Jen Loves It

I Love Muffins

Muffins. I love muffins!  They are so versatile. They can be savory or sweet, filled with fruit and nuts, chocolate chips, corn or ham and cheese. Muffins are cupcakes without the guilt! I learned how to make muffins from my mom who is a self taught baker. She learned her way around the kitchen out of necessity once she married and started a family.

I like making muffins because of the response I get from friends, family and co-workers. There are always lots of oohs and awes, especially if they are hot out of the oven. Who doesn’t like muffins, I ask you?

It is easy to whip up a batch of muffins. The ingredients are standard ingredients that you would normally have around the kitchen like flour, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add the main ingredient like blueberries and a little lemon rind or lime and coconut or make muffins out of bananas that have seen better days and a few walnuts.

I try and make my muffins a little healthier than the recipe calls for by making a few substitutions. I use half the margarine the recipe calls for and substitute apple sauce for the remaining portion. I have heard from other bakers that you can substitute all applesauce for the butter or margarine, but I haven’t been brave enough to try that yet. Another substitution I use when baking muffins is to substitute a third of the all purpose flour for whole wheat flour. I don’t use more than that because it can make the end product a little grainy. I will sometimes substitute agave syrup for sugar because it doesn’t spike your blood sugar like granulated sugar will and it is a good substitute for sugar, allowing my friends and family members that are diabetic to enjoy them.

Muffins are a nice addition to any meal, party or potluck. If I go to a party or a potluck, I make muffins small using my smaller muffin tins. I serve them in a basket wrapped in colorful napkins or a cute kitchen towel that matches the theme of the party. They are so cute that they are irresistible!

Another reason I like muffins is because it’s easy to make a double batch and put the extras away in the freezer for a busy week in the future. Its easy to pull a few muffins out for snacks for the kids or for breakfast on the go. A muffin and a glass of milk make a great after school snack or a quick breakfast and it is so much healthier than eating a processed, artificially flavored snack or breakfast bar.

In today’s economy, if you have a talent for baking, you can bake a batch of muffins and barter with friends and neighbors. They may have a garden with surplus vegetables they would be happy to exchange for healthy, home-baked muffins. I even know of someone who bartered with their local mechanic for baked goods in exchange for work on their car. It never hurts to ask.