Search Results for: Blueberry

Lemon & Lime Blueberry Strusel Muffins

Lately I’ve been on a bit of a fruit kick, but I’ll admit that sometimes I buy too much which results in some of the fruit going a bit mouldy before I can eat it.  To avoid this I’ll often throw what I know I can’t eat into the freezer so I can use it in smoothies or muffins later.  I love muffins.  Blueberry are probably my favorite, but I’ve just never found a blueberry muffin recipe that I was 100% satisfied with – until now.  Last week I was cleaning out our fridge & freezer when I came across a few things that I just knew once combined would make a super delicious muffin.  Frozen blueberries, a few lemons and limes, and some sour cream.  The results were delicious.  They’re not too greasy, and they’ve got just the right amount of lemon & lime zest in them.  I would definitely make again – and that’s saying a lot, because although 99% of the things I bake are totally yummy I don’t usually bake the same thing more than once because I’m always looking to try something new. 

I prefer to use frozen blueberries in these muffins because they’re solid, so won’t turn your batter purple when stirring them in.  You can either purchase pre-frozen blueberries, or do what I do and just buy a container of fresh blueberries and pop them straight in the freezer.

Lemon & Lime Blueberry Strusel Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins

Muffin Ingredients:

2 Eggs
3/4 Cup (170g) White Sugar
3/4 Cup (150g) Brown (Muscavado) Sugar
1/2 Cup (125ml) Vegetable Oil
1/2 tsp Vanilla
1 Cup (250ml) Sour Cream
2 Cups (250g) Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
3/4 Tbsp Lemon Zest (approx 3 Lemons)
1/2 Tbsp Lime Zest (approx 2 Limes)
1 1/2 Cups Frozen Blueberries

Strusel Topping:

2 Tbsp + 1 tsp (32g) Butter
1/3 Cup + 1 Tbsp (78g) Brown Sugar
1/4 Cup (32g) Flour
1/4 tsp Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Lemon Zest

1.  Preheat oven to 400ºF (200ºC) and line a 12 hole muffin tin with paper muffin liners.  In a small bowl combine all of the Strusel topping ingredients and basically smoosh them together with your hands until small little crumbly bits form.  Set aside.

2.  In one bowl combine the flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon and set aside.  In a separate bowl beat the eggs, while gradually adding the sugars.  Next gradually pour in the oil and continue beating.  Lastly add in the vanilla and sour cream and mix until combined. 

3.  Gently fold the dry ingredients in with the wet until just combined.  It’s ok if there’s a few lumps – just make sure not to over mix.  Lastly add in the blueberries, lemon and lime zest and lightly stir until just combined.  Pour and divide the mixture evenly into your muffin pan and sprinkle the tops of each muffin with a generous amount of the strusel topping.  Bake for 20 – 25 mins (until a toothpick comes out clean).  Let the muffins cool slightly before serving. 

The only thing I would have done differently with this recipe would have been to add a bit more strusel topping on each muffin.  I sprinkled what looked like an ok amount on top of the unbaked muffins, but once they cooked and puffed up a it the strusel topping looked a bit wimpy on top.  I’d recommend covering the entire top in strusel topping, which should result in a nicer look, crunch & flavour once the muffins are baked.

These muffins freeze well in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to a month.  When you’re ready to eat them simply take them out of the freezer about an hour before and leave them to defrost at room temperature uncovered (so the tops don’t go soft & sticky)


5 Fruit Smoothies

Ever since I found out I was pregnant I’ve done my best to try and get in as many fruits and vegetables as possible.  I kinda figured that carrot cake, banana bread and apple crisp weren’t exactly going to count towards my “5 a day” – bummer!  I’m a lazy eater, and tend to grab what’s easiest at that particular time, which isn’t always what’s best for me.  Although I was buying a lot of fresh fruit, I wasn’t necessarily finishing it before it would start to go bad.  In order to prevent the fruit from spoiling I’d cut it up, put it in zip lock bags and throw it in the freezer where it would wait until I came up with something to use it in – like these Lemon & Lime Blueberry Muffins I made a while ago.

I’ve had a slight obsession with strawberries over the past few months, and since strawberry season came kind of early in the UK this year, they were often on sale for buy one get one free.  I’d eat one package and wash, cut and freeze the other pack.  The same thing happened when I made those Lemon & Cheesecake Raspberry Bites I just threw the left overs in the freezer.  

I quickly began to accumulate a wide variety of frozen fruit in my freezer, and I needed some way to use it up.  Then it hit me – the best way to get a few servings of fruit into my diet quickly  and easily would probably be to make a fruit smoothie.  Back in Canada I loved smoothies, but I never actually made them myself – I always ended up paying a ridiculous price for one whenever I was at the mall.  

After ordering and waiting for my smoothies to be made at the mall, I’d seen how easy they were to make, so I started making my own.  I love tropical flavours like pineapple and coconut, so usually try to incorporate at least one of those in my smoothies.  I don’t have an exact recipe for them, and I tend to just use whatever fruit I have on hand.  Lately that’s been pineapple, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cherries, mango, etc.  Add in a bit of vanilla yogurt and some fruit juice, blend for a couple minutes and you’re done!

5 Fruit Smoothie

15 Blueberries, frozen 
1/2 Banana, frozen
10 Raspberries, frozen
7 Large Pineapple chunks, frozen
5 Strawberries, frozen
2 Tbsp Shredded Coconut
1/3 Cup Vanilla Yogurt
1/3 Cup Pineapple Juice

1.  Dump everything into a blender, turn it on, and you guessed it – blend!  Blend everything together for a minute or two until there are no large chunks of fruit remaining.  Check the consistency to make sure it’s not too thick (or thin).  If you think your smoothie is too thick, just add in a bit more juice and blend again.  If it’s too thin, add in a bit more frozen fruit and blend. 

To avoid making a portion way larger than I can drink, I usually fill the glass I’m going to use with my fruit as I’ve found it to be a pretty good indicator of how much smoothie it will make.  Fill the glass with frozen fruit – get a glass full of smoothie.  Fill it half full, get half a glass of smoothie.  Pretty simple.

If you don’t like or have one of the fruits above, just use something else.  There’s no rules with smoothies!  You can also use fresh fruit as well, as long as you use at least 1/2 frozen fruit then you’ll still get a nice thick consistency and it will be cold without needing any ice.

I like my smoothies to be a tad thicker which can mean that they can be a little hard to drink through a regular straw.  I’ve found the best thing to drink my smoothies with is a Bubble Tea straw because they’re wider than normal.  

There you have it – a quick and delicious, yet healthy treat!  I can’t say that about most of the things I blog about!  

French Crepes with Salted Caramel

A friend from work recently went to the Brittany, France and brought me back some salted caramel in a jar.  Salted caramel is quite common in certain parts of France, specifically Brittany.  I’m not quite sure how to describe the flavour of salted caramel, but it’s delicious,  It’s not really salty, and it’s not overly sweet.  I’ve only had salted caramel in macarons before, so  I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to use my big jar of it.  Another friend recommended spreading it on some crusty French bread or dipping sliced apples into it.  Although both of the suggestions sounded good, I wanted to save my jar of salted caramel for something special. Hmm, what would go well with French salted caramel?  How about French crepes! Creperies are all over France, but admittingly I’ve never been to one.  In fact, the only time I’ve had a crepe outside of my own home was from a street vendor in Paris where it was served with warm Nutella.  Delicious!  

I hadn’t made crepes in ages, and I’m not really sure why to be honest.  They’re so easy to make because they only require a few ingredients that you’ve probably already got in your cupboards at home.  I had originally planned on making a crepe filled with sauteed spiced apples mixed in with a bit of the salted caramel, but I didn’t have any apples at home.  Instead, I kept them really simple by folding the crepes into triangles and drizzling them with the warm salted caramel sauce.  They were delicious!  But because it had been so long since I’d made crepes I wanted to try them with a few different toppings.  
Salted Caramel 

Blueberry – these were nice and light.  They would also be nice with a little bit of whipped cream on them.

Nutella – these were also very good, but I should have heated up my Nutella first before putting it on the crepe.
I actually don’t have a picture of my favourite topping, but it was a combination of the Nutella spread on the inside of the crepe and then drizzled with the warm salted caramel sauce on top. It was the prefect combination of sweet and salty.  It was fabulous, and I’m definitely going to be making crepes again with these 2 toppings combined together.  If you’re interested in making your own crepes I used the recipe below. 

 I halved the recipe and it made 5 crepes.  Yes – I halved an egg…

French Crepes:
1 cup (110g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 eggs
2 cups (500ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons (30ml) melted butter 

1) Sift together flour, sugar and salt; set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk and vanilla together with an electric mixer. Beat in flour mixture until smooth; stir in melted butter. 

2) Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup (60ml) for each crepe. Tip and rotate pan to spread batter as thinly as possible. Brown on both sides and serve hot.  

Whenever I think of crepes I automatically think of dessert crepes, but there are so many savoury options out there as well.  Back when I lived in Canada there was a crepe place in the Vancouver BC ferry terminal.  I always wanted to try one, but they always seemed so expensive so I never bothered.  The one that stands out in my mind had ham, cheese and mushrooms in it. It was always so neat to watch them making their huge crepes and adding in the fillings before folding them up.  Sadly my crepe making technique isn’t quite as refined, but I’m pretty satisfied with my results.  I have a feeling savoury crepes will be making an appearance at my dinner table in the near future.  If you’d prefer to make a savoury crepe rather than a sweet crepe simply omit the vanilla and reduce (or remove) the sugar in the crepe batter.