Right, so, obviously Meal Plans By JuliaCooks has you covered for dinner, but I am assuming you and yours eat breakfast, too.
When I was a kid, breakfast was simple – eat the bowl of cereal and be on your way. And from the open box, only. Do NOT open a new box before one was emptied. Forbidden.
Things are different these days, and folks want more out of breakfast. I know my kids do, and I want to give it to them. They are especially happy when they wake up to fresh muffins that I threw together that morning. Now, I know what you are thinking – who is going to lookup/pull out a recipe and who knows if I will have all the ingredients and I can’t plan ahead for that and even if I have a regular recipe memorized, no one wants the same old same old every time. Ok, yes, but I have the perfect solution: Infinitely Adaptable Basic Muffin Formula. It’s brilliance lies in the fact that as long as you know the general ingredients and amounts, you can craft it anyway you like and adapt it to whatever you have on hand.
First, the general recipe:
½ c fat
¾ c sweetener
2 cups flour and flour-like things
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp vanilla or other flavoring
1 1/2 cup liquid and liquid-like things
1 cup add ins (more or less)
Now, how does this look in real life?
One morning recently I got up early and decided to make muffins for the kids. But then I realized the cupboards and fridge were kind of bare. I trudged forth, regardless. My preferred flour for morning muffins is whole wheat. I had less than a cup. Ok, fine, I just mixed it with white. For the fat I usually use butter but, honestly, I was just too lazy to work the butter in the mixer or go through the effort of melting, so I took out the avocado oil. Out of vanilla – just left it out. Sweetener of choice was brown sugar. Out of baking powder?! Expletive! Ok, no problem, heaping ¼ tsp baking soda and a squeeze of lemon juice from the half lemon in the fridge. I had eggs, yay. For the liquid I like to use some yogurt and milk – out of both. I did, however, have some Blueberry Lavender Almond milk. In it goes. Also, 3 small overripe bananas were sitting in the fruit bowl on the counter. Score.
The result? I kid you not, the children were nuts for them. Direct quote, “these are the muffins you should sell to everyone.” Well, ok then (if you like you can buy these delectable muffins on the other side of this link). In other words, you don’t always have to have an exact recipe. As long as you have the framework, change and embellish as you like.
Here are lists of possible choices for each ingredient category:
Fat: butter, creamed or melted; vegetable oil; avocado oil; coconut oil; olive oil (yes, even in a sweet!)
Sweetener: white sugar; brown sugar; honey; maple syrup (you will need less other liquid if you use a lot of liquid sweetener); agave; brown rice syrup; coconut sugar
Flour and flour-like: white flour; whole wheat flour; sprouted wheat; corn meal; buckwheat; almond flour; flax meal; wheat germ
Other flavoring: almond; lemon; mint; bourbon (really – great sub if you are out of vanilla); orange
Liquids and similar: milk; soy milk; almond milk; cashew milk; rice milk; oat milk; juice; yogurt; sour cream; kefir; apple sauce
Mix-ins: mashed bananas; chopped apples; raisins; nuts of any sort; dried fruits; pepitas; sunflower seeds; chia seeds; flax seeds; chocolate chips; citrus zest; blueberries; raspberries
Here are some of my favorite combos:
Honey whole wheat
Endless possibilities, rarely necessary to say, “sorry, I can’t because I don’t have…”
Get in there, bake fearlessly.