Muffins for the masses

Back when I used to eat gluten, these glorious goodies could be seen making the trip to my mouth on a regular basis. My good friend, Christine, brought me a batch not long after we got home from the hospital with our first burrito. They have been a staple in our house ever since.

They smell so good coming out of the oven, I am often tempted to throw caution to the wind and inhale one on the spot. Then I remember how nice it is to not look five months pregnant (since I'm not) and I walk away. 

The original recipe had things like white sugar, white flour and canola oil. True to form, Chris gave them a nutritional makeover with no resulting impact on their popularity. Not only are they healthy, they are dead easy to make—so much so that I’ve been able to get over myself and let the kids help.

In keeping with that, they are also forgiving (the muffins, not the kids). Today, for example, we added an extra egg because heaven forbid one child gets to crack and egg and the other does not. Then I accidentally governed the addition of an extra half-cup of flour. No tantrums were thrown upon consumption so I’m assuming everything worked out fine.

Branana Chocolate Chip Muffins 1 cup mashed ripe banana (about three medium) 1 egg 1/2 cup apple sauce 1/2 cup wheat bran 1 tsp vanilla 1 tsp baking powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp salt 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 cup chocolate chips

We just add all the ingredients into one bowl—in this order—then bake at 350˚F until a pokey thing comes out clean. I think it’s around 15 minutes. I usually forget to set a timer then remember I’m baking muffins right around the time they’re done. This is my version of living on the edge.

These can easily be made gluten-free by omitting the bran (or replacing it with a gluten-free oat bran) and substituting an all-purpose gluten-free flour. If you go ahead without the bran, add an extra quarter-cup of flour. I find gluten-free flours need extra moisture so you may need to add an extra egg (perfect if you are baking with two kids) or more apple sauce.

I will say, they don't keep as nicely when they lack gluten. This is rarely a problem since having muffins around that I can eat usually results in me eating most of the muffins. Hence why I usually make them with gluten. It's my willpower's safety net.

Lastly, if you don’t have a silicone muffin tin, go get one post haste. They are glorious. Since getting ours, we no longer leave the muffin tin soaking in the sink waiting to see which one of us will stop pretending it doesn’t exist.