Apple Berry Buckwheat Muffins

Who can resist a freshly baked muffin and what’s better is that this recipe everyone can enjoy!

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Easy Mix & Bake Nut-free Choc Banana & Coconut Muffins

Running out of ideas for kids school lunches?

These mix and bake choc banana & coconut muffins are the perfect Β nut-free lunchbox treat. With using alternatives to sugars, good quality 70% dark chocolate and wholemeal spelt flour makes them a healthier yet still super yummy, kid friendly snack. You can swap the chocolate and use sultanas or blueberries to keep things interesting.

My kids love them, make a batch and freeze them in ziplock bags for easier lunchbox treats.

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Continue reading “Easy Mix & Bake Nut-free Choc Banana & Coconut Muffins”

Mountain Bread Eggy Cups

Mountain bread wraps are my favourite healthy alternative to bread and other doughy wraps also the big winner for me is that they are preservative free not like most other brand wraps on the market. They come in all sort of varieties and are easily found in the wrap section in your local supermarket. But did you know you can make other things besides eating them as wraps?

I have used Mountain Bread sheets to make all sorts of things from pizzas to enchiladas and this recipe of using them as casing for eggy cups or frittatas if you like. It gives them the outer crunch without all the butter and calories of pastry. You can use whatever ingredients you like in the egg mix, I used chopped ham, grated cheese, corn  and tomato to make them kid friendly for my kid’s school lunches. You can add other cooked veggies like broccoli, pumpkin or spinach to add extra veggie goodness. They are super easy  to make even the kids can help you make them.

Mountain Bread Eggy Cups

  • Servings: makes 12
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Ingredients

4 mountain bread sheets cut into 6 squares

6 eggs

3-4 slices fresh ham, sliced

1/2 cup grated tasty cheese

1/2 cup tin corn 

salt and pepper

6 grape tomatoes halved

fresh chives to top

Directions

  1. Preheat oven 180’C (350’F)
  2. Cut each sheet of mountain bread in half long ways, then cut each sheet into threes
  3. Grease a 12 capacity muffin tin with cooking spray and press one square into each muffin hole. Then repeat placing another square on top into each hole.
  4. Dab a little water in and around each case and bake in oven for two minutes then remove and let cool.
  5. In a medium bowl crack the eggs and lightly whisk. Add sliced ham and cheese and salt and pepper mix to combine.
  6. Fill cases evenly with the egg mixture then top with tomato
  7. Bake for 25 minutes, remove from tin and cool on a wire rack before eating.
  8. They should keep in the fridge for 3-4 days or can be frozen note: that mountain bread may not retain the crunch if frozen.

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Lunch Box Fillers.. Blueberry, Apple & Quinoa Muffins

imageSchool is back next week woohoo.. I mean wow that went quickly. I’ve quite enjoyed the sleep-ins well not having to be dressed, rushed and out of the house every morning. But like all good things they must come to an end and it’s back to reality, routine and the early morning chaos. My middle son starts prep (first year of school) this year and to say  he is excited is an understatement.

He is looking forward to the challenges and friendships and of course joining his big brother at school. It will be an adjustment for all of us and I hope I don’t get too teary but I can’t promise anything. He is my mummy’s boy and  I’ve loved having him home with me. Now he will be out in the big wide world of school and I’m not sure how I feel about it. Excited for his next phase but also a part of me finding it so hard to let go. Sounds silly, but to me it is a big deal the next step in their little lives.They are no longer tied to you everyday and having mummy protect them from harms way. It’s more than just school work, they build their confidence and independence that will stay with them for years to come. It’s kind of a big deal!

Enough of the emotional stuff I still have some days left to prepare myself. In the meantime I have started thinking of some lunchbox ideas to distract me.  I like to pack fresh fruit, veggie sticks, rice crackers, sandwiches and some healthy snacks they are the usuals in my kids lunch boxes. I do like to make some homemade treats when I get a chance as I hate all the supermarket kids snacks that are targeted as “school snacks” but are mostly all filled with excessive amounts of sugar and still cheeky additives and preservatives. Still don’t know how they get away with it.

Muffins are a great treat though making them without sugar can sometimes leave them underwhelming and bland which may come back at the bottom of their school bag. I love this recipe I found that does include a little sugar but unrefined coconut sugar, also is sweetened by grated apple also making it super moist, the added blueberries for extra fruity flavour and contains quinoa flakes for added superfood slow releasing energy . Well sounds perfect for getting them through the day doesn’t it.. Win for me, but was it a win for the kids? Happy to say the kids sampled them and it’s a tick from them too. They can be easily wrapped and put in the freezer, then just taken out the night before to pack in their lunch boxes. I will be posting more healthy lunch box fillers in the coming weeks. Hope you are ready for school to start I’m sure there will be many mummy coffee dates planned and leaps out of bed that morning from parents and maybe like me some happy tears.

Recipe from Donna Hay Fresh and Light magazine issue 5

Blueberry, Apple & Quinoa Muffins

Ingredients

1/2 quinoa flakes

1 cup milk

2 cups wholemeal flour sifted

1/2 cup coconut sugar

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp baking powder

3/4 cup grapeseed oil or light olive oil

1 green apple grated

1  1/2 cups frozen blueberries

Quinoa crumb

1/3 cup quinoa flakes

1 tb maple syrup

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C (350’F)
  2. In a large bowl place quinoa flakes and milk and let soak for 10mins
  3. Then add all remaining ingredients (except quinoa crumb and blueberries) and mix to combine
  4. Add blueberries and gently stir through
  5. Divide into 12 capacity well-greased muffin tin
  6. To make quinoa crumb combine quinoa flakes and maple syrup and rub together to form a crumb.
  7. Top onto muffins and bake for 30mins or until cooked through
  8. Set aside for 5 mins before turning onto a wire rack to cool.

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Baking Is My Happy PlaceΒ 

Its been  a challenging few days so I did what I do best and confined myself in my kitchen and did some baking.

Cooking/baking is my therapy, it is the best way to distract myself from things that might be challenging  me in my life. It clears my mind of negative thoughts and lets me focus on the job at hand. If only for that moment it takes me  to a creative place where I only think of food and how is makes me feel. And the best thing is I get to eat it at the end and share it with the rest of the family. Everyone has their bad days and cooking is my happy place, my pick me up. We should all find what it is that is your positive outlet  and embrace it because only you have the strength and the power to rise above your worries and keep on going.

I didn’t have the focus to be creative today so I flicked through my old faithful Fresh & Light magazines to get some inspiration and found one of Donna Hays’ healthy muffin recipes. They are a little sweet and a little savoury, perfect for an afternoon pick me up without delving for the chocolate!

Recipe adapted from Donna Hays Fresh & Light Magazine issue 5

Carrot, Chia & Ricotta Muffins

  • Servings: 12
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Ingredients

1 1/2 cups wholemeal spelt flour or wholemeal flour

3 tsp baking power

1 cup LSA meal (mix of linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds ground to a meal) or plain linseed meal

1/4 cup white chia seeds plus extra for topping

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/3 cup rice malt syrup or honey

1/2 cup of coconut or rapadura sugar

3/4 cup grapeseed oil or light olive oil

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 cup sultanas

3 carrots grated

1 egg

1 cup fresh ricotta

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180’C
  2. Place flour, baking powder, meal, chia seeds, cinnamon, rice malt syrup, coconut sugar, oil, milk, vanilla, sultanas, carrot and egg in a large bowl and mix all ingredients until well combined
  3. Add the ricotta and gently fold through
  4. Spoon mixture into non stick 12x hole muffin tin or lined with paper cases, sprinkle with extra chia seeds
  5. Bake in the oven for 30 mins or until tested with a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Turning onto a wire rack to cool

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