Lemon, Strawberry and Peach Muffins

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Soft, fluffy and easy to transport and eat, who doesn’t love a good muffin? However, most of the muffins you buy from cafe’s/supermarkets or bakeries are made from premixes which are full of hydrogenated fats, preservatives, artificial flavours and highly refined ingredients. I always make my own cakes at home and would rarely buy anything out, that way you know exactly what you are eating and can play around with any flavours you have on hand. Here I have chosen to forego the highly refined white flour and sugar and filled these muffins with fruit to keep them moist and add sweetness.

These strawberry, peach and lemon muffins came about because we had heaps of very ripe strawberries and a half eaten tin of peaches in the fridge that were begging to be used up. You can experiment with almost any fruit you like or keep to the original.

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Zucchini and cinnamon baked oats

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Anyone who has ever grown zucchini at home will know how devious they are. One minute they are small and cute and then you turn your back and they morph into giant monster zucchinis that you have no idea what to do with. It’s lucky that zucchinis are such a versatile vegetable, you can make them into noodles, fritters, savoury slice or even hide them in chocolate cake. One of my favourite things to do with zucchini is grate them into my morning oats and cook until creamy to make “zoats”. Recently we picked some giant zucchinis and I hadn’t made baked oats in a while so it was only natural that I make these into baked zoats too.

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Mango and coconut baked oats

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Another Baked oats recipe from the archives, this one is just a (pretty decent sized) serving for one. I love it when mangoes first come into season, not only do they become affordable and taste amazing (frozen just isnt the same) but it also signals that summer is not only coming but very nearly here. It gets even better when mangoes get really cheap and you can pick up a whole box for under $20. Thats when the fun begins.

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Chewy Muesli Bars

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My sister and I would always be given a muesli bar to have for morning tea at school, that was the healthy thing back in the day. Now we realise that most shop bought muesli bars are either really high in fat or sugar or both and some have as many kilojoules as a whole meal! (which is fine if you are climbing mountains, not so great if you are a sedentary uni student). I still love a good old muesli bar to take to Uni but these days choose to make my own healthier versions. These are quick and easy to make, I basically just throw in whatever I have in the cupboard at the time meaning no two batches are the same.

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The ultimate healthy chocolate fudge brownie – three ways

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Who doesn’t love brownies, super sweet and fudgey they are the ultimate indulgence. Brownies are great to have every once in a while but not to eat regularly (anyone else ever feel slightly nauseous from so much sugar?).

So to satisfy my chocolate brownie craving I have been on the hunt for the ultimate “healthified” chocolate brownie recipe. Some have been great, some ok and some utterly terrible. The criteria: must be lower in sugar and not too high in fat, must be high fibre and not use white flours and above all had to be delicious. And then I found this one.

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Choc fudge cupcakes

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Soft, fluffy, fudgey, chocolatey cupcakes, sounds good right? what if I told you they were lower fat and sugar free? And gluten free too? With choc-chips! And yep and they still taste pretty awesome.

The secret here is using kidney beans. They remove the need for flour and give the cake a lovely moist and fudgey texture. At first when i heard about using kidney beans in cakes I was really weirded out but they work so well, I was definitely converted….

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Caramel Fig granola

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Crispy, crunchy, sweet. Who doesn’t love granola? Often the shop bought varieties are full of refined sugar, oils and processed ingredients, more like a crumbly biscuit so its best to make your own at home. It will not only be healthier but also way more delicious as you can add whatever you like to vary the flavours. This fig and caramel granola is my favourite combination yet, with blended dates and mesquite giving a lovely caramel flavour and figs adding in a sweet chewy surprise.

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Citrus, almond and ricotta cake (sugar free)

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Sugar free cake sounds kind of terrible doesn’t it? It conjures up ideas of bran laden bricks of cake made by crazy hippies don’t you think? I know I have made some pretty terrible ones in the past as I pursued the idea of the perfect healthy cake.

I have some good news though, this one is amazing. You have the tanginess from the citrus, the crumbliness from the almond meal and the lovely moistness from the ricotta, and a secret weapon. Nativa. Natvia is a brand of stevia made especially for baking (so it won’t turn bitter or lose its sweetness) that you can use cup for cup for sugar. I’m definitely a fan and once you have tried this cake I’m sure you will be too.

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Fig, Walnut and Zucchini Muffins

Anyone who has ever grown zucchini themselves will know just how quick zucchini’s grow and how they can easily get lost in the undergrowth only to be found days later when they have become absolutely huge! growing up, mum would always use up these mega zucchinis in a chocolate and zucchini cake, a super sneaky way to hide extra veggies.

I have decided to give the old zucchini cake and upgrade into some healthy (almost carrot cake like) muffins with a little bit of spice and a whole lot of dried figs and walnuts.  These gems are lovely and moist thanks to the zucchini and can be made suitable for vegans too. Beware though, these disappear quickly!

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