I needed some comfort food today. It has been a really stressful few weeks and tomorrow is a big milestone in our household: first day of daycare. I do love the daycare we found because it is very much like school, even for little guys like mine. They have curriculum that includes music, reading, outdoor time, and of course basic motor skills taught by trained person rather than just mom and dad. No matter how much I like the daycare, he isn’t with me and he isn’t with Chris, so it is hard now and I think it will take some getting used to. Even with Chris home, I drive away in the morning feeling like I’m missing a limb. With Chris back to work, we are leaving precious cargo behind in our hometown. I know, I know – this is good for him and will reduce overall separation anxiety and will ensure he has solid social skills and all of that, but it is hard for the parents!
But…I am also really lucky because I was able to drop down to part time (four days a week) until he is a toddler because my new company is awesome. So, I’ll work four days, but I’ll be with him for three whole days while still being able to pay our bills. I am grateful.
So, right – I needed some comfort today and what could be better than the smell of muffins baking in the oven while my little man is sleeping sweetly? Only a cup of tea with the freshly baked muffin afterwards. I’ve been meaning to post this guest recipe for some time. Back when my mom was in the hospital, my friend Carlin did what you do when you see a friend in need–she brought food. These wonderful and sustaining muffins to be exact. They are not just regular old muffins void of nutrition and loaded with calories. These guys actually have some substance (as you can see in my pictures below) while tasting so good.
1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/4 cup ground flax seed meal or wheat germ
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
2 ripe bananas
1/3 cup reduced-fat (2 percent) milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries or cranberries
***Two substitutes to eliminate dairy: Earth Balance in place of butter and coconut or almond milk in place of real milk. The muffins in the pictures below are dairy-free.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. In a bowl, whisk together flours, flax seed meal, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars with a mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In another bowl, mash bananas with a fork (you should have 3/4 cup); stir in milk and vanilla.
With mixer on low, alternately add flour mixture and banana mixture to butter mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; mix just until combined.
Divide batter among muffin cups.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, 25 to 28 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let cool in pan 10 minutes; transfer muffins to a rack to cool 10 minutes more.
By the way, a word about flax seed meal. I plan to use it more often in my cooking and baking. It is nearly a perfect food: low carb, high fiber, and full of great things like B vitamins and 3 fatty acids (fatty acids reduce inflammation in the body), as well as antioxidants. Keep in mind that the flax seed has to be ground in order to release the nutrients.
One quick update to this post about our recent kitty drama, Winston is healing and doing well. He thankfully does not have cancer.
Have a great week everyone. I have to get back to labeling little baby items for the big day tomorrow.