Salty-sweet Maple Bacon Corn Muffins with rich flavor and southern charm!
The Makings of a Rebel: I have been a good girl most of my life. Always a rule-follower.
Growing up as the middle child, I was the watcher. I watched my older brother make mistakes in his teen years, and suffer the consequences. I watched my care-free little sister make even worse mistakes, and I watched my parents stress over the whole ordeal.
I remember several specific moments as a teen when I wanted to try something a little reckless, but thought to myself, “Poor mom and dad, I’ll just be good and save them the headache!”
This didn’t come without resentment from the edgier members of my family. As I caused little trouble, I felt somehow entitled to special privileges. It’s sort of a family joke now.
I was known to whine to my parents, “Why can’t I ______? I’m the GOOD KID!!!” On occasion, the rest of the bunch still call me the “good kid” with a snarky undertone.
I agree, I deserve it.
Nowadays, I live in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, a town that advertises itself as a “Foodtopian Society”. Asheville is a place where culinary and dietary endeavors are celebrated… Where sustenance holds a certain religious quality.
Whether a classically-trained chef, an athlete, a nutritionist, animal-rights activist, herbivore, loc-a-vore, farmer, or plain old experimental eater, Asheville citizens have a exuberant passion for food. A LOUD passion, I might add.
I could easily say I’ve heard nearly every opposing opinion on food and diets in the last twelve years. This is thrilling, for those of us who love a good debate, but I admit, a little confusing at times.
Always a selective shopper and cook, I feel like my family eats well. However, I’m always eager to learn of healthier cooking methods and ingredients. Here is a list of popular “Food Laws” I’ve collected since moving to Asheville. Let’s see if I can get them all straight…
- Avoid high fructose corn syrup. (Check.)
- Avoid trans fats. (Check.)
- Avoid caffeine. (Check… Except for chocolate and the occasional grocery trip coffee.)
- Don’t eat anything processed, only whole foods. (Check, most of the time.)
- Eat low fat, but get lots of essential fatty acids. (Hmmm.)
- Never cook with oils and fats, but don’t use nonstick surfaces either. (HMMM.)
- Never eat animal fat, except for duck fat, unless you’re a vegetarian.
- Watch out for GMOs; they cause cancer!
- Avoid dairy at all costs, but eat LOTS of yogurt and cottage cheese for protein and probiotics. (???)
- Only buy raw-milk dairy products.
- Totally avoid all soy products. (Apparently they are dangerous.)
- Avoid nut milks and goat’s milk. (Too fatty.) In other words, consume no milk of any kind.
- Eat tons of whole grains for fiber, but never those that come from wheat or corn (You know, the two little grains that are in everything!?)
- Gluten will kill you. It’s inevitable.
- Humans were not meant to consume grains. We should all be eating a grain-free diet.
- Human were not meant to consume animal products of any kind. We should all be eating a plant-based diet with lots of whole grains.
- Avoid alcohol, but drink red wine for the antioxidants.
- Don’t drink fruit juices; they contain too much sugar.
- Don’t eat fruit; it’s too high in carbs.
- Drink a gallon of water a day, but never while you are eating. (Disturbs your digestion.)
- The water you are constantly drinking when you are not eating? It should be either ice cold or room temperature, depending on who you talk too.
- And then of course, only drink alkaline water.
- Never store, eat, or drink anything in plastic, only glass. (Cancer, again.)
- Never use a microwave. (You guessed it, cancer.)
- Always bake on parchment paper, but you better recycle it!
- Avoid all corn bi-products. (In everything from cheese to chicken soup.)
- Never eat anything with MSG in it. You might as well eat rat poisoning! (Also in every pre-made food and labeled with code names.)
- Eat at least five servings of veggies everyday, but only those that are organic, locally grown, and in season. (Winter?)
- Eat mostly dark or brightly colored veggies. (But only those meeting the previous criteria.)
- Don’t cook your veggies because it kills the nutrients.
- Eat dark berries and pomegranate for the antioxidants everyday, but again, only in season, and pesticide free.
- Eat red meat for iron. Whoops! I mean, don’t ever eat red meat. If you must eat red meat, only eat local, grass-fed red meat.
- Eat loads of fish, but only those that are sustainable, caught wild, and low in mercury.
- Only eat free range chickens.
- Never eat pork or shellfish. (Dirty.)
- Fully cook your meat because of bacteria. Or some say, under-cook your meat so you don’t kill all the nutrients. I’ve also heard, don’t cook your meat at all, eat it raw to absorb the most nutrients.
- You know what… Just don’t eat meat! (Easier to remember and more friendly.)
- Eat small portions of protein 5-6 times a day, but of course, not dairy or meat protein. Not soy or whey supplements (for OBVIOUS REASONS), or nuts either, too fatty! (What does that leave, beans?)
- Don’t eat multiple times a day. Instead, eat only 1-2 meals in a shorter window of time for the benefits of intermittent fasting.
- Only use natural sea salts, and very little of that.
- Avoid sugar, all sugar substitutes, and food coloring. (Sorry bakers.)
- And don’t forget to enjoy your food and savor every bite!
Whew! I suddenly feel bewildered, exhausted, and slightly light-headed.
This list would make anyone, even a “good kid,” feel a smidge rebellious.
It’s so hard to know what sources to trust on health and nutrition with such conflicting statements, that it often makes us feel like we can’t trust any of them.
Lt. Dan and I have decided we land soundly in the All-Things-In-Moderation camp. We accept only the food laws that support our personal beliefs of trying to eat a whole foods diet about 90% of the time.
And still, every now and again, I just throw all caution to the wind and make sugary, fattening, corn-starchy, pork-laden Maple Bacon Corn Muffins!
Is that so wrong?
These utterly irresistible Maple Bacon Corn Muffins are a decadent addition to any meal, and are meant to be enjoyed guilt-free.
Maple Bacon Corn Muffins are a “talk to the hand” move when you just need a break from a week of clean eating.
They are easy to make and disappear in a hurry. Meaning, they won’t be lingering around the house for days on end, tempting you when you need to get back on your healthy track.
I dare you to make them.
Maple Bacon Corn Muffins
Salty Sweet Maple Bacon Corn Muffins - An irresistible cornbread muffin recipe with southern charm!
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat a skillet to medium-high. Chop the bacon and cook until slightly crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and set the skillet aside.
- In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients. Whisk in the milk and eggs, followed by the melted butter, maple syrup and 1/4 cup reserved bacon grease. Stir the bacon pieces back into the mixture.
- Place muffin liners in a 12-cup muffin tin, or spray an unlined muffin tin thoroughly with nonstick cooking spray. Evenly divide the mixture into the muffin tin. Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until golden. Remove from the muffin tin and serve warm.