Category Archives: Banana

JACKPOT visits Me and Art

Hello readers!

Hope you all are having a great week so far and thank goodness it’s Thursday meaning it’s nearly the end of the week! Looking forward to relaxing on the weekend with some good weather, good food and catching up with friends, celebrating a 1 month for a cute baby girl and of course some basketball in between!

Last weekend I wanted to grab a few things from Thomas Dux in Surry Hills as I do from time to time when I have a chance to stock up on baking ingredients and food for the week ahead. As Mr Muscles and I had not eaten breakfast at this point in time, I thought this would be a good opportunity to check out another café on my list. I love going to vegan cafes to try out the various foods on offer whether it be savoury or sweet food.

My top vegan places in Sydney at the moment are:

  • Sadhana Kitchen – great for breakfast and lunch and of course if you feel like indulging, they do some really great raw cakes
  • Nourishing Quarter – great little dinner place serving fusion Vietnamese food with a modern take on it – love their tofu and quinoa dumplings, their quinoa rice paper rolls and their noodle salad served with crispy tofu and they also do raw cakes here if you are feeling like something a bit more sweet after dinner

I have yet to try Earth to Table in Bondi Junction which I have read many great reviews and am keen to hopefully try this vegan place out on the weekend…blog will follow shortly after of course =)

I’m always worried about taking Mr Muscles to vegan places as I am always worried he will never be full or won’t like what is on offer on the menus. Mr Muscles however happily guided me along the way as we searched for the café. We ended up walking from Thomas Dux a few blocks down in Surry Hills and finally found the café after a nice walk through Surry Hills.

Me and Art is quite a small café with some seating provided outside the café, some tables and chairs found inside the café and out back in their courtyard. As it was a nice day, we decided to sit outside their courtyard and take in the nice weather. It was chilly but the sun was shining and it turned out to be a really nice day.

The café is known for their Japanese artwork which hangs inside the café. I didn’t get to take a picture of this unfortunately but will next time I visit. Apparently these pictures are not just for show and that they are available for purchase for anyone interested with new artwork coming in every few weeks. It’s a very quirky café with even tables that have been sourced by the owner from various places.

The one thing that stood out about this café were the friendly staff who were quick to assist wherever needed. Mr Muscles had no idea what he wanted to drink as he was feeling like some juice and one of the staff decided to make something on the whim from the flavours that Mr Muscles had told them he wanted. It was this attention to detail and their great service that really makes this café different to other cafes we have been to.

Courtyard

Courtyard 2

Courtyard 3

 

Courtyard 4

Menu

Breakfast Menu

Menu

Lunch Menu

Green Tea

Lemon Water

Juice

Mr Muscles Juice – I think this had beetroot, carrot, ginger, apple and other flavours (it was meant to be some sort of detox juice – it was very delicious!)

Avocado Toast

Mr Muscles’ meal: avocado on toast: avocado with special herbs & spices heaped on crunchy sourdough $9.00

Mr Muscles wasn’t feeling too good so decided to get something small to eat. We were both surprised at how generous they were with the avocado which was lovely, ripe and smooth. The sourdough had a nice taste to it with the toast still quite crunchy despite the amount of avocado layered on top of the toast. Mr Muscles really enjoyed the dish however didn’t really care for the ground turmeric which had been sprinkled over the top of the avocado. He felt it overpowered the taste of the avocado and so decided to remove this and eat the rest of it sans turmeric. All in all a very healthy and filling breakfast in which Mr Muscles left feeling rather full.

Buckwheat Pancakes

My meal: cocoa and cinnamon buckwheat pancakes topped with banana, berries, nuts & seeds served with maple syrup and shredded coconut $12.00

I ordered the pancakes as I really can’t say no to pancakes and the fact that these were healthy pancakes…this was already a win win situation to begin with. The pancakes were not as soft as I had imagined but rather a bit more dense as the buckwheat flavour was quite predominant. I couldn’t really taste the cocoa or cinnamon but I found the pancakes really lovely and not too heavy to eat that I managed to finish the whole dish. The banana and the nuts and seeds were a nice side to the dish as you got a bit of crunch, a bit of sweetness from the maple syrup and banana and a bit of tartness from the berries. I felt healthier just by eating this dish. I’ve tried recreating buckwheat pancakes at home but have never been successful. Now that I have tried these pancakes I am on a mission to try and create some wonderful buckwheat pancakes that don’t taste like rubber!

Mr Muscles and I left the café feeling full and satisfied. This café is definitely an up and coming café as I’m sure that more and more people will come to visit as they also serve lunch and if not for the dining experience then to view the lovely art hanging on the walls of the café. I know I’ll be back to try their nachos with tofu cashew sour cream and vegan cheese and of course their vegan pies which I have heard are really good!

Stay tuned for a recipe post…I know it’s been awhile but I’ll be posting one soon…

Here are my recent baking pictures:

Vegan Banana Bread

A new recipe experiment: vegan banana bread made using applesauce – surprisingly turned out better than I expected and the applesauce gave the bread a lovely moist texture

Vegan Chocolate Banana Donuts

Vegan Baked Chocolate Banana Donuts made with spelt flour and coconut sugar

Raw Brownie Balls

Raw Brownie Balls made with raw cacao powder, walnuts and dates

Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Banana Muffins

Vegan Chocolate and Vanilla Layered Banana Muffins made with wholemeal spelt flour and coconut sugar

Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes

Recipe experimenting with Mini Vegan Chocolate Cakes made with applesauce, spelt flour and coconut sugar – surprisingly tasted light and moist without too much of an applesauce taste

Me and Art

62 Mary Street

Surry Hills NSW 2010

Website: http://meandart-sydney.webs.com/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Brunch, Cafe, Dessert, Fruit, Health Food, Healthy, Lunch, Muffins, Pancakes, Recipes, Seeds and Grains, Toast, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

JACKPOT bakes vegan baked banana donuts

Hello readers!

I know I have been a bit slow with the posting of entries but work, basketball and baking have really taken up all my time…where does all the hours go in a day? I never seem to keep up and I am lacking a lot of sleep as a result but hopefully in time I can go back to regularly posting. I appreciate your patience dear readers!

I wanted to post some pictures from a baking experiment from a few weeks ago. I have made many baked donuts over the years from a chocolate variety using applesauce and raw cacao powder to a vegan Krispy Kreme style donut. I wanted to bake a batch of baked banana donuts as I had experimented with a batch a year ago and wanted to see whether I could make another variation this time around.

There is no recipe yet as I am still perfecting the donuts and I was surprised that my donuts turned out more like banana bread donuts being a bit more dense in texture than what I was aiming for. They tasted great though still and Mr Muscles practically devoured the whole batch of them so I’m sure that they weren’t at all too bad. I used whole wheat spelt flour and used quite a bit of cinnamon so that the cinnamon and banana flavour could be tasted in the donut. Cinnamon and banana work so well and the smell is so heavenly when you devour the donut bit of bit when its nice and hot.

I’m definitely going to keep experimenting until I find the perfect balance. I tried to keep the oil to a very small amount and I used coconut oil for this batch but next time I might try using applesauce and remove the oil completely. The texture was also probably a bit too dense as I used quite a few bananas as I was being greedy and really wanted my donuts to have that banana flavour.

I ended up baking a small donut batch and a regular size donut batch. I love eating the small donuts as I feel less guilty eating a lot more of them than the regular size ones…but hey that’s just me ;P

Speaking of bananas, I have been trying to perfect a vegan banana bread recipe without the end product being too moist. Each time I make a vegan banana bread, the end result is a very moist banana bread lacking texture from the flour that is reminiscent of those wonderful buttery and sugary banana breads you get at cafes. I wanted to mirror this but in a more healthy way replacing the oil and sugar but unfortunately when you keep subbing various ingredients into the batter, the end result is never quite what you expect at times. I will definitely keep experimenting and hopefully come up with better results.

Here are the photos from my vegan baked banana donuts experiment:

Flour

Dry Ingredients

Mashed Bananas

Wet Ingredients A

Wet Ingredients

Wet Ingredients 2

Mix Wet and Dry

Donut Batter

Donut Molds

Baked Banana Donuts

Baked Banana Donuts 2

Baked Banana Donuts 4

I shall be planning to bake a lot more hopefully over the weekend…very interested in trying to make a chocolate avocado cake as it sounds odd but apparently you can’t taste the avocado in the cake…

So until next time everyone

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Cake, Dessert, Donuts, Health Food, Healthy, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Western

JACKPOT visits Brasserie Bread

Hello dear readers!

I hope you all are having a good week so far! I had a nice and relaxing weekend after a long week of work last week despite having to work on the weekend.  As a treat, Mr Muscles took me out for breakfast before I had to start work on Sunday so that I was happily full by the time work commenced and indeed I was…perhaps even more so ;P

I got to choose the place to eat breakfast so I ended up choosing Brasserie Bread as Mr Muscles had never been there before and I had not visited this place in a very long time so I was keen to see if the food still tasted the same from what I remember. We got to the cafe around 9:30 and I was surprised at how busy the place was with many people eating breakfast or lining up to buy bread loaves and pastries that were baked fresh that day. We waited in line for a few minutes for a table and whilst Mr Muscles waited in line, I ventured into the bakery section of the cafe to stare at all the wonderful treats on offer from decadent desserts to drool worthy pastries and to even taste some of the bread samples on offer. Everything was so tasty and it made me want to buy literally everything in the bakery. I made a mental note of all the things I wanted to buy after I finished breakfast…the list was long but I knew I definitely wanted to take something home with me…whether it be a bread loaf or one of their lovely desserts on display.

I wasn’t sure how I was feeling that day…whether I was in the mood to eat sweet food or whether I was in the mood to eat some savoury food but of course as always sweet won the battle and I ended up ordering pancakes ;P

Brasserie Bread

Brasserie Bread Testers

Bread

Bread Rack

Pantry

Kitchen

Bakery

Dessert

Bread Loaves

Garlic Bread

Tarts

Cafe

The Menu

The Menu

Green Tea

My Green Tea

Coffee

Mr Muscles’s Coffee

Smoked Trout and Fetta

Mr Muscles’s Meal: poached eggs with smoked trout and feta on sourdough toast with an extra egg $18.00

Mr Muscles decided to get a savoury dish as he doesn’t have as big a sweet tooth as I do. The dish looked very appealing from first glance and Mr Muscles seemed to enjoy it as he dug into his breakfast. The flavours all worked well together however the ratio of bread to trout to feta was uneven and Mr Muscles said that the feta ended up overpowering the other flavours on the plate. He had hoped that they had given another slice of toast to go with the meal as this would have balanced it all out but nonetheless he thought this was a really nice dish overall.

Sourdough Pancakes

Pancakes

My meal: sourdough pancakes with banana and pure maple syrup $15.00

I naturally leaned towards a sweet meal to start my day and I was not disappointed. My first time visiting Brasserie bread I also ordered the sourdough pancakes but with berry compote which was nice but I felt that the berries were a little on the sour side and I was looking for something a bit more sweet and this time the pancakes were just right. It was such a decadent meal, carb heavy and the oh-so-bad-for-you-but-you-just-can’t-stop-eating-these-delicious-pancakes. I really loved that they had grilled the bananas so that you get that slight char on the bananas and with each bite the bananas just melted in your mouth. The maple syrup added a nice bit of sweetness to the meal that complimented the soft bananas. I didn’t really care for the coconut flakes however so pushed them aside and concentrated on the pancakes. These pancakes definitely sit up there with my other favourite pancakes: Ricotta pancakes from Pyrama, orange pancakes from Cafe Morso, ricotta hotcakes from Bills and the quinoa pancakes from Bread and Circus. I think I should be worried about my pancake obsession…

After breakfast, Mr Muscles and I lined up at the bakery section of the cafe and ended up buying a nice harvest grain loaf – I’ve had this bread before and I really enjoyed it and the fact there were all different kinds of grains and seeds in the bread. I also bought a freshly made sandwich for lunch and a pistachio friand to eat later. I knew I could have bought a lot more but I showed some self-restraint and made another mental note that I would be back for more pancakes and of course more freshly baked goodies!

Stay tuned for my upcoming baking experiment: Gluten Free & Vegan Raspberry and Banana Quinoa Muffins

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Brasserie Bread

1737 Botany Rd

Banksmeadow

NSW 2019

Ph: 1300 966 845

Opening Hours:

Monday to Friday: 7.00am-3.00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 8.00am-2.00pm

Website: http://www.brasseriebread.com.au/

Until next time!

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Cafe, Cake, Eggs, Pancakes, Restaurant, Seeds and Grains, Sydney, Toast, Western

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

JACKPOT makes: Gluten Free Quinoa & Banana Pancakes

Hi all!

This is just a short post to show you all some pancakes I made over the weekend. As I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I had been itching to try to make some quinoa pancakes after my numerous visits to Bread & Circus and finally I found an opportunity to make them over the weekend. Also, as I had some really ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen table, I thought it would be nice to mix the quinoa with the banana for some added flavour and sweetness. I based my pancakes off “The Healthy Chef” website (http://www.thehealthychef.com/2012/05/102/) where I usually find an array of recipes to browse through, both savoury and sweet. Teresa Cutter has some really great recipes on there that are easy to follow and focus purely on using good healthy ingredients and using grains and wholefoods instead of the refined flours and sugars in most foods. The recipe I based from her website was for pancakes with orange blossom honey however I did not have any oranges in my kitchen nor any orange blossom water so I skipped this in favour of pure maple syrup to serve the pancakes with.

What I loved about this recipe was that the actually pancake mixture did not take long to make. The only time spent was waiting for the quinoa, flaxseed and milk to soak for an hour and the actual cooking of the pancakes. The mixture itself was very simple due to the use of my trusty Vitamix in which all the ingredients were pretty much thrown into the blender and blended until smooth.

I found the pancakes to be not only fluffy and light but there was also the lovely added texture of the black quinoa which gave a nice nutty flavour to the pancakes (the quinoa was not cooked so the raw quinoa added a nice crunch to the pancakes). The bananas also lended some natural sweetness to the pancakes as there was no sugar used in this recipe. While they might not be on the same level as the Bread & Circus pancakes, I will definitely try these pancakes again, perhaps with different combinations such as mixing blueberries or raspberries into the mixture, or adding some buckwheat into the mixture.

Gluten Free Banana & Quinoa Pancakes (Adapted from the Healthy Chef’s “Pancakes + Orange Blossom Honey)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of black quinoa seeds (uncooked)
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed or chia seeds if you have it
  • 1.5 cups of almond milk or any other non dairy milk
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 2 free range/organic eggs
  • 1/2 tsp of bicarb soda
  • 2-3 medium bananas smashed with a fork

Method:

  1. Soak the black quinoa seeds and ground flaxseed/chia seed with the almond milk and set aside to soak for an hour (the website says that you should soak it overnight to get better results..I didn’t want to wait that long and I thought that soaking it for 1 hour still produced great results)
  2. Place all the ingredients except the bananas into a high-speed blender (I used my Vitamix) and blend until smooth and creamy
  3. Remove the mixture into a bowl and fold in the bananas
  4. Cook the pancakes on an oiled non-stick frying pan (I used my crepe pan but you can use any flat non-stick pan) and cook until the pancakes are golden. I found that the pancakes cooked really quickly so you should watch the pancakes carefully. The first one usually always burns so don’t worry about the first one or two of the mixture. Eventually you will get the right consistency. I usually flip my pancakes when a few bubbles appear and you can notice the edges getting a bit browner and crispier. A few minutes on each side should suffice.
  5. Repeat step 4 until you have used all the pancake batter up.
  6. Serve your pancakes hot with pure maple syrup or a side of fruit.
  7. Enjoy!

Photos:

 

* You can really see the quinoa in the pancakes – all that grainy goodness!

Nothing better than eating pancakes with good grains and seeds ;P

mmmmm pancakes…

“He who goes to bed hungry dreams of pancakes”

Proverb

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Gluten Free, Health Food, Pancakes, Recipes, Seeds and Grains, Western

JACKPOT’s: Weekend Baking Adventures

Hello Readers!

What a weekend it has been! I definitely have some monday-itis today after a jam-packed weekend consisting of a wedding celebration, winning a basketball game and then coming down with the flu yesterday…my immune system is not the best since I’ve caught the flu quite a few times over the past few months.

But on a brighter note, I thought I would share with you all some of my baking adventures in the kitchen over the weekend. A bit of sickness was definitely not going to put a damper on my weekend and I was determined to create some new baked goods regardless.

I wanted to thank Ms Shortee and Mrs Do for their help on the weekend so this was the perfect opportunity to bake. I wanted to bake something new and of course something healthy so I decided to bake: Banana and Date Wholemeal Spelt Muffins and Flaked Almond Spelt Tuiles.

Banana and Date Wholemeal Spelt Muffins

I adapted my recipe from The Everyday Veggie (http://theeverydayveggie.com/?p=1075) as I wanted to make a sugar-free banana and date muffin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of Wholemeal Spelt Flour
  • 1 Tsp of Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup of Soy Milk
  • 1 Tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbs of Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 Tbs of Agave Nectar (Optional – I don’t think it needs it as the muffin gets its sweetness from the dates already)
  • 1 tsp of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 Medium Sized Bananas
  • 1/2 Cup  Chopped Dates

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Line a cupcake/muffin tray with muffin cups or if you are not using liners then you need to spray your tray with oil spray so that the muffins do not stick to the tray
  3. Combine the soy milk with the apple cider vinegar in a bowl and set aside for a few minutes to curdle. This creates a vegan “buttermilk”
  4. Meanwhile, combine the flour and baking soda in a large bowl and mix with a wooden spoon
  5. Mix the coconut oil, agave nectar (if using), vanilla extract and bananas into the “buttermilk” mixture
  6. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined
  7. Add in the chopped dates and stir into the mixture
  8. Divide the mixture evenly in your muffin tray
  9. Bake for approximately 20 minutes depending on the heat of your oven. You can bake it for longer if the muffins haven’t browned much on top.
  10. Take out of muffin tray and let it cool on a wire cooling rack.

I really liked how these muffins turned out and the fact that they are sugar-free. The sweetness comes from the dates so you don’t really need to use agave as a sweetener in this recipe. Also I used more bananas to make up for some of the oil in the recipe. The muffins turned out to be quite moist due to the bananas in the mixture and I liked the texture of the muffin. I thought that using all whole wheat flour might make these muffins a bit too dense and dry but was quite pleased to see that they were not too dense once baked and were nice and light. I will definitely be baking these again and Ms Shortee told me she enjoyed the muffins so I was very happy to hear such positive comments…Thank You!

Photos:

Photo courtesy of Ms Shortee – Muffin accompanied by a coffee to start the week =)

Flaked Almond Spelt Tuiles

I bought some flaked almonds from the supermarket recently and really wanted to make almond tuiles with them. I loved almond tuiles when I was growing up. My dad would often go to the patisserie on sunday when he wasn’t working and buy a packet of almond tuiles to share with us kids. It was so addictive that you couldn’t stop at one and soon enough the packet was always finished in a matter of minutes. I wanted to replicate these almond biscuits that I was so fond of when I was a child but somehow develop it into a more healthy recipe.

Ingredients I used:

  • A Packet of Almond Flakes (approximately 100g)
  • 1/2 Cup of White Spelt Flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of Sugar (you can use a sugar substitute here)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup of Coconut Butter melted
  • 2 Egg Whites

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius
  2. Line a tray with baking paper and set aside
  3. Combine all the ingredients together and stir with a wooden spoon to combine
  4. Drop a tablespoon full of batter onto the lined tray and then flatten each drop of batter with the back of a spoon so that it is reasonably flat – this will make sure the cookie is thin and crispy. They should be roughly a few cms apart from each other
  5. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until brown on the outside of each cookie.
  6. Take out of oven and quickly mould them onto a rolling-pin to get the curve in the tuile.
  7. Once cool, you can put them into an airtight container to store for a few days if you haven’t eaten them all by then.

I was happy with my first attempt at this tuile but I definitely will need to fine tune the recipe and keep experimenting. I was rushing a bit as I was being a bit too over ambitious in the kitchen as usual and had to rush off to play basketball so I took out the tuile a bit earlier than the required time. Next time I will bake it for a bit longer until the tuiles have set to a nice light-dark brown colour on the edge of the cookies as I prefer my tuiles to be more crunchy. These turned out to be a bit more chewier as a result of taking them out earlier but I didn’t mind the texture and taste of these even if they weren’t the same consistency as I remember eating them when I was a child. The coconut butter lends a lovely subtle coconut flavour to these cookies without overpowering the whole tuile. Also, I only managed to make a few curved tuiles as my first few batches were a bit sticky and stuck itself onto my rolling-pin so they cracked a little when I tried to pull them off the rolling-pin. I will attempt this again with the proper curving on the tuile and let you all know the results. Mr Cookie Monster AKA Mr Muscles really loved these cookies so much so that he ended up stealing so many cookies and eating them quickly without me realising! Lucky I saved a few to give to Mrs Do who ate these cookies with a cup of tea this morning. Happy birthday again Mrs Do!

Photos:

Cookies with some tea =) Photo courtesy of Mrs Do – Loving that Tea Set!

I now feel like chanting the old childhood verse over and over:

“Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?
Jackpot stole the cookie from the cookie jar
Who me? Yes you, couldn’t be, then who?”

;p

Until next time!

x

Jackie

 

 

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Filed under Banana, Biscuits and Cookies, Breakfast, Dessert, Health Food, Healthy, Muffins, Muffins, Nuts, Recipes, Snacks, Sugar Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western

JACKPOT bakes: Vegan Banana, Mango & Macadamia Muffins

Hi all!

Mangoes are in season at the moment as the weather is getting warmer and there is nothing better than eating mangoes on a hot and sunny day to quench your thirst and to satisfy your hunger when it’s too hot to eat anything else. When I was a kid, I loved to eat mangoes with my sister. We used to cut one mango and slice it up in two halves so that we both got half a piece of mango each. We would slice the mango horizontally then vertically to create a checkered effect on the mango and then turn them inside out so that we could easily eat the mango with the cut pieces formed. One mango though, was never enough for the both of us and as our parents used to always buy boxes of mangoes for our home, we would often go back for seconds or thirds when we were feeling slightly peckish. As a kid, I also loved mango sorbet and it would often be my choice of flavour when going to ice cream parlours and dessert places. I never really fancied creamy ice creams compared to my sister when I was young so mango sorbet was always my go to dessert when I wanted something light and refreshing. My dad would often get large scoops of ice-cream for himself and I often think that I inherited his sweet tooth from him over the years as I got older.

I wanted to bake a mango and macadamia muffin that was vegan and low in sugar and oil without any refined sugars or butter. I remember when I was going through my diet days and I was exercising a lot at the time,  I would always go to the local cafe in my area and buy a sugar-free muffin for my breakfast. It was always loaded with plenty of fruit and nuts to keep me full until lunch time. They made several combinations of flavours baked fresh in the early morning so I was always excited to see what flavour they would have each day. My most favourite however was a mango and macadamia muffin and from this, I knew that I wanted to replicate this muffin and the textures and flavours it exhibited.

I experimented by making two versions of vegan muffins. The first version I used a combination of flours: Natural Almond Meal, White Spelt Flour and Whole Wheat Spelt Flour and the second version I made with only White and Whole Wheat Spelt Flour.

I adapted my recipe from Joy the Baker (http://joythebaker.com/2011/07/vegan-mango-banana-bread/). I often read her blogs and she has some fantastic vegan dessert recipes to try out so when I saw this recipe of hers I knew that I wanted to try it out given I had mangoes on hand.

First Version: Vegan Spelt, Almond Meal, Banana, Mango & Macadamia Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup almond meal
  • 1/2 Cup white spelt flour
  • 1/2 whole wheat spelt flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 medium bananas
  • 1/4 cup of soy milk
  • 1/4 cup of sweetener of your choice – agave nectar, pure maple syrup, honey (if you aren’t baking vegan)
  • 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe mango diced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped raw macadamia nuts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Line a cupcake/muffin tray with muffin cups or if you don’t want to use this then lightly spray your cupcake/muffin tray with some oil spray then set aside
  3. Mash the bananas with a fork in a large mixing bowl then add in the milk, sweetener, vanilla extract and whisk to incorporate
  4. Sift in the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt. Using a wooden spoon, mix wet with dry until combined.
  5. Add in the diced mango and chopped macadamia nuts and mix until just combined.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop or a large spoon and drop in spoonfuls of your batter into the muffin cups or cupcake/muffin tray. Fill to about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes.
  8. Take the muffins out of the tray and let it cool on a cooling rack.
  9. Best eaten warm but can be frozen to eat later for breakfast.

JACKPOT’s Note: If making this recipe into a loaf, you will need to bake it in a loaf tin in the oven for approximately 50 minutes.

I liked the appearance of these muffins as they came out of the oven as you could see all the different textures from the nuts and fruit and the different flour combination. However when I ate this muffin I found it to be too moist perhaps from too much fruit added into the mixture and too much soymilk. Next time I will reduce the mango to 1/2 a cup of diced mango and I will use maybe only a few tbsps of the soy milk next time. Also, I could not taste the ginger in this recipe and since I like my desserts quite gingery, I will increase the amount of ginger. Whilst the flavours were there I think that next time I might just only use almond meal and see how that works instead.

Photos:

Second Version: Vegan Spelt Banana, Mango & Macadamia Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of white spelt flour
  • 1 Cup of whole wheat spelt flour
  • 1 tsp of baking soda
  • 1-1.5 tbs of cinnamon
  • 2 tsp of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 2 medium bananas
  • < than 1/4 cup of melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
  • 2 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup of ripe mango diced
  • 1/2 cup of chopped raw macadamia nuts

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. Line a cupcake/muffin tray with muffin cups or if you don’t want to use this then lightly spray your cupcake/muffin tray with some oil spray then set aside
  3. Mash the bananas with a fork in a large mixing bowl then add in the melted coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla extract and whisk to incorporate
  4. Sift in the flours, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt. Using a wooden spoon, mix wet with dry until combined.
  5. Add in the diced mango and chopped macadamia nuts and mix until just combined.
  6. Use an ice cream scoop or a large spoon and drop in spoonfuls of your batter into the muffin cups or cupcake/muffin tray. Fill to about 3/4 full.
  7. Bake in the oven for approximately 25 minutes.
  8. Take the muffins out of the tray and let it cool on a cooling rack.
  9. Best eaten warm but can be frozen to eat later for breakfast.

I really liked the second version I made over the first version. Whilst the muffin was a lot more dense from the whole wheat flour, I prefered the taste of it moreso. You still get the different layers of texture with the fruits and nuts and I could taste the ginger more in this version. I also liked the coconut sugar in this and using a small amount of coconut oil as well in this batch emphasised more of the coconut flavours which pair very well with mangoes. I found the batter very different to the first version however as it was quite dry and I wasn’t sure whether I needed to add some milk for more moisture but the muffins still remained quite moist from the bananas and mangoes once baked. I will definitely be making these again.

Photos:

Currently munching on one of the muffins now…I can’t resist ;p

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.”

Brillat-Savarin

x

Jackie

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Filed under Banana, Breakfast, Dessert, Fruit, Health Food, Healthy, Muffins, Muffins, Nuts, Recipes, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western