Mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You cannot afford to miss it for many reasons. Here are three, which come from reliable medical research.
Why is Breakfast So Important?
People who are successful at losing weight and keeping it off are faithful members of the “breakfast club.”
People who eat breakfast may be better equipped to fight off colds and flu. An impressive study found that those who developed more than one illness over the 10-week study were less likely to be breakfasters. The reasons why breakfast might be a protective factor are not entirely clear.
Skipping breakfast doesn’t reduce one’s daily calorie intake. The truth is if you skip you will more than make up for it later in the day. But those who eat breakfast find it easier to resist high-fat foods during the day. It remains a well-known fact that breakfast boosts metabolism all day and fires up your brain cells for faster, clearer thinking.
Eat when you can but within two hours of waking.
Eat what you enjoy
You are more likely to create a life-long habit if it’s something you enjoy.
Make it convenient
If breakfast is time-consuming and complicated you are not likely to stick with it. Have on hand “grab and go” breakfast items that are both tasty and affordable.
Fast food is expensive and typically unhealthy.
The Perfect Solution
If you are tired of cereal, made-from-scratch healthy muffins are a perfect solution for your breakfast dilemma.
Generally, muffin batter needs to be baked as soon as mixed. Or, you can make the batter and follow the instructions for filling the paper- or foil-lined cups, but instead of putting them into the pre-heated oven, pop the pans into the freezer.
When the muffins are frozen hard, transfer them to a plastic bag or freezer container; write the baking temperature on the bag so you don’t have to search for the recipe again later.
When you are ready to bake them, place the frozen muffins back into the muffin pans and straight 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 as needed.
A dear reader sent me this recipe with no explanation for the name, only that these muffins are out-of-this-world delicious, healthy too. As for the “Seminary” reference, growing up in a family of die-hard theologians, I’ll bet it comes from someone’s seminary days when a family’s food budget cried out for inexpensive options.
- 1 egg
- 1 ½ cups mashed ripe bananas
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar light, or dark
- ⅓ cup applesauce
- 1 tspn vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tspn baking soda
- 2 tspns baking powder
- 1 ¼ tspns salt
- 1 tspn ground cinnamon
- 1 cup quick cooking oats
- ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips (optional)
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease one 12 cup muffin pan or use paper liners.
- Drop egg in to a large bowl and beat gently with a fork. Add banana, brown sugar, applesauce and vanilla and mix together until well incorporated.
- In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- Stir the flour mixture into the wet banana ingredients, stirring gently until well incorporated.
- Fold in the oats, walnuts and [optional] chocolate chips.
- Divide batter between the 12 prepared muffin cups.
- Bake in preheated oven (or freeze at this point) for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove muffins from pan and place on a cooling rack for a few minutes before serving.
6-Week Bran Muffins
Here’s a recipe that breaks all the rules about either baking or freezing muffins as soon as the batter is mixed. This batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six weeks and baked as needed! With a batch on hand you can enjoy the luxury of fresh-baked muffins every morning. This recipe makes 28 muffins for about 20 cents each.
At the risk of over-promising, I’m telling you this: These muffins are so moist, so delicious and versatile. This unbaked batter will last in the refrigerator for up to 6 weeks, no kidding!
6-Week Bran Muffins
- 4 eggs
- 2 ¼ cups white, granulated sugar
- 1 cup butter melted; or substitute vegetable oil
- 4 cups buttermilk
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 5 tspns baking soda
- ½ tspn salt
- 1 cup raisins (optional) craisins, or other dried fruit
- 5 ⅓ cups Kellogg’s All-Bran Original, Bran Buds or other wheat bran cereal
- Put eggs, sugar and butter in a large bowl; whip with a wire whisk to mix. Whisk in buttermilk; mixture will look curdled. Add flour and baking soda. Whisk until just mixed. Stir in bran.
- Scrape batter into a refrigerator container. Cover and refrigerate. (If you want to bake batter without storing, let it stand 15 to 20 minutes for bran to soften.)
- To bake: Heat oven to 375 F. Grease muffin cups or use foil baking cups. Stir batter gently to mix. Scoop 1/4 cup into each muffin cup. For baking just a few, a toaster oven works fine. Bake about 20 minutes, or until springy to the touch in the center. Let cool 5 minutes before serving hot.
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 or 4 bananas (4 medium or 3 large ripe bananas) mashed
- ¾ cup white, granulated sugar
- 1 egg
- ⅓ cup butter, melted
- ⅔ cup tightly packed brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Lightly grease 12 muffin cups or line with muffin papers.
- 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 and optional walnuts into the flour mixture just until all are moistened.
- Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle crumb topping over the tops
- Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin, comes out clean. Err on the side of underbaking, even if the centers appear to be a little sunken.
Make Crumb Topping
- In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon.
- Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup white granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ⅓ cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk* See instruction #2
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- ½ cup white sugar
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup butter, diced
- 1 ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with muffin liners.
To make muffins
- In a bowl, 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. Beat slightly with a fork.
- Mix this into the flour mixture, stirring until fully incorporated. Batter will be very thick.
- Fold in blueberries.
- Fill muffin cups right to the top, and sprinkle with crumb topping mixture.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until done. which means when a toothpick is inserted, it comes out just barely clean. Caution: Err on the side of underbaking for the yummiest, moistest muffins. Yield: 12 muffins
To make crumb topping
- Place sugar, flour, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl.
- Mix with a fork until crumbly and sprinkle over muffins before baking.
Big Batch Muffins
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
- 4 eggs
- 9 cups dry breakfast cereal
- 4 cups buttermilk (or buttermilk substitute*)
- 5 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 5 tsp baking soda
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and dry cereal.
- In a separate bowl, mix together dry ingredients.
- Combine mixtures, alternately with buttermilk. Mix all until well incorporated, but don't overmix.
- Pour batter into greased muffin tins (or line with cupcake papers) until about 2/3 full. (If batter seems too thin, let it rest a few minutes and it will thicken.)
- Bake at 400 F. for 20-25 minutes
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar packed
- 1/4 cup egg substitute or 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 cup applesauce
- 3/4 cup apple peeled, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup walnuts optional
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, and salt.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, egg substitute, and oil until smooth. Add applesauce and diced apple, and stir to combine.
- Add applesauce mixture to flour mixture, and stir just until combined, being careful not to over mix. Fold in chopped nuts if using.
- Spoon batter into 12 muffin cups sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Don’t over bake! Cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
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