Good Morning Muffins – Wholesome, healthy and just perfect!

I apologize for the delay in the post. A1 had some work done for the braces and a forgotten appointment we had to rush to. Stoic as he normally would be with everything, the pressure and pain of the lower wire in the brace is not a pleasant experience for anyone  and can quickly get on one’s nerves. In the case of A1, it usually leads to  monosyllables . In good days it would be a sentence.

And then M ( my slightly nutty and neurotic lab), decides to chase the squirrel up the tree – not happening . Sore and bruised leg and ego later, she wanted to sleep on mum’s lap. Oh well ! They never grow up. You would not be very far off thinking there is three ring circus at home. Well most of the days the juggler is awesome and peace reigns..

Good Morning Muffins - Wholesome, healthy and just perfect!

A2 on the other hand has grown a sweet tooth ( a few gazillion teeth more likely )and seems to hover around the kitchen a bit more interested in the goodies of the day. A3 has devoted his life to building Legos , Legos and more Legos. And when we take a break, we build a city out of Legos .. Again.

My faithful blender of 10 years goes kaput and  the newly ordered and delivered Vitamix stares back at me from the counter giving me  the come hither look . More carrot smoothies I say ! Or Morning glory muffins! I will take both. So how has your day been so far?

Good Morning Muffins - Wholesome, healthy and just perfect!

In this recipe we have a slightly adapted version of the Morning glory muffins from King Arthurs domain and  Earthbound farms original recipe.

Plump raisins , crunch of almonds and walnuts, hint of cinnamon and ginger, grated carrot and apple and added dash of flax meal. I mean what’s not to love about this. And btw who says it just has to be for breakfast . It’s a great after school snack as well. And in the car. And after soccer. You get the picture.

Good Morning Muffins - Wholesome, healthy and just perfect!

Hand one to your growing and bouncing of the walls active kid with a glass of  milk and they are good on the hunger front !

Prep time : 15 min  Bake time : 22- 25 min  Makes : 16 muffins

Ingredients:

  • Whole wheat flour : 1 cup
  • All purpose flour : 1 cup
  • Brown sugar : 3/4 cup
  • Melted butter + lite olive oil : 2/3 cup ( in total)
  • Large eggs : 3
  • Baking powder : 1 tsp.
  • Baking soda : 2 tsp.
  • Flax seed meal : 3 Tbsp.
  • Vanilla extract : 2 tsp.
  • Dry ground ginger : 1/2 tsp.
  • Cinnamon powder : 2 tsp.
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Peeled ,fine grated carrots : 2 cups
  • 1 Large apple grated ( tart or sweet ) : 1/2 cup approx.
  • Slivered almonds or chopped walnuts : 1/2 cup

Method:

  • Pre heat oven to 375 F
  • Line the muffins trays with paper cups.
  • Pour 1/2 a cup of very hot water over the raisins to plump it up before use.
  • In a large mixing bowl add both the flours, flaxseed meal ,baking soda and baking powder and whisk very well. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer, add the butter and oil combination and sugar and whisk well.
  • Add the cinnamon and dry ginger spice mix , vanilla extract and then add the eggs one by one and whisk well.
  • Add the flour and gently fold it.
  • Add the grated carrots and apples next and fold gently once again. Do not whisk vigorously.
  • Drain the water from the raisins . Then gently stir it in the along with chopped nuts.
  • The batter would be very thick .
  • Drop in heapfuls to fill up about 3/4 the muffin well.
  • Bake till a tooth pick inserted comes out clean and the muffins springs back slightly when touched.
  • Cool in the pan for a couple of minutes and then remove and cool on a wire rack very well.
  • They stay fresh at room temperature very well.
  • Serve warm with a a dab of cream cheese if preferred and with a tall glass of milk.

Good Morning Muffins - Wholesome, healthy and just perfect!

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins

This is so not the case of life giving you way too many bananas . This is the case where I sort of threatened mock mutilation to the loving members of my family  because I wanted those two bananas to get over ripe to use for this recipe. I have secret minor addiction to pretty pictures on Pinterest ( ok not so secret any more ) but hey I can enjoy a good one now and then . While I do admire them, I so seriously need to invest some more time in understanding the mechanics of good photos…When I found this on Pinterest, the one bowl ideology spoke to me – after all who like messy kitchens? And I seem to have had a bit of a downer mood today. So in a minor adaptation of that recipe we hit jackpot on this muffin. I know it says breakfast muffin , but kids are getting it for an afterschool snack — with a warm glass of milk. Edited verdict: Kids simply loved it !

Unlike the recent past, bananas do not get a chance to go over ripe here at home. Between the kids and M, hardly any gets left over. So yours truly had to get a fresh bag of ones to let 2 stragglers from the previous batch put to good use. Nearly had a sign out to not eat/ or even think of eating/ feeding maya, the ones that were on its way to get ripened or over ripened. And they were put to amazingly good use. These gorgeous muffins are so calling out your name! C’mon grab a bowl, make these and let me know how it turned out !!!

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins

Notes: Using whole wheat pastry flour will  produce more soft muffins. My local grocery store does not stock it and my only option was to order in bulk . Using APF of course will yield you possibly more fluffier ones. While the original recipe calls for baking with honey, I am hesitant to heat up honey based on Ayurveda principles and would gladly use brown sugar in its stead. You can also use jaggery as well. If you do use jaggery you definitely would be adding to the nutritional quotient as it is chockfull of minerals and Iron too.  Would you like to make it vegan? Use apple sauce and cutback on yogurt , or use almond milk and use flax seed  ground and beaten in water as substitute for egg. It would yield a slightly more denser muffin though. But all in all this recipe is definitely a keeper. Oh yes! The one bowl adaptation of it would definitely work as well. When you reach step 4 in the instructions add the dry ingredients sequentially in the mixing bowl.Fold in the chocolate chips gently and reserve to sprinkle on top. Perfecto!

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins

Prep time : 10 min               Baking time : 16-18 min          Yield 12 muffins

Recipe source : http://www.joyfulhealthyeats.com. This is a near faithful adaptation of the recipe .

Ingredients

  • White whole wheat flour : 1 +2/3 cups
  • Bananas : 2 – 3  over ripe and spotted ( mashed would equal a cup or so)
  • Brown sugar : 2 – 3  large
  • Vanilla Extract : 1/2 Tbsp. 
  • Thick  plain yogurt : 1/3  cup of it ( used home made)
  • coconut oil (melted ) : 1/3 cup 
  • Large Brown egg : 1
  • Dark Cocoa powder : 2 Tbsp.
  • Salt : ½  tsp.
  • Baking soda:1 tsp.
  • Dark chocolate chips : 1/2 cup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Line a 12 cup muffin tray with paper cups.
  3. In a large bowl or bowl of your stand mixer, add the bananas and mash it. Add sugar, vanilla extract, yogurt, oil and egg and whip it till combined.
  4. In a separate bowl measure out white whole wheat flour, add the 2 Tbsp. of dark cocoa , baking soda and salt and mix it/ whisk it very well.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones and mix until combined.
  6. Add in the chocolate chips and reserve some to top it on the muffins .Fill each muffin tin  to ¾ of its well.
  7. Bake for 16-18 minutes.
  8. Serve warm / cold with a tall glass of milk, hot chocolate or coffee !

Whole Wheat Dark Chocolate Banana Breakfast Muffins

Rava Idli’s – Quick and easy royal fare on a budget!

I quite honestly was not planning on writing a post on this one.  Today was the beginning of a long weekend  and I woke up craving filter coffee. For the uninitiated, the filter coffee process is a near sacred ritual in many south indian households including the one in which I grew up. This drip mechanism in which hot water percolates through fresh ground coffee is quite aromatic and then coupled with hot steaming milk and a pinch of raw cane sugar- Nirvana in a cup !

Steaming hot cuppa
Steaming hot cuppa

Well cravings not withstanding, I think my inner south indian also felt like having hot Idli’s.. And of course no Idli batter at home. ( cause someone was a headless chicken the entire week and so did not get to do the required prep work)

Well this quick mix will satisfy that and the best part is the super soft Idli’s that it yields. Perfect results with minimal efforts. Now only if my daily routine would mimic this..Tsk!Tsk!

 Steaming hot Idli’s with  a hot cup of filter coffee  and I yearn for  the sounds of the yesteryears.. Amma and Amma ( M.S Subbalakshmi)

Perfect Combo!
Perfect Combo!

 A super easy and quick method to make Sooji / Rava/ Semolina Idlis . Serve it with the accompaniment of your choice from chutneys to potato palya.

 Prep time : 10 – 15 minutes  Steaming /cooking time : 10 minutes    Yields : 16 steamed cakes  Serves : 4-6

 Ingredients:

  • Sooji/ Rava/ Semolina  ( medium )- 1.5 cups
  • Channa dal : 1 tsp.
  • Split Urad Dal : 1 tsp.
  • Hing: A big pinch
  • Mustard seeds : 1 tsp.
  • Jeera : 1/4 tsp. ( optional)
  • Salt : 1 tsp + adjusted to taste
  • Green Chili : 1  (finely chopped)
  • Fresh Ginger : 1/2 inch ( finely chopped)
  • Curry leaves : 6-8  (finely chopped)
  • Cilantro : 1/8 cup ( finely chopped)
  • Cashewnut  quarters/ halves : 16
  • Oil : 1/2 Tbsp. + 1/2 Tbsp.

 Mixing:

  • Plain Yoghurt : 3/4 cup
  • Water : 3/4  cup
  • Lemon juice : 1 Tbsp.

 Required before steaming:

  • Eno : 1 tsp. + 1 Tbsp. of water

Method:

  • In a big skillet, add in one tbsp. of oil and add the cashew nuts and fry it and remove it when golden brown.
  • In the same skillet , add in the hing, mustard seeds, channa dal and urad dal. Fry it for a minute or two.
  • Subsequently add in the green chilies, ginger, chopped curry leaves. Fry it well too.By now the channa dal and urad dal would have attained a nice golden brown hue .
  • Add in the 1.5 cups of rava and fry it too . Take care to not let it brown. Just a couple of minutes would do.
  • Remove the mix in a wide bowl.
  • Add in the salt and whisk it to ensure it is distributed well.Cool it for about 5 minutes or so.
  • Meanwhile grease the idli molds , place the cashew pieces in it and get the water steaming in the pressure cooker of your choice.
  • Add in the  beaten yogurt + water + lemon juice and mix it well to the cooled Rava mix.
  • The mix would be a little watery initially, but would absorb the liquid in a couple of minutes as the dry sooji rehydrates itself.
  • Just before steaming, add in 1 tsp. Eno and add in the tbsp. of water on it. You should see instant frothing which indicates Eno is active.  Stir it in for well. Do not over mix it as you will kill the activity of the leavening agent.
  • Distribute the wet batter into the 16 greased molds. Top with chopped cilantro.
  • Steam in for about 7-9 minutes. Turn off the flame and let it remain in the steamer for a minute.
  • Hot steaming and super fluffy Idli’s ready in a jiffy.
  • Serve it with tomato chutney, idli chutney powder or potato palya.

 Notes:

  • The batter mix should not be too thick or dry . You will have rock hard Idli’s then. Your batter should be wet and of a thick cake batter consistency.
  • Check to make sure the mix is to the right consistency and mixed well before adding the Eno salt.  Once added, just whisk it for 30 secs. to ensure even distribution and pour it into the molds.
  • You can add grated carrot or cooked peas as an variation. In fact this is such a blank slate, you can top it with almost any veggie of your choice or make it a stuffed one.
  • if your Eno salt is not active, then you will not have soft and fluffy Idli’s.

Banana Cinnamon Quick Breakfast Muffins

Banana Cinnamon Quick Breakfast Muffins

Bananas again? I know what you are thinking. Seriously I am not obsessed with banana, more like trying to finish the remaining 3 sad looking ones – so speckled, that the splotches of brown are beginning to merge to become patches of brown and black on it. The heat and humidity of NC in fact encourages this organic progression at a more ballistic rate. In any case, I wanted to make this into something not terribly sweet and something moist and soft. And something that can be done in minimal equipment. So what do I use? My Magic bullet, a mixing bowl and a whisk. 

Simple, quick , delicious, not overtly sweet, laced with cinnamon and made absolutely moist by the bananas, this are perfect domes of indulgence on a Saturday morning!

Pretty pleased with myself, I dare say!

 Ingredients:

  • All purpose flour (self rising) : 1.5 cups
  • Baking soda : 1/2 tsp.
  • Super ultra ripe bananas : 3
  • Brown Cane sugar : 1/3 cup
  • Egg: 1
  • Flavorless oil: 1/3 cup
  • Ground cinnamon powder: 1.25 -1.5 tsp.
  • Pure vanilla extract: 1 tsp.

 Method:

  • Preheat the oven to 350℉.
  • Line a 12 cup muffin or cupcake pan with paper liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk the flour and soda and cinnamon powder to ensure they are thoroughly mixed.
  • In the large jar of your magic bullet blender or any blender, mush the 3 bananas very well to ensure no lumps.
  • Add in the tsp. of vanilla extract, sugar, oil, 1 egg and whip it all together for a couple of min or so.
  • The mix is now lighter in color and very creamy.( You should have this stage before mixing it in)
  • Add the liquid contents to the dry mix and whisk it all up very gently.
  • You will now have a very thick batter mix ready .
  • Now is the stage for you to add in any chopped nuts or choc chip if using.
  • Distribute the batter in 12 cups to about 3/4 full.
  • Bake it for 18-20 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Let it cool for a bit in the pan, and then further more on the wire rack.
  • Slice, Inhale , Enjoy!

Pointers:

  • You might exceed the 12 cups if the quantity of your mushed bananas are a bit more. It happens to be the only variable that I did not quantify today.
  • Increasing the cinnamon flavor is totally personal.
  • Have a bit of a sweet tooth? Increase the sugar from 1/3 to 1/2 cup. Personally 1/3 looks fine to me.
  • Want to add Honey? Go ahead 1/2 -1/3 cup looks good.
  • Want to add a streusel topping? It will be awesome in this.
  • Nuts? Walnuts would be my first choice. Chopped and folded in the batter would be awesome.
  • Choc chips: 1/3 cup and it would be a real indulgence I would say!

Minty Masala Medhu Vada – Urad Dal Doughnuts ???

This post has been languishing in the drafts for a fair bit of time. In all fairness there are other posts that have to take precedence, but I seems to channel the bit of ADCD.. The attention deficient cleaning disorder ! Only in this case it seems to be on the case of cleaning up my drafts folder.

My little(st) imp turned all of 6 a few weeks back ! And since we have 2 May born in the family, I try to keep the birthday celebrations menu a bit diverse, this one was created for A3 ..This child has sweet teeth.. No seriously, he can dig into anything sweet, but he also loves these Vadai or Urad dal doughnuts  or fried dumplings for lack of a better term.

And I try and create, inculcate, mix and match a few of the flavors to keep it diverse for him as much as possible ..

So here goes..

 Ingredients:

  • Urad dal split or whole : 1.25 cups
  • Brown  basmati rice : a handful
  • Whole Black peppercorns: 1/2 tsp
  • Onion: Chopped finely, 1/2 cup
  • Fresh Cilantro: Chopped finely ,1/4 cup
  • Fresh Mint : Chopped finely , 1/4 cup
  • Green Cabbage: Chopped finely, 1/4 cup
  • Fresh Ginger: 1 inch, peeled grated finely
  • Salt : 1 tsp and adjusted to taste

Preparation:

  • Soak the Urad Dal, rice and pepper corns in a 3 cups of water for a couple of hours.
  • Once it is soaked very well and has completely hydrated itself, drain the water and reserve if required for grinding.
  • Grind it to a thick dough consistency in a blender . Use as little water as possible . Using the south indian style wet grinder would yield the fluffy dough very well, but a blender works very well too.
  • The batter would resemble a very thick pancake batter. Add salt and fluff it up with a fork or whisk.  Air incorporated this way would actually yield the  airy and puffy vadai kind. Plus the addition of rice, would give you the crispier outer texture.
  • Add in all the chopped ingredients and stir in gently.
  • Fry these dumplings your style – doughnut style or simple blobs in hot oil.Just ensure they are fried until golden brown in medium hot oil!
  • That’s it ! Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot with a relish of your choice !

Notes:

This is seriously a very forgiving recipe. Add in grated carrots, chopped spinach, onions for another flavor. Can take up more heat? Add in fine diced Jalapeños!

 

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Whole wheat Bread spiced just right- And stir fried!

Alright ! I confess I get cravings for the spicy , tangy kind. It could be midnight masala or an afternoon -I-want -something -different – crave.

I simply blame them on my genes of course. You see, I have heard from my mom that she often craved for spicy, tangy food during her life enduring phase with me. I beg to differ, I often though the traffic through the placenta was one way kind. After all, genetic makeup of a fetus is heavily influenced by the chromosomal contributors 🙂 Not the other way around!

Either way , I cannot simply endure toast for too long a time. So out pops this creation, to fulfill the craving of a spice deprived palate.

Be warned : this recipe is born out things available at hand , and can be made definitely healthier by addition of veggies. But once in a while, I would love to indulge in guilty bites:-)

Feeding the guilt :

  • Whole wheat bread –  6- 8 slices. Sliced into one inch squares.
  • Red/White/Yellow Onion – 1 Large – diced finely or as per viewer’s choice.
  • GreenThai chillis – 4-5 – chopped finely or slit lengthwise.
  • Turmeric powder – A pinch
  • Curry powder  – 1 tsp
  • White split Urad Dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Black mustard seeds  – 1/4 tsp
  • Asafoetida – A pinch
  • Curry Leaves  – A few
  • Handful of coriander leaves – chopped finely.
  • My open secret ingredient : Maggie hot and sweet tomato chilli sauce – 2 tsp
  • Olive oil : 2 tsp
  • Salt  –  to taste. I used about a 1/4 tsp for this recipe.

And your mouth begins to water …

  • Heat oil in a wok and add in the mustard seeds and pinch of Asafoetida. Add in the urad dal and when it turns brown in color add in the green chillis and curry leaves.  Add  in the pinch of turmeric powder.Sauté for a min or two.
  • Add in the chopped onions and cook them till them are fine and translucent.
  • Add in the curry powder and stir it in for about 30 seconds.
  • Now gently toss in the sliced bread squares. The idea is to coat in the flavors and spices evenly.
  • Now add in the pinch of salt and 2 tsp of maggie tomato chilli sauce.
  • Stir it in gently once again.(By now the aroma wafting from the stove should make your tummies rumble :-))
  • Add in the freshly chopped coriander and serve it right up!

 

Order up!

A fabulous trip down the memory lane !  Serve it with a cup of ginger chai. Life is Jil-Jil Jiga ( according to a very dear friend of my husband !)

Notes:

  • Make a healthier version of this by adding in freshly grated carrots, sprouts and sliced bell peppers
  • Tamarind sweet and sour chutney is a great substitute for the chilli sauce called for in the recipe
  • Bread a little over the shelf life ?? This recipe rescues it ! In fact this one of the  best ways to use it. My craving of course can warrant the use of the freshest bread when required.
  • Whole wheat dinner rolls could be substituted for bread as well.
  • Dont feel like eating chunks of bread?  leave the bread out on the counter aka airing it out for a couple of days. Finely crumble them and use it in the recipe 🙂
  • Feel the need for protein – Add in a few peanuts and you are in:-)

Happy indulging!