Spelt Blueberry Chia Muffins

When I am stressed, I bake. When I am worried, I bake. When it’s all getting a bit too much, I bake. I don’t know if I necessarily find it therapeutic, but it seems to be my go to thing when I’m having a dark-grey-cloud-over-my-head kinda day.

I try to live in the present, the now, the very moment. However it isn’t the easiest thing to do, especially when you have spent 26 years of your life worrying. Baking somehow manages to change my thought process. The focussing on the ingredients and method is almost like some kind of meditation for me. It just manages to push those worries and fears aside for a while, to re-adjust my blurry¬†head, pushing the dark cloud away.

We are blessed that we live on the water, just seeing the ripples and reflections through the windows, even on a grey day, can help push the negativity away. There is nothing better than cooking with a view, to whip up something magical whilst looking out over the canal and to the fields beyond.

These muffins are not anything new, just a good old classic recipe spruced up a little. Spelt is such a lovely grain to use, I much prefer it’s slightly nuttier flavour, and better depth of colour. You can find it in any good supermarket or health food store. It has a much lower gluten content than regular flour too, meaning it won’t make you feel all sluggish.

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Spelt Blueberry Chia Muffins

Makes 4-6 muffins

INGREDIENTS:

150g (1 cup) whole grain spelt flour
2 free range eggs
1 overly ripe banana (mashed)
2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons agave or maple syrup
Handful of blueberries (fresh or frozen will work)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarb soda
Handful of nuts (I used flaked almonds)

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 3 / 160 C

Line a muffin tray with 6 muffin cases

Add the eggs to the mashed banana and mix well.

Pour in melted coconut oil (let it cool slightly first) and vanilla and stir to combine all wet ingredients.

Add your dry ingredients to your wet mixture and stir with a spoon until smooth.

Chuck in the blueberries and nuts, and fold them through the mixture.

Dollop spoonfuls of the muffin mixture into each muffin case, fill almost to the top.

Place in the oven and bake for approx. 20 mins, until lightly golden and a skewer comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and place muffins on a cooling rack.

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Sweet Potato and Ginger Cookies

Life is too short to eat bad food.

I’m not one for diets, I am a firm believer in everything in moderation. I am lucky that I enjoy healthier foods, so eating a bit greener isn’t a big deal for me.

Now, I know what you’re all thinking. “Cookies?? I’m supposed to be doing [insert latest diet trend here] for January. I can’t eat cookies” – well my friends, you can.

 

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These cookies are loaded with soothing ginger (perfect to kick that winter cold out the door), vitamin packed sweet potato, and immune boosting coconut oil.

This recipe is quite loose. Use different flour / omit oats if you wish.

Sweet Potato and Ginger Cookies (V)

Makes 6 – 8

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium sweet potato (peeled)
220g self-raising wholemeal flour
80g jumbo oats
80g unrefined brown sugar
2 tablespoons grated ginger
3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
1 teaspoon ground flax
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon each ground ginger / cinnamon (for roasting)
Large pinch nutmeg
Zest from 1 orange
Couple of drops of vanilla extract

 

METHOD

Preheat oven to Gas Mark 6 / 200 oC

Cut the peeled sweet potato into chunks and place on a lined baking tray. Toss in a small amount of melted coconut oil, the ground ginger and cinnamon. Roast in oven for approx. 45 mins (or until very soft).

Once cooked, remove and set to one side to cool.

Turn oven down to Gas Mark 5.

In a bowl, combine the flour, oats, bicarb, spices and grated ginger. Mix well.

In a saucepan, melt the coconut oil over a low heat and stir in the sugar. Keep stirring until the sugar starts to dissolve.

In a bowl, mix ground flax with 2 teaspoons water and leave for 5 mins.

Mash the cooled potato into a puree. Add to the sugar mix with orange zest, flax mix and vanilla. Whisk well.

Add wet ingredients to dry and mix just until you get a dough type mixture.

On a lined baking tray, drop spoonfuls of the dough, evenly spread out.

Bake for 10-15 mins, until the edges start to brown.

Remove from oven, leave to cool for 5 mins before placing on a cooling rack to complete cooling.

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