I committed culinary treason today. I cooked up some “banana bread muffins” for my family that secretly had vegetables in them. GASP! Not veggies in the pastries! For shame! Alright, I am being dramatic but I definitely was a little duplicitous in my description of said muffins when I sold the idea to my husband. They did have bananas in them. And it’s not like I snuck lima beans in them. It was just some carrots, and some squash, and some oat bran… okay maybe this wasn’t as healthy of an idea as I had originally thought. Next time I need to sneak some chia seeds and kefir in there.
Note: I had to google “superfoods” to find out what to threaten to sneak in next time. Um, I’ve had chia seed pudding, no thanks.
I tracked down a good recipe (http://allrecipies.com/recipe/219330/toddlermuffins/ *muffins do not contain actual toddlers* if you want to see what it looked like before I made it ridiculous) that would allow me to sneak some different foods into everyone’s diet.
And I realize that this isn’t exactly my “Et tu, Brute” moment, but whatever, it felt pretty slick at the time. And very sitcom mom/wife.
The main reason for this turn at underhandedness is my toddler. She is in this whole new phase where if it’s not a juicy fruit (think watermelon or grapes as opposed to a banana or an apple), absolute junk food, or a pickle then she wants no parts of it. Although, she did cram down some asparagus the other night but I honestly think that was just to make her pee stink. She is a diabolical evil genius trapped in the body of a fifteen month old. Giving me hell at every turn.
My husband on the other hand, well I just don’t think he would have been quite as willing to try a banana muffin if I told him that it also had squash, carrots, and oat bran in it because, well, that sounds pretty heinous to me.
So, I donned my apron and set to baking. Here is how it all went.
I preheated the oven to 375 degrees (like it says to) and set to mixing my ingredients.
- 1/2 cup butter, softened (since I decided on the fly to make these my butter wasn’t softened because it lives in the fridge so I just wedged it against the back of the stove using the spoon rest. It wasn’t so much softened as it was melted which is kind of the same thing except way messier)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar, or to taste (a half cup of brown sugar is the perfect amount. Also if you pack it right it looks like a little brown boobie when you plop it into the mixing bowl)
- 2 large bananas, mashed (it ended up being one over ripe frozen banana that I got tired of peeling half way through because it was so cold and one under ripe big banana that I had to smash with my snazzy avocado tool)
- 1 (4.5 ounce) jar baby food squash (I have no idea how much of this I used. It wasn’t a jar it was some weird double pack thing with a peel off lid. And the container wasn’t recyclable, what’s up with that baby food squash makers?)
- 2 carrots, grated (I got through half of one carrot before I decided that grating carrots is stupid and there should be some sort of machine that does this for you. Then I thought about what would happen if I put it in the food processor and riced it. Then I just gave up and decided half a grated carrot was basically the same thing as two)
- 2 eggs, beaten (Yeah, this one I did. Who doesn’t love watching those yolks break?)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (also did this one)
I pretty much did all the rest of these as I was supposed to. Except the salt, I didn’t want to add salt to the muffins because we all get way too much sodium these days anyway.
- 1/2 cup oat bran
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt (go to hell salt, you’re not welcome in my toddler muffins!!!!)
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease 24 mini muffin cups or 12 standard muffin cups.
In a mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until smooth. Mix in the mashed bananas, squash, carrots, and eggs. Stir in the flour, oat bran, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt until just combined. Spoon the batter equally into the prepared muffin cups (I got halfway through spooning in my batter when I realized that I filled them too high and that when they rose they would be overflowing out of the tin entirely too much and had to go back through and make adjustments. What a messy pain in the butt).
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes (I did 17 minutes, and I feel like 15-20 minutes is entirely too much freedom for a recipe. Five minutes is a huge cooking window). Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack (I went into the other room to get my daughter and put her in the high chair so that she could test out some of these magnificent muffins. It was five minutes into the ten minute cool down and my husband had already eaten three muffins). Store at room temperature for up to two days, or freeze.
Put muffin you spent almost an hour making in front of daughter on high chair. Watch her eyes light up as she realizes that she is getting a tasty snack. Watch her little tiny hands pick up said mini muffin, put it into her adorable little mouth to take a bite, and then promptly throw it on the ground. Try not to cry as the cats get to it before you do and alternate between swatting it and licking it. Try not to laugh as your daughter screams like a banshee and demands cheese for lunch. Like, just cheese mom, don’t bother with that “green smoothie” you were going to try and trick me into eating. I won’t be having any of that either (she took two long pulls on the straw and then promptly pulled the straw out and tried to poke herself in the eye with it). So she got her cheese, found a Cheerio that was stuck to the side of her high chair, and called it a day. I ate my cold soup while my husband tried to console me by telling me how unhealthy banana bread muffins were anyway.
“Et tu, Brute?!”