Tuesday, March 6

Muffin Tops You'll Love :)

"Surprise! They're good for you!" 
I remember hearing that tag line in a cereal commercial as a child and wondering, "It tastes good AND it's good for me? No way."  It wasn't relevant to me then, but now that I have kids of my own, I find myself pondering that same question again, What can I feed my kids that's actually healthy and tastes good? This winter, I've intentionally let the candy jar and the snack cabinet run low, determined to buy fewer ready-made snacks in favor of healthier alternatives (some great kid snack ideas here!)
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not against occasional treats at all! I love to bake and come up with all kinds of goodies. But for the sake of our budget, and our waistlines, my little helpers and I have been experimenting in the kitchen a little by modifying some recipes we already have. Here is what we've been noshing on for snacks this past week, my favorite cranberry muffins with a healthier twist. Are you ready??

Cranberry Oat Bran Muffins

½ cup applesauce (replaces oil) 
1 tsp. vanilla     
2 eggs
¼ cup milk    
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup oats                      
½ cup bran 
1 tsp. baking soda                                                        
½ tsp.  salt

1 cup chopped cranberries                            
3/4 cup sugar or sugar alternative  
½ cup chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°.  First, add sugar to cranberries and set aside. Combine applesauce, vanilla, eggs and milk. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl, then stir all ingredients together until well-combined. (It's easier to stir if cranberries are added last.) Fill  greased or paper-lined muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake for 12-15 minutes or until slightly golden on top. Tops should spring back when touched. Makes approximately 15 muffins. Enjoy!

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