Luxury on the Cheap
People, I've made a discovery.  A beautiful, stunning discovery -  eloquent in its simplicity, and shocking in its economy.  Efficient and sufficient for even the grouchiest early-morning-grumpy-teen's breakfast.

Harken unto the humble muffin!

No, no! Don't run away!  Nacho Mama has other things to do besides being chained to the stove all day - and would never try and trick you with some Martha-Stewarty-type creation that takes a degree in physics, a stack money, and all day to do.

Oh no.  Dude, this is so easy even I can do it. 

Muffins.  Right.
When I was a kid, I had issues with breakfast.  Still do, as a matter of fact.  It comes too early in the day.  And I never felt like eating as soon as I woke up.  (Still don't.) 

In an effort to send me to school properly nutrified and energized, my poor mom tried everything.  Cereal, toast, bacon, grits.... Yeah, I wasn't having it.  In a last-ditch effort to get some calories down my skinny gullet, Mom started making muffins that I could take with me on the school bus. 

This is not her recipe. 

My mom bought those store mixes, and although she tried so hard to find some flavor I would eat, usually I took those anemic bundles of blecch and fed them to the birds.  (Sorry, Mom.)

It's only been recently that the idea stuck me to make muffins from scratch.  Why?  I was too lazy to do biscuits.  Don't judge me!

So here's the deal: these are incredibly easy and fast to make; incredibly easy to freeze and store; and lends itself well to fiddling with the mix.  I've added random fruity bits (fresh and frozen), nuts, chocolate chips - substituted for egg, milk, and sugar in every possible combination; and still, even the pickiest eater in my domicile loves these dang muffins. their story.

You will need:

2 Cups whole wheat flour (or whatever flour you have)
1/2 Cup sugar (or honey, or sweetener of choice)
1/2 teaspoon salt (not strictly necessary, as far as I can tell)
3/4 Cup milk (I've used soy, plain and vanilla, and water)
1/3 Cup vegetable oil (or olive oil, or butter, or coconut oil)
1 egg (if you don't have an egg, you can use an extra 1/4 Cup milk, or 2 tbsp corn starch)

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Mix the dry ingredients.  Then mix the wet ingredients. Then mix them all together.  Although, honestly, I tend to just toss everything into a bowl together and mix.  Add a handful of berries or a mashed up banana if the spirit moves you.   Next, fill your greased muffin tins 2/3 full and bake 20 to 25 minutes. 


Now, a word about muffin papers.  Why?  Why the hell do I want to bake paper with my food?  I don't get it.  I mean, unless you wanted fancy party muffins or something, I don't know.  But I've never had a muffin turned down because it didn't have a paper.  Just an unnecessary expense, if you ask me.

Also, to grease my muffin tin, I use a little bit of coconut oil.  It may be more expensive to buy up front - but well worth it.  I think of it as a hidden tightwad purchase.  Coconut oil is extremely nutritious because it contains all kinds of the "good" fats and nutrients.  It's anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral.  You could practically live on coconuts if you had too.  They're that healthy.  Also, coconut oil keeps well, is useful as hell, and it smells great when it's melting in your tins.  The mild flavor makes it great to use anytime your recipe calls for shortening or oil.  Why would you ever waster your money on some Franken-food like Crisco?

One last word - I've made these muffins for feral packs of teenagers with great success, so I feel pretty good about this recipe as is. However, for added value, you can always say "These are Love Muffins!  Because I made 'em with love!" and bask in the sweet sounds of gagging.

Solid gold entertainment value, every time. 

And, you are what you eat!


Nacho Mama

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