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Sunday, 4 January 2015

Banana, Oat and Honey Muffins with Berries and Seeds

A healthy breakfast snack to help get back on track for early mornings

So, it's that time of the year again. The buzz and excitement of Christmas has gone, the New Year has passed and with it has brought a desire to be healthier, less indulgent more sensible etc etc. For us teachers, it also a time to get back to the grind. Instead of what we have been used to the past weeks (waking at midday and sleeping very, very late), we have to… Wait for it… Set the dreaded alarm for 6am! A tall order. I have gotten used to eating when I want, what I want, and cooking and baking lots of treats. I started thinking today about making some snacks to take to work and immediately found myself daydreaming and salivating about muffins, specifically banana muffins (for me anything with banana is better). I then thought about the fact that, having eaten so much over the holidays, I should really try to balance my diet (albeit for a little while). That is when I decided to rev up my usual banana muffins and pack them with fibre and antioxidants (To make them resolution friendly). The perfect guilt free treat to tempt co-workers with on the first day back.

First I melted 75g of unsalted butter until it resembled oozy, yellow goodness. I then measured out 250g of self-raising flour, added a nice big heaped teaspoon of cinnamon (in my eyes, you can never use too much cinnamon), half a teaspoon of ground nutmeg and 100g of caster sugar (I infuse my caster sugar for weeks with empty vanilla pods to give it to most gorgeous aroma and taste of vanilla), half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt.

Then comes the fun and stress relieving part: mashing the bananas. I took two bananas, they should preferably be ripe, however I had only just bought mine and they were not yet as ripe as I would have liked. It took a lot more muscle to mash these younger bananas, but it was so worth it (yes, I love the smell of a mushed up banana.)

I cracked 2 eggs into my mixer (one of my exciting Christmas presents) and then slowly added my melted butter, 125ml of milk, a good long squeeze of wildflower honey (it tastes more intense than regular runny honey). After the mixture has all blended together I added the mashed banana and stirred the mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients. 

Now for the healthy part. I thought to add some fibre I would add some oats (75g), not too many, but enough to change the texture of the muffins slightly and make them 'feel' a little healthier (like how Starbucks adds oats to the top of it's 'Skinny' blueberry muffin to make it seem, well, skinny.)

I had frequented my favourite supermarket (Waitrose) earlier in the day and indulged (yes I did say indulged) by buying a bag of mixed seeds and berries. Initially this was just to snack on during the week, to try to divert my attention from the chocolate always stashed in my desk drawer at school. But then I thought why not throw some into my muffins.

The finished result: 18 delicious and fairly healthy muffins to help ease me into a new school term. Three muffins had already disappeared before I even plated them up! Delicious!

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