Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Radish Muffins. You Heard Me.

Mmmmm, cake!
When kids get to a certain age they enter the "picky eater" stage where all they want to eat is chicken nuggets, pizza, and cookies. They all do (or at least all of mine have), and there's not a lot you can do about it... or is there? When my son was little, I used to buy Jiffy cupcake mixes and add in oatmeal, raisins, dried cranberries, chopped carrots, and nuts to up the nutritional value of a simple corn or wheat muffin. I had a tiny muffin pan that fit perfectly in my toaster oven, and I'd whip these up every morning. Kids are always happy to eat something resembling cake, it seems, and although you can't hide EVERYTHING in a muffin, you can certainly hide a lot in there.

For the last two years or so, my son has gotten old enough that he will (eventually) eat his vegetables, and my daughters were young enough that eating solid foods was still a novel idea and they would gladly eat almost anything. Not so much lately. Now that we are starting to learn the art of feeding ourselves, my daughters have become a lot more picky about what goes into their mouths. Especially if they are controlling the fork. Baked chicken? Good luck. Green beans? No way. Noodles with Alfredo sauce? You must be dreaming. 

This morning I was puttering about the kitchen (the girls were watching Mickey Mouse and staying out of trouble--a miracle!), and I found a bag of sliced radishes in the fridge. I have often wondered how far I could push the muffin trick, and it occurred to me that radishes are a fairly mild vegetable and full of calcium and dietary fiber, two essential nutrients that my girls are probably lacking. Enter the food processor. Now, you know how I am, I like to be Infinitely Creative in the kitchen, so I rummaged the cabinets for other goodies I could use to make some muffins this morning. Following is my recipe (approximately--I didn't measure, you'll have to go by instinct).

1 1/2 cups pancake mix
3/4 cups radishes (chopped in food processor)
1 lemon, peeled and tossed in the food processor (beware of seeds!)
1 egg
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In theory, this should bake up pretty well because the pancake mix has flour and leavening in it, the egg will help it stick together, the applesauce is a healthy oil substitute, and the rest is for flavor. I didn't have any dried fruit or nuts, or you better believe those would have gone in there too. I put this in a half-dozen cupcake pan and stuck it in the toaster oven at 350 (did not preheat) for 20 minutes. 

Yum! Lemony radish muffins. I think this recipe has promise...

Now the test: feeding them to the kids. Today we didn't have a very high success rate, 33% of my kids liked the muffins. I tried one myself, and you absolutely couldn't taste the radishes, they had a light, lemony flavor, not too sweet, but they were kind of doughy. I think the mistake was in using pancake batter for a muffin. Lesson learned. Next time, it will be muffin mix or we'll just eat radish pancakes! And you better believe there will be a next time, I think that with the price of radishes (88 cents a bunch at Wal-Mart) and their nutritional value, I'll be doing some more experimenting with this tasty vegetable.

What creative tricks have you used to give your kids a little extra nutrition when they were being picky eaters? What other vegetables do you think could be integrated into a muffin? Do you have any great radish recipes you'd like to share?

Challenge: (Especially you, C. and Momma2Brooklyn) Tweak my recipe until it works and repost it! I'd love to have a Lemon Radish muffin that wasn't so doughy :)

1 comment:

  1. I don't know if this will go over better with your kids or not but here's a recipe I find quite good: http://funstainables.com/Splendy_solar_oven_recipes.htm#_Toc319843914