Monday, January 17, 2011

Cooking Attempt: Muffins!

Chef Works CHAT Chef Hat, White My current challenge is to try to do more cooking.  I am trying to eat healthier and provide my kids with healthier options.  This is a big challenge in a family full of picky eaters.  I am also not the worlds greatest chef despite the claim of my 4 year old.  I am trying to get away from my dependence on convenience foods.  An added bonus will be all the money we save in the process.

For the first week of my experiment I started baking batches of muffins.  I know probably not the healthiest thing I could pick to make but I knew my kids would eat them and it's a million times better than pop tarts for breakfast.  I am not a morning person so I needed something we could just grab and eat when I am too tired to even think about preparing something.

The first day I made banana muffins with the bananas I would normally have thrown away.  Saving money already!  I even added a scoop of fiber powder and a scoop of protein powder to the batter.  I wasn't sure how that would turn out but my kids never noticed it.

The banana muffins went pretty fast so I figured I would try zucchini muffins.  I love zucchini muffins but I wasn't sure how they would go over with my kids or my husband.  I searched for a fairly healthy looking recipe and decided to go ahead and double the recipe.  I threw in the protein and fiber powders in again and also a few chocolate chips just in case I needed to trick my kids into eating them.  I shouldn't have been concerned.  The kids devoured the muffins even better than they had the banana ones!  Ha! I got a veggie into them!!  My husband loved them too.  We have been using the muffins for breakfast or a snack.

I have also been making my son and myself toast spread with peanut butter.  I slice up a banana and put it on top of his.  Unfortunately my daughter doesn't really like peanut butter.  It is easy to make and we already eat whole wheat bread.  Again so much better than pop tarts!  I don't know why it never occurred to me before.

This week I am going to bake a batch of blueberry muffins.  When I went grocery shopping this past weekend I tried to buy healthier ingredients.  I got whole wheat flour to use and I also picked up some agave nectar for sweetener in place of the honey.  I also picked up some Barilla multi-grain pasta which I tried last week and really liked.  Last week I made the pasta with ground turkey.  I baked the turkey smothered in tomato paste and some canned chopped tomatoes with basil and garlic thrown on top.  Then I sprinkled a little shredded parmesan cheese on top.  It was so good!  I am a big fan of baking things because I can just throw everything in a dish, put it in the oven and walk away.  The Crockpot is also great for that when I can remember to start it early enough (remember not a morning person) but I broke ours washing it so I need to get a new one.

The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals I am planning on purchasing a new cookbook soon as well as a food processor.  I am going to give The Sneaky Chef a try.  I can't wait to try these brownies!  My son asked me a few days ago if I could make Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins.  I told him I didn't think there was such a thing and then to my surprise I found the recipe right on the Sneaky Chef website.  That pretty much sold me the book right there!!  I got a Nook Color for Christmas which I LOVE and they have the cookbook available. I like having it on the Nook because it is less bulky than a cookbook so it is not in my way as I am trying to prepare the food.  I can also look up recipes online on it and don't have to run back and forth from my computer or print them out.

As soon as I can find a decent inexpensive food processor I will buy the book and start trying the recipes.  I'll let you know how it goes.  :)

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