On a regular week day, our ravenous little misses know better than to throw a tantrum about their after-school snacks. Home-cooked food works best on most occasions, and we do put out some funnibbles, needless to say, from time to time. Naturally, they are well versed with the prismatic paranthas, which have the goodness of spinach, beet or carrot tucked furtively in..the crunchy, textured mini dosas, which are protein-rich from a variety of lentils ground right in..tacos stuffed with spiced up potato-bell pepper-lima beans, topped with fresh homemade salad, creamy hung curd dollops and fresh grated cheese, among hordes of other nutritious foods that look as appealing to their curious little eyes. What they’re also familiar with are the stern stares and stiff no-nos they get when they ask for Nutella sandwiches (invariably on days when lunch consisted of PBJs) or worse, donuts.
With ample scope for sweet treats and all manner of junk foods worming their way into our houses all year long, starting from Valentine’s Day and going upto Halloween, we do endeavor to maintain a moderate balance of healthy and not-so-healthy intakes on a daily basis. Whether it’s hot chocolate on a whim while playing a board game indoors on a rainy day, ice cream on the way back from the library, a mix of dark-chocolate coated almonds and plain raisins while watching a cartoon, or small squirts of maple syrup on their waffles on select Sundays, we rein in the sweet dosage in ways that make them gleam when they can, even though they do cringe at times.
Further, we’re known to toss up a batch of carrot-cream cupcakes (again, primarily rooting for that Vitamin A from the carrots and the calcium from the yogurt) on randomly chosen wearisome wednesdays or taxing Thursdays, to help ease their homework overload. And on other arbitrarily picked mundane Mondays or freaky Fridays, we go to town with our ideas and come up with grand treats such as these (Omega-3-enriched) Chocolate Muffins that the tiny mouths are for once left without speech..in between simply gasping and gushing in delight.
Wet ingredients –
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ Cup thick applesauce or other fruit puree
- 1 Cup kefir/buttermilk, at room temperature
- 2 Eggs, at room temperature
- 2 Teaspoons vanilla
Dry ingredients –
- 1 Cup all-purpose flour
- ½ Cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- ¼ Cup ground flax seeds
- 2/3 Cup cocoa powder
- 1 Cup brown sugar
- 1 Teaspoon baking powder
- 1 Teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ Teaspoon salt
¼ Cup walnuts, chopped
¼ Cup dark chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or insert paper liners in each cup.
Lightly whip the eggs in a bowl, and stir in the buttermilk, melted butter, applesauce and vanilla. In a large bowl, measure out the dry ingredients and then mix them together thoroughly using a fork.
Add the wet mixture into the dry and then stir gently until the batter barely comes together. Immediately ladle the batter into the prepared cups and bake until a toothpick comes out with barely any crumbs sticking to it.
Mini muffins bake in 15-17 minutes, regular ones take about 20 minutes.