Let’s talk breakfast for a minute. When I was a kid I hated breakfast. I mean, I really hated breakfast, but I also needed a good one because, as I have written about before, when I didn’t get protein in the morning I turned into a little monster and got into trouble at school. So for years my poor mother struggled to find foods that I would be willing to eat in the mornings that had protein. Fast forward to current times and I couldn’t imagine starting the day off without a protein-rich breakfast. It is my foundation for the day and I have found that if I start off on the right nutritional foot the rest of the day’s food choices fall happily into place, but if I don’t get what my body really needs then I often make more sugar-laden or impulsive choices later.
For years my solution to this was, and often still is, homemade granola with a lot of fruit and some plain yogurt. The combination of the fiber and protein has worked really well for me and I really enjoy it. But recently I have noticed that sweet breakfasts are a little less appealing, so I have been trying to build up my savory breakfast options. So far my go-tos have been a rice cake with brie, tomato, and cucumber and frittatas packed with vegetables, but I wanted to have another option that I could rotate in and so the Feta Jalapeño Corn Muffins were born.
To make these I used my standard corn muffin recipe but cut the sugar a little and then added in both salty and spicy components to add interest and kick and let me tell you: the jolt of flavor in the morning has been awesome! I do still need to get some other protein in with a slice of cheese, a handful of nuts, or some egg, but these whole grain muffins are giving me a great base to build off of. They are super simple to make, easily portable for crazy mornings, and freeze well so you can stock up on the weekend. They would also be a great spin on the classic corn bread served for Thanksgiving.
A note on personalizing these muffins. The version here is quite tame, so as to please my not-too-spicy-please family. If you like bolder flavors, then definitely feel free to use a whole jalapeño and/or boost the feta up to ½ a cup…. and then invite me over to enjoy them with you!
- 1 cup cornmeal (I like to do ½ a cup of the coarse and ½ a cup of the fine to give them more texture)
- 1 cup whole wheat or spelt flour
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ jalapeño, finely chopped
- ½ cup frozen corn
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 cup milk
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
- Preheat oven to 400 and spray or grease muffin tin, or line with with liners.
- In a large bowl, mix together the corn meal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Finely chop the jalapeño and mix it and the frozen corn into the dry ingredients.
- In a small bowl, melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, crack the egg into the butter and lightly beat with a fork so it is well combined. Pour the butter, egg, milk, and feta into the dry ingredients and stir gently to combine. Spoon the batter into the muffin tin.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a muffin comes out clean. Cool on a cooling rack.