Tag Archives: baking

Healthy Whole Wheat Date Bran Muffins

Date bran muffins made with whole wheat flour and flax that are packed with fibre and low in sugar!

Date bran muffins made with whole wheat flour and flax that are packed with fibre and low in sugar!

I’ve spent 20 minutes trying to start writing this post about muffins, but all I want to write about is my sister’s new Samoyed puppy, Hudson! She picked him up last Saturday, and I’ve been going to visit every weekend since then because I just can’t get enough of him!

He’s the cutest little thing and he’s still in that stage where he’s a little clumsy and unsteady on his feet. We get a lot of laughs out of him, like when he tries to sit but his back legs slide out from under him. And when he covered his face with his paw when we tried taking a picture of him. Although I don’t think he’s camera shy because he can definitely ham it up for photos. Isn’t he adorable?

Me and Hudson

I keep begging John to get a dog, but I know it’s not the right time for us with our busy schedules and small condo. So for now I’ll settle for being a puppy aunt!

Besides for right now, having a full time job and sporadically posting on this blog keeps me busy enough! I haven’t had much time for it lately but that’s something I want to change in 2017, starting with this whole wheat date bran muffin recipe packed with wheat bran and flax. Skeptics, don’t let this scare you off, I’ve made these muffins in some of my cooking classes and they always get the thumbs up!

healthy-date-bran-muffins-3

These muffins may not be like the typical cakey muffin, but let’s be real, most muffins at the grocery store and coffee shops are more like cupcakes. I love a good cupcake for dessert, but for breakfast and mid-day snacks you want something that won’t give you a sugar crash – like these date bran muffins. These guys are:

  • Made with whole wheat flour
  • Packed with 5 grams of fibre per muffin thanks to the whole wheat flour, wheat bran, AND flax
  • Low in sugar

Despite sounding like they might taste like a mouthful of hay, these bran muffins still taste great. My favourite way to eat them is warmed in the microwave with a pat of butter…healthyish at its finest!

Date bran muffins made with whole wheat flour and flax that are packed with fibre and low in sugar!

Healthy Whole Wheat Date Bran Muffins
 
Prep time
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Date bran muffins made with whole wheat flour and flax that are packed with fibre and low in sugar!
Author:
Yield: 12 muffins
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup wheat bran
  • ¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • ½ cup unpacked brown sugar*
  • 1½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup ground flax
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and grease a muffin tin.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix together the wheat bran, whole wheat pastry flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix together then stir in the chopped dates.
  3. In a large bowl mix the flax, water, canola oil, buttermilk, applesauce, egg, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix gently until just combined. Make sure not to overmix.
  5. Divide the batter into the muffin tin and bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes. Let cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Notes
*You can decrease to ⅓ cup for a less sweet muffin. I still find this option sweet enough!

Looking for more healthy baked good snacks? You might like:

Healthy oat and flax date squares
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffin tops
Nut butter banana chocolate chip cookies

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Soy Nut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Soft and chewy soy nut butter banana chocolate chip cookies that are nut free, dairy free, egg free, and wheat free!

Soft and chewy soy nut butter banana chocolate chip cookies that are nut free, dairy free, egg free, and wheat free!

So I know right now you’re probably thinking: “Didn’t I just see a recipe for nut free banana chocolate chip cookies on this blog?”

You’re not wrong – I did post a recipe for Sunbutter banana chocolate chip cookies just last month. But that’s just how I am. I often find myself being a bit repetitive in life.

Growing up, I used to really love this Mediterranean chicken and goat cheese panini at Jack Astors and without fail, I would order it everytime I went there. When I go on walks, I often take the exact same route. If I really love a song, I’ll play it twice in a row. Last winter when I first saw the movie Chef one night, I immediately woke up and watched it again the next morning. When I workout at GoodLife Fitness, I almost always do a 15 minute warm up on the bike followed by a 30 minute weight workout.

What can I say, I find comfort in repetition.

Soft and chewy soy nut butter banana chocolate chip cookies that are nut free, dairy free, egg free, and wheat free!

So when I saw this recipe for peanut butter banana chocolate chip cookies on Two Peas and their Pod just a few days after I posted my own banana chocolate chip cookie recipe, I decided I wanted to make it anyway. I used soy nut butter to make it safe for my allergies and changed some of the ingredients and quantities based on what I had on hand. The result was soft, muffin-like soy nut butter banana chocolate chip cookies that taste like banana bread! JZ and I both had one warm out of the oven – and then I went back for a second one.

Something repetition is a good thing.

Soft and chewy soy nut butter banana chocolate chip cookies that are nut free, dairy free, egg free, and wheat free!

Soy Nut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
 
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Soft and chewy soy nut butter banana chocolate chip cookies that are nut free, dairy free, egg free, and wheat free!
Author:
Yield: 8-10 cookies
Ingredients
  • 2 very ripe medium bananas
  • ¼ cup creamy soy nut butter (or peanut butter)
  • ½ tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • ½ tsp vanilla
  • 1-1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • Heaping ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ cup mini chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Mash your bananas in a large bowl until only a few chunks remain. Stir in the soy nut butter, coconut oil, honey, and vanilla nad stir until smooth.
  3. Then add the oats, flax, cinnamon, salt, and chocolate chips and mix to combine all the ingredients.
  4. Spoon the batter into 8 to 10 mounts on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  5. Bake on the centre rack for 10 to 12 minutes or until cookies are done. Remove and let cool before devouring!

Are you a repetitive person?

This post was written as a part of the GoodLife Fitness Blogger Ambassador Program, however all opinions expressed are my own.

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Cheese pastry rolls: two ways

Lately I’m discovering a new passion of mine: recipe development.

I’ve dabbled in it here and there for the past few years, but honestly a good chunk of the recipes I’ve posted here on my blog are recipes that I’ve been making already for years and slowly developed over time. Either that or they’re easy recipes that didn’t require a lot of testing.

Cheese pastry rolls with two filling options: cheddar cheese or bacon & gruyère. A great party appetizer!

But for the past few weeks, it’s been like the Canadian Living Test Kitchen in my house. And I’m loving every second of it. I feel like I’m totally in my element when I’m making, researching, tweaking, and testing recipes!

Last week I started developing a new cookie recipe, and spent a good hour researching the science behind cookies while churning out test batches. I think I’m close to the perfect cookie, but that recipe has been put on the back burner for now because I moved on to a new, more difficult project: pastry making.

Cheese pastry rolls with two filling options: cheddar cheese or bacon & gruyère

I wanted to make these cheese pastry rolls that my mom always makes but I had one problem: I’d never made pastry myself before because it has always intimidated me. And instead of playing it safe and using my mom’s pastry recipe for my first time, I decided I wanted to make an all butter pastry because shortening kind of skeeves me out. Also, trans fats.

Well, the butter trial sucked! I thought I did everything right, but the butter ended up melting out of the pastry in the oven so that when I pulled them out, they were sitting in a giant pool of butter on the cookie sheet. They still tasted great, mind you, but I knew there must be a better way.

Cheese pastry rolls with two filling options: cheddar cheese or bacon & gruyère

So when my sister suggested I try lard, I decided to give it a shot. Lard typically has a reputation as a highly unhealthy food, but it’s not as bad as you might think. It has more healthy monounsaturated fat and less saturated fat than butter, as well as less trans fats than shortening when it’s not a hydrogenated form.

Another great thing about lard? It makes beautiful pie pastry! My rolls worked out absolutely perfectly, so I’m excited to share them with you today. These cheesy pastry rolls make a great holiday party appetizer or even just something to nibble on while you’re in between brunch and dinner on Christmas day. Either way, I promise they will be a hit!

Cheese pastry rolls with two filling options: cheddar cheese or bacon & gruyère

Cheese pastry rolls
 
Prep time
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Cheesy pastry rolls with cheddar cheese or bacon and Gruyere filling - a perfect party appetizer!
Author:
Yield: 40-48 pieces
Ingredients
  • 3-3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 2-1/4 tsp sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp table salt
  • ¾ cup salted butter (180 g), cut into small cubes and chilled
  • ¾ cup pure lard (180 g), chilled
  • 7.5 tbsp ice cold water
  • 4 cups shredded cheddar cheese OR 4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese plus 10 strips cooked and crumbled bacon
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, combine your flour, sugar, and table salt.
  2. Sprinkle the cubes of chilled butter and lard on top, then use a pastry cutter to cut the fat into the flour mixture until the fat is cut into pieces the size of small peas. Make sure to do this fairly quickly so that the fat stays cold.
  3. Then slowly sprinkle the ice water on top of the mixture, tablespoon by table spoon. Mix with a fork until the dough starts to come together, then use your hands to gather it into a ball. Wrap the dough in seran wrap and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.
  4. When you are ready to make your pastry rolls, preheat your oven to 350°F.
  5. Take out your dough and divide it into quarters. Leave out one quarter, and rewrap the other three quarters and place them back in the fridge.
  6. Roll out your pastry dough on a floured surface until it is a large oval shape that is between ¼ cm and ½ cm thick.
  7. Sprinkle ¼ of your toppings evenly on top of the dough, then roll it up starting from the longer side. Then use a sharp knife to slice the roll crosswise into 2 cm wide pieces.
  8. Lie them down on a cookie sheet (so the spiraled side is facing up) and bake for 15-18 minutes.
  9. Remove from oven and let cool on a cooling rack before eating.
  10. Repeat with the other three quarters of the dough.

Cheese pastry rolls with two filling options: cheddar cheese or bacon & gruyère

Since Christmas Eve is tomorrow, I plan on taking at least the next two days off from blogging – and perhaps longer. Whether you celebrate or not, I hope you all have a happy holidays and enjoy this time with your family!

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