High-fibre, Low-fat Breakfast Muffins

Bored of the same old breakfast?  Fruit or Porridge not hitting the spot?   What about toast?  Well, lovely people, fear not.  I have a delicious and decent substitute to brighten up the seemingly endless grey mornings. But what can it be, I hear you ask?  (sorry, I hear those who skipped the post title ask; slackers)…

Coconut-Ginger Muffins (makes 12)

I’ve never had muffins for breakfast as by the time I had discovered such a wonder I was gluten-free so they weren’t really an option.  That is, unless I bought the ridiculously sweet, overly dry/overly gooey (always one or the other, so hit and miss) gluten-free variety.  Now I can experience this joy with my cup of coffee (with soy milk that doesn’t curdle!  Yes, I am still overjoyed with this discovery).  Here’s the recipe, that was inspired by one in VWAV:

Ingredients

2 1/2 oz raisins (soaked in hot water, whilst making the batter)
5 oz rice flour
2 tsps baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
3 1/2 oz sugar
2 tsps ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 oz desiccated coconut
2 tbsp ground flax seed
300ml soya milk
5 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method

Preheat the oven to 200C (fan) and either grease a muffin tin or line it with paper cases.  Sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarb, ginger, cinnamon, and salt.

Stir in the sugar, coconut and flaxseed so that everything is combined.  Make a hole in the centre of the dry ingredients and add all the wet ingredients (i.e. everything else apart from the raisins).  Drain the raisins and fold them into the batter.  Pour into the paper cases and bake for approx 25 mins. (A knife or cocktail stick inserted into the middle of a muffin should come out clean when they are ready).

Enjoy with your cup of joe, builder’s tea, or ‘erbal tea.

Btw, if you want to make these into more of a dessert, or if you just have a really sweet tooth in the morning, then you can ice them with the chocolate frosting from my post here).  This is how the husband likes to eat them, but I prefer them in their pure form :)

Each muffin (without the icing) contains 1.7 grams of fibre (which I’m guessing is good?), zero cholesterol (that’s definitely good, right?) and, for you calorie counters out there, only 188cals (I’m not going to make a habit of finding this information out because calorie counting can be a slippery slope, and a difficult rut to climb out of).  In this instance curiosity got the better of me.  Lucky I don’t have a cat…

Conscious Chocolate

Today there have been two highlights.  And this is despite being at a conference all about interprofessional working (don’t get me wrong; I think it’s important, especially when providing top quality patient care, however I’d prefer not to have a two-day conference all about it).  But that’s ok because the first highlight occurred at 6:30 this morning when…

… I finally discovered how to enjoy coffee with soy milk without the soy milk curdling!  I know you probably think that I’m WAY behind on the times but honestly I’ve been trying every trick in the book and googling the topic to death.  So what changed?  I read somewhere that if you add a tiny bit of bicarbonate of soda to the coffee (after you’ve made it up with hot water and before adding the milk), give it a good stir, then add the soy milk and voila!  (See below for evidence).  Apparently the alkalinity of the bicarb neutralises the acid in the coffee that causes the soy milk to curdle.  Now my mornings start with a lovely cup of coffee; black coffee in the morning is far too strong for my constitution.


Then this evening highlight number 2 occurred: I finally tried each of the six (yes, six) bars of raw chocolate that the generous vegan and vegetarian society approved company, Conscious sent me.  They state on their site that,

“To create delicious dark chocolate has always been the vision of Conscious Chocolate. Our range is as healthy as it is luxurious. Our mandate is that everyone, regardless of dietary requirements, can enjoy the variety of chocolate we make.”

Happy times!

These chocolate bars are handmade and with the best quality ingredients.  I love how the packaging is simply designed and that the chocolate is in biodegradeable wrapping rather than foil or plastic.  But what about the taste?  Each bar is decadently rich and creamy, and complemented by it’s own additional flavour.  My personal favourite is the Essential Orange one.  The texture of each bar resembles chocolate truffles rather than your standard chocolate bar but this adds to the pleasure.  Remember a certain choclate bar advert with a woman in a bubble bath enjoying a bar of velvetty chocolate by a well known brand (the one that isn’t Cadbury’s)?  Well, these chocolate bars are at least a few steps ahead of the game.  Not only are they smoother than this well known brand (which I think has a different name in the US) but they are infinitely better for your health, the environment, and the welfare of animals.  Remind me why I’m only now buying them???  So where can you buy these beauties from?  They are available at most of local health food stores, online health food sites (such as Goodness Direct and Funky Raw), as well as directly from the Conscious website.  Whilst these are a little pricey, when it comes to treats not only tasting good but being good for you, personally, I’m happy to pay the extra.  So far I have tried Essential Orange, The Nutty One, Mint Hint, Berry Christmas, Plain, and Goji & Coconut (which is amazing!).  There are 8 other flavours that I’m yet to try; bring it on.

Are you sold?  What other makes of raw chocolate have you tried, and what were they like?

Love the Leaves: An Ode to Lettuce

I thought it was high time that the often neglected iceberg, romaine and other varieties of green leaves had the spotlight.  These leaves, especially the iceberg, are often associated with bland diet food.  However, I would like to suggest that the ‘berg deserves more respect and love than this, as do the other varieties of leaves that we humans and herbivores enjoy.  Therefore, I would like to state my argument present my ode in both picture format and carefully selected and long-pondered words.

To the Romaine variety, but can also include other types of leaves that can double up as a wrap or cup (e.g. collard, chinese lettuce).  How I love to stuff you full with various fillings and devour you.

Kale and Spinach; forgive me for not liking you raw, but I love you lightly sauteed and used in soups.  Thank you for providing me with great amounts of calcium, iron, folic acid, and vitamins A&C.

To all varieties of salad leaves such as escarole, raddiccio and frisee; you are more to me than diet food.  You are my staple lunch that I love to dress up in hummus,

spicy thai dressings,

balsamic vinaigrettes,

and chutneys.

In the evenings I like to enjoy you simply, nude, in all your natural glory, and alongside a sweet potato, vege sausages, and all other main meals.

Thank you, sweet/bitter leaves, for all the joy you bring to my meal times and the nourishment you give to my body.  Without you, I would be nothing… Ok, I’d stlll be here but probably not as healthy.