Over 45 Surprising Twists on Muffins Kids Will Love

Over 45 Surprising Twists on Muffins Kids Will Love

A great big list of creative suggestions for making delicious, kid-friendly muffins.

By: Lorraine Allen

Kids love any sort of food they can hold in one hand, that’s really tasty, and that looks like a cupcake. As soon as I realized this as a mom learning how to cook -- all over again -- for my picky child, I realized that the muffin pan might just be my new best friend. (I also often use standalone paper muffin cups to bake these if I’m not making a whole tray of them, or if I want to pack them for my kid’s lunch or snack, serve for a crowd, or take them to a picnic. Silicone muffin cups also work perfectly when you’re making just a few individual muffins of one kind or another.) Here are more than 45 surprising, creative twists on muffins that are fun and easy to make, and that your kids are sure to love too.

- Think outside the norm. If your kids love traditional fruity blueberry or banana muffins, switch things up by trying raspberries, strawberries, cranberries (OK, any berries are delicious) -- and also cubed larger fruit such as mango, pineapple, pear, peach, apricot, or plum. Yum! Many of these are easy to find frozen or dried, so you can keep them handy in your fridge or pantry for any muffin emergency.

- Use chickpea, spelt, potato, garbanzo, or rice flour instead of traditional bleached white flour to make a wide variety of healthier, and gluten-free, muffins.

- Instead of just carrot or zucchini muffins, try some unique and tasty veggie versions using pureed pumpkin, squash, black or red beans, or roasted leeks, tomatoes, or peppers of any color.

- Using cornmeal as your base, enjoy a southern twist by adding cheese and jalapenos, and even bacon to your muffins.

- Go vegan or just be allergy-friendly by using applesauce, mashed banana, or pumpkin puree instead of eggs, and replacing butter with vegetable oil.

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- Use hearty grains to add some real nutrition to your muffins. Try cooked arborio or brown rice, quinoa, faro, millet, or barley. Egg and/or cheese are the perfect way to make these stick together before you put the mixture in your muffin cups and bake them. You can experiment with various cheeses: Cheddar, pepper jack, mozzarella, Gouda and goat cheese are our five favorites for muffins. Adding chopped veggies or meat, like bacon, ham, or ground turkey, will kick up the flavors, and make these into complete meals that can easily be frozen or served at parties.


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- Instead of using traditional nuts in your muffins, try substituting omega-rich flaxseed, or sunflower or pumpkin seeds. (Allergic friends will thank you, too!)

- Add an extra layer of flavor, crunch, and nutrition to your muffins by topping them with toasted coconut, wheat germ, or oats.

- Use leftover pasta and sauce to create satisfying and tasty mini Italian meals in muffin form. Mac and cheese, mini layered lasagnas, or eggplant Parmesan muffins are all delicious.

Do you have any suggestions for creative, kid-friendly twists on muffins?

Lorraine Allen is a writer, and mom and personal chef to one spunky 6-year-old girl with severe food allergies. You can enjoy their delicious recipes and follow their amusing family cooking adventures at Feeding Lina.

Image ©iStock.com/tvirbickis

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