Double Chocolate Rye Muffins and Food Revolution Day

double chocolate rye muffins

Since when can double chocolate anything actually be considered a muffin?

I was skeptical but this recipe was recommended to me by a friend of sound food judgement. She’s good at combining the nutritious with the delicious and her recipe radar is always tuned to “healthy”.

We all know that the muffin world is rife with imposters, especially all those cupcakes masquerading as muffins. This is one instance where the reverse is actually the case. They look like rich, dense chocolate cupcakes but as soon as you take a bite you know they’re muffins.

Not too sweet, with an earthy texture from the whole rye flour and studded with dense nuggets of dark chocolate, these muffins let you have your sweet fix, or your chocolate fix, without going over the top.

double chocolate rye muffins

This muffin’s good looks worked against it with my kids. Even though I said chocolate “muffin” their eyes saw a dozen chocolate cupcakes cooling on the counter which set them up for profound disappointment when they each took a bite.

Well, too bad for them.

They can make their own chocolate cupcakes. And they can, they have done it before. Not many kids can though.

Tomorrow I’m teaching 24 grade 8 kids at my son’s school how to cook. It’s my Food Revolution Day project. Chef Jamie Oliver started Food Revolution Day to get kids in the kitchen and to connect them with real food.

On the menu:

Wish me luck!

double chocolate rye muffins

Double Chocolate Rye Muffins

Adapted from Green Kitchen Stories Makes 12 large muffins

  • 1 scant cup rye flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 6 Tbsp. cacao powder
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk or full-fat coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2/3 cup grape seed or canola oil
  • 100 g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped or ½ cup dark chocolate chips

 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F and prepare a muffin pan.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together all dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl beat the eggs until frothy then add the milk, molasses and oil.
  4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture, stirring just until incorporated.
  5. Add the chocolate or add half of the chocolate and save the other half to sprinkle on top of the muffins before baking.
  6. Spoon batter into the muffin tins and top with remaining of the dark chocolate (if that’s what you chose to do).
  7. Bake for about 18 minutes.

If you’re looking for more wholesome muffin recipes you might enjoy our Carrot Cake Muffins, or our Banana Oat Muffins

banner-carrot1wholesome banana oat muffins with molasses

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly email too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Here’s to eating well, everyday,

Bridget signature

Easy as pie Gluten-Free Banana Bread

banana bread - pinterest

I read someplace that banana bread is one of the most popular recipes in North America. It’s one of those tea bread staples that never went out of fashion and somehow traveled from the bridge table to school lunches without skipping a beat.

There must be a thousand variations of the classic banana bread out there, some with peanut butter others with butterscotch chips, there are chocolate versions. I’m sure they’re all good but my favourite is really just plain old banana bread, with a touch of spice.

banana bread - slice

This is a gluten-free version of a classic banana bread. It has a lovely moist crumb and a subtle spice flavour. The molasses helps make it extra moist and adds a flavour that works beautifully with the banana. Use very ripe banana’s for an intense banana flavour.

gluten free banana bread with molasses

No one would even guess that it’s gluten free.

If your banana’s aren’t ripen enough you can always ripen them in the oven. Here’s how.

This recipe works well as mini muffins too.

Gluten-free Banana Bread with Molasses

Adapted from Hun…What’s for dinner?

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. buttermilk, yogurt or soured milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1 1/4 cups)
  • 2 cups gluten-free flour blend*
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg

* Gluten-free flour blend: 4 cups fine brown rice flour, 1 1/3 cups potato starch (not potato flour), 2/3 cup tapioca flour. Whisk together and store in an airtight container. (Recipe from The Allergen-Free Baker’s Handbook)

Instructions:

  1. Grease a large loaf pan or line it with parchment paper. (Or use three mini loaf pans).
  2. In a large bowl combine the melted butter with the sugar and stir well. Add the molasses and then the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the buttermilk, vanilla and then the mashed banana.
  3. In a separate bowl combine the flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir gently, just until combined. Take care not to over mix.
  5. Bake at 350 F for 50-60 minutes.
  6. Let cool in pan 10 minutes before upending on cooling rack.

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly email too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Here’s to eating well, everyday,

Bridget signature

Carrot cake muffins and an unbelievable discovery

Carrot cake muffins with molasses cream cheese icing

This has been the week of losing things, or forgetting things I suppose, which isn’t much different. Until you remember where you put your punch card or snow pants or retainer or Blue Tooth charger, all are as good as lost.

It has hit my entire family like the flu.

We have all misplaced everyday things so it has been a week of turning the house upside down in our search, and wondering things like “Do you suppose the dog ate Amelia’s retainer?

Dog

But it has also been the week of waking in the middle of the night remembering that the missing plate is at Martha’s (from the night I ran over with a slice of Linzer torte) and the punch card in in the pouch of the knapsack that got put in the basement.

Yesterday we had the greatest discovery of all… I found Amelia’s missing iPod at the end of the driveway. Lost December 21 it endured a major ice storm, a record-breaking cold snap and two torrential rain storms. We stuck it in a bag of rice for 24 hours to dry it out and voila, it works. Unbelievable.

Carrot cake muffins with molasses cream cheese icing

To celebrate I made a molasses cream cheese frosting for a yummy batch of carrot cake muffins, just to make them more of a treat.

These are light and airy muffins, with three eggs and not much butter. They’re moist but not wet like some carrot muffins can be and they’re not oily or interrupted by nuts.

Carrot cake muffins with molasses cream cheese icing

Carrot Cake muffins with molasses cream cheese icing

Muffins

Make 18 regular-sized muffins

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup finely shredded carrots
  1. Preheat oven to 350° and prepare muffin pans.
  2. In a small pan melt butter, remove from heat and stir in molasses.
  3. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs. Whisk in the milk and yogurt then add the butter-molasses mixture along with the vanilla.
  4. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  5. Carefully add the wet mixture, stirring until just combined. Stir in the grated carrots and mix until incorporated.
  6. Spoon into prepared pans and bake at 350°  F for about 20 minutes.

Let cupcakes cool before icing.

Molasses Cream cheese icing

Molasses cream cheese icing

Up until yesterday I was not a cream cheese icing fan. I had always found it cloyingly sweet I suppose in part because it’s often piled a mile high on cake. But then I discovered this approach…no icing sugar. Sure it doesn’t make as much in a batch, but the silky texture and delightful flavour mean you don’t need a lot to satisfy.

  • 1 – 250 g package of cream cheese, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, softened
  • 3-4 Tbsp. Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Beat together the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the molasses and vanilla.

Have you made any great discoveries this year?

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly email too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Here’s to eating well, everyday,

Bridget signature

 

 

Pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts and molasses

 Pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts and molasses

My kids have Halloween all mapped out. Literally.

They have drawn a map of the route they want to take to ensure they are making the most efficient use of their time and effort. And they have started to lobby for their choice of candy they’d like us to give out this year…already planning for leftovers.

We did our elaborate pumpkin carving last weekend, as part of our family’s Thanksgiving tradition, which means that a very simply carved pumpkin will suffice on Halloween night.

Carved pumpkins

All that’s left to plan are the costumes.

When I was little we had a big tickle trunk full of old dress up clothes to choose from. On Halloween day we’d rummage through it to assemble a costume and away we’d go.

One year I wore the hoop skirt from my mom’s wedding dress and tripped over the front hem the whole evening. Another time my costume included my grandfather’s tall leather Frontiersman boots, which were about five sizes too big. There was the year my dad helped me craft a cardboard box into a present with holes for my arms and a big bow on my head. The year I was a flower (I sewed big petals onto a bonnet) it snowed.

Pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts and molasses

There is nothing like Halloween memories to keep me cooking with pumpkin.

This latest recipe is a delicious adaptation of pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts from Daily Garnish.

They’re beautifully spiced and have a luscious texture thanks to the pumpkin puree. Lots of chopped walnuts and some candied ginger give them more of a grown-up taste and make them more interesting than your run-of-the-mill pumpkin muffin.

Pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts and molasses

Pumpkin spice muffins with walnuts and molasses

Adapted from Daily Garnish

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/2 cup Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped walnut pieces
  • 1/4 cup candied ginger, minced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (including brown sugar).
  3. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs with the pumpkin mixture then add the oil, molasses and vanilla.
  4. Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until almost combined.
  5. Toss in the walnuts and ginger (reserving about 1 Tbs. of the ginger and 3 Tbsp. of the walnuts to sprinkle over top of the muffins before baking.)
  6. Gently fold the walnuts and ginger into the batter.
  7. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups and bake for about 30 minutes (until a tester comes out clean).

If you enjoy baking with pumpkin try our Pumpkin spice loaf recipe:

Pumpkin spice bread with molasses and ginger

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. The sign-up form is on the top right hand side of this page. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

Bridget signature

Healthy Blueberry Wheat Germ Muffins

healthy blueberry wheat germ muffins

My sister Mary Jo has been making these blueberry wheat germ muffins for as long as I can remember. They’re a favourite of mine thanks to their lovely light texture and an almost nutty sweetness from the wheat germ. The wheat germ makes these extra healthy too. Just ask Dr. Oz.

Wheat germ is packed with nutrients and unfortunately gets sifted out of regular white and unbleached white flour. Adding it to baked goods, or homemade molasses granola, is an easy way to work this great food into your diet. Of course you can make these blueberry wheat germ muffins even healthier by using stoneground flour. I use whole white flour (sometimes called white whole wheat). Another option is to use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat or spelt flour in this recipe.

I consider muffins the perfect lunch box snack but my kids don’t always agree. To get them eating these again I made a little modification to the original recipe…I added a touch of molasses and some blueberries. Occasionally I’ll add chocolate chips instead and if they’re a treat for me I’ll add candied ginger.

healthy blueberry wheat germ muffins

Healthy Blueberry Wheat Germ Muffins

  • ½ cup wheat germ
  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 cup of plain yogurt (or flavoured, if that’s what you have on hand)
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 3 Tbsp Grandma Fancy Molasses
  • 1 cup blueberries (more if you prefer)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and grease 12 regular-sized muffin cups
  2. In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients.
  3. In another bowl combine yogurt, eggs, oil and molasses.
  4. Pour wet mixture over the dry ingredients and mix gently, just until combined.
  5. Stir in blueberries.
  6. Spoon into prepared muffin pans and bake at 350 F for 18-20 minutes.

 

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email.



We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. Our Making Life Delicious newsletter includes cooking tips, menu ideas and featured recipes. Here’s the link to our monthly email sign-up form.

 

healthy blueberry wheat germ muffins