Apple-Banana-Oat-Raisin Muffins

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I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember and it’s a wonderful tradition that I now love to share with my children. Both my children love it – the measuring out of ingredients, the mixing and the licking of the bowl after everything is in the oven. Think baking needs to be just sugary chocolate cupcakes with sprinkles on the top? Think again. There are so many ways to bake with lowering the sugar content and adding in nutritious ingredients like fruit or vegetables.

I’ve posted on my blog many times about some really great alternatives to traditional baked goods. Try my delicious sweet potato brownies or chocolate ginger beet and pear muffins with chocolate gaze or my apple and oatmeal bars. These all make perfect after school snacks or weekend teatime treats.

These simple muffins came about because we belong to a winter CSA where we get a weekly share of apples and pears (cue the cockney rhyming slang) and I was looking for a recipe that used fruit as a sweetener. There’s only a little but of sugar in this recipe but I think you could probably omit it entirely (except for the honey) and not notice it at all. These are easy and quick to make and taste delicious hot and fresh from the oven and keep for a couple of days in a cookie/biscuit tin too.

Apple – Banana – Oat – Raisin Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup of butter)
1/3 cup of brown sugar
2 medium eggs
2 tablespoons of local honey
1 mashed banana
1/2 cup raisins
1 apple, cored and cut into very small fine pieces
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup of oats (I like jumbo oats but instant will do too)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a good pinch of salt

Oven: 350F

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar and then mix in the eggs.
  3. Add the mashed banana and apple and honey. Mix well.
  4. Add the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and mix very well. Mix in the raisins. The mixture will be fairly moist.
  5. Spoon into muffin liners in your muffin tin.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the top is brown. Leave in the muffin tin for about 10 minutes to cool.

 

 

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Refreshing Spring Green Smoothie

Refreshing Spring Green SmoothieWe’re experiencing such a beautiful spring here in New York. Blossom is everywhere, the birds are chirping, kids are running around in the new green grass. Don’t you feel a shift in your mood when you can feel the sunshine on your skin and you can finally spend more time outside in nature? Have you noticed that your diet has shifted too? Perhaps you are drinking more water, eating more salads and eating lighter.

I had a beautiful walk around the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens early this morning with my family. We paused to sniff the lilac blossom, passed by rows of tulips and took some cheesy photos underneath the cherry blossom trees. When I came home, I wanted something to drink that was light and reflected the beautiful spring season. So I popped some lemon, apple, ginger and dandelion leaves into my blender and this refreshing green smoothie was born. Dandelion leaves have a high calcium and iron content and support detoxification of the liver which is vital for a good spring cleaning. So refreshing and cleansing. Try one today!

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