Tag Archives: eggs

Healthy Muffins! Blueberry Chocolate Chip (Also: Dealing with bad eggs and crystallized honey!)


I love muffins!  Warmed with butter…they can be SO good!

I recently got my hands on some quinoa flour and wheat bran…two ingredients I haven’t used before…and I searched online for a recipe that called for both items. I was also looking for a recipe that was healthy and that didn’t contain gobs of sugar and other garbage.

Within the first few pages of my Google search, I found this: http://www.livinghealthymom.com/chocolate-chip-blueberry-muffins/ Since I found this website, I have made these muffins a number of times and in many different ways.

Those of you who know me well will notice that the photos in the post were taken both at my old apartment, and my new one.  That is how long this post has been sitting in my Drafts pile!

Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.

Right from the beginning, I found myself altering the recipe.  The first time I made them, I didn’t have eggs, so I substituted more applesauce.  I have used different berries (blueberries, strawberries), different types of chocolate chips (or none at all!) and have added coconut on occasion.

They’re so simple!  Although the dough is usually an odd colour prior to baking due to my use of frozen blueberries!

You start out like any other muffin baking adventure…combining the wet ingredients: eggs, yogurt, raw honey, applesauce, olive oil and vanilla.

Mmmm, yummy! 😉

Mixed up wet ingredients…ready for step two!

As a sidenote to all of this, I have had interesting adventures with both the eggs in my fridge and the honey in my cupboard.

The eggs…well, there are times I lose track of eggs. They are supposedly a perfect shape, a perfect food, easy to prepare, easy to use…and easy to overlook.  At one point, I had eggs, but I had no idea whether they were still good.  I did some online research to find a way to identify the old and stinky from the young and nubile…Yeah yeah, nubile and stinky aren’t really opposites…deal with it.

The old and stinky float!

What I discovered was that old and either stinky or “almost” stinky eggs tend to float!  And so, of my four eggs, two were happy to become muffin guts while the other two, sad to say, joined the compost party in my green bin.

At the same time as this, I discovered that my honey was rock hard.

I have since moved to fresh, local honey but at the time of my initial muffin attempt, my honey was um…less than perfect? Hard and crystallized to be exact.

Heating up my crystallized honey!

So while I prepped the other ingredients, the honey sat in a bowl of boiled water…which sort of worked.

I have to admit, if you have access to fresh local honey…buy it. It makes all the difference!

Next step…putting the dry ingredients together.

The first time I made these muffins was also the first time I used my new flour sifter!!!

It was a little harder than I expected as the flour kept getting stuck between the two blades and I had to keep shaking it to keep the flour sifting.

Buy a cheap sifter and work a little harder.

But eventually, sifting was just neat!

This is my excited Flour Sifting Face!!! 😀

Once you have mixed your dry and wet ingredients together…your muffin mix looks like this:

Once you’ve mixed your dough, add your berries, chocolate chips and coconut if you want.
I tend to use frozen blueberries more often than not. I like to buy bags of frozen berries marked “Wild Canadian Blueberries” on the package.  That way I know I’m getting the little wee berries that I used to pick with my mother as a child…you know the ones I mean…the tiny blueberries whose flavour absolutely explodes in your mouth when you eat them…a perfect mix of tart and sweet….Not these large overgrown blueberries we find imported year-round that have had all their flavour sucked out of them in exchange for large size and longevity.

Anyway…rant over…

The dough gets pretty funky when you add your blueberries!

Whee! Purply dough!

Not so funky if you use strawberries instead….more pretty….

Then, of course, you move on to filling your muffin tin.  I was recently gifted with a non-stick muffin pan…had been using a metal one until then.

GO BUY A NON-STICK MUFFIN TIN!!!

They are a gift from the gods! lol  No more scrubbing…no more broken muffin bits!
*sigh* I love my new muffin tin!

The old muffin tin…grrrrrr!

They bake for a fairly short amount of time…and then you have muffins!  They’re so quick and so easy…perfect for when you have company popping by, even last minute! 🙂

Blueberry with chocolate chip and coconut

Strawberry and Chocolate Chip

 

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Muffin

  • Ingredients:
    • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    • 3/4 Quinoa flour
    • 1/4 cup wheat bran
    • 2 tablespoons flaxseed (gives the blueberry muffin a slight crunch)
    • 1/4 cup raw honey
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
    • 1/4 cup organic non-fat yogurt
    • 2 eggs (OR an extra 1/3 cup applesauce)
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1 cup of fresh blueberries (OR frozen blueberries or strawberries)
    • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips
    • OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup coconut

    Directions:

    • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
    • Using your mixer combine eggs, yogurt, raw honey, applesauce, olive oil and vanilla.
    • Sift your flours, baking soda and baking powder together into a separate bowl.  Stir in wheat bran.
    • Combine your flour mixture and your wet mixture and mix by hand.
    • Stir in the chocolate chips/carob chips, the flaxseed and the blueberries.
    • Grease muffin pans with a bit of butter.
    • Bake for 18-20 minutes.
    • Serving size is 12 blueberry muffins using a standard size muffin tin, although I was able to make 10.

Recipe from  http://www.livinghealthymom.com/chocolate-chip-blueberry-muffins/

 

 

 

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Giving Old Vegetables New Life – My first Quiche


Why have I never tried making a quiche before?  I assumed it would be difficult.

I also have always thought of quiche as a breakfast food and generally, when I’m scavenging for breakfast, I’m drawn to the easier methods of preparation.  Cereal, yogourt and granola…you know, mix-y stuff rather than cook-y stuff.

But making my first quiche was eye opening.  Can be eaten anytime and is so freaking easy!

Especially if you cheat *wink*

Click here for the recipe or scroll to the bottom of the post.

If you have been following my blog, you have likely read about the homeless produce.  I mention it in my Beet Salad entry.  Some friends gave us a mountain of produce as they went away on vacation and this quiche is one of three items I was able to make with it all.

So, as I mentioned, I cheated.  I bought a pre-made pie crust.


…and I cooked it as directed on the package.  I figured I was making the filling for the first time, why complicate matters? 😉

While the pie crust was cooking, I chopped all the veggies I’d decided on for the filling: broccoli, spinach, onion and red pepper.  Oh, and of course I planned to add some cheese!

The nice thing about quiche is that it allows you to use up vegetables that are on their way out.  Wilting, wrinkly veggies are perfect for this dish! 🙂

I guessed at the size of broccoli bits I would need.

Wilting spinach? No problem!



Chopping and dicing is so relaxing.  In my career as a sign language interpreter, I have interpreted cooking classes and had the chance to watch students practice their knife skills.  Once they got the rhythm down, you could actually see the stress leave their arms, the knife becoming an extension of their fingers.  I have attempted to duplicate what I saw in those classes and have been somewhat successful.  Every so often, if I have enough to chop, I start to feel that rhythm as well.  My arms start to relax and the I think about how it feels…and I lose it! Ah well…more practice.

Another new ingredient for me in this recipe was nutmeg.  Well, I have used nutmeg before but never have I actually grated it.


I actually found the grating much simpler than I expected and the inside of the nutmeg was actually quite lovely.

Who would've thought? Such a remarkable pattern inside such an unremarkable seed.

 

In a large bowl, I beat together the eggs, cream, salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Once mixed well, I added my chopped veggies.  I found the mixture to be quite attractive 🙂


Then, simply pour it into your cooked pie crust.

Simply?  Not so much.

Ooops, a little overfull!

My recipe made a bit too much filling and I was left with an overfilled pie crust and about 1/2 cup of extra mixture.  In hindsight, I wish I’d made a whole bunch of little quiches in tart shells.  They’d be much easier to freeze and keep for future meals.  Ah well…next time 🙂

In the end, it turned out as it should.  Delicious!

Veggie Quiche

My first quiche, served with sauteed beet greens.


 

  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups filling ingredients, chopped & diced to preference (I used broccoli, onion, pepper and spinach.)
  • 4 eggs
  •  1/2 – 2 cups half-and-half cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (I used marble cheese.)
  • 1 – 9 inch unbaked pie shell
  1. If you are using a premade pie crust, cook as per the directions on the box.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Beat together eggs and combine with cream and desired seasonings.
  4. Add chosen vegetables.
  5. Carefully pour mixture into the cooked pie crust.
  6. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until a knife inserted near the centre comes out clean. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve.

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