strawberry & mandarin muffins

strawberry & mandarin muffinsstrawberry & mandarin muffins

Mandarins this time of year are simply divine.

Full of juice, amazingly sweet and perfectly packaged these little babies make the ultimate on-the-go baby led weaning snack.

Lately, a day doesn’t go by without one of these bright orange autumnal fruits finding its way into our lunch box and ultimately Miss G’s. tummy.  She absolutely adores them.

So in celebration of our go-to fruit of the moment I conjured up this batch of wonderful wholemeal strawberry and mandarin muffins.

And I couldn’t be more pleasantly surprised by the flavour combination. The strawberry and mandarin work beautifully together.  While the mandarin adds a delightful aromatic citrus zest and flavour to the muffins the strawberries provide natural sweetness which is needed due to the intentional lack of sugar in the recipe.

For a little extra goodness I also decided to replace the white refined flour with the more hearty, wholesome and nourishing wholemeal variety.

This particular muffin recipe makes 12 strawberry studded beauties and I am more the happy to say they freeze wonderfully.  Simply allow the muffins to cool completely, wrap individually, pop into a freezer bag or container and stash in the deep freeze for up to 3 months.  I often pop a muffin straight from the freezer into Grace’s lunch box and by lunch time the muffin is defrosted and ready to devour.

I know I’ve said it before but muffins, along with a little fresh fruit, really do make a wonderful baby led weaning breakfast or morning tea snack.  They’re the perfect shape for little hands to grip and nibble away on with ease and they’re gorgeously soft texture makes them an effortless snack from the very beginning of your baby led weaning journey.  In fact, if Grace has been fussy with teething and off her food I’ll often bake a quick batch of fruit filled muffins to induce her appetite once again.

To create these super simple strawberry mandarin muffins simply…

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banana choc muffins

banana choc muffinsbanana choc muffins

Tummy bugs, teething and the sniffles.  Yep this pretty much sums up our life for the past couple of weeks.

Poor little Miss G. has seen it all.  Just as the little trooper managed to get over one ailment she was barraged with yet another.

Between the tears, runny noses, sore gums and high temps there were no real food opportunities to share.  Grace’s appetite all but vanished.  The only bits and pieces she managed to eat were butter on toast, a few crackers and a little fruit here and there.

Thankfully our bouncy, bubbly, full of beans bubba soon returned, along with a mammoth like appetite and I couldn’t have been happier.  After mentally calculating the number of meals she had missed I instantly hit the kitchen to stock up once again on her favourites meals and snacks and the first cab off the rank were these gorgeously dark banana choc muffins.

I adore this muffin recipe.  Not only is it sugar-free and chock full of wonderful banana , it truly is one of the simplest recipes around.  Grace and I managed to stir them together in less than 5.

And the results are sublime.  The banana strewn throughout the deep dark choc muffins is delicious.  Not only does it create a moist and tender crumb but the banana flavour works beautifully with the cocoa.  I’m also really digging the macadamia nut oil, it adds a rich buttery flavour and is jam packed with goodness.

To create your own batch of these gorgeously dark banana choc muffins simply…

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fig & coconut muffins

fig & coconut muffins

fig & coconut muffins

We’re back after a heavenly family break and it feels wonderful to be back in the kitchen.

Over the holidays we found time to relax, visit the beach, play at the park, visit the museum and art gallery, nibble away on picnics that stretched long into the afternoon and soak in plenty of the gorgeous summertime sun.

We also managed to squeeze in a little fruit picking.

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Perched by the trunk of a very old and unbelievably beautiful fig tree Miss G. was mezmerised and amazed as she watched Daddy climb branches in order to pluck the precious, just ripe delicacies from their home.

Grace adores figs so she could barely contain her excitement as Dad climbed down the tree carrying a basket full of fresh, fragrant and perfectly ripe figs.

miss g

Thanks to Daddy’s efforts Grace made herself comfortable, nestled into the grass and nibbled away on the lusciously sweet and delicate summertime fruit for the rest of the afternoon.

miss g

However, despite her (and daddy’s) very best efforts we did manage to return home with a week or two supply of glorious figs.

With the figs nestled in the refrigerator they inspired endless nibbles.

We whipped up fig smoothies for breakfast, wrapped them in prosciutto and enjoyed alongside our usual antipasto treats, we also put together the most gorgeous rocket salad spiked with fresh figs, ribbons of parmesan, roasted flaked almonds and a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar for supper one evening.  

The fig supply seemed to be never ending.

As the days passed and knowing how delicate these little babies are I was keen to get cooking to use up the last of our harvest.  After a little thought and craving something sweet I came up with these super simple, yet unbelievably delicious fig and coconut muffins.

The combination is gorgeous.  The plump pieces of sweet fig strewn throughout the batter work perfectly with the scent and flavour of coconut and teeny tiny hint of cinnamon.  And each fig gently pressed into the top of the muffins caramelise beautifully in the oven, intensifying their sweetness and flavour gorgeously.

Retrieving these glorious celebrations of fig from the oven I was so pleased not one fig went to waste.

miss g

To create this lovely little batch of fig and coconut spiked wholesome muffins simply…

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gingerbread muffins

gingerbread muffinsgingerbread muffins

The expression says it all.

These little christmas inspired gingerbread babies are scrumptious.

As I mentioned earlier this week, leading up to the holidays, I will be bringing you a gorgeous collection of classic christmas recipes that have been tweaked, reworked and modified to be perfect festive baby led weaning meals, snacks and treats and todays recipe are these beautiful gingerbread muffins.

Gingerbread cookies are the quintessential festive treat but unfortunately for the little ones they’re chock full of sugar and pretty hard for tiny mouths to get around.  Not to mention quite fiddly to prepare. So not to miss out I decided to put all of the festive gingerbread cookie goodness into a batch of wholesome, sugar free, totally good for you muffins.

I started with my usual muffin batter of wholemeal flour, yoghurt, olive oil, eggs and vanilla and for a little sweetness added a generous drizzle of golden syrup and two grated fuji apples.  And to echo the heady warm depth and festive aromas of gingerbread cookies I added the amazing spice mix of a little ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and a pinch of cloves.

As these little darlings baked to golden perfection in the oven they filled the house with the aromas of christmas cheer.  They smell amazing!

Whilst taking a few snaps of the just baked muffins Miss G. edged her way through to sneak an early nibble.  Seems she just couldn’t wait.  And I understand why.  When we sat to enjoy our late breakfast of a fresh from the oven gingerbread muffin and wedges of rockmelon I couldn’t believe how fragrant, tender, soft and moist the gingerbread muffins were.  The apple not only seemed to add a gorgeous sweetness to the batter but kept the muffin moist and very tender.

I will be baking these gingerbread muffins again christmas morning.  They are the perfect light festive breakfast before the christmas lunch feast begins.

To bake a gorgeous batch of these amazingly fragrant gingerbread muffins simply…

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mango & coconut muffins

mango & coconut muffins

mango & coconut muffins

Oh I can not begin to tell you how utterly amazing it feels to be back in my kitchen cooking my simple recipes once again.

Last weeks layered white chocolate birthday cake fiasco left me reeling.

I won’t go into too much detail here (birthday post coming soon) but I will say there were tears, tantrums and meltdowns of epic proportions and I am not talking about Miss G. and her journey into toddlerhood.

Let’s just say I had quite obviously bitten off more than I could bake after being caught up in the sublime beauty that is pinterest.

I now have a new found respect for those seriously talented mummy’s (and daddy’s) out there who bake and create some seriously incredible birthday cakes with ease!

I clearly am not one of them.

And that’s ok.  I am more than happy to stick to my simple little recipes that are a joy to bake and a pleasure to eat.

Speaking of which today’s recipe is a beautiful batch of muffins chock full of gorgeously juicy fresh mango and coconut.

I adore mangoes.  Being Aussie I’m pretty sure the love of mango is coded into our DNA somehow.  That and our love affair with hot days, long summers, sandy beaches and cold beer.

For me, summer begins the moment I see mangoes adorning the shelves of the fruit market and although they’re usually ridiculously over priced I can’t help but pick up a couple.  Yesterday with the first mangoes of the season in my shopping bag I couldn’t wait to get home and prepare a little for Miss G. to see if indeed my DNA theory stood true.

And although I am very happy to report that yes the love affair with mangoes has percolated down the old DNA Miss G. did have a little trouble eating the slippery pieces of tropical fruit.   In an attempt to make the mango a little easier to handle I decided to stud a batch of muffins with the gorgeous flesh of a large perfectly ripe muffin.

Success.

Strewn through a wholemeal coconut muffin the mango was much easier for her little hands to hold and she scoffed down her muffin along with a little orange for morning tea.

To create your own batch of these mango and coconut studded muffins simply…

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blueberry breakfast muffins

blueberry breakfast muffins

blueberry breakfast muffins

Not a big fan of toast I have been experimenting with new recipes for Miss G’s breakfast.

And these beautiful blueberry and muesli studded breakfast muffins are my latest creation.

It’s no secret I am a big fan of muffins.

Who isn’t?

They are simple to prepare.

Cook quickly.

Make a great on-the-go snack.

Freeze fabulously.

And are wonderful way to get extra fruit and vegetables into the little ones.

I adore them and luckily Miss G. does too.

This morning I stirred together my usual yoghurt muffin batter however replaced the sugar with maple syrup, added a little cinnamon, a generous helping of beautiful bright blueberries along with a big handful of our favourite muesli.

The results were delicious.

The baked blueberries burst creating pools of jammy fruity goodness strewn throughout the muffins and the muesli created a gorgeous golden crust.

Breakfast perfection.

To create your own batch of these beautiful little blueberry breakfast muffins simply…

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lime, coconut & white chocolate muffins

lime, coconut & white chocolate muffins

lime, coconut & white chocolate muffins

Being a mum can be hard.

After a few nights of restless sleep, days filled with chasing a crawling bubby can be tiresome.

Most mornings we both look forward for our chance to get out of the house and head to the park to soak in a little goodness by the way of sunshine and the crisp morning air.

Walking through the tree lined park G. loves to stare at the passers by, children playing, birds and the dogs running through the grass.  And I relish the chance to just be, taking in the blissful moments of quite stillness.

Whilst cuddled snuggly in her pram it doesn’t take long for Miss G. to fall asleep for her morning nap and I take this opportunity to enjoy a much needed mummy moment and grab a coffee from our local cafe.

Yesterday, feeling the effects of another restless night and needing a little extra sustenance I decided on a muffin also.

Chock full of lime, coconut and white chocolate it was delicious.

The gorgeous tropical combination has been on my mind ever since so today I decided to whip up a batch of lime, coconut and white chocolate muffins.

To create a heavenly batch of lime, coconut and white chocolate muffins simply…

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