉


Oh yes, and the obligatory birthday cake shot. <3!Image


Carrot Zucchini Breakfast Bread

4 Dec

For the last couple of days I’ve really wanted carrot zucchini bread.  Not just one or the other.  Both.  Zucchini are out of season, of course, so I thought I was out of luck.  Until I went to the Farmer’s Market today and saw some lovely zucchini just sitting there, three for $2…  I nabbed them!  And then I looked for a recipe.

But the recipes out there are so sweet.  They have a ratio of 1:1 sugar to veggies, and a cup or more of oil, which is just flat-out not healthy for me right now (especially since I really wanted this bread as a mid-morning snack).  What’s a girl to do but come up with her own? 😉

This is a seriously simple recipe.  Add everything except the flour and baking powder to a bowl and stir well before mixing that in too, pour into bread pans, bake, enjoy.  It’s a not-too-sweet and not-too-healthy breakfast bread (no cakes or doorstops here!) with tons of flavor from spices and a kick of almond extract, a little extra protein, and a 5:1 ratio of veggies to sugar.  Seriously, it hits the spot!

Carrot Zucchini Bread

Elisa’s Carrot Zucchini Breakfast Bread

  • 1 1/4 cups shredded and drained zucchini
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded carrot
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil (I used grapeseed because we happened to have it around, but olive oil would be excellent, and any oil you like will do)
  • 2/3 cup almond meal or ground almonds
  • dash salt
  • dash ground cloves
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 2/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup white flour

Like I said, this is a dead easy recipe.  Add all the ingredients except the flour and baking powder, stir until well mixed, add the flour and baking powder all at once and just stir until the flour is incorporated (don’t overmix!).  I divided it between two greased and floured loaf pans because I didn’t know how much it would rise, and baked them at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  It didn’t rise too much though (it barely doubled), so you can very likely have great success with just a single loaf pan, but you’ll probably need to bake this for upwards of an hour and fifteen minutes (as you might see from the photo, the bread I made tonight is slightly wet still – that’s what happens with so much vegetation in the batter!).  The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  You could, of course, make this into a dozen muffins; adjust time accordingly.

This bread is soft, tender, flavorful, and not overpowered by sugar or fat like so many zucchini bread recipes are.  I’m totally smitten!!!

Strawberry Balsamic Muffins

3 May

Sooo… I happened to get a great deal on a box of strawberries yesterday at the Farmer’s Market.  Unfortunately one whole basket (out of the three) was on it’s last legs – several of the berries had mushy spots and a few at the bottom had molded.  2/3 of the berries were fabulous right out of the basket, but once I picked through (and tossed the moldy ones too!), I had this whole basket of just-too-ripe berries.  Well, what’s a girl to do but bake?

I know I’d just made strawberry-banana muffins last week, and while I actually “rescued” a couple of brown-spotted bananas from my parents’ house this weekend I didn’t feel like doing the same today.  So I adapted my basic low-fat banana muffin recipe (which I have yet to post, but eventually I will!) to make all-strawberry muffins instead.

Except I really did want another flavor too.  So I added some balsamic vinegar to the mix, and – voila! – Strawberry Balsamic Muffins.  Yummy!

I am posting the recipe here, with one notable difference from how I made them.  I totally forgot to add in the baking soda.  And with the vinegar in the recipe, this was one time that I really should have included it.  I think with the additional leavening these guys would have been even fluffier.  They were still pretty nice, I have to admit.  A vibrant magenta (where the strawberry-banana muffins were pink).  You really can’t even taste the vinegar – you might even be able to up the amount – but there is definitely a nice fullness to the flavor you wouldn’t get with strawberries and sugar, alone.  And – another bonus – I did a quick google search after I started putting these together and didn’t see a single Strawberry Balsamic Muffin out there (a cupcake or two, but they were all made with tons of butter and cream cheese…  With ONE tablespoon of oil, these are a far healthier treat!).  YAY for creativity!  (By the way, if you want to, frost these.  I’m sure they could hold up to a nice buttercream or cream cheese frosting, a la the Strawberry Banana ones.  But I’m not going to try it…  At least not today!)

These are sweet, but not too sweet, with a nice complexity to them.  Enjoy!

Elisa’s Strawberry Balsamic Muffins

  • 1 cup strawberry puree (about one basket of fresh berries, given a ride in your food processor or blender…  I’m sure you could use frozen berries when fresh ones are out of season!)
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil (I have used olive oil in other baked goods, but I was afraid to here – because it felt like I would have been building a dressing!  Even so I’ll bet it’ll work fine)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used a little vanilla sugar with the white sugar, mostly because I basically use vanilla in every sweet baked good I make – if you like vanilla and don’t have vanilla sugar, you can always add a touch of extract to the batter when you add the vinegar)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (again, the muffin in the picture doesn’t have this inside – but I usually include this in my banana muffins and here I have a feeling it would be a great asset)
  • dash salt
  • 1 1/3 cups flour

We’re making muffins here, so the technique is easy.  Add the puree, oil, sugar, and vinegar to a medium bowl and whisk to combine.  Add the egg and carefully stir in.  Add the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt all at once and stir until just combined.  Spoon about 1 1/2 tbsp each into prepared cupcake wrappers or muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Cool on a rack.  Makes 12 cupcakes (okay, I fill mine pretty full…  so it only made 10).

Pretty, tasty, low fat, and easy to make... Strawberry Balsamic Muffin!

Strawberry-Banana Muffins

27 Apr

We had a TON of strawberries in our CSA box last week, and unfortunately they were quite ripe.  Which meant we didn’t get to all of them before they started going bad.  Luckily, I was able to make use of some of the less “pretty” berries by modifying the banana bread recipe I developed about 10 years ago (eek!  now I really feel old!).

This recipe makes one dozen pretty pink muffins; I suppose you could just frost them (with cream cheese frosting perhaps?) and make them cupcakes (although you might want to add a little extra sugar, since they’re not overly sweet).  The one biggest piece of advice I have for this recipe (aside from using the ripest bananas you can find – mine were a little too chunky) is DO NOT OVERMIX!  It’s easy to take these pretty cakelike muffins and make them heavy and gummy – don’t do it!!

Elisa’s Strawberry-Banana Muffins

  • 3/4 cup strawberry pieces
  • 3 medium-to-large bananas (between the strawberry puree and the mashed bananas, you’re looking for between 1 1/4 and 1 1/2 cups of fruit)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (more if your berries are really tart; mine were very sweet!)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • dash cinnamon
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 cups flour

Puree strawberries in a food processor. 

I tried pureeing the bananas with the strawberries - next time, just mash them instead!

You’ll see in the photo I started trying to smash my bananas with the strawberries but they were too unripe and didn’t really do well.  You’ll do better just mashing most bananas by hand; make sure they’re as smooth as possible.

Strawberry puree with mashed bananas

Add the fruit, sugar, cinnamon, powder, soda, milk, oil, and salt to a large bowl and mix until combined.  Beat the egg lightly in a small bowl and add it to your fruit mixture.  Add the flour all at once and mix together all the ingredients JUST until combined.

Add the flour

Add the mixture to prepared muffin cups or cupcake liners and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Just try to resist!


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