Banana Milkshake

Banana Milkshake (Vegan and Dairy-free)

This is probably the simplest recipe I have ever made.  It has just 2 ingredients !  I often make myself a banana smoothie after my morning run. It’s delicious, satisfying and very healthy. The past week has been quite hot, even in the morning. Not that I am complaining about the good weather, but when the temperature is up, I do get more tired after I run and I would be soaking wet.  So to quench my thirst and “refuel” myself, I turned my smoothie into an even cooler treat…. a milkshake ! I simply freeze the bananas before blending, how easy is that !

Makes about 2 servings

  • 4 ripe bananas 
  • 1 cup almond milk (I used vanilla-flavoured almond milk, you can use unsweetened if preferred)
  1. Peel and cut bananas into small pieces, put in freezer for about 3 hours or overnight
  2. Blend frozen bananas and almond milk together until smooth, serve immediately 

Banana Milkshake

 

Caramelized Figs with Yoghurt and Granola

Caramelized Figs with Yoghurt and Granola 

My uncle has a green fig tree in his backyard. Every summer, he would give us a generous portion of his harvest. We like to eat them fresh, but I also like making them into desserts. This recipe is fairly simple and is a good way to use up figs that are starting to get too ripe.  You can serve them with yoghurt and honey like I did or eat them with ice cream, even in a salad ! I made some granola the other day, so I added them for extra crunchiness. 

Makes about 4-6 servings

  • 6 fresh figs
  • 15 g unsalted butter 
  • 30 g demerara or brown sugar 
  • 300 g plain Greek yoghurt 
  • 60 mL honey 
  • 1 cup homemade granola 
  1. Cut figs in halves, coat with brown sugar 
  2. Melt butter in a non-stick pan over medium heat 
  3. Add figs, cut sides down
  4. Cook for about 3-4 minutes (be careful not to burn the sugar)
  5. Flip figs over, remove from heat 
  6. Serve warm with yoghurt, honey and granola

Caramelized Figs with Yoghurt and Granola

 

 

Chocolate Sweet Pastry Cookies

Chocolate Sweet Pastry Cookies

I love recipes that can be used in many ways. Sweet pastry is definitely one of them. Once you’ve found a good recipe, there are so many things you can do. Pies, tarts…..and cookies ! This is the same recipe I used for the shell of my Chocolate Pistachio Tart ! But instead of putting them in a tart mold, I cut them into squares and dressed them up with some melted white chocolate ! If you don’t want chocolate cookies, you can easily replace the cocoa powder with flour or even ground almond ! 

  • 120 g unsalted butter (cold)
  • 75 g granulated sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 170 g cake and pastry flour (sifted)
  • 10 g unsweetened cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 20 g white chocolate chips (optional)

Makes about 30 cookies

  1. Mix together cold butter and sugar using a wooden spoon until no more lumps
  2. Add egg yolk, mix until blended
  3. Add flour and cocoa powder, mix with the wooden spoon, then transfer onto a table or counter and gently press dough together (just work until ingredients are mixed in)
  4. Wrap with plastic wrap, refrigerate for at least 2-3 hours or overnight
  5. When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350ºF
  6. Knead dough until pliable
  7. Roll dough out to about 1/8 inch in thickness on a floured surface, dock with a fork
  8. Cut into desired shapes using cookie cutters (dough scraps can be re-roll, but only do it once or twice or it may crack)
  9. Place on baking sheets lined with parchment paper, about 2 inches apart 
  10. Bake for about 10 minutes 
  11. Cool on cookie sheets for about 10 minutes, then completely on rack 
  12. Melt white chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, cool slightly
  13. Drizzle on top of cookies 

Chocolate Sweet Pastry Cookies

 


Bran Frozen Yoghurt Cups

Bran Frozen Yoghurt Cups

During the summer, when my kids are at home, they are always hungry, especially my son. I feel like I am feeding him constantly ! So, I like healthy snacks that are easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time. This recipe is really simple, even the kids can do it ! You probably already have all the ingredients at home and what I’ve made is very basic. You can choose your cereal, yoghurt and fruits. I am sure the kids would enjoy making and eating them ! I eat them after my workouts too !

Makes about 12 mini cups 

  • 50 g bran flakes 
  • 1 tablespoon honey (depends how sweet your cereal is)
  • 1+1/2 tablespoons melted coconut oil 
  • 250 g vanilla-flavoured Greek yoghurt 
  • 50-100 g fresh or frozen fruits (I used fresh strawberries, blueberries and kiwi)
  1. Crush bran flakes into small pieces 
  2. Mix in honey and coconut oil 
  3. Spoon about 1-2 teaspoons into each small silicone cup and press down firmly to form base 
  4. Place in freezer for about 20 minutes to harden
  5. Spoon in yoghurt, then top with fresh fruits
  6. Freeze until set

 

 

Iced Coffee Popsicles

Iced Coffee Popsicles 

For a lot of people, summer is a relaxing season, but if you are a mom, you would know, summer can be very busy too! For the last few weeks, I have been driving my kids to swimming and other activities almost every day, trying to keep them active and occupied….so they don’t spend too much time in front of the computer ! It’s busy, but they’ve been having a good time. For me, many days, by the afternoon, I am pooped ! And I need my afternoon “fuel” to keep me going, which is usually a light snack and a cup of iced coffee.  It was so hot the last few days, so I decided to transform my “fuel” into popsicles ! Oh, and I found a bottle of Kahlua in my fridge so I added some extra boost ! Sorry kids, you can’t have these, but you know what ?  When mom is cool, everything is cool ! 

Makes about 8-10 popsicles 

  • 1/2 cup hot brewed coffee 
  • 1/2 cup condensed milk 
  • 3/4 cup whole milk 
  • 3/4 cup half and half cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 2 tablespoons coffee liqueur (optional)
  • 60 g semi-sweet or dark chocolate, melted (optional for drizzles) 
  1. Mix hot coffee and condensed milk together
  2. Add all other ingredients except the melted chocolate, stir until blended 
  3. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze until set, about 4 hours 
  4. Drizzle with melted chocolate if desired 

Iced Coffee Popsicles

 

 

 

 

Mini Blueberry Loaves

Mini Blueberry Loaves

To me, the best part of summer is the large variety of fruits we get to enjoy, berries, watermelon, peaches, etc. And blueberry is our no.1 favourite ! Every summer, we can easily go through over 30 pounds of blueberries!  There are many blueberry farms in our area, fresh, local, sweet and at a very reasonable price. How can I resist ? And as a baker, how can I not bake with them ?!  Again, I tried to use less sugar. So, I used use vanilla-flavoured almond milk instead of milk and added some honey, and was very pleased with the result !
I asked my daughter, who is my “art director” for my blog, to draw me something with blueberries and here is what she came up with ! I guess she is right, blueberries made you happy and healthy rather than blue ! 

You Aren't Blue

Makes about 6-8 mini loaves

  • 150 g fresh blueberries 
  • 270 g all-purpose flour + extra for coating blueberries 
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • 120 g unsalted butter, at room temperature 
  • 60 g granulated sugar 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 100 mL vanilla-flavoured almond milk 
  • 60 mL honey
  • 15 mL lemon juice 
  • 5 mL pure vanilla extract 
  • zest of half a lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
  2. Sift together flour,baking powder, baking soda and salt, set aside 
  3. Coat blueberries with about a tablespoon of flour, set aside 
  4. Using an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until fluffy 
  5. Add eggs, honey, almond milk, lemon juice and vanilla
  6. Add flour mixture in 2 portions, mix until blended, scraping sides and bottom of mixing bowl (it’s ok if batter is slightly lumpy)
  7. Gently fold in blueberries and lemon zest
  8. Spoon batter into slightly greased and floured mini loaf pans
  9. Bake for about 20 minutes 
  10. Cool for about 10 minutes in pans, then completely on rack 

Mini Blueberry Loaves

 

 

Roasted Beet Chocolate Brownies

Roasted Beet Chocolate Brownies

I get so excited whenever I can put vegetables in my desserts. Perhaps it makes me feel healthier and less guilty?!  I picked the beautiful beets this time.  They are sweet, colourful and very nutritious.  (My batter came out purple, which is my favourite colour!  Can’t “beet” that! ) You can make them into soup, salads, desserts, even their leaves are edible !  With their sweetness, I managed to use a little less sugar.  My son doesn’t normally like sweets, but he loves my brownies. He was a little skeptical when I told him I used beets. But after he had one, he said he couldn’t even taste them!  I guess that’s a success for me! My daughter?  No problem, she eats everything I make ! 

Roasted Beet Chocolate Brownies

Makes about 16 squares 

  • 200 g beet puree (about 2 -3 medium beets)
  • 180 g all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 50 g unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 eggs
  • 180 g  granulated sugar 
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 120 mL melted coconut oil 
  • 180 g semi-sweet chocolate 
  1. To prepare the beet puree, preheat oven to 375°F
  2. Cut stems and roots off, leave skin on 
  3. Wrap with aluminium foil and bake for about 60 minutes until fork tender 
  4. Cool, peel skin off and puree using a blender or food processor 
  5. To make the brownies, preheat oven to 350ºF
  6. Melt chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a pot of simmering water, cool slightly 
  7. Sift together flour, baking powder, cocoa powder and salt, set aside 
  8. In a large mixing bowl , whisk together eggs and sugar until pale (you can use an electric mixer, I just hand-whisked mine)
  9. Mix in vanilla extract, coconut oil and melted chocolate
  10. Add flour mixture in 2 parts, mix until blended 
  11. Add beet puree 
  12. Bake in a square baking pan lined with parchment paper for about 30 minutes 
  13. Cool completely before cutting 

Fresh Beets

I am so glad to be part of the The Canadian Food Creatives.  This month, our topic is “Fresh from the Garden”.  Be sure to check out the links below for other great recipes. They can also be found on social media using the hashtag #CDNFoodCreatives. Many thanks to Cassie Hendry at The Crumb Kitchen for hosting.

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