One-Eyed Purple People Eater Muffins

One-Eyed Purple People Eater Muffins 
Photo by Matthew Carden

 Article from  Edible Marin Wine Country current issue you can see all the issues online.
How does a year go by so fast—it’s summer again? When your days are full of managing your family, driving kids from here to there and trying to fit in your job, time seems to both fly and stand still at the same time. Yes, indeed, warm, sunny weather is here again, so it’s time to get outside.
This is also the perfect time to talk to your kids about dirt. Uh-huh, I said dirt. Dirt is where all of the yummy summertime fruits and vegetables they love so much really come from, and
our kids need to learn that—for their sakes, and for the sake of the whole planet. It is our responsibility to teach our children that taking care of the soil in which our food is grown is the first and most important step in cooking. Dirt’s connection to
the kitchen is endless, yet that connection is surely lost on kids when all they see is their parent or caregiver tossing packaged items into grocery carts. Glitzy packaging may be enticing, but a pea pod is also an amazing package design, isn’t it?
So, plan a trip to the beach, the woods or somewhere else outside, even as close as your own front yard, and take along a homemade snack, like the fun and delicious Purple People Eater Muffins I give the recipe for below. While you’re out there, talk with your kids about how much dirt matters. 

For extra fun, teach them to sing Dirt Made My Lunch, one of my favorite little ditties by Santa Cruz’ the Banana Slug String Band!

It starts like this...
Dirt made my lunch, dirt made my lunch. 
Thank you dirt, thanks a bunch— 
For my salad, my sandwich, my milk and my Munch,
’cause dirt, you made my lunch.

One-Eyed Purple People Eater Muffins
Local blueberries are coming into season, so it’s the perfect time to bake some easy and deli- cious blueberry muffins with your kids. These can be eaten warm, right out of the oven, or filled with a scoop of delicious blueberry ice cream for an extra special treat. I use frozen blueberries in the ice cream mixture to get the pretty purple, but you can also use fresh berries when they are in season.
Yield: 12 muffins

For the Crumb Topping:
1⁄2 cup brown sugar 13 cup all-purpose flour 1⁄4 cup room temperature butter, cut into cubes 11⁄2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
For the Muffins:
Paper muffin liners (optional) 11⁄2 cups all-purpose flour 3⁄4 cup white sugar 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
13 cup vegetable oil 1 egg 13 cup milk 11⁄2 cups fresh blueberries, in season (or frozen, semi-thawed)
For the Ice Cream Filling:
1 cup vanilla ice cream (your favorite brand) 3⁄4 cup frozen blueberries, semi-thawed (or fresh, but your mixture will not have the same intense purple color)

Preheat oven to 400°. Grease muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

Crumb Topping: Mash together sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon. Set aside.

Muffins: Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a bowl. Set aside. Place vegetable oil into a 1-cup measuring cup. Add the egg and enough milk to fill to the 1-cup mark. Pour
the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and gently stir until just mixed. Do not over stir. Fold in the blueberries. Fill the muffin cups about 3⁄4 full with the mixture and sprinkle with crumb topping. Bake 20 minutes until the tops are golden and firm.
While the muffins are baking, make the ice cream filling.

Ice Cream Filling: Place 1 cup of ice cream in a bowl with the blueberries and mash together with a fork or potato masher (this is a fun job for the kids). The ice cream should turn purple and will have melted slightly. Place the mixture in the freezer to re-harden while the muffins cool.

To Assemble: When muffins are cool, use a small spoon to scoop out a hole in the top of each muffin. Using a small ice cream scoop or spoon, place a scoop of the ice cream filling in the center of the muffin. Serve immediately or assemble and hold in the freezer until ready to serve.

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