Monday, January 13, 2014

Peanut Butter & Banana Muffins (w/ Cauliflower!)


One of my favorite things to do with Ellie is to bake.  She really makes a good little assistant if I may say so (and looks adorable in her Pottery Barn Kids apron her Auntie Linds got her for her birthday). 

And it's such a fun way for me to give her little responsibilities and teach her things like following directions in a recipe, etc.  She feels quite grown-up doing it. :)

I also love that it involves her in making her food--she tastes things along the way and makes a connection with it ("I made this!"), so there's a much better chance of her trying it and even liking it.

Because veggies have been the hardest thing for me to get her to eat, I have absolutely loved the book, Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld.  This came out in 2007, and since then she's had a couple more cookbooks out.  You can check out her site, Do It Delicious, here--it has plenty of recipes, and some sneak peeks of her cook books, too. 

My first cauliflower puree food I tried was the scrambled eggs (which I loved!), and I think it was then that my sis-in-law, Molly, suggested we try the Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins.  So now I've dubbed these Molly Muffins. :)

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Molly Muffins 
{Peanut Butter and Banana Muffins | Jessica Seinfeld | Deceptively Delicious}

Yield: 12 muffins (double recipe to make 2 dozen)

Ingredients:
1 cup firmly packed light or dark brown sugar, divided
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup carrot or cauliflower puree
1/2 cup banana puree
1 large egg white
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Supplies:
Muffin tin 
Paper baking cups (or use nonstick cooking spray)
Large mixing bowl
Wooden spoon
Pot and collapsible steamer for steaming (you can also use a rice steamer or one of those pasta pots that has a drainer basket)
Food processor or blender
Measuring cups and spoons
Ziploc bag (we used the quart size)

 For your cauliflower puree, cut the florets off and toss the core.  Steam for 8-10 min.

Then, in a food processor or a blender, puree the florets for a couple minutes with a teaspoon or two of water.  You should have a nice, smooth consistency.  

For your banana puree, smash one large or two small bananas. (We worked on this while the cauliflower was steaming.)

Then just puree till smooth!

You'll be using 1/2 cup of the cauliflower puree and 1/2 cup of banana puree.  (Ellie and I have a system: "Mommy measures, and Ellie pours.") :)

We had a bit extra of the banana puree, so Ellie enjoyed a yummy snack while I cleaned up the food processor and prepped the rest of the ingredients.


Now, in your large mixing bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix together the purees with 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter, one egg white, and 1/2 cup of brown sugar. ( Oops, I only had 1/4 c. of brown sugar in this picture--I added another 1/4 c. right after.)

Now, stir till combined.  It helps to tell my little assistant to keep the spoon touching the bottom of the bowl and to go slowly. 

Now comes a really fun part!  To mix your dry ingredients together, you can put them in a Ziploc bag for your little one to shake up!

You'll need 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 1 teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.

 Ellie was pretty mesmerized. :)  After shaking a bit I also showed her how she can turn the bag upside down and continue turning the bag as a way of mixing it up.

Now combine the dry ingredients with your peanut butter mixture and stir just until it's combined (it's okay that it's a bit lumpy--don't overmix).  

(I absolutely love her Pottery Barn Kids apron--it was a gift from her Auntie Linds.) :)

Lastly, add the remaining 1/2 cup of brown sugar and just give it two quick stirs.

 Now it's time to fill the muffin tin!  I have a stash of muffin liners so I let Ellie pick out the colors she wanted to use.  (Great time to practice little one's colors and talk about circles!)  Also--she loves playing with muffin tins and liners and stacking the liners, etc., so this is also a fun activity I'll use whenever I need to keep her occupied in the kitchen.

Bake at 350 for 15 to 20 minutes (toothpick inserted into center should come out clean.)  I think I ended up baking mine a little longer.

Shh, don't tell her there's cauliflower inside!

  Pretty sure she liked it. :)

Side note--for my husband and me we felt like the first bite took a little getting used to, and then we really liked them.  Possibly because of the whole wheat flour?  Not sure... But you definitely don't taste the veggie. :)  And they really are quite addicting!

Have you tried hiding purees in food?  What are your tricks for getting your kiddos to eat healthily?

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