Monday, February 25, 2013

Clever Muffins.

Carrots & Blueberries. Kid tested. Mother approved.

Oh, the weekend!  It came and went so quickly.  And the weather was pretty much terrible (but typical for February) the entire time.  We did manage to get out of the house despite the slush to this place for a late afternoon snack and a cocktail or two (Alice enjoyed Brookline's finest tap water).  And I managed to go for a run and do a CrossFit class, but more on that later in the week.

I know I make it sound like Alice turns her nose up at all vegetables that we serve to her.  Not entirely true.  She will eat all sorts of vegetables if I cleverly disguise them in other food items.  She'll gobble up spinach if I put it in a lightly cheesed quesadilla.  She goes mad for kale if I roast it into chips.  And she can't get enough of carrots if I bake them into muffins.  I'm sure she'll eventually bite the head off a broccoli tree but, until then, she's getting her daily vegetables on the sly.

I made these healthy carrot cake muffins a few weeks ago but I had a momentary lapse in judgement and made them with raisins.  Bleh.  But since Alice loves raisins, she ate them, no problem.  When I made them again a few days ago I tweaked the recipe and voila!  Here you have a tasty muffin full of very good things with not a zombie-grape in site.

Carrot & Blueberry Muffins (makes 12 large muffins):
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbs pumpkin pie spice (or if you don't have a clingy 11-month old and have the time... 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg, 1 tsp ground allspice, 1 tsp ground clove) 
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tbs canola oil
  • 1 1/3 cup buttermilk (don't have buttermilk? how to make your own substitute here)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots
Preheat the oven to 375F.  Lightly oil or butter a muffin tin.  Sift together the flours, spices, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, lightly beat together the eggs, buttermilk, sugar, oil, applesauce and vanilla.  Using a spatula, add the dry ingredients being careful not to over-mix, stirring to combine (lumps are totally fine).  Fold in the carrots and frozen blueberries.  Spoon into muffin tins (they will appear full) and place on rack in upper third of oven.  Bake for 12 minutes then rotate the muffin tin and bake for an additional 10 to 12 minutes, or until lightly browned and well-risen.

Alice loves these muffins.  And I do, too.  They aren't overly sweet and are full of all sorts of delicious and nutritious things.  And if twelve muffins are too many to have on hand, toss them in the freezer!  They reheat quite nicely.

Any other tried-and-true and kid-friendly veggie recipes?  I'll admit.  It has been a few weeks since I've tried giving Alice more obvious vegetables like steamed broccoli or sauteed carrots... maybe it's time to give it another go!


  1. These so good and tasty! Max would love them! Mmm

  2. Yummy! We went through a phase of veggie muffins when Wyatt was Alice's age. They change their preferences so often- you know, just keep trying everything. But I'm sure she'll always love these yummy muffins!

  3. Thanks for sharing.

    I will admit Nolan gets a pouch a day still (Happy Baby brand) because it's the only way to get a veg in.

    He will do spinach in eggs or a smoothie. I also just made some Zucchini tots (search on and he likes those.

    But, veggies are a struggle, for sure.

  4. This recipe sounds great. I'm going to back them over the weekend for Lulu and Nick who saw your muffin photo and exclaimed 'that looks yum'!

  5. Don't worry about Alice not wanting to eat everything. They say it takes up to 20 times for someone to try something and decide if they like it! I read the book "French kids eat everything" and the big difference in Europe is if our kids don't eat something they say "oh you haven't tried it enough" and give it to them another day. I've been doing this with my kids and it's AMAZING how well it works. Some foods they wouldn't touch have become favourites after seeing it enough times. Just keep trying and I'm sure she'll surprise you in time.


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