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.

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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.