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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Watermelon Ice Ice Baby

Yeehaw, I can finally wear my shorts today. The whole country has longed for this moment; we have a day of warm weather and sunshine. It will do good to everybody in the Netherlands, because damn that cold winter and spring where here for too long and didn’t help cheering up our mood.

The funny thing is that everybody is nicer to each other when the sun shines; we are more tolerant of stupid people in traffic, say “hello” and “thank you” more often and most noticeable are the smiles on people’s faces. Yet, I am waiting for the first one to say: “Damn, it is so hot!”

For that person I have one great tip: before you say this, think of the ways you can cool down a little. For example, drink a lot of water with ice cubes. When was the last time you could drink that without getting a blather infection? And how about a Popsicle? With these kinds of temperatures of 22-32 degrees Celsius we are allowed to eat some ice cream.

I already prepared myself for this day, so there were six watermelon popsicles waiting for me. I made them with coconut water, limejuice and of course watermelon. Coconut water is a great source electrolytes that will keep you hydrated and will refill all the minerals you loose with sweating your shorts off.

What do you do to keep yourself hydrated and cooled? 

Watermelon Ice

For 6 Watermelon Popsicles I used: 

  • A quarter of a watermelon
  • 300 milliliters of coconut water
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Optional a little agave or stevia or coconut sugar
  • Blender and Popsicle molds

Blend it all together and put in Popsicle molds and freeze until they are hardened

Sit back, enjoy the sunrays on your skin (don’t forget your sunscreen), listen to some summer music at Ibiza Global Radio and enjoy this moment!

Watermelon Ice2

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