Banana, coconut and dark chocolate muffins

banana-coconut-muffins

Want to whip up a “not too naughty” treat in less than half an hour after dinner? Look no further than these tasty little banana, coconut and dark chocolate muffins. The banana gives the muffins a real ‘mositness’ and with the crunchy coconut on top and melted chocolate inside it’s the perfect accompaniment. These are perfect for a morning tea snack or a sweet treat after dinner with a good hot cuppa.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup shredded coconut
  • dark chocolate chunks

Makes 10

Method

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Line muffin cups with cupcake liners.

Stir together flour and baking powder. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate.

Divide batter among 10 lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Bake for about 20 minutes or until muffins are puffed and golden. Transfer muffins to a rack and cool slightly.

Enjoy with a pot of delicious Sencha green tea!

Happy baking, love Jem x

Mini eggplant pizzas

eggplant pizzas

I adore eggplant and pizza, so what could be better then combining the two? That’s a rhetorical question… because obviously nothing! The great thing about this recipe is that it’s vegetarian and gluten-free, so really it’ll make everyone happy. You can just use the ingredients in your fridge for the topping – spinach, mushroom, capsicum, etc… I personally love the combination of sour cherry tomatoes with salty black olives. Of course cheese is a must; haloumi, goats cheese, mozzarella, cheddar – the options are endless! Let me know what you top your eggplant pizzas with!

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, sliced
  • olive oil, for brushing
  • 1/4 jar passata sauce
  • 1 punnet cherry tomatoes, chopped into quarters
  • 1/2 jar black pitted olives, sliced in halves
  • mozzarella cheese, grated
  • basil, torn

Method

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees. Arrange the sliced eggplants onto a tray and brush with olive oil. Bake for 15-20 minutes.

Remove the baked eggplant from the oven. Spread 1 teaspoon of passata sauce over each eggplant then arrange cherry tomatoes, olives, cheese and basil. Place eggplant back in the oven and cook until cheese has melted. Enjoy hot, hot, hot!!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Raspberry, coconut and pear loaf

loaf

Raspberry, coconut and pear ahh what wonderful ingredients to make a healthy yet scrumptious afternoon sweet. I personally adore banana bread, but every time I finish a generous slice I feel like I’ve just eaten a huge piece of cake – the beauty about this loaf is that it’s butter free, light and fluffy, and the pear just adds another texture and sweetness. This is the perfect recipe to take to afternoon tea (like I did today – and my grandparents loved it), or just to keep in the fridge as a healthy dessert option.

Ingredients

  • 2 pears, peeled, and core removed
  • 2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 270g can light coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a loaf pan with non-stick baking paper.

Cut the pear into small pieces. Combine the flour, coconut and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk together the coconut milk, eggs and vanilla extract. Add to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

Gently stir in the pears and frozen raspberries make suring you don’t over mix. Spoon into the pan and smooth the surface.

Bake for 1 hour or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Set aside for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Serve warmed up with a dollop of natural yoghurt, or toast a piece with a smear of butter.

Happy baking, love Jem x

Traditional Nigiri sushi

sushi

I recently came back from any foodies dream trip to Japan… One of our days in Tokyo we spent at Buddha Bellies Cooking School learning the art of traditional sushi making and the history. Did you know that the original type of sushi, known today as ‘nare-zushi’ was developed in Southeast Asia along the Mekong River and then spread to southern China before Japan. So technically we can’t thank Japan for our favourite little snack… This is the perfect recipe for a dinner party – I mean who doesn’t love sushi? Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 40ml rice vinegar
  • 20g sugar
  • 3g salt
  • wasabi
  • sashimi – thinly sliced salmon and tuna

Makes 20 – 25 pieces

Method

Start by washing the rice thoroughly until the water comes clear. Place the rice and water in a pot and let it soak for 60 minutes – this will allow the grains to absorb moisture.

Put the rice and water in a pot with a tight fitting lid. Bring the mixture to a boil over a high heat then turn down the heat to low until the water disappears. Turn off the heat and leave to cool for 10 minutes.

For the vinegar sauce place the rice vinegar, sugar and salt in a bowl and mix well.

Using a rice paddle, spoon the rice into a wide bowl. Spread it out evenly and cut the rice from side to side, then from top to bottom. Add the sushi vinegar and continue cutting the rice. Fan the rice whilst cutting to cool down.

Put down a sheet of paper and using about 1 and 1/2 tsps (20g) rice form a shape of sushi by gently pushing.

Spread a touch of wasabi over the rice and place the sashimi on top pressing down slightly.

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Egg roll ‘Dashimaki Tamago’

   

Wanting to make that delicious sushi with the traditional Japanese omelet topped on rice with the seaweed surrounding…or in other words Dashimaki Tamago? Well here you go – photo by photo instructions! I had such a lovely afternoon last week at Buddha Bellies Cooking school in Tokyo learning the art of sushi making. It amazes me how with so few ingredients you can make such a delicious little dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp fish stock
  • 2 drops soya sauce
  • 1 pinch salt
  • oil for cooking

Method

Place all ingredients in a small bowl and beat well. Heat a square pan and brush oil on the base so it doesn’t stick.

Pour just enough egg to cover the base of the pan and once cooked fold over carefully with chop sticks pushing the egg to one side of the pan. Repeat pouring the egg to cover the base and fold – making one big layered omelet. You should roll it about four times.

Let the layered omelet cool down and slice into desired size. Place egg on top of a small square of rice and wrap with a thin nori piece around. This omelet is also delicious on top of curries, rice dishes or even by itself. Enjoy!

Happy cooking, love Jem x

Banana, oat and Greek yoghurt muffins

image2

Are you craving a sweet but don’t want to undo the run you just struggled on for 30 minutes? This is the muffin recipe for you! These muffins are butter free, flour free, have very little sugar and are beautifully moist! I was searching through my fridge yesterday morning thinking of what to bake, and had a litre of yoghurt, a few bananas which were looking a little brown and got inspired to create something healthy. These muffins are perfect for a morning or afternoon snack, a brekkie on the go and a dessert after dinner.  The chocolate drop when warmed up oozes in to the middle of the muffin and is bloody amazing! Store muffins in an airtight container for up to one week (if they last that long).

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Greek yoghurt
  • 2 large bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • optional – chocolate drops, to place on top of each muffin

Makes 10-12

Method

Preheat oven to 180 degrees and prepare a muffin tray with muffin cases.

Add all the ingredients except for the chocolate drops into a large bowl and stir until batter is smooth and creamy.

Pour batter into prepared muffin cases, filling each about 3/4 full. Place a chocolate drop in the middle of each muffin.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until the tops of the muffins are set. Allow muffins to cool in pan for before removing. Enjoy warmed up with a nice cuppa!

Happy baking, love Jem x