Choose Your Own Ice Pop Adventure

Summer is coming! We’ve already had a few glimpses of it here in Melbourne- our new AC units cannot be installed quick enough.

Now I am not what you call a hot weather kid, give me Autumn crispness any old day, but the warmer weather does have its perks, one of which is devouring sweet, frozen treats.

The problem with most icy poles is that they are loaded with sugar and artificial nasties, so this year I wanted to create a cleaner, healthier version.

First of course we needed the moulds. Now most of the moulds you can get here are little, kiddy type ones.  They would not do at all. Amazon naturally provides s variety of better options.

Ice pop moulds

 

Once you’ve got the hardware the rest is up to your imagination! We started with a banana smoothie pop. Then a raspberry-mint yoghurt.

Watermelon margerhita

Watermelon Margerhita- juice watermelon, lime and mint.

Pear-pine devine

Pear-pine Devine- juice pineapple, pear, apple, lemon.

Peaces 'n' (coconut) cream

Peaches ‘n’ (coconut) cream- blend peaches, add coconut milk.

The options are truly endless. All you need to do is blend, or juice, pour, and freeze! BOOM!

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Banana Bread (again)

Bananas

My Saturday has included
– breakfast
– baking
– a failed trip to H&M (pro-tip: don’t go on a Saturday, just don’t)
– a large hot chocolate
– vegemite and cheese toastie

The baking has been the highlight (well along with breakfast). Unconsciously I think I have been on a search for my ideal banana bread. It’s tricky. I don’t want to fill it full of sugar. I’d rather make it gluten free. Most importantly, it’s gotta be damn tasty. And I think I may have found it.

Four words.

One. Bowl. Banana. Bread.

It’s also gluten free, and has only bananas and maple syrup for sweetness. I found it on Minimalist Baker, which I have been drooling over for sometime now but have yet to jump in and make any of the creations. What better place to dive in than with banana bread. Especially when you only need one bowl.

We start where all good banana breads start… with mashed, overripe bananas

banana bread: mashed bananas

Next up we add everything except are three flours

banana bread

Once whisked it’s time to add the oats, almond meal and gluten free flour.

banana bread

We whisk again and into the greased and lined tin it goes.

banana bread

Even at this point, I’ve gotta admit it smells delightful. Into the oven it goes for 45 minutes to an hour. I probably could have left mine in a little longer but considering I am planning to toast it for breakfast I figured it didn’t matter too much.

banana bread

Banana Bread (adapted from Minimalist Baker)

Ingredients
3 ripe bananas
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 egg
3 tbsp melted butter
1/4 cup maple syrup
3.5 tsp baking soda
a big pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup vanilla almond milk
3ish tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup almond meal
1 1/4 cup oats
1 1/4 cup gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)

Method
1. preheat oven to 180*c
2. mash your bananas in a bowl
3. add everything except the almond meal, oats and GF flour. Reserve the cider vinegar too. Whisk it up.
4. add your cider vinegar and give it another little whisk, it’ll fizz a bit.
5. almond meal, oats and GF flour are added, mix it up.
6. pour your batter into a loaf tin and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

You’re done! Now all you have to do is clean up the mess created in the process…

banana bread: behind the scenes

banana bread: behind the scenes

This is pretty much how my kitchen looks every time I bake something… In my defence I did clean the whole place up afterwards!

Banana-Apple-Walnut loaf

Who doesn’t love banana bread?

But what do you do when you only have 1 over ripe banana? You scour your fridge for any other bakeable fruit, that’s what. And that’s how I ended up with this frankenstein bread-loaf creation.

I started with Teresa Cutter’s healthy banana bread recipe, but didn’t have everything I needed to got to making substitutions.

Banana-Apple-Walnut loaf

A little rice malt syrup here. A little melted butter there. Some grated apple instead of banana. And BOOM! You’ve got yourself a tasty and healthy snack.

Banana-Apple-Walnut loaf (based on Teresa Cutter’s Banana Bread)

Ingredients
1 ripe banana, mashed
2-3 large apples, grated (squeeze most of the juice out too)
3 eggs
200g almond meal
1/2tsp bi carb soda
1/2tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp rice malt syrup
1tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2-3/4 cup walnuts

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160*c
2. Combine banana, apple, eggs, vanilla, rice malt syrup, melted butter and apple cider vinegar
3. Add the almond meal, walnuts and chia seeds, mix it all up until combined
4. Spoon batter into a greased loaf tin
5. Bake for 45 minutes, test it with a skewer, if it comes out clean you’re done
6. Let it cool in the tin before removing
It should keep for about a week in an air tight container. You can also slice it up and freeze it in individual slices for a grab and go option.

Yum.

Banana protein muffins

I have a biology exam on Friday. This is the second time I have attempted the subject because last time the exam was on I was in Europe and holidays aren’t a good enough reason for deferrals… It wasn’t a bad thing, I think having to go over everything a second time was helpful.

Anyway, procrastination is a wonderful thing. Procrastination lead to these muffins. Well procrastination and 3 overripe bananas on my kitchen bench. I had actually been wanting to make a muffin for a little while now so this presented the perfect opportunity.

I knew that I wanted to make these grain free and protein packed, so after a little perusal of standard banana muffin recipes to get the proportions I headed to the kitchen. And the result wasn’t too shabby at all. banana protein muffinsbanana protein muffins

Banana protein muffins

Ingredients
3/4 cup almond meal
3/4 cup vanilla protein powder (I use Sun Warrior)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 cup walnuts
Pinch of salt
125gr coconut oil, melted
1/2tsp vanilla
1/3-1/2 cup almond milk
3 eggs, lightly whisked
3 bananas, mashed
1 1/2tsp apple cider vinegar

Method
1. Combine your dry ingredients, except walnuts
2. Make a well and throw in all your wet ingredients- except apple cider vinegar- mix it all up
3. Add your banana and walnuts, don’t mix it too much you want some banana chunks in there
4. Mix in your apple cider vinegar last
5. Spoon into a lined muffin tray
6. Bake at 180*c for 20-25 minutes
7. Allow to cool and try not to eat them all at once

banana protein muffinsEnjoy!

Mini banana cupcakes + vanilla icing

These little babies are fit for a princess. Fit for a birthday princess no less…IMG_2140There is something so freakin’ cute about mini cupcakes with pink icing and sprinkles.

Little Miss A is turning two, the main cake will be an impressive poodle number (I am so looking forward to seeing it in all it’s glory) and as a side I was asked to make cupcakes, naturally I said yes.IMG_2138

IMG_2139IMG_2141My favourite mini-cupcake transportation: egg cartons. They fit like a glove and look cute all packed in rows. Not all of these will end up at the party, some will head to work with the BF to be off loaded on his colleagues.

The cakes are my go-to Magnolia vanilla, to which I added 3 mashed bananas. The icing is the incredible Magnolia vanilla buttercream, with slightly less sugar than the recipe calls for. Both of which you can find here.

Play with your food: Paleo banana bread

Banana bread is one of those things that pretty much everyone has a soft spot for. I am no exception. It’s sweet. It’s smells incredible. It’s so easy to eat I can inhale half of one in little more than five minutes (I’m guessing I could of course… I’ve not actually tried, recently). When I took gluten and sugar off the menu I thought my days of banana bread were over. I mean what is banana bread without its gluteny, sugary goodness? Turns out, banana bread is pretty amazing in all forms.

Over the past few months I’ve been doing some reading up on the Paelo diet and lifestyle. I really like the sound of it, although I’d find it difficult to forgo my natural greek yoghurt and cheese altogether. So when I found this recipe on Move Nourish Believe I had to give it a try.

With all of the ingredients on hand I got to baking… I just made a few tweaks:

1. Instead of honey I used rice malt syrup
2. All of my pumpkin and sunflower seeds ended up in the mix, so I sprinkled some cocoa nibs on top

IMG_1562Ready for the oven. I initially thought that a tablespoon of cinnamon was waaaay too much, the raw batter was super cinnamonny, and I am a fan of the stuff. However, after a some quality time inside the oven (longer than the recipe called for)…

IMG_1563The flavours mellowed and blended leaving me with a kick-ass banana bread, if I do say so myself. Perfect as a snack, slathered with butter, or make it breakfast with some yoghurt and fruit. Either way, it’s delicious!