Delicious muffins baked by students in Advanced Nutrition and Wellness at White River Valley.
I was so excited for Advanced Nutrition and Wellness students this past week when they made delicious muffins. Many years, students make amazing muffins, but it seems that usually at least one group has muffins that do not turn out as expected, but this year one class had a 100 percent perfection and ate four delicious muffins.
This year I started out the lessons on quick breads by doing a demonstration and making pancakes by adding ingredients one at a time and cooking each product for students to consider the function. The pancakes began with flour and milk. These two ingredients made an old fashioned bread. Alex Overman stated that they tasted like Washington Cakes.
I went on to add eggs, baking powder (the leavening agent), sugar, salt and oil. After each ingredient, I cooked small pancakes for each student to sample. I was fortunate to have student helpers: Alex Overman and Luke Powers each helped flip and hand out the pancakes.
Students did an amazing job thinking about and recording their observations on the changes in taste, texture and appearance, learning that when baking, each ingredient serves a purpose.
Flour and water combine to make gluten, the protein network that gives bread products structure. Sugar adds flavor and browning. Leavening agents, like baking powder, baking soda and yeast produce the carbon dioxide needed for baked products to rise.
Fat, like vegetable oil or butter, add tenderness and richness to the product. Eggs are a binding ingredient that holds the liquid and fat together as well as a leavening agent when whipped. Liquids make the product a pourable batter. Flavorings, such as bananas, blueberries, pumpkin or carrot add variety, flavor and nutrient density.
Not only is each ingredient important, but so is how you combine them.
To make muffins, first combine and stir up the dry ingredients.
Second, combine and whisk the liquid ingredients. Then prepare the flavorings. After all these are prepared, combine them using a rubber spatula, folding gently until all the dry ingredients are moist. Stirring too vigorously could result in tough muffins as stirring develops the gluten network.
In class, students got to apply their knowledge of the ingredients and procedure for baking quick breads by making muffins.
Each of the four groups got a different recipe: blue kitchen made banana muffins, red kitchen made carrot muffins, yellow kitchen made blueberry muffins and green kitchen made pumpkin muffins.
After baking, students got to taste-test each of the muffins and evaluate their appearance, texture and flavor. Here is what students had to say about muffins.
“I have never thought about how many different types of muffins you could make,” said Keelin Coulter, “And I loved watching the process and tasting the four different muffins. They were really good.”
Alex Overman says muffins will be easy to make at home.
“Making the muffins was really fun,” Overman said. “I got to learn a new recipe, and I got to learn how to mix the ingredients correctly so I know how to do it at home and not make a mistake.”
Felipe Ruiz said, “The muffins were so good, I could barely contain myself. I really liked the carrot because it was the most nutritious. It had vegetables and whole grain flour.”
Please consider making muffins this week. The recipe I have included in this article was given to me by my Grandmother Jeanette. Since I have been in the habit of making banana bread at least once a week, I have adjusted the recipe as many cooks do. This recipe is perfect for muffins and makes around 17 muffins, but you can also bake it in a loaf pan. Happy baking.
• 2 cups flour
• 1 cup sugar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon baking powder
• 2 eggs
• ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
• ¼ cup milk
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 3 ripe bananas
Preheat the oven to 350℉degrees.
Place muffin papers in muffin tin/oil and flour bread pan.
In a large bowl (not metal), whisk dry ingredients and make a well.
In a liquid measuring cup, combine liquid ingredients (whisk eggs first).
On a plate, mash the bananas with a fork.
Pour liquid ingredients and mashed banana into the dry ingredients and fold gently to incorporate.
Scoop batter into muffin tin by the quarter-cup and pour into bread pan.
Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake for 25 minutes for the muffins or up to one hour for the bread.
Betsy Misner has been the Family and Consumer Science, formerly Home Economics, teacher at White River Valley for over a decade. Her motivation is helping students to strive for strong, happy, healthy families and providing career pathways. Check out more of what is happening in the classroom by following her on Twitter: WRVFACS@BetsyMisner