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Healthy Gluten Free Chocolate Banana Muffins

imageI love Saturdays! Today, I am going to head down to Central World to do some shopping, then yoga in the park, then it’s time for the organic Farmer’s Market at K Village on soi 26. After that, my friend and I are going to meet up and I’ll be making Chana Masala for the first time ever! Two new recipes in one day!

But first, I crave chocolate. Here’s a delicious, simple and healthy chocolate muffin recipe! It’s not too sweet, but you can add more sugar if you need to.

What I love about this recipe is that the main flours are great sources of protein and energy (buckwheat & oats). Oats are great for cardiovascular health, as well as stabilizing your immune system. Buckwheat is an ancient grain, so we humans are used to metabolizing this easily digestible protein. Both of these flours also gradually release energy, so you don’t suffer a sugar crash, like with other muffins. These two flours combine the basis of all my cooking and baking needs.

Start by preheating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Next, gather your dry ingredients. In a large bowl, mix together the following ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour (available from Arrowhead Mills in most Topps, or order from Good Karma)
  • 3/4 cup gluten free oat flour (I use Bob’s Red Mills Gluten Free Rolled Oats. I blitz them into a flour using a food processor)
  • 1/2 cup Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flax seed (for extra protein and fibre)
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional – but great source of healthy fats for vegetarians. Go on, add some!)
  • 1/4 cup Gluten Free Oats – for topping the muffins

In a second mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (usually 3 large ones. I like to freeze them the night before, as it softens them and adds a bit of moisture)
  • 1/3 cup honey or brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 egg (Vegan? Use 1 tbsp of ground flax seeds and 3 tbsp of water)
  • 3/4 cup milk (any type of milk – dairy, almond, soy, rice etc)

Now, you want to gradually add the wet ingredients to the dry ones. Be sure to combine everything, but don’t “over-stir.” Scrape down the sides of the bowl to get all the flour bits.

Be sure to grease the top of your muffin tray, so that when the muffins rise, they don’t stick to the tin. Use a tbsp measure to spoon the mixture into the muffin cups. Top with a sprinkling of oats.

Bake for 20-30 mins, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of the muffins comes out clean. These muffins will make your house smell scrumptious!

Yield: 12 large muffins

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Banana Tofu Loaf

I made this last weekend and it only lasted three days. My non-vegan-gluten-free friends were amazed. It was so yummy! The spices also make your house smell amazing 🙂

This is so good it won't last long!

This is so good it won’t last long!

Now, the recipe isn’t quite exact because I forgot to measure how much tofu I used. Sorry. The truth is that I had made some persimmon sorbet by combining the soft bits of fruit with a small package of soft tofu in a blender, and then froze it. I had about a cup left and put most of it into the loaf.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (I blended several small frozen bananas)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ***1/2 – 3/4 cup soft tofu, blended or mixed well

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Mix all ingredients together, gradually adding the soft tofu. You can mix your tofu with something else, like I did. You can taste the batter, but it will taste slightly strange from the baking soda.
  3. Pour batter into a bread tin, preferably lined with baking paper. Or you can grease with oil or butter. You could also make muffins from this recipe, cutting the cooking time down to 25-30 mins. Otherwise, bake for 50-55 mins. Test with a knife or toothpick; if it comes out clean then the loaf is done.
  4. Let it cool before slicing.

You could also add some raisins or nuts, but I’m not such a big fan. Due to the spices, I didn’t want to add too much to this sugar fix. If you want to add in oats to increase the carbohydrates and protein, then you need to add in more moisture (in the form of bananas and tofu).

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Healthy Post-Run Lunch

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These are a staple of my lunch-life

I can’t lie. I don’t follow recipes. I don’t measure stuff. I like to “eyeball” measurements when I am cooking because I am lazy. So, apologies that this is not a science. But to be honest, cooking should be creative and not labour intensive!

Ginger spring rolls – stir fry your fave veg with ginger and wrap up in a rice wrapper

Sauce – a mix of sesame oil, rice vinegar, garlic salt, soy sauce and honey

Spirulina shake – yoghurt, kiwi, banana, apple juice, spirulina and ice