Tim was away for most of Saturday. He took the older two children with him and left me home to a gray, cold kind of day. Perfect for and doing some baking! I decided it was time to fill the freezer with muffins. It is a constant chore to keep healthy snacks around for a family of seven. I have an amazing Master Muffin Mix that I love to use.
Master Muffin Recipe
* 5 cups flour (use up to two cups whole wheat, crushed cereal, or packed rolled oats if desired)
* 2 to 2 1/2 cups sugar (experiment with the amount – can also vary types of sugar used)
* 1 tsp salt
* 1 tsp baking soda
* 1 Tbs.(3 tsp) baking powder
* 2 cups buttermilk (you can use part yogurt for the milk)
* 1 c. oil or melted butter (or substitute 1/2 cup apple sauce for half the oil)
* 3 eggs
Place dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to blend. Place wet ingredients (oil, eggs, milk) in container and blend well.
Make a well in dry ingredients in bowl, add wet mix from blender and pour into well. Stir gently to mix, add fruit and fold and stir in. Do not beat, batter should be a bit lumpy. Over stirring muffins makes them tough.
This will make 24 to 30 muffins depending on size of pans. Grease muffin pans or use muffin liners fill almost to the top and sprinkle with and of the following: sugar, cinn. sugar, chopped nuts and sugar, coconut, rolled oats and sugar etc.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 min. Cool on racks. Freeze these in Ziplocs for quick breakfasts or easy snacks.
The wonderful thing about this Master Mix recipe is it comes with an amazing list of add in possibilities. Here are the muffin variations:
Apple cinnamon: Use 3 – 4 apples (just peel and cut in chunks and throw in blender with wet ingredients, don’t over process, or chop by hand), 2 tsp cinn. and 1 cup chopped pecans.
Apple raisin – same as above but add 1 cup raisins (plump first by covering with liquid and nuking for a couple minutes. I like to used part rolled oats with the apple muffins and sprinkle the tops with a little oatmeal and sugar.
Carrot raisin – same as above but use 5 or 6 carrots chopped in blender with wet ingredients instead of apple. Add 1 cup chopped nuts if desired.
Carrot raisin pineapple – Same as above but add one large can crushed pineapple and reduce milk to 1 1/2 cups.
Strawberry – cut up 3 cups strawberries and mix in
Strawberry/White Chocolate, same as above, but add 1 cup white choc pieces
Strawberry pecan – same but add 1 cup chopped pecans
Tollhouse - add 2 cup choc chips (1 12 oz bag – I like to use the mini chips) 1 cup chopped nuts, walnuts or pecans, use brown sugar and add 2 tsp vanilla.
Banana - Reduce milk to 1 cup – add 5 or 6 bananas to blender – add 2 tsp vanilla and 1 cup nuts
Banana/Strawberry 1- Same as above but fold into batter, 2 cups cut up strawberries.
Banana/Strawberry 2 – Add 1 cup strawberries to the blender with 4 or 5 bananas. Stir 2 cups of cut up strawberries into batter.
Banana/Strawberry 3 – Follow either banana or banana strawberry 1, but add 1 pkg strawberry jello to wet ingredients.
Banana Choc chip – same as above but add 2 cups mini chips and 1 cup nuts if desired.
Blueberry /Orange – Peel the orange skin off one orange in very thin pieces using a potato peeler and put in the blender with the other wet ingredients. Remove the white peel remaining on the orange and cut orange into 4 or 5 chunks. Pick out the seeds and put the chunks in the blender. add the remaining wet ingredients reducing milk to 1 3/4 cups, if you are using regular milk do not add lemon juice. Blend well. Proceed as directed stirring in 2 1/2 to 3 cups blueberries.
Cranberry Orange – Same as above (no blueberries) except add 1 1/2 dried cranberries (plumped in microwave by covering with liquid and nuking for a couple minutes). Can also add 1 cup chopped nuts
Orange Pineapple – Same as above (no blueberries) but add 1 large can of crushed pineapple and reduce milk to 1 1/2 cups.
Hawaiian - Same as above but add 1 cup coconut – sprinkle tops with a little coconut.
Peanut Butter and Jelly – This is for the kids, into blender container put milk, 1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky, you can add extra chopped peanuts if you like) and only 1/3 cup oil. Use 4 eggs and mix as usual. Fill muffin tins 1/2 full and put 1 tsp jam or jelly in center of each cup. Fill with batter almost to top and bake as usual. Chopped peanuts sprinkled on top is a nice touch.
Saturday I made a batch of carrot raisin and a batch of mixed berries. I had three bananas that we ripe and ready to be used so I made a small pan of banana muffins (slightly different recipe). All in all I ended up with around 6 dozen muffins.
After the muffin mania I decided to try my hand at some homemade granola bars. I need to do a cost analysis on boxed cereal versus ‘from scratch’ pancakes and Costco granola bars versus homemade breakfast bars.
Anyone know how these things compare, cost wise?
I tried two different granola recipes, one taken from Allrecipes.com, the other from my friend, De’Etta’s blog. Unfortunately I don’t eat sugar so I wasn’t able to taste test the bars. The mix looked (and smelled) fantastic! It took extreme will power to keep my fingers out of the bowl. I’ll report back as soon as the kids try them out.
Sarilyn’s Granola Bars (from Not2Many.com)
* 1/3 C brown sugar (or Rapadura)
* 2/3 C peanut butter
* 3/4 C honey
* 2 T hot water (opt)
* 2 tsp vanilla
~Mix all these together.
* 2 1/2 C oats
* 1 C whole wheat flour
* 1/4 C wheat germ
* 1/2 C sunflower seeds
* 1 T sesame seeds
* 1 C chocolate chips
* 1/2 C nuts, dried fruit, seeds whatever you like
~Mix all these together in a large bowl, then combine bowls and stir well.
Press into greased 9 x 13 pan bake at 350* for 15 – 20 min. Cut into bars while semi-warm and let cool completely before removing from pan. Approx 24 bars.
Playgroup Granola Bars (Allrecipes.com)
* 2 cups rolled oats
* 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup wheat germ
* 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 3/4 cup raisins (optional)
* 3/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup honey
* 1 egg, beaten
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Generously grease a 9×13 inch baking pan.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, brown sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon, flour, raisins and salt. Make a well in the center, and pour in the honey, egg, oil and vanilla. Mix well using your hands. Pat the mixture evenly into the prepared pan.
3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool for 5 minutes, then cut into bars while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting, or they will be too hard to cut.
I tripled this recipes, added flax seeds, craisins, and chocolate chips. Looked yummy!
Now the freezer has bags of muffins piling on the shelves and the pantry is laden with a nice stack of granola bars. Not bad for a lazy Saturday.