Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Muffins

Lizzie Homemaker easy healthy chocolate chip banana muffins
These easy and healthy chocolate chip banana muffins are a perfect after-school snack for little ones.

These days we’ve been spending countless hours hanging out at the park.  To keep my kids fuelled I’ve been making these easy breezy whole wheat banana muffins.  They’re healthy, perfect to grab and go, great for the lunch box or as an after-school snack.  If you have busy little kids, you need these in your life.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Banana Mini Muffins

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
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These mini muffins are perfect for little kids. They are 100% whole grain and sweetened with banana, applesauce, maple syrup and just 2 chocolate chips. Just enough sweetness to satisfy while keeping them healthy. Perfect for the lunch box or as an after-school snack.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup mashed banana (2 large or 3 small)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or another neutral flavoured oil)
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 48 chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease mini muffin tin, or line with baking cups.
  2. In a large bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In medium bowl combine banana, eggs, oil, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients to flour mixture and stir until just combined.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin.
  6. Place 2 chocolate chips on top of each mini muffin.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool.

 

 

Lizzie Homemaker mini chocolate chip banana muffins
One of Lizzie Homemaker’s go-to healthy snacks for kids on-the-go.  Made with simple ingredients, these moist mini muffins are 100% whole grain and sweetened with banana, applesauce, maple syrup and just two chocolate chips – and they are oh so easy to make!

Easy Cherry Scones

Lizzie Homemaker Cherry Scones
These tasty cherry scones are very easy to put together and can be prepped in advance.

Freshly baked scones and a cup of tea are a perfect combination – especially on a cold rainy day.

Easy Cherry Scones

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: easy
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I love these cherry and lime scones; a touch of sweet, tart and tangy.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) of cold butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk or kefir
  • grated zest of one lime
  • 1/4 cup dried cherries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt.
  3. Add butter and pulse until butter forms pea-sized pieces.
  4. Add buttermilk or kefir and lime zest.  Process until just moistened.
  5. Mix in dried cherries.
  6. Flatten dough into an 8 inch disc.  Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
  7. Cut into 8 wedges, keeping the disc intact.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to cool.

Scones are best eaten on the day they are baked.  To make-ahead, simply prep the scones a day in advance, pop them in the fridge (covered in plastic wrap), and bake the day of.

If you don’t have a food processor simply cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, or forks and/or knives.

 

Roasted Cauliflower

lizzie homemaker roasted cauliflower
Roasted cauliflower is infinitely better than boiled cauliflower.  It’s the only way my kids will eat it.

I love roasted cauliflower – and I hate boiled cauliflower.  I think most people are with me on this.

A friend recently told me that she has always wanted to try it but wasn’t sure how to make it.  It’s dead easy.

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasting vegetables on the lower rack of the oven keeps the middle free for bulky main dishes.

Ingredients

  • one head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • half a lemon (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  3. Add cauliflower to pan, drizzle with olive oil, add salt and pepper, toss to coat.
  4. Bake on lower rack for 30-45 minutes, tossing every 15 minutes, until golden brown and tender.
  5. Remove from oven and squeeze lemon on top if desired.

 

Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola

healthy chocolate chip granola recipe homemade lizzie homemaker
This is my family’s go-to granola. I try to ensure that we always have a batch in the cupboard. We love it on Greek yogurt and chia pudding.  It’s also a satisfying snack when you’re standing there in the kitchen and you need a delicious handful of something immediately.

My family is full of chocoholics – including me.  We eat chocolate several times a week and I don’t feel guilty about it.  To me – it’s all about moderation.  We’re a foodie family and I believe enjoying a meal is one of those simple pleasures that should be a part of one’s daily routine.

We rarely eat processed food and, excluding chocolate, we don’t eat a lot of refined sugar and white flour.  This granola is whole-grain, packed with fibre, and much healthier than most of the granolas on the grocery store shelves.  If you have never tried raw buckwheat groats – you should.  They are lovely nutty crunchy little things that are full of protein, fibre and iron.

Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola

This granola is absolutely delicious, easy to make, and keeps for weeks.

Ingredients

DRY

  • 2 cups large rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup raw buckwheat groats
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao nibs (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  •  generous pinch of salt

WET

  • 1/4 cup avocado oil (or another neutral flavoured oil)
  • 1/4 cup liquid honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 300F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2.  In a medium bowl combine dry ingredients.
  3.  In a small bowl combine wet ingredients, then add to dry ingredients.
  4. Spread the mixture out on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  6. Allow to completely cool.

The chocolate chips can easily be swapped out with dried fruit.

Apple Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins

Lizzie Homemaker's Healthy Apple Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins
These muffins work well for breakfast, lunch, or snack time. Healthy comfort food that you can grab and go.

Apples and cinnamon are both kid favourites in my house.  Lately my 6-year-old hasn’t been eating her veggies at lunch – and it drives me crazy.  So, I decided I needed to load some veg into her after-school snack.

These muffins are packed with sweet potato, chunks of apple and fragrant cinnamon – and they’re whole grain, too.  An ideal treat to devour on a cold winter’s afternoon.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Sweet Potato Muffins

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
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These whole-grain muffins are delicious - and they're loaded with veg and fibre. Perfect for the lunch box or after-school snack.

Ingredients

DRY

  • 3/4 cup oat bran
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt

ADD-IN

  • one small apple, peeled, diced small (1/2 cup)

WET

  • 1 cup of mashed sweet potato (*see note below for preparing sweet potato)
  • 1/2 cup of yogurt or kefir
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease a muffin tin, or line with baking cups.
  2. In a large bowl combine dry ingredients.
  3. Mix in diced apple.
  4. In medium bowl combine wet ingredients, then add to dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to cool.

*Sweet Potato

Prick a sweet potato several times with a fork or pairing knife.  Bake in 350F oven for about an hour.  Allow to cool, peel, then mash.  I usually do this step in advance.  I throw a sweet potato into the oven while I’m baking something else, so the mash ready to go.  A large sweet potato yields about 2 cups when mashed.

Store muffins in an air-tight container for up to two days.

 

Blueberry Coconut Milk Scones

lizzie homemaker recipe for lactose intolerant friendly blueberry coconut milk scones
These easy blueberry coconut milk scones are delicious and can be prepped ahead of time.

These delicious scones are kid-approved.  I recently made them as an after-school snack and one of my kids said she would trade her LOL doll for another batch.  I need to take her up on that…

My eldest daughter is lactose-intolerant.  Initially we avoided all dairy but we’ve recently found that there are a couple of dairy foods that she can handle.  Butter is one of them.  I’ve tried making scones without butter but the alternatives have never been as good.  This recipe swaps out the traditional milk or cream (which are no-gos for her) with coconut milk.  They are absolutely delicious and it means my lactose-intolerant kid can happily devour these goodies with her sisters.

Coconut Milk Blueberry Scones

Scones are best eaten on the day they are baked. To make-ahead, prep the dough in advance and shape it into a disk, then pop it in the fridge overnight and bake the day of.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1/4 sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp (3/4 stick) of cold butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • grated zest of one lemon
  • 1/4 cup dried blueberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a food processor, combine flours, sugar and baking powder.
  3. Add butter and pulse until butter forms pea-sized pieces.
  4. Add coconut milk and lemon zest.  Process until just moistened.
  5. Mix in dried blueberries and roll out into an 8 inch disc. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
  6. Cut into 8 wedges, keeping the disc intact.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.  Allow to cool.

 

If you don’t have a food processor simply cut the butter into the dry ingredients using a pastry blender, or forks and/or knives.

 

The Best Dog Biscuits We’ve Ever Made

Lizzie Homemaker Barefoot Contessa Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits
If you love puppy dogs as much as my littles ones then consider baking these treats for your furry friends and neighbours.  One taste and they’ll be rolling over, playing fetch, and begging for more.

My young ones are OBSESSED with dogs.  I love dogs, too, but am not planning on adopting one anytime soon.  Truthfully – it would push me over the edge.

Every Christmas the kids ask for dog.  And in the summer when they blow on dandelion flowers and make a wish – they always wish that they could have a dog.  Somedays I think I should buck up and make their dreams come true, but in the mean time, I try to support their relationships with our four-legged friends in every way I can.  We’ve spent countless hours at the local make-shift dog park hanging out with local pups.  We always stop to say hello, shake a paw, give a pat, even when it makes us late.  And every Christmas our holiday baking includes gingerbread and dog biscuits.

This year we tried Ina Garten’s (aka Barefoot Contessa’s) Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits.  This recipe is a winner, the best we’ve made to date – and it was really easy to make.

Barefoot Contessa's Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

This adapted recipe comes from Ina Garten's <em>Make It Ahead</em> cookbook. She uses stone-ground whole wheat flour, quick cooking oats, and wheat germ. We used regular whole-wheat flour, large flake oats, and omitted the wheat germ because that's what we had on hand. The biscuits still turned out beautifully and they smelled so good that my kids wanted to eat them.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup powdered milk
  • 1/2 cup large flake oats, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1/2 cup natural smooth peanut butter
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tbsp water, for egg wash

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine all ingredients except water and egg.
  3. With mixer on low speed add the water and the egg and mix until it forms a slightly sticky ball.
  4. Dump dough on well-floured board, knead into ball, and roll out 1/2 inch thick.  (We were inconsistent with the thickness and the biscuits turned out just fine.)
  5. Dip cookie cutters into flour and cut out shapes.  Collect scraps, roll out again, and cut out more biscuits.
  6. Place biscuits on baking sheet lined with parchment paper, then brush with egg wash and sprinkle with oats.
  7. Bake for 1 hour.

This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s Make It Ahead cookbook.  The biscuits can be made up to a week in advance.  Store in airtight container.

 

 

Kefir Chia Pudding

Lizzie Homemaker kefir chia pudding blueberries kiwiberry easy healthy breakfast teacup
Kefir chia pudding garnished with blueberries and homemade kiwiberry jam.

This easy breakfast is a nutritional powerhouse.  It’s also a great weekday make-ahead option which can be portioned out over a couple days.

Kefir is a fermented milk that’s kind of like an unsweetened yogurt drink.  It’s thinner that yogurt and thicker than milk.  It’s made with milk, bacterial cultures, kefir grains and kefir yeast.  It contains more probiotics that yogurt and has a broader range of nutrients.  It’s great for your digestive health and your immune system.

Chia seeds are full of essential fatty-acids, fibre, omegas, anti-oxidants, protein, and vitamins and minerals including calcium and iron, which support good heart, brain and bone health.  They stabilize blood sugar and fight belly fat and inflammation.

If you like yogurt you should give this recipe a try.  I love it and so do the kids!

Kefir Chia Pudding

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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This recipe can be made advance and eaten over a couple of days.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of kefir
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup (or to taste – you can add more if you like it sweeter)

optional:

  • toppings of your choice such as fresh fruit, chia jam, dried fruit, granola, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, coconut flakes

Directions

  1. Whisk together kefir and chia seeds.
  2. Allow to stand for 15 minutes, add salt, vanilla and maple syrup and whisk again.
  3. Refrigerate for an hour or more so the chia seeds plump up.  I often prepare it the night before.
  4. Serve with toppings of your choice.

 

The pudding can end up a little too thick or thin if you don’t measure properly.  To correct this simply add a little more kefir to thin it out or a scant amount of chia seeds to thicken.

A Simple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

A bowl of butternut squash soup
This butternut squash soup is delicious, easy to make and incredibly healthy.

I love soups.  They can be made ahead, doubled and frozen.  They work well for lunches and dinners and can be paired with a variety of breads and salads to fill out a meal.  More than that, soups are pure comfort food and incredibly good for you!  This recipe is simple to make and it remains one of my kids’ favourites.

Simple Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

This recipe is packed with vegetables and full of flavour.

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash
  • olive oil
  • rosemary, sage or thyme (1 tsp dried or a couple sprigs of fresh, stems removed)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 2 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (for vegetarian option)
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Cut squash in half, remove seeds, place on baking sheet.  Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary or thyme and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.  Allow to cool, then peel and chop.
  3. Add a little olive oil to a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot, add onion, carrot and celery, cook for 5-10 minutes over medium-low heat.
  4. Add diced butternut squash and stock, bring to a boil then lower heat, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool slightly then transfer to a blender and puree.  Blend in Greek yogurt for a little tang and creaminess if you wish.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

This recipe can easily be made vegetarian, vegan or dairy-free.  For vegetarian and vegan options use vegetable stock.  For vegan and dairy-free options omit the yogurt.

 

Spinach, Tomato and Feta Frittata

Lizzie Homemaker Spinach Tomato Feta Breakfast Frittata
I often make this frittata on the weekend. It’s so healthy and easy to put together.

This is my go-to frittata.  It’s easy, packed with healthy veg and protein, and I love that I can clean up my prep mess and set the table in the time in takes for the frittata to bake.

Spinach, Tomato and Feta Frittata

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
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This frittata can also be enjoyed as a light lunch or dinner when paired with a salad.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 tbsps of olive oil or a generous spoonful of garlic confit
  • 142g/5oz baby spinach (or go spinach heavy like I usually do and use 312g/11oz)
  • a handful of chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, basil or dill and/or a couple sliced green onions
  • 1 cup cherry/grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, cubed
  • 8 eggs, whisked
  • fresh cracked pepper to taste
  • pinch of chili flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Heat olive oil or garlic confit over medium heat in cast iron or non-stick pan.
  3. Add handfuls of spinach and toss as it wilts.  Continue adding and tossing spinach until the entire package has been added.
  4. Add herbs and/or green onions and toss.
  5. Pour eggs over spinach then top with the tomatoes, feta, fresh cracked pepper and chili flakes (if using), making sure to distribute evenly.
  6. Transfer frittata to oven and bake for 20 minutes.

 

To release the frittata run a spatula or knife around the edge of the pan.  You can cut it into wedges in the pan and serve it family style (with one less dish to clean).  Or transfer the frittata to a plate or cutting board and cut it into wedges for a nicer presentation.

I love eating this frittata with chipotle hot sauce or a hot pepper relish.