Secret Heart Muffins

A delicious and sweet Valentine's Treat

At the moment my daughter is mad at me because her first  "real" valentine's day plans seem to be off the rails.  Her heart is broken because her boyfriend needs to change the plans which messes with her schedule.  Of course, we made plans around her plans and ours can't be changed to help her out with a drive.  Lesson #1, Honey, Love stinks.

If I can teach her anything in the dealing with men game, it is to be flexible but be clear. Don't feel guilty about saying "um, that doesn't work for me but this does".  There is always a third solution that can become apparent when you work together.  I spent too many years saying "my way or the highway" and then too many  more  saying "whatever works for you, I'll accomodate". Neither is satisfactory.

Now I have learned that "they" really don't mean to hurt us. "They" often have no idea what we want or need because we didn't tell them and they come to the game clueless of the rules.  Give up the hurt and let go of the anger. Get to the solution that works for both of you and get on with it. 

When all else fails...bake.

I bake to focus my mind on something concrete, something sweet and able to give me the buffer time that I need to let my mind and heart work things out. It is my zen place.

This time, I will make some muffins that will be filled with an arsenal of strawberry jam.  The heart at the centre of our valentines day muffins that symbolizes love will be red and warm and sweet. I will bake these today for her so we can sit after school, nibble and brainstorm solutions. I will make extra so that she can take some to him to warm his heart and share her sweetness.

Now, back to MY Valentine's Day... 

Strawberry Heart Filled Apple Muffins
The high fruit content of this batter reacts with the baking soda to create light muffins even though they use whole wheat flour!

Ingredients 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons (10 mL) baking powder
2 teaspoons (10 mL) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) allspice
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) nutmeg
2 teaspoons (10 mL) cinnamon
1 large pear or apple
1 can unsweetened apple juice concentrate
1 tablespoon (15ml) vanilla
3/4 cup (250 mL) unsweetened applesauce
3 eggs
12 tsp strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Butter muffin tins or use paper liners. Combine all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix well. Grate pear or apple into bowl and toss to coat.
Combine thawed apple concentrate, applesauce and eggs.

Pour into the dry ingredients and fold with a spatula to mix well.

Fill tins half full, use two spoons to fill with jam.  Top up muffins until full and heaped; bake for 18-24 minutes.

Servings: 12
Preparation time: 15 minutes


Theresa Albert, a yummymummyclub alum is a foodie who happens to be a nutritionist and not the other way around. She loves to explore food and the culture of food and all of the human love/hate rituals that surround it. Her new book Ace Your Health: 52 Ways to Stack Your Deck (McClelland & Stewart) is a fun, practical guide to making tasty, changes for improved health using morsels of information and delicious, healthy recipes. Her television show "Just One Bite" aired on the Food Network for over two years in a daily time slot and still appears on BBC kids, it introduced her energetic style to millions. She is also the author of Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day.

Definitely not a finger wagger, as a registered nutritionist, Theresa Albert, DHN, RNCP, has a passion for simple, honest solutions to today's lifestyle choices. In addition to her private practice at the Toronto Clinic, she has provided content and comment for every major Canadian broadcaster and is forever pushing the bologna out of lunchboxes and out of the news media. As an avid social media user, blogger/writer and as a parent, she understands the struggles of balancing priorities in real life. In print newspapers and magazines, you will often see her quoted when an issue needs common sense clarification. 

She prepares a free weekly newsletter to make you laugh, eat well and be inspired. It can be found at