One of my family’s favorite snack foods started out as a very basic pumpkin muffin recipe. I created these kid-friendly, nutritional powerhouse muffins out of pure desperation during a period when both of my toddlers were asserting their independence at the dinner table (how’s that for a nice way of saying they were driving me crazy with their ever increasing pickiness?). I couldn’t imagine how their little bodies would ever grow up to be big and strong when they insisted on eating only yogurt and mashed potatoes for weeks on end.
As a parent, you can likely empathize with my frustrating tale of feeding fussy eaters. If you are currently living through this trying time, please take heart in knowing that picky eating is just another phase. Hang in there, your precious little one will eventually grow out of it. And before you know it, the kid who once refused to eat any green food will request fresh asparagus, lightly sautéed with minced garlic in olive oil.
In the meantime, bake a few batches of these vitamin and protein-packed healthy muffins which are both tasty and nutritionally sound. You can easily customize this recipe to your child’s current taste preferences. For example, my son went through a phase during which he refused to eat the ‘chunks’ in these muffins. No raisins, apple, carrot, nuts…. No problem–I just tossed the chunky stuff into a blender along with the orange juice and pureed it. Mom wins!
Please note that these muffins are not overly sweet. So, if you need to entice your child with a little extra sugar, try adding a ½ cup to the dry ingredients. Desperate times require desperate measures.
Happy baking and most importantly, happy eating!
Everything But The Kitchen Sink Healthy Muffins
Yield: 24 muffins
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- ½ cup chopped nuts or seeds (such as walnuts, pecans, or raw sunflower seeds)
- ½ cup ground flax
- ½ cup wheat germ
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cloves
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 1 cup honey
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup orange juice
- ½ cup grated sweet potato or carrot
- ½ cup finely chopped, unpeeled apple or well-drained crushed pineapple
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup coconut
Combine the first eleven ingredients (flour-salt) in a large bowl.
Combine the remaining ingredients (pumpkin-coconut) and stir or whisk until blended.
Add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture; stir just until moistened.
Spoon batter into paper lined or greased muffin tins. Optional-dust with sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes then remove to racks to cool completely.
Serve and enjoy your kids eating something healthy without even knowing it!
Guest post by Jacqueline Cole who has the pleasure of cooking for her growing family, all of whom enjoy eating a wide variety of healthful foods. Even tomatoes and broccoli. She also enjoys posting outstanding yeast bread recipes at her soon-to-be-world-famous website, http://breadbabe.com.
A reader tweeted me that she tried the recipe out:
— Jacqueline Brandwood (@jackiebrandwood) January 30, 2013