During a train trip from Chennai where I worked, several years ago, to my hometown in Kerala, I met a young couple travelling along with their toddler.I reach my destination by about 8 Am and hence avoid breakfast on the train. This couple, however, were going further and hence picked up breakfast when they reached the Ernakulam station.Once their breakfast ritual was done with the mother pounced upon the just awakened toddler with a pack of commercial potato fries. The toddler was obviously in no mood for the chips but the mother pleaded, cajoled, coaxed, and even threatened till she finished half the packet. The dad pitched in with his, "baby, you should eat breakfast". I was aghast to say the least! But once I started taking notice, I found that this was not a one off case. There are many people who regularly buy bakery goodies for their kids to eat after school; start them on a batter fried chicken, fizzy drink, chips, and instant noodle routine when very young. Started this way no wonder they bloom into coke guzzling-junk gobbling obesity ridden teenage years and then into young adults who have already succumbed to some or all of the degenerative diseases.
This in mind, I try and avoid picking up commercial snacks and edible goodies, as far as possible, where my little girl is concerned. Her only allowed indulgences, till date, are transfat free biscuit brands and chocolates in moderation. Once she gets to the school going- peer influencable age my influence on her is bound to decrease. Hence, why not atleast put some effort into giving her a healthy start. This wholesome muffin, with loads of goodness in it, is a little different from your regular muffin in that it has more texture. I also found that it tasted much better the next day.
wheat bran - 1 1/2 cups
whole wheat flour - 1 cup
low-fat buttermilk -1 cup
flaxseed - 1 dessert spoon (finely ground)
packed brown sugar - 1/4 cup
baking powder - 1 teaspoon
date syrup - 1 dessertspoon
dates - about 10 Nos (pitted, and chopped)
apple - 1 Nos (deseeded, grated peel and all)
extra virgin olive oil - 1 dessertspoon
Soak the bran and powdered flaxseed in the buttermilk for a few minutes. Incorporate the baking powder with the wheat flour. Add everything together and mix to form a sticky batter. If required, add in a little warm water. Pour into greased cup cake moulds and bake in preheated oven at 200° C for about 20 minutes. Insert a tooth pick to check if it comes clean. If required, bake at 180° for another 4-5 minutes.
PS: The chopped dates and date syrup will make these appear a little sticky in places. Hence cool well, preferably overnight, before eating.
Sending this over to Sreevalli's Kids Delight -Finger Food
event at Spice Your Life. She has been good enough to allow in my really late entry. Thank you, Sreevalli.