Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Crumb Banana Berry Muffins

 Crumb Banana Berry Muffins

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
they are weak but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

This first verse of Jesus Loves Me is the song that I have sung to the boys before every nap time and bed time for as long as I can remember.  When Braydon fusses, I can sway back and forth holding him and quietly begin to sing the song and he calms down ... if Cole is laying with his blankie in bed and I kiss him goodnight he requests for me to sing him the same song and without fail, he is quickly asleep.  It has become such a habit, that I thought it was important to make sure that the boys truly understood the huge truth to the song- it was even more fitting since we are celebrating LOVE!  What greater joy is there than sharing with your kids the great LOVE that the Lord has for them?!

In this verse, it states, The Bible tells me so ... I am a firm believer that our children need to see the Bible opened up and read from directly- it teaches our kids where God's word is written, but more importantly it teaches them to open the Bible themselves now and in the days to come.  This being said, I showed Cole (Braydon is too young for this right now) where God speaks of his LOVE.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life
John 3:16

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another
1 John 4:11

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved)
Ephesians 2:4

We read these verses and in as simple terms as I could think possible, I tried to explain God's vast LOVE for the world- so much that he would give His son to die on behalf of our sins ... don't get me wrong this was EXTREMELY hard to explain to a 3 year old that couldn't get passed the fact that Jesus died.  I then shared with Cole that because we love God, we also need to be an example of God's love to others ... our family, friends, neighbors and anyone we may meet.  As I saw I was losing Cole's focus I wanted to make sure to tell him of the great gift of God's love for us by sharing Ephesians 2:4 with him ... once we got to this point, Cole was asking for a snack and squirming around- I took this as a clue that I may be talking over his head, but I didn't want to give up on him quite yet. I found a book that I had when I was little, and it was perfect for what I was trying to share.  The book is Little Visits with God, Devotions for Families with Small Children by Allan Hart Jahsmann and Martin P. Simon.  I referenced these verses on LOVE and found little stories that helped bring practicality to God's love.

1 John 4:11

1 John 4:7

The stories had a small group of questions following- allowing for a conversational follow-up with your child to see if they were able to understand the story.  Cole grasped the concept, but I felt that if I truly wanted him to understand what it was for a 3 year old to understand how God loves him and how he needs to love others, I needed to go even further to his level ... 

Leave it to the classic Berenstain Bears to do the trick!

The books helped Cole understand that God loves us regardless of if we are good or bad, He loves us because He made us and we are supposed to love others because we love Him.  We talked about how we can love our family and friends and what that looks like.  It was a slightly difficult time with a trial and error process trying to make sure that Cole understood.  In the end I came to the realization that if all he understands for now is that we love him and God loves him, then we are doing ok ... our job as parents is to plant the seeds in our kid's hearts and minds and be an example of what God's love looks like ... how better for him to truly understand than to see it lived out??  

We thought it would be a great idea to show our LOVE for our neighbors and family by making triple a recipe for our breakfast tomorrow and sharing it with others- as we made our muffins, we talked about how people might see God's LOVE through us ... here is how we made our LOVE MUFFINS!


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and in a bowl, mix together 1 1/2 c sugar, 3 bananas, 1 1/2 c oil and 4 eggs.  Then mix in 4 c flour, 2 tsp baking soda,  4 tsp vanilla, and 1 tsp baking powder.

Once the batter is well blended, fold in your berries ... I used 12 ounces of frozen strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.  When they are frozen, the colors are less likely to bleed into the batter.

Once the batter is done, set aside to make your crumb base and topping.  In a large bowl, stir in 2 1/2 c flour, 2 c packed brown sugar and 4 tsp cinnamon.  Now add 1 1/2 c butter.  Rather than using sticks of butter, I used a non hydrogenated butter- Smart Balance, which cuts the bad fats out of the butter making the muffins much healthier.  Using oil instead of butter in the batter also helps lower the fat content.  Ok, so back to the butter ... use a pastry blender or a fork and knife to cut the butter into the flour mixture to create crumbs.  Once your flour has transformed to crumbs you are ready for your next step.

If your crumb base and topping resembles this, then fill your muffin pans with muffin liners.  You will spoon 1 1/2 tbsp of the crumbs on the bottom of each liner.

Repeat until all the liners are filled with a crumb base.

Now grab your batter and top the crumb base with 2 tbsp of the banana berry batter.

Again, repeat until all the liners have been filled with batter.

Now it is time to top the batter with another layer of the crumb topping.

We are ready to bake our muffins now!  Place in the oven to bake for 25 minutes.

We let the muffins cool and tested one as a before dinner snack- when Daddy gets home we will be off to make deliveries to share our LOVE muffins with others!!

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