Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffins

I’m quite the fan of the mini muffin, I have to say. As far as muffins go anyway, as there is more crunchy crust to soft innards ratio, and I’m a crunchy crust kinda gal. Almost like Elaine, who wished there were only muffin tops on Seinfeld that time. “Top of the Muffin to ya!” and all that.

Feel free to make proper-sized muffins, this blueberry chocolate chip muffin recipe will be just as good. But if you’re in the mood for bite-size treats, then be my mini muffin guest!

Blueberry-Chocolate-Chip-muffin-with-coconut-sugar

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Simple Muesli Muffins

Muesli-muffins

For some reason, I’ve found myself drowning in boxes of muesli. Muesli I don’t remember buying, because it’s untoasted, and I’m frightened of untoasted muesli.

After a while, I was sick of the boxes taking up space in my pantry and I decided to once and for all do SOMETHING WITH THEM FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY.

Clever people would toast their muesli, with some butter and maple syrup and a little extra cinnamon. I thought of it, really I did, but then I decided to pop them in muffin form and solve the problem of what should I do with all this muesli and what should I feed the children for morning tea.

They appear reasonably lunchbox-friendly too, if you buy the nut-free muesli. If not – well, they go excellently with a hot cup of tea.

You’re welcome.

 Adapted from here.

Simple Muesli Muffins

Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable
Website adapted from Best Recipes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups untoasted muesli
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1.25 cups plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 Large apple, grated, skin on
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1 Small grating fresh nutmeg
  • 1 Large egg

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 180C.
Step 2
Combine milk and muesli, stand for 10 minutes (the milk and muesli, not you).
Step 3
Add remaining ingredients and stir until just combined.
Step 4
Pour into greased muffin tin and bake 20-25 minutes until cooked through and golden on top.

Three-Cheese Scrolls

cheese-scrollsI got a bit overexcited when I received a breadmaker as a Christmas gift. While I still haven’t nailed a good loaf of bread in it, I have been totally putting it through its paces kneading endless amounts of dough for me. We’ve been making pizza on the regular, and these scrolls too. I’ve taken them to meetings when it’s my turn to bring a plate, we’ve had them for morning tea, for afternoon tea, and when guests arrive. I’ve also just stashed a whole unbaked batch in the fridge, to pull out when the need arises and bake fresh.

YUM.

Sometimes I even find myself making a double-batch of dough on pizza night to make scrolls with for later. Only DO keep an eye on that business in the breadmaker, or it WILL rise over the top and out the edges and down the sides and before you know it, you’re covered in it and it looks like your kitchen has exploded. It’s anything but a-dough-able.

After that lame joke, I give you the recipe. Hopefully that will make amends.

Three-Cheese scrolls

Ingredients

  • 290ml lukewarm water
  • 1 packet dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2 cups grated tasty cheese
  • 1 cup grated parmesan-style cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • salt and pepper

Directions

Step 1
To make the pizza dough, add yeast and water with the sugar and let sit for five minutes. In a large bowl, add the flour and the salt. Pour in the water and the olive oil.
Step 2
I did this in the breadmaker, but by hand just incorporate the ingredients until they come together.
Step 3
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).
Step 4
Put back in the bowl and cover. Leave to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume (half an hour to an hour). Gather your cheese supplies.
Step 5
Punch the dough down and give it a quick knead. Roll out into a large rectangle on a floured surface. I left it about a centimetre thick.
Step 6
Cover the dough with a light brush of softened butter. Then add grated tasty cheese right to the edges, but leaving a strip about a centimetre wide down one of the longest sides.
Step 7
Grate the parmesan over, and then add the crumbled feta. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Step 8
Roll up from the widest edge (sometimes I need a spatula or knife to help lift it off the bench if I've been a bit stingy with the flour) until you have a fat little roll.
Step 9
Slice crossways at one-inch intervals and lay them cut side down on a greased baking tray. Sprinkle the tops with a little extra grated parmesan, cracked pepper, and/or herbs.
Step 10
Bake at about 180C for 10-15 minutes, or until dough is cooked through and browned, and filling is piping hot. Yum!

 

Meatless Monday – sweet chilli grilled tofu wrap

tofu-wrap-lunch
I love wraps 90,000,000 times more than sandwiches, no matter how hard I try. Even though they drip all over me and occasionally split as I greedily stuff it full of crunchy salad goodness. I’ll always forgive them! They know not what they do.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with different protein in wraps and sandwiches, as a salad sandwich can only keep you full for so long. And I’m finding it hard to stay on top of eating properly with two young’uns always wanting something all day, so I’m all about eating what’s going to get me through. And can I say, grilled and marinated tofu in my wrap with a bit of sweet chilli sauce and sour cream is absolutely doing the trick these days!

I like the SoyCo tofu, any marinade will do, but the Thai one is nice. Grilled on a ridged pan (not necessary, but I do so like those charred lines! Very Robin Thicke of me) with some creamy avocado, crunchy lettuce, cucumber and carrot, some grated cheese, coriander and sweet chilli sauce topped off with sour cream. Healthy, filling and easy. Super-good if you’re in a bit of a sandwich rut, or if you’re looking for something different :)

As usual, looking forward to seeing the contributions this week! Thank you all for linking up xx

Blueberry buckwheat pikelets {gluten-free}

blueberry-buckwheat-pikelets-(gluten-free)

Just a quick one today folks – a healthified version of an old favourite.

Meanwhile, I love when I post pictures of these on Instagram, and people be all ‘what’s a pikelet?’

Let’s just say little pancake and be done with explaining! Just like all our other pikelets around here, we eat ‘em plain so these blueberry buckwheat pikelets are juiced up with a whole bunch of lovely blueberries. If it’s not sweet enough for you, splash in a little maple syrup. You’ll be glad you did!

A super easy, super-fast, super gluten-free goodie for morning or afternoon tea. They don’t rise as much as my signature pikelets, owing to the spelt, but they’re fluffy enough and taste great. Get stuck in!

Blueberry Buckwheat Pikelets

Dietary Gluten Free

Ingredients

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 Large egg
  • 3/4 cups milk (almond milk is great)

Directions

Step 1
Mix dry ingredients together, then add milk and egg.
Step 2
Drop 1/4 cupful in a greased frying pan over medium heat. When golden-brown on the underside and beginning to set on top, flip for another few minutes until cooked through.

Meatless Monday: Homemade cottage cheese

homemade-cottage-cheeseI was never really into cottage cheese – it sounded weird and looked even weirder.

My sister convinced me to try it on a cracker once, and I was pleasantly surprised. Given my propensity to avoid white wobbly food, I had steered clear thinking it would be tasteless goo that gave me the willies. I ate it once and then forgot about it again.

That is until my nutrition guru Katie 180 gave me some protein tips for my breastfeeding diet. Super-important she said, and rather necessary for veggies like me. She recommended I add cottage cheese to my usual avocado and tomato on toast for an extra boost and so I did. And now I’m a little bit hooked.

I haven’t been very successful finding an organic cottage cheese anywhere, so when I was reading my favourite baby food cookbook, I spotted a recipe for how to make my own. As if I wasn’t going to try that! All I needed was some milk, yogurt and lemon, which was easily made organic, and certainly a great deal cheaper than buying cottage cheese ready-made.

I am still trying to get the consistency right, the few batches I’ve made have given me quite a firm cheese, which I can cut. But I quite like the curdy bits (I know, who even AM I?!) of regular cottage cheese, so I’ve still got some experimenting to do. But this is great in its own right, and I think I will keep making it like this for the firmer version. I will not be so quick to squeeze all the liquid out, and perhaps pour a little organic cream into the resulting curds, instead of following this recipe to the T. But I will give it to you as it appears in the book, and you can be your own judge!

*recipe from Cooking for Your Baby, by Laraine Toms.

Homemade cottage cheese

Ingredients

  • 6 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons plain yogurt
  • 2 Medium lemons, juiced
  • 1 pinch salt (to taste)

Directions

Step 1
Bring milk to the boil.
Step 2
Remove from heat and stir in yogurt, lemon juice and salt. Leave for about 5 minutes.
Step 3
Line a large sieve with a double thickness of cheesecloth, pour in milk mixture and let it drain.
Step 4
Wrap the cloth around the curds and squeeze out all the excess water.
Step 5
Compress the cheese with a heavy weight and leave it overnight until it is firm and compact.



Healthy banana, date and coconut muffins {dairy-free!}

This is a sponsored post for Choosi Health Insurance. 

banana-date-and-coconut-muffins

Having kids has made me think about our health a hell of a lot more than before they were born. I mean, I was reasonably healthy, I exercised and did yoga and ate mostly well, but I also didn’t think much of it.

When Abby started eating solids, I looked at what I was eating myself and saw it fell far short of what I could be doing. Our overall health became a much more important value, and since then I have been meaning to go see either a dietician or nutritionist to pick their brains on just what is healthy for my family (especially because it is covered by my health insurance policy).

In the mean time, I started exploring healthier versions of regular things like muffins and cookies. Why was I giving her wholemeal pancakes, but scoffing refined white flour stuff myself?

The first thing to be revolutionised were muffins. I have been on a muffin-making blitz here at VMHQ lately, because they are so fabulous at being a vehicle for so many fruits and veggies and they are easy to make, low in sugar and high in good-for-you items. While I love a treat from time to time, I also like to see if I can make healthy food taste good! Seriously, I have been putting the most random things in muffins these days and pretty much everything works! And they are all freezable so are therefore ticking every box I have right now.

Veggies and cheese go into lunch or dinner muffins for Miss Picky Eater Oh My God Is That A Vegetable? No Way Man. Bananas and half the fruit bowl go into breakfast and snack muffins. I’ve even just frozen a few punnets of organic

blueberries while they were reasonably priced for future muffin-making efforts, and I made a gorgeous apple, vanilla bean and cinnamon compote for a run of appley muffins this week. Muffin, muffin, muffin.

I have fiddled with my original banana-chia muffin recipe, subbing either wholemeal or spelt flour, trying egg-free, replacing the butter with oil, and next week I’m going to try a gluten-free option.

This recipe was actually a happy accident. I was going to try oil instead of butter (too lazy to melt some and dirty another bowl) but I totally forgot to add it. When I was looking at the mix trying to figure out how to make it a muffin batter and not a muffin dough, I thought to add some almond milk. I went to the fridge to get it and was distracted by a little leftover coconut cream. The rest is history…

I do recommend though that you eat them within 24 hours or freeze them, without the butter or oil they don’t stay moist if left past a day at room temperature.

Healthy wholemeal banana, date and coconut muffins

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups wholemeal self-raising flour
  • 3 Large bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 1 pinch salt

Directions

Step 1
Preheat oven to 180C.
Step 2
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and spoon into muffin cases.
Step 3
Bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Eat same day or freeze.

A bit about Choosi Health Insurance:

Health is more than just a healthy muffin. I let my health insurance lapse last year and of course that’s when I actually needed it – dentist and chiro appointments can really add up, so I rejoined. I much prefer to know we’re covered in case something major happens. At this age I’m hearing of too many friends with health issues that come out of left field and not much about health care is cheap. But I love the wellness options too, which help us keep on top of issues before they blow out of control. And if that means dietary help, then I’m keen! Choosi has a nifty online insurance comparison site so you can find out which company best suits your needs. It’s free and fast and saves you trawling each website for quotes. Try it here.

Wholemeal banana and peach muffins: egg-free and refined-sugar-free!

vegan-banana-peach-muffins

Oh yeah, and vegan.

Lately I’ve been going back through all my old favourites and my mind has been boggling at what refined crap I used to eat like it ain’t no thang. Well, ever since I had babies and they started to eat the food I made, I wanted to do better by them. I was afraid of baking with wholemeal flour because I thought it tasted weird, except I was wrong. I also started to think twice about adding sugar, I really just don’t think a kid that’s not even two needs sugary things. Each to their own and all, and I don’t mind the occasional treat or whatever, but… yeah.

I remember thinking my banana chia muffins weren’t so bad, even though I know recipes like that are pretty much just cake. In muffin form. So I decided to change it so I could feel good giving it to my kids, and also eating it myself. Nobody gets fueled properly with white sugar and white flour, and boy I need all the proper energy I can get!

I removed the egg and replaced it with flax meal and water. I don’t even know why. You can either use the flax meal option or add an egg. Whatever you like!

I also freeze these and pop into lunchboxes.

vegan-banana-peach-muffins-bite

Wholemeal banana and peach muffins: egg-free (vegan) and refined-sugar-free

Serves 24
Allergy Egg
Dietary Vegan, Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Misc Child Friendly, Freezable, Pre-preparable, Serve Cold

Ingredients

  • 1.5 cups wholemeal self-raising flour (or wholemeal plain flour and 1.5 teaspoons baking powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 Large bananas, mashed
  • 2 Large peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal (mixed with two tablespoons water)
  • 1/3 cup oil (I used coconut oil)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Directions

Step 1
Preheat your oven to 200C.
Step 2
Mix all ingredients until combined but lumpy. Spoon into muffin tins and bake 20-30 minutes until cooked all the way through.
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