After dealing with some health issues at the end of last year, I decided to take a step back and simplify my life. The important things had to come first. I needed time and space to look after my little family. And as the carer of that family I also had to take care of me! So for the last few months I’ve been taking time out from the blog. Putting back in after a hectic year writing both for here and for High Tea Cast.
For the first month I didn’t bake at all (there may have been a tiny exception for someone’s birthday). It felt good and I think we all benefited from the reduction in sugar. But then as time went on I could no longer resist. The wee one loves it and I really want to teach her the skills. So while continuing to bake sweet treats for the occasional birthday I have been trying to make my “everyday” bakes more nourishing.
I rarely bake the same cake twice but after trying the banana cinnamon cake from Love Bake Nourish: Healthier cakes, bakes and puddings full of fruit and flavour with my trusty sidekick I knew I would be back. It is delicious. Despite using wholegrain flour which can often be heavy and dry this is light and moist. Not to mention the flavour. Plump sultanas soaked in earl grey tea add an extra flavour dimension to the banana and cinnamon. So basically this is my new favourite cake and I may be making it a lot.
Although I intend to bring you more delicious muffin recipes at some point, I am still in need of some care and attention myself as well as trying to get my head around a low cobalt diet. So please be patient with me and in the meantime I’d highly recommend Love Bake Nourish.
As I recover from illness my priorities have not been in creating new muffin recipes. However while sitting on the sofa recuperating I have had a chance to look through some old blog posts and discovered these little gems on my other (sadly neglected) blog – uppercutcakes.com.
So I think the gist of the story is when life gives you prunes, use them to make muffins and then bribe your family with them.
Prune and oatmeal muffins with maple syrup drizzle icing
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup chopped pitted prunes
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup margarine, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup golden syrup
- 1 large egg, beaten lightly
Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and bicarbonate of soda. Stir in the oats and the prunes. In another bowl whisk together the buttermilk, margarine, golden syrup and the egg. Add the wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir until the batter is just combined. Divide the batter evenly among 12 muffin tins and bake in the middle of a preheated (175°C.) oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are golden and springy to the touch. Turn the muffins out onto a rack and let them cool.
Make a little icing by adding maple syrup to some icing sugar and then drizzle over the top of the muffins.)
So here’s a thing about me, I suffer from eczema. It might not seem like a big deal but a recent flare up has made me pretty ill with head to toe yucky skin and swollen glands to boot.
There’s many a story I could tell about doctor’s advice but my personal favourite was when I was told that the drug (for a completely unrelated issue) I was yet to take would not be affecting my current skin condition. Thanks very much for pointing out the obvious, I thought that as soon as a doctor prescribes something it mysteriously makes its way into my blood…
I’m not really one to feel sorry for myself but instead I wanted to know more about my condition. After all knowledge is power. I’ve experimented a little on here with muffins for different diets. This was sparked in part by my own “feeling” that dairy or wheat could be affecting me. I started reading The Eczema Diet: Eczema-Safe Food to Stop the Itch and Prevent Eczema for Life and it turned my whole understanding on its head. For example, I’ve been drinking almond milk thinking those particular nuts are good for my skin but she believes that they are not eczema safe.
I’m still trying to get my head round all the different foods that I “should” be eating and what I “should not”. And trying to work out whether this is a workable solution when I am responsible for feeding my family. I don’t doubt that it’s a very healthy diet and we could perhaps benefit from it but as a working mum do I really have time to make so much from scratch? And will limiting my little one’s diet so severely (albeit for a short time) be good for her?
Anyway, these are some of the issues that I’m tackling at the moment. Now onto muffins, the diet advocates pears instead of apples. I’ve never been very keen on eating pears as they are only perfectly ripe for such a short time. So this is my small attempt to adopt pears into my life. And I must say I even rather enjoyed both the muffin and the pear.
Continue reading Pear and ginger muffin
An abundance of sweet potato led to these little beauties. Based on this pumpkin muffin recipe over on The Vanilla Bean blog these turned out really well (and proved very popular with my taste testers).
Cacao nibs, dark chocolate and macadamia nuts add flecks of flavour and texture to this already full flavoured muffin.
The sweetness in the muffin itself comes from maple syrup. With added wholemeal flour they make a filling breakfast or a nutritious snack while mountain biking in the Glens. Or they are even great just shared with friends on a rainy afternoon alongside a nice cup of tea.
Continue reading Sweet potato and chocolate muffin