JACKPOT’s visit to Bills and a recipe for healthy banana bran muffins

Hello dear readers!

I apologise for the long delay between blog posts but between extended family visiting from overseas, celebrating mum’s big birthday and getting the flu as well..it’s definitely been a long few weeks and I’m still feeling under the weather…must be the constant cold changes that I’m still not getting used to. I hope I can post more regularly but hopefully you all can wait patiently for everything to go back to normal =)

Since I haven’t blogged in a while, I thought I’d merge a cafe visit and recipe in the same post due to my lack of posting lately.

So as my cousin was visiting from Singapore, my family and I decided to take my cousin to eat breakfast at the infamous “Bills” in Surry Hills. I’m amazed at how packed Bills gets around 9-10am and that the lines are still like this after many many years of being established and with many new cafes opening in Surry Hills. The lines always seem to be quite lengthy but we were lucky to have arrived at a time where a table was available. We were seated next to the window and we had a good view of the street with the sun shining into the cafe. It was a lovely farewell breakfast for my cousin eating scrumptious food while discussing potential trips to visit Singapore sometime soon.

Ricotta Hotcakes

Ricotta Hotcakes, Banana and Honeycomb Butter $19.50

My cousin and I ordered the infamous ricotta hotcakes for our breakfast and I was not disappointed by my choice. Such fluffy joyous soft pillows of goodness demolished in seconds. I wish that there had been many more stacks of pancakes for me to devour but alas I had to settle with the 3 that were served. The hotcakes are a very popular choice at Bills and I saw that most people were ordering this dish on each table. I have always had a massive sweet tooth so I knew that the sweeter option was the best way to go rather than the savoury one although I must admit the scrambled eggs at Bills are quite delicious as well.

Full Breakfast

Full Aussie Breakfast: Scrambled Organic Eggs, Sourdough Toast, Bacon, Roast Tomato, Swiss Mushrooms with a Pork and Fennel Sausage $24.50

Mr Muscles ordered the Full Aussie Breakfast as he prefers savoury food over sweet food. This dish is quite filling with loads of sides to go with the toast and eggs. Mr Muscles soon devoured this dish till there were no remains left. He was satisfied entirely and left the cafe feeling quite full at this stage. The eggs are cooked so well and so very fluffy and was definitely the highlight of this dish.

Me being greedy, noticed some nice looking bran muffins sitting on the table in the middle of the cafe. I knew I wanted to try one so I decided to order one takeaway. The muffin was a ricotta, apple, coconut and bran muffin. At first after hearing the flavours I wasn’t sure how this would taste but after tasting a bit of it, I fell in love with this muffin. It was quite a filling muffin but had a lovely taste to it. I didn’t taste too much of the ricotta but more so the coconut and the bran. After I ate this muffin I knew I wanted to try and replicate the flavours I had tasted in this muffin so hence the recipe post.

I decided to make my own version of Bill’s bran muffins but obviously adapting it to make a bran muffin without using eggs and without using any butter or oil. I was surprised at the results of my muffins and how well they turned out so much so that I’m going to be making another batch quite soon. I didn’t really follow any set recipe as most of it was kind of based on feeling but here is what I used to make healthy banana bran muffins.

HEALTHY BANANA BRAN MUFFINS

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/4 cup of wholemeal spelt flour
  • 1 cup of oat bran
  • 1/2 tsp of baking soda
  • 2 tsps of baking powder
  • a pinch of salt
  • 2 generous teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of raw organic honey (you can replace this with agave, coconut sugar or another type of sugar substitute to make them vegan)
  • 2 tsps of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of soy milk (I used almond milk)
  • 3-4 ripe bananas mashed (I used 4 bananas)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Line a muffin tray with muffin liners and set aside.
  3. Mash your bananas in a small bowl using a fork until you have a rather smooth consistency. Doesn’t matter if you still have some small banana pieces left in the mash.
  4. Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, oat bran, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon) into a large bowl with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  5. Combine all your wet ingredients together (honey, vanilla extract, soy milk and mashed bananas) in a smaller bowl and whisk for a few minutes.
  6. Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients bowl and using your wooden spoon mix the muffin batter till combined. Be careful not to overmix the batter.
  7. Fill each muffin liner using an ice cream scoop or spoon and fill the muffin liners about 2/3’s full.
  8. Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes or until nicely golden brown on the top.
  9. Take the muffins out of the muffin tray and set on a wire rack to cool.
  10. You can enjoy them as they come out of the oven or freeze them to be eaten later on.
  11. Enjoy!

Mashed Bananas

Oat Bran

Flour Mixture

Dry Ingredients

Dry Ingredients 2

Wet Ingredients

Combining Wet and Dry

Filled Muffin Liners

Baked Muffins

Banana bran muffins

Banana Bran Muffins 2

Banana Bran Muffins 3

Banana bran muffins 4

I loved these muffins and was really surprised at how good these muffins tasted. I think the oat bran gave it a really nice texture and I was even more surprised that they weren’t dry. Usually I have to cook muffins for 25 minutes approximately but these were done in 20 minutes. The batter was also very easy to whip up so hence why I will be making another batch soon. The best thing about these muffins is that they freeze well and you can just heat them up in the morning for quick go to breakfast. You definitely get a lot of fibre and nutrition from the oat bran and the wholemeal spelt flour but the soft bananas and the sweetness from the honey really work well together. I love how this recipe doesn’t use any eggs or oil or butter and yet the result was still really delicious. Also I knew these muffins had to taste somewhat nice as Mr Muscles had 2 in one go and that usually means that he really likes it if he asks for seconds ;P

I thought I’d also share with you all some other photos of my baking experiments over the past few weeks.

Steamed Pandan Sponge Cakes

I made these Steamed Pandan Sponge Cakes for my brother while he is visiting however I think I need to work on the texture as they came out a little dry and there was not enough sweetness to it as my brother mentioned a few times. I will definitely need to keep experimenting further with this recipe.

Anzac Cookies Vegan

I also made these Vegan Anzac Cookies on my day off on Anzac Day however was slightly disappointed as they didn’t really taste of anything. I think using rice syrup instead of the usual golden syrup really changed the taste and the texture of these cookies. There was definitely not enough sweetness in the cookie.

Granola

That same day I also made some of my own granola/toasted muesli filled with plenty of ingredients such as chia seeds, coconut, dried apricots, raw blanched almonds, pumpkin and pepita seeds and of course rolled oats. I used honey this time to sweeten the granola and some coconut oil for baking. I was really happy with how these turned out as it had a lovely crunch and I loved the bits of muesli that had stuck together in the process to make big granola clusters.

So until next time dear readers!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Biscuits and Cookies, Breakfast, Cafe, Eggs, Granola, Health Food, Muffins, Oil Free, Pancakes, Pandan, Recipes, Restaurant, Snacks, Sydney, Toast, Toasted Muesli, Western

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