Yes, my third post on this blog is about muffins. Seems random, for a homeschool blog, no? Well, first of all, I’m pretty sure not everyone that is visiting (which is way more than I ever would have guessed!!) is a homeschooler- probably mostly moms who are busy. So, I figure a few recipes here and there only add to the sharing. 🙂
A few months ago, our days were incredibly stressed. Molly was melting down multiple times a day, and not just little ones. Door slamming, screaming, stomping teenager-sized meltdowns. You may remember that a main reason we started homeschooling was because of some “issues” we noticed with Molly. In December, before Christmas, most days were ending with both of us stressed out and worried about how we would finish this year, let alone another. My heart was torn because our relationship was so clearly strained over this thing that Adam *and I* now both believed in so fully. But, if it meant Molly thinking I thought she wasn’t good none of it was worth it.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am an information hoarder. Which lends itself nicely to being a book hoarder. So, one night after many tears from both Molly and I, Adam sent me off to the book store to lick my wounds. He knows me so well. Unfortunately for our bank account, this is what happened:
If you follow me on GoodReads you can follow up on how I liked these books (though I’m not quite through them all). I will say that I *highly* recommend Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids. Highly. Its not rocket science, but its basically our parenting philosophy in writing, and I really needed to get back to my roots. Its a great book.
I had heard in passing about kids being allergic to Red Dye 40. We don’t tend to let our kids have tons of processed food, but we aren’t nutritional saints, either. And I honestly had no idea how many foods red dye was in. But the symptoms of being allergic, or sensitive, to it were all there. So, we decided to try ditching it (which isn’t always easy, especially at Valentine’s Day!). While researching that, we also found several articles stating that protien in the morning was helpful in de-railing some other behaviors we were struggling with. I will be totally transparent and say that my kids usually ate cereal for breakfast every.single.morning. I am not a morning person and most days I feel like they are lucky to get cereal before I’ve had some time to wake up myself. But I was willing to try anything to see if we could improve things during our school day. I started with making eggs, whole wheat toast and some fruit. They both love eggs but they aren’t their favorite so we adjusted as the weeks went on. At this point they are both really happy with a healthy muffin and a vanilla greek yogurt w/honey for their protein. Some days they get a cheese stick. Some days they get peanut butter toast. But since we’ve been doing this (and watching out for red dye) Molly’s behavior has improved so much. So, so much. She isn’t begging for a snack an hour after breakfast and she is much better able to tackle challenges in school vs. slamming doors and screaming. I’ll take that, anyday.
Looooooong way around to why I bake muffins each week and why I feel they can fill an important role in having good school days (at school or otherwise). 🙂 Its also far more budget friendly to bake a batch of muffins than it is to buy a $4.00 box of
sugar cereal and only takes about 30 minutes. Make them on Sunday afternoon and freeze them. Microwave them or pull them out the night before and they taste like fresh baked all week long. These look good, too!
Pumpkin Oatmeal Muffins
(adapted from Magnolia Bakery Cookbook– which is my favorite baking cookbook ever and if you love cookbooks and don’t have it put it on your wish list.)
2 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking)
1.5 cups milk (great chance to use up left over butter milk, whole milk, cream or whatever. Or use skim (or whatever you drink). That is what I use 99% of the time.) Sub almond milk if you are vegan/DF)
1 cup all purpose flour
.5 cup white whole wheat flour
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t pumpkin pie spice (just use more cinnamon if you don’t have this on hand)
1 c pumpkin
1/2 c honey
1 t vanilla extract
You can add chocolate chips, walnuts, raisins, craisins etc. We eat ours plain to avoid adding sugar, but in theory you could add stuff in!
Preheat oven to 400*
Grease well a 12-cup muffin tin (or use wrappers or silicone baking cups)
In a medium bowl mix oats and milk and let sit for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine dry ingredients, making a well in the center. Stir in the liquid ingredients and the oatmeal mixture until just combined, being careful not to over mix. Batter may be lumpy.
Fill muffin cups about 3/4 full. Bake for 16-18 min (I find 15 to be enough to be sure they aren’t over baked) until a tooth pick (or whatever you have handy… I usually grab a knife) inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs. Do not over bake.
I find this recipe makes 12 muffins plus three muffin tops (which only need 5-7 min to bake). My sweet friend Kristine bought me one of these a few years ago and the girls and I just love them. 🙂