Build a Better Muffin!

I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day! Being a mom is my most important job.  "Miff" and "Moe" make my world turn and continually remind me what's important. They also have made me grow. A lot. Because let's face it, the patience required to negotiate with Moe five hundred times per day is about six hundred times more patience than I had in my twenties...And I wouldn't want it any other way. The highlights of my Mother's Day were these: 

Photo credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo credit: Petite Nutrition

And my first warm beach run of the season...

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

And most of all, these treasures...

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Over the winter, I had the opportunity to work with some inspiring moms. I was asked to be a Consulting Dietitian/Nutritionist on an American Academy of Pediatrics grant project that two local pediatric residents developed, Healthy Habits for Healthy Hartford Children. We worked with a group of moms to help them feed their preschoolers better. In this work as well as in my day job, I always hear the breakfast woes. I have reviewed hundreds of food records (where families record what a child eats for several days so I can understand what types of food the child prefers, how much they eat, when they eat, and assess their nutrient status). I am continually underwhelmed by breakfast - kids barely eat the meal. Pop tarts, frosted flakes and frozen waffles anyone? Trust me, I'm not judging because I know this struggle. I'm not a breakfast lover (or a morning person) and neither are my kids. Yet it is so important, because I repeatedly see this:

Small non-nutritive breakfast --> rushed school lunch --> 3pm utter starvation --> over- indulged packaged snacks/ "junky food" --> not so hungry for healthy dinner you worked to prepare

Sound familiar?


I can't solve all of this in one blog post, but a fast breakfast that is more nutritious, can be pre-prepared and kid approved is what prevents the downward spiral shown above. For our Healthy Hartford moms, my friend/ fellow consulting Dietitian, Kait, and I spent a day in my "test kitchen", and Petite Nutrition Muffins were born. They have no butter, virtually no saturated fat, and are an great source of fiber plus have healthy unsaturated fat, Omega 3's and are lower in sugar than most muffins. Fill them with fruit, and you'll boost the vitamins as well. A bunch of the moms we worked with listed these muffins as one of their favorite parts of the program! I hope you will try them, and if you do, please share a picture on our facebook page, and LIKE us while you are there! or tag us on instagram: @petitenutrition

Top: Mango muffins, Center: almond butter and mini chocolate chip/coconut muffins, Bottom: strawberry rhubarb muffins

Top: Mango muffins, Center: almond butter and mini chocolate chip/coconut muffins, Bottom: strawberry rhubarb muffins

Petite Nutrition Muffins

Makes 75 - 85 mini muffins

1/2 cup of bran cereal

1/2 cup coarsely ground flax seeds

¼ cup chia seeds

1 cup of boiling water

 ½ cup of Organic Canola Oil (or other vegetable oil)

1 ¼ cup of brown sugar

¼ cup of honey

2 eggs

2 cups of low fat buttermilk

2 ½ cups of white whole wheat flour

2 ½ tsp of baking soda

1 tsp of salt

2 cups of granola (any kind) 

Add ins - you choose (1 1/2 -3 cups for entire recipe):  Coconut, Mango, Chopped apples, Bananas, Craisins, Pomegranates, Raisins, Shredded Carrots, Shredded Zucchini, Walnuts, Almonds, Mini Chocolate Chips, Raspberries, Strawberries, Pumpkin Puree, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Sunflower Butter…Be creative!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees and spray mini muffin tins well with cooking spray.  In a small bowl mix bran cereal with boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes.  In the meantime, whisk together oil, brown sugar, honey, eggs and buttermilk.  Set aside.  Sift together flour, baking soda and salt and then stir in granola; then combine chia seeds, and flax seeds.  Slowly add your flour mixture to the bowl with the oil, sugar, milk, and eggs and whisk until just combined.  Finally add bran cereal to your mixture and stir until mixed through.  Finally, mix your add-ins to make your muffins your own!* Bake for 10-15 minutes until tops are golden.   Note: Muffin Mix can be stored in air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

* I usually divide the batter into three batches to make flavor varieties, and add 1/2 - 1 cup add-ins per batch. Feel free to save some batches if you don't want to cook all muffins at once.  Pictured above is mango, mini chocolate chip/coconut, almond butter, and strawberry rhubarb. The firmer add-ins make sturdier muffins, but all are delicious! For nut butters, put batter in 1/2 muffin well, then 1/2 teaspoon of nut butter, then cover with batter on top.

Nutrition label for Petite Nutrition Muffins (base without add-ins); (serving size is 1 mini muffin):

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition

Photo Credit: Petite Nutrition