Fabulous Solution to the Breakfast Dilemma

Mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Recent medical research says we cannot afford to miss it for many reasons:

  1. People who lose weight and keep it off are breakfast eaters.
  2. People who eat breakfast are better equipped to fight off colds and flu.
  3. Breakfast boosts metabolism all day and fires up your brain cells for faster, clearer thinking.

SIMPLE BREAKFAST GUIDELINES

  • Eat when you can but within two hours of waking.
  • Eat what you enjoy. You are more likely to create a lifelong habit if it’s something you enjoy.
  • Have “grab and go” breakfast items available that are healthy, tasty and affordable.

I have a great solution for your breakfast dilemma that meets all of the criteria above: Baked-from-scratch muffins! What? You don’t have time to bake every morning?

Not to worry! I’ve got a great method that will leave you excuse-less and make you your household’s Breakfast Hero.

THE MUFFIN RULE

The general muffin rule (applies to any type of quick bread) is that once the wet ingredients meet the dry ingredients, you need to get that batter into the oven quickly to take full advantage of its rising power.

But you won’t do that every morning and neither will I. So here’s a neat trick:

Fill the lined muffin tins according to the directions but instead of baking, pop them into the freezer—pans and all!

Once frozen hard, transfer them to a freezer bag or container; write the baking temperature on the bag so you don’t have to search for the recipe again later.

Now in the morning place the frozen muffins back in the muffin pans and pop them into a preheated oven, increasing the baking time by only 5 or 6 minutes.

You can bake all the muffins at once or one to two at a time in a toaster oven.

Tip: Make up several batches on the weekend and you’ll be set for the whole week! Frozen muffin batter will last in the freezer for up to two months.

And now for your muffin-baking pleasure, here are my family’s absolute favorite muffin recipes. When fresh blueberries are in season—or frozen berries are on sale—I can make these for less than $.25 each.

To-Die-For Blueberry Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Crumb Topping

  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
  2. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt, and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
  3. To make Crumb Topping: Mix together 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, 1/4 cup butter, and 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon. Mix with a fork, and sprinkle over muffins.
  4. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Banana Crumb Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Crumb Topping

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C). Line muffin pan with muffin papers.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin, comes out clean. Yield: One dozen muffins

Best Gluten-Free Banana Muffins Ever

  • 3 brown bananas (1 cup mashed)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup white rice flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla

Glaze (optional)

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid (lemon juice, water, milk, etc.)

Read through these instructions for before starting, because this is an unusual but very fun method:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).
  2. Get out a 1/2 measuring cup and a 1/4 teaspoon (these will be all you need to measure your ingredients).
  3. In a large Ziploc bag, mash the bananas. Add the eggs, seal the bag, and shake and squish until combined. Add the sugar and mix well. Dump in the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Before zipping and mixing them all the way in, mix them together a little with your measuring spoon. Now add the oil (I know it’s not standard to add the oil last, but that’s the only way I can use the same measuring cup since all the other ingredients you have to measure are dry; It works anyway) and vanilla and shake and squish until well combined.
  4. Snip the corner of the bag and squeeze the batter into a lined muffin cup. Don’t make the hole very big at all because the batter is very runny. Pinch the corner between each muffin.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Right before serving (do not add this to your muffins before freezing, if you choose to use that method) make the glaze: Mix together the powdered sugar and liquid and spread over cooled muffins.

 

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  • Linda

    Can we assume the crumb topping for the banana muffins is the same as for the blueberry ones?

  • crabbyoldlady

    That’s a lot of messing around in the morning. Why not just bake them and keep them in the fridge or freezer until needed? Warm them up in the nuke or a toaster oven…..

    • tinydogpries

      I agree. MUCH better to bake first, then freeze or refrigerate and reheat briefly in the morning.

  • Moxy

    Mary, thank you so much for the gluten-free recipe. My husband has celiac disease, and I can’t wait to surprise him with homemade muffins!