How To: Snack Healthy – Oatmeal Molasses Muffins

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“Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes!”

This David Bowie song has been playing in my head on repeat this past weekend.

My babe – the youngest of my two girls is starting daycare today. DAYCARE. When did this happen? I swear I closed my eyes for like a minute and my 3 month old tiny babe turned into an almost 1 year old big girl. She’s starting daycare, turning one next month, and my oldest starts Junior Kindergarten in September. “Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes!”

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I don’t deal well with change. Does anyone really? If you have any strategies – please comment below! One of mine – baking. Now, I would normally refer to myself as more of a home cook than a home baker. But when it comes to taking my mind off something, the need to concentrate on exact measurements of flour and sugar definitely helps. And when the result is something as delicious as these muffins, that extra concentration and attention to detail is so worth it.

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These muffins, brought to you by the food blog queen turned Food Network superstar The Pioneer Woman, are my new favourite. They are so tender without the need for any additional fat. Mashed banana, applesauce, and some buttermilk provide all the moisture you need. I usually avoid recipes that call for buttermilk since I’m always left with half a carton that ends up in the garbage. So for this recipe I simply made my own by adding some lemon juice to milk which sours it, creating your own buttermilk.

These muffins are quick, easy, and the perfect blank canvas for all of your wildest muffin dreams. I happen to like them just the way they are but they are also a great vehicle for some raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips. My girls devoured these as is – the perfect first day of daycare breakfast.

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The molasses in this recipe adds a unique sweetness and flavour, but I imagine maple syrup or honey would also work just fine.

I know change can be a good thing and help us grow or whatever it is people usually say. But please excuse me if you happen to see a lot more muffins or baked goods over the next few weeks here – some baking therapy sessions may be in order.

Dara

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Whole Wheat Oatmeal Molasses Muffins

Serves 12
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1% but I imagine any milk will do)
  • 1 Tsp vinegar
  • 1 ripe banana (mashed)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2-1 cup mix ins of your choice (raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pecans)

Note

I think these muffins are fantastic as is, but I've also made them with raisins, chocolate chips, and walnuts and all are delicious. They freeze really well and are a great grab-and-go breakfast or snack option.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-count muffin pan with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine both flours, oatmeal, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3. In a small bowl combine the mashed banana, egg, applesauce, molasses, and milk mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. If you are adding any mix-ins, add them here and stir again until evenly distributed.
4. Divide mixture evenly among the 12 muffin cups and bake for about 17-18 minutes. Remove and let cool or devour warm if you just can't wait!

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How To: Snack Healthy – Cheddar and Cornmeal Muffins

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We never discussed halloween! Shame!

Let’s discuss – we can talk about all the candy my daughter collected and how magically all the mars bars and snickers disappeared. We can talk about how I had one cute lady bug and one beautiful Elsa princess and how these costumes are now who knows where. Or we could just talk about these muffins. These delicious corn muffins that were paired with a vegetarian chili for the perfect pre-trick or treat meal.

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I think the reason cornbread pairs so wonderfully with chili is cornbread, by nature, is a little dry. Dipped in some chili – perfection. These muffins however are kept moist by Greek yogurt and canola oil. Kind of like our previous cheddar and cornbread loaf, although in muffin form. Which I find slightly more kid friendly, freezer friendly, and portable. So perfect chili partner or snack on the go.

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Please use some full fat aged cheddar over the lower fat plastic tasting stuff – a little goes a long way and the flavour is just a million times better.

This recipe makes 8 muffins, but I would suggest doubling up and freezing some. It’s always good to have an emergency stash of corn muffins, no?

Dara

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Cheddar and Cornmeal Muffins

Serves 8 muffins
Meal type Side Dish, Snack
From magazine Adapted from Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 3/4 Cups cornmeal
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp baking soda
  • 3 Tbsp Greek yogurt
  • 3 Tbsp canola oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup aged cheddar cheese (grated)

Note

These muffins can be made a day or two in advance and kept in a sealed container. You can also freeze them if you would like.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray 8 muffin cups with cooking spray.
2. Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. In a small bowl whisk together yogurt, oil, and eggs. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Add in cheese and mix until evenly incorporated.
3. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups and bake for about 12 minutes, until cooked through and brown. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan before removing.

How To: Snack Healthy – Vegan Banana Chocolate Muffins

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I generally have at least four different nut/seed butters open in my fridge at one time.

We’ve got the classic peanut butter, almond butter, my new favourite sunflower butter, and generally one other “special” one – right now it’s a coconut/peanut butter blend. Pretty darn delicious. And it’s not only because of me – my daughter’s new favourite breakfast is any one of these butters with a side of strawberry or apricot jam. Just give her a spoon and she is in breakfast heaven.

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In an attempt to try to create a bit of a more balanced plate (the dietitian in me does come out at times), I try to get her to eat her peanut butter and jam with something a bit more socially acceptable – a piece of toast, maybe a pancake, even a banana. But the biggest hit in our house to round out her breakfast plate has been these muffins.

I love that they are made with whole wheat flour and coconut oil and she loves that they have chocolate chips in it. Win win!

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An excuse to eat chocolate for breakfast and the perfect vehicle for your nut butter of choice – the perfect muffin recipe if you ask me!

Dara

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Vegan Chocolate Banana Muffins

Serves 12 muffins
Dietary Vegan
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 Cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 4 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Note

These muffins freeze really well - just defrost in the microwave for 20 seconds when you are ready to eat them. I love them topped with a smear of peanut or almond butter.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine whole wheat flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl mix together mashed bananas, coconut oil, almond milk, and vanilla.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. Add chocolate chips and mix to evenly distribute.
4. Divide batter among muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes, or until firm. Remove and let cool in the pan for about 10-15 minutes before removing.

How To: Snack Healthy – Applesauce Oat Cranberry Muffins

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I may be a bit of a weirdo, but whenever I can get some “me-time” I thoroughly enjoy using it for grocery shopping.

Having the time to go up and down the aisles without a child requesting every second food item we pass feels like a luxury. This past weekend, however, that was not the case. And that is how I ended up with not one, but two full bags of dried cranberries in the cupboard. Not to mention about three bags of baby bell cheese and a box of some cereal with a panda on it that my daughter absolutely had to have.

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While half a bag of cranberries got eaten in line, the other half got used to make these muffins. And I now should apologize to my daughter for trying to distract her from making this unnecessary purchase because without it, these delicious muffins would not have been made or shared with you.

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These are not your ordinary bakery muffins, they can be labelled “healthy” muffins as they are full of oats, whole wheat flour, and applesauce. But firstly, they are delicious! And if your toddler tends to reach for the bags of raisins or chocolate chips, throw those in instead.

Now if I could only find a use for that extra box of cereal we would be golden!

Dara

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Applesauce Oat Cranberry Muffins

Serves 12 muffins
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup milk (whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Note

These muffins freeze really well and are great to keep on hand for quick a quick snack or breakfast on the go. Raisins or chocolate chips could be substituted for the dried cranberries.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine the oats, applesauce, milk, egg, vanilla, coconut oil, and sugar until combined.
3. In a small bowl mix together the whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cranberries. Add dry to wet mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix or muffins will be tough.
4. Divide evenly among muffin cups and bake for 17 minutes, until brown cooked through. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes until in the muffin pan and then remove and enjoy!

How To: Snack Healthy – Whole-Wheat Maple Oatmeal Banana Muffins

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Our broken oven saga has finally come to an end!

After going back and forth too many times to count with a kitchen appliance company that shall remain nameless and too many weeks of frustrations, our oven is finally in working condition. What better way to celebrate this victory than by baking muffins?

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Maple sweetened, whole wheat, banana, oatmeal muffins to be exact. That’s a mouthful for a recipe title. But I needed to convey all the deliciousness that went into these super easy one bowl muffins. You read that right – ONE BOWL! Yay for easy clean up!

I first stumbled across these muffins when a friend of mine generously made us a batch during our first week home as a new family of four. They were such a hit with my sometime picky two and half year old that I knew I had to make a batch ASAP.

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I kept them super simple as I like to eat them topped with some peanut or almond butter – I mean what is better than bananas and peanut butter? But some chocolate chips or chopped nuts would be just delightful.

As the oven drama is finally over, I can focus on more important things, like baking another batch of these muffins!

Enjoy!

Dara

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Whole-Wheat Maple Banana Oat Muffin

Serves 12 muffins
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Misc Freezable
Website Adapted from Cookie and Kate

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or canola oil)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or any other milk you have on hand)
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (plus more for sprinkling on top)

Note

These one bowl muffins are super easy to make. You can substitute honey for the maple syrup of you don't have any on hand. If you want to jazz them up, add a handful or two of chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or raisins. They can be frozen and defrosted individually in the microwave when you are ready to eat them.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 and spray a non stick muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl whisk together coconut oil and maple syrup. Add eggs and whisk to combine. Whisk in mashed bananas and milk and then the salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
3. With a large spoon, mix in the whole wheat flour and oats until just combined.
4. Divide batter evenly among muffin tins, filling them about 3/4 of the way to the top. Sprinkle each muffin with a pinch or two of additional oats.
5. Bake for about 25 minutes until brown and fully cooked through. Once cool, remove from the pan using a knife to help loosen the edges.