Light and Fluffy

Last year I wanted to try make pumpkin muffins but just did not have the time. This year I added it to the Fall Fun activity list and made the time.

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I decided to take my banana muffin recipe and just replace the bananas with pumpkin. It worked out that I had extra pumpkin pie filling from making tarts which just happened to be the amount I needed…it was fate.

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Pumpkin Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups spelt flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (softened or melted)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup of apple sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin filling
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard 12 cup muffin pan with paper liners or grease pan. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. Make a well in centre of flour mixture. In well, mix together maple syrup, coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, apple sauce, and pumpkin filling. Stir together, do not over mix. Spoon batter into muffin tray.
  3. Bake until a toothpick inserted in centre of a muffin comes out clean, 25-30 minutes. Remove muffins from pan and let cool.

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They tasted delicious; very light and fluffy. I think I enjoyed them more than the regular banana recipe. This recipe is definitely a keeper for our family.

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Where Is My Pie?

Thanksgiving is not complete without pumpkin pie and since ‘bake a pie’ was on my fall activity list I can now scratch another item off. Okay I actually just made tarts instead of a full pie but in order to cross it off the fall fun list lets just call them mini pies!

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Over the past few years in my journey to eat healthier I have adjusted many favourite dessert recipes to have less sugar, or at least contain a more natural sweetener, as well as no dairy. It was time to come up with a new pumpkin pie filling. With the clock ticking I crafted a new recipe. It took a couple tries to get the spices right but other than that it was a great success.

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Pumpkin Pie Filling

*makes for 2 pies or 1.5 dozen tarts

  • 3 1/4 cups of pumpkin puree ( 1 can of pumpkin puree)
  • 150 ml pure maple syrup
  • 100 ml almond milk (can substitute with the milk of your choice)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbs arrowroot powder
  • 3 eggs

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  1. Heat oven to 350*. Beat eggs in a bowl and add remaining ingredients. Stir until blended.
  2. Pour filling into unbaked pie or tart shells.
  3. Bake for approximately 25 minutes for mini pies or tarts. **I have not tried the recipe in a full sized pie yet. Not sure about baking time, probably around 30-40 min.** To test the pie insert a knife, if the knife comes out clean its done, if not bake for longer.
  4. Let pie cool before serving.

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On Blueberry Hill

If I had to choose my favourite fruit it would be very difficult. I love fruit and I like different fruit for different reasons. Blueberries, however, are definitely a contender for the top spot. Growing up I loved going out looking for a blueberry patch and picking blueberries. Freshly picked wild blueberries are the best, especially in a bowl of cream and sugar, yum. I know not very healthy but oh so delicious, it’s a guilty pleasure that I have no control over. Another favourite treat growing up was blueberry syrup. It was great when having crêpes or pancakes. Yet it was another thing that was loaded with sugar and not all that healthy in the end. As I now try my best to live a healthier lifestyle it was something that I would need to give up. Giving things up is hard and didn’t work well for me so I came up with a better plan. Change the recipe to make it healthier and still delicious. It took a few tries to get it just right but my plan worked.

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Blueberry Syrup

* 1 1/2 cups of blueberries
* 1/3 cup of honey
* 2 Tbsp of arrowroot powder
* 1 cup of water

1. In a pot add blueberries, honey and water. While stirring constantly bring to a slow boil.

2. Mix arrowroot powder into a small bowl of water until dissolved then add to blueberry mixture.

3. Continue stirring until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and let cool before serving.

* store syrup in fridge
* can substitute blueberries for any berry
* for a thicker syrup or sauce use 3-4 Tbsp of arrowroot powder
* can substitute arrowroot powder for cornstarch or another thickener
* syrup great for pancakes or crêpes! Thicker sauce great for cheesecake and other desserts!

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Waiting For Spring

The first day of spring will soon be upon us, yet it still feels mighty cold out. While I love winter and the snow it’s seems to be lasting extra long this year. It probably isn’t, that’s just me going a little stir crazy. I want to go out for a walk, sit in the backyard, eat outside. But no. It’s too cold for that to happen yet so what am I doing instead, well curling up under a blanket with a book and a freshly made cup of hot chocolate. As I have started to lead a healthier life style some things have needed some adjustments. I love hot chocolate but with the amounts of sugar in most hot chocolate packages you buy it was time for me to once again experiment in he kitchen. The result, delicious and healthy hot chocolate.

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Hot Chocolate

Ingredients
1 cup almond milk (can substitute almond milk for the milk of your choice)
1 cup water
1 heaping tablespoon cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (can substitute for 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste)
1-2 teaspoons of honey

Combine water, cacao powder, and cinnamon in a pot and whisk thoroughly. Place over medium heat. Add milk, nutmeg and vanilla, whisk until mixed. Add honey and stir continuously until desired temperature is reached.

Pour and enjoy!

~n

Cookie Monster Said I Could

Have you ever woken up one morning and thought I want to eat cookies for breakfast? Sometimes I just cannot eat breakfast food for breakfast. I want something different. I am not going to lie, on occasions I have considered having dessert for breakfast. However, there was always that little voice in my head saying that is not a healthy breakfast, it’s full of sugary junk. Well now whenever I want cookies for breakfast and that voice in my head decides to give its unwanted opinion I just laugh as I have discovered a recipe for cookies that is delicious and healthy. Breakfast Cookies! I cannot live without them. I have a constant supply in my freezer which is hard to keep up as a batch of cookies does not last long in my house. Of course the best thing about these is that Cookie Monster would approve.

Breakfast Cookies

Ingredients
-3 mashed bananas
-1/3 cup apple sauce
-2 cups uncooked oats
-1 tsp vanilla
-2 Tbsp cinnamon
-1 Tbsp maple syrup
-1/2 cup cacao nibs

Directions
1. Mix all ingredients together.
2. Spoon the dough by teaspoonful onto a greased cookie sheet.
3. Bake @350* for 15 minutes. Cool and Serve
4. Freeze leftovers ( no preservatives therefore cookies will go bad after a couple days if left out of freezer)

Optional
Can also add nuts, seeds, diced apple, craisons, goji berries, whatever else you think of 🙂

Have Your Cake and Eat It Too!

There are few things in life that I am certain about but there is one thing for sure. Dessert is a necessity. While it is a common belief that dessert can be bad for you that is not entirely true if you eat the right dessert. Most desserts have refined sugar which I like to think of as the nasty monster hiding in your kitchen cupboards. Try a dessert with a natural sweetener such as honey, maple syrup, stevia or even applesauce. You would probably be surprised that they taste just as good if not better than a dessert with refined sugar. I love dessert and experiment often to adjust recipes for a healthier choice. My latest experiment resulted in homemade banana ice cream.

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A quick and healthy recipe for any ice cream or dessert lover.

Homemade Banana Ice Cream

Ingredients:
*2 cups of frozen bananas (approx. 2 bananas)
*1/3 to 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk

Preparation:
Slice up bananas and freeze for a minimum of 3 hours

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Step 1:
Add 2 cups of frozen banana and 1/3 cup of milk to blender.
Step 2:
Blend until smooth.
Optional – add more milk for a creamier texture.
Step 3:
Enjoy!

For a little something different.
*add chocolate chips to your banana ice cream
*you can substitute 2 cups of bananas for 2 cups of any frozen fruit
*can substitute vanilla almond milk for the milk of your choice.