Carrot, Banana and Coconut Muffins

These muffins are jam packed full of yummy fruit, veggies and seeds and are also quite filling – the perfect snack to stop any over indulging at your next Christmas party!  This recipe is from ‘Wholefoods for Children’ by Jude Belreau. I am LOVING this book, it is full of great recipes not only for babies and kids, but the big kids too!  This recipe made around 24 muffins, so I stashed half of them in the freezer, and they have defrosted really well.

Please don’t be put off by the list of ingredients, these were really quick and easy to make (with a little helper), and you can always substitute regular flour for spelt flour and cow’s milk for coconut milk if you don’t have any. The original recipe also suggested sultanas, but I prefer currants.

Carrot Banana & Coconut Muffins

130g white spelt flour

165g wholemeal spelt flour

90g rapadura sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

45g desiccated coconut

1 teaspoon quinoa flakes

1/2 cup pecans or walnuts roughly chopped

1/4 cup sunflower seeds roughly ground

1/4 cup pepitas roughly ground

1 banana cut into small pieces

1/2 cup rasins

90g unsalted butter melted and cooled

1 egg

1/2 cup coconut milk

1/2 cup plain yoghurt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and line muffin tins with cupcake papers

* Place the flours, sugar, baking powered, cinnamon, coconut, quinoa flakes, nuts and seeds into a bowl and whisk together to combine.

* Add the carrot, banana and currants and mix through

* Place the butter, egg, coconut milk, yoghurt and vanilla in a bowl and mix until it has just combined

* Add to the dry ingredients and mix through until just combined. Let the mixture stand for a couple of minutes to absorb some of the liquid, then spoon into muffin pan.

* Bake for approx 20 – 25 minutes until golden on top and cooked through.

Christmas Baking – Milk Chocolate Rocky Road

Christmas really isn’t the time to be thinking about going on a diet, there are just way too many yummy treats on offer everywhere that you look.  So far I’ve made two batches of Rocky Road. Knowing that it would be hard to resist, I made the first batch early in the morning and then cut it and wrapped it up for gifts.  It’s a whole different story with the second batch though.  After eating a fair sized chunk, I’ve banished it to the back of the fridge, and am heading out shortly to buy some more cellophane paper to wrap it up.

There really aren’t any rules when it comes to making Rocky Road, it’s all about adding a yummy combination of goodies to delicious melted chocolate.  Each batch I make varies, depending on what I have in the pantry.  This year I’m loving the addition of chocolate coated pretzels, both as a decoration on top, and also broken through the slice.

Rocky Road

375g bag of milk chocolate melts

1 pack of pink & white marshmallows

1pack of chocolate coated pretzels

1/4 cup of crasins

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 cup raw peanuts

* Melt chocolate in microwave, cooking for 30 second spurts until melted.

* Add marshmallows, peanuts, coconut, crasins & 1/2 bag of chocolate coated pretzels and stir until coated with chocolate.

* Pour into a slice tin lined with baking paper, decorate top of slice with remaining pretzels

* Pop into the fridge, once set cut into pieces and enjoy!

Linking up on this beautiful Monday morning with The Multitasking Mummy

Christmas baking – Rum balls

Half the fun of Christmas for me is all the yummy baking I get to do in the lead up to the big day.  As well as making traditional favourites, such as fruitcakes and shortbread, I also love to make rum balls.  My little helper loves this recipe, and surprise surprise his favourite part is helping crush the biscuits, closely followed by stirring all the ingredients together.  He isn’t a huge fan of covering the balls in coconut, as he can be a bit precious when it comes to getting his hands dirty – this is the same toddler who will happily use both of his hands to dig through dirt.

This is a great recipe to make with kids, and is an even better christmas gift – that is if you don’t have your toddler climbing the fridge shelves to eat them…..  Enjoy!

rumballs

 

 

250g of crushed biscuits – we used arrowroot

1 cup of coconut plus extra to roll the balls in

2 tablespoons of cocoa

1 tin of condensed milk

1 teaspoon of vanilla essence – or 4 dessertspoons of rum if you prefer

* Crush biscuits, add all other ingredients to a bowl and mix together

* Roll tablespoon of mixture into balls, cover with coconut and place in the fridge to firm

White Chocolate, Macadamia and Coconut Cookies

Last year, Nestle bought out a book ‘Australia’s Sweet Baking Favourites’ as part of a promotion when you bought a few of their products.  Being the recipe book collection/addict that I am, naturally I got it.  There are some great traditional favourites in this book, but I was eager to add my own spin to a recipe. I settled on the White Choc Chip and Macadamia Cookie recipe since I had a few organic (read expensive) macadamias left over from a slice I’d made a few days before.  Naturally, it only seemed right to add coconut to this mixture to make these taste even better.

We LOVED these, and it just adds further proof (not that I needed any) that coconut makes everything taste better.  Enjoy!

white choc chip macadamia and coconut cookies

125g softened butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 egg

1 3/4 cup sifted self raising flour

1 cup white chocolate bits

3/4 cup coarsely chopped unroasted macadamias

1/4 cup shredded coconut

* Preheat oven to 170 degrees and line two baking trays with paper

* Beat together the butter and sugar until pale and creamy, then add the egg and beat until just combined.

* Stir through the flour, white chocolate bits, macadamias and coconut until combined

* Roll tablespoons of mixture into balls and place on trays – leave approx 3cm gap between cookies, and press down on them gently to lightly flatten

* Bake for approximately 15 minutes until golden. Leave to cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack

Chocolate Wheaten Cookies

During my pregnancies, there have only three things that I have really craved, McDonald’s chicken nuggets (with sweet and sour sauce of course!), Berri fruit ice blocks and chocolate coated wheat biscuits.  Luckily I have only recently come across this recipe, I think if I’d known about whilst pregnant, I would have ended up the size of a bus!

These cookies taste great.  In an effort to be good, I only added chocolate bits to half of the cookies, and still really enjoyed them.  To be a ‘true’ chocolate wheaten biscuit, you could dip the back of the cookies in melted chocolate – as suggested in the book. I decided against doing this, as it would have made them even harder to resist.

This recipe comes from an Australian Women’s Weekly book – Cupcakes, Cheescakes and Cookies.  It’s filled to the brim with lots of yummy treats, and has given me lots of ideas…. if only there was enough time to make them all!

Chocolate Wheaten Cookies

90g butter softened

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup desiccated coconut

1/4 cup wheat germ

3/4 cup wholemeal plain flour

1/3 cup white self raising flour

1/4 cup dark chocolate bits

* Beat butter & sugar together until smooth, add egg and beat until well combined. Stir in coconut, wheat germ and sifted flours

* Roll sought between 2 sheets of baking paper until it’s around half a cm thick.  Place in fridge for approx 30 minutes

* Preheat oven to 180 degrees and cover two trays with baking paper

* Using a round cutter, cut into dough and place on baking trays approx 3cm apart.  Bring off cut dough together, cover again with baking paper and roll out to make more cookies.

* Lightly press chocolate bits into the top of cookies & bake for 12 minutes.

* Allow cookies to cool on trays for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack

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.

Breakfast Bars

Don’t let the name fool you, although this recipe is called ‘Breakfast Bars’ (from the lovely Donna Hay), I dare you to try to resist these throughout the day!  Instead of making the muesli slab into bars, I cut it into small slices, which are perfect for morning tea.

I couldn’t resist adding to the original recipe, I used it more as a base to start from and then added various ingredients we had in the pantry.  I added the honey as due to the extra ingredients I had added, I felt it needed a bit more help to bind together.

I LOVE these, even Scott and Liam were also impressed.  Liam even swiped a piece whilst I was taking photos of the slice and I found him sitting back on the couch quite happy with himself.  After cutting the slice, there was a bit of leftovers on the baking paper – these were awesome mixed with vanilla yoghurt and strawberries!  I’m now thinking of even making this combination up as a muesli mix.

Enjoying afternoon tea

Enjoying afternoon tea

3/4 cup rolled oats

1/4 cup flaked almonds (I used blanched almonds)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup quinoa flakes

2 tablespoons wheat germ

2/3 cup plain whole-wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup dried cranberries

I also added:

Replaced 1 cup of dried cranberries with 1/4 cup goji berries and 3/4 cup dried cranberries

2 tablespoons coconut

2 tablespoons LSA mix

2 tablespoons chia seeds

1/4 cup pepitas

1/4 cup honey/or honey substitute if you would prefer

* Preheat oven to 160 degrees

* Place oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, quinoa (and pepitas if using) on a tray lined with baking paper and bake for around 10 minutes until golden

* Place the wheat germ, flour, baking powder, brown sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and stir to combine (add coconut, LSA mix and chia seeds also if using)

* Add the oil, egg, honey (if using) and vanilla and stir until smooth

* Add the oat mixture and the cranberry/goji berry mixture and stir to combine

* Spoon mixture into a slice tin lined with baking paper and push down using the back of a spoon. Bake in over for 25 – 30 minutes until golden brown.

* Cool in tin for 10 minutes before turning onto a rack to cool further, then cut into bars/slices and enjoy!

breakfast muesli bar

 

Linking up with the Multitasking Mummy for Mummy Mondays

Protein Balls

Contrary to popular belief, not everything I make is unhealthy.  These protein balls are super quick to make, use up whatever you have in your pantry, and are a great snack to satisfy your sweet tooth – Scott even mistakes these for rum balls!

I came across the idea, whilst Aiden was in NICU and one of his nurses bought some in for me to try.  I normally don’t measure any of the ingredients I put in, however below is what went into my latest batch. I tried a friends version this week, she adds acai berries and cocoa powder which gave them a great flavour.

protein balls copy

300g pitted dates

1/4 cup LSA mix

2 tablespoons hazlenut meal

1/4 cup coconut + extra for rolling

2 tablespoons  black chia seeds

100g walnuts

50g blanched almonds – toasted

50g brazil nuts

What's rattling around in my pantry this week

What’s rattling around in my pantry this week

* Soak dates in boiling water for 20minutes until soft , then drain excess water

* In a bowl, combine dates, LSA mix, hazlenut meal and coconut. Using a stick blender, blitz until dates reach desired consistency (I like the dates to still have some shape to them, it’s up to you though!)

* Add chia seeds, walnuts, almonds and brazil nuts and blitz until nuts are in smaller pieces – don’t worry, even though it doesn’t look very appealing, they do taste great!

date balls 1 copy

* Roll tablespoon sized balls in coconut and then pop into the fridge to set.

Kerry’s Continental Slice

Whenever I set out to make something new, I usually try and pick something that I’m going to enjoy – I figure, what is the point of going to all that effort and then being disappointed with the result and wasting precious calories on something you don’t really enjoy.

This recipe comes from my Mum’s old book.  I thought it looked interesting, and I had all the ingredients on hand.  Whilst it didn’t taste terrible, there are certainly a lot of other slices I would prefer to make, and I probably won’t try this one again.  I did enjoy the base, I love weet-bix and it also contained my favourite ingredient coconut. If anything, I’d be keen to try a different topping with the same base – please feel free to offer any suggestions! Others who tried it did enjoy it (and they did mean it as they ‘keep it real’ when giving feedback)!

Continental Slice

 

Please click here for conversion table

 

Base

4 oz butter

3/4 cup coconut

1/2 cup castor sugar

1 1/2 tablespoon cocoa

2 cups crushed weet-bix

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Cream butter and sugar together, add egg and vanilla essence
  • Mix in coconut, cocoa and crushed weet-bix
  • Press into a greased slice tin and bake for 15 minutes

 

Topping

2 oz butter

2 cups icing sugar

1 tablespoon custard powder

2 tablespoons hot water

1 block of milk chocolate

30g copha

 

  • Beat together butter, icing sugar, custard powder and hot water.
  • Spread mixture onto the base and put into the fridge
  • Melt chocolate and copha in microwave – use 30 second spurts and mix as you go
  • Pour over slice and pop back in the fridge until chocolate has almost set, remove then to cut into slices

Coconut Biscuits

Looking through Mum’s tattered old recipe book, I came across a few recipes I can clearly remember from my childhood.  These biscuits were one of my favourites growing up. Nan would often send some back home with us after we had been up visiting her for the weekend.  Like a lot of Nan’s recipes, there are just a few ingredients and they are super easy.  They are incredibly light and it’s really hard to stop at one!  This batch made around 18 biscuits – and between 6 of us, there are only 3 left.

Tiff and Liam enjoyed the biscuits

Tiff and Liam enjoyed the biscuits

Click here for metric conversion table

4 oz butter

4 oz castor sugar

2 eggs

2 oz coconut

6 oz self raising flour

  • Preheat oven to 190 degrees
  • Cream butter and sugar
  • Add eggs one at a time and beat in
  • Add dry ingredients and beat on low speed until combined
  • Drop dessertspoons of mixture onto trays lined with baking paper (mixture will be quite runny)
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until a golden colour.  Cool on trays for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire racks.
  • Makes approx 18 biscuits
Yummy!

Yummy!