Super Yummy and Kind of Healthy Triple Berry Muffins

I like muffins.  I think I’ve mentioned that before, but they are just the perfect little baked good.  Plus, once you have a good base recipe you can kind of play around depending on your ingredients and how healthy you would like to make it.  My favorite blueberry muffins come from Stillwell’s Bakery here on Maui, and I’m not sure how they make them, but they probably use about a stick of butter in each muffin.  They also have a nice crunchy streusel topping.  When I saw this recipe for the ‘best ever blueberry muffins‘, probably on pinterest, I just had to try it.  However, this morning I only had frozen berries and whole wheat flour.  Plus, since they have a bit of butter I omitted the oil and used applesauce instead.  They were still super yummy.  Hence the title.

Ingredients

Streusel Topping 

  • 3 T white sugar
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 5 T melted butter

Muffins

  • 2 c frozen berries (i used the triple berry mix from costco, but i’m sure fresh berries would work fine)
  • 1 1/8 c plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 c wheat flour
  • 1/2 c white flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 T unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 c applesauce
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions

1. Make streusel topping.  Adjust flour/butter to get a nice crumbly topping

2. Put oven rack in middle and turn on over to 400 degrees. Spray or line muffin tin with paper liners.

3. Put one cup of the berries in a small sauce pan with water and 1 teaspoon sugar.  simmer over medium heat about 6 minutes, mash with a masher, then set aside to cool.

4. Whisk together flours, baking powder and salt in large bowl.

5. In another bowl or standing mixer, whisk remaining sugar with eggs, until thick and well combined.  Slowly mix in butter and applesauce. Add mil and vanilla, whisk together.  Using rubber spatula, fold in egg mixture and remaining berries into flour mixture until just combined.

6. Add to muffin tins.  Top each muffin with teaspoon of the cooked berry mixture.  With toothpick, make figure eights to mix the berries slightly into batter. Ass streusel topping.

7. Cook for about 20 minutes.

Healthy Yummy Berry Muffin Recipe

So healthy, you can eat two.

A Tin full of berry muffins, fresh from the oven
Just too beautiful not to photograph

The perfect chili base

There are so many different types of chili out there, I just never found the one that used exactly what I wanted, so after a year or so of making chili whenever the temperature dipped below 80 degrees (burr..), I finally created the perfect chili base- meaning after this you can add whatever you want to it and make it as spicy as you like.  This should also work well in a slow cooker or on the stove.  This also makes it easy to double or triple if you are feeding a crowd.  I find the ratio of 1 can beans + 1 can tomatos is good with each pound of meat.  Also, if you want to eat this sooner and/or dont like soupy chili, go ahead and drain the beans and tomates a bit (maybe reserve on side just in case).  Also, a good way to lower salt intake if you are concerned about that, is to always rinse the beans before hand- check the label on the can!

The Perfect Chili Base

Ingredients

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can black beans (feel free to substitute with kidney or other beans)
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

Add -ins 

  • chopped or pureed vegetables (carrots/celery)
  • corn
  • other beans
  • ground meat
  • fake ground meat
  • tofu/tempeh

Mommy Tips

  • picky eaters- puree up vegetables or beans if you kids don’t like them (from Deceptively Delicious)
  • time saver- chop the veggies (including onion) in a food processor or vitamix

Directions

  1. chop up the onion and saute in a little oil until soft
  2. add ground meat (if using) and brown
  3. when meat (or onions) are almost done, add in the crushed garlic and cook for a minute or two (until fragrant)
  4. add with the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker, or into a big pot for the stove top
  5. season to taste, and feel free to add any other spices you might have lying around! If you like your chili spicy, add another tbsp of chili powder
  6. if you are using the fake ground meat (now available at costco on maui) – add in just before serving, to just get warmed
  7. Slow-cooker- 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low
  8. Stove-top- 90 minutes should do the trick!

Teriyaki glazed Mahi-Mahi with Mac nuts and Coconut

Ok, ok, i’m a bad food blogger.  I forgot to take pictures, but with two kids and four hungry adults, its hard to take pictures- especially when the food is all hot and plated up… plus I cook this dish with a glass of wine in one hand, so I have no hand to take the pictures with.  I tried to get Matt to take pictures, but, well, we forgot.   On to the recipe.  This is probably my favorite mahi dish- a classic that everyone loves, and is easy and impressive, even for a non-fish cooker.   This is an old Mama’s Fish House recipe…

Teriyaki Glazed Mahi-Mahi with Toasted Mac Nuts and Coconut

Ingredients

  • 4 Mahi-mahi fillets, 6 oz each
  • 1/4 c. chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 c sweetened shredded coconut
  • 4 tablespoons oil (olive or vegetable)
  • 2 large sliced onions (preferably a sweet, Maui or other…)
  • 1/4 c flour
  • 1/4 c cornstarch
  • 1/2 c teriyaki sauce

Directions

  1. In a wide frying pan, toast mac nuts over medium heat until golden brown (you don’t really have to do this if they are already roasted)
  2. Add in coconut and lightly brown (careful not to burn- better to be under done than over)
  3. Remove nuts and coconut from pan and set aside
  4. Add 1 tbsp oil to pan and saute onions until soft. (this is one step where more is better- caramelized onions would be great) remove from pan
  5. Add remaining oil to pan
  6. Mix flour and cornstarch in shallow bowl
  7. Dust mahi filets in flour mixture and add to pan
  8. Cook about 2-3 minutes on each side (don’t over cook it! You just want it to be white, but you can even undercook mahi a little…)
  9. drain excess oil from pan, add onions and teriyaki sauce until slightly thickened
  10. Place fish on plates, then top with onion and sauce mixture, then nuts and coconut

YUM!  This goes great with sweet potatoes…

Bran Muffins- Two Ways

Yesterday (i think it was yesterday, my days blend together) I woke up wanting to make carrot bran muffins, and guess what I saw on Facebook? A fellow Maui-based food blogger, Tiffany Kidder, made carrot bran muffins.  She used a completely different recipe than I ended up using, but they probably ended up tasting fairly similar (like a bran muffin…) I’m not sure how her’s ended up, but mine were tasty, however dense (i think it’s the whole wheat flour/bran).  Mine is based on the Kellogg’s All-Bran recipe, but this time I ended up making two different muffins.

I like to throw dried fruits in mine, but this time, everytime I opened the fridge the leftover canned pineapple was calling out to me.  I figured it might be pretty tasty in there so I tried it in about half the muffins.  In the other half, I used raisins, craisins and chopped walnuts.  I put half the batter in another bowl, mixed in what I wanted, then put in the muffin tins.  Then I mixed in the other mix-ins (sorry, now this is getting confusing…) and made the rest of the muffins.

One thing I noted from these muffins, they are pretty low in fat, so they kind of stick to the paper liners- I ran out of liners and the muffins that I just sprayed with Pam popped right out, but the ones in the liners lost a lot of muffin to the liner…

Bran Muffins Recipe- Two Ways (or however you like it…)

Ingredients

  •  2 cups Kellogg’s all-bran cereal
  • 1 1/4 c milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/8 c coconut oil
  • 1/8 c applesauce
  • 1/8 c greek yogurt
  • 3/4 c white flour
  • 1/2 c wheat flour
  • 1/4 c brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses (adding it in for my slightly anemic little boy!)
  • 1 tbsp flax
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c baby carrots- grated (food processor or vitamix works great!)
  • Add-ins (raisins, craisins, walnuts, chopped apples, chopped pineapple-  1/4c to 1/2 c each depending on what you want!)
  • top- turbinado sugar!

Directions

  1. Combine cereal and milk.  let stand for 1/2 hour
  2. add egg, oil, applesauce and yogurt, beat well
  3. add rest of ingredient (except mix-ins) beat until just combined
  4. pour into muffin pans sprayed with pam (recommended over liners- see above)
  5. divide batter if desired to add in the different ‘add-ins’
  6. top with a pinch of turbinado sugar
  7. cook for 20 minutes at 400′ or until golden brown.

note- i didn’t really read the instructions this time and let the cereal and milk stand while i mixed the rest, and grated carrots, etc, adding that in at the end.  besides being a little dense, which i think they would anyway, i think they turned out fine.  The ones with pineapple turned out delicious, but i also liked the nutty walnut raisin ones.  the turbinado (raw) sugar adds a nice sweet crunch on top.  Carrot Bran Muffin

Zucchini Muffins- MY Way

I bought a couple of zucchinis at the farm stand on Baldwin Avenue (which is adorable, and another blog post topic), and since it’s been a few days since I baked anything, I had to give some zucchini muffins a go.  So, I headed over to Pinterest, my latest obsession, besides this blog I mean, and clicked on an adorable looking zucchini muffin picture. GAH! It’s a weelicious  recipe- is there nothing this lady hasn’t made?  I’ve loved everything I’ve tried off that site, but I didn’t want to just copy her muffin recipe, but as luck would have it, I was out of about half of the ingredients she listed!  HA!

Plus, I needed to add some chocolate chips.

Improvising can be scary with baking, since its an actual science.  So how did they come out?  I’d love to tell you, but they keep disappearing from off my plate.

Actually, they are moist and delicious, but I should never eat while I’m typing, because I can’t truely savor the experience and my keyboard is full of crumbs.  So, here is my recipe, adapted from the Weelicious site.

Healthy Zucchini Muffins (with Chocolate Chips!)

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp flax seed-ground
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, whisked
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup 0% Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
  • a couple of handfuls of chocolate chips

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Place first 7 ingredients in a bowl and whisk (flax is optional). Place remaining ingredients in another bowl and whisk to combine.  Pour wet ingredients into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Put into greased or papered muffin cups.  This made 12 medium sized muffins for me, generously filling each cup .  I often here the recommendation to use an ice cream scoop, but I like a measuring cup (usually 1/4 c size) and if you spray it with Pam first the batter comes right out.  The directions say to cook for 15 minutes for small ones, so in my medium sized tin (normal cupcake size) – they cooked for about 17 minutes and came out fluffy and perfectly cooked.

More info on my choice of ingredients/substitutions.  The weelicious recipe calls for agave, which I don’t have, and recommends honey as a substitute.  I don’t want to use honey since I might feed these (taking out the chocolate chips- maybe) to baby, and honey can contain botulism spores, which can apparently be ‘bad for baby’.  Even cooked or processed.  So, I just used plain old sugar.  Also, original recipe calls for vegetable oil.  OUT!  So I used coconut oil and greek yogurt instead, but feel free to play around here a little.  Also, I like to add applesauce to anything that normally calls for oil, since it keeps it moist, and has to be healthier for you.  Oh, also, I didn’t peel the zucchini.

Merging with Facebook

A few thoughts and realizations have come up since I started the blog.

  1. My kitchen is horribly ugly
  2. No one likes food that looks green that’s not supposed to be
  3. Facebook really is the easiest way to follow a blog.

So, here are my responses to these issues

  1. OK, OK, I’ll redo my kitchen… I just need to find some more inspiration on Pinterest
  2. No more hipstamatic/pics of green food- but in all fairness, I took those pictures before I started the blog and they were meant to be private…
  3. I’ve set up a Facebook page for the blog, so if you don’t want to get an email (because seriously, don’t even want to get an email each time I post a blog, I doubt you do either…), I wont be offended (or probably even know) if you unsubscribe from the email delivery and just ‘like’ my page ‘Getting Fresh on Maui’, which is linked from the blog.  New posts will automatically go there… FB is just so much more user friendly than any blog comment/subscription format.

So as far as the pictures go, does this look better?

Green Tristan

Tristan enjoying his Avocado