muffins - NZ DadsSavoury muffins are my new favourite snack, breakfast on the go, or as they were today, a quick and easy lunch alongside my favourite tinned soup.

These muffins are loaded with veggies and tasty cheese for calcium and a protein kick. You’re welcome to chop and change the veggies used. Corn kernels and roasted pumpkin or kumara are also very tasty.

Polenta is also known as cornmeal and is available at most supermarkets, if you don’t have it, you could substitute for 1/2 a cup of ground nuts, or 3/4 cup of extra flour.

This recipe is easily doubled. I make a double batch, then individually wrap and freeze them. Frozen they stay fresh for up to 3 months. Simply grab one in the morning and it will be good to eat by morning tea time, or quickly warm in the microwave for 30 seconds.

Ingredients (makes 12 regular muffins, or 6 Texas* muffins):

1 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large egg
1 tsp dried herbs or 1 tbsp fresh herbs (parsley, chives oregano or thyme)
1 cup plain flour
1/2 cup polenta
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup grated cheese, plus 1/4 extra for sprinkling on top
1 grilled red pepper (skin removed), roughly chopped
1 cup of baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped, or 1/2 cup of frozen spinach, defrosted
1/4 cup finely diced red onion, shallots, or sliced spring onion
1/2 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or chilli flakes (optional)

Method:

Pre heat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Grease muffin trays or line with paper cases.

Mix milk, oil and egg in a bowl.

Sieve flour and baking powder in another bowl and stir through polenta, herbs, cheese, pepper, spinach, onion and pepper.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and fold in the wet ingredients. Be careful not to over-mix, some dry bits are fine. Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.

Spoon into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 minutes if making regular size, or 25-30 minutes for Texas sized muffins.

Leave in the tin for 5 minutes before removing.
Serve warm or room temperature with lashings of butter and a dollop of chutney. Also, a smear of vegemite or marmite adds a salty nutritional boost.

Can freeze for up to 3 months.

* Texas muffins are the larger muffin trays and are a similar size to what you would get in a cafe, while regular are the more cupcake size.

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