Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Mandarin, Chia, and Almond Muffins

So much cuteness today - my eldest daughter bought her class teddy home from school for the night and has been caring for "Freddy the Teddy" all evening - he is dressed in a pair of her pink pyjamas, he had a bowl of broccoli for dinner, played on the deck, hung out with Rosie the bear and even managed to brush his teeth and wash his face before bed!! In the morning he has to put his school uniform back on to head back to school, and his adventures have been written up in the book that he comes with, along with a lovely drawing and a bunch of photos. 

This has given me a chance to see how much Kaylah has LOVED caring for a special item, and although we already have a cat that is virtually ignored, I think I will encourage this wonderful game to carry on with another of her favourite toys. No doubt it will be short lived, but should at least keep her busy over the long weekend!

My youngest had a Mothers evening at her pre-school which was so much fun. We had to wear crazy hats (pirate hats obviously, with her love for pirates!!) and I spent an hour just sitting with her and having her show me all of the activities she gets up to in a day. She is at Montessori, so the activities are quite structured, and we often do not get to see the kids in action. Wow, they do so much! The evening was topped off with a wee concert which is always just cuteness to the max!!!!!

Anyway, that's my little Mama pride moment - now back to the food!

I have had a handful of mandarins slowly becoming more and more elderly sitting in the fruit bowl and they've been bugging me...can't stand seeing food go off, and of course once they get to that wilted looking point no one will eat them, so I get stuck in this limbo of not wanting to chuck them but being unable to push them on anyone! Today I had enough of them staring me in the face and decided to do something about it. I had a search through the pantry, pulled out a few ingredients and whipped up these quick and easy muffins. They worked really well! LOVE that!! There is nothing more satisfying that trying something random and throwing ingredients in a bowl, crossing your fingers, and hoping for the best...and then having it work. Ahhhhhhh :)

These muffins are free of gluten, grains, soy, and refined sugar. I made them with a little butter today, which I don't often do, but if you would like a dairy free option simply replace the butter with coconut oil or oil of your choice. 

The best part about these is that they truly do only take minutes to make. I think the batter was done within 5 minutes, they were in the oven within 10, and the cook time with 20 minutes. Muffins in 30 minutes...perfect. They are delicious hot from the oven, but work just as well once they have cooled.

Sneaking a taste...
These muffins are such a gorgeous vibrant colour!

Mandarin, Chia, and Almond Muffins

Gluten-free, grain-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar. Option to have dairy free

4 mandarins, skins removed, and roughly chopped (check for any pips and remove)
2 eggs
2 tbsp butter, softened, or melted coconut oil for a dairy free option
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp honey (you can add more if you prefer a sweeter muffin, or depending on how sweet your mandarins are)
1/2 cup desiccated coconut
1 cup almond flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp chia seeds

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line or grease a 6 hole standard muffin tin
2. In a blender or using a stick blender, pulse the mandarin until diced, but still with a little pulpy texture remaining. You can have it totally smooth if you prefer, but I liked the little bit of texture. Tip the mandarins into a medium bowl.
3. In the same blender, blend together the eggs, butter (or oil), vanilla, and honey until smooth and well combined. Add to the mandarin and mix well to combine. 
4. In a small bowl, combine the dry ingredients (almond flour, coconut, baking powder, chia seeds) and mix to combine
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well.
6 Fill muffin tins, and place in the oven for 20 minutes or until just golden on top and no longer squishy to the touch.
7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack...if you can wait that long, otherwise just eat hot!!