Tag Archives: brunch

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

I love muffins, and so does my family. Muffins and loaves are usually what they ask for when I ask “what should I bake today?” Apple muffins are a particular favourite of mine, especially in the fall and winter when apples are plentiful and inexpensive compared to other fruit. And given that my children eat apples like they’re going out of style, which necessitates me purchasing them by the bag pretty much every week, apples are something I always have on hand. This recipe was inspired by an apple coffee cake that I made. I wanted to make it smaller, easier to send with Eliza for her morning snack at school and in my husband’s lunch, and I wanted to spice it up a little, and not just go with the usual cinnamon and sugar streusel. The result is this: a lovely apple muffin that is moist and tender, with just a hint of chai spice. Perfect to enjoy with a morning cup of tea as a special breakfast treat.

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Normally I’m not a “healthify your recipes” kinda girl – when I want to indulge, I want to indulge, if you know what I mean. But given that my family loves baked goods so much, I like to tweak my muffins to make them just a little bit healthier, and do things like use whole-grain flours, applesauce, less sugar {and substitute honey when I can}. This recipe uses a couple of my standard baking tweaks – some whole wheat flour subbed for white, and applesauce instead of some of the butter. When I make better choices with my ingredients, it might not be a super healthy option but at least I feel a little less guilty when I grab one on my way out the door.

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Apple Chai Coffee Cake Muffins

Spices:
1 tsp cardamom
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp ground star anise
1/8 tsp ground cloves

Batter:
Spice blend {less the reserved 3/4 tsp}
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup butter, melted & cooled
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
3 small apples, peeled, cored and coarsely chopped

Streusel:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp reserved spice blend
5 Tbsp cold butter

Prepare muffin tins, greasing or lining 18 wells with paper liners. Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, mix together spices – cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, anise, & cloves. Reserve 3/4 tsp of this mixture for the streusel.

In a medium bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and the larger portion of the chai spices. Blend well.

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar and eggs, whisking until smooth. Add yogurt and buttermilk, and mix until all the lumps are gone. Stir in butter and applesauce. Fold in dry ingredients until just combined, and then gently stir in the chopped apples.

To make the streusel, mix together brown sugar, flour, salt, and reserved spices. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter or two knives, until well blended and crumbly.

Fill muffin cups half way with batter. Top with a spoon of streusel, and then fill with more batter. {Tip: Press the batter in gently so that it sticks to the batter on the bottom and the layers bake together, otherwise the muffins can fall apart.} Top with a generous sprinkling of streusel, and bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Yield: 18 muffins

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Orange Yogurt Drink

Orange Yogurt Drink

My kids love yogurt. And even more than yogurt, my kids love those little single-serve bottles of drinkable yogurt. You know what I mean – Yop, DanActive, Danimals… little bottles of sweet, yogurty goodness laden with all kinds of artificial colours, flavours, preservatives, and not to mention ridiculously overpriced, and all the package waste. And I’m not even that confident that there’s all that much in the way of probiotic benefit in most of the mass-produced commercial ones. I’m sure you can see where this post is going! In the interest of frugality (or cheapness, as my husband loves to call it) and avoiding all those stabilizers, preservatives and other additives, I decided that I would try making my own. How hard could it possibly be? The answer: this is so ridiculously easy, you might kick yourself for not trying it sooner.

Orange Yogurt Drink

This yogurt drink is really versatile. Add whatever fruit you like – we had lots of oranges, so that was Eliza’s choice. If you find it’s not sweet enough, add a drizzle of honey. This was 100% kid approved, both my five year old and two year old drank big cups of it and immediately asked for more. I think this will successfully keep my kids from begging for yogurt drinks when we’re at the grocery store!

And a suggestion for those of you who are non-dairy – I have read that you can pretty much do the same thing with non-dairy products like kefir and your milk substitute of choice. I haven’t tried this myself as we aren’t a dairy-free household, but if you are, you may want to give this a go with non-dairy alternatives!

Orange Yogurt Drink

Orange Yogurt Drink

Two oranges, one orange zested, both peeled & cut into pieces
1 cup milk
1 cup greek yogurt

Combine orange zest & pieces, milk and yogurt in a blender. Blend until smooth and serve. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a couple days, just shake it up again before serving.

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I Heart Sriracha

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Hi, my name is Samantha, and I’m a sriracha addict. I first discovered this lovely condiment several years ago, but I wasn’t really into spicy foods that much. Recently, I’ve become a convert to the way of the Rooster Sauce, and now I’m addicted. Completely, hopelessly addicted. I will try it on everything – burgers, hot dogs, macaroni & cheese, eggs, stir fries… I’m even working on perfecting a sweet, salty & spicy sriracha popcorn recipe. I’m not the first sriracha addict, hell, The Oatmeal has a cartoon and a series of products based around worshipping this divine creation {if anyone wants to get on my good side, I really want this shirt… šŸ˜‰ }

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So, anyway, remember the bagels I made a couple weeks ago? Do you want to take your boring cream cheese bagel to a new level of tasty awesomeness? Sriracha cream cheese is the answer. No joke, the first time I made this, my husband had to hide the bagels because I was eating several in a day. I’m not sure if he hid them because he supports my healthy eating and didn’t want to see me gorge myself on carbs, or because he wanted to hoard the creamy sriracha amazingness for himself, but I digress. If you like spicy food, you won’t be sorry you tried it. If you don’t, well, you should try it anyway – you might become a sriracha convert, too.

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Sriracha Cream Cheese

6 oz cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp sriracha

With an electric blender, whip together cream cheese and sriracha until light and fluffy and fully mixed. {Tip: You can also use ‘spreadable’ or ‘whipped’ cream cheese from a tub in this. Just measure by weight, not volume.}

Spread on your favourite bagel and enjoy! Store the remainder in the refrigerator.

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