Girls Night Part I: Banana & Walnut Fudge

I know, I know! It’s been a verrrrry long time since I’ve posted! I do apologise but sometimes life gets busy – but I’m making up for it by giving you not one, not two but THREE new recipes today. And you are in for a treat too – not tooting my own horn but they tasted amazing! So hopefully I will be forgiven for my disappearance on the blog scene πŸ˜‰

I cooked up a culinary storm last night because my roommates and I decided to throw a girls wine, cheese & dessert night with some friends. It was a night of indulging but at least the desserts I put together were guilt free (and gluten free for my coeliac roommate who will now love me forever!). So whilst i wait for the the other girls who are still sleeping (my body clock loves to wake me up no matter what day it is or how late I went to bed) I’m going to share with you the first dessert – Banana and Walnut Fudge. Super easy to prepare and was the winner of the night! Found the recipe on thegraciouspantry.com

20130721-091523.jpg

Banana & Walnut Fudge
Makes about 24 pieces (depending how you cut it)

Ingredients
1/2 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup pure and unsweetened cocoa powder
1 medium ripe banana
10 dates
1 tsp vanilla extract
Walnuts (optional)

Method

  1. In a small sauce pot, melt the oil.
  2. Whisk in the cocoa powder while the oil is still warm
  3. In a food processor, blend the banana, dates and vanilla extract. (I had to use the stick blender towards the end to get a really smooth consistency)
  4. Add the chocolate to the processor and blend until smooth and well combined.
  5. Pour into a small, parchment lined baking dish and place dish in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. I used a spatula (the thing you use to scrape bowls with?) to press it down and smooth it around the tray and it was super easy!
  6. Cut into 24 pieces (a pizza cutter works great)

20130721-091557.jpg

Hands down favourite of the night by all of the girls and I’m lucky there’s still some left in the fridge for dessert tonight πŸ˜‰ I forgot to get a photo of the fudge cut up so here is one of me looking very pleased with myself holding a plate of it and also the dessert that features in Part II of the girls night!

20130721-091743.jpg

Advertisements

Wholemeal Banana, Blueberry & Walnut Loaf

Hello again!

It was officially the first day of winter yesterday and Perth let us know about it! Woke up at 6.30am to go to a gym class and when I realised it was only 4 degrees I promptly resumed my snugged up position in bed and read my book for a while (just for the record, I went to another class in the afternoon in case you were judging my lack of commitment ;)).

Exams start on Tuesday for me, so I’ve still been chained to my desk studying each day… So to break up the boredom today I decided to make banana bread! I decided to take a risk and take bits and pieces from various recipes to make my own version, so I was a bit worried when I put it in the oven but turned out pretty good I think! I added blueberries and walnuts but those are optional depending on preferences πŸ™‚ I’m calling it a loaf also because of the way it turned out when it cooked – the top is quite hard like a loaf of bread and the shape resembles a loaf of sourdough due to the silicon baking container I used!

20130602-175140.jpg

Wholemeal Banana, Blueberry & Walnut Loaf
Serves: 12 (I cut this up into 12 pieces (not slices) but depends on how thick you like your slices)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal self raising flour
  • 3 large bananas (I only used 2 large bananas and there just wasn’t enough banana flavour!)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Chobani 2% Low Fat Greek Yogurt
  • 1 tbsp honey (add more if you have a sweet tooth – I could just barely taste the sweetness)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (can also add more)
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnut pieces
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Grease baking tin (or use a silicon like me).
  2. Stir together flour, nutmeg and cinnamon
  3. Mash banana in a bowl and whisk in the egg. Add the yogurt and honey and combine.
  4. Stir together the dry and wet mixtures (you may need to add more liquid if the mixture is too dry).
  5. Fold through the blueberries and walnuts.
  6. Place mixture in tin and bake for 50 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.
  7. 20130602-175238.jpg

    I think my experimental recipe was a success (for me anyway!). It doesn’t taste like your traditional banana bread (and mine just needed a touch more banana flavour!) but as clean eater it tastes good to me πŸ™‚ you might need to add and subtract ingredients based on your own personal taste but the basics are there for a good banana loaf!

    Enjoy your week everyone! xo

Banana & Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

Just a quick post at the moment – I’ve got five exams coming up in the next two weeks and so study is taking priority! Whipped up a quick batch of muffins for brain food! (Little bit of procrastibaking too…)

Original recipe from taste.com.au but modified to suit my needs!

IMG_2595

Banana & Blueberry Yogurt Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups wholemeal self raising flour
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup Chobani 2% Greek Yogurt (or other low fat alternative)
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees (170 if fan forced oven). Grease a 12 tray muffin pan (or use silicon muffin cases).
  2. Stir together the flour and chia seeds.
  3. Whisk together the banana, egg, oil and honeyΒ (Hayley’s Handy Hint: put the oil in first and use the same measuring cup for the honey – the thin layer of oil prevents the honey from sticking to the cup!).
  4. Combine the flour and liquid mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Fold through the blueberries.
  6. Spoon mixture into muffin tray and bake for 12 – 15 minutes (until golden brown and skewer comes out clean).
  7. Transfer whole muffin tray to oven rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from tray and place on oven rack to cool further.

Easy, peasy! Took me about 25 minutes total to make (including clean up time which I did while they were baking). You can freeze them and then take them as an on the go snack to work/school/uni. I like my muffins warm so I generally heat them up in the microwave for 10 seconds but they can be enjoyed defrosted too!

IMG_2602

Enjoy! xo

P.S – made the Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for my parents this morning (studying down in my hometown of Mandurah for a few days) and it received the thumbs up from my Dad (who’s a white bread and meat kind of man hehe). The real test will be the clean vegetable quiche I’m making for dinner tonight – recipe and verdict will be up later tonight!

Sunday Morning Wholemeal Banana & Cinnamon Pancakes

Sunday mornings really are the best (unless you work weekends in which case, sorry!). That one day of the week you can lie in a little later and take some time out with a cuppa and a book. Such a good day of the week deserves a good breakfast and this week it’s pancakes for me!

Nothing will ever replace the fluffy, buttery goodness of traditional pancakes but mine were pretty darn tasty, if I don’t say so myself! When you first start eating clean, the wholemeal and sugar free versions of your favourite food just don’t taste the same and it’s tempting to give it all up and indulge in that [insert your favourite guilty pleasure here] that you’ve been avoiding. But stick to it and soon you’ll be craving the healthy stuff and the thought of eating those other things really isn’t appealing at all.

20130526-090944.jpg

Anyway, enough rambling – more pancakes! I got the basics of this recipe from taste.com.au but have adapted it into my own recipe (as per usual). I also adjusted the quantities to only make enough for one or two people (depending on your hunger levels) so double the quantities to make more. My mix made around 5 reasonable sized pancakes (excluding the ‘practice pancake’ which the first one always becomes!) but it all depends on how big or small you like ’em!

Wholemeal Banana & Cinnamon Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 large banana (save the other half for serving)
  • 3/4 cup of wholemeal self raising flour
  • 3/4 cup of milk of your choice (the recipe called for Buttermilk but I actually used 1/2 cup Chobani Greek Yogurt + 1/4 cup macro light soy milk – view this guide to see how you can substitute chobani in your cooking)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp flaxseed meal (linseed)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Extra Virgin Olive oil for cooking (you can buy it as a spray but I just put a drop in the pan and used a paper towel to spread it thinly around

To serve:

  • 1/4 cup mixed berries (put them in a small seperate bowl to defrost while you cook)
  • 1/2 large banana
  • 1/4 cup chobani greek yogurt (2% low fat)
  • Squeeze of honey
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon

Method

  1. Mash 1/2 banana in a mixing bowl.
  2. Combine milk (and yogurt if you substituted it like me), egg, honey and banana in the bowl.
  3. Sift flour into a separate mixing bowl (with wholemeal flour, the bran flakes will be left in the sieve – make sure you add those in and gently stir through!) and add chia seeds, flaxseed meal and cinnamon. Gently stir through until combined.
  4. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the liquid mixture. Whisk until the mixture is relatively smooth (it won’t be a super silky liquid but there shouldn’t be any lumps of flour).
  5. Cover with glad wrap and stand for 10 minutes.
  6. Spray a medium frying pan (or use my oiling method) and turn stove on to medium heat. Once warm, spoon the desired amount of batter into the pan (I use a ladle – a trick I learnt from dad!).
  7. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip the pancake (practice your chef skills ;)) and cook for another 1 – 2 minutes until golden brown and cooked through.

20130526-092945.jpg

8. Cover the pancake with foil on a plate or place in the oven on low heat (100 degrees or so) to keep warm while you cook the remaining pancakes.
9. Thinly slice the remaining banana. Serve your pancakes with a dollop of Greek yogurt, mixed berries, the banana, honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon (or any of your preferred toppings).

20130526-093224.jpg

Melt in your mouth, scrumptious pancakes are now yours to enjoy! Don’t forget your cuppa πŸ˜‰

Happy Sunday! xo

20130526-093432.jpg

Banana Yogurt Muffins

More baking!

This may or may not have to do with exam study I’m supposed to be doing… I’m sure you’ve all heard the term procrastibaking ? Well yeah, I would say that’s me today. After this post I swear I will!

20130525-220231.jpg

Anyway, discovered this recipe from Southern In Law ‘s site which I have recently found and decided to whip up a batch. Again, made some modifications to make it completely clean and they tasted de-li-cious !

20130525-220336.jpg

Flax Banana Yogurt Muffins
Makes 12 muffins.
Ingredients:
  • 2 cup GF pancake mix/GF flour/plain flour/wholewheat flour (I used wholemeal self raising flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (If you use self raising flour you don’t need to add this)
  • 2.5 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 3 large bananas, mashed (about 1.5C mashed)
  • 1/2 cup Chobani plain greek yogurt (I used the 2% low fat version)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce (I didn’t use this – just added an extra 1/4 cup of Greek yogurt)
  • 1/4 -1/2 cup brown sugar (I used 1/4 cup pure honey – if you like it sweeter add more but use less of the yogurt)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (I just added a dash of organic vanilla essence)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (not on the original recipe but I decided to add them in)
  • Cinnamon (I’m a cinnamon addict! Added this in too – use your own judgement of how much you want based on taste preferences!)
  • Nutmeg (another addition – just a sprinkle to taste)
  • Walnuts (not on the original recipe but I added some to the top of a few muffins just to try it out!)
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 180Β°C.
  2. Prepare muffins tins (grease or line) – I used silicon muffin cases and they are amazing! No need to grease and the muffins popped right out of them so easy. Definitely a good investment (thanks to my roommate who owns some ;-))
  3. In a large bowl mix flour, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  4. In a medium bowl mash banana and add yogurt, honey and vanilla. Mix together wet ingredients until combined.
  5. Mix wet and dry ingredients until just combined and pour into muffin cups.
  6. If you desire, place a walnut (or half depending on size) on top of muffins and push into the mixture a little bit.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are browned and a skewer inserted removes clean.

20130525-220553.jpg

Okay, okay! I’m off to do some study now, I promise… Until lunchtime πŸ˜‰

xo