Having made yet another batch of muffins, only to have them rejected because there are drops of apricot preserves instead of raspberry, I was about ready to throw in the towel. Not into the muffins, of course, although towels are about the only thing I have not yet tried to bake into muffins.
Zachary, you may recall, is a picky eater. I use the term “picky” rather loosely, as it implies that he sometimes does pick something. Most of the time, frankly, he seems to survive on air and carbohydrates. Hence the muffins. A clever mother can sneak a surprising amount of stuff into a muffin, disguised as yet another round of carbs.
This kid would give Dr. Atkins heart palpitations, assuming the good doctor’s steady diet of red meat and eggs hasn’t already done his ticker in.
The problem is that there’s something wrong with every muffin recipe I can find. When muffins are the main source of one’s child’s caloric intake, one tries to make them as healthful as possible. I want a recipe with no sugar, lots of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and low saturated fats.
Zachary can detect any grated fruits and veggies, which was his reason for rejecting last week’s muffins, so I puree them, but that throws off the consistency. For years I have been finding recipes and then tinkering with them, never fully satisfied with the results. And it grows more complicated as I try to steer away from canned goods, due to my reluctance to feed my kids Bisphenol-A. (If there’s a Bisphenol-B, I’m pretty sure I want to avoid that one, too.) Not that I can put canned pumpkin in the muffins anyway, given Lilah’s squash-induced hives, which also rule out zucchini.
It becomes a problem worthy of Socrates after awhile.
And then it occurred to me: I have been making a batch of muffins every week for four-and-a-half years. I am a reasonably intelligent woman. I’ll bet that, with some trial and error, I could design my own pureed vegetable, honey sweetened, BPA-free, squashless, olive-oil moistened, whole grain muffins. With no nuts. Or raisins. Or apricot preserves.
Hell, I’ll bet with some practice I could figure out how to get protein in there while still adhering to the school’s no-nut policy. Especially since my kid is one of the children that policy is designed to protect. But it’ll have to be beans, since I am trying to cut back on our processed soy and meat intake. And because beef would be kind of weird in carrot-bran muffins…
I will be posting from time to time, letting you know our progress. It may be deadly dull, and for that I apologize, but it may also yield some lovely recipes. Feel free to contribute with ideas and suggestions.
We’re going to be going through a lot of honey around here. In glass containers, of course.
1 cup white flour
¼ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oatmeal, run through food processor
tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2 carrots, pureed
1 peach pureed, with skin
½ cup honey
½ cup olive oil
1 cup milk
At the last minute, Zachary asked me to put dollops of raspberry jam in, whereupon I extracted a promise from him that he would actually EAT the muffins if I put jam in. Usually, such fancy-pants tinkering renders them unacceptable.
The muffins were pretty good but too moist, which he doesn’t mind too much but dissatisfies me. I need to realign the wet/dry balance. Next time, I think less milk, as the pureed peach is very moist. And perhaps a teaspoon of baking soda so they aren’t so dense.
Damned if he didn’t say he couldn’t eat them because of the fucking jam. Next time, no godforsaken jam.