Raspberry and Blueberry Vegan Muffins

Yummmmm… One of my favorite comfort foods is the muffin. I could eat them all day… especially now that I am pregnant. Unfortunately, Europe and the UK haven’t really figured out how to make a good muffins so I have taken on the task of making a really good vegan muffin. I think I have succeeded. Corey thinks so too–as well as our weekend guest, Elise. We devoured the first batch in minutes (yes, that is 12 muffins between 3 people). So basically you have to try them. The key to making a good muffin is to barely mix together the wet and dry ingredients. I pour the wet into the dry and do a few quick hand turns. That is it. This makes them fluffy and less dense. Perfect consistency for a muffin. images Raspberry and Blueberry Vegan Muffins Dry Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour (I use one cup spelt and 1 1/2 cup regular)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground dry ginger
  • 1 cup raspberries (I use frozen since they are so much cheaper)
  • 1 cup blueberries (again… frozen)

Wet Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup coconut yogurt (or any kind of yogurt)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup melted butter (I use vegan butter)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons apple butter or apple sauce
  1. Turn the oven on to 375 degrees F or about 180 degrees C.
  2. Mix together all of the dry ingredients in one bowl.
  3. Mix together all of the wet ingredients in another bowl.
  4. Butter the muffin tin or place cupcake wrappers in them.
  5. Pour the wet batter into the dry batter and combine in 3-4 swift hand strokes (the batter may not be fully mixed and this is fine).
  6. Scoop the batter into the muffin tin with a 1/3 cup scoop (or thereabouts).
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top and baked through. (I take the muffins out of the tin and bake for another five minutes flipped over to give the bottoms a bit of a crust.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool before eating.

NOTE: Try other fruits or ingredients in the muffins such as chopped bananas and chocolate, or raisins/currants and cashews.

Homemade Flapjacks

A friend recently told me that I had really arrived in London now that I was making homemade flapjacks. I have to admit that when I first arrived here I wasn’t sure what a flapjack was–but if you are like me and love oatmeal cookies, cinnamon, dried fruits, and tasty treats, this will soon become a new favorite of yours. It also provides a great snack that doesn’t have any refined sugar. It is definitely a pregnancy must for me. So mix up, eat up and enjoy!

flapjack

The basis for this recipe I found in Deliciously Ella (a great new cookbook that I highly recommend). I have doctored it up and come up with the following:

  • 3 cups of oats
  • 1/2 cup finely hopped nuts (I like a mixture of cashews, almonds and macadamia)
  • 8 medjool dates, chopped in small pieces
  • 6 dried figs or 1/4 cup dried apples, chopped in small pieces
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup crushed corn flakes
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 6 tbs maple syrup
  • 6 tbs nut butter (my favorites are raw almond butter or hazelnut/raisin butter)
  • 4 tbs coconut oil (and more for greasing the pan)
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C or 356 F
  2. Grease a 9 x 9 baking pan with coconut butter
  3. Place oats in a mixing bowl with crushed corn flakes, nuts, chopped fruit and cinnamon. Mix together.
  4. In a large frying pan heat the mashed ripe bananas, maple syrup, nut butter and coconut oil over low heat until it forms a thick liquid like substance.
  5. Mix the heated mixture into the oat mixture. Mix until there is an even-ish consistency.
  6. Place mixture into the greased pan and smooth into the pan with a spatula to create an even, pressed layer of flapjack.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the top is just starting to brown.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool before slicing up the flapjack squares. If the flapjacks look overdone pour a little bit of juice or water on top to moisten the mixture.
  9. Eat up!

Note: You can use any dried fruits you have on hand if you don’t have (or want to by the recommended fruits). For example, you could also try raisins, cranberries and/or apricots.

Maple Ginger Pumpkin Seeds

These are great for a snack, mixed in with granola, a soup or salad topping, or anything to which you want to add a salty/sweet crunch. The flavors are quite subtle but once you start eating them you won’t be able to stop. I used them as a soup topping but found Corey and I kept adding soup to our bowls just to continue munching on the pumpkin seeds. I even think they would make a great kid snack or popcorn replacement. Best thing is they are super quick easy to make!

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Maple Ginger Pumpkin Seeds

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tbs maple syrup
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs dried ginger (or 1 tbs ginger and 1 tbs cinnamon or 2 tbs cinnamon)
  • hearty pinch of salt
  1. Turn the oven to 150 C
  2. Pour the pumpkin seeds into a bowl and add all the other ingredients
  3. Mix until thoroughly covered
  4. Place on a pan covered in parchment paper
  5. Bake, stirring occasionally, for 12-18 minutes or until the ingredients set
  6. Take out of the oven and let sit to cool
  7. Add to your favorite salad, soup or meal or eat alone

NOTE: 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds contains more than half the daily recommended does of magnesium. So folks with high blood pressure or heart issues… eat up!

Banana Kate

This recipe has been a staple for me for years. I make it for everyone. My friends love it and I hope you will too!

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Banana Kate

  • 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1 egg (hopefully from happy chickens or local farmers)
  • 1/2 cup oil (olive, sunflower or canola oil)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar (preferably brown)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbs yogurt (coconut or plain)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 325 f/ 160 c

2. Grease and flower 9″x5″ baking pan

3. Mash peeled bananas and combine with egg. Mix in flour and sugar, then add the oil and yogurt. Stir to combine.

4. Add spices, vanilla and baking soda.

5. Bake for 1 hour 20 minutes (check around one hour to see if it is cooked through–different ovens have different timings).

Serve hot with more yogurt, nut butter, applesauce or butter…

Breakfast Smoothie

This is my other favorite summer breakfast. Admittedly, the base of this smoothie comes from a Dr. Oz Cleanse I did a few years ago–I don’t really recommend the cleanse as the other two smoothies leave a bit to be desired and I didn’t particularly feel cleansed after the three days. That said, I still thoroughly enjoy the taste of this smoothy and feel good about putting its ingredients in my body (especially the spinach–I feel like I get a head-start on my veggies for the day). So blend up and enjoy.

 

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Breakfast Smoothie

  • 1 cup coconut water (or regular water if you don’t have coconut on hand)
  • 1 tbs flax seeds
  • 1 cup raspberries (frozen raspberries are totally fine)
  • 1 banana
  • 1/4 cup spinach
  • 1 tbs almond butter (peanut butter works as well but gives a slightly sweeter taste)
  • 2tsp lemon juice

1. Blend and refresh.

NOTE: You can add a little sprig of mint to the glass to make yourself feel more classy.

 

Chia Seed Breakfast Pudding

My new favorite breakfast. Those of you that know my eating habits know that I get fixated on things and will eat them over and over and over. This is my new fixation. If you like the consistency of tapioca pudding then you will love this. Note: you have to prepare it the night before and let it sit in the fridge while you sleep. Also, I don’t tend to use a wine glass… but if you are feeling it, why not?

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(image from A Beautiful Mess blog)

Chia Seed Pudding

  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk (or almond milk or whatever milk type you have on hand)
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs maple agave (or honey or maple syrup)
  • Fresh berries or pomegranate seeds

Slivered almonds

Put chia seeds, soy milk and vanilla into a small bowl and stir until well mixed. Place the bowl in the fridge for an hour or so and then stir it one more time to be sure it is well blended. Let the mixture sit in the fridge overnight and in the morning it will have a great tapioca type consistency.

Drizzle maple agave on top and add fresh berries/nuts. All set…

Fun Fact: Apparently the Aztec’s used chia seeds as their currency. Two tablespoons were supposed to sustain an Aztec warrior for the better part of a day (I guess because of the fiber?). Doesn’t work for me… I am hungry again in a few hours. But then again, I am one of those people that likes to eat every two to three hours anyway. Maybe the Aztec warriors had different metabolisms?

VARIATIONS: 

You can mix up the add-ins for some other tasty flavors…

Try adding a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg to the mixture before it sets overnight.

Or try adding 1 tbs of cocoa and a pinch of cayenne (and maybe some chocolate shavings on top).

You can also use coconut milk instead of soy for a richer flavor.