We are in the home stretch. Our shipping crate is allegedly imminent. We will soon have all of the baking supplies that I packed including my scales and beloved brownie pan! To celebrate this auspicious occasion, what did we do?! Yes you’ve got it, we baked! We made Banana, Orange and White Chocolate Muffins.
There were bananas in the supermarket recently. Back in the UK I would think nothing of weighing out my bananas and buying them so Seb could eat a daily banana. Here in Stanley, I have to remind myself how lucky I am that Seb is the only one in the family who really loves bananas. In our local supermarket they sell for 50p each unless they are brown when they sell for 25p each. I must confess that after seeing a friend buy brown bananas for banana bread and to freeze for smoothies I quickly followed suit. I bought a 10 bananas and promptly froze 8 in slices to put in cakes. Yes I did also ensure that I cut each banana into the same amount of pieces so that I knew how many slices made up a banana. In case you need to know, in this instance it was 6.
Having all those bananas in the freezer meant that a banana bake was on the cards. I was in the fortunate enough position to have some leftover white chocolate following my raspberry blondie making session for Simon’s birthday so combined with some orange zest and bananas and boom! There you have it these yummy muffins were born!
2 ripe bananas
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
4tbsp melted butter
Zest of 2 oranges
100g chocolate chips/chopped chocolate
Preheat the oven to 180°c fan.
Mush the banana with a fork and make it as smooth as you can.
Put the mashed bananas, flour, sugar, milk and melted butter into a large bowl.
Crack the 2 eggs into a small bowl and gently whisk.
Add the whisked eggs to the bowl and then mix until all the ingredients are fully combined.
Add the chocolate and the orange zest and mix to ensure they are distributed evenly.
Divide the mixture between 12 muffin cases and place in the oven for 18-20 minutes until they are golden and springy to the touch.
These didn’t last long, and it wasn’t because we had friends popping in to share them! Atticus and Ophelia did a stellar job and even helped with the washing up and were rewarded with a clean bowl of water with bubbles for their boats. Yes they did get rather soggy and it did necessitate a change of clothes for each child, oh and several tea towels to absorb all the water that had spilled onto the floor!
Simon’s gardening philosophy is very simple; if you can’t eat it, he would prefer not to plant it. This has led to him creating a fruit patch in pretty much every single house in which we have lived. He also grew courgettes for me despite despising them – yes it must be true love. My summertime memories with the kids in our current house are saturated with harvesting fruit and vegetables from the garden and trying to persuade the kids that if the berries are still green then they are unripe… As they get older this is obvious, but to a one or two year old it is somewhat confusing!
The fruit patch doesn’t only produce fruit, it turns out it is also a wonderful for igniting the children’s imaginations. It has been a forest to explore; to look for Gruffalos or bears. I think it has also been a kelp forest during the Octonaut obsession each of our kids seems to have had!
Back to the subject of this post – raspberries. I wanted to use them in healthy recipe for summer with the kids and a bit of contemplation this was the outcome. These will definitely feature prominently in our summer kitchen and I hope they do in yours too.
With only 4 ingredients, this is a speedy recipe that children will love making. As an added bonus, it is perfect for working on fine motor skills with younger children and is a welcome treat in the summer months.
150g fresh raspberries
200g Greek-style natural yoghurt
Milk chocolate chips
Wash your raspberries and allow to dry.
Line a baking tray or container (that will fit in your freezer) with greaseproof paper or a silicone baking mat.
Measure out the yoghurt into a large bowl and add the honey and mix to combine.
Count out the raspberries and the same amount of chocolate chips (and maybe a couple of extra for hungry tummies!)
Place a single chocolate chip inside each raspberry.
One at a time, gently put the raspberries into the bowl of yoghurt and cover completely using a spoon.
Fish the yoghurt-coated raspberries out with a fork and gently place them on the lined baking tray.
Repeat until all the raspberries are covered.
Place in the freezer until frozen and leave there until you want to serve them.
Ophelia had a Muddy Puddle walk for Save the Children at nursery today. By the sounds of it, grown ups and pre-schoolers alike had fun and managed to get drenched! In anticipation of this event, I thought it would be fun to make some muddy puddles of our own to get into the spirit. She had lots of fun spooning, mashing and squishing, mixing, dolloping and sprinkling. It has to be said that you do have to use your imagination when looking at them, because they could be described as looking a bit like cow pats. This was the reason for adding the leaf shaped sprinkles to make people realise their true nature!
This recipe is essentially a truffle made with only 3 ingredients (4 if you include the sprinkles!), but instead of rolling them into truffles, we dolloped teaspoons of the mixture onto greaseproof paper and flattened with the back of a spoon. To make these you will only need 1 small ripe avocado, chocolate and some vanilla extract. We used only dark chocolate as that is what I had in the house, but I would recommend using half dark chocolate and half milk chocolate if you are making this recipe for small children so that it is a little sweeter. To make them dairy free or vegan, you just need to ensure that your chocolate is dairy free/vegan.
Ophelia was rather intrigued by the large stone in the middle of the avocado and after several attempts managed to get it out. I loved the fact that she tried several times to get it out and didn’t give up until she had achieved it. I feel the need to add at this point, that this is the only way the boys will eat avocado! Ophelia seemed to like it on its own, but the boys have turned their noses up at it several times in salad and homemade guacamole. To my delight, Atticus asked for a second and as he was consuming avocado, I was happy to let him have another!
1 small ripe avocado
175g chocolate of choice (see above paragraph for further advice on chocolate choice)
1/2tsp of vanilla extract
Sprinkles of choice (we used autumn leaves ones which I managed to get on offer at TKMaxx, but anything, would work such as chocolate or coloured strands, etc)
Adult slice the avocado in half.
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler.
If sufficiently ripe, ask your child to pull out the stone. They may need encouraging to hold the avocado with one hand and to pull the stone out with the other hand.
Scoop out the flesh of the avocado and put it into a bowl. Mash with a fork until smooth. You may want to use a stick blender to ensure that it is completely smooth.
Add the vanilla extract and the melted chocolate to the mashed avocado and mix to combine fully.
Take tsp amounts and spoon onto a greaseproof lined baking tray and gently press down with the back of the teaspoon.
Add the sprinkles to the top and store in the fridge until you want to eat.
I thought these were really yummy and the kids enjoyed them too. They felt less naughty as they contained avocado rather than double cream. So two thumbs up from our family and a big yippie as they contain a hidden vegetable!