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Debra Caffrey is the Education E-newsletter Editor for FredParent. She also writes, blogs, and assists with events. She is the proud mom of 8-year-old Aidan. She is passionate about cooking, meal planning, and smart grocery shopping, and is excited to share her ‘Practical Pantry’ with you.

 

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Practical Pantry

 

Who doesn’t like things in mini form? It’s a food trend that’s not just for kids, although children always seem to adore eating “regular” food items in smaller, fun-size bites. The mini muffin pan can be a parent’s best accessory, as there seems to be no end to the fun creations it can make! Earlier, I shared my recipe for easy lunchbox mini pizza muffins, and today I want to tell you how simple it is to create quick make-ahead breakfast muffins that can be prepped in advance, eaten fresh, or frozen to save for busy weekday mornings. They can really be eaten any time of day, and are even great for a quick, on-the-go picnic meal.

My son is a die-hard breakfast lover, and he could eat it all day long. And in fact, I serve up these breakfast muffins warmed up in his lunchbox for school, as well as for an easy dinner sometimes. And since I am not a morning person in the least, I make a huge batch on weekends and freeze them, so that when it’s time to feed him before the bus comes in the early morning, I can easily take a few out and warm them in the oven without having to think too much!

Best of all, a breakfast mini muffin is the perfect vehicle to get a few healthy items into your children without them noticing too much. I actually successfully tricked my son into thinking that finely chopped spinach was merely some dried basil, and he gobbled it up! You can add finely chopped up peppers or other veggies, as well as lean protein choices like turkey if you want. The possibilities are literally endless. Read on to see my recipe for a super easy Pancake and Sausage Muffin, as well as inspiration for how to do a Make-Your-Own Breakfast Mini Muffin Bar!

 

Pancake and Sausage Mini Muffins

These are sort of a riff on a pig in a blanket. They combine my own son’s two favorite things in the world  - pancakes and sausage – into a cute muffin that can be eaten any time of day.  We love them served with some warm syrup for dipping. We use turkey sausage but you can use any type you’d like.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound pre-cooked sausage links of any variety
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 cups  milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Syrup, for dipping
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Coat mini-muffin cups with cooking spray.
  2. Heat pre-cooked sausage according to package directions and cool slightly. Drain any excess grease or moisture, then slice into 1” pieces.
  3. In a bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Then, add egg, milk, oil and honey into flour mixture. Stir until combined.
  4. Place a 1” sausage piece into each mini-muffin cup, making sure the bottom side is flat. Cover with batter, filling up ¾ of the way.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm with syrup or freeze in plastic bags to use later. Enjoy!

Makes about 4 dozen.

 

Design-Your-Own-Breakfast-Mini-Muffin

You can treat this concept as more of a muffin “bar,” where everybody can chose from different fillings to make their own mini “frittata” like muffins. It’s also a great way to have kids help out in the kitchen. Make a ton, bake, and freeze to use throughout the week. Decide on quantity of ingredients based on personal preference.

 

 

Ingredients:

  • Container of Egg Beaters, or several fresh eggs, beaten
  • Fresh spinach, finely chopped
  • Diced or minced red or green pepper
  • Bacon crumbles
  • Cooked and diced breakfast sausage
  • Shredded cheese
  • Diced mushrooms or onions
  • Cubed ham
  • Other “omelet” fillings you enjoy
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and spray mini-muffin tin with olive oil.
  2. Set out individual bowls of all mini muffin ingredients. Have kids create their own favorite combination by sprinkling a few of the filling choices in the mini-muffin tray.
  3. Add beaten eggs carefully to individual muffin cups, covering fillings until full. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.
  4. Bake for 15–20 minutes or until set. Enjoy! 

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