Banana and Blueberry Muffins

In our household milk and bananas seem to disappear into thin air, and every couple of days we need to re-stock.  Somehow a couple of bananas slipped through the cracks and had began to die a slow and smelly death in the fruit bowl.  Looking for a new inspiration, I was flicking through Donna Hay’s Fast and Fresh and decided to adapt her basic muffin recipe.

In an attempt to make these healthier, I decided to cut out the sugar completely and I replaced it with 1/2 a cup of malted rice syrup and omitted the extra honey.  I then added blueberries for some extra sweetness.  To boost the protein content, I added rolled oats, wheat germ, LSA and chia.

Scott wasn’t very impressed with these – he complained they weren’t sweet enough,  I quite liked them though, yes they lacked some sweetness, but I still enjoyed the flavours – and Liam? Well as usual, he was more than happy to be a taste tester and loved them.

I think some further modifications are needed, next time I will use a sugar substitute like stevia in place of the brown sugar, and the malted rice syrup in place of the honey..

Yum!

Yum!

2 Cups plain wholemeal flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 cup raw sugar (substituted with 1/2 cup of Malted Rice Syrup)

2 tablespoons honey (omitted)

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

1/4 cups vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 mashed bananas

1/2 cup frozen blueberries

1/4 cup wheat germ

1/8 cup LSA

1/4 cup rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees

* Place the flour, baking powder and sugar (if using) in a bowl and mix to combine

* In a separate bowl, mix together the honey, egg, buttermilk, oil, vanilla (and malted rice syrup if using)

* Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until just combined

* If using, stir through the fruit and other

Blueberry and Carob Muffins

Please take my word for it – you MUST bake these over the weekend…  There you go, you can skip through the below fluff, go straight to the recipe and start baking..

You just HAVE to make these!

You just HAVE to make these!

However if you are kind enough to continue reading, or need further convincing, earlier this week I was browsing through our local Wray’s Oranic store and saw this recipe on the back of a pack of Raw Pure Carob Powder (by the Australian Carob Co located in Clare Valley South Australia).  We had blueberries and all of the other ingredients at home so I grabbed a pack (as well as some dark chocolate coated almonds and coffee beans…. yummo)!

The recipe said you will need a 6 hole muffin tin, I used my regular cupcake tins and made 18 from the mixture.  Once all of the ingredients were combined, it was quite a sticky mixture and didn’t look very ‘cakey’.  I was unsure how they were going to turn out – 20 minutes later when they were out of the oven, they looked great!

I LOVE these, so much so that I didn’t give them to Scott to take to work. Instead I have wrapped them up individually and popped them into the freezer as they will be the perfect afternoon tea treat.  As per usual, Liam also had to have a taste test, and they also got his seal of approval.  There you go, you should be convinced by now – have fun baking!

We really need to work on his table manners...

We really need to work on his table manners…

2 cups self raising flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1 cup frozen blueberries

1 egg lightly beaten

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup carob powder

2 tablespoons of shredded coconut for topping

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare muffin tins

* Sift flour into a bowl and stir in the brown sugar, blueberries, coconut, egg, buttermilk and oil. Stir quickly so the blueberries don’t run, but only until mixture is just combined

* Spoon into prepared pans and bake for 20 – 25 minutes depending on the size of your muffins.  Sprinkle extra coconut over the top.

Inspiration for the weekend – Orange and Blueberry Cake

A few months back I turned 30 – I’m still coming to terms with it! I thought it was about time I ramped up my anti ageing efforts so a couple of weeks ago I went out and bought some super dooper (and expensive) eye cream.  Fast forward to three days later and my cheeks/under my eyes were red, dry and puffy,  so last weekend I was back at Myer to return it.  It was perfect timing as Myer had a one day sale with 40% all full priced books, so I took the opportunity to buy ‘Baking’ by Australian cooking royalty – Margaret Fulton, and also ‘How to be a Domestic Goddess’ by Nigella Lawson.

Margaret Fulton - Australian Baking Royalty

Margaret Fulton – Australian Baking Royalty

I’m slowly reading through ‘Baking’ and there are so many recipes that I want to try.  It has all the old favourites (tea cake, self saucing chocolate pudding etc) as well as recipes from around the world such as Bienenstich (honey flavoured bee sting cake from Germany) and Danish Raspberry Shortcake.

I thought I’d try  the orange and blueberry cake, as Mum had all the ingredients.  Whilst the cake tasted great, and Mum’s work colleagues were happy to devour the leftovers the next day, I was a little dissapointed that the blueberries all sank to the bottom, and I had to add another 15 minutes to the cooking time , but will put this down to being unfamiliar with Mum’s oven.

2 cups self raising flour sifted

1 1/3 caster sugar

2 eggs lightly beaten

3/4 cup milk

grated rind and juice of 1 orange

130g butter melted

200g fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen)

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees and grease a deep 22cm loose based flan tin or cake tine
  • Combine the flour and sugar in a large bowl
  • Add the eggs, milk, rind, juice and butter and mix until combined
  • Spoon into the prepared tin
  • Top with half of the blueberries and bake for 20 minutes
  • Sprinkle over the remaining blueberries and bake for another 20 minutes
  • Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool
Orange & Blueberry Cake

Orange & Blueberry Cake

Donna Hay’s Simple Apple & Blueberry Cake

We’ve had my Mum and Nan visiting  this weekend and since I’m a semi single parent at the moment (Scott is out of action after falling off his bike and breaking his collar bone), I took the opportunity to get some baking done whilst I had live in babysitters.

I’d been eyeing off this recipe for awhile, and since we had a bowl full of apples and I’d stocked up on frozen berries through the week, the timing was perfect to give it a go.  It made a great Sunday afternoon snack/dessert. We ate it warm from the oven, it would be great with ice cream or custard – unfortunately I didn’t have either.

I was impressed with how quickly the cake batter came together, and we all agreed it was a very light cake and the texture reminded us of a tea cake packed with fruity goodness.  I was pretty generous with the apples and blueberries and I was happy that the majority of fruit stayed on top of the cake, with a few lovely bits sinking in.

This is another great Donna Hay recipe, this time from her book – Fast Fresh and Simple.

 

You could substitute with any fruit you had. We’ve got a ton of strawberries in the fridge, so I’m thinking of trying a combination of strawberry and blueberry next.

 

1 1/2 cup self raising flour – sifted

3/4 cup castor sugar

125g butter – softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 apple, cored & thinly sliced (I used royal gala apples and didn’t peel them)

3/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries

2 tablespoons demerara sugar

 

  • Preheat oven to 160 degrees
  • Place flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until just combined.
  • Spoon mixture into a greased 22cm springform tin lined with non stick baking paper.
  • Top with apple slices and blueberries and sprinkle over sugar.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until cake is cooked (I found it took an hour in my oven)

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