Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Quick and Healthy Breakfast

Quick and Healthy Breakfast

One of the motivators I have for cooking from scratch goes back to when my, now 10 year old, boy was just a babe.  He had a rocky start to life when I delivered him 4 weeks early.  The doctors didn't know why he was early, but he was, and as a result he spent 9 days in the NICU. When he came home he wore an apnea monitor 24/7 until further instruction from our pediatrician.  In addition, he was quarantined for the first 2 months of his life, which meant that my husband and I were, too.  The good news is that by the time he was old enough for real food he was healthy, growing (sometimes a pound a week!) and ready to eat!  How could I put commercially processed food into this little man that I had been placed in charge of?  I knew I needed to feed him pure, whole food.  And that has been a goal of mine ever since.

Don't get me wrong, we get plenty of junk food, sweets and treats.  But if the majority of the time I can give my family delicious and healthy food, especially to start their day, then I feel like I'm going in the right direction, even if the rest of the day is a flop!  One way I do this is by keeping home-made muffins in the freezer.  They're great for breakfast or lunch served with fresh fruit and glass of milk to round out the meal.  Every few weeks I'll make several batches of muffins or bread to stock my freezer.  I love having wholesome food ready when life is too busy to cook:)

In the picture are (top) lemon zucchini muffins with a lemon glaze, (right) carrot pineapple muffins and (bottom) blueberry scones.

Lemon Zucchini Muffins with Lemon Glaze

2 c ap flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
1/2 c canola oil
2/3 c sugar
1/2 c buttermilk
juice of 1 lemon
zest of 1 lemon
1 c zucchini, grated

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin tin with paper liners, set aside.  In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.  In a med bowl mix wet ingredients well, adding in zest and zucchini last and stirring to combine.  Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix just til moist, do not over mix.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop batter into muffin pan to make 12 muffins and bake for 15-18 m.  Let muffins cool on a wire rack.  While muffins are cooling make your glaze.

Lemon Glaze

Juice 1 lemon into a med bowl.  Over the juice sift 1 cup powdered sugar, stir to completely dissolve sugar.  Once muffins are completely cooled drizzle with glaze and let set.  After glaze is set toss muffins into a ziploc freezer bag and store in freezer til ready to eat.

  • I often make double batches when I'm baking.  This way I only have to bake 1/2 as often, I only have to get the ingredients out/prepped once instead of twice, and since they're going into the freezer anyway there's no worry of spoiling before getting eaten.  Any of the muffin or quick bread recipes I post can easily be doubled without any adjustments.
Carrot Pineapple Muffins (from Food Network Kitchens)

3/4 c ap flour
1/2 c ww flour
2/3 c dark brown sugar
2 T wheat germ
2 t cinnamon
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
2 eggs
1/3 c veg oil
1 T vanilla
4 med carrots, shredded (2 cups)
1/2 crushed pineapple (or raisins)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line muffin tin with paper liners, set aside.  Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl.  Combine remaining 5 ingredients into a med bowl.  Pour wet ingredients into the dry and mix just til moist, not over mixing.  Batter will be thick.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop the batter evenly into your muffin tin and bake for about 30 m.  Start checking after 20 m with a wooden skewer. Cool on a wire rack, if you can wait, you'll be tempted to eat these right out of the oven while they're still hot!  Once cooled place in a gallon freezer ziploc to store in the freezer.

  • If your muffin recipe gives you an of option to use butter or oil, always use oil.  Because the butter has water in it, the muffins will dry out more quickly.  Using oil will result in a more moist, soft muffin.

Blueberry Scones

This is the same scone recipe I used for my Strawberry Shortcake from the Joy of Cooking, just tweaked a little.

1 c ap flour
1 c ww flour
2 T wheat germ
1/4 c sugar
4 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1 egg, room temp
1 c buttermilk, room temp
3 1/2 T butter, melted
1/2 fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400F.  Line baking sheet with a silpat liner, or lightly grease, set aside.  In a med bowl combine first 7 ingredients, set aside.  In a small bowl whisk egg, buttermilk and butter together.  Having the egg and buttermilk at room temp will ensure the butter doesn't solidify when you add it in.  Fold the blueberries into the wet mixture and add that to the dry ingredients.  Combine til moist, not over mixing.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop spoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet into 12 scones.  Sprinkle top with coarse sugar and bake for 12-15 m.  Cool on a wire rack and store in a gallon ziploc freezer bag in your freezer.

  • I often substitute ww flour for 1/3 or 1/2 of the ap flour to make a recipe a bit healthier.  Adding in a couple tablespoons of wheat germ is a plus too.  Any way I can get good stuff into my family is a bonus:)

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