Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Natural Dyed Rainbow Muffins

We are full swing into our new year and trying to eat healthy. One of the treats the girls love most is muffins. I set about working on some new recipes to make muffins yummy and a little healthier. We started by adding some purees, Sneaky Chef style, to color and add nutrients to a favorite recipe.

First the recipe:

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar (we used raw)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Mix dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Melt butter in a small bowl, add egg, applesauce and sugar and stir to combine. Add milk and butter mixture to dry ingredients. Stir till just combined. Bake in greased muffin tins at 350F for 20 minutes.

I added another step by dividing the batter into 6 small bowls and adding 2 tbsp of dye to each. Then I stirred and baked the muffins. The picture shows the large muffin tins but I ended up making a second batch after the girls went to bed with the mini muffin tins. We tried to layer the first batch and that did not work because the batter was too thick.

Stirring in the purees.

The second time around I placed each color in a separate tin and baked for 12-14 minutes. The result was good but not great. It was late so I put the muffins on a plate, covered them loosely, and went to bed.

Because he was already up working, the girl's daddy fed them breakfast. They asked for the muffins and he gladly handed them out, not knowing I was not satisfied with the result. They ate several.

Later that morning we had a few friends over to cook with us and the plate of muffins was still on the table. The children climbed up and started in on them. They were kind enough to leave me a few. But not any of the spinach or beet. I have a few pineapple and one carrot, the rest are gone. 

The recipe does still need a little work but it is better than I thought. Next batch I will add 1-2 tsp almond extract to the batter. I think that will do it.

Spinach, blackberry, beet, carrot, and pineapple muffins.

I messed up the red cabbage so I did not end up with a blue muffin. Now that I understand the process more I will get it right next time. These muffins are a great source of whole wheat and have very little fat and sugar. You can add anything you want along with the puree to up the nutritional value of the muffin. Scrambled eggs, bacon bits, cheese, banana, raisins, strawberries, and blueberries are a few items we have enjoyed in this batter. 

What would you add?


I have been asked to include information about the purees. The girls did not help me make them so I glossed over that part. For each vegetable (beet, carrot) except spinach I boiled them until they were tender. Then I tossed them in a blender with a little of their boiling liquid. Blend and continue to add liquid until they are baby food consistency. I tossed the baby spinach in the blender with a little liquid until completely pureed. The pineapple I pureed in its own juice and the blackberries I just added a little water. Fruits with seeds are best pushed through a sieve but I was too lazy to do so this time. It showed when the blackberry seeds got stuck in your teeth.

Next time I am working on the red cabbage to attempt blue. You boil the cabbage and then mix the juice with something alkaline like baking soda. I may have to try spinach as the baking soda is not supposed to work well in a hot environment. Check back with me to see if it worked!

I added this to Tip Junkie's Tip Me Tuesday linkup. And Fun Stuff Fridays on Toys In The Dryer. Check out the fabulous projects!

Tip Junkie handmade projects

Fun Stuff Fridays

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  1. My 2 year old daughter Tori ate almost all of the green muffins.. Sorry Kris, but not really! Now I know Tori likes spinach muffins and will be having her help me make them!

  2. My kids would enjoy making these and I will be pinning so I don't forget your great ideas for natural dyes!

  3. Love this post! I'm having a linky party, and would love for you to join! Here is the link http://www.thesouthernproductqueen.com/one-stop-shoppe-linky-party-3 Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Thank you for this post. My son's 2nd birthday is coming up. I'd love to do a sesame street themed party for him, but most of the ideas I see include a lot of artificial coloring which we don't give him. Maybe I can experiment with this way of making food dyes and figure out how to make some party food everyone will be happy with! Thanks!

  5. I would like to invite you to share this post with our readers for Fun Stuff Fridays. http://www.toysinthedryer.com/2012/01/fun-stuff-fridays-7.html

  6. I have tried using natural dyes too---red beet, avocado, sweet potato---i wish you could get deep and bright colors, but that seems to be somehting you just have to accept! love the post :)

  7. Blueberries (frozen) work awesome as a dye. These are really neat! I need to pin them because I'm always looking for things with natural dyes and these are GREAT ideas! Raspberries might also make a nice pink muffin!


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