Friday, June 8, 2012

bran & molasses muffins (sugar-free!)

Adapted from a recipe I found online (I added the raisins and the butter - what kind of muffin recipe has no fat whatsoever??).

In a large bowl, combine:
2 c bran flakes
1 1/2 c milk
1/2 c molasses (160g for those of you blessed with a kitchen scale)
1 large handful raisins

Stir, then let soak for at least 15 minutes. (At this point I personally had a nap.)

Preheat the oven to 375*F.

1 egg, beaten
1/2 c butter, melted but no longer hot
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Mix well.

Then stir in:
1 c whole wheat pastry flour (or white flour if that's your thing)

Spoon into a greased muffin tin or prepared silicone baking cups. Bake about 20 minutes, or until a test skewer comes out clean or with just a crumb or two clinging.


I tried these because I worry about sugar. It is so all-pervasive, especially for toddlers. It's not a good thing. I contemplate sugar fasts of various kinds, but I find that I need to go easy on myself, because in our food culture, eating truly sugar-free is incredibly ambitious. (Though I am making progress, relying more on trail mix and boiled eggs for snacks.) Our family has been really into muffins lately. It's one of the only ways I've found to give Tony a fighting chance of having a healthy breakfast (or any breakfast at all) (he leaves at 5:30-6:30 or so in the morning). The baby consistently will eat muffins. And for me, of course, ease of preparation is also valued when it comes to breakfast. Mornings require so much of you before you even get a sip of caffeine when you have kids... nursing, potty, diaper, tooth brushing; your own morning nose-powdering; get the baby dressed, get yourself dressed... having breakfast that requires no effort at all - and has no sugar! - is great. Really.

Nonetheless, I did wonder how these would turn out - while I have this sort of aversion to sugar-loading, I know it's so all-pervasive because we have a deep biological instinct to gravitate toward sweetness and calories - but they are really great! Moist and certainly sweet enough for me. Good for a baby's bedtime snack, easy for a mama to take outside when the baby feels he needs to play in the sandbox first thing in the morning when his feet hit the floor.

I am hoping to get a particular muffin book with like 600 recipes soon, including gluten-free, vegan, more-healthy, less-healthy, the works - I get so excited thinking about it. Hoping it has more sugar-free gems like this!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sometimes fermentation goes badly...

Competing microbes gain foothold... It's gross and fascinating. This batch of wine was just discovered to be badly contaminated... The airlock should have nothing but clear water in it - notice the mold in the neck, general colored sludge, and fruitfly larvae...!