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The $200 mission....
One mom. One Mission. One dinner plate at a time.

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Breakfast adventures

I'm working on rekindling some of those old home-ec roots. Breakfast is one of those meals that tends to be all-or-nothing...either we do a big breakfast (pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc) or hardly anything at all. That strategy has proved neither healthy nor economical - when we DO eat, we tend to go for fattier foods or pricier cereals.

Hubby's cholesterol came back a little high last time he was tested, and since he's diabetic we want to make sure that doesn't become a bigger issue. Sadly for him, that meant less eggs for breakfast and snacks, and more of the dreaded "F" word.....Fiber.

We added oatmeal to the roster and that has fared pretty well - at Price Rite the 31-serving canister costs $1.69 - add a cup of milk and that works out to about $0.23 per serving....even with added fruit that's a hearty breakfast for under $0.50! But I wanted a little variety and an option that traveled a little better.

Muffins seemed to be the way to go - they travel well, freeze well, and I can work the add-ins around whatever is on sale or already handy. And a single homemade jumbo muffin will average between $0.35 and $0.45 per muffin (when an entire recipe makes 6 large muffins - if you make 12 smaller muffins, have two!) Now, before you scoff at the idea, this is NOT a time consuming endeavor. It took me all of 15 minutes to mix up the ingredients, and 25 minutes in the oven. I made breakfast for the next 6 mornings before my son had completely fallen asleep for his nap.

I have tried two batches so far, one blueberry and one banana - I am using half white and half wheat flour, that seems to make them a bit more substantial. I have found some recipes that will call for leftover oatmeal in place of some of the flour, and I can use Splenda instead of sugar so that hubby can partake as well. I am still searching for a good universal mix recipe, I have found a few online but haven't tested them out yet. The recipe below is one I found on HillbillyHousewife.com for a basic freezer muffin that was pretty good, though I found it came out more bread-like than cake-like. I used the whole egg instead of just the whites, and I substituted applesauce for the oil to reduce fat. After combining the wet and dry ingredients I added my filling, so far I've tried 1 pint frozen blueberries, and 1 1/2 mashed large bananas. I'll keep you posted on my experiments as I search out the perfect muffin!!!

Basic Freezer Muffin

2 C all purpose flour
1/3 C sugar
1 T baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 C canola oil
2 egg whites
1 C skim milk (from milk powder is fine)

Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.Blend all the ingredients together well.
In a separate bowl blend the oil, egg whites and milk until blended completely together.
Pour into the dry mixture.Mix just until everything is moistened.Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.Prepare a muffin tin with a non stick cooking spray.
Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full of batter.Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a couple of muffins comes out clean.

**A note on freezing - These freeze REALLY easily, if you have a FoodSaver or other vacuum device use that method, but I just use a regular Ziploc Quart sized freezer bag. Put the muffin in, seal the bag ALMOST all the way, then fold the bag around the muffin and squeeze out the excess air. This makes a pretty good vacuum seal as well!

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1 comment:

Rachel said...

Here's my basic recipe:


I think the more cake-like muffins are sweeter, less nutritious. This one comes out fairly dense, I guess I would compare it more to a bran muffin/bread than to say, a poppy seed muffin from Costco.