Hello dear readers!
Happy Friday! I’m glad the weekend has finally come around again and cannot wait to have another enjoyable one! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend too! ;P
I thought I’d share with you all one of my recent baking experiments. I recently purchased some quinoa flour (pronounced KEEN-WAH) and wanted to bake some gluten-free muffins after tasting one at the Eveleigh Markets on the weekend. It inspired me to make my own version of a gluten-free muffin which happened to also be vegan as well.
I had some ripe bananas sitting on my bench top and some raspberries in the fridge so decided to make banana and raspberry muffins using the quinoa flour. Quinoa flavour has quite a distinct taste and I think it is more an acquired taste. This first batch of muffins turned out alright in terms of texture and flavours however I definitely think that I needed to add a bit more sweetness to the mixture to counteract the tartness from the raspberries and the strong flavour of the quinoa flavour. I adapted my recipe from Bob’s Red Mill who specialise in various flours (http://www.bobsredmill.com/recipes.php?recipe=7020) but didn’t use any eggs as I was trying to make my muffins vegan as well as gluten-free. I think that I will experiment more with my recipe and tweak it until I get the flavours just right however for a healthy gluten-free and vegan muffin, this wasn’t so bad ;P
JACKPOT’s gluten-free and vegan banana and raspberry quinoa muffins
- 2 cups of quinoa flour
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1/2 tsp of baking soda
- 1-2 tsps of ground cinnamon
- a pinch of salt
- 1 cup of soy milk (I used almond milk)
- 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 cup of pure maple syrup (you can use 1/2 a cup if you like a sweeter muffin)
- 3-4 bananas mashed with a fork
- 1 cup of raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
- Line a muffin tray with cupcake liners and set aside.
- Mix all your dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt) with a wooden spoon and set aside.
- Pour a cup of soy milk into a measuring cup or a small bowl and mix together with the apple cider vinegar to create your vegan buttermilk. Leave it for a few minutes until it curdles.
- Add your vegan buttermilk mixture and the rest of the wet ingredients into a small bowl (maple syrup and mashed bananas) and stir to combine.
- Pour your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Be careful not to over mix your batter.
- Add in the raspberries into your muffin batter and fold them in gently.
- Using an ice cream scoop or a large spoon, spoon the batter into the cupcake liners about 3/4’s full.
- Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. I baked mine for about 25 minutes as my batch seemed to need longer cooking time.
- Take your muffins out of the oven and out of the muffin tray and line them on a wire rack to cool.
I’ll definitely be experimenting more with quinoa flour and try to get the right consistencies and flavours but for a first attempt I was quite happy with the results. The fact that this muffin is gluten-free, vegan, has no eggs or oil in the mixture and is dairy free is a big bonus =)
So until next time!
Can’t believe it’s Monday already! It’s been another jam-packed weekend of work, basketball and baking. I’m really hoping this week flies by quickly towards another weekend so I can finally catch up on some sleep.
I felt the urge to bake on the weekend but wasn’t sure what I wanted to bake. I had set my mind on making mini vegan sticky date cakes but then changed my mind at the last second which I tend to do very frequently and decided on making Vegan Gingerbread Muffins. Lately I have been loving all things ginger which is quite unusual for me as I used to never like ginger as a kid but as the years passed by I have learnt to appreciate the flavour of ginger and now love to use it in my baking where possible. Mr Muscles must have picked up on my ginger craving recently because a few days ago he surprised me with some dark chocolate that had ginger pieces studded into the chocolate…mmm nothing better than dark chocolate and ginger. I had to restrain myself from eating too much of it as it was rather addictive and I soon vowed to myself that I would eat less chocolate after consuming quite a bit of it…the war with chocolate however resulted in Chocolate 1 Jackie 0…I can only hope I show some better self-restraint this week…one can only hope!
So back to the actual topic of this blog: I based my Vegan Gingerbread Muffins on a recipe I found at “Southern In-Law” (http://southerninlaw.blogspot.com.au/2012/08/recipe-healthy-gingerbread-muffins-gluten-free.html). I wanted to make a vegan muffin without using any eggs, no oil and a small amount of sweetener. I found that the muffin turned out to be quite soft and moist in the centre but didn’t really form a hard top on the muffin like most muffins that you usually eat. I didn’t mind this however as the cake itself was quite gingery and the use of molasses and cinnamon really brought out the gingerbread flavour. I also used wholemeal spelt flour in the muffin mixture which provided added fibre and nutrition. I gave one of the muffins for Mr Muscles to try and while he said they weren’t bad, he mentioned that there was something definitely missing from the muffin. Whilst he could taste the ginger, he said that the flavours were still quite neutral. I tasted a few and agreed that there might have been something missing…perhaps more ginger, perhaps something for crunch like some nuts studded in the muffin. I will have to experiment more. I gave my muffins for lil R to try and she seemed to like them so I guess it wasn’t a huge baking failure. I will definitely try more ginger recipes soon…but for now…these muffins will have to do!
Vegan Gingerbread Muffins (Adapted from Southern In-Law)
- 2 cups of wholemeal spelt flour
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1-2 tsp of ground ginger (you can even put finely diced ginger pieces if you want to get more ginger flavour)
- 1/2 cup of almond milk or soy milk
- 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1/4-1/3 cup of evaporated cane juice
- 1/4 cup of blackstrap molasses
- heaping 1/2 cup of applesauce
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
- Line a muffin tray tin with muffin cups and set aside
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ground ginger and set aside
- In a small bowl, whisk the almond milk with the apple cider vinegar and set aside to curdle for 5 minutes
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the sweetener, molasses and applesauce with the milk mixture.
- Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until combined
- Fill the muffin cups approximately 3/4’s full (these muffins won’t rise too high so don’t worry about filling up the muffin cups too high)
- Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes (for regular sized muffins). Poke a muffin with a skewer to see if it has set around this time if not leave it in for another 5 minutes.
- Take the muffins out of the oven and set them on a wire rack to cool down.
- Serve warm with a cup of tea or coffee. Enjoy!
Jackpot’s Note: I also baked mini muffins. If baking mini muffins, you should bake the muffins for approximately 8-10 minutes.
I thought I’d also post a few pics of some cake pops I received over the weekend from Ms Pen. She made Halloween themed cake pops with caramel mudcake inside…how yummy! Thanks Ms Pen! Did I mention however that Mr Muscles devoured most of the cake pops himself…I think he is beginning to have a bigger sweet tooth than me ;P
The photos don’t do it justice! caramel mudcake…nom nom nom… I felt like saying “please sir, I want some more…” but one can’t be too greedy now!
Inside shot of the cake pop – look at all that caramel goodness ;P
“People who love to eat are always the best people”
Stay tuned for my toasted muesli recipe ;P
Filed under Breakfast, Dessert, Healthy, Muffins, Muffins, Oil Free, Recipes, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetarian, Western
Such a miserable and gloomy day today! Don’t know where all that sunshine from the weekend went but I hope it comes back soon so we can all enjoy another nice weekend ahead.
Something you should all know about me is that I always have a plentiful supply of bananas in my kitchen because I love baking with bananas. Whether it’s baking countless banana breads, steaming banana cakes or making thick and fluffy banana pancakes…the possibilities are always endless, the recipes are always plentiful and the countless experiments and creations appear never-ending. What I love about banana is that it is so versatile and that you can make a cake or muffin using banana to replace the oil and butter in the recipe. I usually tend to go a bit overboard and always put in plenty of bananas to make my cakes quite moist but mainly because I like the taste of bananas in my baking. When I look at many recipes in books or online I am always so alarmed at the amount of oil, butter and sugar that goes into common desserts such as cake, muffins and cookies and even if it is one loaf or one cake which requires 1 cup of oil or more, I still find that to be quite a lot. That’s why I’m always looking for ways that I can reduce the amount of oil, butter and sugar in a recipe if the recipe requires it and so I find that bananas are always a good substitute for the oil or butter. I also tend to find that natural organic applesauce works great to replace most or all of the oil/butter in recipes as well. I have even experimented with natural and greek yoghurt as replacements so that the cakes still remains moist and soft in the centre.
I had some bananas lying around the house that were quite ripe and a bag of walnuts in my pantry so I decided to make a walnut banana bread. I usually slice up my banana bread loaf and freeze the slices so that I can eat them for breakfast. I based my recipe on a banana bread recipe I found at Chocolate Covered Katie (http://chocolatecoveredkatie.com/2011/10/10/fat-free-banana-bread/). I love her recipes as they are quite easy to follow and she even makes single serving desserts so you don’t have to make too many at one time and can just enjoy the one serving. I adjusted her recipe by using different flours to create a different texture to my banana bread. I used one cup of white spelt flour, 1/4 cup of wholemeal spelt flour and a heaping 3/4 cup of natural almond meal. I really love the taste of almonds and bananas together and wanted to taste the almond in the banana bread so chose to use more of this compared to the wholemeal spelt flour. I love that the recipe is oil free and gets its moisture from the bananas and replaces all the oil with soy milk. I added in 4 large bananas to the mixture. I didn’t really measure the mashed bananas out and more went by texture and feel of the batter. If the mixture appears too dry, you can always add more milk to the mixture. I also decreased the amount of sweetener by using a bit less than 1/2 cup of pure maple syrup and it was just right for me. I love the combination of pure maple syrup with bananas. You could even add pitted dates into the mixture to avoid using maple syrup if you do not like the taste of it. I added some walnuts on top of my banana bread for extra crunch but you can always add berries or chocolate chips to the mixture to create a different type of banana bread.
The recipe was really easy to make. I love making banana bread because it doesn’t take long to whip up the batter. I was quite surprised with the end result as the banana bread was quite moist and the bread did not turn dry at all. The almond meal and spelt flour worked really well together along with the bananas. And the walnuts provided the extra crunch in contrast to the moist bread. I was very worried that the banana bread might burn with the walnuts on top but I put foil on top in the last 10 minutes to ensure that it wouldn’t burn. The top of the banana bread turned a nice brown colour. The recipe says bake for around 50 minutes. I took out the banana bread just shy of that time but next time I might put it in for another 5 minutes with the oven temperature turned off just to ensure that the insides are well and truly cooked. I don’t mind my banana bread soft and a bit gooey but if you want it to be a bit more cooked in the centre you can leave it in the oven for longer. Banana breads usually cook for an hour, so anywhere around 50-60 minutes is a good indication of time to bake the bread. You can also put a skewer in to test if the bread is done. If the skewer comes out clean then the bread is done. I let the banana bread cool on a wire rack and then sliced it up into even proportions and put it into the freezer. I gave Mr Muscles a few pieces to try for feedback and he throughly enjoyed it. He said he could tell there were different flours in the mix and that the walnuts gave a nice texture to the bread. For someone who doesn’t really like desserts, I’ll take that as good feedback as he demolished his test serving immediately. Did I mention though, I gave him the end parts of the loaf as well? Gotta keep the rest of the loaf for myself for any other personal feedback…ok thats a lie..I just want to eat it all myself…and lucky Mr Muscles doesn’t really like dessert or sweet things ;P
The dry mixture
Mashed up bananas
Adding wet to dry
Mixture in the loaf tin before putting it into the oven
Banana bread in the oven during baking
End result ;P
Letting the banana bread cool on a wire rack
Slicing up the banana bread into slices to freeze – Yes that end bit was served straight away to Mr Muscles without complaint ;P
“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
Charles M. Schulz
Till next time