It’s crazy how different my boys are from each other. As babies, Zachary was pretty fussy while Ian was extremely chill. As young toddlers, Zachary liked to read and Ian liked to climb. At 2, when you told Zachary not to do something, he didn’t do that thing (amazingly). At 2, when you tell Ian not to do something, he looks you in the eye, gets a huge grin on his face and does precisely that thing.
Zachary liked to help in the kitchen at an early age, but not Ian. Ian wanted to SEE what was going on (one similarity they have always shared is a love of food), but he wanted to do that by way of being held. He had zero interest in getting up on a stool or even just sitting down and watching. He was all about, you know, inconveniencing people. Or doing a lot of screaming.
But not long ago, Ian was amazingly cooperative when the three of us tried to make a quickbread. I gave it a whirl again with these muffins, and he stood on a stool and loved dumping ingredients in and stirring. And I have to tell you that, even though the cleanup might be a little more difficult, having both your hands free and a kid who isn’t mad throwing himself on the floor or hugging your knees is quite helpful when baking. I’m excited that we seem to have turned the corner in this regard because I do really like cooking/baking with the kids.
As for the bad news, Ian was not crazy about these muffins. I am 99.9% sure that it was the texture of the strawberries because he was nibbling around them. Admittedly I am not huge on cooked strawberries either, unless they are chilled (think cheesecake), so while I did enjoy these muffins (and Zachary REALLY enjoyed them), I actually preferred them straight from the fridge.
These muffins have minimal sugar (especially if you don’t sprinkle the tops, which we didn’t) and are actually pretty healthy. We used whole wheat flour, lowfat milk, and I added some Greek yogurt to make these even more moist. I recommend refrigerating the leftovers to keep the strawberry moisture from making these too soggy/sticky.
Strawberry Rhubarb Muffins
Adapted from Food.com
1-3/4 cups flour (we used white whole wheat)
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling the tops (optional)
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract (optional)
2/3 cup finely diced rhubarb
2/3 cup chopped strawberries
6 strawberries, cut in half
Preheat the oven to 400º and grease or line a 12-cup muffin tin.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and oil until combined. Add in the egg, beating until incorporated. Beat in the milk, yogurt, and vanilla. With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour mixture until just incorporated. Fold in the rhubarb and strawberries.
Divide the batter evenly between muffin cups. Place 1/2 strawberry on each muffin, pressing down just slightly. Sprinkle with granulated or turbinado sugar, if desired.
Bake the muffins for 18-22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.