|Copyright Janet Hudson 2009 - Creative Commons|
They take no time to make. They're easy for little hands to help with as there's none of that hard work creaming butter and sugar. They freeze well so are all yummy after a quick blitz in the microwave.
And most importantly - in our house at least - they are an amazing way to get fruit into a child who just can't stand it whole.
There's zillions of different recipes out there but my fave, easy, no-brainer comes from the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall .
You basically :
- Mix together in a large bowl 125g (half a cup) plain flour / 125g (half a cup) spelt flour with 3 tsp baking powder, 75g (third of a cup) caster sugar and any drice spices e.g. cinnamon
- Lightly beat together 1 egg, 125ml (4.3 fl oz) plain yoghurt, 125ml (4.3 fl oz) milk, 75 (third of a cup) of melted butter
- Mash, finely chop, grate or zest 200g (4 fifths of a cup) of fruit as appropriate
- Add fruit to the liquid and fold the liquid roughly into the dry mixture
- Add a spoonful of mixture to each muffin cup
- Cook at between 170 and 190c (depending on your oven) for 25-30 minutes
If your child really can't stand the texture of fruit - mine can't - I recommend blending the mashed/chopped fruit in with the liquid to remove as many "bits" as possible. If you're using berries with lots of seeds or pesky skin that won't blend, put the blended liquid through a sieve before adding to the dry ingredients.
You don't have to use spelt flour, but I do think it gives them a great texture and as it has a really low GI it will help to keep children going through even the most energetic adventures. If your child is struggling at all with constipation, you could also sneek in a little bran.
You could obviously use just about any fruit combination that you like - or that you've got which would otherwise go uneaten - but they are a great way for fruit fussy children to enjoy seasonal gems. My daughter loves picking wild blackberries with the rest of the family but doesn't even like to eat them in crumbles or pies - the muffins ensure she gets to devour her share too!
I've included below a list of 100 different combinations of fruit for which I've found recipes. We're really looking forward to trying out some new ones. I love the look of the gooseberry, rhubarb and plum combinations and having discovered over Christmas some wild crab apple and elderberry trees whose fruit is going unpicked am massively over excited about baking these next autumn.
If you've got your own fave muffin recipes do add them to the link-up at the bottom of the post
Anyway, here goes with the list ...
- Apple - with carrot; cranberry; pumpkin; banana and cinnamon; oatmeal
- Apricot - with peanut butter; blueberry, raisin and cranberry
- Banana - with carrot; peanbut butter; prune; blueberry; oatmeal; raisin; cinnamon; peach
- Blackberry - with apple; lemon and thyme
- Bluberry - with coconut; lemon; lime; orange; coconut and honey; oatmeal; cream cheese; ground flax seed
- Crab apple with cinnamon; apple and raisin
- Cranberry - with orange; pumpkin; leftover cranberry sauce
- Date with orange
- Damson - with almond and cinnamon
- Elderberry - with apple
- Gooseberry with ginger
- Grapefruit and poppy seed
- Kiwi fruit and banana
- Lemon - with blackberry; coconut; cranberry; ginger; poppy seed
- Lime - with coconut; lemon
- Mango - with coconut; coconut and oat
- Mixed berries
- Orange - with sultana; apple
- Passion fruit
- Papaya - with coconut; banana
- Peach - with almond; bran; brown sugar
- Pear - with dried cherry; dried figs; ginger; hazelnut; honey; polenta; walnut; cinnamon
- Persimmon and cinnamon
- Pineapple - with bran; carrot; coconut; orange
- Plum - with ginger; poppy seed
- Raspberry - with lemon; orange; poppy seed; passion fruit; apple
- Red currant
- Rhubarb - with cinnamon and brown sugar; apple
- Strawberry - with banana; lemon; rhubarb; mango; orange