I thought I would add today to our stretch a meal and use it up series. This week I am making a big effort to use up bits and pieces from the freezer. I seem to be a collector of lots of small bags of ingredients! I started on the weekend with something similar to an archeological dig and unearthing random packets of left over berries. This produced about a cup and a half of mainly blueberries.
So I made my Miracle Muffins. Oh, I also unearthed a small tub of vanilla yoghurt. So that went in too.
This recipe is so handy. You can turn all kinds of bits and pieces into muffins that can become breakfasts, sides with soup, lunch box fillers, after school snacks, morning tea... anything! It makes two dozen medicum muffins but you could do mini muffins for a small child or texas man size muffins in which case you would get a dozen.
This is the recipe. It is very versatile!
4 cups of SR Flour,
1 heaped cup of sugar, any kind.
1 cup of butter OR oil.
1 cup of milk , any kind.
To this you can add:
Chopped apple, raisins, sultanas, currents, dried apricot, date...
Pureed fruit, tinned fruit, stewed fruit, cooked rhubarb,
fresh or frozen berries, banana,
Yoghurt, plain, flavored....
Any combination you like that you have, want to use up and think will be nice.
Mix wet ingredients together and add dry ingredients and blend. Add any ingredients you do not want broken up last and fold them in ie chunks of fruit or berries. I use a small square of baking paper in the bottom of my muffin tins. Bake in a medium oven about 12 mins but test with skewer.
My general rule is if I use really wet extras ie yoghurt or pureed fruit I will use a little less milk.
And another is probably I will use about a cupful of this or that but you could use more or less. If I have added too many wet ingredients I add a little more flour.
You can add a topping before you bake them and use up a sprinkle of sugar. A drizzle of jam. A sprinkle of left over cereal. Some nuts. Also add a spice or sugar that you think might work ie I would sprinkle with cinnamon if I made apple... or vanilla sugar goes well with fruit.
So mine on Saturday were the basic recipe plus a cup of vanilla yoghurt, plus a big cup of blueberries, plus about two tablespoons of plum jam. I went for plum as I have a ton and it's pink. I fold in the berries and then the jam gently so it is visible like strawberry ripple. This bulks out the berries and it basically seems you have way more berries than you actually do!
When baked I sprinkle with icing sugar.
The thing is this can make savory muffins also.
Use the base mix and omit the sugar.
A handful of grated cheese,
Creamed corn or corn kernels.
Chopped ham or bacon,
Mashed pumpkin, grated zucchini,
Also add herbs if you like. I add chives to cheese and bacon muffins...
The same flexibility applies.
Turning a few bits and pieces into a tray of hot muffins is a real family filler. These also freeze so well. Then you always have quick lunch box options on hand. I doubt I have ever made the ezcat ame combination twice but they are always really good.
Using up and stretching what we have reduces waste, saves a lot of money and might reduce our trips to the shops as well. Most of the time it is enough to try and keep food costs down. I would say just about everyone has that battle. When I see the price of something simple like a muffin in a cafe or a bakery I think how making a couple of dozen is so cheap in comparison.
My savings on the grocery budget are adding to my pantry so it is like a double challenge. Or a triple challenge if I count the use things up from the freezer one as well!
According to the prices in our local bakery my batch of muffins would have cost $64. I got just over two dozen out of this batch, I got 28. Can you believe that? $64. The cost to make was probably four dollars or so. And it all took under an hour. So lets call that a $50 an hour pay cheque.
I hope this might add to your stretch it and use it up go to recipes and it will save you money also.
Have a wonderful week! We have a beautiful sunny day after a really cold night. I have grocery shopping to do and some errands to run then I hope to get into the garden and soak up some sunshine.
I am excited about Wednesday's Pantries and Preparedness post! See you then! xxx
The little birds...
If you watch little birds you will see they are busy and happy! Using whatever they can find they create the most gorgeous little nest.
I would be the little bird with some glittery thread in her nest!
We can be like this. Happily working away with the things that are available to us to create a beautiful and happy home.
All the while with a little song in our heart.
Banner by Free Pretty Things for You.