Ahh, tiny picky eaters. My ears are ever resounding with the “yucks” and “I am not eating that!” most meal and snack times.
Nearly everything from apples and blueberries to yogurt and zucchini has been vetoed at some point.
But behold, the hero of my kids’ healthy eating habits: the garden!! One day I noticed our five-year-old pick off some of the leaves of my spinach plants, and taste it. Pretty soon, all the kids were begging Hubby and I for more spinach! What?!
Yesterday the kids begged us to pick a squash so we could eat it. Only two were near ripe, but we caved and picked them both. I promised them that they could help me make muffins out of the squash. Like magic, they were intrigued!
Apparently eating something you can physically see coming out of the ground is pretty cool.
And to be honest, it is! I LOVE the benefits of gardening. They are too many to count. Today though, that benefit is getting the kids to eat something delicious and nourishing!
Peanut Butter Banana Oat Muffins (w/ Sneaky Squash)
1 small yellow squash, to yield about 1 c. puree
2 c. brown sugar
1 c. creamy peanut butter
1 c. pureed squash
2 overripe, mashed bananas
1 c. flour
1 c. quick oats
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg (a little goes a long way)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and grease 24 regular muffin cups.
Slice and cook the squash in a large saucepan of boiling water until fork-tender. Remove the squash pieces from boiling water with a slotted spoon, and puree on high with a blender or food processor. (The kids enjoyed that part!)
Next, cream the sugar, peanut butter, squash puree, bananas, and eggs with a large electric mixer. When well creamed, add the flour, oats, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
Mix again, on medium-high speed, for about two minutes. Pause at the one-minute mark to scrape the bowl, if necessary.
Pour the batter evenly into the 24 prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 17-19 minutes.
For toddler fodder, these turned out beautifully. Not sure that will be the case when they’re actually eaten, but for now, I’ll enjoy the beauty.
The best part about this recipe is the secret squash — you’d never know it’s in there. Instead, you’ll taste the rich peanut butter, creamy banana, and spicy cinnamon flavors.
Thankfully, I get to use this recipe as a double agent: to get the kids to eat their veggies, and as a reward, to get them to take a nap! Anyone who takes a good nap this afternoon has the option to eat one (or two) with “purple” (grape) jelly slathered on top!
I hope all eaters, picky or not, enjoy these muffins.