Tag Archives: muffin

Pump Up the Jam Muffins

13 Dec

I have a pretty extensive collection of cookbooks from Minnesota churches and nursing homes.  These are the cookbooks I turn to whenever I need a recipe for the simple comfort foods I remember from my childhood.  On the whole, these cookbooks contain a whole lot of the following:
– Hot dishes
– Bars
– Pickles
– Bread (as in zucchini or banana)
– Salads that contain no greens but are likely to have either cool whip or mayo

Most of the recipes can be made out of pantry staples with a focus on easy prep, used in a time when low-calorie and reduced-fat were not part of the vernacular.  A bonus to these cookbooks is that they are usually loaded with bits of advice for the homemaker, like this gem:

In flipping through the Luther Memorial Memorable Meals cookbook (pub. 1982), I found a recipe for Strawberry Jam Bread submitted by Cindy Mack.  I decided to give it a try.  As usual, I made a few changes – less fat, less sugar, turned the bread into muffins, and added diced apples to boost moisture and give it some texture.  I’m not sure if Cindy would approve of the changes, but I like to think that she would be glad I used her idea to feed my family.

Also recommended – play Pump Up the Jam by Technotronic while eating these muffins.  It really sped up breakfast.  Hard to say if this was due to the influence of the peppy beat, or in an attempt to get out of the kitchen quickly to avoid watching me move and groove.

Pump Up the Jam Muffins
Serving size: 1 muffin
Serves: 12

1 apple, peeled and diced
2 T. non-dairy margarine
1/4 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t. vanilla
1 c. flour
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/4 t. baking soda
1/4 c. non-dairy sour cream
1/4 c. strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Place liners in muffin pan and coat with cooking spray.

Place apple bits into a microwave safe container and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Set aside until cool, or rinse with cold water and drain.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together margarine and sugar.  Add egg and vanilla, mix until combined.  Add flour, salt, cream of tartar, and baking soda, and mix until well combined.  Add reserved apple bits, non-dairy sour cream, and jam.  Mix until blended.  Spoon into paper liners, dividing evenly.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until slightly golden or a toothpick comes out clean.  Place on rack to cool.

Estimated calories:  125 cal/serving

Print it: Pump Up the Jam Muffins

Notes:
– Feel free to substitute dairy ingredients for the non-dairy counterparts used here – butter or margarine and regular sour cream would be fine in this recipe
– Any sort of jam or jelly would work in this recipe, use whatever you have or like
– These muffins are a bit on the pale side.  I don’t really care, but the original recipe countered this part by adding red food coloring.  I skipped it, but experiment with it if you’d like.

Stealthy Banana Muffins

9 Nov

When you’re staring down the options in a baked goods display, it is pretty easy to rule out those items that are obviously higher in calories.  Blocking out the pastries, anything chocolate covered or filled with custard, bagels topped with cream cheese – you are left with the muffins.  The healthiest of the choices available?  Maybe.  But low in calories?  Unlikely.  More than once I have been duped into thinking that by choosing a muffin I would end up with a low-calorie breakfast, only to find out later that for the same amount of calories I could have had the more enjoyable doughnut.  Neither option gives me the low-calorie and tasty breakfast I was hoping to have.

This morning I made a batch of healthy, flavorful, and low-calorie muffins that really hit the spot.  They were delicious and about half the calories of a muffin from a bakery or coffee shop counter.  There are three major factors that make this recipe lower in calories than those you will find on the outside:
1. Portion size: this is just a regular sized muffin.  Not a jumbo.  Not a giant.  Just a regular.
2. I left out some high calorie culprits – nuts, lots of butter, oil, chocolate.
3. By leaving out some of the fat often added to muffins to make them moist, I decided to boost the moisture by adding in a little sour cream.  Totally worked, totally healthier.

With a healthy and tasty recipe in hand, I faced the second obstacle in making breakfast – cooking without waking up the kids.  I love having mornings to myself to do whatever I want, and if I use a mixer or make a lot of racket in the kitchen, it is guaranteed that everyone will be up and suddenly starving for the food that is not yet ready.  Leaving behind the mixer, this batch can be made by mixing and mashing with a fork.  Quiet preparation makes these muffins stealthy, which allows me the time I need to knock back plenty of coffee before anyone needs me.

Stealthy Banana Muffins
Serves: 12

1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. non-dairy margarine
2 super ripe bananas
1 egg
2 T. non-dairy sour cream
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Place liners in a muffin tin and spray with cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, add ingredients one at a time, mixing and mashing with a fork between each one.  Divide muffin batter between each liner, about 1/4 c. in each.  Bake for 20-25 minutes until they are lightly golden.

Set on rack to cool for a few minutes, then eat.

Estimated Calories:  139 cal/serving

Print it: Stealthy Banana Muffins

Notes:
– As always, you can use dairy ingredients for the non-dairy counterparts used in this recipe

Pancake Muffins with Maple Butter Icing and Bacon

25 Oct

JACKPOT.  Of all the breakfast recipes I’ve ever made, this was by far the most popular.  Of course, it is pretty hard to go wrong with pancake flavor, maple butter icing, and bacon.

It started a few weeks ago when I had a conversation with my friend Jeremy about some delicious doughnuts he and Meghan had on vacation – maple long johns with a slice of bacon.  Not able to stop thinking about the perfect combo, I decided to try to make something that had similar flavors, while also cutting out some of the calories.  Instead of using a doughnut as the maple/bacon carrier, I decided to try a pancake muffin.  I started with a recipe from Baked Bree (who said she started with a recipe from Bakerella), cut out a bunch of stuff and made it non-dairy.

While I wanted all the flavor of a maple butter cream frosting, I did not want all of the calories.  So, I made a lighter version that uses less fat, sugar, and has a touch of maple flavor.  The result was more of an icing, easy to spread but not super thick.

Then, topped it with some crumbled pepper bacon.  Oh. My. Yes.

BONUS:  Less than 100 calories per serving.  For real.

Pancake Muffins with Maple Butter Icing and Bacon
Serves: 12

PANCAKE MUFFINS
2/3 c. soy milk
1 t. cider vinegar
1 c. flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t. salt
1 egg
2 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla

MAPLE BUTTER ICING
1-1/2 T. non-dairy margarine
1 T. maple syrup
1/2 t. vanilla
1/8 t. salt
1/2 c. powdered sugar
1-1/2 t. soy milk

TOPPING
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners and spray with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together 2/3 c. soy milk and cider vinegar, then set aside to curdle.  In another bowl mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, mix egg, sugar, vanilla, and soy milk mixture.  Then add flour mixture in two batches, mixing in-between.  Divide batter into liners, they will be around half full.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Set on a rack to cool.

While the muffins are baking, make the icing.  In a large bowl, mix together margarine, maple syrup, vanilla and salt.  Add half of the powdered sugar and mix.  Add soy milk and mix.  Add remaining powdered sugar and mix.

When pancake muffins are cool, spread icing on each and top with crumbled bacon.

Estimated Calories:  99 cal/serving

Notes:
– You can substitute dairy ingredients for the non-dairy counterparts in this recipe.  If you’d like, you could use buttermilk in the pancake batter – simply use 2/3 c. buttermilk in place of the soy milk, then omit the cider vinegar.
– If you do not eat meat or would prefer it without bacon, skip it (and remove six calories from each serving).  And next time we’re at brunch together, sit next to me so I can have your bacon.