It finally happened. As of today, I have two middle-schoolers. Going to school in Vancouver, I never had to experience middle school because elementary school included kindergarten through grade 7, and then we moved straight into five years of high school. Middle school seems to be this “in limbo” time when everyone starts to sweat, emotions swing from happy to frustrated within mere minutes and parents suddenly seem to know nothing (according to the middle schoolers, at least).
So far (knocking on every piece of wood in the house as I write this), the experience has been relatively smooth for our family, and now we’re hoping that the eldest middle-schooler can help the newly anointed sixth-grader to navigate his way through the first year with minimum damage and maximum self-satisfaction.
I am a firm believer in starting the day with a healthy breakfast, knowing from personal experience that the ol’ neurons don’t seem to fire properly without some fuel. The boys get up in time to fix breakfast (yes, truth be told, they prefer to do their own cooking in the morning). Cereal, yogurt parfaits, omelets, scrambled eggs, breakfast burritos – every morning is a little different, but I always insist on whole grains, a dose of protein and some fruit or vegetables.
Whole wheat muffins are a great option for breakfast, particularly if you’re more of a grab-and-go kind of family (believe me, I get how those mornings can go!). For my boys, muffins are usually paired with some fresh fruit and yogurt because the I find that the amount of protein in muffins isn’t typically enough to keep them full until lunchtime.
These particular muffins are a great way to work in a dose of vegetables first thing in the morning, as they’re chockfull of grated zucchini and carrots. If you have nut allergies or aversions in the house, these will taste just as good without the pecans.
If the muffins aren’t going to be eaten within a few days, cool completely, then pack them in a single layer in a resealable freezer bag, and freeze them for another morning. It just takes a couple of minutes to defrost them in the microwave.
Other quick & healthy breakfast recipes:
Cookin’ Canuck’s On-the-Go Egg Breakfast Pita Sandwich
Cookin’ Canuck’s Healthy Yogurt Breakfast Parfait with Blueberries & Granola
Two Peas and Their Pod’s Baked Peanut Butter Apple Oatmeal
Bam’s Kitchen’s Toasted Almond & Date Larabars
Pretty Polymath’s Power Sunrise Smoothie
Whole Wheat Zucchini Carrot Muffins Recipe
Not only are these healthy muffins great for breakfasts and snacks, but they freeze well. Stock up for last-minute breakfasts!
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a muffin pan with cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the whole wheat pastry flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the applesauce, Greek yogurt, brown sugar and egg.
- Add the applesauce mixture to the flour mixture and stir well to combine.
- Stir in the grated zucchini and carrot, and ⅓ cup chopped pecans.
- Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups (about ¼ cup each).
- Bake for 7 minutes. Place the remaining 3 tablespoons pecan pieces on top of the muffins. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffins comes out clean, and additional 7 to 9 minutes.
- Remove the muffins from the pan and allow to cool. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container.