Granola and Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits
12 regular size muffin meals
½ cup margarine or butter, softened
¼ cup honey
1 cup oats
½ cup whole bran flakes cereal
½ cup chopped almonds
½ cup flaked coconut
½ tsp. cinnamon
½ tsp. salt
PREPARATION & METHOD
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Insert Muffin Pulls* and spray each muffin cup with nonstick cooking spray. Mix first 3 ingredients. Add remaining ingredients. Divide evenly in muffin cups (about ½ full). Take the back of a spoon (a melon baller works great!) and press evenly and up the sides of the cup to form a “shell”. (If it sticks to the spoon, simply spray nonstick cooking spray on spoon).
Make foil balls to insert in each cup. This just helps to keep the granola shell from expanding. Bake 10-12 minutes. Let cool down before removing from pan. Fill each shell first with your favorite jam (we love raspberry or blueberry) then fill with vanilla yogurt. Yummy!
These can also make great bite size treats by making them in your mini muffin tins. Great for brunch finger foods!
* Muffin Pulls are simply strips of aluminum foil placed in each muffin cup in a criss-cross . These are used in most of the Muffin Meal recipes so you can easily lift the Muffin Meals out of the cups. To make, fold strips of tin foil (about ½ inch wide). The length depends on which size muffin cup you use. This recipe can be made in regular size or the mini. Adjust your muffin pulls accordingly. Then just press them down in to the cup in a cross. They should be long enough to come out of the cup so you can lift your Muffin out easily. Always spray the non-stick spray AFTER you place the muffin pulls in the cups.
Julia Vradelis and Allison Worrell, both from Eastern North Carolina, have recently published a cookbook unlike any others. Muffin Meals, published by Tate Publishing, was released nationwide in March and the authors have since expanded their line to include bakeware and linens.
The cookbook was written with busy Moms in mind. The idea is to provide innovative, easy-to-make meals in your muffin pan. Julia came up with the idea while watching a show about cupcakes. “They had asked the chefs to include jalapeños in the cupcake, and I thought if you’re going to do that, why not add beef and cheese and make it a taco muffin?” She shared this with her friend, Allison, who then came up with the name, “Muffin Meals.” For the next two years, Julia and Allison developed recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts and even holidays.
Every recipe has a 4-color photograph taken by the authors. When developing the recipes for the book, the authors took some old favorites such as “Shepherd’s Pie” and “Chicken and Rice” and deconstructed these timeless recipes and reconstructed them in the form of a muffin. The end result is a very diverse collection of recipes which look as great as they taste.
In addition to being simple recipes, they are portion controlled simply by being in the muffin pan. Most of the recipes are designed for the large (or Texas-style) muffin pan which is the perfect size for a meal. “I think one of the biggest challenges for people these days is to simply eat less,” says Julia. “I’ve always heard to make your portions about the size of your fist and Muffin Meals accomplish that without making you feel deprived.”
As two busy Moms, Allison and Julia poke fun at themselves being “less than great cooks” so the reader will find most of the recipes easy to follow. They also show how to wrap up the Muffins to give as gifts. “When our Mothers were sick, it was so nice to get a warm meal delivered from friends and family”, reflects Julia. “The muffin creations freeze well, travel well, and make a perfect gift just to lift someone’s spirits. Our goal was to create a fun cookbook with easy-to-make recipes. It’s filled with wonderful memories of our Mothers and many we created along the way. We hope we can give back to Hospice for the loving care our loved ones received.”
In addition to the cookbook, Muffin Meals recently developed their own line of muffin pans. “So many people wanted to buy the book and pair it with a muffin pan to give as a gift, that we decided to create our own line,” says Julia. “Our entrees are all made in the jumbo size, desserts in the regular size, and appetizers in the mini, so we offer all three sizes in fun, vibrant colors. Since our book is about a new way of cooking, we felt like our bakeware should be modern, too!”
They chose to donate a portion of the proceeds to Hospice in memory of their Moms and other family members who used Hospice services.
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