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.

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.

Healthy Homemade Granola

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I thoroughly enjoy making my own granola.  Homemade granola is tons better than the store-bought ones.  When I make it, it is like I am on my own play ground,  strange analogy, but true.  I get to use whatever nuts I want, whatever seeds I want, whether or not I want to add dried fruit or not, it is great, and I get to use whatever quantities I want! Basically I use whatever I have at hand, but more often than not I have to buy more nuts when I know I am planning on making it, as I am a nut freak of note!  I also, like to keep them as whole as possible in my granola, I just love that crunch 🙂 . This homemade Granola is just pure health (except for the butter), packed with goodness, crunch and even gluten-free oats!

With this batch of Granola, I used some butter which I melted with a little vanilla extract.  I know most people are on a health kick these days and coconut oil has become a firm favourite in their kitchens, I am no different, but I needed a change this time.  The difference in flavour was not huge (lets not talk about the nutrients…).  I found using the butter gave it the obvious slight buttery flavour which was enjoyable.  I usually always use coconut oil, melted with other granola recipes and it works just as well, so I am positive it will work just as well with this one.  I always use raw honey.  It is a thicker consistency and it is more natural, so melting it is a necessity when making granola.  I would recommend melting whatever honey you choose to use though, to give it a thinner consistency.

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Healthy Homemade Granola

Preparation time:  5 minutes

Cooking time:  35 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Makes just over 3 cups (900 millilitres)

Ingredients:

2 cups uncooked oats *

1 cup of mixed nuts  (I used a combination of raw almonds, macadamia, peanuts, pecan and walnuts)*

1 cup of mixed seeds (I used a combination of pumpkin and sunflower seeds) *

a sprinkling of cinnamon (approximately 1/2 teaspoon/2.5 millilitres)

95 grams butter, melted

100 millilitres raw honey, melted

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 millilitres) vanilla extract

1 cup chopped dried fruit (I used a combination of prunes, apricot, pear and cranberries) *

Instructions:

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C/170 degrees C (fan oven) / 356 degrees F

Chop the dried fruit, and set aside.

Mix the oats, nuts and seeds together in a bowl. (Do not add the dried fruit)

Sprinkle over the cinnamon.

Melt the butter, honey and vanilla extract over a low heat and stir to combine.

Add the melted butter mixture to the oats, nuts and seeds and stir to combine all the ingredients.

Spread the ingredients out on a lined and greased baking tray approximately 37.5 x 25 centimetres / 14.5 x 9.5 inches in size and place in a pre-heated oven to cook.

Stir the granola every fifteen minutes, so it cooks evenly.

Allow to cook for about 35 minutes or until a light golden brown.  (I used a thermo fan oven and mine were done in 20 minutes)

Once the granola is out of the oven, stir in the dried fruit.

Allow the granola to cool.

Transfer into a sealed jar or container and store in the refrigerator.

Serve either on its own, with added fresh fruit and or yoghurt.

Enjoy 🙂

*  I used Gluten Free Oats.

*  Any combination of nuts will do.

*  Any combination of raw seeds will do.

*  Any combination of dried fruit will do.