Tag Archives: muffins

halloween party for preschoolers


Here’s a brief summary of the Halloween party we had last year, for a crowd of mostly three-year-olds (with a few older and younger siblings joining as well). We had a number of activities for the kids set up around the house:

And for fun, yet relatively healthy, party snacks we had:

  • pumpkin mini muffins
  • orange and black fruit (cantaloupe and blackberries)
  • popcorn
  • nuts
  • cheese slices cut into pumpkin and ghost shapes (see below)
  • apple cider
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garden sweet muffins

I made the most naturally gorgeous muffins a few weeks ago! I promise I didn’t enhance the color on these photos at all. The color is all from veggies – beets, carrots, and pumpkin!

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This recipe is a gluten-free adaptation of my garden muffins recipe that was inspired by a surplus of CSA veggies. I’ve named this version “garden sweet muffins” because I was inspired to make them when we received several beets in our fall CSA share from Garden Sweet Farm, and because I made these muffins a little sweeter by adding chocolate chips. They are super yummy, and nutritious (for a muffin)!

  • 1 1/2 cup all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • chia seed gel: 3 teaspoons chia seeds + 9 tablespoons warm water (mix together and let sit ~ 5 minutes, until forms a goopy gel)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unpeeled and grated carrots
  • 1 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup unpeeled and grated beets
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, xanthan gum, salt, and cinnamon together. Add the oil, applesauce, chia seed gel, and vanilla, and mix well. Add veggies and chocolate chips. Stir until blended and transfer batter to muffin pan. Bake for ~20 minutes, until a fork comes out clean. Makes 16 muffins.

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an achievable toddler halloween party

The internet seems to be full of people hosting over-the-top Pinterest-perfect Halloween parties for their kiddos. I just don’t have that kind of time or motivation, but we hosted a lovely little party for a bunch of two-year-olds just the same. Here’s how it went down.

We scheduled the party for mid-morning since toddlers are generally least prone to melt-downs at that time of day. We also roll with a pretty healthy-eating group of families (and I didn’t want a house full of sugared up toddlers), so we kept the party food Halloween-appropriate yet simple and healthyish. I made pumpkin mini muffins, orange and black fruit (cantaloupe chunks and blackberries), and ghost toast!

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The ghost toast was just bread cut into ghost shapes with my trusty ghost-shaped cookie cutter, topped with cream cheese and flax seeds for the eyes and mouths.

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For drinks we had apple cider and water.

The kids weren’t old enough for complicated games and activities, so we spread out paper, Halloween stickers, crayons, and some Halloween pictures to color on a coffee table. At another table we set up a foam pumpkin decorating area.

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And perhaps the most fun activity was provided by Mother Nature – a sunny day and leaf piles to play in!

simple savory almond meal muffins

I made these yummy savory muffins using this recipe.

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When I make them again, I’ll try cutting down the oil a little bit, but this tweak may only be necessary because I’m now baking at a higher altitude.

apple cider donuts

My all-time favorite fall food – now vegan and gluten-free! Yum!
  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 3/4 cup apple cider
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Mix dry ingredients together. Add wet ingredients and stir until well combined. I made 9 mini donuts (in my donut maker) and 6 muffins (baked at 350ºF for 20 minutes).

If you want traditional cinnamon sugar coating on your donuts or muffins, mix 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and a pinch of salt together in a small bowl that is wide enough to dunk your donuts/muffins in. Allow donuts or muffins to cool for a few minutes, then coat with cinnamon sugar. They are extra delicious when they’re still warm!

healthy coconut muffins

These super moist, slightly sweet coconut muffins were inspired by this recipe from Chocolate-Covered Katie (one of my favorite blogs).
  • 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup light canned coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds + 6 tablespoons water
  • 2 cups applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon rum extract
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl and mix wet ingredients together in a small bowl. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well. Transfer batter to muffin pan and bake for ~20 minutes. Makes 16 muffins.

babycakes banana nut muffins

These banana nut muffins came out so delightfully fluffy!

I followed the recipe for banana bread in the first BabyCakes cookbook (essentially this recipe), with just a few alterations to make the muffins a little less fatty and sugary. I cut the oil down to 1/4 cup, and used 1/4 cup of agave nectar and 1/4 cup maple syrup for sweeteners. Since these changes decreased the liquids going into the batter, I increased the almond milk to 2/3 cup. Then I threw in a couple of handfuls of chopped walnuts. And I added chocolate chips to half of the batch, because I’m on a serious chocolate kick lately. Yum!

chocolate chip coffee muffins

These muffins are mildly coffee-flavored and just a little bit sweet – a good morning treat! Mmmmm…

  • 1/4 cup hot water + 3 teaspoons instant coffee
  • 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon almond milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325ºF and prepare muffin pan. Heat water and mix in instant coffee. In a large mixing bowl, combine dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir until batter is smooth, then add in chocolate chips. Transfer batter to muffin pan and bake for ~20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

cherry almond muffins

If you like almonds, these muffins are for you! They are suuuper yummy.

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 1 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 375ºF and prepare muffin pan. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add in wet ingredients and stir until batter is smooth, then add in the dried cherries and slivered almonds. Transfer batter to muffin pan. For mini muffins, bake for ~12 minutes. For regular-sized muffins, bake for ~20 minutes. Makes ~16 regular-sized muffins.

weekly photo challenge: breakfast

Mmmm, blueberry muffins. I made these using Erin McKenna’s fabulous vegan and gluten-free recipe with just a couple of tiny alterations: I substituted maple syrup for agave nectar, and added a little nutmeg. Bet you can’t eat just three!