Stevia is a naturally sourced sweetener made from the pure sweet extract of the Stevia plant. I received Pure Via Stevia to sample, use and bake with. I have now used all three of their products. I usually use 1/2 packet of sweetener in my coffee in the morning. That was very easy to switch over to Stevia and I found it less artificial tasting and a bit sweeter. So every morning I use 1/2 packet of Stevia in my coffee, yum just the right sweetness for me.
Then I tried the Turbinado Raw Cane Sugar and Stevia blend. This I used in the my Rum and Raisin French Toast and it sure was delicious and you would never have known there was a sweetener added.
Lastly I wanted to try the granulated Stevia. Included with the product was a little recipe book. In the cookbook was a recipe for blueberry muffins. They are low in calories coming in at 150 each and looked delicious!! So this is the recipe that I will share with you today. Amber loved these for breakfast or for a snack. I did find them a bit dry but with a fresh fruit compote like the strawberry rhubarb one I had recently made they were very good. I love fresh blueberries and this recipe had lots!! The sweetness was just right with using the Stevia, you would have never known there was a sweetener used.
I will definitely continue to use this product in place of artificial sweetener. A real break through for diabetics and people watching their caloric intake. You have all the benefits of a sweet “sugary” taste with no calories! You have go to love that!!
Yesterday we gave you Mini Cinnamon Pull Aparts. When Ken made up the Brioche dough, there was lots leftover to make a braid so that is what he did. A good first attempt but I don’t think he had all the braids the exact same width as it rose uneven. Not that I am criticizing in anyway as I myself have not done a lot of these breads. Having said that though what an amazing loaf of bread!! Buttery and rich and so full of flavor. I sliced off chunks for dinner and toasted some in the morning for breakfast. A real treat. I sure hope he continues on his bread making and makes us lots more of his wonderful baking!!
For the recipe I will have you return to yesterday’s post on the Mini Cinnamon Pull Aparts. Do what he did if you like and make the little muffins and a braid or do two braids. You will love this dough and it if so perfect for Spring.
I know this isn’t something new I invented but just really really good. I love banana bread. Always have frozen bananas in the freezer for the ready. It is easy to whip up and I love the four small loaf pan I have. You can throw some back into the freezer or grace a friend with a little sweet loaf.
I almost always make this with nuts but decided to change it up and add some chocolate chips instead. Love the combo of chocolate and banana. Yummy!! I love the deep rich color that these loaves are, so inviting for this time of year. A great addition to any lunchbox too!
A delicious banana bread for anytime of the day or night!!
¼ lb. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1½ cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
pinch of salt
1 cup mashed very ripe banana
½ cup sour cream
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350F. Butter four small loaf pans or a 9 x 5″.
With a standup mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, add the eggs one at a time beating well after each.
Whisk the dry ingredients together and add to the butter mixture. Mix well. Add the bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Mix well. Remove the bowl from the mixer and add in the chocolate chips, stirring to combine.
Bake 40-50 min. if making the small loaves or 60 min. using the larger loaf pan. Cool for 10 min. then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling.
These are a family favourite that we have made for years. Great little accompaniment to chili or soups or all by themselves for a snack in a lunch box. Ken added the addition of the jalapeno placed on top. Amber doesn’t like that so I make some without. They are crispy on the outside and tender and moist on the inside. Soooooooooooo good!!!
Makes 36 minis or 12 large muffins
3/4 cup cornmeal
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 cup finely grated light Tex Mex cheese blend
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/4 butter, melted
jar of jalapeno peppers, sliced for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400F. Spray each cup of a mini muffin pan or 12 large size muffin cups. Mix together the corn meal and buttermilk. Set aside. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Stir the egg and butter into the cornmeal mixture. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir until combined. It may still be a bit lumpy but that is okay. Stir in cheese. Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full for the minis and 2/3 full for the regular sized cups. Top with a jalapeno slice if using. Bake for 12-15 min. for the minis and 20-25 min. for the regular.
What a fabulous weekend I had!! I have always been intimidated by breadmaking. So I have always used our bread machine. I had a great one that made fabulous bread for years and years. It finally conked out. I bought a new one and it sucks!!! I was very lucky to receive a wonderful gift certificate to the Cookbook Company for my birthday. I quickly booked this fabulous weekend breadmaking course. I have taken many courses at the Cookbook Company but I have to say this was my favourite!! Once I got into the course I couldn’t believe how easy it was to make a good bread. Our instructor had us creating these bread not from a recipe but from the feel and look of the dough. So helpful!! Such an awesome learning experience. I have to say the focaccia was the best I have ever had. I am excited to try different things with it now to create homemade pizzas and fresh breads!!! The pictures below are step by step of what we did.
We took approx. 2 tsp. of yeast. No accurate measuring here, no teaspoon to be found. So you eyeballed about 2 tsp. in your bowl. Then add 2 1/2 cups room temperature water. Stir until your yeast is dissolved. Now start to add flour until you get a slurry or oatmeal like consistency. Then add 1 Tbsp. sea salt and 1 Tbsp. olive oil, again all by sight. Mix into the slurry. Continue to add flour until you can work the dough out of the bowl. Don’t add too much. Turn out onto a floured surface and begin to knead adding more flour as required. Your dough shouldn’t be too wet or sticky but you don’t want to add too much either. Then knead and knead and knead, once you think you have kneaded enough do another 50! Place the dough in a oiled bowl covered with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
This dough can now be shaped into rolls by taking small balls of the dough and pulling the dough down and inside the bottom letting the air bubbles escape. It also can be shaped into a large baking dish like you see in the picture for foccacia. After this step you must let the dough rest for 1/2 hour for any shape you have selected. For the foccacia dimple the dough and top with your favourite toppings. I did olive oil, sea salt, rosemary and minced garlic. Bake in a 400F oven for 20-25 min. You can spray with water three times in the first 10 min.For the rolls you can reduce the heat to 375F after 10min. and then continue to cook until golden brown. Turn out immediately so the bottom won’t go soggy. Cool on a cooling rack.
For my inspirational loaf I added oatmeal, seven grain cereal, maple syrup, blueberries, salt and butter instead of olive oil. It turned out fantastic!!
All you knead to do (pun intended) is go for and start to experiment!!! Happy bread making!!!
This is a bread I have made for many years. It has a Irish/Scottish background and is a good wholesome bread that is very easy to make. Since there is no yeast it does not require time to rest and rise. It is great used for open faced sandwiches or an accompaniment to soups and stews. Spread with a liitle butter and enjoy!!
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup natural bran
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
Combine flours, bran, baking powder, soda, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in butter until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in egg and butttermilk. Mix well. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead slightly. Roll or press into a round loaf. Place on a ungreased baking sheet and score top with a knife making diamond shapes. Bake at 350F for 30-35 min. until browned. Serve warm with butter.
This is a memory I will treasure forever. I will never forget coming home from school so many times and opening up the door and being embraced by the scrumptious smell of freshly made potato scones. My Irish grandmother who I loved dearly and lived with us, would make these for me as she new how much I loved them. She had it timed perfectly so they were coming out of the pan when I arrived home. I asked her so many times for the recipe but she always said it was a mouthful of this and a handful of that. I have now come up with what I think was close to hers. I have not had these in so many years and I thought they would be good to start off with to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!!!
8 oz. potato or left over mashed potatoes
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp. cold butter and more for frying
1 1/2 – 2 Tbsp. milk
Scrub, peel and cut potato into small even chunks and cover with cold water in a small pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cover and simmer for 15-20 min. until very tender.
Drain the potatoes and let them sit on the stove to dry out. Mash well making sure there are no lumps.
Sift together dry ingredients and rub cold butter into the flour with your fingers until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the mashed potatoes and mix with a fork. Make a well in the center and pour in milk. Incorporate the flour into the milk until you can form a ball adding additional milk if needed.
On a floured surface turn out dough and knead until you have a smooth dough. Roll out into a circle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut into triangles. Heat a cast iron pan with a dab of melted butter over medium heat. Careful not to burn the butter. Fry the scones about 3 min. a side until golden brown. Serve hot with a dab of butter.