Food

One Bowl Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins

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More often than not, I succumb to a banana for breakfast because mornings are so rushed. And that is why having something that’s more decadent than a banana—banana bread or muffins or sorts—are a saviour to my chaotic mornings.

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Not too long ago, I tried the Pick Up Limes One Bowl Oatmeal & Blueberry muffins, and that was truly a hit in my work life. Every weekday morning I could just pop one of these in my handbag and either have it as breakfast on the go during my commute to work, or have it at my desk after reaching office.

My recent breakfast muse, however, were these delicious and decadent 1 Bowl Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins by Nikole from Healthnut Nutrition. Nikole is one of all my time favorite bloggers out there, so I was beyond excited to try her recipe without messing it up.

IMG_0606Honestly, I do not think I messed up. The muffins were dense, but soft. Also, perfectly sweet. I only made one major tweak to her original recipe. Instead of using almond flour, I used oat flour, and that was simply because I did not have almond flour in my pantry.

So without further blabbering, I will list the recipe below.

Ingredients:

Dry

  • Spelt flour (2 cups)
  • Oat flour (1/2 cup)
  • Baking soda (1 teaspoon)
  • Cinnamon (1 teaspoon)
  • Nutmeg (1/4 teaspoon)
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Shredded carrots (1 cup)

Wet

  • Eggs (2)
  • Coconut oil (1/4 cup)
  • Vanilla extract (1 teaspoon)
  • Apple cider vinegar (1 teaspoon)
  • Unsweetened soy milk (1 cup)
  • Unsweetened applesauce (1/2 cup)
  • Coconut sugar (3/4 cup)

Method:

  • Mix the soy milk with apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 10 mins. Meanwhile preheat oven to 375F/200F.
  • Now in a large bowl whisk together the remaining wet ingredients.
  • When everything is well-combined, add all dry ingredients except the shredded carrots.
  • Once the batter is smooth, mix in the shredded carrots.
  • Transfer batter to a muffin tin. It will fit in approximately 12 moulds. Top with crushed walnuts & place in the preheated oven for 18 mins.
  • Voila! Enjoy with a cup of tea, hot cocoa, or your fav coffee. 🙂

Tip:

  • You can top with sugar, too, like recommended in the original recipe. I liked them more without extra sugar.
  • Soy milk can be swapped with any other plant based milk. Don’t try dairy milks or the apple cider vinegar will curd them.
  • Coconut oil can be substituted with avocado oil.

 

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Food

One-Bowl Oatmeal & Blueberry Muffins

Even though I wake up early to give myself enough time to kickstart the day, I seem to always be in a rush. And as much as I love breakfast, I cannot bring myself to cook anything on weekday mornings.

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On most Sunday evenings, I make a loaf of banana bread to eat for breakfast. My banana bread recipe is healthy-ish, but not completely clean. Therefore, I would rather not have it everyday. As a consequence, I had been on the hunt for an alternative which would be clean, light, and make a portable breakfast.

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I stumbled upon the Pick Up Limes One-Bowl Oatmeal & Blueberry Muffins recipe, and was immediately drawn to it because Sadia’s recipe is dairy and gluten-free. I knew I had to give it a try. So, last Sunday, first thing in the morning, I baked these clean and delicious muffins.

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Because the recipe does not use wheat, the texture of the muffins is not dense. They are slightly crisp on the outside and soft inside. The blueberries give the muffins a nice tartness which is balanced by the sweetener used in the recipe. These muffins have my 100% vote for a healthy, portable breakfast or snack. 🙂

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I used an airtight container to store the muffins, and they remained fresh for five days. You can find the recipe here or follow the the instructions below (courtesy: Pick Up Limes). I hope you will like them as much as I did!

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp (14 g) ground flax seeds
  • 6 Tbsp (90 mL) water
  • 1/3 cup (8 mL) soy milk 
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (63 mL) coconut oil, melted 
  • 1/3 cup (85 g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) sugar, or sub agave or maple syrup
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups (160 g) old-fashioned rolled oats blended into a flour*
  • 1.5 cups (150 g) blueberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tbsp (7 g) white whole wheat flour (if using frozen blueberries) 

Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C) and lightly grease a muffin tin.
  • Whisk together the flax seeds and water and allow it to sit for 5 minutes until the flax gels, stirring once after a couple minutes.
  • To the flax gel, add the soy milk and vinegar, whisk, and allow to sit for another 5 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the oats into a flour.
  • Add the oil, applesauce, sugar, vanilla and cinnamon and whisk.
  • One at a time add the baking soda, baking powder and salt  stirring after each addition. Then gently mix in the oat flour until just combined.
  • Gently stir in blueberries until just combined. If frozen, do not and thaw. Toss first in flour until coated and then stir into the muffin batter until just combined. Divide evenly into the muffin tin.
  • Bake until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

Tip:

  • If you don’t have a food processor, you can buy oat flour. If you opt for this, use 1+3/4 cups (160g). ​

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Food

Banana & Berry Smoothie Bowl

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Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. On weekends especially, I love to take a few extra minutes to eat a healthy and nutrition packed breakfast. During summertime, nothing screams delicious, refreshing, and nutritious more than a beautiful smoothie bowl.

The best thing about smoothies is that they come together in less than five minutes without the hassle of cleaning up pots and pans later. The second best part is that I can play with seasonal flavors and toppings, so smoothie breakfasts never get boring (wohoo!).

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The banana & berry smoothie is a classic in my books. It is minimal yet decadent and keeps me full for hours!

Ingredients:

  • Bananas (2)
  • Strawberries (4)
  • Greek yogurt (3 tablespoons)
  • Rolled oats (2 tablespoons) < this can be omitted if you like your smoothies runny*

Method:

  • Blend all ingredients in a high speed blender!
  • Add your favorite toppings. I used shredded coconut, chia seeds, nut granola, raspberries, strawberries, and banana.

Tip 1: if you like your smoothie bowl extra cold, use frozen banana and berries instead of fresh ones. 🙂

Tip 2: If you like your smoothie sweeter, add a tea spoon of honey or maple syrup while blending.

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There you have it! The most fruity, nutritious, and colorful breakfast bowl to start your weekend. Enjoy! ❤

 

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Food

Best Banana Bread

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While most people around me are crazy about dessert, I have never had much of a sweet tooth. Growing up in Pakistan, our refrigerator was always filled with traditional sweets that family and friends brought in honor of good news in their lives. And I remember cringing at the abundance of oil and sugar dripping in those traditional sweets, popularly called mithais.

Even after moving abroad, I could not really develop a liking for the eggnog shakes, decadent cakes, and the likes. But then I found banana bread, and fell in love with its subtle sweetness, nutty taste, and moist texture. When I took it upon myself to try different banana bread recipes, I was disappointed several times before finally nailing it.

Something or another remained missing in my first few attempts at making banana bread. That is when I found this recipe on food.com. At my first glance at the recipe, I knew I had to add walnuts and reduce the quantity of sugar. And these are the only adjustments I made.

Crush and fold walnuts into the batter once all ingredients are combined and ready to be transferred to the loaf pan. You can swap walnuts with chocolate chips or dried cranberries, if you please. And, instead of using a cup of sugar, use 3/4 cup.

The banana bread made with this recipe had the perfect balance of sweet, moist, and nutty. I refrigerated it for up to a week in a cling wrap (prevents the bread from drying out) and used a slice with tea as an afternoon snack. If you are always on the go, this bread could also be a fantastic make ahead breakfast that can even be enjoyed during your commute.

I hope you will give this recipe a try, and as always, let me know if you have any questions!

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EDIT: 17-Sep-2017

Use 1/3rd cup sugar and in addition to walnuts, add about 80 grams dark chocolate to the batter at the end. This gives the bread a nice rich chocolatey flavor!

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