Looking back at all of the muffin recipes I have posted I was shocked that there was no bran muffins there!! Like really…everyone needs to have a healthy Bran Muffin recipe. So I went searching in my notes for my go-to recipe for bran muffins. This time I spiced it up a bit and the family thought they were delicious- didn’t tell them they were healthy too! For the fat in this recipe I decided to try olive oil instead of canola and with all of the spices you can’t distinguish the olive flavour, but because olive oil is so much better health wise you should try it.
Of course adding a big slab of butter on these delicious muffins sort of negates that goodness, but one does have to splurge sometimes. Instead of butter you could top them with marmalade which would pair perfectly with all of the orange flavour in the muffins. These Orange Bran Muffins with Raisins freeze really well and are perfect for making ahead for those breakfasts on the go especially now that the mornings are so dark and cold. Zap them in the microwave for a few seconds and it’s like they just came out of the oven.
Also you can switch up the dried fruit in this Orange Bran Muffin and substitute dried cranberries or even chopped dates would go well with the orange and spices. This recipe uses Natural Wheat Bran which is the flaky bran that you usually find near the oatmeal in the grocery store, not bran cereal.
So I hope you try these deliciously healthy muffins!
The calendar says that today is the first day of Fall, but the thermometer says it is 26ºC! Record breaking temperatures here for the next few days – finally summer has arrived! But the pumpkins are in the grocery stores so that means baking must include roasted pumpkin. Pumpkin Apple Loaf with Crumble Topping has 3 healthy ingredients in it – pumpkin, banana and apple so indulge yourself.
Autumn is here…at least the apples are here! The colours are just starting to turn and all of the fall harvest is starting to appear at the farmers market. With all of the different varieties of apples out there you really have to try every apple recipe you can get your hands on. This recipe for Apple Brownie with Maple Frosting is just the one to bring out all of those fall flavours. For this brownie I used MacIntosh apples, but any tart apple would work just fine.
One of the steps that will add a little prep time to this recipe is the fact that the apples are partially cooked first in a little butter. This sweetens the apples and adds even more deliciousness to the brownie. What does save some time is that the rest of the batter is mixed in the same pan you cooked the apples in! Sure saves on dishes! The amazing scent from the brownie baking will warm up your kitchen and put you in that fall mode. If it is still warm enough to have the windows open your neighbours might be knocking on the door too. No one will be able to resist the smell of baking apples and cinnamon.
Now the maple frosting on these apple brownies is the same maple frosting I used on the Apple Slab Cake. There is no sense in trying to use something different when this maple goodness matches perfectly with apples. You will be tempted to put the maple frosting on just about anything – don’t say I didn’t warn you!
This apple season I hope you try this Apple Brownie with Maple Frosting – your family and friends will really appreciate it.
Sometimes a craving just hits you over the head. That’s what happened last weekend – I needed a slice of cheesecake. The fact that I also needed to make a birthday cake for two of my friends who both share the same birthday was a good reason to indulge. So Baked Cheesecake with Blackberry Sauce happened. This recipe for baked cheesecake isn’t all that difficult compared to some baked cheesecake recipes. It is the secret ingredient of yogurt that lightens the cheesecake and adds a bit of tang to the flavour.
Now first of all I want to apologize for the quality of the pictures! I forgot my camera at home and had to use my phone and the lighting wasn’t the best. But I think you can still appreciate the lightness and height of this yummy dessert.
I took my husband picking wild blackberries for the sauce. Now that was an experience. His arms were bleeding by the end – he shouldn’t have worn a t-shirt – long sleeves and pants are a requirement for this job. If you’ve never had the opportunity to pick wild black berries you can’t imaging how prickly and cruel these vines are. The thorns stick to you and will rip your skin. BUT the berries – they are so delicious it is worth the pain. Adorning the cheesecake with this blackberry sauce was the perfect way to set off the amazing flavour of the berries.
If you love cheesecake but have never made a baked one before – this is the recipe you need to try. Believe me – it’s worth it. Let me know how you like it!
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F and lightly grease a 10″ Springform pan.
In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and sugar. Press into the prepared pan and up the sides about 1 inch. Bake for 15 minutes or until just fragrant and turning golden. Remove from oven and reduce the oven temp to 275 degrees F.
Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla and salt and beat on low speed until smooth and very well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl often. Add the yogurt and beat on low until just combined.
Pour into baked crust and smooth the top. Bake at 275 degrees F for about 2 hours or until the outer 2 inches are set but the centre is still wobbly.
Turn off the oven and let sit in the oven with the door closed for another hour. Remove from the oven and let cool to room temperature and then chill in the fridge completely.
While cake is baking make the sauce. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, water and blackberries on medium heat. Stir until the berries start to release their juices. In a small bowl dissolve the cornstarch in the lemon juice. Once the berries have softened and are at a simmer, add in the cornstarch mixture. Continue cooking on low heat until thickened slightly, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer to a mason jar. Let cool at room temperature and then refrigerate.
When ready to serve, release the cake from the ring of the pan. Slice and drizzle with the berry sauce.
The humid hot days of August are the perfect reason to make some luscious home-made ice cream. The combination of home-made vanilla ice cream and home-made blackberry raspberry jam creates an amazing flavour. This idea for Blackberry Raspberry Ice Cream sprang from an abundance of blackberries this year in our area. I have never seen the blackberries this huge and so many of them. Plus I had a craving for home-made ice cream so the stars had aligned in my kitchen.
Blueberry Zucchini Crumb Bars are the magical meeting of two worlds – fruit and vegetable! When the zucchini is cooked with lemon juice in this recipe it magically transforms into bits of apple. I’m not kidding you – everyone will swear that it is apple in with the blueberries, but you will know it really is zucchini. So it is the perfect backdrop for all of those zucchinis that are soon to show up dropped on your doorstep by the neighbourhood garden fairies.
SUMMER! Finally the garden’s bounty is starting to ripen – the most rewarding time of the year. With so many veggies waiting to be eaten this recipe lets you chop and throw it all together to make a most delicious salad. Summer Salad with Feta has just the right amount of crunch with creamy feta cheese and then the salt of the olives. That just means a bowl of YUM! The yellow and orange peppers are a perfect match for the sweet fresh cucumber and grape tomatoes.
This salad is really a Greek salad except for one ingredient- fresh corn! When there is a few left-over cobs of corn after a bbq, this is the salad to make. The corn makes the salad as it adds so much sweetness and even more crunch. You could even add some shredded chicken to the list of ingredients and this salad could easily be a main course. It keeps well refrigerated so you will have lunch for the next day if there are any left-overs, but I doubt it. Don’t forget to pick up a fresh baguette to sop up all of those lovely juices and olive oil.
Enjoy the fresh veggies while we have them – summer doesn’t last long here in the north so we eat as many fresh dishes as we can during the short season. All of those vitamins and fibre are healthy as well as amazingly delicious!
Lately I have had a bit of an obsession with Browned Butter so I have been experimenting with substituting it in some of my favourite recipes. This cookie recipe for Brown Butter Pecan Cookies turned out divine if I do say so myself. The spices the butter is simmered in lend a dept of flavour to the dough plus the crunch of the pecans and toffee bits combines to make a really good cookie.
If you are looking for the perfect dessert to celebrate Canada’s 150th this is the one- Sponge Cake with Vanilla Whipped Cream and Strawberries! Delicious sponge cake, layered with vanilla whipped cream and fresh Ontario strawberries – dessert doesn’t get much better than this. Did I mention it is red and white? Canada’s colours showcased in a delicious cake that you can make ahead. White- vanilla whipped cream which is a stabilized cream meaning it will keep it’s form for at least 24 hours and up to 48 hours. Of course it is cream which means you have to keep it refrigerated. Strawberries – finally fresh Ontario strawberries to make up the red colour in this decadent cake. Nothing tastes better than fresh local berries. These ones weren’t really local, just Ontario, but we will have local ones for July 1st I am sure. I will definitely be stopping at Emiry’s Berry Farm in Massey to get my load of berries for the long weekend!
Rhubarb = Spring, at least in my world it does. Spring also means lilacs which are one of my favourite flowers- the other being lavender. Funny how my two favourite flowers are both purple – not sure what that means! Back to the rhubarb. Rhubarb has to be one of those flavours that you either love or hate and thank goodness everyone in my life loves it because this time of year everything is coming up rhubarb. My rhubarb plant is a sunny protected area of the garden and it just explodes once the warm sun warms up the earth. Before you know it there is enough rhubarb to feed an army.