Banana Muffins To Celebrate The Birthday Season

At the end of June starts a busy birthday schedule. A lot of my friends and family, including myself, are summer babies. It is like December without Uggs and earmuffs, there are a lot of gifts to be bought, cakes to be eaten and glasses of wine to toast with another year in the life of the birthday boy/girl.

I still love to celebrate my birthday and get excited about that day. The thought of all those lovely friends and my amazing family, who take the time to make the day extra special for you, makes me smile. In return I always try to give a nice party, some years I celebrate it a little bigger than other years, but I always try to get a group of friends around me and have a bite and a drink.

Cakes are also part of the deal on your birthday. In Amsterdam I usually buy a Tarte au Citron at Le Fournil, a French bakery at the Olympiaplein. It is delicious and easy, because I don’t have to make it myself. But on Wednesday I was watching “Heel Holland Bakt” the Dutch version of BBC’s “The Great British Bake Off”. I love that program, it makes me happy, relaxed and it is beautifully filmed. The contestants are mostly stressed because of the competition, which is very funny, but some of them make the prettiest and the most delicious looking cakes, cookies and breads and it inspired me to bake something myself. I still had some almond meal in my cupboard and checked some of my favorite food blogs for a recipe with that ingredient. I stumbled upon the Banana Muffins of Minimalist Baker.Banana Muffin10

If you didn’t check that website before, it is time to do it today. They have great recipes that are mostly gluten free and vegan. It is not that I eat gluten free or vegan, but some times these recipes are healthier than the ordinary ones. These Banana Muffins are gluten free because she uses almond meal and oat flour instead of wheat flour and vegan because she doesn’t use eggs, but flax eggs. Eggs are normally used to hold everything together in your recipe, but vegans do not eat animal products, so to replace the eggs you can make a flax egg. That is a mixture of flaxseed and water, which makes a gelatinous substance that will have the same effect as an egg. Try it! Banana Muffin5

This recipe makes 8 muffins:

  • 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal and 5 tablespoons of water)
  • 2 mashed ripe bananas
  • 4 tablespoons of agave or honey (or more if you like it sweeter)
  • 3 tablespoons of (unsweetened) almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of almond meal (you can make this yourself, by grounding raw almonds)
  • ½ cup of oat flour (made out of ground oats, optionally gluten free)
  1. Preheat the oven to 175 Celsius and place some paper muffin cups into a muffin tin.
  2. Make the flax egg in a large bowl and let it rest for a few minutes
  3. Add the mashed bananas, agave, baking powder, vanilla and almond milk. Give it a good stir
  4. Then add the almond meal and oat flour and stir a little bit more. Taste if it is sweet enough
  5. Bake for 25-30 minutes, I checked them at 25 by inserting a satay stick in it. It didn’t come out clean so I added 3 more minutes to the baking time
  6. Remove from the oven and let it rest in the tin for a while. Then get them out of there and place the muffins on a cooling rackBanana Muffin4

Happy birthday!

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Hangover Sandwich Jamon Iberico

Thank God It’s Friday! In a few hours a lot of people are going to celebrate the weekend. They will have a few drinks, some more, and probably too many. Apart from the happy memories of the night before, if they are any of them that made it through all the shots you took, there will be the headache, the nausea and the ‘I-will-never-drink-agains’. But hey, why worry? When you buy the ingredients for this sandwich today, there will be no problems tomorrow. (Wow, that sounded like a Home Shopping ad)

It is such a great combination of flavors and a good alternative to a bag of French fries to shut your hangover’s mouth.
Sandwich Jamon Iberico
So hop on your bike, race to the supermarket and take this shopping list with you:

  • 1 nice whole-wheat bun
  • 3 slices of Jamon Iberico
  • 3 slices of eggplant
  • 1 slice of tomato
  • Hummous
  • Pesto
  • Mixed Salad or Rucola
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  1. Cut three slices of the eggplant and bake them in some olive oil
  2. Cut the bun and put some pesto on the inner side of one half and the hummous on the other half
  3. Put the eggplant slices on the pesto side and stack up the jamon, tomato, and salad
  4. Add some pepper onto that heap of goodness and put the hummous half of the bun on top of it all
  5. Take a bite, think of the good times you had last night and enjoy!

Sandwich Jamon Iberico2

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Breakfast Lovin’

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A lot of people underappreciate a good breakfast. They would rather stay in bed a little longer than “waste” their time on preparing and eating a good bowl of cereal, a nice sandwich or an egg. I am the total opposite of the sleep-in crowd, I’d rather wake up way to early, like an hour and a half before leaving the house, than going outside with an empty stomach.

I see myself as a breakfast extremist, because when you don’t fuel me up, I will explode. So for the sake of my friends and family, I always eat something in the morning. Also because it will get your metabolism going and with a healthy meal in the morning you will not long for bad, sugary stuff as much as you used to.

My new favorite is a bowl of:

  • 1 cup of rice-coconut milk (I used the one of a brand called Provamel)
  • 3 tablespoons of linseeds
  • 1 tablespoon of hempseeds
  • A hand of mixed nuts
  • A cup of frozen summer fruits (it is a mixture of all kinds of berries)
  • And a good teaspoon of cinnamon
  1. I normally let the linseeds soak in the milk for 5 minutes and in the meanwhile let the berries defrost a little. Then mix it with everything else.
  2. I like to have the berries a little bit frozen, because it will remind me of an popsicle
  3. Good Morning and enjoy!

By the way I posted this photo on instagram and twitter, you will find me as roomforfood. Follow me!

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