Thursday, January 14, 2010

New Year, New Decade

I've been up to many things since my last post. Thanksgiving, working retail during the holidays, and lots of cooking. I have quite a bit of catching up to do.

Thankfully my schedule has somewhat leveled out and I can start doing some regular updates, which is good, since I've been inspired to make so many things!

Of course with the turn of a new year comes resolutions and vows to lose weight and become fit. With this in mind I've picked up some books from the library and started to re-read some of my own books; "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld.

Jessica's book totes the ease of hiding vegetables in food for picky eaters via vegetable purees. It's an interesting idea, and not necessarily time consuming, I recently found out when I used up some odd carrots and put them to good use in a Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffin recipe.

For most of the purees you can steam or roast your chosen vegetable, or fruit, until tender, then puree them in a processor, blender, or whatever you happen to have in the cupboard. The purees can then be stored in small plastic containers or bags and either refrigerated or frozen for later use. The book gives advice for specific fruits and veggies, as well as nutritional break downs for each type used.

The recipes themselves are organized by type, breakfast, mealtime, and desert, and list the possible purees at the top of the page. The photos are simple and colorful, and the directions are easy to follow.

I did a slight bit of editing when I made the muffins; using butter instead of margarine, and a whole egg, instead of just the white. They still came out well and were amazing warm out of the oven with milk. It took me back to grade school.

The only complaint was from a few days latter: I took some of my muffins home for a taste test and the verdict was that they were good, but a little dry. Oh well, you can't win 'em all.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Muffins

makes 12 regular muffins, or 24 mini-muffins

You will need:

non-stick cooking spray
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1/2 c carrot puree (You could prob substitute applesauce here)
1/2 c firmly packed brown sugar
2 T butter or margarine
1/2 c nonfat plain yogurt
1 large egg
1 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 c jelly or preserves (grape, strawberry, etc)

1. Preheat the oven to 350*. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin w/ cooking spray, or line w/ paper cups

2. In a large bowl, beat the peanut butter, carrot puree, sugar, and margarine/butter with a sturdy spoon until well combined. Stir in the yogurt and egg.

3. Add the flour, baking powder, soda, and salt. Stir until just combined, but do not over mix - there should be some lumps in the batter.

4. Divide the batter among the muffin cups and drop a spoonful of preserves or jelly on top of each.

5. Bake until the tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, 20 - 25 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.

6. Store in an airtight container at room temp. for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.

From "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld.

* I put my muffin mold on a tinfoil lined baking sheet to catch any drips.

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