The Crazy Chef is back, and she is talking about Baby Food again. We are going to use it in our Health Nut Fiber Muffins that contain no nuts.
What is Baby Food? What is in Baby Food?
Baby Food contains all of the good stuff, and none of the bad stuff. It is perfectly wonderful to use in smoothies. Here you can read the entire long list of complicated ingredients. NOT! Prunes and water. Now-a-days, reading a label often requires a degree in chemistry, but not when reading Gerber Baby Food labels. Let’s cook some Health Nut Fiber Muffins–that can be eaten at breakfast, or supper, or mid-morning, or before your shower, or after your shower, or while you are on the phone on hold waiting for the pediatric nurse to see if she can fit your crying baby in, or perhaps in-between one of these times.
When I make up a new recipe, I usually sit down and read several recipes that are similar or that I already know I love. The inspiration for this recipe came from “The Fanny Farmer Cookbook” and “The Pioneer Woman Cooks”. I use “The Fannie Farmer Cookbook” when I am looking for THE BASICS. No frills. Just A,B,C,D. For example, Fanny Farmer’s Banana Bread is a one bowl recipe. You don’t have to cream the butter and sugar. In fact, her recipe doesn’t even contain butter AND the result is still moist.
Here is a list of ingredients. Dry: 1 cup whole-wheat flour, 2 cups white flour, 1 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt, and 1 cup of sugar (I had to throw that in.) Spices: 1 t. cinnamon, 1 t. nutmeg, 1 t. allspice. Wet: 3 T. melted butter, 2 beaten eggs, 4 jars of Baby Food Prunes, 1 cup sour milk or buttermilk, 1 c. Grape-Nuts cereal.
Go ahead and pre-heat that oven to the usual 350 degrees.
The Grape-Nuts need to soak, so measure 1 cup of sour milk or buttermilk into a 1 1/2 c. Liquid Measuring Cup. Measure out 1 cup of Grape-Nuts cereal and add it into the milk/buttermilk to soak. (In the photo that shows all the ingredients you will see that I used cream. I had great plans for a Cream Soup, but didn’t get around to it in time. My cream soured, so instead of crying over soured cream, I am using it in this recipe.)
For the next step, let’s measure out all of the dry ingredients. 1 c. whole-wheat flour, 2 c. white flour, 1 t. baking soda, 1/4 t. baking powder, 1/2 t. salt., 1 c. wonderfully-refined-tastes-devine white sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, 1 t. nutmeg, 1 t. allspice.
Melt three tablespoons of butter. How did they melt butter before microwaves? I remember I was about in 4th grade when we bought our first microwave. How old were you when your family got a microwave. PLEASE!!! tell me you remember the days before microwaves!!! because if you don’t it will mean that I am OLDER than you. Way OLDER!!! Record players anyone? Film strips in science class? Mimeographed worksheets that were purple and smelled wonderfully of alcohol? Leg warmers? Boomboxes/Ghetto blasters? The Apple IIe?
NEVERMIND!!! NEVERmind. Nevermind. nevermind.
See those two funny shaped eggs on the right? YEP! They are farm fresh and delicious!!! Someday when I live in the country, I will have my own chickens. I plan on having The Hunni build me a chicken coop that looks like a mini church–steeple and all. Inside the coop, I will have old-fashioned pews in rows, with little boxes at each seat for the mama hens to lay their eggs. Then I will name all the chickens after people in the little Meeting Hall where I grew up. All my great-aunts with their feathered hats, all of my cousins, and I might even name the rooster.
(You may have to disable your pop-up blocker in order to see this Youtube video of ladies in hats and chickens.)
(For the record, I probably love all the folks from that white clap-board Meeting Hall more than anyone in the world. And because I love them so much, it is okay to joke with them. I have nothing but wonderful memories and treasure each and every one.)
Here comes that questionable ingredient–baby food. If you want to stew some prunes for this recipe, go ahead. We will be eating the muffins when you have finally finished stewing the prunes. But if you like to stew prunes, if it means that you don’t have to fold laundry, if it means that you don’t have to sit down and try and organzie your desk so that you can pay the bills, please don’t let me stop you.
Each one of those little Stage 1 size of containers is about 1/4 cup. We need one cup of prunes, so dump in all four containers into a bowl.
Add the melted butter and stir.
I do a “pinch test” on the Grape-Nuts to see if they are soft enough. Usually, by the time I get to this step in the recipe I have had more than three interruptions. Your life may not be as crazy and unorganized as mine, so your Grape-Nuts may need to soak a bit longer.
Add the dry mixture to the prune/buttermilk/butter mixture and stir.
As you stir the mixtures together, you will see the baking soda and buttermilk begin to react immediately. If you think the muffins are a bit dry, add a little more buttermilk/sour milk. Muffins are a “Quick Bread” and will get tough if they are over-stirred, so just combine the ingredients and then leave them alone.
Spoon your muffin mixture into your muffin pans. I did a test on this last recipe and used regular old Pam on one muffin tray and paper muffin cups on the other tray. I think I prefered the Pam muffins. Of course, I LOVE PAM!!!
After baking at the usual 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, you can pull the muffins out of the oven and enjoy one right away. I wanted you to see the texture–the Grape Nuts aren’t crunchy, they just add some heartiness to the texture–nothing your dentures can’t handle.
These Health Nut Breakfast Fiber Muffins are so healthy, that I just had to rebel. I made a hot icing to drizzle over the top. It is almost like Pioneer Woman’s Buttermilk Icing for her Iny’s Prune cake–except that I used molasses.
Icing 1/4 cup molasses, 1/2 cup wonderfully-refined-tastes-devine sugar, 1/2 cup buttermilk, 4 T. butter, 1/2 t. baking soda, and 1 t. vanilla extract. Dump everything into a pot and bring to a boil. Boil until the caramel is sticky, but still pourable (about 5ish minutes).
So here is your delima on a platter. To be a Health Nut or a Confectioner Craver? Which should I choose? Both muffins stood silently looking up at me–begging me to choose.
I choose BOTH! Thank you very much! MMmmmmm!
Hope you also have a “muffin kind of day”
Your muffin-topped host,
P.S. Did you ever wonder what Grape-Nuts are? Here’s the label. Not to much. My guess is that someone left them in the oven too long, and then they thought they had a new invention, and then that their grandkids thought they looked like grape seeds, and that the grandkids thought that their grandparents were nuts to eat them, and hence they are called Grape-Nuts, and are delicious if you are in that sort of mood. But I could be wrong.