Chocolate Muffins with Mini Chocolate Chips!

Chocolate Muffins

My kids are really picky and I’ve made many chocolate muffins but this is the favourite in my house! So now that I created a recipe that’s finally a hit with everyone I’m sticking to it! No more playing around with ingredients anymore when it comes to chocolate muffins/cupcakes in my house! LOL These muffins are really fast to make and have very simple ingredients. Sometimes the simpler recipes create the best outcome!

I want to mention that depending on the flour that you choose to use you may need to use a little more milk in the recipe. If you find it a little too dry then add 1 tbsp. more milk at a time. I tried to cut the sugar down in my recipe but that didn’t work out so well with my taste testing crew over here. Ugh! So it’s best to use 1/2 cup for best results. In order to make myself feel better I only add a few mini chocolate chips on top of each muffin instead of adding them into the batter. I cut down on sugar in that sense and the kids didn’t notice. Hey sometimes you have to be a little sneaky if it’s for their best interest right? 🙂

Here is my super easy and kid approved recipe …

CHOCOLATE MUFFINS WITH MINI CHIPS

* Makes 12 Muffins*

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour, I usually use brown rice flour or spelt flour. I’ve also used a mix of regular unbleached flour and brown rice flour and it worked really well.
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/3 cup veggie or coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder, you can add more if you like a stronger chocolate taste.
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp. flaxmeal
  • 6 tbsp. water
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk. Depending on the type of flour you use you may need up to 1/4 cup extra as some flours draw in the moisture more than others.
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • Handful of vegan mini chocolate chips

You will need:

  • 3 mixing bowls: 1 large, 1 medium & 1 small
  • 1  muffin tin (for 12 muffins)
  • 12 paper muffin liners

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 F
  2. Add your flaxmeal to a small bowl and add 6 tbsp. of water to it. Mix and set aside for a few minutes until it thickens up a bit.
  3. Line your muffin tin with paper liners.
  4. Add flour, baking powder, cocoa and sugar into the large bowl and combine well.
  5. In your medium-sized bowl add milk, oil, vanilla and flaxmeal mixture. Mix well.
  6. Add your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and combine. Don’t over mix. Add in a little extra milk if needed.
  7. Scoop up the batter and fill up your muffin tin.
  8. Top each muffin with some vegan chocolate chips.
  9. Pop them into the oven for 20 minutes.
  • Once baked allow to cool off in the muffin tin. Transfer to an air tight container.

* If you wanted to make cupcakes with this recipe then just add the mini chips to the batter instead. Once baked allow them to cool off completely and then ice them. Place them in the fridge for a bit to allow your icing to set nicely*

Enjoy! 🙂

muffins
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Chestnut Love!

Chestnuts!

Chestnuts!

 
I look forward to this time of year not only because I’m a Christmas-a-holic but I also LOVE Chestnuts! I grew up eating them and they bring back so many great memories. Memories that mostly contain my wonderful grandfather who was like a second father to me. He passed away 11 years ago and I still miss him terribly. I do however have these awesome memories and I truly cherish them.

As per Portuguese custom my grandmother would boil the chestnuts and my grandfather would peel them for me. Yep I had the life eh? 🙂 YUM! I now prefer to roast my chestnuts these days. They are so easy to peel once roasted too which my kids really appreciate! Chestnuts are super fast to cook up and they are a fantastic snack to have this time of year. They are low in calories, have protein, minerals, vitamins, are gluten-free and contain less fat than other types of nuts. They are rich in vitamin C and 100 g provide 43 mg of vitamin C!

Here is how to make this tasty & healthy snack …

 

Roasted Chestnuts

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 F
  2. Line a baking pan/cookie sheet with a piece of parchment paper
  3. Cut a slit into each chestnut so that the steam can escape when your roasting them. Use a small sharp knife or a chestnut cutter. Don’t skip this step or else your chestnuts will explode in your oven!
  4. Pop them into your oven for 20 minutes.

 

Enjoy! 🙂

* Below is a picture of the chestnut cutter if you’re not sure what it looks like. I’ve wanted one for years but never bought one. This year I finally treated myself to one! The one I’ve pictured is the one I bought but many different types are available to choose from. *

chestnut cutterchestnut cutter

 

 

Blueberry Protein Smoothie

Blueberry Protein Smoothie!

Blueberry Protein Smoothie!

 

 

Blueberry Protein Smoothie

  • 2 cups blueberries (I use frozen most of the time)
  • 1 cup chopped cantaloupe
  • 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup lettuce of choice
  • 2 large peaches, chopped up
  • 2 cups cold filtered water
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley (optional)
  • Ice (optional)

 

Add the lettuce, blueberries, peach, parsley (if you’re using it), protein powder, cantaloupe and water to a blender. Blend well to desired consistency. Adjust water if you think you need to add a bit more. Add in some ice if you want your smoothie colder & blend well.

Enjoy! 🙂

 

*Below are some of the reasons why I use parsley in my cooking but also in some of my smoothies as well!*

 

 

Health Benefits Of Parsley!

Health Benefits Of Parsley!

 

Mixed Greens

Mixed Greens

 

blueberries

 

My daughter holding a perfect yummy organic peach!

My daughter holding a perfect yummy organic peach!

 

 

Green Breakfast Smoothie with Chia!

Green Chia Smoothie

 

This is one of my favourite smoothies to whip up for breakfast! Fast to make, it has simple ingredients and then it’s topped with some healthy chia!!! I use a super huge mug for this baby when I make it! 🙂

 

  • 1 large handful of spinach
  • 1 1/2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1-2 tbsp. chia seeds (for topping)
  • a few frozen blueberries (for topping, optional)
  • a few large ice cubes if you want your smoothie to be colder (optional)
  • 1 tsp. Spirulina

 

Toss spinach, almond milk, mixed berries, spirulina and ice cubes if you’re using them into a blender. Once it’s at the consistency your happy with pour into your large glass or huge mug like I do. Top with 1-2 tbsp. of chia seeds and frozen blueberries.

 

Enjoy your energy booster breakfast smoothie! 🙂

Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles!

 Ok these are seriously delicious!!! Mushrooms and garlic go together insanely well as we all know so I thought they would be great for this recipe. I’ve wanted to try working with phyllo for a long time but was too intimidated to. I finally tried yesterday for the 1st time and it actually went pretty darn well! I’ll be making these very often now! I’m also going to try cutting down on the amount of butter used next time I make them. Although I didn’t use an excessive amount of butter in my recipe I think I could probably cut it down even further without jeopardizing the taste.

I bet these would be great with other filling options as well. I plan on creating some other options soon. My youngest daughter is super picky with her veggies but does enjoy broccoli. I will be making a broccoli filling along with this wonderful mushroom mixture next time. There are so many possibilities and I plan on creating many different options!

This recipe would be fantastic served as an appetizer during this holiday season for those of you who are entertaining your friends & family. This will definitely be on our Christmas menu at our house. 🙂

 

 

Garlicky Mushroom Triangles

 

Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

 

You will need:

  • 1 package of phyllo dough
  • About 2 tbsp’s. melted vegan butter
  • large sharp knife
  • parchment paper
  • 1 baking pan/cookie sheet
  • 1 package of mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Himalayan pink salt and black pepper, to taste
  • small frying pan
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • small plate
  • Small pastry brush

 

Method:

  1. Add the 1 tbsp. of olive oil to your pan and toss in the minced garlic into it. Sauté it for a minute on a medium/low heat setting.
  2. Next add in your mushrooms and salt and pepper. Sauté them for about 5 minutes until softened at a medium heat. Set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 F and line the cookie/baking sheet with a piece of parchment paper.
  4. Unroll your phyllo dough and using a sharp knife cut 2, approximately 10cm strips. Then you are going to cut each strip in half.
  5. On the small plate your going to add 3-4 pieces of your phyllo squares and lightly brush a little bit of vegan butter on top. You only need a tiny bit of butter! Don’t over do it!
  6. With a spoon scoop a bit of your mushroom mixture onto your phyllo piece. Then shape it into a triangle and seal it shut.
  7. Transfer to your cookie sheet/baking pan. Continue to make more triangles using your phyllo and mushroom mixture.
  8. Once your baking pan is full then lightly brush a tiny bit of the butter on top of each one.
  9. Bake for approximately 18 minutes. Keep an eye on them as ovens vary in temperature.

 

These went very fast in my house! Next time I will be doubling the recipe! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did. 🙂

* These made approximately 15 triangles*

~Debbie~

 

Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles

 

Baked Mushroom Triangles

Baked Mushroom Triangles

 

My baked Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles!

My baked Garlicky Mushroom Phyllo Triangles!

 

Dinner Rush Tacos!

One of my gotta get dinner on the table fast meals is vegan/vegetarian tacos. They are always a hit with my kids! I love how you can use whatever veggies you have on hand and create a super fast meal. I cook up the veggie “meat” and always add black beans to it because it’s my kids favourite bean. As far as toppings go I use whatever I have in the fridge. I’ve made it using just the “meat” & beans along with chopped bell peppers, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes like pictured below. Other times I add in spinach or other mixed greens, corn and sliced avocado. Top it with a little hot sauce or taco sauce to give it a kick if you like and your cheese of choice. I don’t always top my tacos with “cheese” but if I do then I use a bit of daiya cheese. My kids eat their tacos vegetarian style and use regular cheese because they are not fans of faux cheese at all. As far as the veggie meat goes I try not using it very often because soy is one of the biggest foods genetically modified. When I do buy it I try to get organic when possible for a little piece of mind.

 

Dinner Rush Tacos!

You will need:

  • 1 package of tortilla wraps (I use the small size)
  • 1 package of veggie ground round/veggie “meat”
  • Spices and herbs of choice. I use paprika, oregano, chili powder, Himalayan pink salt and black pepper.
  • Veggies of choice, bell peppers, greens, tomato, etc.
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • A couple tbsp.’s of olive oil
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed very well.
  • 1 large frying pan

 

Method:

  1. Heat olive oil in frying pan and add in garlic and sauté it for a minute on medium heat.
  2. Add your veggie “meat” into the pan and crumble it up.
  3. Next toss in your spices & herbs of choice as well as the black beans.
  4.  Give it a good mix and sauté for about 5 minutes on a medium heat.
  5. Add 1 cup of water and combine well. Cook for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid has been absorbed and your beans are softened.

 

* You can either add in veggies such as bell peppers & mushrooms to your meat & bean mixture and slightly cook them up or serve them raw in your taco*

 

To assemble:

  1. Grab a tortilla wrap and add some of the meat & bean mixture to it and add your veggies of choice.
  2. Top with cheese and taco or hot sauce if desired.
  3. DONE!!! Dinner is served! 🙂

 

Yep it’s pretty much the easiest meal to whip together which is perfect for rushed dinner times!

Enjoy! 🙂

 

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