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Chocolate Avocado Loaf

30 Jan

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It’s not very often I have a ripe avocado to spare. Actually I’ve never had an avocado to spare. I buy lots and eat them often but use them in baking? Pffff.

A ripe avocado is a valuable and delicious thing. Come on…avocados in smoothies? Salads? On a sandwich? Taco? Guacamole? With a fried egg? Heaven.

Well I finally sacrificed one and used it to bake…that seems to be the trend these days….

The result was obviously amazing. The bread came out moist and tender. It’s egg free too…in case you were wondering….

If you can find it in your heart to spare one of your own ripe avocados, go ahead…bake this loaf!

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It also can be made into muffins…if you like that kinda thing…

Side note: Photographing chocolate items is harder than it looks! Brown things come out looking….brown. Forgive me for not capturing the deliciousness of this baked item as well as I could have. Please know it is way better in person.

Chocolate Avocado Loaf

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon. vanilla
1 ripe avocado, smashed
1/3 cup yogurt
2/3 cup milk (I used almond milk)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips
Instructions
In a mixing bowl, cream the oil and sugar until combined. Add the applesauce, vanilla, yogurt and smashed avocado and beat until creamy. Whisk together all the dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk to the mixture, slowly beating it in. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. Pour into a loaf pan or divide into muffins (makes about 15). Bake at 350F for about an hour or until toothpick comes out with only a few crumbs. If baking muffins, bake at 400F for 15-18 minutes until toothpick comes out with a few crumbs.

“Back on Track” Zucchini Muffins

29 May

These muffins are meant to hit the spot. They’re meant to hit the spot when nothing else seems to do the trick. They’re meant to give you a no-nonsense, fuss-free smile on your face and nice feeling in your belly. For those times when you want something that’s just right…this is the solution.

Why do you need these muffins? Well…life seems to have a mind of its own. Sometimes it’ll work out in your favour. Sometimes it’ll blindside you with a “dilly of a pickle” as Ned Flanders would say.

So what do you do when life makes you feel like you’ve hit a snag?

When it feels like you’ve hit rock. (bottom that is..)

When it feels like you would give everything you have for the existence of a rewind button?

When it feels like that brainless fart of a human being is going to be responsible for your ripping your hair out?

This is what you do. (This is what I did anyway)

You open your fridge. Look in your pantry. Look in the mirror. Look at the people in your life.

You’ve got some zucchini in the fridge and brown bananas on the counter. Sure, you’re out of baking powder, but heck, you can make your own because hot damn you’ve got cream of tartar!

Heck, look at that handsome devil staring back at you in the mirror. You’re still alive and well and looking pretty darned good! Even with the newly introduced grey you found the other day.

Look at all the wonderful people you have around you. All the awesome friends and family who will do anything they can to help you out. Your significant other who doubles as a chauffeur. Your brother who has a solution for everything. Your mother who just wants you to “be careful” all the time because she loves the stuffing out of you. Your friends who don’t make fun when you do stupid things, and help you out even when you do more stupid things.

You make zucchini flax muffins.

You share it with everyone you care about.

You marvel at the fact that there’s no butter or oil in them.

Take that life! I made muffins. And they’re awesome.

Zucchini Flax muffins

adapted from Martha Stewart

1 3/4 cups spelt or all purpose flour

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1 cup lightly packed brown sugar

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (from 1 large zucchini)

1/3 cup mashed ripe banana (from 1 large banana)

3/4 cup almond milk (or regular)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add zucchini and banana and stir to combine. In a small bowl, whisk together milk, egg, and vanilla. Add milk mixture to flour mixture and stir until combined (do not overmix).
Divide batter among muffin cups. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes.

Blueberry Maple Flax Muffins

15 Apr

Sometimes, all I really want to do is make some good muffins. Is that asking too much? A muffin can be a glorious creation, depending on how you go about it. I feel like there is a muffin for every occasion, every taste, every ailment.

Muffins make a good snack as long as you don’t douse them with too many add-ins from the muffin bar. But then…muffins can make a pretty decadent treat if you handle them the right way. You can even turn muffins into a fibre-fest and make them “feel good” muffins….literally. Savoury muffins? Hello, best ever for brunch or a partner in crime at dinner.

I like making anytime muffins. Anytime muffins are the perfect balance between a healthy snack and a yummy goodness treat.

When I’m making muffins I like to incorporate fruit, some healthy nuts or seeds, a natural sweetener like honey or maple syrup,  and a good fat like coconut oil or avocado oil. Sometimes I even forego the fat and replace it with greek yogurt or applesauce. See where I’m going with all of this? Good for you ingredients for a good for you muffin.

These muffins are great, and they’re vegan to boot! Just make em. Babycakes bakery was my inspiration once again.

Do the right thing. Make these muffins. It’s not like it’s hard.

Blueberry Maple Flax Muffins

2 1/4 cup whole spelt flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1/2 cup coconut oil

2/3 cup maple syrup

2/3 cup almond milk

2 tsp vanilla

1 tsp maple extract (optional)

2/3 cup blueberries

Whisk together flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Add the oil, maple syrup, almond milk and extracts and stir until batter is smooth. Gently fold in the blueberries until well distributed into the batter.

Pour 1/3 cup scoops of batter into a 12 cup muffin tin. Bake at 325F for approximately 22-25 minutes until  they bounce back slightly when pressed and a toothpick comes out clean.

They will keep in an airtight container for 3 days but they will taste best if eaten fresh. Freeze them if you like!

Happy snacking!

Peachy Crumble Muffins

7 Sep

So, the term “be there or be square” which I admit I use more often than I probably should, is a strange one to say the least.

I say, sometimes, it’s hip to be square.

Especially when it comes to these muffins.

I totally bought a square muffin pan from Winners even though I didn’t need it.

I totally baked peachy muffin madness in said muffin pan.

I like square muffins.

I like living on the fruit belt so that I can put fresh peaches in my square muffins.

The only way I could possibly make these muffins better, was to put a crumble topping on them. So I did. Obviously.

Peachy Crumble Muffins

adapted from Honey and Jam

3 eggs

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup olive oil (you can opt for canola if you’re too chicken to try olive oil)

1/2 cup applesauce

2 cups diced peaches

3 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup whole wheat, 2 cups all purpose)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

a dash of fresh ground nutmeg if you have any

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional. I left them out)

Crumble topping

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup old fashioned oats

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour two 8 x 4 inch loaf pans, OR two muffin pans. Yes, this makes a lot. I used only one muffin pan but I made JUMBOSAURUS muffins. You can too….but….it’s really your call. Can you handle Jumbosaurus muffins?
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Blend in the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; mix just to combine. Stir in the peaches and nuts. Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. Bake for about 1 hour for the loaf, or 15-25 minutes (depending on the size of your muffins) until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

Voila. Peachy muffins for all!

Mom’s Easy Cheese Muffins

23 Aug

My mom is pretty great. No. Pretty awesome. Ok, she’s the best there is.

She could bake me under the table. She could also sew me under the table; I am proof that being the daughter of a retired fashion designer does not automatically make you good at sewing or making good fashion choices..or avoiding looking like a hobo.

Considering how much of a perfectionist she is, I’m pretty grateful for her patience and understanding after seeing me perform baking no-no’s in her kitchen when I come to visit. I’m also pretty grateful for when she tells me I look bad in some recently purchased shorts….or when my hairband makes me look like a doofus. Thanks mom.

This is why I got her to bake these cheese muffins. I would never dare bake these in front of her. They’re her recipe. She makes them every Sunday morning for the family, along with scones (pronounced “scons” in her South African accent), and an amazing array of cheese, fruit, jam (she lives for her marmalade), and other brunch related goodies. I know. She’s awesome. She’s cute. She’s got spunk…and she’s all mine. Well….I share her with my brother but that’s IT. You can’t have her. You can have her muffin recipe though….I guess…

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Doughnut Muffins

30 Jun

Why are there two spellings for this deep fried delicacy? Donut. Doughnut. I feel like “donut” is the less intellectual version. Do intellectuals even eat doughnuts? Probably in secret.

I’ve made doughnuts before. Real ones. They’re incredible, but the whole deep frying at home thing doesn’t do much for the smell in my apartment, or hair for that matter. There’s also the whole deep fried foods=bad for you thing. That’s why I save doughnuts for special occasions.

That is also why, however, I have this recipe for doughnut muffins. They taste like doughnuts. They smell like them too. They’re not deep fried. They also take less time. Its a win win win situation here. Are you picking up what I’m throwing down?

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Veganizing Mom’s Banana Muffins

9 Jun

One thing about my mom’s baking: she never EVER makes the same thing twice. My dad always told us that if we liked something to enjoy it, because we would never see it again.

There IS, however, one exception to her rule. Her banana muffins. Whenever the bananas were looking brown and really really sad, she would whip these badboys out, and we would in turn gobble them up like nobody’s business. The original recipe called for dates, but my mom being the self proclaimed chocoholic that she is, insists on chocolate. She also insists that they are the best banana muffins. Ever. I may be biased but I tend to agree.

I decided to take a chance and try to make them better than the best (health wise, that is). Lately I have been on a vegan baking spree. (I just so happen to have a lovely vegan friend that I like to make happy).

So I substituted the heck out of the ingredients, and turned it into a low fat, almost completely vegan (and can be vegan if you want it to be), banana bread. You’re thinking it probably tastes like butt. Not true, friends! It’s actually ridiculous. Everyone that ate some was over the moon in love with it. It has a fresh, clean, banana flavour and it’s unbelievably moist. Just trust me. You have to make it.

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