I used to be scared of making muffins. Seriously. I was after a healthy snack that was light and fluffy but they always came out hard and bouncy. I remember once going to the effort of hand picking blackberries for my soft, moist blackberry muffins. They tasted awful and if I’d of had kids, they would have used them as missiles. Or doorstops.
In my attempt to simplify everything, to modernise the world, I’d use my magimix. Chuck everything in, press go.
Turns out that isn’t the way to make muffins.
Muffins need a gentle hand. They need to be lovingly folded. They need a little TLC.
It doesn’t actually take any longer to do them by hand. They just need a soft touch rather than the battering of an electrical appliance.
It was my 7 year old son who showed me the light. He wanted to make apple muffins so he had a go. Pretty much by himself. I just hovered over him trying not to interfere.
This weekend, with the start of strawberry season, and a few manky strawberries that no one wanted to eat, we decided to try strawberry muffins.
And it turns out they were perfect.
I don’t add lots of sugar to my cooking. I’m after a healthy snack that the kids will love. The more sugar you give them, the more they need to get that sugar hit. The sugar hides the true flavours, overpowers them.
Remove some of the sugar and you can taste the natural sweetness of the apples and the “pear drops heaven” smell of strawberries. (If you’ve ever cooked up a strawberry you’ll know what I’m talking about, that delicious smell of cooking strawberries permeates the house.)
The best thing about these strawberry muffins is they are so easy to make.
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Ingredients for Strawberry Muffins
Makes 12 (depending on the size of your muffin tray).
- 2 cups (500g) of plain flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup (125 mls) full fat greek yoghurt
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 4 cups of cooked strawberries and apples (I used a handful of strawberries and 3 apples)
- Flaked almonds to decorate
- Muffin trays. I use silicone ones because they’re so easy.
- 1 large bowl (dry ingredients)
- 1 smaller bowl (wet ingredients)
How to Make Strawberry Muffins
- Preheat oven to 200 °C (390 °F)
- Chop the apples and strawberries, add a little water and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Mix all your dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder and sugar).
- In another bowl, mix all your wet ingredients (eggs, yoghurt and fruit). You can use a whisk if you like (before you add the fruit.)
- FOLD the wet ingredients into the bowl with the dry ingredients. This is the bit that you can’t do with the whisk. You need to do this LOVINGLY by hand. Don’t over mix it. You’re looking for lumpy and bumpy.
- Spoon mix into muffin tray.
- Sprinkle flaked almonds on top.
- Pop into oven for 20 minutes.
I have never been fortunate enough to have a super-duper awesome oven so after about 15 minutes I go and check them. Position is everything in my rickety-rackety oven. If I put them too high, they’ll burn on the top and be raw in the middle. Too low and they’ll just be soggy. I often move things around. I know they say baking is an exact science but it isn’t in my house.
When they are cool, I freeze half of them for a healthy snack at another time. Then we gobble down our healthy and easy strawberry muffins.
Not a single complaint about the low sugar content.
They are not exactly “light and fluffy” in the shop-bought-full-of-junk style muffin that you might buy. But neither are they any good as door stops. And my kids voted that these strawberry muffins were definitely worth eating rather than throwing at each other.
High compliments indeed.
Healthy Snack Guide for Children
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