May 1, 2014

"Picky eater" muffins

I think this may be a record. My child left the dinner table last night for the third night in a row without eating more than one bite. And it's not that I made food that was inedible. I tried to include in each meal at least one thing that I knew she liked. One night dinner was "risi e bisi" (a staple of kids in Italy): creamy risotto with peas and lots of parmesan cheese. The next it was turkey burgers with cabbage-apple slaw and broccoli (she did eat most of the broccoli) and last night it was beef chili and green salad with Goddess dressing. She even requested the chili and then decided it was not what she wanted after all. What is wrong with her??!!

Okay, so my frustration has reached a peak level. It's all I can do to sit quietly at the table each night fuming and trying to pretend I don't care what she eats. Tonight I did let on how disappointed I was that she would not eat the dinners her daddy and I put on the table each night, trying really hard to guilt her into eating something, to no avail.

So today I decided that perhaps subterfuge will be my new weapon of choice. I am going to start sneaking healthy foods into baked goods and smoothies and anything else I can use to disguise the foods I want her to eat. I always scoffed at this when I met parents who did this or heard about it in the latest celebrity cookbook. But here I am. It's my reality and I am willing to go to some pretty great lengths if it means I can get this kid to eat well.

I found this healthy muffin recently on the NYTimes website and tweaked it a bit. It's pretty forgivable and changeable, especially as far as the veggies you 'sneak' in. I've tried it twice now making small changes and this one is definitely the keeper. I also doubled it so that I can make a bunch and freeze them.

If you have an uncooperative eater right now, please share your stories so that I don't feel so alone. And if you try this recipe let me know what you think!

Lunchbox Harvest Muffins (adapted from Melissa Clark of The NYT)

(this recipe yields about two dozen mini-muffins, and probably 12-15 regular muffins)
 2 1/2 cups of flour* 
 (*The orig. recipe called for whole wheat pastry flour. Since I am trying to avoid wheat, I used half almond flour and half garbanzo-fava bean flour. You could also use Bob's Red Mill all-purpose gluten-free flour).
 2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup olive oil (or coconut oil)
2 tablespoons of honey
2/3 cup dark brown sugar
 1 med apple, grated with any juices reserved
1 cup grated carros (or butternut squash)
1 cup grated zucchini (or beets)
(1/3 cup (golden) raisins)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease mini-muffin tins
2. Whisk together flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in med. bowl
3. Combine eggs, oil, honey, brown sugar, grated apple and juices and grated veggies in large bowl
4. Using a spatula, gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until just combined. Fold in raisins if using.
5. Fill each muffin cup and bake for about 15 minutes, or when a toothpick comes out clean.

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