Category Archives: Muffins, Scones & Quick Breads

Blueberry Tea Cake (gluten free)

Blueberry Lemon Tea Cake  - gluten free
Blueberry Lemon Tea Cake – gluten free with oats and a bit of crunchy cornmeal

What are you going to do with all those gorgeous blueberries you found at the farmer’s market today… why not bake up a loaf of this Blueberry Tea Cake?  It’s as gorgeous as it is delicious and just the perfect treat for an afternoon tea or served up with a side of yogurt or fresh whipped cream and even more berries for a lightly sweet breakfast or brunch treat.  Blueberry Lemon Tea Cake with whipped cream and berries

I have been experimenting a lot with gluten free baking lately and not because I’m allergic to wheat, but more because I think I have a sensitivity to it, and also because I think it’s simply better for my own body at least, to just eat less processed grains.  My problem with a lot of gluten free baking recipes and packaged gluten free flour mixes is the addition of starches like potato or tapioca.  I simply don’t like the slightly paste like texture that these starches seem to add to muffins, scones, etc, plus they are pretty low on fiber content and other nutrients.  So, to that I’ve been using a lot of oatmeal and oats ground into a flour right in my bullet blender, just before using. 

oat flour, corn flour and corn meal, plus whole oats
oat flour, corn flour and corn meal, plus whole oats

I do love oats, add oats to a recipe and I’m a happy girl.  Not only do I love the taste, texture and nutritional value oats bring, I find they work well in my system and that is always a good thing!  

lemon zest, natural cane sugar and coconut oil
lemon zest, natural cane sugar and coconut oil

I actually adapted this recipe for blueberry tea cake from my own (not gluten free), lemon chia tea cake.  In this case, I made it gluten free and dressed it up with some beautiful juicy blueberries, when you flip the cake out of the loaf pan the bottom looks as if it’s been tie dyed by the sweet berries, so gorgeous!

Blueberry Lemon (Tie Dyed) Tea Cake - gluten free
Blueberry (Tie Dyed) Tea Cake – gluten free

With the addition of buttermilk, this cake bakes up perfectly moist and tender.  I also soak some rolled oats into the buttermilk (a trick I use in my oatmeal pancakes too), which adds to the lovely texture of the cake.  If you want to make this dairy free, use your plant milk of choice, such as soy or almond and add the lemon juice right in with the oats, works perfectly.  Continue reading

Heart Healthy Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread (vegan optional)

Banana Bread flecked with chocolate chunks and walnuts
Banana Bread flecked with chocolate chunks and walnuts
I often find myself with extra bananas past their eating prime, over ripe and brown, which is why I have so many different recipes for baking with super ripe bananas, like these muffins and these cookies or I’ll add them into the daily smoothie that 5 year old Evan often asks for/demands.  But, one of my favorite ways to use extra ripe bananas is, in what else, but banana bread. A slice of banana bread There are a million banana bread recipes out there, but of all I’ve tried, this one is my family’s favorite.  Aside from being super moist, flecked with chocolate chunks and often walnuts, it is lower in fat than many recipes and filled with so many heart healthy ingredients.  I love using bittersweet dark chocolate and even if I use chips I like to chop up the chocolate so you get different size bits with a few chunks.  Honestly, I think even without the chocolate this banana bread would be delicious, but why not indulge a little with chunks of dark chocolate, after all chocolate is a super food too.

Chopped Dark Chocolate

Adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread. Heidi’s recipe calls for a lemony glaze poured over the top of the finished banana bread and while I love the addition of lemon in so many recipes I am not a huge fan of sweet glazes, and I think in this case the banana bread with the addition of great chunks of chocolate and chopped walnuts really stands on its own with no need for an added glaze.  Dry mix for Heart Healthy Banana Bread
Avocado and Olive Oil

The base recipe is fantastic with olive oil and aside from eliminating the glaze I’ve amped up the heart health with the addition of oat bran, avocado and flax.  And if you add in the optional walnuts, you get even more heart healthy benefits since walnuts are a great source of Omega 3’s, aside from adding in a little yummy crunch.  I like the mix of avocado and olive oil, just be sure to really mash the avocado well, but if a few tiny flecks of green remain it’s no big deal. I also like using a combo of one egg plus one “flax egg”.  Egg substitutes are easy to make using 1 Tablespoon of ground flax with about 2 ½ Tablespoons of water per egg.  Mix up the flax and water at the start of putting together the recipe, to allow time for the water to be fully absorbed and gel up a bit.   Again if you prefer, you can always use 2 eggs or go full out doubling the flax and skip the egg altogether. Either way, the banana bread turns out moist and delicious.  Super healthy, Super yummy, what more could you ask for! 
Slices of Heart Healthy Banana Bread with chocolate chunks and walnuts, yum!
Slices of Heart Healthy Banana Bread with chocolate chunks and walnuts, yum!

 

Heart Healthy Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread 

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones
Adapted from: Heidi Swanson’s Lemony Olive Oil Banana Bread
Ingredients:
1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour – I use whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup oat bran
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate – from about 2, 3-4 ounce bars or use chips
½ avocado – well mashed
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 X-large egg (or make it vegan, by doubling the flax and water)
1 Tablespoon ground flax with 2 ½ Tablespoons water (double, if leaving out the egg)
3 very ripe mashed bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Optional (but really good!) ½ cup chopped walnuts
Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a standard loaf pan, I use olive oil spray or coconut oil.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flax meal and water, set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, oat bran, sugar, baking soda, salt.  Mix in the chocolate chunks.
Once the flax has absorbed the water, add in mashed avocado, olive oil, egg.  Add in mashed banana, and vanilla.  Mix well.
Add the banana mixture into the flour mix, stir until just combined.  If using, mix in walnuts. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Place in the center of your oven and bake for about 50 minutes.  Let cool at least 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan.  Slice up, serve and Enjoy!   
Heart Healthy Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Double Chocolate Flourless Super Food Brownies

Double Chocolate and Almond Flourless Brownies

Double Chocolate and Almond Flourless Brownies

A flourless, chocolaty, rich, moist and fudgy treat.  But, this is no ordinary brownie, what I have for you here is a big dose of super foods disguised as a delicious decadent treat.  Avocado, almond and cocoa give you antioxidants, fiber and healthy fats, serving up a treat you can feel great eating.  I promise, you will not taste or even see the avocado at all, but it adds moistness and yes, fat, while replacing more traditional and less healthful fats.   Double Chocolate Flourless Brownies

I adapted this recipe from Elana’s Pantry Paleo Brownies, mine are no longer fully paleo as I’ve replaced Elana’s dates with brown sugar, which may actually be better for those following a low FODMAPs diet who have difficulty digesting certain fruits.  I also like that brown sugar is something most of us always have on hand, which makes this a recipe you can throw together easily without much planning, as long as almond flour is one of your pantry items and a ripe avocado is on hand! And speaking of avocado, I’ve swapped that for Elana’s coconut oil, which gives you a healthful fat plus some added fiber. 

Double Chocolate Flourless Superfood Brownies topped with raspberry sorbet

mashed avocado for double chocolate flourless brownies

mashed avocado

Since this recipe was already, gluten free and dairy free, I decided to give it a test drive going completely vegan by swapping out the eggs for flax.  I give you the recipe both ways, so if you have no issue with eggs and like the idea of getting a little extra protein and vitamin D, go with the eggs, otherwise, swap out the eggs for flax and get yourself a little extra Omega 3’s with your chocolaty treat. 

flax eggs

flax “eggs”

eggs, avocado and vanilla

eggs, avocado and vanilla

I’m no stranger to subbing flax for eggs in recipes, but until now I have never made the same recipe side by side, one with eggs and one with flax, and I have to say the results were interesting and a little surprising to me.  The egg version batter mixes up moister and bakes up with a little more rise, while the flax version actually bakes up a little bit moister, even though the batter looks drier before baking.  Either way, both versions are a treat I wouldn’t turn down and I will say there were no complaints from my family of tasters when two pans of brownies came out of the oven!

Side by Side flax eggs and avocado vs. real eggs and avocado

Side by Side
flax eggs and avocado vs.
real eggs and avocado

Since I did end up with two batches, I found they stayed perfectly moist and yummy for several days, just wrapped on the counter.  Although, I didn’t try freezing these, I think they would do well individually wrapped if you’d like to stash a few for a future treat. 

Double Chocolate Flourless SuperFood Brownies

Double Chocolate Flourless Super Food Brownies

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from Elana’s Pantry Paleo Brownies

Makes 16 Brownies

IngredientsDouble Chocolate Flourless Superfood Brownies

1 cup Almond Flour

½ cup Cocoa Powder (I use raw organic Cacao)

½ cup Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon Instant Espresso Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

¼ teaspoon Salt – I use a heaping amount of Flaky Sea Salt

2 Eggs – I use Extra Large OR 2 Tablespoons Ground Flax + 5 Tablespoons warm Water

½ Avocado – well mashed

2 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

½ cup Dark Chocolate Chips or Chunks – Bittersweet or Semi Sweet

Optional: extra Flaky Sea Salt for sprinkling on top

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease an 8 x 8 inch baking dish (I use coconut oil for greasing) OR line with parchment.

IF using Flax instead of Eggs, mix together the Flax with the Water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken up.

In a medium bowl, sift in the Almond Flour.  Note: As long as most of the Almond Flour gets through the sifter, it’s fine to dump the remaining bits that stubbornly won’t go through the mesh, right into the bowl.  Sift in the Cocoa Powder.  Next add in the Salt, Baking Soda and Brown Sugar.  Mix well, being sure to break up any of the Brown Sugar clumps.  Stir in the Chocolate chunks or chips.

In a separate bowl, mash the Avocado until it’s really smooth and creamy.  Add to that the Eggs or gelled Flax and the Vanilla Extract.  Mix well.

Add the Avocado mixture to the Almond and Cocoa mix.  Stir to fully combine.

Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan and smooth out so it fits evenly in the pan.

Bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes.  Now the hard part: best to let the brownies cool right in the baking pan for about 2 hours before slicing through.  Cut into 16 squares. Enjoy!

 

Recipe notes: 

partially sifted almond flour

partially sifted almond flour

 

I keep my almond flour in the freezer which tends to make it a little lumpy.  So I don’t end up with a brownie filled with unmixed lumps of almond meal, I like to sift it into the bowl. It’s definitely worth the effort even though I never seem to be able to get it completely through the mesh of the sifter, so I just toss in whatever remains behind, which adds a nice bit of nutty texture to the finished brownie.   

 

 

Double Chocolate Almond Flourless Super Food Brownies

Double Chocolate & Almond Flourless Superfood Brownies, yum!

 

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones with Blueberry Mascarpone

Blueberry Almond Scones topped with Blueberry Mascarpone

Blueberry Almond Scones topped with Blueberry Mascarpone

It occurs to me that maybe I should have named this blog Lemon & Oats or Oatmeal & Zest, considering how many of my recipes here include both oats and lemon. So, here’s one more for you… Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones, and yes they even have lemon zest!  I really do love scones, probably even more than muffins or cookies, they make a tasty little breakfast treat or afternoon snack.  They are delicious on their own or even better topped with a little cream cheese and jam, like the mascarpone cream cheese jam I used here.  blueberry almond oatmeal sconesFor a more substantial breakfast, serve with a side of yogurt and berries OR as a “breakfast dessert” with your eggs.  Some people in my home have even been known to top theirs with a smear of peanut or almond butter, also quite tasty.  If you’re a traditionalist or hail from the British Isles, you may question my use of the term scone here, but to me these are my perfect Americanized interpretation with a nice crumby texture, not too moist and not too dry.  I use a lot less butter than many versions, but the yogurt adds extra moisture and a little tang, plus some protein to boot.  I love scones with all kinds of mix ins and though the rest of my family will almost always opt for chocolate, I prefer a mix of fruit and nuts, which often leads to multiple versions being made all on the same morning! Blueberries and almonds are one of my favorite combinations, they just work well together and lemon zest adds a little bit of extra flair to the flavor.  I use a combo of vanilla and almond extracts here, but you could easily go with all of one or the other if you prefer.  A quick and easy recipe perfect for any lazy weekend morning.  blueberry almond oatmeal scones

Blueberry Almond Oatmeal Scones

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Makes 16 scones

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

½ cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 Tablespoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

¼ cup natural cane sugar

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Zest of ½ lemon

 

3 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter – cut into small cubes

 

1 extra large egg

½ cup plain yogurt (Greek or regular is fine, vanilla would be ok too, just a little sweeter)

¼ cup milk of your choice (I use plain soy milk, but cow, almond, etc should work just fine)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon almond extract

 

¼ cup slivered almonds

1 cup blueberries – fresh or frozen

Continue reading

Maple Drizzled Gingerbread Scones

 Maple Drizzled Gingerbread Scones

maple gingerbread scones with maple drizzle

maple gingerbread scones with maple drizzle

Happy 2015 to you all, and to start off the New Year, here’s another taste of the holiday season with these maple gingerbread scones. maple gingerbread scones

I love making gingerbread cookies this time of year, something I was introduced to when I spent my first Christmas Eve with Colin’s family way back when we met in college.  A few years later, my mother in-law “faxed” (that gives you an idea of how very long ago this was…) me a recipe she found for a very traditional Scandanavian gingerbread complete with cardamom and then she gifted me my first jar of the very same spice, a rare and expensive find at the time.  I’ve seen so many recipes for various gingerbread cookies, cakes, etc that do not include cardamom, but to me gingerbread just isn’t the same without.  It is an intense spice, a very small amount is all you need and if it’s not to your taste or you have trouble finding it, you could certainly skip it.  If you like Indian food, cardamom pods are those strange looking green things found in many restaurant’s “fragrant basmati rice”.

When I saw Pinch of Yum’s recipe for maple glazed gingerbread scones, I knew I just had to try them, since I both love gingerbread and scones!  Of course I changed up the recipe a bit, adding oats as I seem to do with almost every baked good and of course adding in cardamom as I do with my gingerbread cookies (you’ll have to wait until next Christmas for that recipe!).  I also cut back a bit on the butter and sugar and swapped out the milk for buttermilk.  What you end up with is a dense, cakey textured scone (which is just perfect to me) with a good hit of spice.  The scones themselves are just lightly sweet, so the maple drizzle adds a nice extra bit of moist sweetness without making them cloyingly so.

heart shaped cookie cutterThese maple gingerbread scones make a nice breakfast treat with a little side of yogurt if you like.  Also perfect for an afternoon snack.  I like to make mine with a heart shaped cookie cutter, but you could use a square or round cutter if you prefer or even just cut them by hand into squares or triangles. 

maple gingerbread scones

Maple Drizzled Gingerbread Scones

Author: Sweet Green Kitchen’s Jen Jones

Adapted from “Pinch of Yum” Maple Glazed Gingerbread Scones

Makes about 11-12 scones

Ingredients:

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all purpose unbleached flour

1 cup old fashioned oats

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cloves

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)

4 Tablespoons frozen unsalted butter – grated

1 extra large egg

¼ cup real maple syrup

¼ cup molasses

½ cup buttermilk (I use lowfat)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: