I think I seriously need to open a bakery or something. I make waaaay too many baked goodies! I made up my own muffin recipe this time, and it turned out delicious! I was pleasantly surprised! The best part is, they are good for you too! I didn't know what to call these muffins, since they have so many delicious ingredients in them, so I decided to just call them "Good For You Muffins". It works! I recently bought this hot cereal for my son to try that is 7-grain hot cereal. I thought, seven grains is way better than just one or two, right? The mix (I got the Arrowhead Mills version) has wheat, oats, barley, soybeans, buckwheat, corn, and millet in it! Super hearty! I made some for him, mixed it with some fruit, and he loved it! Well, on the back of the package there are a couple of recipes for muffins/bread. I think my husband noticed the big lightbulb above my head... I got so excited to experiment with a new muffin recipe, that I made some later that night after my son went to bed! I didn't use the recipe on the back of the box because I wanted to put different ingredients in it, so I just made one up based on a bunch of different ideas I had in my head (and also what I had in my kitchen)! I think they turned out great, and when my son does his usual, "Mmmm, mmm!" I know they must be good! Enjoy!
1 pkg. (8 oz) Neufchatel Cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 mashed ripe bananas
1/4 cup applesauce (homemade or no sugar added)
1/2 cup carrots, grated
Zest and juice of 1 lemon*
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1-1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Preheat oven to 350 F. Using a handheld or standing mixer, beat neufchatel cheese, sugar, and butter on medium speed until well blended. Add banana, egg, applesauce, lemon zest and juice, and carrots. Mix well.
In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients (except cranberries) together until combined. Add combined dry ingredients gradually to the wet ingredients and mix until moistened. Leave about 1 tbsp of the dry ingredients in the bowl to coat the cranberries. After coating the cranberries with the flour mixture, add to the batter, and fold in with a spoon until evenly distributed. Pour batter into greased and floured, or paper cup-lined muffin tray.
Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes; remove from muffin tray. Cool completely on wire rack. Serve and enjoy! Make 12 "puffy" muffins, or up to 18 normal-sized muffins.
*Note: I had a "Momnesia" moment and thought that I had some oranges on hand, which would have tasted delicious with the cranberries and carrot! However, when I went to grab one, I noticed that the only citrus I had was lemons... Oops! So, I used lemon and it turned out fine. If you decide to use orange, you could use half or all of the zest of one orange, and about 2-3 tbsp of the juice. :)