Secular Hallelujah Muffins!
Praise Ganesha, remover of obstacles, the child ate something healthy for breakfast and liked it. Her anxious father has grown increasingly irritable over her refusal to eat eggs, fruit, or bacon in the morning. He’s refuses to share my belief that the cold cereal she prefers is not that un-healthy. It comes in a recycled cardboard box and
I’ve never been too big on muffins. Granted, I rocked me some Jiffy mix as an undergrad, and the title of a muffin-centric cookbook my mother sent me junior year (“Wild About Muffins”) became an in-house cult joke, but from where I sit there are hundreds, nay, thousands of ingestable substances more deserving of obsession. Loving muffins is kind of insipid, no?
Well, too bad. These fuckers saved my ass. I loaded them up with apples, oats, zucchini, and all manner of horse chow and still she ate them. I offered to name them in her honor, but she seemed underwhelmed, so I decided instead to honor the Sunday morning miracle that took place here today.
Secular Hallelujah Muffins!
Type the words “healthy muffin recipe” into a search engine and wind up on a lot of Christian homeschooling sites. Oh wait, I already took care of this for you, so go ahead and skip this step. If only I’d dropped some cyber crumbs along the path, maybe I could find my way back to show those God-fearing muffin lovers what became of their recipes in my filthy, heathen kitchen. Carrots became zucchini, white became brown, baking soda misread as powder, nuts and raisins cast out of the temple entirely … Mercy me, it takes all kinds, don’t it? Amen to that!
Preheat the oven to 350º
Get yourself a big, mother-trucking bowl and prepare it to receive:
1 cup of white flour
2/3 cup of whole wheat flour
2/3 cup of oats
1 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
and 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
Beat 3 eggs in a different bowl. My eggs were exceedingly medium-sized, a designation I failed to notice on my mad dash through an unfamiliar grocery the other day, though this would explain why they were nearly two dollars cheaper than the others of their kind, a fact I most assuredly noticed.
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 teaspoon of vanilla
and a single serving container of that health food store applesauce that neither of the children liked and even a visiting infant refused to eat. I’d been hoarding the survivors to donate the next time the kids’ school holds a food drive to benefit the needy, but after several seasons in various locations around my kitchen have left them looking a little the worse for wear. Even if I were starving, I’m not sure how psyched I’d be to receive a gummy, soy-sauce-stained, individually-apportioned cup of not-particularly-good-tasting apple sauce. Seems like it might be kind of demoralizing, the equivalent of scrabbling for the handful of coins some wealthy benefactor had flung to the cobblestones from the safety of her carriage. (On the other hand, I know plenty of vegan dumpster divers who would consider my rejected applesauce a real score!) If you are so wretched as to live in a household where applesauce tastes good and comes in family-sized jars, scoop out a half cup or so and use that.
Peel & seed a medium sized apple and grate it.
Grate a medium-sized zucchini too. (In deference to regional variations with regard to perceptions of zucchini endowment, I’ll say that it looked to yield about 2 cups.)
Crack open that can of pineapple that’s been hanging around the premises for more than a year. (Trust me, the poor will be relieved). Scoop out 8 ounces worth – in my case, that meant half a can – and chop it into shards if it’s not crushed already.
Figure out some means of obtaining 1/2 cup of flaked coconut. Surprise, surprise, the limitations of my pantry meant I had to take a non-traditional route to securing this ingredient, but unless you’re familiar with the various oddly-shaped dehydrated foodstuffs on offer in an obscure corner of the Hong Kong Supermarket, it really doesn’t bear going into.
Mix the zucchini, apple, pineapple and coconut into the wet ingredients.
Now mix the wet ingredients into dry ingredients but don’t go apeshit with it, okay? Wild About Muffins! was very clear on this. You over-stir the batter, you wind up with gut bombs the consistency of hockey pucks. Perhaps a better title would have been Necessarily Restrained About Muffins.
Wipe the rust out of your muffin tins, baptize 'em with the greasy substance of your choice, spoon the cups about 2/3 full with batter and bake for 20 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes away clean. (Believe it or not I actually have toothpicks. My mother left 700 of them here after the reality of spending time with her grandchildren forced her to abandon the elaborate craft project she had envisioned.)
[muffins], [healthy muffins], [zucchini muffins]