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See a Need, Fill a Need

Does anyone remember the movie Robots?

Robots

There was one line from that movie that always stuck with us- it was Rodney’s motto, “See a need, fill a need!”  Don’t you think that’s a great rule to live by?  We sure do, and that’s what we try to do when we create recipes.  Find out what people want and need and make a recipe that fulfills those requirements.

And that is precisely how these muffins came to be…

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You see, a family member of ours recently underwent knee surgery (Heather, I think you’ll be able to relate to this…) and has been on some serious pain meds for the past few days.  Anyone who has ever had to go through this kind of thing before knows what kind of side effects medications like these can have…

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To put it a little more eloquently, this family member of ours has been experiencing some… difficulty with, you know… “moving things along”.

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The pain killers combined with the fact that he’s pretty well couch-ridden and can’t do a whole lot of moving around to (ahem) “shake things out” has left him with a little difficulty staying, well, regular.

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This family member is also used to being very active, so now that he’s being faced with several months of significantly decreased amounts of exercise, he’s also put in a request that sweets and unhealthy snacks be kept at minimal levels around the house.  (Did we also mention that this particular individual has quite the sweet tooth, and is somewhat lacking in will power? ;))

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He also likes to snack.  A lot. So we knew what we had to do- create a snack that’s full of fibre, but is low in sugar, and unhealthy fats, and of course it has to taste good, too!

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And thus, the super high-fibre date n’ raisin mini-muffin was created!  We decided to make these mini, because that way if he feels like he needs a little snack, he doesn’t have to commit to eating an entire muffin.  But of course, these would be just as delicious if they were full-sized, all you’d have to do is bake them a little longer!

So what makes these high fibre?  They have wheat bran, oat bran, rolled oats, and whole wheat flour.  They also have dates and raisins, which are also good sources of fibre.  So when all’s said and done, one of these mini muffins has 2 grams of fibre, which, considering their size, is quite a bit!  And if you were to make them into large muffins, they’d be about 3 times the size, which would put them at about 6 grams per muffin!

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You could even amp-up the fibre content even more by adding some ground flax seeds and chopped almonds to these muffins- something we would’ve done if we hadn’t been all out!

And as for the taste?  Well, we realize that you don’t often hear people saying “yummm… fibre…” but we promise you will love these!  Everyone in our family loved these- in fact, we just made these yesterday, and we’re already thinking we’ll have to make another batch pretty soon…

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Mmmm fibre! 🙂

Date-Raisin Mini Muffins

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Prep time: 15min
Bake time: 10-12min
Makes: 30 mini muffins

Ingredients:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. bran
1/2 c. oat bran
1/2 c. oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

1 egg
1/2 c. yogurt (any kind will do, we used strawberry!)
1 c. milk of choice
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 c. maple syrup

1/2 c. dates
1/2 c. raisins

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Combine milk and vinegar and set aside for 5min (to make “butter milk”).
In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine the wet, only adding the milk after having sat for 5 min.
Pour wet ingredients into the dry along with the dates and raisins and stir until just combined.
Fill greased mini-muffin tins with the batter.
Bake for 10-12 minutes.

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever had a surgery and experienced difficult side effects after wards? What did you do to overcome those difficulties?

Breakfast Back-log

So we’re bringing you a breakfast post two days in a row.  Why? Because we’ve somehow managed to get a major back-log of breakfast recipes piling up, and since we have another bunch of breakfast ideas swirling around in our heads for the next few days (read- there was a big sale on strawberries at the grocery store this week!), we wanted to get some of these recipe to you before we get too carried away with new ones.

What can we say? We love breakfast!

We realized the other day as we were perusing through some past posts that it has been forever since we’ve made a crepe for breakfast!  And with a pile of lemons in our fridge and a giant bag of frozen blueberries in our freezer, we knew what had to be done.

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But first, let’s recap: so far we’ve made pancakes, french toast, and a buckwheat bake (ok, that one’s not lemon-blueberry, but it would taste pretty darn good with blueberries, if you ask us!) so a crepe seemed like a logical next step.

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And while sometimes logic is kind of overrated, this time, it definitely prevailed!

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And while we could launch into a whole spiel about how the tangy, citrus-y flavour of the lemon pairs perfectly with the bright, sweet flavour of the blueberries and the creamy, mellow cottage cheese pulls the whole thing together in a veritable taste sensation, we won’t bother because we’ve already explained the magic that happens when blueberries and lemons are paired together…

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So you already know how delicious this is without us really having to tell you 🙂

Lemon Poppy Seed Blueberry Crepes

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Prep time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 tbsp chia seeds or ground flax seeds
1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
4 egg whites
juice of 1 lemon (1/4 c.)
zest of 1 lemon
1/4 c. milk of choice
1/4 c. water
1 tbsp honey

For the filling:

1 c. frozen blueberries, thawed, drained (reserve blueberry juice)
2/3 c. cottage cheese

For the blueberry cream:

Reserved blueberry juice
1/4 c. plain yogurt
1/4 tsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp honey

Directions:

Pre heat greased large frying pan or griddle over medium heat.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl, then add the wet ingredients and stir until there are no clumps.
Pour half the batter onto the pan, swirling so that it covers the entire base of the pan. Cook for 2-3min, or until the edges start to curl. Flip and cook for another 2-3min. Remove from pan and repeat with remaining batter.
Divide the cottage cheese and blueberries among each crepe and fold them up, top with blueberry sauce.
For Blueberry sauce:
Mix all ingredients together and drizzle over the crepe.

~twosaucysisters

Leftovers

Did you make yesterday’s blueberry buttermilk pancakes?

You did?  Perfect!  Because you probably have leftover buttermilk, and perhaps even some leftover blueberries now, don’t you?

How did we know?  Call it foodie intuition 🙂

Anyways, if yesterday’s pancakes got you on the same blueberry buttermilk kick that we’ve been on lately, then this post is especially for you 🙂

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These are the muffin form of yesterday’s pancakes, and they are seriously good.

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But we have to tell you, it took us a couple tries to get these right.  We have been making muffins for years (in fact, muffins were the first thing we ever made without the help of our mother!) so by now we’ve got the whole procedure pretty much down pat.

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In fact, aside from the occasional leaving-out of ingredients (aka- forgetting the baking soda) we have never actually had a batch of muffins fail.  So when the first batch of these didn’t quite turn out, we started to wonder if we had lost our touch!

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It’s not that the first round didn’t taste good, they just didn’t have that light and fluffy texture that you come to expect from a muffin.  When they first came out of the oven they were big and round and beautiful-looking, but within minutes of cooling, they had collapsed, and ended up being somewhat dense.  Of course, we ate them anyways, but we knew we had to have another crack at them as soon as the first batch was gone.

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Round two turned out to be a resounding success, so we deemed them blog-worthy and here they are in all their glory!  A fluffy muffin made with whole wheat flour and bursting with juicy blueberries just for you.

You’re welcome 🙂

Blueberry Buttermilk Muffins

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

Ingredients:

1.5 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. unbleached white flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon

1 egg
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1/3 c. Apple juice
3/4 c. buttermilk
1/3 c. plain yogurt
1/4 c. date paste

1 c. frozen blueberries

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.
In separate bowls, combine the wet and dry ingredients. Add the wet to the dry, stirring just to combine. Carefully fold in the blueberries, trying to avoid blue colour “bleeding” into the rest of the batter.
Bake for 15-20 min, or until they are lightly browned and firm to the touch. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

Have you ever had a baking failure? Did you succeed the next time you tried? We’ve had plenty of baking failures, and sometimes they took more than 2 tries to perfect!

Pick Me Up Pancakes

What a weekend!

We had our first track meet of the season this weekend, so we were off in Windsor running around in circles for the better part of two days.

And you know what?  It was not our best performance.  The first meet is often a bit rough, but this weekend our bodies just didn’t seem to want to go as fast as we would’ve liked them too.  Oh well, it happens, right?

We figured, though, after a tiring weekend of disappointing racing, we deserved something extra special- something to perk us back up.

So we made pancakes.

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Not that we ever need an excuse to make pancakes, but these just seemed like the perfect thing at the time.

These banana nut pancakes were fluffy, flavourful, and oh-so satisfying!

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Loaded with cinnamon, full of crunchy walnuts, and drizzled drowned in maple-tahini syrup these pancakes hit the spot!

Now you may be thinking that the banana-tahini combination is slightly strange, but we assure you it is de-lic-ious!  We’ve used a tahini dressing on banana pancakes before, and it was every bit as wonderful as we remembered.  This one had the addition of maple syrup, which brought it up to a whole new level of awesome 🙂

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So while we hope your athletic endeavors this weekend were more successful than ours, if they weren’t, we encourage you to make these pancakes for yourself as a reward for putting in the effort. If you did have success (of any kind) this weekend, make these as a reward.  And if you really can’t think of any reason why you should be rewarding yourself this morning- make them anyways, because we’re sure you did something worth celebrating this weekend 🙂

Banana Nut Pancakes

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Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

2/3 c. whole wheat flour
2 tbsp coconut flour (optional- but decrease the liquid if not using)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
2 egg whites (or one egg)
1 mashed ripe banana
3/4 c. milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp banana extract (optional)
1/4 tsp butter extract (optional)
1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Tahini Drizzle:

2 tbsp tahini
1 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp maple syrup
1/4 tsp maple extract (optional)
water

Directions:

For the pancakes: In a medium-sized bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  In a separate small bowl, combine the wet ingredients.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir just until combined.  Drop spoonfuls of batter onto a hot skillet, cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

For the Drizzle: Combine tahini, cinnamon, and maple syrup.  Slowly add water while stirring until you reach your desired consistency.

~twosaucysisters

A Tale of Two Desserts

When we were at our family’s Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday, one of the dessert options at the restaurant was rice pudding. Of course, at the time all we wanted was our pumpkin pie! The pudding did, however, plant a little bug in the back of our minds, one that was for sure not to be forgotten!

We were, however, still craving pumpkin (what else is knew?) so we made this pumpkin pie rice pudding. We know, we know, it never ends! But we seriously just can’t get enough of the stuff!

This is what the lovechild of rice pudding and pumpkin pie would look like. Except on a diet, because this dessert is nothing but healthy! It uses brown rice (yay fiber!), has no added sugar whatsoever (not even honey or maple syrup!), is bursting with pumpkin goodness, and is low in fat to boot!

That being said, this pudding is not overly-sweet.  With a mashed banana stirred in,  a hefty dose of cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, and of course a generous handful of raisins, we thought that it was fabulous just the way it was.  Of course, you may adjust this to your own personal preferences.  If you’d like it to be sweeter, we both agree that adding some maple syrup would be a great idea, and honey would work well, too!  Feel free to experiment, but we suggest making any additions after you’ve made the pudding and taste-tested it 🙂

The other great thing about this pudding is that it is super fast to put together! Using minute-brown rice, this dessert came together in, well, minutes! You could probably use non-instant short grain brown rice, as well, but you’ll have to make sure you adjust the liquid accordingly.  We even suggest looking up some traditional rice pudding recipes to see what their rice-to-liquid ratio is.

This rice pudding may actually be some of the best rice pudding we’ve ever made! So incredibly creamy thanks to the pumpkin, we felt like we could eat the entire batch in one sitting! We, of course, did not, we were kind sisters and left some in Grimsby for our family to enjoy. Sisters of the year? We think so! 🙂

Pumpkin Rice Pudding

Total Time: 20 min

Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

1 c. instant brown rice
2 c. milk (skim or 1%- non-dairy will work, too!)
1 c. pumpkin puree (no sugar added!)
1 c. raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Add the rice, milk, pumpkin, and raisins to a medium-sized pot and stir until combined.  Place on the stove and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.

Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until rice is cooked and pudding is thickened- be carfeul because it might splatter!

Remove from heat and stir in the spices and vanilla extract.  (Add sweetener if so desired)

~twosaucysisters

Do you like rice pudding?  What are some of your favourite pumpkin desserts?

From the Tree to the Jar

Remember back when we were talking about how much we loved apple butter? That time, we had a delicious locally sourced store-bought brand. Unfortunately, apple butter isn’t always the cheapest item on the shelf, and you can never get a very big jar of it, so it doesn’t last very long (especially at our house!). Luckily for us, our dad’s house is a 100 year old farm house, that back in the day was quite a large fruit farm. This means there are lots of different varieties of pear trees, berry bushes, and apple trees kickin’ around. The beauty of these trees is that we don’t do anything to them, and yet they still produce fruit! The pears are the best, somehow they are always gorgeous and bug-free, perfect for eating! The apples, however, are the very opposite.  There may be a handful that would actually be yummy to eat, and the rest (once you’ve picked through the rotting and insect-infected ones) will only do for cooking and baking. Naturally, we thought that these apples would be the perfect fit for some home-made apple butter! 🙂

A special thank-you goes out to our oldest brother who picked the apples for us and brought them to our home-meet a couple weekends ago. According to our mom he was talking to her on the phone while picking them, thoroughly grossed out by the nasty,wormy, rotting ones that appear fine until you grab them and they ooze all over your hand. So…. thanks big bro! 🙂

The other amazing part about this apple butter is that it barely cost us a dime! The apples were free, all we had to do was go out and buy some unsweetened apple juice. Not to mention it made a HUGE batch!

If you don’t have apple trees of your own to get your apples from, fear not! There are plenty of pick-your-own orchards, and many of them will have what are called “seconds”, which are apples they sell for less because they are not “perfect”, having discoloured spots, blemishes, etc.  A great way to support local farmers and get cheap, excellent apples!

This recipe is so easy, and has so few ingredients. Apple butter that’s easy, cheap, and contains no added sugars or preservatives.  Not to mention this recipe makes enough to last you the entire fall season. Need we say more? 🙂

Apple Butter

Total time: 8hrs slow cooking + 40min
Makes: ~4L

Ingredients:

14 medium sized apples
2 c.unsweetened apple juice
1-2 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg

Directions:

Chop up apples into small chunks.
Combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for 8hrs (we did ours overnight!).

In batches, add cooked apple mixture to a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
In a large pot, simmer on low for 30min, partially covered to avoid splattering, stirring every couple of minutes.
Pour into glass jars and refrigerate.

-twosaucysisters

Do you like apple butter? What’s your favourite local farm/apple orchard to visit where you’re from?

Meatless Mondays A-Z: Figs

Hello 2SS readers!

We’re back from our weekend in Montreal, kicking off the 2012 cross country season! It was a great weekend full of fun, running, and awesome eats! We’ll be re-capping the weekend’s events tomorrow, but for now….

Meatless Monday! 🙂

This week, the letter is “F” for figs! Mmmmm figs 🙂 . We love them, they are so naturally sweet and delicious, with a little bit of texture added from their teeny-tiny little seeds. Yumm:)

We were really excited when we found out that this week was figs, as probably one of our favourite little grab-and-go snacks are fig newtons! In high school, we used to always have a package of fig newtons in the house, and they are something we’ve been wanting to try our hand at making for quite some time.

MMAZ gave us the perfect opportunity.

When buying them at the grocery store, we always got the 60% whole wheat ones, but we knew that we could do better than that!

Our fig newtons are 100% whole wheat, and contain no added sugar.  They also use coconut oil instead of butter.

They should actually be called date-and-fig newtons, because our filling has dates in it (partly to help with sweetening, but mostly because we only had one package of dried figs!).

Don’t forget to head over to Heather to check the rest of this week’s participants.

Happy Meatless Monday everyone! 🙂

Whole Wheat Fig Newtons

Prep: 30 min
Bake: 30 min
Makes: 20 squares

Ingredients:

For the Filling:

1/2 c. dried back figs
1/2 c. dates
1/2 c. water
1/2 tbsp lemon juice

For the Crust:

1 3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 c. coconut oil
1/4 c. creamed honey
1 egg, brought to room temperature
1 tbsp luke-warm milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp luke-warm water, if needed

Directions:

For the Filling:

Place figs, dates, and water in a pot and bring to a boil. Turn down to medium-low and cook until the dates and figs soften and begin to “melt”, stirring frequently and slightly crushing up the figs.  Once the water has cooked away, add the lemon juice, remove from heat and allow to cool.  Blend in the food processor to remove the chunks.

For the Crust:

Pre-heat oven to 350 F.

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  In another bowl, cream the honey and coconut oil.  Add the egg (the egg must be at room temperature, or else it’ll cause the coconut oil to harden) and milk and vanilla.  Combine the wet with the dry and kneed with your hands until you have a smooth ball of dough. Ad extra water if the dough is too dry.

With a rolling pin, roll half of the dough into a square about 1/4 inch thick.  Spread fig filling on top.  Roll out the other piece of dough in the same way and place over top of the fig mixture.

Bake for 30min, until lightly browned.

-twosaucysisters