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Healthy and yummy!

Healthy and yummy!

My toddler is a bit of a picky eater and I found a great recipe for toddler muffins which included oatmeal, bananas and yogurt here. I now bake a batch of muffins every couple of weeks. They are actually great for toddler and mom and make a really healthy breakfast or snack for everyone! Over time I have made a few tweaks to the original recipe and have tried some optional variations so that LO doesn’t get bored. I added a bit of fat, as my child is something of a skinny mini and I think she needs it. I also added more fruit, which meant I could reduce the sweetener. I have in the past found that I have run out of baking soda or baking powder and have had success using substitutes! You can also substitute some of the fruit with vegetables!

 

These muffins are quick and easy to make and even picky eaters seem to love them, so they are great for toddler picnics and playdates! I’m posting this recipe because I’ve been asked for the recipe almost every time I’ve baked them!

These muffins are also fun to prepare with a toddler. I recently bought a Kitchen Helper, which is a stool with railings on which a young child can stand to reach up to the counter in the kitchen. Since we assembled it, my toddler uses it almost every day! Anyway, toddler can help with measuring out, pouring and mixing. I also got my toddler to grease the muffin tins using olive oil and a pastry brush.

I’m finding that involving my toddler in food preparation does make her more open to trying the food that she is preparing!

Ingredients:

2-1/2 cup old-fashioned oats

3 extra ripe bananas – mashed up, or a combination of bananas and applesauce. I don’t see any reason why this won’t work with just applesauce.

2 eggs

¾ cup (6oz) plain yogurt

1/4 cup sugar, maple syrup or honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (we love Nielson-Massey Vanilla especially)

1/2 stick butter – melted (optional, but make the muffins so much more delicious and moist)

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder (or 1/2 tsp baking soda)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (or 1-1/2 tsp baking powder)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Optional:

A handful of raisins or, for a treat, a handful of mini chocolate chips!

1/4 cup wheat germ or ¼ cup ground flax seeds (these add-ons change the texture of the muffins. My toddler was NOT a fan!)

A handful of chopped walnuts (or pecans)

Replace one of the bananas with a cup of shredded zucchini or carrot and add some more sweetener

Replace one of the bananas with 1/2 cup cooked butternut squash or sweet potato puree

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a couple of mini muffin tins or use muffin liners. I’ve made full-sized muffins too, but they take longer to cook and my toddler can’t actually finish a whole one!

– Grind oats until fine. They should have the consistency of flour.

– Add all other dry ingredients (baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon), and pulse until mixed.

– Mix remaining ingredients, except raisins/chocolate chips and/or nuts (bananas, eggs, yogurt, butter, vanilla and syrup) in a bowl until smooth. (The original recipe said to add these to the food processor, but I found that I lost a lot of the batter in the blades of the processor, so I mix it separately). Don’t worry if the batter is more runny than mine (pictured below), which it will be if you add more fruit. It will make for more moist muffins!

– Stir in raisins/chocolate chips and/or nuts.

– Fill muffin tin almost to the top. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until the tbounce back when pushed and a toothpick comes out of center of a muffin clean. This recipe makes approx 36 mini muffins.

Store in an airtight container or ziplock bag. These freeze really well and can be thawed by leaving at room temp for a few hours or microwaving for 30 seconds or baking in a warm oven for 5 mins. I tend to take them out of the freezer the night before they are to be eaten!

Muffin batter, more than halfway through filling muffin cups

Muffin batter, more than halfway through filling muffin cups.

Muffins cooling in tray.

Finished mini muffins cooling in tray.


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