Granola bars, pretzels, fruit roll ups, chips, goldfish…do any of those really have any nutritional value?
Granola bars may pretend to be full of high-fibre oats but they are sugar in disguise, same with fruit roll ups and all those gummy candies. Pretzels may not have any fat or sugar in them but they are still high in salt and don’t have a lot fiber. And goldfish….seriously, what are those things?! Fortunately and unfortunately for me my son has never liked any “snack” type foods. So when he started full-day school last year and it was time to start packing lunches I was in a real pickle.
I decided I would make my snacks. I started with mini homemade muffins, and a year later I am still packing 2-4 mini muffins in his lunch every day, depending on how mini I make them. This is great because I can control the amount of sugar, fibre, and other ingredients that goes into them. It is not so great because I am ALWAYS making muffins! I can’t say there haven’t been late nights or early mornings where I have been making muffins in my pajamas to avoid sending him to school snackless.
Now don’t get the wrong impression. I am not the type of mother that gives in to every one of my child’s desires. Meal times are take it or leave it, there are no substitutions. And my son would, in fact, take gummy candies for a snack every day if he could, but I will not send them. When it comes to snacks I just do not see the point in trying to get my son to want to eat junk—I'd rather make muffins!
What’s it like making mini muffins twice a month for two years? Don’t ask! To keep myself from not falling asleep into muffin batter I like to make different types of muffins, and have even started baking them in different shapes. Now instead of asking for muffins by flavour like banana, carrot or zucchini, my son asks me for muffins by shape. Most recently I bought a star shaped muffin pan at Michael’s and couldn’t wait to use it. My heart pan was a present from my mother on Valentines Day, bought at Williams Sonoma.
Here is my high fibre zucchini chocolate chip muffin recipe, or “heart muffins” as my son likes to call them. Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 350. Spray muffin pans with nonstick spray. If using heart or star shape pans spray extra well.
In an electric stand mixer (or by hand, but I recommend a stand mixer if you have one) mix flours, sugar, ground flax, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt until blended.
Add grated zucchini to flour mixture and mix until moist.
In a separate bowl mix yogurt, oil and eggs together. Add to flour/zucchini mixture.
Stir in mini chocolate chips.
For mini, heart, or star-shape muffin pans add 2 Tablespoons of batter to each muffin cup. Bake for 10-12 muffins, or until a cake test comes out clean.
For regular size muffin pans add 3 Tablespoons of batter to each muffin cup and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Make sure to re-spray muffin tin with nonstick spray after every batch.