Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Sport camp lunchbox: courgette muffins

So, summer is almost gone (back to school in two weeks already??) but still it's "stage" (sport camp) time for many kids in Brussels. This year; we only signed Bibu up for one week of stage, doing an introduction to hockey in one of the best-known hockey and tennis clubs in the city.

Sport camp means in most cases "packed lunch", as it's not common for warm meals to be provided. I thought, besides the typical ham-and-cheese sandwich and cherry tomatoes combo,  what can I put in Bibu's lunchbox that will be easy to eat, easy to pack and would provide some healthy alternative?

The answer: savoury mufifins!

I'm quite familiar with the traditional sweet muffins. I have a few recipes that use reduced sugar and yogurt and are always a hit with the kids, using chocolate, apple and cinnamon or lemon and honey, among others. When it comes to savoury muffins using vegetables, however, there is much less variety. I scoured page after page of Pinterest to only find a few weird recipes. I was looking for courgette muffins, as I had a couple of those bad boys in the fridge. In the end, I found one recipe that I adapted a bit:

They are easy peasy to make. I made about 16 muffins wit the amounts given. I advise it's best to prepare them the night before, as they need to cool down completely. I also advise to dry a bit the grated courgette in a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth to avoid the muffins being too soggy inside, as courgettes (and spinach) tend to hold lots of water inside.

Ingredients (for about 16 small muffins)

  • 200 gr self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • a couple grinds of black pepper
  • 60 gr grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 250 ml full fat yogurt (I used a 150 gr pot of soft goat cheese and 100 gr of yogurt, but you can use only yogurt. I imagine ricotta might work just as well)
  • 4 tbsp sunflower or olive oil
  • 200 gr grated courgette (or cooked spinach, or whatever vegetable you want to use)

Preheat the oven at 180 C and while it gets ready, start preparing the muffins. Mix all dry ingredients in one bowl, mix all wet ingredients in another bowl. Pour the dry onto the wet, ad the courgettes and mix well. Using an ice-cream scoop (it rends the process sooo much easier) put a little bit of the mix onto each muffin form (I used silicone muffin forms for these ones, but you can also line a muffin tin with muffin papers) but don't over fill, as these babies will rise in the oven. Then bake them for about 30' or until they're golden on top.

I tried one -for research purposes of course- and it was delicious. Let's see what happens with the one I put into Bibu's lunchbox this morning.

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