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Pumpkin Peanut Butter

Have you had enough of pumpkin yet?

We certainly hope not, because we have one last recipe to add to the onslaught of pumpkin-themed-everything that you have probably been being hit with for the past month-and-a-half.  If you are tired of it though, perhaps we could change your mind… with a cookie?

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Oh sorry, that’s just the dough- you were expecting the baked stuff, weren’t you?

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*Disclaimer: there may or may not have been a certain amount of dough that did not quite make it into cookies…

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But isn’t it kind of a rule that you always have to taste-test the batter before you bake the cookie?  It is in our house, anyways 😉

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In all seriousness though- these cookies are fantastic.  Who knew that peanut butter and pumpkin could be such a winning combination?  Of course, the chocolate chips just add that extra bit of decadence 🙂

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It’s difficult to describe the texture of these cookies.  They’re soft but dense, sort of cake-like but not quite as light as cake- you know what? Maybe you guys should just try them and decide for yourselves what the texture is instead of letting us ramble on forever, sound like a plan?

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And after all that we completely forgot to mention that these are gluten free!  How silly of us!  We used our trusty‘ol new gluten-free flour blend, of course :).

If you think the peanut butter-pumkin combo is strange, we urge you to give it a shot- we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  We know we were!

And after you’ve made these cookies, we give you full permission to start into all things ginger bread, peppermint, cranberry, chocolate and Christmas-filled wonderfulness!

Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 15-20 minutes
Makes: 12 cookies

Ingredients:

2 c. Gluten-Free flour blend
1
/4 tsp xantham gum
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1/2 c. pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. liquid honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 c. – 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F

Combine the flour, xantham gum, baking powder salt and cinnamon in a medium-sized bowl.
In a separate smaller bowl, combine the remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir just to combine.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Cover a baking sheet with parchement paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Drop the dough onto the sheet, about 2 tbsp for each cookie.
Using a floured fork, press the cookie so that it’s flat, shaping them to make them round.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until they are firm enough to be picked up and the bottoms are slightly brown.

~twosaucysisters

What was your favourite pumpkin recipe from this Fall?  Are you looking forward to Christmas baking?  What are you planning to make?

Muffin Fix

Muffins are our answer to everything.

Need a quick lunch snack? Muffins.
Want a light breakfast?  Muffins.
Packing for a road trip? Muffins.
Bored?  Why not do some baking to pass the time?  Why not bake muffins?

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Our other answer to everything is chocolate and peanut butter.  Obviously.

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We don’t want to be redundant, or predictable, but our craving for chocolate and peanut butter is just never quite satisfied.  And we were baking these to share with a friend who’s favourite flavour combo also happens to be chocolate and peanut butter, so in our minds the decision was already made!

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So in case you haven’t guessed already, these are chocolate peanut butter muffins.

Make that chocolate peanut butter swirl with chocolate and peanut butter chips.

Whaddup.

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These little beauties are truly decadent.  And they’re the perfect snack to bring along for post-race snacking, Toronto road-tripping, beach-bumming and post-night-out-breakfasting.  All of which took place in a span of 24 hours this past weekend.

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So the real question is: can you ever have too many muffins?  No, no you cannot.  We suppose the other question is: can you ever have enough chocolate and peanut butter?  Again, the answer is no.  And these little snacks are the perfect marriage between the two.  Win-win!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Muffins

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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 20-25 minutes
Makes: 19-24 muffins (depending on the size)

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Batter:

1.5 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. white sugar
1/4 c. cocoa powder
1 egg, beaten
1 egg white
1 c. milk of choice
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. peanut butter chips

For the Peanut Butter Batter:

1.5 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 c. white sugar
1 egg. beaten
1 egg white
1 c. milk
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 c. apple sauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F.  Spray two muffins pans with non-stick cooking spray.

In two large bowls, combine the dry ingredients for both batters separately. In two separate smaller bowls, combine the wet ingredients for both batters separately.  Pour the wet ingredients for each batter into the bowls of dry ingredients. (You will have two bowls with two different batters).  Stir both bowls just until everything is combined and there are no dry spots.  Gently stir the chocolate chips into the peanut butter batter and the peanut butter chips into the chocolate batter.

Place a spoonful of the chocolate batter into each of your muffins tins, only filling the muffin tin about 1/3-1/2 full with the chocolate.  Now go along and top the chocolate batter with a spoonful of peanut butter batter.

Using a butter knife, gently swirl the two batters together.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the muffins are firm yet still soft.

~twosaucysisters

Do you like muffins?  When you have to make snacks, what are your go-to favourites?

Our First Blogiversary

Happy birthday to us!  Happy birthday to us!  Happy birthday Two Saucy Sisterrrrsss!  Happy birthday to us!

But wait a minute- it’s not our birthdays!

You’re right- it’s not.  Today is our 1-year blog anniversary!  It’s our blogiversary! 🙂

Yup, 1 year ago today is when we wrote our very first post.  Wow.  Can you believe its already been a full year?  Where has the time gone?

This year of blogging has been amazing!  We’ve learned so much over the past 12 months it’s hard to know where to begin.  For starters, we both had no idea how to design a blog or even sign up to create one.  We didn’t know anything about widgets, links, tags, or menus.  We knew nothing about how to promote our blog or how to increase page views.  In fact, we didn’t even know if people would be interested in what we had to say or if they would like our recipes at all!  And photography?  Don’t even get us started!  We think it’s safe to say that we’ve come a long way from taking poorly-lit, unedited photos on top of our stove.

While we still have a lot (and we mean a lot) of learning and improving to do, we’re really proud of how far we’ve come, and we’re so happy that we decided to make the jump from blog-followers to blog-writers!  So for now, it’s time to celebrate!  And what would a birthday celebration be without cake?

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We think we’ve made it very well-known that Chocolate and Peanut Butter is our favourite combo (remember these pancakes?), so naturally for our first blogiversary we had to make a Chocolate Layer Cake with Peanut Butter frosting! 🙂

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Of course, this is a healthy food blog, so this cake is made entirely from bran flakes and vegetables.

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Just kidding! But it is made with all healthy ingredients.

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So how exactly do you go about making a healthy cake, a food that uses sugar, butter and refined flour as it’s main ingredients?

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You start by making some simple substitutions, like whole wheat flour for white flour, for instance. Apple sauce is fantastic because it replaces oil and sugar at the same time. And of course, our favourite natural sweeteners, date paste and honey, fell into the mix as well.

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The other secret to a healthy cake is using some… unconventional ingredients. 😉

Almost all cakes call for butter to make them soft and tender, so we needed to find a healthy substitution that offered fat for tenderizing but not for artery clogging! The obvious (to us) solution? Avocado!

Yes. There is avocado in this cake.

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And then there’s the icing, because let’s face it- cake without icing is not cake.  It’s bread.  But to make healthy icing you need something make it thick and fluffy and give it some structure.  And what ingredient would be better suited to that job than chickpeas?

Yup.  Chickpeas.  We’re convinced that those little legumes were sent from Heaven to be incorporated into any and every recipe imaginable!

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So there it is then.  A delicious chocolate peanut butter cake to celebrate one fantastic year of blogging!  Thank you to everyone who follows us, reads our posts, makes our recipes and leaves us comments.  Thank you to all those who have liked us on Facebook, followed us on Twitter and Pinterest, and to all our family and friends who have supported us during this past year!  We really can’t tell you all how much we appreciate every comment, like, and share.

There will be some changes happening on the blog over the next couple months that we’re really excited about, and we’ll definitely keep you up-to-date as they happen, but all we can say is get ready for a new-and-improved Two Saucy Sisters!

For now though, it’s business as usual.  And chocolate cake 🙂

Chocolate Peanut Butter Layer Cake

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 25 minutes
Makes: 1 9-inch cake

Ingredients:

2.5 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1/2 c. cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

2 eggs
2 egg whites
1 ripe avocado
1 c. unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 c. date paste
1 c. milk of choice
1/4 c. maple syrup or honey or agave
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp white vinegar

For the Icing:

1 19oz can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c. peanut butter (not all natural)*
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. honey
1/2 tsp salt

2 tbsp semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Crushed peanuts (optional)

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 375 F.
In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Using a stand mixer or electric beaters, beat eggs on medium-high speed. Add in avocado and beat until smooth. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and continue beating until fully combined.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry and gently stir, until just combined.
Spray two 9-inch circular pans with cooking spray and dust with flour. Divide batter evenly between the two pans.
Bake on the center rack for 25min, or until a toothpick inserted in the centre of each cake comes out clean. Allow to cool fully on a wire rack before icing. In a double boiler or microwave, melt chocolate chips and drizzle over the top. Sprinkle with crushed peanuts and serve.

Store covered in the fridge.

For the icing:

Put all ingredients into a food processor or high power blender and blend until smooth.

*We used the classic Skippy Peanut Butter. If you would like to use all-natural, you can, however the consistency will be drippier and you will have to adjust the sweetener and salt.

Tip: 

To help stack your two layers without the top one sliding off, turn the bottom layer upside down so it’s flat bottom is facing upwards.

~twosaucysisters

Meatless Monday and More Granola

Hey everyone!

So today marks week 2 of the blueberry edition Heather’s Meatless Monday party, which requires us not to make a new recipe with blueberries, but to choose one of the other participant’s recipes to make.

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With so many amazing-looking recipes, it was really hard to choose one!  Since we went the sweet route last Monday, we decided to make a more savoury blueberry dish this time around.  We still had a big bunch of cilantro left over from our salsa-making expeditions, and had just bought some fresh tomatoes at the grocery store, so when we saw Lindsay’s blueberry salsa we knew it was meant to be!

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What a fabulous recipe!  It had just the right amount of balance between sweet and savoury, and the perfect level of heat- and it came just in time since we had just run out of our own salsa 🙂  Thanks Lindsay!

And of course don’t forget to head on over to visit Heather at Better With Veggies to check out what everyone else has been up to this week!

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Now on to the other half of this post! Which is, if you haven’t already deduced from the title, more granola!

Now when you read this recipe some of you might think “wait a second- this recipe is almost the exact same as their banana tahini granola recipe!”  And you’re right.  It is basically the exact same, just with a few ingredient swaps.  So yes, we admit it, this is a bit of a cop-out recipe, but when you find a formula that works, why change it, right?

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To be honest, we weren’t planning on giving you this recipe so soon after posting about our banana-tahini granola (in hopes that you wouldn’t notice how similar they are ;)) but after mentioning it in yesterday’s post and then tantalizing you with pictures of such a pretty-looking parfait, we felt we couldn’t hold out on you any longer…

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So yes, this granola is basically a copy-cat of our last granola recipe, but we think it’s equally as delicious, so we’re not too upset about that 🙂

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So there you have it, folks- granola version 2.0- perfect for layering in an apple parfait, or just for eating by the handful 😉

Apple Cinnamon Granola

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Makes: ~5 cups

Ingredients:

3 c. large-flake rolled oats
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. chopped almonds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 c. unsweetened almond butter
2/3 c. unsweetened apple sauce
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 egg white
1/2 c. raisins

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350C.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, walnuts, almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir until evenly mixed.

In another smaller bowl, whisk the apple sauce and almond butter together until smooth.  Add the maple syrup and egg white and mix until everything is fully combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir until everything is mixed and there are no dry spots left.

Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared pan, pressing down slightly.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir, breaking up the granola slightly, but leaving several large chunks.  Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven again and stir the granola so that the darker pieces are moved to the bottom and some of the less-baked pieces are exposed.  Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool (it will get crispier as it cools).

~twosaucysisters

Do you have a go-to base recipe for anything that you like to use to make variations?

 

Clusters of Awesome

Banana and peanut butter is a classic combination.

But there is another.  It is lesser-known, but not any less delicious!  That’s right- there is something else that is equally as delicious as peanut butter and banana.

So what is this magic combination?  Banana and tahini.

Since we started reading food blogs, we have been introduced to many new and wonderful ideas, and the banana-tahini combo definitely makes the list of the top 10 (if we were to make one, that is..).

Unfortunately, we cannot remember on what blog we first heard about putting these two ingredients together, so if you are a food-blogger and have ever mentioned about eating banana and tahini at the same time, feel free to take credit for introducing this idea to us 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, tahini is sesame seed paste.  It’s kind of like peanut butter, except its made with sesame seeds instead (it also has no sugar or salt added to it).  It’s a very common condiment in middle-eastern cooking, and is a major ingredient in hummus.  It can be found in pretty much any grocery store, and has a mild, nutty flavour.

We could go on all day about how delicious and versatile tahini is, but today we’re actually here to talk about granola:

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You see, the other day we decided we wanted to make granola.  We had some ripe bananas that we wanted to use up, so our first thought was to make peanut butter-banana.  But then we decided that we wanted to try something a little different-and thus banana tahini granola came to be!

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We really can’t say enough about this granola!  There’s a slight sweetness from the banana that’s balanced perfectly with the nuttiness of the tahini.  If you’ve never had tahini before and you’re a little hesitant to try it, this is the perfect recipe to start with!  The tahini flavour is very mild in this granola- almost an after thought, really.

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In fact, if you didn’t know there was tahini in the granola, you probably wouldn’t guess that it’s there.  You’d just be wondering why this granola tasted so ridiculously delicious.  Then you would just accept it, and go on blissfully eating it by the bowl-ful. 🙂

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There is also one other very important thing that we must mention about this granola.  It has the best. Clusters. Ever.  The secret?  An egg white!  One single egg white.  Add it into the mix, and you’ll get those hearty clusters that are so highly coveted when making homemade granola!

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Would you just look at those clusters?  No need for a bunch of oil or sugar- because we don’t know about you guys, but when we have granola, we want to eat entire bowlfuls of it!  Stuff it full of sugar and oil and suddenly that becomes a not-so-healthy idea.  That being said, we didn’t add a tonne of sweetener to this, so if you’d prefer you can feel free to add a little more if that suits your taste 🙂

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So please do yourself a favour and go make a batch of this granola.  Then eat a bowl full of it.  In fact, you may even want to make a double-batch, because it is that good.

Banana and tahini- seriously, people.

Banana Tahini Granola

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Prep: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Makes: approximately 5 cups

Ingredients:

3 c. large-flake rolled oats
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 c. chopped walnuts
1/4 c. chopped almonds
1 medium banana, mashed
1/4 c. tahini
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg white

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350C.  Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, sesame seeds, walnuts, almonds, and cinnamon.  Stir until evenly mixed.

In another smaller bowl, whisk the banana and tahini together until smooth.  Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and egg white and mix until everything is fully combined.  Add the wet ingredients to the oat mixture and stir until everything is mixed and there are no dry spots left.

Spread the mixture evenly onto the prepared pan, pressing down slightly.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and stir, breaking up the granola slightly, but leaving several large chunks.  Return to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven again and stir the granola so that the darker pieces are moved to the bottom and some of the less-baked pieces are exposed.  Return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool (it will get crispier as it cools).

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever tried banana and tahini?  What is your favourite kind of granola?

Simple Sunday: Noodle Dilemma

Is it just us, but are we the only ones who no matter what we do, we can never seem to cook the right amount of pasta? It’s not the short noodles (go ahead, have your laugh) that are the problem- you know, the penne, rigatoni, farfalle- they’re easy because all you have to do is measure the amount you want.  But stuff like spaghetti, fettuccine, vermicelli- they don’t make measuring cups for those!

Inevitably we always end up cooking more than we need, and are left with an awkward amount left over that’s not quite enough for a serving- so what are we to do?  Save it, cook more and have pasta again the next night?  While that seems logical, what would most likely end up happening is we’d end up cooking too much again, and then we’d just have to eat pasta every night for the rest of our lives! Ok, that may be a little melodramatic, but you get the idea.

But necessity is the mother invention, and we have come up with a solution to our pasta dilemma!

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You know those crispy noodles that you always get when you get a salad at Wendy’s?  Well these are kind of like them, only healthier!

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And, if you don’t count salt and pepper (because they don’t really count, do they?) than these only have two ingredients!  Gotta love that, right?

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So what do you do with this bowl of crispy, crunchy noodles? Well, as we mentioned already, they make fantastic salad-toppers!

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But that’s not all they’re good for!  In fact, you might just find yourself reaching for these when you’ve got the munchies- they’re surprisingly addictive!  And they keep well, too- we’ve had ours in the pantry for about a week and-a-half now and they’re just as crispy as if they were fresh out of the oven!

Hey, you never know- you might end up liking these so much that you cook extra pasta on purpose! 😉

Noodle Crisps

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Prep: 5 min
Cook: 10-20 min

Ingredients:

Leftover [whole wheat] pasta noodles (however much you have)
Olive Oil- 1 tsp for every 1/2 cup of noodles
Salt- 1/8 tsp for every 1/2 cup of noodles
pepper- to taste

Directions:

Pre-heat the oven to 350F.

Toss the cooked and chilled pasta noodles in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Spread out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake for 10 minutes or until crispy (some of them may be quite dark).  If they are not crispy enough, continue baking them for 5 minutes at a time or until they are done.

Eat as a snack, use as a crunchy salad-topper, or come up with your own fun uses for them!

~twosaucysisters

What do you do when you have leftover pasta noodles?

Pillows of Sunshine

We love lemon, as is evident here, here, here and here.

We also love muffins.

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So why not make lemon muffins?

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And of course, we love to put poppy seeds in whenever we bake with lemon!

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We also love the lemon + coconut pairing, so naturally we made these muffins with part coconut flour.

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The coconut flour just makes them so pillow-y soft with a hint of sweetness, yet the lemon gives them a sunshine-like brightness, they really couldn’t have turned out any better!

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We hope these muffins bring some sunshine to your day like they did to ours!

Lemon-Coconut Muffins

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Prep time: 10min
Bake time: 15-20min
Makes: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. white flour
2 tbsp coconut flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp white sugar

1 egg
juice of 1 lemon (~1/4 c.)
zest of 1 lemon
1 c. milk of choice
2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp honey
1/3 c. plain yogurt
1/2 tsp coconut extract (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium sized bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together the wet ingredients. Pour the wet into the dry and stir until just combined.
Divide batter evenly between 12 greased muffin cups.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned and firm to the touch.

~twosaucysisters