Cheesy Cauliflower Muffins

A couple weeks ago, my youngest son, Evan, turned ONE year old! I can’t believe how fast the last year went…or maybe I can, considering how insanely busy this past year has been. My husband would agree with me when I say that this past year has definitely been the most difficult one for us, in all aspects. I spent the past year working night shift in a labor and delivery unit, then I would come home and take care of Evan while Jordan would go to daycare, so sleep for me was very irregular. My husband and I rarely slept in the same bed together because of this, let alone have much quality time period. My body functioned off lots of coffee and naps. Looking back on it, I think I was actually quite crazy for doing what I did, but hey, we pulled it off and made it through the year.  And now I vow to never do that to myself or my family ever again!

Since our move to Escondido, I’ve been slow to return to work. I think the craziness of the past year has a lot to do with it. I spent the year constantly exhausted and irritable, and now I want to savor these moments at home with my boys and be mentally and emotionally present for them. Aside from just being able to talk with them and play with them, I thoroughly enjoy being able to cook for them…even if one of them (Jordan) is the pickiest eater ever, and only eats about 15% of what I make!

Evan, on the other hand, is my GREAT eater. He literally eats everything and I love that so much about him. He never seems to get full, and if you continue to fill his plate, he will continue to eat (now if he could just learn to take bites out of food, and not try to shove and stuff it in his mouth even if it doesn’t fit, that would be great). With a child like this, it’s actually a lot of fun to get creative and make different types of kid-friendly foods!

Mini muffins are one of my favorite things to make, because they’re the perfect size for little eaters and they also freeze wonderfully. I’ve made a lot of lighter, cake-style muffins in the past, so this time I wanted to try something a little different and savory. After taking a mental inventory of my fridge and freezer, I recalled a bag of frozen cauliflower rice I had and knew it would be perfect for muffins! The cauliflower bakes into the batter nice and soft, giving these muffins a traditional fluffy texture. The cheese melts on top, so with each bite you get a crispness from the cheese and then the warm fluffy muffin in the middle. SO good!

I made these the other day while Evan was taking his nap, so when he woke up these were warm and ready for his post-nap snack! Needless to say, Evan LOVED them. I cut the mini muffins into little bite-sized pieces and let him have at it. He never would have stopped eating them if I didn’t eventually take them away. Even Jordan ate one, so in Jordan’s terms, I’d say that’s pretty successful!

Cheesy Cauliflower Muffins

  • Servings: 16-18 mini muffins
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup cauliflower rice (thawed, if frozen)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the wells of a mini-muffin pan and set aside.
  2. Beat egg and milk in a medium bowl until thickened, about 1 minute. While mixing, slowly add melted butter.
  3. Add cauliflower and cheese to egg mixture, and stir to combine.
  4. In another bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Add to wet mixture, and mix just until incorporated.
  5. Divide batter among mini muffin pan, scooping about 1 1/2 Tbsp of batter per well. Sprinkle additional cheese on top of each muffin. Bake for 15 minutes, or until muffin tops are browned and slightly crisp. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, then remove muffins to wire rack to finish cooling.

Notes: Best served warm. I used a combination of whole wheat and all purpose flour to make it a bit healthier, but feel free to use just one type if that’s all you have. If freezing, let cool to room temperature, then place in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag and freeze for up to 1 month.

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