sunday muffins…gluten free and vegan chocolate chocolate chip…

today’s muffins are MINI muffins and they are amazing! the perfect bite sized muffin to eat with a cup of afternoon tea and a good book!

stuck in another Sunday lockdown here in istanbul, making these muffins were a perfect midday distraction for me and alegra. because they are mini muffins they bake quickly and this super easy recipe can be made in only one bowl- making it ideal for easy cleanup too!

our book reading of the day featured a mouse and a brownie and i enjoyed a chocolatey treat along with the mouse…

easy to make, easy to eat 🙂 and easy to pack as a healthy snack- we hope you enjoy these muffins as much as we did!

ingredients:

instructions:

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 C) and line 2 mini muffin tins. 
  • Prepare flax eggs and set aside. 
  • Mash bananas in the bottom of a large mixing bowl and then add wet ingredients and mix well. Add coconut sugar, baking powder, and sea salt mix once more. 
  • Next stir in cocoa powder, gluten-free flour, oats, and almond flour. Our batter was a bit thick so we added a little more almond milk, but don’t worry it will be thicker rather than thinner- perfect for scooping! 
  • Finally stir in the chocolate chips and then fill up the mini muffin tins.  
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes and then cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Remove the muffins from the tin and allow to cool on a cooling rack.
  • Will keep for up to 5 days in the fridge, enjoy with a cup of tea and a good book 🐭

**recipe adapted from the always amazing, minimalist baker**

today’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Brownie

sunday muffins…. gluten free and vegan lemon poppyseed…

sunday muffins…. gluten free and vegan lemon poppyseed…

i am happy to report that with the exception of not having any muffin tin liners left at home this recipe went off without a hitch! and, as an added bonus- just as i was contemplating prepping for the muffins one of my best buddies here in istanbul sent me a giant bag of lemons! it was fate.

i woke up early to bake these for our breakfast and it was so worth it.  nearly sugar free, the lemony taste with the poppyseeds was just perfect and i savored my muffin with a fantastic cup of morning coffee.

it was early enough that i was moving a bit slowly, but i would say these muffins could be ready in one-hour tops. have your ingredients ready and a hot oven waiting, and you will be set.

ingredients

  • zest of 2 lemons
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flax seed with 6 tbsp water- mix and set aside)
  • ½ cup nut mylk
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil-softened
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tbsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds

instructions

  • preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. (400f)
  • line muffin tin with muffin liners or grease with coconut oil and sprinkle with almond flour
  • mix together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, poppy seeds and lemon zest
  • in a separate bowl mix flax eggs, lemon juice, coconut oil and nut mylk
  • combine wet and dry ingredients and spoon into muffin tin
  • cook for 20-25 minutes (mine were perfect at 22 minutes) and cool on baking rack
  • serve warm with a good cup of coffee… enjoy!!!

sunday muffins…. gluten free very berry

another lockdown weekend; another funny muffin story! 

yesterday i was absolutely exhausted. i had bitten off too many weekend projects, had too many meals to cook and way too many things to tidy and by the time our muffin baking rolled around i had really had it with the idea of being in the kitchen.  

my beautiful children came to the rescue! alegra loves all things cooking related anyway so she was ready to help and alara has been studying like a crazy person for her upcoming in-person exams.  we still don’t know if these exams will actually happen but, rightfully so, she really wants to be prepared.  give or take a few days, when she goes back mid-week, she will have not hand any in person learning for exactly 12 months. (the other two did have the opportunity to go to “real” school in the fall so alara holds our family record for number of days of online school.) 

i had planned to make some very berry muffins- one of my favorites- but i had not planned well enough to actually make sure we had all the ingredients we might need. oops.

we did seem to have an inordinate amount of coconut flour, so that is what we used. the end result was good, although very coconutty! if you do decide to recreate our coconutty berry muffins just be prepared to use a bit more almond milk as coconut flour tends to soak up liquid more than other gluten free flours.

ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups gluten free flour (in hindsight i recommend using an almond flour and oat combo)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • ¾ cup nut mylk (or more if using coconut flour)
  • 1 flax egg (or regular if not vegan)
  • 8 tablespoons melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mixed frozen berries
  • ¾ cup brown sugar 

instructions:

  • preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (375 f)
  • prepare muffin tin with liners
  • combine berries and sugar and mix gently- set aside
  • mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger together.
  • in a separate bowl combine nut mylk, flax egg and melted coconut oil
  • make a well in dry ingredients and pour wet ingredients in
  • mix until just combined; adding more nut mylk if necessary- batter should be moist and may have some small lumps
  • add berry mixture and mix gently
  • spoon batter into muffin tins – cook for 20-25 minutes until toothpick comes out clean and tops are browned
  • cool slightly on cooling rack and serve warm for a perfect breakfast treat!  

**recipe loosely adapted from ina garten’s barefoot contessa cookbook**

sunday muffins- gluten free and vegan banana…

funny story about this sunday’s muffins- alara and i were cooking a bunch of food for the lockdown weekend and i decided we would “try out” this recipe i had come up with.

but truth be told, i really was not concentrating on the muffins and so the whole thing turned into a bit of a joke!!!

i added extra ingredients, put in a bit too much baking powder, and completely forgot to preheat the oven 😅

oh well! the results were still delicious, and we tried out the recipe again today for a loaf of banana bread and so now the recipe is tried and true and ready to be shared…

covid and lockdown have been really stressful for us all and a bit of baking and laughing this week did us all a lot of good…

my wish for you is to have the (maybe unexpected) chance to enjoy the baking process with one of your children too; and be sure to get some laughs in too!!!

these muffins are perfect for breakfast- serve with a large dollop of nut butter, a sprinkling of chia seeds and a cup of coffee for a perfect winter treat.

oh! and i forgot, this is a blender recipe, so you only need one mixing bowl- or a blender- and you are set…

ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar 
  • 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup nut mylk
  • ¼ cup nut butter 
  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

instructions:

  • preheat oven to 180 degrees 
  • line a muffin tin with muffin liners 
    • use a bread pan lined with parchment paper if you would rather make banana bread
  • blend bananas, sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, nut mylk, nut butter in blender or with hand mixer
  • add in oats, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and chia seeds
  • for muffins bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  • for full loaf of banana bread bake for 25-30 minute

the whole load turned out amazing too… perfect for breakfast in the snowy winter weather we have these days here in istanbul ❄️

a new routine- sunday muffins!

join us as we embark on a new routine- sunday muffins!

as a virgo through and through i am a very big fan of routines.  

knowing what is coming up centers me. it helps me to keep some of the more anxious thoughts and “what ifs” at bay. not only do i love living the routine, but i also adore planning the routine.  i have all sorts of notebooks- one for daily to-dos; one for our weekly meals; one for recipes; one for bigger, long term plans- and tons of lists! books to be read; articles to check out; yoga classes to take; things to buy; things to give away… all listed nicely and neatly.

as much as i love a routine life, over the years i have learned (sometimes the hard way) to let go and go with the flow (sort of).  juggling the needs, wants and schedules of three kids; living in the beautiful chaos of istanbul; being connected to other people socially and professionally- all these have been known to cause glitches from time to time! 

and of course, this year we are living through the biggest glitch of all! not in a million years would i have ever thought we would be on month 10 of staying home, at home learning, curfew and weekend lockdowns.  i really somehow thought this would be a couple months long blip in an otherwise normal year.

the first couple of months were better; alegra and i had a really great whiteboard, and we had a schedule for every day- it was great! i knew what was coming, everyone at home knew the plan.  it was as “normal” as one could have hoped for.

but these days, as covid wears on and on, i am finding it hard to even consider creating a routine.  i had hoped new years would inspire me but here i am halfway into the month and still a bit lost.

so, as i baked these muffins for sunday morning breakfast, i realized these might just be the perfect way to start a new routine! 

i’ve had food projects before; you can find a whole year of vegetable fritters (mucver, in turkish) here … and a year of gluten free kid-friendly treats here 

and so, it seems 2021 will be the year of muffins! the muffins will always be gluten-free; though not always vegan nor sugar free (sometimes we need a little treat too, guys!) i hope that you enjoy this new routine as much as i do 🙂

gluten-free vegan blueberry muffins

ingredients:

  • 2 vegan flax eggs (mix 2 tablespoons ground flax seed with 6 tablespoons water and set aside to thicken)
  • 2/3 cup vegan buttermilk (mix nut mylk with 2 teaspoons vinegar and set aside)
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • ½ cup gluten free oats
  • ¾ cup gluten free flour mix **
  • 2/3 cup coconut sugar
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cup blueberries (can be fresh or frozen)

instructions:

  • preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • line muffin pan with liner cups
  • combine flours, oats, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl and mix well
  • add flax egg, buttermilk, melted coconut oil and vanilla extract and mix until just combined
  • fold in blueberries carefully – 
    • batter should be thick at this point, if not add 1-2 tablespoons almond flour
  • spoon batter into prepared muffin pan 
  • bake for about 30 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean
  • cool on rack for at least 10 minutes
  • serve warm with a cup of tea or coffee! 

** recently, i have been using organik bahce’s gluten free flour mix here in turkey**

vegan chocolate sorbet

alegra found this vegan chocolate sorbet recipe and asked if we could make it…

at first i hesitated, worried that it would involve an intricate process of cooking, cooling and freezing. but with all this self-isolating taking a toll on our moods i decided to go ahead and say yes. thank goodness i did! the recipe is super simple, the freezing time is totally reasonable, and the end result was right down my alley- not too sweet and not at all too heavy!

ingredients-

  • one can organic coconut milk (be sure to include all the creamy parts too)
  • 3 tablespoons raw cocoa
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup- add more for sweeter sorbet
  • 1/2 package organic blueberries

instructions

  • blend coconut mill, cocoa and maple syrup in the blender until well combine
  • stir in blueberries carefully so as not to crush them
  • place in freezer proof container for a minimum of 4 hours
  • allow to thaw slightly before serving

any number of add-ons would be delicious with this recipe- shredded coconut for coconut lovers like me, chocolate chips might be good, different berries would work too!

channeling our inner bi nevi deli…

this winter alara and i absolutely fell head over heels in love with bi nevi deli’s pumpkin bread… it is the perfect consistency, not too sweet and super flavorful.

but with bi nevi deli closed for the at least another couple of months, and pumpkin season nearly at a close we decided to do the next best thing and try to make our own 🙂

here the recipe we used, adapted from the minimalist baker… we loved the results, send us pictures if you try it too!

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
  • 1.5 cups fresh pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (or honey, if not vegan)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oik
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup nut milk (we used lokal plants hazelnut)
  • 1 cup gluten free flour (we used buckwheat)
  • 1/3 cup oat flour

instructions

  • preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • line a bread pan with parchment paper
  • mix the ground flaxseed and warm water (this is your “vegan egg”) and allow to fully combine for 10 minutes
  • in a large bowl, mix each ingredient in order, making sure to fully combine after each addition
  • bake for 50-60 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  • cool fully on a wire rack; slice if desired
  • we recommend serving slightly toasted with almond butter for a perfect breakfast or mid-afternoon snack