Breakfast Muffins

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Hello Рa sunny morning to you ( okay, maybe not  Рthe Sydney sky is pretty grey today haha)

5I’m glad it is weekend – although I of course have lots to do this weekend as well. Last week was very busy for me since I had two assignments for my study due and was working on my cookbook volunteering job a lot as well. But oh well – after 1.5 week of not sleeping that much everything got handed in that had to be handed in. And I was quite pleased with my end results. Now onto the next assessment ūüėČ (yes they never let you take a break haha). But I will make time for breaks and for BREAKfast muffins :)!

I was not sure what I was going to make this week, I had not put much thought in it to be honest since my head was everywhere and nowhere (and my brain was not functioning as it should). However, in the last couple of days I got some inspiration for this weeks bake! Nicolas has to get up very early for his job everyday and does not really have time to make a nice breakfast in the mornings – so I figured I might try to find a bit of a solution (just for the coming week) for that: breakfast muffins! They should be healthy, filling, easy to take, nutritious and tasty! I did some research online and ended up making a whole wheat/oat/banana/hazelnut/dates/coconut/spices/coffee (yes caffeine is needed in the morning) mixture – which turned in muffins after being in the oven. So they are completely butter/oil free and they have no refined sugar (only natural fruit sugars).8The muffins are also whole wheat and whole grain (if you use whole grain oats). They are very filling (good for breakfast!) (and the recipe makes a lot haha), they are also not very sweet – which might be better for breakfast (but you can increase the dates or add some sugar if you want¬†– and I think they will be sweeter with more overripe banana’s – because mine were still quite ‘new’). I did like them a lot – but next time I would put some fruit in them as well – maybe blueberries or apples. In my opinion, the muffins were quite heavy in texture and taste and the only thing breaking away from that were the hazelnuts. They can be frozen (and then taken out the night before you want to have them for breakfast) or just stored in an air-tight container (but make sure you eat them within 4 – 5 days if you don’t freeze them). I hope you like them – but do feel free to experiment with different nuts or the addition of some fruit (dried or fresh)!

3Breakfast muffins

makes 15 big muffins

  • 200g whole wheat flour
  • 200g whole grain oats
  • 100g desiccated coconut
  • 2 tsp ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 4 tsp baking powder
  • 3.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 150 g roasted and chopped hazelnuts (or other nuts)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk (can be replaced with non-dairy milk – and feel free to add a bit more if the batter is very dry)
  • 1/2 cup cold coffee
  • 3 banana’s (preferably very ripe)
  • 120g dates
  • 2 eggs, divided1
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Roast the hazelnuts for 8 minutes (stir them around after 4 minutes). And line your muffin tin with muffin paper cups. 2
  2. Combine the flour, oats, coconut, flaxseed, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves in a big mixing bowl. Chop the cooled hazelnuts into coarse pieces and add them to the dry mixture.
  3. Mash the banana’s into a puree. Process the dates in a food processor with a bit of warm water to make a soft paste. Insert the banana’s and process a little more.¬†11 10
  4. Add the banana and date mixture to the flour mixture. Add in the milk, coffee and egg yolks. Mix all until well combined. Feel free to add more milk if the texture seems a bit dry. (If you want to add any fruit – I would do it at this stage).
  5. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks (I recommend using an electric mixer to do this). Fold the egg whites carefully into the batter.
  6. Divide the batter between the muffin cups – you can probably fill up more than 15 muffins if you prefer smaller muffins.
  7. Bake the muffins for 25 – 30 minutes in the oven. But check them every now and then. If a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean and not very wet, they should be done. If you are not sure, take one muffin and break it open. The inside should be moist but dry – so not looking like batter any more. Leave them in the tin for 5 minutes before taking them out. They can be enjoyed warm or cold! I hope you like them!

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Banana And Coconut Bread

bcb

There are not many things I do not like. Especially when it comes to fruit and vegetables. Sometimes I feel I can been seen as ‘fuzzy’ with food, since I am a vegetarian – but really, besides that, I would not say I am very difficult. However, there are of course I few things I do really dislike, raisins for example (so you will not find a recipe with raisins here – sorry to the raisin lovers), and even though I have a love for chocolate, chocolate and orange is a no-go combination for me! Banana’s are a fruit I do not strongly dislike, but I also do not really like to eat just by themselves. In my year living on my own I have never bought banana’s. So when I was in Canada last year and they decided to make banana bread as a lovely treat, I was a little apprehensive. I had eaten banana bread before, but was not jumping to have it again. But this banana bread changed my views on banana breads haha. Maybe because it also included coconut? Which gives it a lovely texture and just that little extra to lift it up. So, for the first time living out of home, I bought banana’s. Purely so I could make banana bread, and put the recipe up here, to share with you.2

After my brownies from next week, I decided to go for a bit more healthy bake this week. I have been following Solveig’s blog ‘Gluten-Free-Vegan-Girl’ for quite a bit now. She has a very inspirational blog on vegan food, but she also does not use refined sugar or oil (she does use coconut butter) in any of her recipes. I use her blog more as inspiration and to adapt my recipes sometimes, to make them a little healthier or to try something vegan. I have not been convinced by the gluten free trend yet, but I think leaving gluten out sometimes definitely cannot be bad (so maybe a gluten-free recipe will be up soon(ish)?). I used her recipe for Basic Gluten-free Vegan Banana Bread¬†as a guideline to change some aspects of the original recipe. So after reassembling the recipe, today after my long day at the university I NEEDED a break – so why not bake (haha it even rhymes!)?! I mashed my defrosted banana’s, added dates, flour, spices, and coconut. After that, I popped it in the oven, and soon the house started to smell really nice. I took it out of the oven maybe slightly to early – another 10 minutes would have been nice. Nevertheless, it was very nice, moist, coconutty banana bread. So here is my adapted version of the delicious Banana and coconut bread I had in Canada. Let me know what you think!¬†3

Banana and coconut bread

  • 4 medium size frozen banana’s (defrosted) or very overripe banana’s*
  • 1 cup dates
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
  • ¬†2 cups flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat and 1 all-purpose)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 heaped teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup dried shredded coconut (desiccated)
  1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Grease the tin you want to use for your banana bread – I used a round one, but any will do!
  2. If your dates are a bit hard, soak them in hot water for 5 minutes.
  3. Mash the banana’s (and their liquid if you are using defrosted ones), until they are quite smooth. Don’t worry if you still have some lumps!
  4. Put the dates into a food processor, and blend them until they form a paste (you might need to add some of the soaking liquid to make it a little smoother). Add the date paste to the banana’s and whisk until well combined.¬†6
  5. Add the white wine vinegar to the mixture and give it a quick whisk.
  6. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon to the banana mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Add half of the milk, stir until combined, then add the other half.4
  7. Now you can add the coconut to your batter, just simply stir it in.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan you are using and but it in the oven. Make sure you check every once in a while with a small knife or skewer. You want the skewer to come out clean, the bread to look a golden-brown and the bread to become loose at the edges of the tin. It should take about 50 Р60 minutes.1 If the top is burning before the inside is ready, place some tin foil over the top Рthat will prevent it from burning.
  9. After your banana bread is done, let it sit (out of the oven) for 10 minutes before transferring unto a cooling rack. Then simply cut yourself a piece and enjoy :)!

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* To freeze bananas, choose overripe fruit (freezing is an excellent way of storing overripe bananas). Peel them and cut into larger chunks. Freeze overnight on a tray or in a container. Once frozen, transfer to a plastic bag, seal and freeze for up to 1 month. Place in a bowl to defrost at room temperature, and save the juices.