Blueberry, Apple & Buckwheat Muffins

Blueberry, Apple & Buckwheat Muffins

Blueberry & Apple Buckwheat Muffins

 

 

These blueberry, apple & buckwheat muffins have such a lovely light delicate crumb, you would never guess they don’t contain any butter, wheat flour or refined sugar!

The idea for this healthy breakfast muffin occurred to me after I found a delicious looking recipe in a cook book, and tried out an adapted (dairy & gluten free) version while we were on a weekend away with family. Despite being located on Kawau island (which has no shops and is only accessible by boat) the pantry at the Bach (beach house) surprisingly had most of the required ingredients, although the only gluten free flour was coconut flour. Unfortunately the first batch of muffins was a crumbly disaster, but my 1 year old niece still thought they were pretty great. I concluded coconut flour on it’s own is not a great choice for a muffin recipe.

 

Blueberry, apple & buckwheat muffins - swoonfood.com

 

I tried the recipe again when we got home with a gluten free flour blend but the recipe still wasn’t amazing when adapted in this way. Determined to conquer this muffin idea, I next tried adapting my faithful blueberry muffin recipe by replacing the dairy, gluten and refined sugar. To make them more breakfast-like I used buckwheat flour for a light crumb and added apple to keep them moist and to reduce the sugar content. The result was…. a winner!

These muffins are best eaten fresh, although will keep for a couple of days in an airtight container. They are perfect for a weekend brunch, lunch or afternoon tea and any leftovers make a great weekday breakfast on the go. Hope you give these blueberry muffins a try and if you post any photos to social media be sure to tag @swoon.food #swoonfood so I can come and admire them! Enjoy.

Any questions or comments about this blueberry, apple & buckwheat muffin recipe? Leave a comment in the section below, I love to hear from you!

 

Blueberry, apple & buckwheat muffins - swoonfood.com

 

Blueberry, Apple & Buckwheat Muffins

Makes: 12
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

200g stewed apple (see note below)
80g coconut oil, melted
80g coconut sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla powder/essence
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
100g buckwheat flour
100g brown rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp hot water
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Preheat the oven to 180ºC and lightly grease a 12 hole non-stick muffin tray.

Combine melted coconut oil, sugar, apple, egg, vanilla powder and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl and beat with a hand held beater until just combined. Sieve the buckwheat flour, brown rice flour and baking powder into the mixture and stir to combine. In a separate small bowl combine the baking soda, hot water and cider vinegar – it will fizz up, so stir it briefly before adding to the mixture and stir well to combine. Lastly add the blueberries – if using frozen there is no need to defrost first.

Drop spoonfuls of mixture into the muffin tray until all holes are filled evenly. Place in the centre of the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20minutes, until muffins are nicely risen and a knife inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean.

Leave the muffins to cool on a wire rack before carefully running a knife around the edges to release. Store in an air-tight container once cold. These will keep a couple of days, however they taste the best when eaten fresh on the day of baking.

 

Note: To stew apples: peel, remove the core and cut into small pieces. Place in a saucepan with about 1cm of water and simmer until the apples have broken down and are easily crushed with a masher or fork. Alternatively you can buy stewed apple in a tin which is usually called “apple pie filling” or similar. Look for the kind that has no additives in the ingredients – just apples. 

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Blueberry, apple & buckwheat muffins - swoonfood.com

 

 

Banana & Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Banana & Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

 

Banana & blueberry buckwheat pancakes by www.swoonfood.com

 

This is another breakfast recipe because breakfast suddenly got a lot more exciting over the summer holidays when we had a lot more time to make something delicious!

That said, for the first two weeks our usual weekend breakfast of poached eggs on toast suddenly became the every day breakfast which started to get a bit monotonous.

So I started playing around with a blueberry pancake recipe that uses just bananas as the sweetener, eggs, a little buckwheat flour, cinnamon and vanilla. I haven’t eaten pancakes since I had to cut out dairy and gluten (except for one time at IHOP in honolulu…and pancake house…) so I was pretty excited to discover that you don’t need either of those ingredients to make really delicious pancakes!

 

Banana & blueberry buckwheat pancakes by www.swoonfood.com

 

The buckwheat flour in this recipe creates a lovely light texture and a mild flavour that works really well with the banana and blueberries. Despite its confusing name, buckwheat is not a type of wheat at all. It is actually the fruit of a plant related to the rhubarb & sorrel family, so technically it’s not even a grain and is completely gluten free. Buckwheat flour also happens to be rich in protein, nutrients and dietary fibre, so combined with the protein in the eggs and the antioxidants in the fruits, these pancakes are great way to start the day.

As the only sweetener in these pancakes is ripe bananas, you can happily add a little pure maple syrup over the top and not feel like you have eaten dessert for breakfast. Enjoy!

Do you have a favourite pancake recipe? Any hints or tips you use for making pancakes?

Leave a comment below, I love to hear from you!

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Banana & blueberry buckwheat pancakes by www.swoonfood.com

 

Banana & Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes

Makes: Approximately 12 small pancakes
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes

2 very ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla powder or essence
pinch sea salt or himalayan pink salt
1/2 cup rice milk (or milk of choice)
1 cup frozen blueberries

Coconut oil for frying

Mash the bananas well and place in a mixing bowl. Add the eggs and whisk to combine. Add the buckwheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla and salt and stir with the whisk to combine. Add the milk and whisk lightly to combine. Lastly add the blueberries and mix in with a large spoon.

Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil in a good non stick fry pan. When hot, add two large spoonfuls or 1/4 cup of mixture to the pan, shaping into a round pancake shape. You should be able to fit 3 or 4 pancakes in at one time depending on the size of your pan. Cook until bubbles appear on the top each pancake and the bottoms are golden brown, flip with a fish slice and cook another couple of minutes until golden and cooked through.

Serve pancakes while still hot with pure maple syrup and fresh berries.

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

This crunchy maple banana granola has fast become a pantry staple in our house. Up until recently we mainly ate store bought granola or gluten free muesli, as I’d finally found two brands that had little or no added unrefined sugar, were super tasty, and of course very convenient.

Whilst browsing various health food blogs one day however, I came across quite a few recipes for granola sweetened predominantly with banana. The idea of a crunchy, lightly spiced, banana granola sounded super delicious, yet refreshingly healthy at the same time. Plus what also appealed was all the recipes were very quick and easy to make by simply combining all the ingredients and baking them in the oven.

 Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

After trying out a couple of these recipes I found they tasted amazing straight out of the oven, but went soft as soon as they cooled. I concluded this could either be due to the method of cooking or a combination of too much moisture from the banana and coconut. Perhaps these recipes intended to produce soft style granolas, but to me the definition of a good granola is that it should stay crunchy right until you spoon it into your mouth.

So never one to turn away a cooking challenge, I decided to come up with my own version that still had a lovely banana flavour but stayed crunchy for as long as it’s shelf life.

 

 

 Crunchy Maple Banana Granola 

 

The recipe below is my winning version and produces a granola that has a lovely mild banana flavour, a little bit of spice and a lot of crunch. It bakes at a lower temperature for about an hour as this allows the moisture from the banana to be released while still retaining the flavour. The maple syrup caramelises without burning and you are left with a nice crunchy texture.

Feel free to play around with the amount of spice, and substitute whatever nuts and seeds you prefer. One thing to note is this granola is made with oats so it’s not gluten free, if you are looking for a gluten free granola check out this oat free maple and cinnamon buckwheat granola recipe instead. Hope you enjoy this granola recipe and even better if it becomes a party staple of yours too!

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola

Makes: 1 large jar
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 1 hour

3 cups of oats
1 cup of coconut thread
1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup of pecans
1/2 cup of almonds
1 Tbsp ground ginger
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 very ripe banana
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

 

Preheat the oven to 140ºC fan bake and line two baking trays with baking paper or sheets.

Combine the oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, pecans, almonds, ginger, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mash the banana well and combine with the maple syrup. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix well, with either a spoon or your hands. Spread the mixture evenly over both trays and bake in the oven for approximately 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until the nuts are lightly toasted and the mixture is an even caramelised colour.

Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool on the trays. When cold store in airtight containers in the pantry. To serve, combine with your choice of milk or nut milk and whatever fresh fruit you have in season.

This is also a great breakfast on the run, just pop it into a jar, top with milk, fruit and yoghurt and you’re ready to go!

 

Crunchy Maple Banana Granola 

Chia Bircher with Fresh Raspberry Coulis and Tropical Fruit

Chia Bircher with Fresh Raspberry Coulis and Tropical Fruit

Chia Bircher with Fresh Raspberry Coulis

 

Making chia puddings for breakfast is something I have only recently discovered, but wish I’d started sooner! After seeing them on a number of café menus and in various magazines, I eventually gave them a try and was amazed at just how delicious they were. Chia seeds are magic little things that absorb liquid before your eyes, making them very fast to prepare and also rather fun. They are very mildly flavoured (if at all) so the flavour comes from the liquid or whatever toppings you use, making the possibilities endless!

Chia seeds also happen to be a nutritional powerhouse full of protein, minerals and essential omega 3 and 6 oils, making them the perfect breakfast food. I love them so much I actually tried to take one with me on our 7am flight the other week thinking it would be a much better breakfast option than what they offer on the plane, only to have it confiscated at customs. According to the officer it came into the liquid category, however I’m not so sure. If you have tried chia pudding, I’m sure you’ll agree that you definitely have to eat it with a spoon!

When thinking of new combinations for this fabulous new breakfast of ours, I decided adding oats would be a genius idea thus turning them into chia birchers. I thought I might have invented this new combination but on googling, turns out many people had got there before me. I’m not surprised, as it’s such a great combination.

These chia birchers require no cooking, simply stir the chia seeds and milk together and leave for 30 minutes to allow the liquid to be absorbed. The raspberry layer is simply frozen organic raspberries blended in a food processor with a little water and pure maple syrup. It is great layered in between the bircher as well as drizzled over the top. Finish with whatever fresh fruit you have in season, I used kiwifruit, banana and strawberries for the ones in the photos. And lastly, for a bit of crunch I add a spoonful of granola.

As these chia birchers are so easy and quick to prepare I often make them the night before so they are ready to go in the morning however, they are just as easy to prepare in the morning if you have a little more time. If you need your breakfast on the go, simply make them in a jar with a lid and you’re sorted. If oats aren’t your thing, simply leave them out and reduce the milk quantity by 1/2 cup. Equally you can adjust the consistency of the bircher by increasing or decreasing the milk quantity. Enjoy!  

Any comments or questions about this chia bircher recipe?

Leave me a comment below, I love to hear from you!


 

Chia Bircher with Tropical Fruit and Granola

Makes: 2 large or 4 small servings
Prep time: 10 minutes Chilling time: 30 minutes

2 1/2 cups fresh almond milk (or milk of your choice)
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup chia seeds (white or black)
1 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Raspberry coulis (see recipe below)
Fresh fruit to serve e.g. kiwifruit, banana, strawberries

 

Place chia seeds, oats and cinnamon in a bowl and stir with a whisk to combine. Add the almond milk and agave and stir with a whisk for a few minutes until well combined and the chia has started to swell. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes. This allows the chia seeds and oats to absorb the milk. When the chia bircher mixture is ready removed from the fridge and give another good stir with the whisk to ensure no lumps.
Place a layer of chia bircher on the bottom of each jar/glass, spoon on some raspberry coulis, follow with another layer of chia bircher and finally a little more raspberry coulis. At this point you can cover the chia birchers and place them back into the fridge until you are ready to serve e.g. overnight.
When ready to serve, top the chia bircher’s with sliced fresh fruit of your choice, e.g. kiwifruit, banana, strawberries and a little grainola if you like a bit of crunch.
Keep covered in the fridge until ready to eat, these will last 2-3 days.

Fresh Raspberry Coulis

1 1/2 cups frozen raspberries
1 Tbsp filtered water
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as you go.

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