Sunday, August 16, 2009

Rescue from the Rut

Isn't it easy to get into a food rut? We do it all the time, mostly at breakfast. For a while it was Ancient Grain Bread toasted with butter and honey. When we lived in China it was an egg fried perfectly round in a wok with some steam bread to dip in our instant coffee (with the obligatory sweetened condensed milk).

There have been cereal streaks and yogurt with granola phases. We were really into my husband's scrambled eggs for a bit.

So, it's always nice when we have something new, something unexpected. It is especially nice when it provides some good nutrition, too.

This recipe is a great way to use up all that zucchini from your garden. I thought I had a bunch out there when I planned this recipe. Turns out my zucchini is not the big producer it is normally accused of being. But I did have a few small yellow summer squashes. What the heck, I thought, they are both minimally flavored squash. The experimenter in me went for it.

Apple Squash Muffins

1 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour (or unbleached white flour)
1/2 c oat bran
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
3/4 c plain nonfat yogurt
3/4 c brown sugar, packed
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 c grated squash
1 c peeled, cored, and diced apples (big enough to be recognizable)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place a paper liner in each cup of a muffin tin.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, bran, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix evenly.

In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until light yellow in color. Add the yogurt, brown sugar, and the vanilla. Beat until thoroughly mixed. Gently fold in the squash and apples with a spatula. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just blended.

Spoon about 1/3 c of batter into each muffin cup. (I had a little leftover and used my mini muffin tin for the excess...bake the mini muffins about 20 minutes total). Bake the muffins 15 minutes, then rotate the pan, and continue baking for another 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove muffins from the tin and cool on a wire rack. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Allow to cool completely before storing in a sealed container.

They are healthy enough to eat two (less than 150 calories each with only 1.5 g of fat...more than 4 g of protein and 2 g of fiber). Have fun getting out of that breakfast rut!


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