Not My Grandmother’s Bran Muffins

October 29, 2007 at 10:02 pm | Posted in breakfast, carrot puree, flaxseed meal, sweet potato puree | 1 Comment
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My grandmother is the picture of health. At 86 years she amazes me. Not only can she keep up, she usually sets the pace. And what is she eating? Bran muffins for breakfast. Trouble is, I don’t remember her bran muffins tasting any good. Hmmmmm.

Today I’m in a baking kind-of-mood so I made the recipe for bran muffins again (apple cinnamon muffins), this time omitting the apples. Thing is, my daughter didn’t like these. She thought they were too plain because they didn’t have the apples, go figure. I guess I’ll be noshing on these myself for the next couple of weeks.

Tip: Store these in the freezer, and defrost as needed in the microwave for an easy breakfast.

Puffy Eggs

October 21, 2007 at 4:10 am | Posted in breakfast, butternut squash puree, Family Meals | 1 Comment
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I think it’s residual excitement from the Puffy Pancake, but my kids love Baked Egg Cups. Known as “Puffy Eggs’ in the Downing household, these little egg cups are packed with protein and veggies.
So, I knew my kids liked these little eggs, but would their friends? I tested the recipe on Sunday, when we invited some family friends over for brunch. On the menu; Puffy Eggs, Fruit & Yogurt Parfaits, and Pumpkin Bread.

Out of the oven, the eggs looked great. My kids were so excited to see them again that they said, “ooo, these puffy eggs are sooo good” to their little friends. I guess the enthusiasm helped, because all of the kids enjoyed their eggs made with butternut squash. Brunch was a hit, and I felt great about serving food that not only tasted good, but was good for them.

Mom Tip: Care should be taken because the little ramekins are HOT out of the oven and there is a lot of steam trapped in the eggs. The best thing to do is let the kids see their own ramekin and then have an adult scoop out the eggs onto a plate, allowing the steam to release and the eggs to cool.

Puffy Eggs

  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash puree
  • 2 T shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 T all purpose flour
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat 4 ramekins with cooking spray and set on a baking sheet.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, egg whites, butternut squash puree, cheese, flour, baking powder, and salt. Divide the mixture among the ramekins and bake until the tops are puffed up and the eggs are no longer runny. Serve Immediately.
From Deceptively Delicious

Sweet Potato Crumb Cake

October 20, 2007 at 3:37 pm | Posted in breakfast, Dessert, Family Meals, flaxseed meal, sweet potato puree | 3 Comments
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This is so easy, practical, and yummy…but it starts with a box mix. Yes, a faithful Krusteaz Cinnamon Crumb Cake mix. I want to see how a puree will affect the traditional cake box mix. And this Cinnamon Crumb Cake is calling for sweet potato puree.

I pulled my sweet potato puree out of the freezer last night and let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your 8×8 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

  • 1 box Krusteaz Cinnamon Crumb Cake
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
  • 2 T flaxseed meal
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water (you may need less depending on how thick your puree is)
  1. Place cake mix, puree and flaxseed meal in a bowl. Mix well with two knives.
  2. Add egg, water and mix until moistened. Batter will be lumpy.
  3. Spoon half of the batter evenly into pan.
  4. Sprinkle half of the cinnamon topping (included in cake mix box) onto the batter in pan.
  5. Drop remaining batter in small spoonfuls over cinnamon topping layer.
  6. Sprinkle with remaining cinnamon topping.
  7. Swirl batter with a knife up and down in the pan.
  8. Bake 40 minutes

Well, of course my 5 year-olds loved this for breakfast. The nice thing was, with the addition of the sweet potato and flaxseed meal, this crumb cake sustained my kids for a long period of time. They were not clambering for a snack at 10:30am or even 11am. We had breakfast at 8:45am and they didn’t have lunch until 12:30 pm, not bad.

Puffy Pancake

October 18, 2007 at 3:07 am | Posted in breakfast, Family Meals | 4 Comments
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My dear friend Gretchen of Canela y Comino put up this incredible recipe for a Puffy Oven Pancake. No puree in this one, just the magic of a pie plate.

The Recipe:
2 tablespoons of butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 cup of lowfat milk
1/4 teaspoon of salt

Heat oven to 400ºF. Melt butter in a 9-inch pie plate in the oven, brush butter up the sides of the plate. Beat eggs slightly in medium bowl with wire whisk or hand beater. Beat in remaining ingredients until mixed (do not overbeat). Pour into hot pie plate. Bake 25 to 20 minutes or until puffy and deep golden brown. Serve immediately. Makes 2 to 4 servings.

From Betty Crocker’s New Cookbook and Well Fed Network.

The recipe says that it makes 2 to 4 servings, but my two 5-year olds ate the entire thing for breakfast this morning. They love this pancake! Gretchen, thanks for sharing it with our family.

Mom Tip: Do you have slow starters in the morning like I do? Put this in the oven and watch their eyes light up. In about the time it takes to bake, my kids are dressed with hair combed and beds made.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

October 13, 2007 at 3:46 pm | Posted in breakfast, Family Meals, sweet potato puree | 2 Comments
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It’s Saturday morning, and we are able to have a nice, leisurly morning. I let my hubby sleep in and get up with the kids. Around 8am, my son starts asking for breakfast, and I really want to try to create something close to the original, so I try Sweet Potato Pancakes.

I take out the sweet potato puree I have frozen and thaw it in the microwave. Next, I whip up the pancakes. Super easy, and because of the sweet potato, I only use one egg.

Sweet Potato Pancakes

  • 2 cups Bisquick Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Mix the Bisquick, egg, sweet potato puree, milk cinnamon and nutmeg. Whip until smooth. Pour on a hot griddle and enjoy!

As you can see, these have some color, but it is very neutral, good for my, “I only eat white foods” son. The sweet potato has disappeared into the pancake. To help with the color and taste, I told my kids that these are cinnamon pancakes with a little nutmeg. They bought it and ate them up.

For the sweet potato puree I microwave cooked the sweet potatoes until they could be pierced with a knife. I trimmed the ends, put them (skin and all) into my food processor and pureed until smooth. I stored the sweet potato puree in 1/2 cup amounts in a snack size ziploc and stored them in the freezer.

Why sweet potatoes? According to Deceptively Delicious, “Sweet potatoes help stabilize kids’ blood sugar levels by providing soluble fiber. And they’re good for skin, eyes, and all-over good health because they’re rich in beta carotene and other antioxidants.”

Apple Cinnamon Muffins

October 12, 2007 at 8:55 pm | Posted in breakfast, carrot puree, flaxseed meal, sweet potato puree | 2 Comments
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Fiber, Fiber, Fiber! The American Heart Association, says that “fiber is important for the health of the digestive system and for lowering cholesterol.” According to Dr. Oz, we American’s don’t get enough fiber in our diets. Flaxseed is a great way to get our needed daily fiber plus, it’s high in omega-3s, fabulous!

In search of flaxseed, I headed to my local Trader Joe’s and found “Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal”. This flaxseed meal was also highly used in Jessica Seinfeld’ book, Deceptively Delicious. Here’s my take on Mini Bran Muffins using carrot and sweet potato puree…

  • 1 1/2 cup white flour
  • 3/4 cup flaxseed meal
  • 3/4 cup oat bran
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sweet potato puree
  • 1/2 cup carrot puree
  • 1 granny smith apple peeled, sliced cut into small pieces
  • 1 fuji apple peeled, sliced and cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Mix together Flaxseed meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a large bowl. Then mix in sweet potato puree, carrot puree and the 2 apples. Mix the milk and vanilla into the beaten eggs then add them to the mixture. Fill mini-muffin cups.

Bake at 350 degrees for 10-13 minutes. Take care not to over bake.

The big question is, would my kids eat them? Out of the oven, they smelled delicious. The warm apple and cinnamon smell filled out house. My daughter came running and with her first taste, “yummm”. Little does she know I just filled her with flaxseed meal, oat bran, apples, carrots and sweet potato.

Mom Tip: I got my kids involved in this recipe with my Pampered Chef, “Apple Peeler/ Corer/ Slicer”. They love this tool, plus, the apple is so appealing in it’s long ribbons, they snacked on the apple slices while I finished making the muffins.


Pink Pancakes with Beets

October 11, 2007 at 8:48 pm | Posted in beet puree, breakfast | 1 Comment
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So, I was dying to make Pink Pancakes for my daughter. I got up this morning, pulled my beet puree out of the refrigerator and added it to the pancake batter. The pancakes cooked nicely and were a beautiful shade of pink. My daughter was enchanted and ate them up (butter and syrup helped too).

The kicker was when my son asked for blue pancakes. Not having a “blue” veggie puree, I saw the spinach and asked him if he would like green pancakes. With hesitation, I added the spinach puree to my regular Bisquick pancake mixture. It looked a bit leafy, so I added a couple drops of green food coloring to help even out the look. And his verdict, “MMMMM”. He ate SPINACH Pancakes!

Tip: Trader Joes has ready-to-eat steamed and peeled Baby Beets. I just opened up the package and dropped them in my food processor. After pureeing, I put the beet puree into snack size ziplock bags, measuring out 1/2 cup per bag.

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