Posts tagged whole wheat

Pumpkin Granola Muffins

Due to the fact that we are currently home bound due to getting 40″ of snow in 24 hours two days ago, we have been doing lots of baking.  We just made these for the first time today and boy are they yummy. We LOVE anything pumpkin in our house, so we are always looking for a new recipe that includes vitamin packed pumpkin.  This recipe was adapted from one I saw from Libby’s Pumpkin website.

Here is what you need:

1 c. whole wheat flour 143809lrg

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. allspice

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

3/4 tsp. baking powder

3/4 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 c. packed brown sugar

1/4 c. canola oil

1 can pumpkin

2 eggs

1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

1/ 2 – 1 c. low-fat granola

Here is what you do:  

Preheat the oven to 350. Then beat together the sugar and the oil until well combined.  Next add the pumpkin and the two eggs to the brown sugar and oil. Beat this until very well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, baking powder and baking soda.  If you have it on hand, you could use pumpkin pie spice in place of the nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice.  Add the dry mixture slowly to the wet ingredients and beat slowly to combine.  Finally stir in the chocolate chips.

Once combined, spoon batter into lightly greased mini muffin tins. Fill almost completely. Then top each muffin with about a 1/2 tsp of granola. Press the granola into the batter slightly.  Bake for about 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

These muffins are a wonderful snack for both kids and adults.  They are healthy and not overly sweet, but the mini chocolate chips made my kids think they were having a dessert.  My kids loved them and begged for another one.  These types of muffins freeze really well too so they are a great snack to pack into the freezer and then throw them in a lunch box for a tasty lunchtime treat.  Hope you enjoy and happy baking!


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Oatmeal Apple Craisin Muffins

Wow it has been a long time since I have posted something.  I am not entirely sure where the time has gone.  All of the sudden, the summer is behind us and autumn is in full swing.  In fact, there are frost warnings tonight in my area.  Now I have to admit that I am a warm weather gal.  By the end of the winter, I am about ready to jump out of my skin after being “trapped” inside all winter long.

Now with all that being said there are a few things that I actually look forward to as the weather gets chillier and one of those is apples.  My daughters absolutely love apples. They average 2 each everyday. Let’s hope that an apple a day really does keep the doctor away.  Due to our love of apples, I buy them or pick them in large quantities. Especially if I ever want to get any to bake with or turn into applesauce.

Sunday morning my older daughter asked if we could bake something.  Inside I suggested that we make applesauce (recipe coming soon) due to having bought 10 lbs. of apples recently.  She had a blast using the apple slicer, dicer and coring machine. I have to admit that this is one of my favorite kitchen gadgets too.  If you do not already have one, I highly recommend that you pick one up.  Then Sunday afternoon, I picked up another 10 lbs. of apples. We are literally up to our elbows in apples right now.  One thing to keep in mind though is that when making applesauce, it takes a lot of apples to make a sauce.  My 10 lbs. of apples made 6 pints of sauce.

Tonight we made the rest of the applesauce and as I giving it a final stir I got to thinking that maybe I should use a bit of it to make muffins.  I love applesauce muffins. They are moist, delicious and healthy. It doesn’t get much better than this.

Here is what you need:

1 1/2 c. rolled oats

3/4 c. AP flour

3/4 c. whole wheat flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 1/4 c. applesauce

3/4 c. sugar (I like to use the Truvia sugar blend)

1 egg white

3 tbsp. canola oil

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

3 tbsp. wheat germ (optional, but so tasty)

3/4 c. craisins or raisins


Here is what you do:

First preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  The mix all the wet ingredients together and stir just until combined.  Next slowly add the dry ingredients and stir until well combined.  Finally, stir in the craisins.  Line a muffin tin with muffin wrappers or spray with nonstick spray. Then fill each tin almost to the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are golden brown.  These are truly delicious.  I love them smeared with a little butter but my kids like them right out of the muffin wrapper. They are a treat for the whole family.


What is your favorite apple recipe? Do you like to bake with them or use them in more savory dishes? I would love to hear from you!


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Homemade Pizza Dough Without Yeast

Over the past couple of years, I gotten into making my own breads, rolls and pizza dough.  I used to think it was just too hard and that there were too many variables that could go wrong, but boy was I mistaken. It turns out that making your own bread is really quite simple once you get the hang of it.  Making your own pizza dough is even easier.  I used to buy dough at the grocery store for about $2 which seems like a good deal because it is.  I mean seriously, even if you buy the dough you are still going to save a ton compared to if your ordered pizza from a pizza restaurant.  About a year ago though I started experimenting with making my own pizza dough and it is so easy.  Now I must confess that having a KitchenAid stand mixer certainly makes thing easier, but it could be done by hand.  The best part about making dough is that you can make it ahead of time and then freeze it for another day.  Just take it out of the freezer and thaw in the fridge for about 24 hours.

When I first started making pizza dough, I use rapid rise yeast which works just fine.  Then I discovered that Fleishman’s makes a yeast especially for making pizza dough and it is fantastic.  So that is how I normally make it, providing I have the yeast on hand.  Well a couple of months ago, my daughter really wanted pizza for dinner. The problem was that we were out of yeast, both bread yeast and pizza yeast. What’s a mom to do.  I guess I could have gone to the store, but the thought of dragging my two kids to the store just for some yeast seemed insane to me and I was not going to do it. So the result was I decided to try to make the dough without yeast.  I mean how hard could it be?  I should be able to get a similar result from baking powder right?  The answer is yes!  The truth is I kind of like this crust better because it gets crispier than the ones made with yeast.

Here is what you need:

2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
2 3/4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. canola or olive oil
3/4 to 1 c. water

Here is what you do:

Mix the dry ingredients together in as bowl. I like to do all of this with my mixer, but by hand works great too.  Then add the oil to the water and pour the water and oil mixture into the dry mixture.  The mixture should be soft, but not too sticky.  If it seems stiff add a bit more water.  Then kneed the dough on a floured surface for 3-5 minutes.  If using a mixer, using the bread hook, allow the dough to kneed on slow to medium speed for about 3 minutes.  Then turn out the dough on a floured surface and roll to desire thickness.  Add sauce and desired toppings and cook  in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.  Keep an eye on it because the cooking time will vary depending on the size of the pizza.

Tips and tricks:

I often add ground flaxseed to my pizza dough.  Mix it in with the dry ingredients.  I add about 2-3 tbsp. for this recipe.  This really helps to add some nutritional value.  Also, feel free to subsititue some of the AP flour for whole wheat flour. I would not recommend using all whole wheat flour because it makes a very dense and heavy crust.  You could also add a couple of tbsp of wheat germ to your dough to help kick up the nutritional value a bit.  We often add a tbsp or 2 of honey to create a delicious honey wheat pizza dough.  Delicious!

You could use baking soda instead of baking powder, but you would only want to use 2 tsp of baking soda and no salt.

One of the things that I like most about making our own dough is that not only can you create any thickness crust you want, but you can also let each of the kids make their own pizza.  This would be great for a kids party or sleepover.  This way you can accomodate even the pickiest of eaters.

Hey,  did you know that a pizza stone works best when preheated?  I did not know this until recently.  A preheated stone makes for a much crispier crust.  I put the stone in the oven when I turn it on and take it out right before I am ready to put the dough on it.  Makes a huge difference.

Have you ever made your own pizza dough? Have you tried making it without yeast?  What are your favorite pizza toppings?  Thanks for reading!

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Not Your Average Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins!

Ok so I know what you are thinking…not another muffin recipe, but this one is really worth sharing.  Once every couple of weeks, my 3.5 year old has the job of bringing snack to preschool for her class.  If left up to my daughter we would always bring munchkin donuts (don’t get me wrong I do LOVE munchkins), so each time I set out to make something as delicious and a bit healthier for her to share with her friends.  My daughter requested muffins, so I challenged myself to make muffins that would be a little healthier than most, but also tastier than most. Well this is definitely my best recipe yet.

Here is what you need:

1  3/4 c. whole wheat pastry flour  (you could also use all purpose flour)

3/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 c. banana honey greek yogurt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 egg

1/2 c. canola oil (you could use vegetable oil)

3 very ripe mashed bananas

1/2 c. mini chocolate chips

Here is what you do:

Sift together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder.  I used to think sifting the ingredients together was unnecessary, but it really does make them better.  I think it makes them lighter and fluffier.  I also used whole wheat pastry flour because I think it makes muffins much more moist, but you could definitely use all purpose if that is what you have.  I always keep Bob’s Red Mill Whole wheat pastry flour in the house for any time I am baking.  It is amazing and so much healthier than AP flour.  The in another bowl combine your mashed bananas, the greek yogurt, vanilla, egg and canola oil.  I used the chobani kids banana honey greek yogurt because that is what I had in the fridge.  I used one of those small containers which is just shy of 1/2 a cup.  Mix the wet ingredients until they are well combined. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.  Next fold in 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.  Spoon the mixture into paper lined muffin tins and fill 3/4 full to get nice big muffins.  Bake at 350 for 23-25 minutes or until golden brown.

Ok so what makes these muffins better than average you ask?  I think the secret to these muffins really is in the greek yogurt.  Not only does it add protein and calcium to the muffins, but it makes them super moist and really taste like bananas.  There is nothing worse than a banana muffin where you can barely taste the banana.  Also, using canola oil rather than vegetable oil helps add heart healthy fat and tastes exactly the same.  See the link below for more about the health benefits of canola oil.  If you wanted to make them a little healthier you could also add 2 tbsp. of ground flaxseed. I usually do this, but totally forgot when making this recipe because I was so excited to see how the greek yogurt would work. Also, if you have never tried whole wheat pastry flour you are missing out.  It has all the health benefits of whole wheat flour, but since it is made from “soft” wheat it bakes up very light and fluffy.   Hope you enjoy this recipe and happy baking!

How do you make your muffins?  Do you have any secret tips and tricks that make your muffins out of this world?

Health Benefits of Cooking with Canola Oil

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Best Ever Healthy Banana Blueberry Muffins

In my family, we love muffins.  By that I mean that we make them 2-3 times a week and fight over the last ones.  Avery would eat nothing but muffins if left to her own devices, so it is very important that our muffins are not only tasty, but healthy.  One of the things that makes these the best ever muffins is that they are packed with delicious flavor and are full of healthy ingredients.  For starters there is no white flour in this recipe.  The result is that these taste more like muffins than cake.  Now don’t get me wrong, I like those insanely sweet cake like muffins, but they are just not healthy enough for everyday consumption.  Trust me that once you try these you will be hooked.

Here is what you need:

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour

3/4 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

2 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/3 c. canola or light tasting olive oil (see link at bottom of article)

1 egg

1/2 c. applesauce (this is exactly how much is in one of those kid size applesauce cups)

1 mashed over ripe banana

1/4 c. water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tbsp. ground flaxseed meal (optional)

2 c. blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Here’s what you do:

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and flaxseed meal.  In another bowl combine the egg, applesauce, mashed banana, water, milk, vanilla and oil.  Mix the wet ingredients until they are well combined.  Then add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine.  Once it is well mixed carefully fold in the blueberries.  Spoon mixture into 12 muffin cups. I fill the muffin cups almost all the way up because we like big muffins and use paper muffin cups to make the cleanup easier.  Bake at 400 degrees for 20-22 minutes or until they are golden brown.

Now I know this seems like a lot of ingredients, but most of them I am sure you already have in your home.  For the oil, you could substitute vegetable oil, but using a canola oil blend or light tasting olive oil really kicks up the healthiness of these muffins. The ground flaxseed meal is also optional, but adds great health benefits as well as helps keep the muffins moist.  Flaxseed meal is available at all major grocery stores. Keep it in your freezer so it will last longer. Trust me that once you try these you will be hooked.  Another great thing about these muffins is that they freeze well. You could store them in a ziploc bag in your freezer and just take out one at a time.  Happy baking!

Health Benefits of Canola and Olive Oil


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