Archive for the ‘ breakfast ’ Category

Blueberry Orange Bran Muffins

More muffins!

Yup, I never get tired of making muffins and cookies! I found this recipe on the other day when I was looking for a blueberry bran muffin recipe. Normally, I’d go look for one our standard recipes from the cookbook, but when your stuff’s in a ship, you’re forced to broaden your horizons.

I was excited to try this recipe because it involved orange juice and orange rind, which I rarely bake with. Nothing disastrous to report, the recipe was very straightforward. I added some frozen (and floured) cranberries to the blueberries just to mix things up a bit.

The muffins turned out quite well, and I was pleased with how moist they were. The moisture from the juice made the muffins seem richer than they were. The only thing I’d like to improve on are the muffins’ appearance… I want to tweak things a bit so that they rise a little and have that nice, rounded muffin shape, instead of being flat.


More muffins…

Sorry I haven’t been posting in a while! Life has gotten hectic at my house, thanks to our impending international move. As a byproduct of the move, my kitchen has been reduced down to the bare bones, so I won’t be cooking anything very elaborate anytime soon. Fortunately, we had a goodbye party last weekend which included a lot of food, which should make for some great entries in the coming weeks.

As I have been reduced to being a glorified nomad, I’ll try my best to post every other day, but I will be traveling a lot, so no promises!

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Here’s another healthy muffin recipe that I’ve grown partial to.

It’s healthy, simple, and cheap. Too often, in this age of caloric excess, muffins have become cupcakes in disguise. At 166 calories a pop, and 2g of fat per muffin, these Buttermilk Oatmeal Muffins are keepers.

I made a few modifications to the recipe, using the first commenter’s suggestions as a guide. I cut down the amount of oil by half, and added in a grated apple in order to keep the muffins moist. Alternatively, you could use applesauce or more apple and completely eliminate the oil if you want to be really hardcore.

I also added in some cinnamon and nutmeg to give these muffins a bit more flavour. The commenter also suggested adding ginger and vanilla. I’ll try that some time and report back.

Lastly, I added raisins to the muffins to make them a little heartier. With muffins and cookies, I find it a good idea to soak the raisins for about 15 minutes in some water so that they don’t dry out completely in the oven when you bake them.

If you’re fresh out of buttermilk (karnemelk), make it with a tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup of milk. You’ll have chunky milk in no time.

What to do with rotting bananas…

Make banana bread!

Everyone at some point will end up with bananas that got too ripe and mushy to eat, which is why this recipe is such a family favourite. When our bananas start to rot, we either throw them in the freezer, or whip up a batch of banana bread.

I’ve got two recipes for banana bread. One of the recipes comes from the United Church of Canada’s cookbook, and has become associated with my family. It’s a great money-maker at bake sales, and it’s one of those easy desserts that can be made in a hurry. I’ve given out this recipe so many times, on four different continents, and people still continue to marvel over it today. This recipe is great because you can also make muffins without altering the batter at all, making it a great item for a grab-and-go breakfast in the morning.

So here it is, in all of its glory, so I can stop sending it to people on Facebook and via e-mail:

Banana Bread

1 cup white sugar

½ cup salad oil

2 eggs,

3 ripe bananas, mashed

2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ cup orange juice

Mash bananas, add eggs and beat, then add sugar and oil, beat well.

Sift flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder and nutmeg and add to banana mixture and blend well.

Mix in orange juice, combining well.

Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan.

Bake at 350 oF for about 1 1/2 hours depending on your oven until cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the centre.

Turn out and cool on rack. Wrap and store.



I decided to try a different banana bread recipe recently, from Martha Stewart, of course. Personally, I think this recipe trumps the old one, because the sour cream (I use yogurt) gives the banana bread a really cakey texture. Our house is split when it comes to deciding which banana bread tastes better. In the end it depends on what you want: something cakey, or something more bread-like. Be sure to use large eggs (about 110g of eggs in total), as the eggs ensure the moistness of the bread. I used medium eggs the second time I made it, and the difference was noticeable.

M is for muffins….

Today I decided to make some muffins. We have a half empty box of All-Bran sitting in the cupboard that hasn’t seen much action since my dad left. I did a search on for a recipe with bran in it, and I came across Oat Bran-Applesauce Mini Muffins. What attracted me to this particular recipe was that they were super healthy, with no added processed sugar in the original recipe.

Since I didn’t have any dates in the house, I used figs instead. I also had no vanilla… so out went the ‘no added sugar’ advantage, and in went the vanilla sugar. I tasted the batter at the very end before I put it in the oven, and it kind of tasted terrible. I like healthy, but I don’t like it to taste like crap. So I threw in 40ml of brown sugar to sweeten it up a bit. Muuuch better.

Other changes I made… I used half all-purpose flour and half whole-wheat flour, and since I didn’t have any flaxseed, I didn’t put in any flaxseed. I also added in about 1/3 cup of raisins. All my changes ended up bringing the total calorie count to 177kcals per muffin…. The original recipe was for 24 mini-muffins (I made 12 regular ones), and according to commenters, each muffin had only 50 calories in it, so I’ve almost doubled the caloric content. Oh well, at least I can still boast that the muffins are fat-free!

Some good things come out of cafeterias…

While I was in university busy putting on my freshman 30, cramming, and dealing with my existential crisis, I also spent most of my mealtimes eating at the school cafeterias,  run by Sodexho (now Sodexo). Most of the food was pretty shitty. Mass-produced, overcooked veggies, undercooked pizzas, over-oiled and underspiced everything. It was rare to have a meal that was well-executed, tasted good, and wasn’t entirely bad for you. Some things I saw in the cafeteria just plain freaked me out… like the big bag of uniform egg used to make our omelets. That said, there were a few good food ideas I picked up from there. One of them is the feta and spinach omelette. Feta and spinach omelettes on Sundays were worth the pain of getting up early after a late night of ‘studying’.

I’ve changed it up a bit and made the omelette a little richer to fit my diet plan, but you can add and subtract and substitute ingredients as you please, really. Here’s what I use most days:

25g ontbijtspek (Dutch breakfast bacon)

30g fresh spinach

15g sliced or chopped onion

30g feta cheese

2 eggs

1 tsp olive oil