Healthier Blueberry and Seed Muffins

Today is muffin day! and you have my full permission to eat as many as you want.  I am only saying that, as I am guilty of devouring one hot muffin just as they came out of the oven.  I know….I have no control.  I don’t know what it is about muffins, but for me they need to be HOT !!! and the best ones are straight from the oven. I just cannot resist them !!! I don’t even sit down to eat it, it is a matter of …tray out of oven, and my paw clutching one hot muffin from the tray….and need I say much more…..

So, anyway, I decided to post something a little different from my usual …. actually I was kind of feeling a little guilty, as I have not really baked in a while, and I was getting the impression that the hubby was starting to feel a bit deprived.  (Yes, let’s blame it on the hubby :-)) Anyway, so I opted for these ‘healthier’ muffins. Note, the operative word ‘healthier’, so in my mind they are ‘healthier’ but still not 100% healthy. There still are a few things which raise my eyebrows…but hey…it is all about balance. 🙂

Healthier Blueberry and Seed Muffins

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  30 minutes

Makes 12

Ingredients:

2 jumbo-sized free-range eggs

45 grams apple sauce

45 grams vegetable oil/or butter, melted/or coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup lactose-free plain yoghurt

1 medium-sized banana

 

225 grams gluten-free plain all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons gluten-free baking powder

50 grams sugar

20 grams gluten-free oats

125 grams seeds (I did a mixture of 50 grams sunflower, 50 grams pumpkin, 25 grams combined sesame and poppy seeds)

125 grams blueberries (fresh or frozen)*

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius /350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Lightly whisk eggs with a fork.

If using butter, melt it.  Whilst butter is melting, mash-up the banana.

In a large bowl, add the beaten eggs, applesauce, butter, yoghurt and banana. Mix well with a metal tablespoon.

In another bowl, combine all the dry ingredients together.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold in nicely.

Lastly, fold in the blueberries until just combined.

Spoon dollops of mixture into the muffin tin.

Cook for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Enjoy 🙂

NB*  If you are using frozen blueberries, allow the blueberries to defrost naturally overnight.

If you are not Gluten intolerant, I am sure these muffins will be equally as nice using another healthier flour option.

Butternut and Herb Scones

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Hey, hey….lets talk about savoury scones for awhile.  Who is more into savoury than sweet? Personally, I am not fussy. My mom was the queen of scone making, she would throw together a batch in like no time.  Unlike me, who still goes by the written out recipe!  Yip, there is no hope ! She would add this or that, or keep them plain so we could have jam and cream with them (yum). No matter what, they were always delicious :-). Anyway, scones just seemed to be on my radar lately, but I wanted to just change it up a bit so savoury scones it was.  I have been on a bit of a butternut vibe lately (but that is a story for another time, and apart from the fact that I had bought a pocket of butternuts…I just thought butternut scones just had to happen, I mean …come on, we have butternut everything happening these days, so why not butternut scones! Let me tell you, these Butternut and Herb ones are the Thing !  Just saying!!!

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Butternut and Herb Scones

Preparation time:  15 minutes (prep time will be longer if you do not have pre-roasted mashed butternut)

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  35 minutes

Ingredients:

125 millilitres (1/4 cup) salted butter

500 millilitres (2 cups) cake wheat flour

1 jumbo-sized free range egg

125 millilitres (1/4 cup) buttermilk

125 millilitres (1/4 cup) mashed roasted butternut

125 millilitres (1/4 cup) chopped spring onion

125 millilitres (1/4 cup) chopped fresh rosemary

a little extra milk for the tops of the scones

Instructions:

Firstly, preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius (170 degrees Celsius Fan Oven)/350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Dust a baking tray with a little flour, to prevent sticking.

In a large bowl add the flour, baking powder and the chilled butter.  Using your hands, yes, I prefer using my hands with this next step, it is a bit messy but persevere and scrunch the butter into the flour mixture with your fingers, with a lifting up motion. Continue to do this until you literally have a bowl of ‘breadcrumbs’.  Shake the bowl, and you will notice any big clumps sitting on the top, just break those down.

(You may want to wash your hands now quickly) Then add the egg, buttermilk, butternut, spring onion and herbs.  Stir well with a metal spoon.

Empty the scone mixture onto a floured surface.  (This may sound ridiculous, but now is the time to flour your hands) Flatten the scone mixture slightly. Using a knife divide the scone mixture into eight. I usually cut, as if I were cutting a pie.

With a little extra milk, moisten the top of each scone.

Place in the preheated oven and let cook for 20 minutes.

Once done, enjoy with a nice smearing of butter.

Enjoy 🙂

 

Bran Muffins

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Okay, I know everyone knows how to bake Bran Muffins.  They are super easy to do and we all have baked them at one time or another.

I wanted to share this particular recipe with you, for a couple reasons:  First, they are DIVINE and second, they have a magical ‘all time plus motivator !’. This recipe can be made in advance and literally stored in an air tight container in the refrigerator for six weeks !!! I kid you not !!! Isn’t that awesome !!!

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I just find these the best to have.  Once stored in the refrigerator, it is just so easy to just get the muffin pan out, whenever the need arises, get a tablespoon, stir the remaining mixture a bit, and spoon the mixture into how ever many muffins hollows from the muffin tray you want to eat at the time.  These are perfect to quickly pop in the oven, just before work or for lunches…These are perfect when the unannounced family member or friend arrives….These muffins just spell WIN WIN WIN 🙂

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So, I apologise for the boring post.  I apologise for the uneventful pics…but hey, I just had to share this recipe.

This recipe came from a recipe book by Annette Human, called Kitchen Gifts. One of my best friends, Janet. (She used to live next door to me when growing up, from about the time we were two bricks high) gave me this recipe book years ago when I got engaged. It was the perfect gift.  This is a book I refer to all the time. I have not altered or tweaked the recipe at all, as honestly it does not warrant it.

I hope you enjoy these muffins as much as I do.

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Bran Muffins

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Total time:  30 minutes

This mixture makes 3 litres (3000 grams ) of batter.

Ingredients:

5 x 250 millilitres (650 grams) measured unsifted cake wheat flour

25 millilitres (25 grams) of bicarbonate of soda

10 millilitres  (2 teaspoons) salt

750 nillilitres (600 grams) white sugar

5 x 250 millilitres (250 grams) All Bran Flakes  (cereal)*

1 litre (1000 grams)  buttermilk

250 millilitres sunflower oil

4 extra large eggs, beaten

Instructions:

In a large bowl, sift the cake flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt together.

Add the sugar.

Add the All Bran Flakes.

Mix together thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

Add the buttermilk, sunflower oil and eggs and mix thoroughly with the wooden spoon.

Spoon the mixture into an airtight container, and place in the refrigerator.

This mixture will keep up to six weeks in the refrigerator.

To bake the muffins:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius/170 degrees Celcius (fan oven) / 350 degrees F

Spray a muffin tray with a non stick food spray.

Spoon the muffin mixture into a muffin tray allowing a little room to rise.

Bake in a preheated oven for approximately 20 – 25 minutes until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

Enjoy 🙂

Further Options Apart from the All Bran Cereal are:

  •   to use 5 x 250 millilitres (350 grams) Raisin Bran Cereal.
  •   to use 5 x 250 grams All Bran Cereal and 175 millilitres (100 grams)   seedless raisins
  •   to use 5 x 250 millilitres (350 grams)  Corn Flakes Cereal.

Seed Bread Muffins

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Baking bread isn’t really my thing.  It’s something I seldom do and to tell the truth, I’m a little scared of working with yeast.  All my insecurities set in…I always think, what if the bread does not rise.  Stupid, I know…but I have my moments.  Apart from the endless waiting for dough to rise, and then most of the recipes say, to let the dough rise in a warm place…I mean what happens in winter? and yes, I have actually had my heated oven door open, with a stool in front of the door, with my dough on, in the hopes the heat will help my dough to rise, I mean, a girl has got to try!..and then the kneading, I have no clue how to knead properly, I’ve never been taught, so I do my own thing and just hope for the best.

Never the less, need I say, that if I can find a bread recipe that doesn’t need yeast, I am all there.

This healthy Seed Loaf recipe has been eyeing me out for a while.  Yes, it is always in my face. I open my recipe file and just randomly flip to a page and nine out of ten times I have the Seed Loaf staring at me, so…it was time…I had to do it…I had to put my curiosity aside and just do it…and my, am I soooooo happy I did.  This bread is to die for!  and if you like a very dense, seed induced healthy bread, this is the one!  I just cannot get enough of it.  I didn’t quite have all the ingredients as the original recipe from the Your Family Magazine stipulated, so I substituted and still it was awesome.  I also, did not have the actual size loaf tin, so for a bit of fun got my giant-sized muffin cup tray and ended up loading up six giant sized muffin cups and four slightly smaller muffin cups just to finish up the mixture. I filled the muffins cups to just about the brim and there was a slight rising but not much at all. Nothing spilled over, so it all worked out perfectly.

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I must say I loved the concept of the bread muffins, it’s just different.  I have a sneaky suspicion that when I do this bread again, instead of using a loaf pan, I’m going to use the muffin cup trays again.

These freeze very well, by the way.  The bread muffins I individually wrapped, and if you opt for doing the loaf pan, just slice and individually wrap.  It’s so easy, when you want, just pop them in the microwave till they reach the temperature you want, and then smother in butter, and add some jam or honey….Yum !!!  This is just an incredible health bread with goodness and nutrition.  It is just pure heaven.

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Healthy Seed Bread Muffins

Preparation time:  25 minutes

Cooking time:  1 hour

Total time:  1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients:

750 millilitres (3 cups) nutty wheat flour

250 mililitres (1 cup) cake wheat flour

500 millilitres (2 cups) oats

pinch of salt

1 Tablespoon white sugar

350 millilitres (mixture of seeds (I used a combination of sunflower and pumpkin seeds combined)*

a handful of extra seeds for sprinkling on the top of the bread muffins

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ 350 degrees F

Grease a giant sized muffin tray and a large sized muffin tray.  (I used spray n’ cook)

In a large mixing bowl, combine the nutty wheat flour, cake wheat flour, oats, sugar, salt and all the seeds.  This is quite a floury mixture so use a tablespoon to combine.  Do not even consider an electric mixer, clouds of flour will be everywhere!

In a separate medium sized bowl, pour in the buttermilk, full cream milk, sunflower oil and bicarbonate of soda.  With a tablespoon, stir all the wet ingredients a few times, and set aside for approximately 5 minutes.

Then, with a tablespoon push some of the dry ingredients aside, working around the bowl, making a well effect, in the middle of the flour and oats mixture.  Then grab your medium sized bowl with the wet ingredients in and pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.  Using a tablespoon, mix these two mixtures together to combine.  The mixture is quite thick, and mixing is a bit of an arm workout, but make sure you reach the sneaky flours down at the bottom of the bowl.

Spoon into the prepared muffin trays, filling the mixture to just about the brim.

Sprinkle each bread muffin with extra seeds for added texture.

Place trays in oven and bake for 1 hour.  Test with skewer.  Skewer must come out clean.

Then remove trays from oven.  Remove bread muffins from trays and place on a cooling rack.

I love them hot.  Serve with butter, raw honey or jam.

Enjoy 🙂

  •  I used a digital scale and measured out the seeds.  I found this method to be far more accurate.  Using measuring cups for the seeds somehow just get lost in the mixture.
  • My little experiment:  1 measuring cup (250 millilitres) of pumpkin seeds was equivalent to 155 millilitres on the digital scale and 1 measuring cup (250 millilitres) of sunflower seeds was equivalent to 137 millilitres on the digital scale…Please use a digital scale when measuring the seeds 🙂
  • My giant size muffin cups are width 10.2 centimeters /4 inches and depth 5.2 centimeters /2 inches.

Dried Fruit and Nut Muffins

 

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I am quite excited today as this is my first blog post !

I have been contemplating doing a food blog for some time now and finally decided to just go for it. Now with everything set up and organised I am rearing to go. (I admit I do still have a bit of tweaking to do on my site but it is pretty much done for now.)  There is one thing though, I am not a photographer and do not have a fancy camera, so please excuse the photographs.

I have been wondering which recipe I would do for my first, but with so many options of deliciousness, just could not pick one.

I decided on muffins finally.  I am addicted to muffins and love my muffins crispy on the outside and then soft on the inside.  This can be a little tricky when cooking, so I check on them at the required time and then if they need a little extra, then I keep them in the oven for an extra five minutes. Every oven is different temperature wise ever so slightly, so it is a bit of a hit and miss with the time. Never the less they cannot spoil and will always taste divine.

I chose Dried Fruit and Nut Muffins.  They are always great.  I love the combination of the fruits and the nuts.  They just seem to work together so well.  I did add a few pumpkin seeds in as well for that added crunch.

The original recipe is a basic muffin mixture which I have adapted slightly. This recipe I found on a little piece of paper, handwritten and found amongst my moms’ recipes.   This is my go-to muffin recipe.  I find it extremely versatile and easy to switch and change flavours.

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I enjoy making jumbo sized muffins, only problem is they do not last long ! So for a change I took out my ‘cup cake’ tray and used it for the muffins in the hope that they would last a little longer (they didn’t).

So I used chopped raw almonds and macadamia nuts which I did with the pestle and mortar.  I also included chopped dried pear, a few cranberries and some pumpkin seeds.  Any combination will do. This is basically what I had on hand without me having to go to the grocery store for ingredients.  I did allow them to stay in the oven an extra five minutes to get the extra crispness which I love.

(I have a fan oven so generally find when baking to lower the oven temperature by ten degrees C and then allow an extra five minutes or so baking time.)

Nothing is better than a hot crispy on the outside muffin, so much so that it does not even need to be cut open and have butter put on it.  As you bite into it and that softness of the inside…there just are no words.  Okay butter is good on muffins for sure, but that first bite…heaven.

I am an ‘out of the oven and eat’ kind of a girl, it is a matter of from the hot oven and into my mouth ! My dad was the same 🙂

These muffins can also easily be frozen (if they last that long.)  This comes in handy for a snack attack or for adding to the lunches.

I usually take from the freezer, defrost and bomb into the microwave for a piping hot muffin and top with butter…yum !

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Dried Fruit and Nut Muffins

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time:  25-30 minutes

12 average sized muffins or 6 jumbo sized muffins

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups (210 grams) uncooked oats

1 1/2 cups (210 grams) wheat cake flour

Just under a cup (170 grams) of loosely packed brown sugar

1 cup (170 grams) of a combination of chopped dried pears, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, raw almond nuts and raw macadamia nuts

1 tablespoon (5 grams) baking powder

1 teaspoon (2.5 grams) baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 cup (225 grams) full cream milk

1/2 cup (112.50 grams) vegetable oil

2 extra large free range eggs

Instructions:

In a large mixing bowl add the uncooked oats, flour and sugar.

Stir with a wooden spoon to combine.

Then add the chopped dried fruit, seeds and chopped nuts.

Again stir to combine.

Add the baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Lightly beat the eggs with a whisk.

In a separate bowl add the milk, oil and lightly beaten eggs.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix through thoroughly with a wooden spoon.

Fill a well-greased muffin tray with the muffin mixture about 3/4 full, allowing for the muffins to rise.

Place in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees C (356 degrees F) for approximately 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

 

Enjoy 🙂