Pain Maman

Ok, Libs,

Please be honest.  Because much of my confidence as a parent is riding on this.  What does Dash eat?  Like, on any given day?  Is it, like, the same 10 foods? 

Because, try as I might – with exposure (we try to eat all manner of things in any given week – from vindaloo to cheesy grits), involvement (I’ve been known to bake multiple batches of cookies in one day just to get June in the kitchen measuring and “enjoying” the art of cooking), gentle “one-bite-of-everything-on-your-plate-regardless-of-whether-or-not-it-makes-you-gag” rules, and, embarrassingly, the old “no-dessert-until-you-try-whatever-it-is-I-have-made-goddamn-it” ultimatum – the kid always ends up eating the same damn things.

Now, to her credit, she loves lots of fruits and veggies (and, strangely, tofu), so it’s not like she sustains on pasta.  But, she has the foods she knows and loves and varying from those is, apparently, non-negotiable.  To the point where I presumptuously made French toast with brioche instead of her usual whole wheat bread and, after trying one bite, she announced (with the indignation that only a 3-year-old can muster) that it was “just wrong” (an abomination, for, as I know you will agree, brioche french toast is beyond reproach – like Mother Theresa or giving to charity). 

I guess I just need you to tell me that your little one doesn’t love okra.  Or whole fish baked in salt.  Or heirloom fill-in-the-blank salads.  Because, at this point, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that we may be serving pasta with butter and parm as the main course at her wedding. 

In the meantime, I have resorted to hiding stuff in the foods she does eat.  Which is how I ended up with the recipe below, affectionately referred to as “Pain de Maman” by my own mother who speaks only French to June, however June always removes the "de." Truthfully, it is more aptly named in French, as it highlights the pain of mothering a child who balks at your own foodie hopes for her. The original recipe is from food blogger JoyTheBaker and is fantastic. But, since it has become a snack-time staple, I’ve changed it a bit to add more healthy goo (spelt flour, zucchini, apple, etc) and made it into mini muffins to make it more to-go.  The recipe freezes beautifully and, despite its healthy contents, is actually a total crowd pleaser (disclaimer: I do add mini dark chocolate chips as it ups the kid “interest” quotient while I can still tell myself I’m presenting her with more antioxidants… or some sort of bullshit).

I think my next recipe will be something like Pain de Papa.  It will contain less vegetables and more booze. 

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Pain de Maman (makes 48 mini muffins)

Adapted from Vegan Pumpkin Walnut Bread by JoyTheBaker.

Oven at 350.  Grease a mini muffin pan or two loaf pans.

1 C all purpose flour
1 C spelt flour
1.5 C whole wheat flour
1 C brown sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp cloves
1 15oz can pumpkin puree
1 medium zuchinni, grated
1 medium apple, any kind, grated
1 C olive oil
1/3 C maple syrup
1 C mini dark chocolate chips (optional)

Whisk together all dry ingredients (flours, sugar, spices, etc) in a large bowl.  Add grated zucchini and apple and toss to coat.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, oil and maple syrup.

Pour the wet into the dry and mix until just combined.

Add the chocolate chips, if using, and stir in.

Measure into muffin pan using a small ice cream scoop (or 1/4 C measurement) .

Bake for 22-25 minutes.   Let rest in pan 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack.  Serve immediately or let cool completely and store , tightly wrapped, for up to 3 days.  Can be frozen, too!