Monday is muffin day in our house, and it is probably my children’s favorite breakfast. Each child gets a mixing bowl and makes their own batch. This is great- we end up with three batches to last us for the week or longer (and they do freeze pretty well, too). I have three regular size muffin trays, but sometimes we use a mini muffin tray for snack muffins.
Here is our family muffin recipe… makes a dozen.
Becca’s Whole Grain Muffins
2 1/4 cups whole spelt (or wheat) flour
1/2 tsp celtic sea salt or other unrefined salt
1 Tbsp aluminum free baking powder
1/4 cup melted coconut oil or sunflower oil
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup water
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (I think maple syrup is healthier for baking, but it produces a rather crumbly muffin)
This is the basic “plain” version- good for picky eaters. Sometimes we make one plain batch, and a few flavored ones. Add the grated rind of a lemon plus 4 tsp. poppyseeds Lemon Poppyseed Muffins- our winter favorite (or equally delicious, substitute the poppyseeds for 1 cup of dried sweetened cranberries for Lemon Cranberry Muffins); 1 cup grated zucchini plus 1 cup blueberries for Blueberry Muffins (your kids won’t even know they are eating the zucchini!), our summer favorite (and if you use frozen blueberries, take a tablespoon or two out of the water, because the thawed berries will make the batter even more liquidy and they will be undercooked inside); 1 – 2 tsp of cinnamon and 2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped for Apple Cinnamon Muffins, our autumn favorite (also lovely with some cinnamon, butter and brown sugar on top!); or 1 cup raisins, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 cup grated carrots for Carrot Raisin Muffins, our spring favorite.
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients, then whisk til thoroughly combined. Add the wet ingredients one by one. Mix til batter is thoroughly moistened, but don’t mix too much. I think they come out fluffier with less mixing, and letting them stand 10-15 minutes (now’s a good time to grease your tins!) makes them a bit airier, too. Fill cups 3/4 of the way with batter and cook 15-20 minutes (they only take 15 in my oven… you’ll know they are done when they begin to turn golden brown). While the muffins cook, I get our weekly batch of brown rice going… Monday’s grain of the day is rice!
Our favorite part is the muffin song… no, not the muffin man one, but the Three Little Puffins one!
Three little puffins were partial to muffins,
As partial as partial can be.
They wouldn’t eat nuffin but hot buttered muffin
For breakfast and dinner and tea.
Pantin’ and puffin’ and chewin’ and chuffin’
They just went on stuffin’, dear me!
Til the three little puffins were chock full of muffins
As puffy as puffy can be,
All three were puffy as puffy can be.
Yep, that pretty much describe us on muffin morning! Click on the picture below to watch us sing it… we messed up the first lines and just laughed and carried on, but at least it gives you the melody. The lyrics above are correct, from The Singing Day (now out of print, last I heard, although perhaps you can snag a used copy somewhere?); words by Eleanor Farjeon and music by Marlys Swinger.
Baking also presents wonderful opportunities for math lessons. I love the way Waldorf creates interesting stories and props to introduce math; but as a home educator, I feel I have a true advantage over a Waldorf classroom setting in that we can use our daily home happenings as our framework for learning, whenever and wherever they occur. If we have twelve muffins in a tray, and four people, how can we divide the muffins evenly so each person has the same amount? My first grader distributes them and we see that four groups of people with three muffins each equally distributes the twelve muffins. In doling out ingredients to make the batter, we talk about cups, teaspoons, and their fractional parts. If each person needs half a teaspoon of salt, how many teaspoons of salt do we need? Over on a Ringing Cedars board, forum members were thinking of a “label” to distinguish their ideal form of education. They came up with Natural Life Learning, and I really love that. Sometimes it is refreshing to view our learning time as something as simple as that… devoid of all the second-guessing we may plague ourselves with when we are trying to conform to an established method someone else has created. Sometimes, we need to go back to that place within where the wind echoes a familiar voice- our own still small one- that knowing one, which God has granted a peculiar ability to ascertain what it is our family needs most.