Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins Tweaked!

I’ve been making the healthy banana muffins from over-ripe bananas for a while now, but I felt they were a bit lacking. They lacked a bit of body so I thought I would try them with a couple of spoons of wholemeal flour. I had my little helper too.

You can see the original recipe here – What to do with over-ripe bananas

so I add 2 heaped teaspoons of whole meal flour and I also add just a dash of water – use could use milk – then whizzed it all up.

Waiting patiently

Waiting patiently

My little helper was very eager!

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

Overall they are much the same but they hold their shape just a bit better. I think I would add a little honey next time. They did seem to stick a bit more but I think thats because I had the over too hot. 3 small bananas made a dozen small muffins.

Has anyone else given these a go? Have you had any successful tweaking?

Something to think about – Cake Angels

While most of the time we know we should eat well, healthy, low sugar, real food, especially our children. We also know, there is a time for cake! Especially when your a kid, and being diagnosed with a serious illness should never get in the way of cake eating on your birthday!!

Enter – Australian Cake Angels! A non-for-profit group who make amazing cakes for sick kids, on their birthdays and other special days.

Cake Angels Network - join the angels to brighten a sick kids birthday!

Cake Angels Network – join the Angels to brighten a sick kids birthday!

The Cake Angel originally started up almost by accident in Melbourne donating the cakes to Ronald McDonald House, by April 2012 they were in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane and they now work with many charities all over Australia.

“Cake Angels is run completely by volunteers, some are hobbyists and some run their own cake decorating business. All have not only a love of baking cakes, but also the desire to support a deserving cause and to make a difference, by bringing a smile to a seriously ill child when we can.”

If you can bake, decorate or (wo)man a cake stall, Have a think about becoming a Cake Angel, surely the best kind of Angel! Check out their Facebook page or Instagram for more information.

What to do with Overripe Bananas??

I have no idea why I haven’t done this before, it’s so easy and fast!!

Just put 4 ingredients into a blender

banana muffin ingredients

banana muffin ingredients

  • Take some over ripe bananas – I used 3
  • 4 small eggs or 3 large ones
  • about 3/4 tsp baking soda or bi-carb soda
  • a jar of ABC spread

grease a muffin tin or two with coconut oil and pour in the runny batter to about 2/3 of each hole.

bake until you can smell them and they are colouring on top, less then 10 mins on 200C

Banana Muffins

Banana Muffins

Tip: Take them out of the muffin tin while they are still warm, it’s much easier.

Happily they are gluten, dairy and sugar free. They are also soft, moist and completely yummy!!

Enjoy!

How to get a Toddler to eat – the messy way

We’ve all heard that getting kids involved with the cooking will help with the eating. I also thought it might help with whinging and very short attention span that was today…

Lexi loves making bread, and I was uninspired at the butcher so I decided to make pizzas, from scratch, with a toddler…

Tip: Don’t tell the toddler what you’re doing until you are all set up… That is, google/Pinterest your recipe, get out all you ingredients and tools, change out of your work clothes!

Our recipe

We used an amalgamation of a couple of recipes, as is my (our?) way

3 cups of flours (mostly wholemeal)

7g sachet of yeast

320mls warm water

1 big spoon honey

1 tbl oil

Mix the water, yeast and honey together, let sit for a couple of minutes, it will go frothy – this can be seen best in a glass jug. Add oil. Answer non-stop string of questions.

Mix the flour and salt, make a hole in the centre and tip the liquid in. mix with a spatula. eventually it will be quite hard to mix and the toddler will need to use their hands. mix until toddlers attention span runs out. The adult might then want to mix a bit more, it should be sticky, not like bread dough.

Make a ball out of the dough and put a bit of oil on the outside. sit in a bowl and cover with cling wrap. Let rest until it has doubled in size – took ours about 30 mins.

rising dough

rising dough

Take a small amount off the main ball and let the toddler roll it out on some flour. Give toddler cookie cutters. Place results on pizza tray and “paint” with tomato base, “decorate” with toppings.

They're Butterflies

They’re Butterflies

006 008Adult to place in oven, 200C, and monitor. Answer some more questions. Take out once cooked through, cool and…

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Meanwhile, once the adults are ready to eat – we just cannot eat at 6pm… – push out remainder of dough onto pizza tray, top and cook. I’m sure you can figure this out. Ours had stuff we found in the fridge on it.

Stuff on Pizza

Stuff on Pizza

016 017 019

Pears ripen on the window sill not the tree!

Did you know this?

I didn’t, until I  saw it on “River cottage” and I feel it’s my duty to share this. I’ve complained myself about pears always being too hard in the shops and taking days to ripen in the fruit bowl, only to suddenly be too ripe. Well this is apparently what happens on the tree, only the pears ripen all course and stringy.

Whereas, I found the ones left on the window sill ripened steadily and were beautifully sweet and juicy. Little miss has been demanding pears lately and this is the best way to keep up with such a healthy demand.

I didn’t take a photo of the first batch I sun ripened, a lovely trio of small yellow pears. So here’s a picture of a couple of packham pears I just received from Aussie Farmer Direct.

Packham Pears on a sill

Packham Pears on a sill

TOO MUCH RIVER COTTAGE..?!

Well I’m not sure if there is any such thing… but when you find yourself baking bread and ordering elderberry plants on the internet, one really has to ask the question! We already grow all our herbs and now tomatoes, next year we will try more food in our very small space. We also compost everything from coffee grinds to vegetable peelings and have cut our meat consumption in half.

The bread is going ok, my best bakes had the paper stuck to it, I think because it was the cheap stuff? and the loaf I thought was really going to work I forgot to slice the top so it didn’t rise properly, but it was nice none the less, kinda like sour dough… So I’ve bought the River cottage bread book and swapped baking paper for semolina and bought a silicon loaf baking thing. My next loaf is rising now, so fingers crossed.
and I’m really excited about the Elderberry!! Apparently I’ll need to keep it in a pot to stop it getting out of control, but that just means theres a good chance it’ll grow like a weed and I’ll be making Elderflower cordial and maybe even champagne next year!!
And of course I couldn’t resist buying another couple of plants, after all, it was the same postage for up to 3 plants…
Now, where am I going to put the chickens…?!
Re blogged from my old blog

HEALTHIER LOLLIES AFTER SOME PRACTICE

So I’ve had a few goes at the gummy lollies now – afterall, I have a whole container of gelatin!

Here are my finding:

Maple syrup has the most sweetness and flavour for the quantity, and it’s paleo for those who prefer.
Coconut sugar is also great but turns lighter coloured gummies caramel coloured.
Frozen berries make great lollies
If I put in vanilla I only put a couple of drops, we don’t need it.
The gelatin must go into cold liquid…
Lime lollies are like sour gummies and awesome!!
It’s all about the presentation, if they look good, they will be more likely to be eaten. Try some natural food colouring from the health food store.
Put them in a container you cannot see into if you don’t want them eaten all at once!!
Green Lime and yellow lychee lollies

My recipe is very basic now, using ratios of:

  • 1/3 cup fruit/juice
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of gelatin
  • about 1 tablespoon of sweet stuff
Mix it all together while cold, let sit for 5 minutes, it should go thick. Simmer for 5 minutes then let cool a bit again before pouring into jelly moulds.
They take about 15 minutes in the freezer. Store in the fridge, covered.

Enjoy!
Lime, Lychee and Raspberry Sugar Free Lollies

reposted from http://vickitucklee.blogspot.com.au/

Sustainable Living – My thoughts

So tucked away in a corner is my inner greenie, it has a degree (no jokes) and is often quite worried about how the rest of me is taking our world for granted. It wants the world our daughter lives in to have choice and variety and it wants all the animals to be able to go about their daily lives. It turns out hubby has an inner greenie too, especially when backed by a really good Science documentary.
This fits in really well with our desire to be out in our small garden whenever possible and we have always grown herbs. We are now growing a bit of fruit and even my Chia and Elderberry plants. We cannot grow our own meat so we need to buy it all and it is really hard to know where it comes from and how it was treated. So with this – and a few doco’s – in hand we have made a commitment to our world and hopefully our health.

So today I wanted to share with you a few of our tips and ideas for turning traditional meat dishes into more sustainable dishes… did I say vegetarian??

We have 2 ways of doing this, the first is to use half the meat quantity, the second to remove it completely from a couple of the dishes per week. Here are the four ways we do it.

Number 1.
Replacing mince with grated veges, beans and fungi. Now mince is one of those meats I have mixed feelings about. On one hand, you don’t really know whats in it, but on the other, using all the animal is much more sustainable then throwing the less pretty bits away. We grate carrots, zucchini/squashes, celery, and anything else we can find and fry them up with herbs. You can add stock powder at this point to if you need the vege’s to taste meaty.

Dahl with Kumera, broccoli and flatbread, all homemade

Number 2.
Halve the meat. Do you use the amount of meat you use because that’s how it packaged or because that’s how much you needed. Do you really need the whole packet of meat? Can you buy better quality and humanely treated meat from your local butcher and spend the same or less by buying half??
We use extra mushroom in Stroganoff, Grated zucchinia and carrot in bolognese, and just serve up less of the roast and more roast vege’s leaving leftovers.

Number 3.
This brings me quite nicely to using leftovers. We have had the habit of throwing out a lot of food. We’ve stopped this by having many more “Left overs” nights. Either re-doing last nights roast or freezing and pulling out on those nights where we really just don’t feel like cooking.

Number 4.
leave it out!
Do you actually need the meat in that dish?? Do pizzas, risotto, stirfries, pasta dishes or sandwiches really need meat?? I know, they can make them yummier, but quite often I feel these dishes only have meat in them “because we can”. Try it.

Caprese pizza

No I’m not vegetarian, quite frankly I’m too lazy to be willing to label myself as either Vegetarian or Paleo, but both ways have obvious (to me) benefits not just to the eater but the environment. And vegetarianism has added bonus benefits to the wallet. Try it, half your meat consumption for a fortnight and compare your supermarket bill.

Re-posting from my old blog http://vickitucklee.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/sustainable-living-my-thoughts.html