Welcome back! Big changes have been occurring over here! My little one, my constant companion, the one who makes my heart sing and drives me batty all at the same time, has started at preschool. Yes, preschool. Can you imagine? We’re still in the transition stage, that is, I am. I’m still grieving, but he’s off and flying! That first day he woke up and the first words out of his mouth were, “This is the best day ever! I get to go somewhere and stay there all by myself!” Excited much? Yes, indeed. He’s ready for some independence.

And I’m ready for some solitude. I may even get some cleaning done. But before that, I need to get my head around some suitable nut-free snacks that I can send to school with him. Of course, there’s always those nut-free bliss balls I posted, but after chatting with a non-baker friend the other week, I knew it was time to get a basic muffin recipe up on the blog. You know, the type of recipe a beginner can get their head around, one that can be their ‘go-to’ when needing a quick, healthy snack for hungry kids or a working spouse.

This is that. I love the paleo muffin master mix recipe, but for a person with zero allergy issues, and working to a budget, sometimes special ingredients can be a bit out of reach. So, after a heap of testing, I’ve come up with a regular muffin mix that can be adjusted to create a range of different flavours. Hardly an original idea, I’ll admit, but this version is one I can recommend. With pantry staples and an easy-to-follow method, you won’t ever need another muffin recipe. These are simple and nut-free; lunch box friendly snacks.

Best Ever Muffin Master Mix {nut free, dairy free}
A fool-proof muffin mix with endless flavour variations!

Makes 12

Ingredients
Dry Ingredients
1 cup plain (all-purpose) flour
¾ cup plain wholemeal flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Wet Ingredients
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup vegetable oil
½ cup applesauce or yoghurt
½ cup sugar, honey or maple syrup, to taste
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon white (or cider) vinegar

Optional extras:
Apple: 2 cups grated apple, 1 tsp cinnamon + ½ cup chopped strawberries
Zucchini: 2 cups grated zucchini, 1 tsp cinnamon + ½ cup sultanas
Raspberry: 1 – 2 cups raspberries + ½ cup white choc chips
Blueberry: 2 cups blueberries + zest of 1 lemon
Double Choc: ¼ cup cocoa + ½ cup choc chips
Banana: Omit applesauce, add 3 very ripe bananas, mashed (approx. 1 heaped cup) *
Savoury: Omit sugar and vanilla, add 1 to 2 cups grated cheese + 100g (½ cup) chopped ham

Method
Preheat oven to 180C/350F and line a regular muffin tin with 12 paper liners.

Sift the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Gently fold in your add-ins until they are coated in flour (for banana muffins, see Notes). In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, oil, applesauce, sweetener of choice, vanilla and vinegar. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir just until flour streaks are no longer visible. Do not over mix.

Divide batter evenly between lined muffin tins, filling to ¾ capacity. Sprinkle with oats (optional) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until muffins are golden brown around the edges and firm to touch. Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes
Adapted from my Paleo Muffin Master Mix

*For banana muffins, add mashed banana to wet mix, not dry.

This recipe can easily be adapted to gluten-free, simply by using a good-quality gluten-free flour blend (such as Orgran) instead of wheat flour.

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #redhotcentre!

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