Mr. Confetti has been traveling for work these days, which means that I have had quite a number of days of what Mrs. Stroller describes perfectly as solo momma time. While I have the emotional and financial support that comes with a relationship, I spend many weekdays flying solo with Little C. Add the puppy’s needs into the mix, and I have very little time to fuss with cooking fancy meals. Plus, when I’m groggy in the morning, being a short-order cook at breakfast is the last thing I want to do. So when Mr. Confetti is traveling for the week, I will make a batch of these veggie muffins and a batch of mini-muffin frittatas (similar to Mrs. Bee’s), and C’s breakfasts are all set for the week ahead.
As Little C creeps closer to his first birthday, he is eating nearly everything that I normally make. As his formula intake decreases, he seems like a bottomless pit for food. He eats three meals a day, along with 1-2 snacks. While he is still willing to try most foods, he is already a quirky eater. He will pick through the food on his tray, eating one thing at a time, starting with his favorite foods (fruit, cheese, meat), moving through the next foods (grains), and finally, resorting to eating a few vegetables if he has the patience and is still hungry.
While I am not dealing with a full-force picky eater, I know that veggies are important. I will resort to whatever means necessary to encourage Little C to eat his veggies – purees, pouches and even hiding veggies in unexpected places. A friend with a picky-eating toddler told me about a great base recipe at Weelicious for muffins. I made some substantial adaptations to make them healthier, subbing whole wheat flour, reducing the sugar, and experimenting with the veggie content. The original recipe calls for spinach – which were great – but I have successfully subbed grated zucchini so far, and I’m planning to try carrots next.
I am an amateur baker, so I warn you – you can be the WORST baker, and mess EVERYTHING up, and as long as you don’t let them burn to a crisp, these are pretty hard to mess up. I find that they are best when I am careful not to measure too much flour (it compresses in the measuring cup if you just stick the cup into the bag – using a spoon to scoop it into your measuring cup goes a long way). Also, they are great with all regular flour if you don’t have whole wheat, and if all you have at home is the self-rising flour, just skip the baking powder and soda.
Not only are these a healthy breakfast or snack for small children, but they are great to gift as a treat for a new mom – they’re an excellent one-handed snack.
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce (I use one single-serve Mott’s Natural cup – perfectly pre-measured)
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup fresh spinach, packed (or 1 cup grated zucchini, or 1 cup vegetable of your choice)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat your oven to 350º.
In your food processor, puree the vegetables with the applesauce, egg, vanilla, sugar and oil.
Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Make a pool in the middle and pour in the puree, and then mix the dry and wet ingredients until just combined.
Scoop batter into a greased mini muffin pan, filling each cup about 2/3 of the way.
Bake 10-12 minutes, cool and serve.