Recipes

Banana Muffins

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The year is coming to a close which means that sadly all the holiday baking is nearing its end as well.
It’s bittersweet – I’ll miss all the nummy Christmas cookies & holiday baking but I think we can all agree that it’s almost a relief when it’s over. (I know I have definitely eaten way more than my fair share of Christmas cookies this year!) So to end the year off right, I thought I’d switch it up a bit, take a break from all the cookie recipes and post a slightly healthier recipe for you guys!

Banana is one of my favorite fruits to bake with – It gives baked goods an amazing flavour, and helps keep them nice and moist. These simple banana muffins are no exception – they really are the moistest/most delicious banana muffins I’ve ever tasted. I’ve made them multiple times in the past few weeks and they are always eaten up quickly!
This recipe is perfect for those ripe leftover bananas sitting in the kitchen, and it’s a super easy recipe to whip up which is always nice.

We hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas & that you enjoy this recipe! xo

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Banana Muffins Recipe

Ingredients:
{yield: 12 muffins}

4 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup pecans, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.

Mash the bananas and add the egg, sugar and butter; mix until ingredients are combined.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and pecans together.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until nearly all the flour has disappeared. (Don’t overmix – overmixed muffins turn out tough).

Pour batter evenly into the muffin pan and bake for approx. 20 minutes.

Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Very Berry Muffins

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Oh muffins, how I adore you.

Today we are sharing a quick & tasty Berry Muffin recipe!
These muffins taste heavenly paired with a cup of tea, & are also perfect to grab for breakfast on those busy mornings.

This is one of those recipes where you must lick the batter spoon! Trust me. The batter is almost too good to be true.

I used strawberries & blackberries for these muffins because they were what I had on hand, but you can use whichever berries you prefer. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Very Berry Muffins Recipe
(slightly adapted from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients:
(yield: approx. 18 muffins)

2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
2 cups fresh berries, mixed (I used blackberries & strawberries)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder & salt together; set aside. Rinse & strain the berries. Sprinkle a few spoonfuls of the flour mixture over the berries making sure all the berries get coated with flour. Pour any excess flour back into the original bowl. (Sprinkling the berries with the flour mixture will help the berries to not sink to the bottom of the muffins).

ย ย ย  2. Cream together the softened butter, & sugar until light and fluffy. Stir in the eggs, one at a time. Than the vanilla extract. Next stir in the flour mixture, 1 cup at a time until the batter becomes thick & hard to stir. Stir in the milk and yogurt. Lastly, gently fold the berries into the batter.

ย ย ย  3. Spoon the batter into prepared baking cups. Fill the cups 2/3 full. Bake for 25 – 27 minutes, or until the edges begin to brown slightly.

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Enjoy!
Natasha xo

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Recipes

Mango & Strawberry Banana Smoothie

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I have been on a total smoothie kick lately and have been trying out different kinds of smoothie recipes… Some turned out decent, others not so good. Than I came across this little gem – a delicious Mango & Strawberry Banana Smoothie and it’s so tasty, I had to share this one with you guys – believe me, it’s a keeper!

Fresh, fruity, healthy, pretty, & easy to make!ย (What more could you want?)

I found the recipe on myrecipes which you can find here, but I have adapted it slightly.

To make this lovely drink, you will need:
(Yield: 2 smoothies)
1 mango (peeled, and coarsely chopped)
1 1/4 cups total of plain low-fat yogurt
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
pinch of freshly grated lime zest
1 banana (peeled & chopped)
10 medium sized strawberries (washed, and chopped)
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
pinch of freshly grated lemon zest

Directions:

1. To make the Mango Layer: In a blender, combine the mango, 3/4 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon of honey, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, pinch of lime zest & 2 ice cubes. Blend until combined. Divide the mango smoothie into 2 glasses, and set aside. Rinse the blender.

2. To make the Strawberry Banana Layer: Combine the banana, strawberries, 1/2 cup yogurt, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, pinch of lemon zest, and 2 ice cubes and blend until smooth.

Using a large spoon, GENTLY scoop the strawberry banana layer onto the inside edges of the glass on top of the mango layer. Do not pour the strawberry layer right on top of the mango layer straight from the blender, or else you won’t get the nice crisp horizontal line. (The first time I made a layered smoothie, it didn’t clarify how to pour the layer on top and I ended up with a swirly smoothie, instead of layered ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) Take your time, and using a spoon drop small amounts at a time.

Happy Smoothie-Drinking!ย 
Natasha xo

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Skinny Blueberry Oat Breakfast Muffins

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Oh, do I have a treat for all you lovely bakers today… ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ve been experimenting with different types of healthy (healthy being the keyword here) breakfast muffins over the past few days and have finally found a recipe that is not only healthy for you, but also extremely tasty! I know, I know.. it’s hard to believe that something so nummy would be good for you, but believe me, these scrumptious blueberry oat mini muffins are!

Muffins are such an easy choice for a ‘breakfast on the go’ when you’re in a rush in the morning but the reality is, most store-bought muffins are filled with sugars and really have no essential nutrients/health benefits.
Look no further! These little bad boys are filled with all kinds of goodness – banana, blueberries, oats, whole wheat flour, olive oil, & walnuts.

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You can really taste the bananas and blueberries in these muffins – I think the bananas is the key to their goodness! And on top of being healthy and delicious, these muffins are also super easy to make. 10 minutes is all you need!

Note:
This batter does NOT rise very much at all, so make sure you put a good amount of batter into each cup. This recipe makes 18 smaller-sized muffins. You can use standard size cupcake liners, and fill them with approx. 2 heaping tablespoons of batter each. (I used an ice-cream scooper)

Ingredients:
(yield: 16-18 small muffins)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup almond milk (or soy milk, or low fat organic milk)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup unrefined sugar
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 3/4 cup oats
pinch of cinnamon
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 – 1 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line muffin pans with paper muffin cups.

2. In a medium bowl combine bananas, milk, oil, sugar and the egg. Mix until just combined – do not overmix. In a separate small bowl – whisk together the flour, oats, cinnamon, and baking powder. Pour the dry mix into the banana mix, and whisk until evenly combined. Fold in the blueberries and walnuts.

3. Spoon approx. 2 tablespoons of batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean.

4. Make sure to remove the muffins immediately after they are done in the oven. Transfer the muffins to a wire rack and let cool.

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Happy Baking!
Natasha xo

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Go B-A-N-A-N-A-S Cake

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We’ve went and gone bananas over this cake!

After my zucchini baking phase, I decided to switch things up a bit. Since I really enjoy fruit in baked goods, I decided to make a banana cake!

This cake tastes exactly like the banana bread that your grandma used to make, except without the hard (almost burnt) outer crust and the thick density of the loaf.
You get the same good ole fashion banana bread taste in a beautiful iced cake!
And lets face it – a cake is a lot more visually appealing than bread and is a lot funner to decorate! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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(Add some chopped walnuts if you want an extra crunch!)

This cake really does have the perfect amount of bananas. Not too much that it overpowers everything, and not too little that you can’t even taste it. Not only is this cake fluffy, moist and light – while its in the oven, your house will smell like a sweet banana haven. While the cake was baking, I couldn’t wait to get it out of the oven and take a bite! Nummerz! You are going to want a piece right away – the smell is so mouthwatering and aromatic! (This is the cake to make if you are having guests over and want to impress them with something delicious-smelling baking in the oven hehe. ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Ingredients:
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (approx. 3-4 bananas)
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 (8oz) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3 – 4 cup confectioners sugar (to your preference – I used 3 cups)
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
dash of nutmeg
chopped walnuts (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9″x13″ inch pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. In the bowl of your mixer (using the paddle attachment), cream together the butter and sugar until light and smooth. Switch from the paddle attachment to the beater/whisk and beat in eggs slowly, one at a time. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla until evenly mixed.

3. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and whisk a few seconds until mixed. Pour the dry mix into the wet mix and stir together. Lastly, mix in the mashed banana. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

4. Bake for 25-35 minutes, (start checking at 25 minutes as oven temperatures vary – I kept my cake in for 34 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before icing!

To Make The Frosting:

1. In the bowl of your mixer (fitted with the paddle attachment), mix the cream cheese and butter until smooth.

2. Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar and mix until smooth and creamy. Stir in vanilla extract and the nutmeg. Using a spatula or your preferred tool, spread frosting evenly on the cooled cake. Top with chopped walnuts! (optional)

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Happy Baking!
Natasha xo

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Lots of Blueberries Coffee Cake

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This recipe has been one of my family’s favourites since I was a kid. My mother would whip this up in a moments notice when local friends or family would call and say “Put the coffee on, we’re dropping by!”

There is nothing ‘sweeter‘ than serving your guests something amazingly delicious, hot out of the oven that’s made with love by you!

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Ingredients:

4 tbsp unsalted butter
2 c. flour
2 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c. milk (I use 1%)
2/3 c. sugar
2 lg eggs
2 c. ย blueberries ย (can use frozen also)

Topping:

1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c. butter
1/2 c. chopped pecans

Directions:

1. Prepare a 8″ or 9″ square baking pan.
2.ย Melt butter in a medium bowl in microwave and let cool.
3. In a large bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Add milk, sugar and eggs to the cooled melted butter.
5. Whisk by hand to mix well then add to the flour mixture. Stirring til blended.
6. Fold in the blueberries, gently, until just mixed.
7. Spread batter into a prepared pan.

Topping:

1. In a small bowl stir together all of the ingredients except the butter and chopped nuts.
2. Cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
3. Add in chopped nuts.
4. Sprinkle mixture over batter.

Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes or until done.
Makes 9 servings.

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I hope you enjoy this delicious coffee cake with your family and friends asย much as we do!

Laura xo

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Three Berry Smoothie

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Yum! Start your day off right with a healthy, fruit smoothie! I made this smoothie this morning for the first time, and loved it. It’s easy to make & perfect for those summer mornings.

Ingredients + Directions:

1 small banana
1/2 cup blueberries
1 cup fresh raspberries
2 strawberries chopped
3/4 cup vanilla yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
4 small ice cubes
1 teaspoon hemp seeds (optional)

Place banana, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, yogurt, honey, hemp seeds and ice cubes into a blender. Blend until smooth.
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