I'm one of those moms who's trying to minimize her child's sugar consumption and maximize whole grains, good protein/fat, and lots of fruits and veggies. I've been a little disappointed at how many of the "learning to chew" baby snacks have large amounts of sugar and sodium in them, especially since I've read that what they eat now does a lot to "program" their tastebuds for the rest of their lives.
I didn't appreciate my mom's insistence on whole grains and low sugar when I was a kid; seriously, what kid is going to be fooled into thinking that carob is chocolate and Cheerios are a "sugar cereal." In retrospect, thanks, mom.
As I was making both banana bread and zucchini bread a few weeks ago (the zucchini bread is really good with about 1 c. less sugar and about 3/4 cups each white chocolate chips and craisins), it occurred to me that I could probably combine those recipes into some tasty muffins for Tito. Especially since I was already substituting ground oatmeal for the flour in the zucchini bread (Titus isn't on wheat yet, and I'm trying to be careful about it since we have some gluten intolerance in the family).
I finally got a chance to try the hybrid recipe this morning, and it's pretty good! Keep in mind that it's not going to be nearly as sweet as muffins you're used to because it doesn't have any added/processed sugar in it at all. I would probably add a little if I were making them for a crowd, but Tito and his daddy liked them just as they were, and I sneaked chocolate chips into a couple, which made them adequately sweet for me.
Also, you can probably do a lot of substitution here. I used pear instead of applesauce because I had pears, and pears tend to be sweeter than unsweetened applesauce. Also, I was aiming to fill these with lots of good calories for T (and keep it within the parameters of what he's eating -- egg yolks but no egg whites, full-fat Greek yogurt), but you could definitely use egg whites and fat free yogurt. I expect that in the winter, when zucchini isn't plentiful, I'll maybe use pumpkin for the squash portion. I'll add craisins or blueberries when T's chewing capabilities are up to it.
All in all, I'm proud of my first attempt at these. T loved them, and it was fun to give him some finger food besides cheerios and rice puffs.
4 cups rolled oats
1 pear, cored and cut into chunks (or 1 c. unsweetened applesauce)
3 egg yolks
1/2 c. full-fat Greek yogurt
3 t. vanilla
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1 c. grated zucchini
UPDATE: I've now been making this with 2 eggs instead of 3 egg yolks to be a little more economical (and because the small human is now eating whole eggs), and I use about 1 1/2 c. grated carrots instead of zucchini - the carrots are more readily available, and I think it adds some sweetness. I also add about 3/4 c. craisins at the end, which also adds sweetness and another type of fruit. T eats half a muffin every morning for breakfast while I'm getting his oatmeal ready.
1. Put the 4 c. oats in a food processor and grind until they are a fairly fine powder; this may take up to 5 minutes. Dump the oat flour into a medium bowl and don't bother rinsing out the food processor.
2. Combine the 2 bananas, pear, yogurt, egg yolks and vanilla in the food processor. Blend until smooth.
3. While the banana mixture is pureeing, add to the bowl with the oat flour, the baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
4. When the banana mixture is ready, stir it into the oat mixture. Finally, stir in the zucchini.
5. Fill greased or lined muffin tins about 2/3 full and bake at 350 for 12-18 minutes, or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean. This recipe made 15 full-sized muffins and 12 mini muffins for me.
Here's to raising a little foodie :)