Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Okay, I’ll say it….BACK TO SCHOOL is upon us!  For some, this will be a welcome event, as everyone falls back into a structured routine.  For others, it marks the end of summer, saying goodbye to camping and late night fires. As for me, it’s a reason to bake up wonderfully moist Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins.  Perfect to grab and go in the morning on your way out the door, lunch boxes or a mid day snack to get you through the day. 

The recipe for Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins makes 14 rather plump muffins.  I know, I know, 14 is not the norm as everyone expects to get 12.  I’ve considered mucking around with the amounts to bring the volume down, but I ask myself why? They’re perfect the way they are, and frankly, the more muffins the merrier.  I know my husband would agree, and you won’t regret having a couple extra tender, chocolaty muffins either.  Enjoy!  

Recipe source for Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins:  Compelled To Cook

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    14 Muffins 25 minutes
    Cook Time
    18-20 minutes
    Servings Prep Time
    14 Muffins 25 minutes
    Cook Time
    18-20 minutes
    Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      14 Muffins 25 minutes
      Cook Time
      18-20 minutes
      Servings Prep Time
      14 Muffins 25 minutes
      Cook Time
      18-20 minutes
      Ingredients
      Servings: Muffins
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line 14-18 muffin tins with paper cups.
      2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
      3. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar and oil. Add eggs one at a time, whisking well after each. Peel and mash bananas, add to bowl along with yogurt, orange juice and vanilla. Whisk to combine well, then add flour mixture, whisking until just combined and starting to smooth out. Stir in chocolate chips.
      4. For large muffins, scoop a generous 1/3 cup of batter per muffin tin. For smaller muffins, use a 1/4 cup of batter per muffin tin.
      5. Bake in preheated oven for 18-20 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan slightly before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.
      Recipe Notes

      Will keep for several days at room temperature wrapped individually or in a sealed container.  They freeze well wrapped individually and will keep for up to a month.

      Looking for more great muffins?  You’ll want to try Pumpkin Seed and Nut Muffins

      Chocolate Cherry Loaf

      Chocolate Cherry Loaf

      As much as it pains me to turn my oven on in the summer, giving off unnecessary heat when the goal is to keep the house cool, I just can’t stop baking for months.  I ask myself who could?  I guess as a food blogger the thought astonishes me and as I write this I’m shaking my head and thinking, “nope, it can’t be done”.  Lucky for both you and me that I feel this way, because out of the heat rises the most amazing Chocolate Cherry Loaf.

      I’m a big fan of loaves!  Not because they’re moist, tender, buttery, filled with nuts or chocolate, it’s because they’re simple, versatile and generally quite easy to prepare.  I also like the ability to cut the loaf into thick slices, wrap individually and grab and go right from the freezer.  My husband Mark calls them “loafcicles” and sometimes can’t wait long enough to let it thaw completely before munching away.  You could say he’s got a bit of a sweet tooth.  That makes this Chocolate Cherry Loaf right up his alley.  It’s a little indulgent with cream cheese, chunky cherry sauce and chocolate chips, and a small slice is all you need to battle that sweet craving.  You’ll find Chocolate Cherry Loaf a yummy change from banana or lemon and worth turning your oven on for.  Enjoy!

      Recipe source for Chocolate Cherry Loaf:  Inspired by Roti n’ Rice Raspberry Swirl Cream Cheese Pound Cake

      Chocolate Cherry Loaf
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        1 loaf 30 minutes
        Cook Time
        55-65 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        1 loaf 30 minutes
        Cook Time
        55-65 minutes
        Chocolate Cherry Loaf
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          1 loaf 30 minutes
          Cook Time
          55-65 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          1 loaf 30 minutes
          Cook Time
          55-65 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: loaf
          Instructions
          1. Combine cherries and sugar in a small sauce pan and heat to a simmer over medium heat. Stir water and cornstarch together in a small bowl and add to cherries, stirring constantly until combine and mixture returns to a full simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool to slightly warm or room temperature. Continue with recipe as cherries cool.
          2. Preheat oven to 350℉ and prepare a 9"x5"x3"loaf pan by spraying with non stick spray or lightly greasing with butter and lining with parchment that overhangs the long edges.
          3. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder and salt until combined.
          4. Beat together butter, cream cheese and sugar until smooth, scraping the bowl once or twice. Add eggs one at a time, scraping bowl and beating after each until incorporated. Add vanilla and mix to combine. Pour in half the milk and half the flour and beat until just combined. Repeat with remaining milk and flour. Scrape the bowl and add chocolate chips and mix to combine.
          5. Pour half the batter into prepared pan and spread smooth. Top with half the cherry sauce, remaining batter and cherry sauce again on the top. Using a table knife, swirl batter in a figure eight pattern two or three times to create nice swirls of cherry sauce. No need to over swirl.
          6. Bake in preheated oven for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan prior to lifting out and slicing.

          Guilt Free Eggs Benny

          Guilt Free Eggs Benny

          Guilt Free Eggs Benny is the perfect way to enjoy Mother’s Day without sacrificing on everyones favourite, Eggs Benedict. The golden cauliflower cakes are gluten free, low in fat and carbs, and high in fibre.  Poached eggs and ham provide protein and are super delicious topped with a lemony avocado sauce. You won’t miss a thing with this delicious and nutritious take on a classic. Guilt Free Eggs Benny make a wonderful weekend brunch for Mother’s Day. 

          I’ve never been much of a dieter per se and I’m even less a fan of fad diets.  The only fad diet I’ve tried was the Atkins Diet about 17 years ago.  It’s not that it didn’t work, but as with most fad diets it didn’t foster a consistent long term healthy diet and lifestyle. Let’s just say I’m a firm believer of everything in moderation, proper portion sizes, healthy choices and regular exercise. I can preach this because I’ve been the same weight within 10 pounds give or take since I can remember.  

          It does seem that as I get older it’s a bit harder to maintain. Could be metabolism, hormones, but mostly I think it’s the wine starting to make a gain.  So it can be said again that healthy choices are at play here. Drinking too much in general is not a healthy choice, but my reality is that I’d rather do more exercise than not enjoy a couple glasses of wine when I choose.   Don’t get me wrong, I’ll devour a plate of cheesy nachos like it’s my last meal too, but again it’s in moderation. I could also seriously stand to eat more leafy greens and whole fruits, so believe me, I’m not perfect. But overall I tend to eat reasonably well and get regular exercise.  So for those of you like myself who want to make those healthy choices without sacrificing deliciousness, you’ll love these Guilt Free Eggs Benny. Enjoy!

          Recipe source for Guilt Free Eggs Benny:  Compelled To Cook

          Guilt Free Eggs Benny
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 40 minutes
            Cook Time
            25-30 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 40 minutes
            Cook Time
            25-30 minutes
            Guilt Free Eggs Benny
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 40 minutes
              Cook Time
              25-30 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 40 minutes
              Cook Time
              25-30 minutes
              Ingredients
              Cauliflower Cakes
              Avocado Sauce
              Assembly
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              Cauliflower Cakes
              1. Cut trimmed cauliflower into large pieces. Boil or steam cauliflower until just tender, about 5-6 minutes depending on size of pieces. Drain and rinse with cold water until cool. Allow to drain completely and press dry with a paper towel to absorb any excess moisture.
              2. Using a food processor, pulse together cooked cauliflower, oat flour, eggs, salt and pepper until combined and cauliflower is broken down into small bits. (you want some texture remaining) Stir in parmesan cheese, green onions, and parsley.
              3. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat. Using approximately 1/4 cup of cauliflower mixture form into patties by scooping into a 3" ring mold set in the bottom of the pan and flatten with a spoon. Remove the ring mold and repeat for remaining cakes. Alternatively, you can drop 1/4 cup of mixture into hot pan and flatten into a 3" disk using the back of a spoon. Cook for 4-5 minutes per side until golden and keep warm uncovered in a 200℉ oven. Repeat with remaining cauliflower mixture to make a total of 8 cakes.
              Avocado Sauce
              1. Split avocado in half and remove pit. Scoop out flesh into the bowl of a food processor or blender. Add yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. With processor running, slowly add water until desired consistency is reached. Taste for seasoning and spoon over eggs.
              Assembly
              1. Using the same pan from cooking the cauliflower cakes, gently warm ham or back bacon while eggs are cooking.
              2. Fill a large shallow pan with 2"-3" of water and add 2 tbsp of white vinegar. Heat to a simmer. Poach 8 eggs by first cracking 1 egg into a small bowl and sliding egg gently into the water. Repeat with remaining eggs. Cook for 4 minutes for soft eggs. Scoop out egg using a slotted spoon and rest onto a paper towel lined plate to absorb excess water.
              3. Top each cauliflower cake with 1 ounce of ham or back bacon. Add a poached egg to each and top with a generous spoonful of avocado sauce. Garnish with chives if desired. Serve immediately.
              Recipe Notes

              To make oat flour, grind 1/2 cup oatmeal in a spice grinder until flour like.

              Use an egg poacher if available.

              Blueberry French Toast Bake

              Blueberry French Toast Bake

              This isn’t just any blueberry french toast! It’s a gorgeous make ahead Blueberry French Toast Bake that’s laced with cream cheese, blueberries and topped with a balsamic blueberry sauce that will have you licking your plate. It’s delicious to say the least and absolutely perfect for your Family Day long weekend. For me living in Alberta, Family Day falls on February 19th, and as luck would have it, I have the day off.

              I foresee a family day starting with a little extra sleep, not too much though! Just enough to make it feel indulgent but not enough to take away too much time of the day. Next comes the coffee, in large supply, sipped lazily on the sofa with idle chit chat and the odd flick of the cat toy. Soon after is breakfast, not our usual go to bacon and eggs but an indulgent make ahead Blueberry French Toast Bake. Crispy and eggy with speckles of cream cheese and blueberries. It’s pretty great at that, but wait, it’s topped with a bold, sweet and tangy balsamic blueberry sauce. The combination is exceptional, so if you’re lucky enough to spend the day with your family, treat everyone with a make ahead breakfast that they’ll be asking for time and again. Enjoy!

              Recipe source for Blueberry French Toast Bake adapted slightly from Best of Bridge French Toast Raphael

               

              Blueberry French Toast Bake
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                6 people 25 minutes
                Cook Time
                40-45 minutes
                Servings Prep Time
                6 people 25 minutes
                Cook Time
                40-45 minutes
                Blueberry French Toast Bake
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  6 people 25 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  40-45 minutes
                  Servings Prep Time
                  6 people 25 minutes
                  Cook Time
                  40-45 minutes
                  Ingredients
                  Blueberry French Toast Bake
                  Balsamic Blueberry Sauce
                  Servings: people
                  Instructions
                  Blueberry French Toast Bake
                  1. In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and nutmeg.
                  2. Generously butter an 8"x8" pan. Spread half the bread cubes evenly in pan and dot with half of the cream cheese chunks. Sprinkle with 1/2 the blueberries. Repeat with remaining bread, cream cheese and blueberries. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
                  3. Preheat oven to 375℉. Bake uncovered for 40-45 minutes until golden and set in the centre. Remove from oven and serve with balsamic blueberry sauce.
                  Balsamic Blueberry Sauce
                  1. In a medium sauce pan combine blueberries, sugar, and 4 tbsp of water. Cook over medium heat until simmering and sugar has dissolved, approximately 10 minutes. Stir together cornstarch and remaining 2 tbsp of water. Stir into blueberries and heat to a full simmer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and blueberry balsamic vinegar. Serve warm with french toast.
                  Recipe Notes

                  Balsamic Blueberry Sauce can be made a day ahead with the french toast and rewarmed for serving, or cooked while the Blueberry French Toast  is baking. I made the french toast in muffin tins for presentation, however they were fussy to assemble and difficult to remove from tins.  A single 8"x8" pan is recommended.

                  Parsnip Spice Muffins

                  Parsnip Spice Muffins

                  Give your carrot muffins a makeover with these wonderfully spiced and tender Parsnip Spice Muffins. Just like carrots, parsnips cook down to provide moisture, flavour and sweetness to baked goods. Already having a sweet note, parsnips readily take on an array of spices such as cloves, ginger and cinnamon. So get ready to fill your kitchen with the scent of baked goods and glorious spices with these gorgeous muffins.

                  Inspired by Bon Appetit’s Parsnip Spice Cake, I chose to lighten up the batter with applesauce and use less oil, sugar and eggs to create a relatively healthy muffin. Tender and moist with a spicy aroma and flavour. They’re particularly good with a drizzle of sweetened cream cheese for a little sweet treat, but eaten plain with a cup of tea is also a pleasure.

                  Parsnip Spice Muffins
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    12 muffins 20 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    25-28 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    12 muffins 20 minutes
                    Cook Time
                    25-28 minutes
                    Parsnip Spice Muffins
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      12 muffins 20 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      25-28 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      12 muffins 20 minutes
                      Cook Time
                      25-28 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: muffins
                      Instructions
                      1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and line 12 muffin tins with parchment or muffin liners. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Set aside.
                      2. In a large bowl whisk together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating after each. Whisk in applesauce, milk and vanilla to combine. Whisk in flour mixture and parsnips until just combined. Stir in pecans.
                      3. Divide batter equally between prepared muffin tins using a generous 1/4 cup of batter each. Bake in preheated oven for 25-28 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature.
                      4. In a small bowl stir together cream cheese, icing sugar, milk and vanilla to form a smooth texture. Drizzle or spread onto cooled muffins.

                      Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

                      Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

                      Christmas morning is fast approaching and it brings along with it a day indulgent in food and drink. Give your day a little sanity with healthy Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal. Perfect for a hectic Christmas morning because it’s quick, easy, and feeds a small crowd, leaving you time to enjoy opening gifts, and spending time with loved ones. Healthy yet hearty enough to carry you through your day until the overeating of turkey and dressing ensues.

                      Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal is packed with fresh apples, dried cranberries, and spices, filling your kitchen with the aroma of baked apples and spice. The crumbly nut topping makes it indulgent and super delicious. It’s particularly tasty served warm with a dollop of yogurt or a splash of milk. Enjoy!

                      Recipe source for Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal: Compelled To Cook

                      Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal
                      Print Recipe
                        Servings Prep Time
                        8-10 people 20 minutes
                        Cook Time
                        25-28 minutes
                        Servings Prep Time
                        8-10 people 20 minutes
                        Cook Time
                        25-28 minutes
                        Baked Apple Cranberry Oatmeal
                        Print Recipe
                          Servings Prep Time
                          8-10 people 20 minutes
                          Cook Time
                          25-28 minutes
                          Servings Prep Time
                          8-10 people 20 minutes
                          Cook Time
                          25-28 minutes
                          Ingredients
                          Baked Oatmeal
                          Topping
                          Servings: people
                          Instructions
                          Baked Oatmeal
                          1. Preheat oven to 350℉.
                          2. In a medium bowl whisk together milk, eggs, brown sugar, vanilla and spices.
                          3. Peel and core apples, cut into 1/2" chunks, add to bowl. Whisk in oatmeal and baking powder. Stir in dried cranberries and nuts. Pour into a greased 9"x9" or 7"x11" baking dish.
                          Topping
                          1. Combine all ingredients until crumbly using a fork, pastry cutter or mini food processor. Sprinkle evenly over oatmeal.
                          2. Bake for 25-28 minutes until set and golden in colour. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with milk, cream, or yogurt.
                          Recipe Notes

                          If opting for gluten free, pulse 1/4 cup large flake oatmeal in a grinder until broken down and flour like or use gluten free flour.