Friday, November 19, 2010

Cranberry Vanilla Muffins



I've recently begun browsing through a website called onceamonthmom.com. I wouldn't ever do what she does exactly which is this: she spends 10-12 hours cooking and freezing everything she cooks, one day a month, eats out for lunch and dinner that day and sends her kids to a babysitter, then doesn't really cook the rest of the month but will warm up what's in the freezer. I do like to freeze foods and have them on hand for later, but this is a bit extreme.

The thing I really like about this website is that it has all sorts of recipes you can freeze and a menu that is seasonal, meaning the ingredients in the recipes for that month are things in season and generally, on sale. So instead of taking an entire day to cook and freeze, I try out some of these recipes occasionally, we'll eat a normal serving for dinner or breakfast and then I'll freeze the rest. If it's something my family loves, the next time I make it I'll probably double the recipe and freeze more.

Here is a recipe I tried this past week, though I made quite a few modifications. I'm going to post my modified recipe here because I really liked it and it's healthier for you. If you want the original recipe you can go look it up on her website. Also, as an FYI, just know that you can almost always substitute agave for sugar in baking. The measurement equivalents are 3/4 c agave to 1 cup sugar.

Scott and I really like these. The kids didn't care much for them after the first time they tasted them, mostly they didn't love the pieces of cranberry inside the muffin. But since that first day, they've had them several times and they like them much more now. A familiar saying within our home is, 'if you don't like it, give it at least 10 more tries(and on different days).' And usually, they end up liking the food. This muffin only took 2 or 3 taste tests before they liked it, so that's good.

With these muffins you can either thaw them in the microwave for 30 seconds, or you can put a few in a ziploc bag and in an hour or so they'd be ready to eat and still so yummy!

Cranberry Vanilla Muffins
1 and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 and 1/8c agave
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/3 c nonfat Greek yogurt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 and 1/2 c all purpose flour
1 and 1/2 c whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c milk
2 1/2 c fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 12-14 muffin cups with paper liners.
Mix vanilla and agave together in large bowl. Add the butter and Greek yogurt until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together in a medium bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, mixing until smooth and fluffy. Fold in the cranberries.
Divide the batter evenly among the muffin cups, filling each about 1/2 to 3/4 full. Bake until the muffins are light golden brown, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
Makes 12-14 muffins

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