It is difficult to get kids to eat a good breakfast. For me, it is a constant challenge. Most days, I am lucky if I can get a few bites into my son before running out the door.
So I am now into a baking phase, trying to come up with healthy ways of having warm muffins, scones or home baked energy bars for breakfast. I used to think that I did not have time to bake. It thought it required enormous courage and effort to get things together – the baking soda, the baking powder, the measuring spoons, the measuring cups, the butter, milk and eggs that needed to be at room temperature. Who has the time?
For me, baking was always so different to cooking. For baking, there is a need for precision. You have to measure. You have to respect the rules. Follow the recipes. All of the things I don’t like to do in cooking. Most of the time, I wing it, making up recipes as I go, varying dishes each time according to the ingredients of the season. But now, baking gives me great comfort and quiet pleasure. With hectic days that come to a slow close after bed time routines, it is nice to be able to turn to a recipe, knowing that if I patiently follow instruction like a good student despite a constant urge to change things up, the house will soon be filled with a sweet scent of butter, something will be produced in the oven, and more often than not, that something will be warm, fluffy and delicious.
I now try to prepare the batter the evening before after dinner and bake in the morning for fresh baked goods. The kind of things I am baking now – like muffins and buns – usually take 15-20 minutes to bake, so I put it in the oven while I prepare and it is done by the time I get out of shower and am get ready to wake up the house. When it all works out – the baking, making the lunchbox, getting breakfast on the table with everyone dressed decently with combed hair all around – there is nothing better in the world.
Although I love the classics – berry muffins, butter scones, raisin bread – I also like to have new flavors and try to pack in as much vitamins and nutrients as I can in those limited bites my son takes in the morning. So after a while, I do have to derail a bit from the classic recipe following. These muffins came out of my naturally flawed nature of not following instructions and always wanting to do things a bit differently – I used kiwi jam as a base for a basic orange muffin recipe I often make with orange zest – and it is wonderful. It has a tangy sweet flavor, and kiwi is a super-fruit that is packed with DHA Omega 3, Vitamins C and D, and with some flaxseeds with additional DHA Omega 3, yogurt and milk for calcium and whole wheat flour for complex carbohydrates, it is a great breakfast, moist and light at the same time. My son likes to eat it as is, but I often dip it in a mixture of yogurt and jam with my coffee.
Kiwi Yogurt Muffins with Flaxseeds
1/4 cup kiwi jam
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp water
5 tablespoons butter
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups plain yogurt
3/4 cups milk
Optional Toppings : 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon jam, a tablespoon of brown sugar, dried kiwis
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a pot, combine jam and water and bring to simmer. Add butter and melt. Let cool and set aside.
3. In a bowl, combine flour, powder, flaxseeds, soda and salt.
4. In another bowl, add eggs, yogurt, milk and the jam mixture.
5. Gradually combine the flour mixture to the egg mixture, just enough to combine. Don’t overmix as it will get too doughy.
6. Pour into muffin molds and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve with yogurt and jam.