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Monday, March 26, 2007

strawberry banana yogurt nut muffins

easy recipe strawberry banana nut yogurt muffins
Strawberry season is not far away now. We still have a small stash of yummy frozen strawberries picked last year from local farms. And a large stash of blueberries. I am trying to use them up so we can pick some fresh ones again this year.

I am not particularly fond of muffins, but, thought it would be a nice breakfast treat for my wee tot.

Muffins are not as easy to make as they seem. At least not to me, as I love to just throw things together and see what comes up. Baking is more precise and demanding than the usual cooking I do. Not much room to play around and experiment. And, my oven seems to have a mind of its own. I have mucked around with baking recipes to end up with batches of paper-weights :-)

Thanks to ATK (America's Test Kitchen), at least I now know that sugar is considered a wet ingredient in baking and the amount of sugar matters a lot to get the end product just right. And, mixing techniques do affect the outcome. A hand-held power-whisk with speed control is better than my arm-power?!

Wanting to make low fat, low sugar goodies, I used to cut back on sugar and butter from standard recipes, but, now I know better ;-)

I wanted to use yogurt, nuts and fruits in the muffin recipe. Milk:Yogurt ratio can be adjusted to your liking, to make up 1½ cups total. I was quite skeptical about how it would turn out as I was meddling with the recipe a bit, but, it turned out all right :-)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup 2% milk
½ cup plain non-fat yogurt
4 Tbsp melted butter or ghee
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
½ cup chopped walnuts (or other nuts)
¼ cup dried cherries & cranberries
1 cup banana and some strawberries - mashed together to make 1 cup

Preparation

combine the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, salt, dried fruits and nuts in a large bowl

beat the eggs, milk and yogurt in a bowl

whisk in the egg+milk+yogurt mixture into the dry ingredients; add the strawberry+banana mash; fold them in gently; this muffin batter has the consistency of a thick pancake batter

pre-heat the oven to 400°F, grease a muffin pan, and maybe a small 4" cake tin, or bundt cake pan

pour the batter into muffin pan, about half full (or more, if you like it to swell up and form a mushroom-like 'top'); and if any batter is still left, pour into the greased tin; i had enough for 12 muffins, plus a small 4" bundt cake mould

bake in 400°F oven for about 20-25 mins; check part way and turn the pan around if needed; insert a toothpick - if it comes out clean, muffin is done

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