Sweet treat that is sure to keep the peace

Helen Keown

Reporter:

Helen Keown

Sweet treat that is sure to keep the peace

Hello and welcome to all about food. This week breakfast is back on the menu. Get batch baking now for the busy school mornings!

Ask Gingergirl

Hello Gingergirl,

Help! Last year was a constant battle as I tried to get my fourteen-year-old daughter to eat breakfast on school mornings. I am determined that we will reach some resolution soon! Do you have any recipes or ideas that will help return peace to our home?!

Thank you,

Brid, Newcastle West

Hello Brid,

Oh you have my sympathy! I recall similar arguments at home with one of my sisters as my mother tried everything (including bribery!) to get any form of food into my sister!

No doubt you are aware of the benefits of breakfast for teens; research has shown that teens who eat breakfast do better in school, are more likely to meet their daily vitamin and mineral needs, eat more fibre and calcium and less fat that teens who skip breakfast and are less likely to be overweight. I am sure however that the best way to get your daughter to eat breakfast is less about research and more about tasty options!

Making fruit or yoghurt smoothies may be one way of coaxing your daughter however, I have a feeling that after a week or so the novelty of cleaning the blender and having all the ingredients in stock (though frozen fruit reduces waste) may wear a little thin. One of my favourite options for busy mornings has to be muffins. I tend to make the muffins in batches in advance and freeze, after all, most homes are manic in the mornings and baking is more than likely far down on the agenda!

Banana and bran muffins

(makes 12)

3 large, very ripe bananas, mashed (I often peel and freeze those forgotten overripe bananas that I tend to find in my fruit bowl)

250g of wholemeal flour

50g of bran

One and a half teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda

100g of brown sugar

284ml carton buttermilk

1 large egg, lightly beaten

75g of melted butter, cooled slightly

1 tablespoon of Demerara sugar

Heat the oven to 180°c. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with muffin cases. Mix the flour, baking powder, bran, bicarbonate of soda, salt and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the buttermilk, egg, melted butter and mashed bananas. Quickly fold the ingredients together until just mixed, taking care not to over mix.

Spoon the mix into the muffin cases and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar. The cases will be quite full. Bake in the oven for about 20-25 min until well risen and golden brown on top. To ensure the muffins are cooked through put a skewer into the centre of the muffin, it should come out clean.

Leave to cool in the tin for a couple of minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Recipe variations

This is the perfect recipe to experiment with. Replace the fruit with whatever takes your fancy (just be aware of different moisture content as this may affect baking times). I like sultanas, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries or dried apricots. Try adding a little spice; nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger are all delicious. Muffins are also a good way to get nuts and seeds into your diet – sunflower seeds, linseed, cashew nuts or pecans all work well. Finally, for a little more zing, try adding some orange or lemon zest.

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