Ah so it is time, another year, another term in junior school. How did 2020 pass by so quickly? I know it was a long year and a hard year, so much happened and yet so little happened. I started a new career, I got to spend quality time with my son that I never expected to get again after maternity leave, for 24/7 for 3 and a half months, I finally was able to buy my house and my son started school. I will not complain about the year we have just had as it was pretty darn good to me!
This post was supposed to be a back to school post but the way things are going here in Ireland it will be more of a helpful recipe for the thousands of snack plates parents are going to be making every day while working from home with no childcare again. I am prepping for whatever happens by making these veggie muffins. Perfect for snack plates and packed lunches.
I used to have to hide vegetables in food as my son is a picky eater. I would make veggie loaded tomato sauce for pasta, put vegetables in his smoothies and ice pops (I still do this actually) and then I also bake healthy muffins to add extra nutrients to our diets. We are both huge fans of making rich green ‘Superhero’ muffins packed full of spinach and sweetened with banana, and to mix it up, I have been experimenting recently with a savoury veggie muffin for school snack boxes. These muffins have carrot, courgette and sweetcorn in them, all of which my son eats normally and I have no need to hide them in a muffin but I still like to offer a healthy alternative to crackers and the likes for his snack/lunch box and my son still thinks of any form of muffins as a ‘treat food’.
Our school offers a packed lunch which is great and I was totally unaware of this until Alexander actually started school. A choice of sandwiches, salad bowls and pasta. As the total eejit that I am, the first time we had to fill out the lunch menu for school, I didn’t realise it was for an entire term! So my kid now gets a turkey sandwich on Monday, tuna and sweetcorn bap on Tuesday, plain pasta on Wednesday, a cheese sandwich on Thursday and another turkey bap on Friday. Oopps, my kid doesn’t love sandwiches, so this was a first time rookie error. I thought it was for a week and then I could decide after the first week what we would order for the next time but this was not the case. So now I just pack him off to school with a decent snack box for mid morning break and this covers him (along with a few bites of his sandwich) until after school.
SAVORY VEGGIE MUFFINS
- 220 g grated veg, I used courgette and carrot (1 small one of each)
- 2 – 3 tbsp of sweetcorn
- ½ cup thick Greek yogurt / 120 ml
- ¼ cup sunflower oil / 60 ml
- 1 medium egg
- 20 g grated Parmesan
- 40 g of grated cheddar
- 160 g self-raising flour
- salt (about 1/4 tsp), optional but really gives the muffin flavour
- ¼ tsp dried dill
- Few grinds of black pepper
Heat the oven to 180°C (fan oven) and spray a muffin tin with oil to stop the muffins from sticking, no cases needed this way!
In a food blender, place HALF of the grated carrot and courgette, and all of the following: yogurt, sunflower oil, the egg, dill, salt, pepper and grated Parmesan. And blend until smooth. Tip: I find the muffin texture comes out lightest with less of the grated vegetables stirred through so a mix of blended and chunky helps and for picky eaters they notice the vegetable element less this way. I tried making these the first few times without using the blender and the consistency and texture was really doughy and heavy. Blending the wet ingredients with some of the grated courgette and carrot really lightened the muffins.
Pour the blended mix into a bowl and add the remaining grated carrot and courgette, grated cheddar, the sweetcorn and then sieve the flour over and gently fold together until no pockets of flour can be seen.
Scoop into the muffin tin, I get about 9 muffins from this mix.
Optional, sprinkle extra grated cheese on top.
Pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes and they will be ready when golden brown and risen nicely.