Thursday, 19 November 2015

Chocolate Zucchini Mini Muffins

It has been unseasonably warm in my part of the world and I have been thoroughly enjoying it!!!  I found zucchini on sale at my local produce store, and since the weather has been spring like, I thought it only fitting to leave the pumpkin and apples out of the baking for the week and get some zucchini in!  My family will not eat this lovely vegetable unless it is grated into baked goods, and these muffins are just so yummy, and so full of good stuff, who am I to deprive them?
I have always made this recipe as mini muffins, but I had a little batter left over and thought I would try baking it as a cookie..
It didn't turn out badly!  Obviously a very cakey consistency, but it was nice as a little treat to go with my afternoon coffee  :)

To make Chocolate Zucchini Mini Muffins, you will need:

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour, spoon and sweep measurement
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp each baking powder and baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup minus 2 Tbsp greek yogurt. 
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/3 cup apple sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1tsp vanilla
  • 1 small zucchini, grated 
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips (mini chips prefered)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
In a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, cocoa, salt, baking powder and soda.
In a large measuring cup, measure 1 cup of greek yogurt and remove 2 Tbsp.  Add the 2 Tbsp milk and stir (this is a wonderful replacement for buttermilk, so if you have buttermilk on hand you can use that- I prefer to use greek yogurt for the protein content). Add in the applesauce, eggs and vanilla and stir to thoroughly combine.
Add yogurt mixture to flour mixture
and add zucchini and chocolate chips,
stirring until just combined.
Pour batter into muffin tray
I forgot to add chocolate chips to my batter, and only had regular sized chips in my pantry, so I just added a few to the tops
(I use a small cookie scoop- it ensures my muffins are all the exact same size and is wayyy less messy than trying to pour batter into these little cups!!!
Bake for 20 minutes, until tops bounce back when touched and toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.


Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Homemade Pumpkin Puree

As I promised a few weeks ago, now that Halloween is done and the pumpkins are no longer needed for decorations, they have made their way into my oven and are now puree.  I absolutely love doing this every year.  It is so yummy, so good for you and wayyy less expensive than the canned stuff. And, to top it off, this is so easy to do!!  
I use pie pumpkins (smaller ones).  I really don't know if this would work with a regular large pumpkins, I have never tried it.

To make pumpkin puree, you will need:

  • Pumpkins!!!!
That's the shortest ingredients list you will ever see!!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Cut the tops off the pumpkins as close to the stem as possible.  I find it much easier to use a serrated knife.
Cut the pumpkins in half, scoop out the seeds and keep to roast  :)  This is the bonus!!!
Place the pumpkins cut side down a foil lined, greased jelly roll pan.
Place in oven for approximately 30 minutes, until flesh is soft.  This may take more time, depending on the size of your pumpkins.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Once cool, simply peel the skin off!  If there are any strings inside, they can easily be scooped out using a spoon.
Put the flesh in a food processor and blend until smooth.

Portion the puree into 1 cup servings and freeze.
To use, simply remove from freezer, thaw and use as you would canned pumpkin.
Now I am going to go make a pumpkin banana cake... recipe coming soon!  :)

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Apple Cranberry Muffins

I just wanted to take a minute to say a very sincere Thank You to all of you for taking the time to look at my blog. I truly appreciate the time you have taken to look me up, and I hope that some of these recipes have made it into your kitchens and have been enjoyed! I hope to be growing this blog with the purpose of feeding my family and helping you feed your families a little better. :)
 Before I get into muffins.... I am going off topic with an amazing homemade kitchen and bathroom cleaner I found this week. I use a lot of vinegar to clean my home, and have been using mostly home made cleaners for years, with the exception of my bathrooms. I somehow believed bathrooms needed more "heavy duty" cleaners in order to truly get the job done... I stand corrected friends!!! This stuff is incredible!!!  Spray this stuff, let it sit for a few minutes and it just MELTS the grime away!!! Best of all, it smells amazing! It's funny how something so small can make me so happy! I hate cleaning bathrooms, but this cleaner actually made it kinda fun (I cannot believe I just wrote that!) So get yourself a spray bottle and mix:

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup dish soap (I use Dawn)
  • 1 1/4 cup water 
  • 2 tsp baking soda
Pour all the liquids into a bottle and add baking soda.  It will foam up like crazy, so I learned to add the soda at the last second while I am in the bathroom. Put the spray trigger on the bottle quickly and direct it at the shower wall, as it will automatically start to spray out of the bottle due to pressure.  Spray the entire area that is to be cleaned, allow it to sit for a few minutes and gently scrub any areas needed.  Be sure to thoroughly rinse the shower so it isn't slippery.

Ok!  Now for Muffins!!!  I had a bunch of apples in my fridge that no one was eating, so, like everything else in my home, I had to use them up!  I made a large batch of whole wheat muffins and froze them.  They have been perfect in lunchboxes, especially since we just finished halloween and my kids got WAYYYY to much candy!  I am glad to be able to pack them something that they will eat and enjoy!  This will make up to 36 muffins, or you can also make it into a loaf if you prefer, baking times will change :)
To make Apple Cranberry Muffins, you will need:

  • 4 cups whole wheat flour (spooned and swept)
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 4 apples, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup chopped cranberries
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
In a second bowl (or large measuring cup), combine all wet ingredients, eggs and grated apple, whisk to combine.
 Make a well in the flour, pour the wet into the dry.
Stir until just combined, gently stir in cranberries.
Distribute batter into greased muffin tins ( I used 1 12 cup muffin tin and 1 mini loaf pan).
 Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.