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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Hacking your Kitchen: The Many Other Uses of Muffin Tins!

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Ice cube trays, muffin tins, cheap wine glasses and sandwich or waffle makers- what do they all have in common? They are versatile and can be used for the making or preparing of many other food items than what their moniker suggests. Today we will tackle the not-so-loved muffin tin which is durable and has many convenient little pockets that can contain all kinds of goodness.

1. Frittata Cups

Frittata may be less fussy than other pancake recipes but people tend to prepare it as a huge, chunky, potato cake that can get boring fast and is not even toasty. These tins are ideal for lining up a little frittata that can be filled with basic cheese and spring onions or a frenzy of meat or seafood even.

2. Cupcake Bite- Omelette

Breakfast is a fast meal to make but the busiest bees still find this challenging to prepare, especially with children. You can quickly stir an omelette mixture of your choice and bake it til it is just runny enough in the middle but holds its shape when you take it out. Make sure not to overcook them unless you like it that way.

3. Baked Power Bars

If you have a sweet tooth but opts to be healthier then baking oatmeal or a mixture of different oats getting toasty in the muffin tin instantly becomes a power packed snack. Throw in berries, nuts, dark chocolate or even gummy candy if you’re sick like that.

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4. Bacon and Eggs Got Easier!

Take your beautiful bacon strips and line each tin with enough to make a full bowl, fold the extra bacon inward as neatly as you can to make a rustic yet workable bowl. You can even make a bacon weave if you have large muffin tins. Drop the egg in, whole or scrambled is up to you.

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5. Cereal and Granola Milk Bowl!

I even really like this idea, crushing up some granola and/or cereal of your choice and mixing it with a healthy oil like coconut, olive or grapeseed and making a crust out of it. After the bowls are baked and cooled you can take them out and fill them with milk or even custard if it is your cheat day.

6. Quick Seafood Pies

You can do chicken, pork or beef of course- whatever floats your boat. I just though seafood was a nice suggestion because it is light, quick and tasty. I am also talking about fake pies, the ones that are just made of a baked meat filling and have a layer of toasted mashed potatoes on top. Your kids and partner will love you- if they like seafood.

7. Quick Meatball Pie

Meat pies can be tastier when they are shrunken. Just make the usual flour and butter pastry and smash your homemade meatballs, adding them in the butter pastry crust cup with some gravy and finished with a layer of pastry sheet on top. Don’t forget to poke a hole.

8. Bread Bowls

Your older bread can be zapped back to life if they are lined on the bottom of these tin molds with a bit of milk and butter or oil to help them. They get toasty and stuck to each other and becomes a vessel for holding soups or fillings.

9. Quiche Time!

Spinach, eggs and ham- what ya gonna do?

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10.Outside-Toasty Mac n Cheese Bites

It will make more sense to use smaller tin molds for mac n cheese is heavy and is better shared. Being in muffin tins also give them more toasty surface area while still retaining that gooeyness that’s pure gold.

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11. Healthy Jello Cups

Unhealthy things should not be the only things coming out of your pastry tin trays, gelatin is a fun and fairly healthy dessert. If you buy unsweetened and replace or minimize the sugars it is actually more of a health benefit because it is made of collagen, not fat. I recommend adding fresh fruit of course.

12. Special Occasion Leftover Pies

Thanksgiving, Christmas and massive birthdays give away leftovers you can play with. Making scrap pies out of turkey stuffing and its leftover white meat is a great way to utilize leftover meats. Roast beef, chicken roasts, pork roasts, smoked fish and baked veggies make good pies.

13. Mini Ratatouille

This works best with cute baby vegetables. Just imagine how delicious, healthy and precious it would be! Little eggplant with little tomato and little zucchini in on marinara in ittle muffin tins with salt, pepper, olive oil and thyme.

14. Baked Rice or Polenta Cakes

Sweet or savory rice and polenta go with either very well. Also the smaller serving and toastier edges makes a more interesting and not overfilling meal. As a kid trading Halloween candy, did you prize Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups above all else? Well, these cups are all treat and no tricks. And the only trading involves swapping in almond butter, which beats peanut butter in total fiber, iron, and vitamin E. Maple syrup is used as an all-natural sugar substitute, but feel free to sub in your preferred sweetener.

15. Homemade Reese and Twix Cups

Easy cravings made extravagant. For Reese imitation just create a milk chocolate cup crust then fill with peanut butter filling. For the Twix you create a crushed up butter cookie crust layered with melted caramel then melted chocolate.

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16. Quick Healthy Round Brownies

Brownies are so quick and easy and easily customizable to not be bad for you. Muffin tins also make a nice shape for brownies especially the smaller ones, they end up becoming like quick, cheaper but still good chocolate truffle balls. Honey or other organic sweeteners to a minimum combined with real dark chocolate, coffee, non-iodized salt and spices actually make a pretty healthy dessert.

17. Prep Tray

Prep work is important as it takes off a lot off stress in the latter part of cooking when all is done in advance. Cleaning and chopping the ingredients takes a lot of room too and prep equipment is vital. Old muffin tins can also serve as a veggie prep bowl tray and easily separates the veggies.

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