One of my mama superpowers is that I can head-off a toddler tantrum by coming up with a baking activity with no planning. This is usually how I deploy my superpower:
Dash realizes that Chris is about to leave the house and is suddenly in toddler meltdown mode.
Me (with no plan whatsoever or any idea of what ingredients we have): Dash, want to bake something with mama?
Dash (not convinced yet that my offer outweighs his sadness): Yeah...
Me: Great! We'll make....(quickly looking in the pantry and fridge)...muffins!
Dash (with a big smile and not a thought to Daddy's absence): OK!
One such situation on a Sunday morning yielded our new favorite muffins. I prefer them with blueberries, Dash prefers them without. These muffins aren't vegan but did originate from a recipe in my favorite 30 Day Vegan Challenge (this is a new edition and not the one that I have but it looks great). I've found that vegan recipes can be great for impromptu baking because you don't have to have eggs or butter on hand.
I modified the banana chocolate chip muffins from 30 Day Vegan Challenge to have less sugar, added oatmeal for fiber, protein and texture and remembered the magic of Greek yogurt in muffins from Deb's perfect blueberry muffins (which Dashiell used to love when he liked blueberries - toddlers!).
When we add the oil Dash realizes that our bowl of flour will soon become that wonderful, sticky concoction that he loves to eat and he exclaims, "Dough!" From then it's a race to see how quickly I can get the muffins into a tin and to the oven before Dash tries to eat all the batter. He will say, "Last one?" and then take a finger full of batter. And then promptly ask, "Last one?" with his finger already extended. I'm not sure he fully grasps the concept yet.
The recipe below includes exact measurements but part of cooking with a toddler is letting go of precision. Thankfully, these muffins seem to be pretty forgiving. As much as possible I let Dashiell scoop and pour, stir and taste. Dash loves cooking and knows it's a special activity and I've been impressed at how focused he is when I give him a task.
Superpower blueberry muffins
adapted from 30 Day Vegan Challenge
2 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. oatmeal
1 1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. sugar (or omit if you'd like)
1/3 c. canola oil
1 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/4 almond milk (or cow's milk or water)
1 t. vanilla
1 c. frozen blueberries (if your toddler approves)
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease muffin tin or line with paper cups.
Mix together the flour, oatmeal, baking soda, salt and sugar. In a separate bow mix together the oil, yogurt, milk and vanilla. Combine flour mixture and yogurt mixture. If batter is dry, add additional milk or water. If making blueberry muffins, stir in the frozen blueberries. Or if some people would prefer no blueberries, spoon batter into the muffin tin to make a few plain muffins and then add frozen blueberries to the remaining batter. Mix to combine and finishing filling the muffin tin.
Bake 20 - 30 minutes (for my oven 22 minutes has been just right) or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
P.S. Blueberry snack cake (Dashiell's first birthday cake).