Healthy Cornbread Muffins (fail)

Healthy Cornbread Muffins fail

I knew I was going to bake tonight, and I decided it should be something that all four of us could enjoy. That means nothing with chocolate (Juliet), nothing too fattening or decadent (me), and nothing too spicy (Nathaniel).  But everybody likes corn muffins. I used to LOVE corn muffins, especially back when I was a kid in Toronto and we’d go to Fran’s Restaurant for lunch. I went crazy for their corn muffins. It’s been decades since I was at a Fran’s.

Sadly, these muffins were a far cry from Fran’s.

To be fair, these are healthy cornBREAD muffins, which means they’re not loaded with butter, and the texture isn’t soft and moist, like a muffin. (Apologies to those who hate the word “moist”; there seem to be a lot of you out there.) But a little melted butter goes a long way. I hope.

It started with a cup of cornmeal.

one cup cornmeal

I’ve said it before, it’s a funny phase of my life to be in when I can decide to make cornbread muffins and I don’t even have to go pick up any ingredients. I even had back-up cornmeal, so when I ran out after filling the cup up a quarter of the way, I just pulled out another container of it. I think I’ve gone mad.

To the cornbread, I added flour (whole wheat white), baking soda, baking powder, salt (slightly less than the suggested teaspoon), and a quarter cup of sugar.

sugar going in

I whisked it all together.


Then I cracked two eggs into another bowl, and added buttermilk, yogurt, and olive oil.

adding olive oil

And whisked.

whisked wet ingredients

This is probably the easiest recipe I’ve baked from in weeks. I poured one mixture into the other, and mixed just until combined.

pouring mixtures


It was that easy! I divided the batter among 12 muffin cups, striving to make them as even as possible.

batter in cups

I had heated the oven to 425 degrees, so I reduced it to 400 once I put them in and set the timer for 13 minutes. I had a feeling they’d be done sooner than the recipe proposed.

Then I hung out with Nathaniel.


He was being a goofball, increasingly so as the clock inched closer to his bedtime, and it was enchanting. In fact, he’d already done a glorious good deed for the day. I came home one train early today, stressed out and needing some family time, and I found this on my desk about five minutes after walking in the door.

front cover



Honestly, nothing could have been more perfect. The card, the sentiment, the drawings, the timing…it was almost enough to make me cry. What a lucky mom I am.

Eventually we sent him off to bed, and a little while later, the muffins were ready. I’m glad I set the timer for 13 minutes, any longer would have been too much. They looked good.

muffins in tin

While they were cooling in the pan, I stepped into the playroom and checked out Nathaniel’s latest Lego creation. Wowza.


I took the muffins out of the tin and let them cool on the rack for a while.


And then Dave & I had some fun with the robot plate.

muffin face robot

muffin body robot

I ate one of them tonight. We will test again in the morning, but I think they could use a LOT less salt, a pinch more sugar (or some brown sugar), and a slightly shorter baking time. Still, I think some melted butter will help out this particular batch…I hope. They’re salty. But at 3 P+, it’s worth my while to play with this one a little and fine-tune it. I think even just a tablespoon of butter would go a long way. Maybe I’ll try that instead of the oil next time. (So much for healthy.)

Addendum: Okay, these are actually sort of horrible. They look lovely but don’t taste very good. I’m going to throw them out, since we don’t have any cows around to eat them, and if I try again I’ll add butter, lose most of the salt, add some sugar, bake for less time, and see if it’s salvageable. Yech.


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