Breakfast muffins

Can you believe there are 9 fruits and vegetables stuffed into these little muffins? Let me tell you, that fact makes it soooo easy to justify cake for breakfast! But they’re amazingly delicious, pretty filling, and only 191 calories each – so not a terrible option for something sweet and decadent, or breakfast on the run. A big shout out to Smitten Kitchen for the recipe – mine is an adaptation of an adaptation, which is pretty much the joy of cooking: no one does things exactly the same, and that diversity is beautiful. 

This recipe yields 16 small muffins, which is perfect for me because I have one with coffee an hour or so after a bowl of Weetbix and berries, but making 8 larger muffins to have as a full breakfast is a viable option, as well. Just adjust the cooking time, and start checking on them afyer about 30 minutes. They’re a super moist muffin, but a skewer should still come out clean.

Ingredients

1.5 Granny Smith apples, grated 

1 large carrot, grated 

225g can crushed pineapple, drained well

1/3 cup dessicated coconut

1/4 cup dried fruit (I used a mix of dried apple, beetroot, craisins, blueberries and sultanas)

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

2/3 cup raw sugar

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups self raising flour

2 tablespoons  pepitas

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  2. Place apple, carrot, pineapple, coconut, dried fruit, lemon zest, sugar, spices and oil in large bowl. Add eggs, and stir to combine.
  3. Add flour, and mix very gently.
  4. Fill paper cases to about 3/4 capacity, and sprinkle with pepitas, making sure to save some for the next batch.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, and transfer to a wire rack. Repeat with remaining batter and pepitas, remembering that cooking time will be slightly less due to a smaller amount of muffins being cooked in the pan the second time around
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Amelie’s Banana Choc Chunk Cupcakes

As with most kids who like to cook, Miss 7 loves baking, and that’s where her culinary career started – helping me make cakes and muffins. It’s simple and easy, and has a fabulous reward at the end – of course kids love it! However, Miss 7 isn’t really much of a cake person (unless we’re talking chocolate cake!), but she is an attention-loving person. She’ll shamelessly admit that she loves cooking, not for the end result, but for the credit. Chefs and their egos start young, it seems!

This recipe is pretty foolproof – remove the chocolate and the bananas, and you’re left with a moist and tasty basic cupcake recipe that you can pretty much add anything too. I can’t even remember where I found that particular recipe, but for the past 15 years or so, I’ve stayed pretty loyal to the flour, butter, egg, milk and sugar ratios, because it’s never failed, and everybody seems to love it. Then, a world of toppings and additions await, and the sky’s the limit.

I have calculated that the base cake recipe has 200 calories, so with the addition of the banana and chocolate, each muffin is about 240. I hesitate to become too technical with these because after all these years, I barely measure anything anymore. I tend to just estimate the calories of whatever I add to the base and call it a day. I mean, I’m not eating them when I’m being particularly fastidious about my food intake, anyway.

Makes 18 smallish cupcakes.

Ingredients

2 large bananas, peeled and broken into large pieces

125g butter

3/4 cup raw sugar

1tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

2 cups self raising flour

1/4 cup mik

1/2 cup chocolate buttons (we used Nestle melts), chopped coarsely. There’s no reason you can’t use choc chips, but the large, uneven chunks have a charm of their own.

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C and line 2 muffin pans with 18 patty cases.
  2. Beat bananas until they form a soft mush – I use my stand mixer for this. Add butter, sugar and vanilla, and beat until well combined.  The mixture will be very wet.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until well combined.
  4. Sift flour into mixture and stir gently to combine.
  5. Gently fold in choc chunks.
  6. Spoon mixture into prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes, or until an insterted skewer comes out clean.

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