Posts Tagged 'Food'

Banana Oatmeal Muffins

It’s autumn. The days are getting chillier. I’m in the mood to bake. So you may end up seeing a lot recipes and food photos in the coming weeks. Here is a simple recipe for banana oatmeal muffins. They are easily made vegan by using a milk substitute and egg-replacer. In this case, I used a cornstarch and water mixture, but you can use a store-bought kind like Ener-G Egg Replacer. Just follow the directions for making one egg. I’ve also read you can use arrowroot powder in the same manner and measurements that I used the cornstarch. I’ve never done this and would love to hear how well it works if you have.

I was inspired by a recipe I found in a little, vintage community cookbook. The original called for oil but I went for apple sauce for a healthier alternative.

Banana Oatmeal Muffins
Makes about 12 muffins

1/2 cup sour* milk of choice
1 egg, beaten OR 1 tablespoon cornstarch whisked into 3 tablespoons water
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 medium very ripe banana, mashed (about 1/2 cup)**
1/3 cup apple sauce
1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped

*I used almond milk this time but cow, rice, soy, etc would all work. To make it “sour” just add 1 1/2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar. Stir well and let sit for a few minutes, until it starts to “curdle.”

**If you thaw a frozen very-ripe banana, you’ll get more flavor and juice from the banana. Whenever you have bananas getting black, pop them in the freezer until you are ready to use them in yummy baked goods. Take them out to thaw, mash and add the goodness to your recipe.

Preheat oven to 400 F.

In a small bowl, add the vinegar to the milk to make it “sour.” Let sit for a few minutes.

In another small bowl beat your egg or whisk the cornstarch and water until it’s well dissolved.

Now, in a mixing bowl, sift together the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Add in sour milk, egg or cornstarch mixture, mashed banana and apple sauce and stir with spoon until well incorporated. Don’t over-mix though. The trick to muffin batter is to not play with it too much.

Fold in the chopped nuts.

Spoon into a greased muffin tins, about 1/2 to 2/3 full.

(You can sprinkle a little extra brown sugar or white crystal sugar on top, if you want.)

Bake for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned and baked through. (If you insert a toothpick, it should come out clean.)

Feel free to double or triple this recipe and freeze the extras.

Printable Recipe Document (with image.)
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Garden Update

Well, summer is officially over. Autumn came breezing right in. We are rounding the bend out there in the garden. It’s just about done. My dad gathered all the butternut and hubbard squash.

And dug up pretty much all the potatoes.

The beans are about done—some large ones were left to dry out for shelling beans.

There are still a couple radishes, beets and a little lettuce.

Once the first frost hits, we can harvest the kale.

Then, come December 1st, we can plant our garlic. We picked some up locally and the farmers said they always plant on the first of December—which gives us time to figure out where we are going to put them. Raised bed, perhaps? It’s our first time growing it, so any tips would be greatly welcome!

Before we left for work this morning, my Mother asked me if I was sad or relieved that the garden is about done. Like a great many things, it’s bittersweet. I’m grateful I don’t have to do all that work. And I feel happy and accomplished. But there have been (very brief) moments where I wondered what I will do with myself now that my free time isn’t so wholly consumed*.

I say brief because I quickly remember how much more I have to do. I sat down last night and wrote up a list of things I want to sew. Lets just say I ended up with a cramp in my hand and alternating feelings of being overwhelmed and excited.

I’m also worried about the lack of responsibility the garden brings. It demands your attention. If you don’t go out and pick that zucchini, by tomorrow it’ll be too big. If you don’t weed, the little carrot shoots will get choked out. I’m hoping I can bring that kind of discipline and urgency into my sewing again. It’s about making habits. I’ve decided I need to go into my studio everyday for at least twenty minutes, even if spend it ironing scraps of fabric.

*Honestly, I don’t understand people who say they are bored. I’ll admit there are times when I am too tired to do anything or too anxious to focus enough to do anything. But bored? Never. It has a lot to do with how I was raised. I think once in my life I sighed and said I was bored and my father responded with: I’ll find something for you to do and promptly handed me a list of chores. Needless to say, I learned to keep myself busy. Or at least never admit to boredom.

Anyway, I think this will be my last weekly garden update for the season.

How did your summer go? Was it bountiful? Did you learn any significant lessons? Planning anything different for next year? Are you excited about Autumn?

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Liesl Made Blueberry Agave Muffins

Back in March of 2011 I shared a recipe for Blueberry muffins sweetened with agave. The original recipe called for sugar but at that time I was experimenting more with alternative sweeteners. So I altered it to use agave and have since made them many, many times that way. They are kind of my go-to baked good. It’s really just one bowl and one muffin tin. Easy to make, easy to clean up and (a bit too) easy to eat.

I haven’t been doing much baking this summer so this recipe lingered, neglected with all my other recipes on the shelf. But autumn in here now and I have the urge to bake. Plus a reader recently asked if the vegetable oil could be replaced with coconut oil. Which is a perfect idea since I am trying to add variety to my diet with more natural fats and oils. I did a little research and you can easily substitute coconut oil with vegetable oil at at 1:1 ratio when baking. (If you want you can skip the coconut and use the same amount of vegetable oil, like in the old recipe.) Maybe someday I’ll try it with butter instead. Because, who doesn’t love buttery muffins?

Recently someone also said they quadrupled the batch and they turned out too salty. I just did a double batch (therefore double the salt) with no problems. But I thought it was worth noting to keep in mind that someone had that problem, in case you are looking to make massive amounts of these.

Another helpful tip: Swirl some of the melted coconut oil in your measuring cup before measuring the agave—it helps the sticky syrup slip right out.

I’m also using larger blueberries. In the old recipe, I used the wild Maine blueberries. The larger ones are bit harder to work with in the batter but you get an awesome burst of blueberry goodness when you bite into one!

New Blueberry Agave Muffins
(makes about 8-12 muffins, depending on size desired)

1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup milk (soy/almond/cow’s/rice/etc)
1/8 cup or 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
3/4 cup frozen blueberries

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.

In a bowl combine dry ingredients.

Stir in wet ingredients until you have a nice thick batter.

Fold in blueberries.

Spoon into greased muffin tins, about half to three-quarters full.

Bake for about 25 minutes, or until done and just getting browned on the top. Cooking time may be a little less or a little more depending on how big your tins are.

(Some folks in this house like a little crunch from crystal sugar sprinkled on top, so that is what you see on some of the muffins in the photos. If you allow sugar in your diet, feel free to do the same.)

I also used frozen sweet cherries in place of the blueberries and they were quite good. I just recommend you cut the cherries into quarters (or at least halves) before adding to the batter.

I’ve been experimenting trying to make them gluten free. I’ll share a recipe if I am successful.

Printable document (with image.)
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I had an insanely lovely weekend. Let’s see: I went for a walk.

Because Saturday was beautiful.

Fell in love with autumn all over again.

Saw a deer on the way home.

Lit a fire.

Started a little fall cleaning in my studio!

Ate a wonderful Sunday dinner, including fried (homegrown) potatoes with fresh rosemary. On the grill.

I ate meat. For the first time in seven years.

Made two pies. (Recipe soon!)

How was your weekend?

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Weekly Finds

My Mom made a peach pie (while the peaches are still in season.) Wasn’t exactly the prettiest thing, but I hear it was delicious.
"Sun" Dried Tomatoes
I came across this post (via someone in blogland or pinterest, can’t remember who/where) and decided to make up some “sun” dried tomatoes. I simply washed them up, cut in half and dried in the dehydrator until done. Now I’ll freeze them and we can rehydrate them for use in pasta dishes or other dishes to bring a little summer into our winter. (Do you use sun dried tomatoes? Have any great ideas on how to use them?)
(I’m also hoping to make some tomato confit today, with the excess of Roma tomatoes we have.)
Zucchini "Fries"
Inspired by this, I made some zucchini fries. Mine turned out a little soggy but were still tasty.
New reads from the library and the mail to indulge in this weekend: Anthro catalog, Whole Living, Making It (Also one + one, which I flipped through and returned.)

I very much loved Soulemama’s post Convalescence. Well said, lady.

Normally, lists like this seem to only state the obvious. And perhaps this one does too, but for some reason I found it really helpful right now.

Yellow Bird Project

My photo was featured in this “making everyday beautiful: hello September” collage over at emma lamb.

Really digging this song. And this one. And this one, too.

I have a roll of film being developed at the local drug store, so expect a film photography post soon.

What have you been finding and enjoying this week?

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A lifestyle blog for the sewing and knitting projects, photography, homemaking adventures, gardening, inspirations and other ramblings of a 20-something artist. (more...)


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