Dish Gal's guide to getting the most out of life, one meal at a time...

Project Muffin 2009

A few weekends ago, I embarked upon what I called "Project Muffin:" I spent one Sunday making muffins with my new muffin pan. The impetus? To make enough muffins that would be a healthy grab-and-go option for breakfast (and keep me from ordering those 500 calorie monstrosities at Dunkin).

As you may have realized from reading this blog, I'm not a huge baker, so this was a very different undertaking for me. All the measuring, the baking soda, the flours-- oy vey! Not to mention the fact that I realized halfway through I didn't even own regular sugar! But I managed to sub in brown sugar quite nicely.

My first muffin I attempted was the espresso banana walnut muffin recipe from Heidi Swanson's book, Super Natural Cooking:
My sister in law gave me this cookbook for my birthday, and I had been dying to try out a recipe from it. The photos are beautiful, and her emphasis on whole, natural ingredients is very thorough and informative.

Here's a link to the recipe. It was straightforward and easy to follow, but boy did I make a mess of my tiny kitchen! I guess baking involves a lot more counter space (that I don't have) than cooking:

Yikes! =)

Here are the muffins before going into the oven:

And the muffins after!

YUM! The walnuts definitely were the best part of these, plus I loved the earthiness from the coffee flavor. One morning I warmed it up and served it with a spoonful of peanut butter, which sounds weird but was awesome.

Next, I cleaned up my area and started on the next muffin recipe: Blueberry banana muffins, a recipe I found from Self magazine. So my first muffin was healthy in a Whole Foods, organic way, and the second one was healthy in more of a low-fat, low-calorie way.

I must've been running out of steam from all the baking, because I have fewer pictures of the process of making this second muffin, but here's the final product:

These were good warm, but didn't hold my attention over the course of the next week like the espresso ones did. Plus, they didn't hold up well, either. In fact, I left my apartment for the next weekend and came back expecting a stale and hardened muffin, only to find one that was completely MUSH. EW.

In conclusion, at first after the long afternoon of schlepping home pounds of flour from Whole Foods (I can't wait for the days when I grocery shop with a car, sigh...), and then making a mess of my apartment and cleaning it all up (twice), and sitting in a hot apartment, I swore to myself that this was not worth it. However, now that I've run out of the muffins, I'm starting to think about resurrecting this project this weekend...

I mean, I already have most of the ingredients! Might as well, right!? ;)


sudu said...

I know what you mean by lugging those heavy bags of sugar and flour from Whole Foods (even when I lived a few blocks away!).....seriously though, I now have bicep that would make my gym teacher proud!!
The espresso ones look really good!
happy baking!!

Karen said...

Try freezing the leftover muffins, to keep them fresh. Most muffins get gummy if you put them in the fridge.

You can just put them all into a zip-top freezer bag if you think you'll eat them up quickly (within a week). For longer storage, it helps to wrap the muffins individually in foil before you put them in the freezer bag. After you've made several batches you'll have a vertiable muffin smorgasbord at the ready.

A frozen muffin, placed in your bag when you leave for work, will be defrosted in time for a midmorning coffee break. I'm just sayin'.

Dish This! said...

Karen- thanks so much for the advice!! As I type this, I'm biting into one of the muffins I just defrosted from my freezer. But I love the foil idea-- this one def had some freezer burn. Thanks again!! I need all the baking help I can get =)

Dish This! said...

and thanks Sudu!! Yeah, I think my arms are so much stronger from the much as I complain about it ;)

Vanessa said...

Hi buddy, I read your recipe , the food is looking very delicious. I will try to make it for my husband... hope that he will be happy... Thanks for sharing this blog.