Sunshine Smoothie for Two ~ 100th Blogpost!

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Woohoo (with more o’s than I can type)!!! This is my 100th blogpost! I know I should have reached this teeny-tiny (quite huge for me of course!) milestone a long time back but I’m glad I did. I thank each and everyone of you for being with me on this journey. And even tolerating my sporadic absence. You guys are sweetest. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Really 🙂

I’m sure we all agree on this that no celebration is complete without a cake. And I know I should have brought one today but instead, I come bearing smoothie and I ain’t sorry. This is no ordinary smoothie, it’s a sunshine smoothie! Yes, pure liquid sunshine for breakfast and you won’t need anything else. Great way to get lots of fruit in your system. So go fruit wild this summer. This one is mindbogglingly refreshing!

 

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This fruity concoction is so creamy, it may trick you into thinking there is ice-cream involved. This smoothie is created using shockingly simple ingredients aka fruits and nothing else! I’m a huge fan of frozen banana whip and it works as a great base for a smoothie. I made this whip for breakfast last week with frozen kiwi and banana and it turned out totally amazeballs. The idea was sparked then to turn it into a gorgeous smoothie.

I went fruit crazy and added mango (my fav), banana, kiwi and orange with a squeeze of lime and a spoon of honey, blend and Ta Da! You get this tropical heaven. Truly summer in your glass! (See I didn’t whine about the hottest, sunniest weather we’re experiencing here even once.. Ha!)

Put your feet up and enjoy this citrus bursting smoothie. It’ll brighten up your day and make the weather certainly more tolerable. Trust me.

Sunshine Smoothie for Two

Serves: 2 obnoxiously | Prep time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large frozen mango, previously peeled & sliced
  • 1 large frozen banana, previously peeled & sliced
  • 2 frozen kiwi, previously peeled & sliced
  • 2 oranges, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 6-8 ice-cubes
  • 1 Tbsp honey (optional)

Directions:

Blend all the ingredients in a blender on high speed till you get a smooth consistency (for about 2-3 minutes). Serve in tall glasses.

*You may turn this smoothie into green smoothie by adding 1 cup of your favorite greens.

*You may swap kiwi with frozen chunks of pineapple. Whatever rocks your boat!

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Banana Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes

Banana Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes1

 

These delicious banana pancakes got so much attention on Instagram which forced me to post the recipe here. I didn’t photograph them for the blog but have a couple pics to go with the post. So here is the recipe for the softest and fluffiest pancakes which tastes incredible too! With hardly any butter, these pancakes are definitely on a healthier side. I know you have an overripe banana lying around in the house so make these ALREADY 😉

 

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Banana Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes

Makes: 10-12 pancakes (3-inch size) | Serves: 2-3Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 10 minutes | Total time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour*
  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 medium/large very ripe banana, mashed with fork (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt/buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted plus a bit more for greasing
  • Maple syrup, to serve

*You may substitute all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour and add a splash of milk (if required) to reach the correct consistency of batter.

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, oats, baking powder, salt and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mash the banana with the fork till no lumps remain. Whisk in yogurt and egg till completely incorporated. Whisk in vanilla extract followed by brown sugar. To this mixture, add dry ingredients to form a smooth batter. Add melted butter to this and let the batter rest for 5 minutes.
  3. Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat and grease with butter. Work in batches. Pour scant 1/4 cup batter for each pancake into the skillet. When the edges begin to look dry and cooked and bubbles dot the top, flip and cook until golden on the other side.
  4. Serve hot, topped with some maple syrup.
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Baked Banana Donuts & Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Healthier & Eggfree

Banana Donuts1
Wow… It’s been  3 weeks since my last blog-post! I’ve really missed you guys. If you follow me on Instagram then you know of my shenanigans. Past 3 weeks were spent vacationing leisurely in beautiful Goa and finishing some important paperwork back home. If you don’t follow me there then you’ve missed out on some amazing pics of sunsets and not-to-be-missed eateries in Goa so I’d suggest you tap that blue button right away! We had a fabulous time spending our 5th wedding anniversary, relaxing and lazying around on beach. It had been ages (more than a year!!) since we took our last vacation (just us) so this 10 days break was much appreciated. But my sun-burnt self is definitely glad to be back and you’re going to love this recipe I have for you!
After our holiday to the tropics, I recreated the scene in the comfort of our home and made these uh-mah-zing banana donuts. Oh and I didn’t serve them alone. Oh yeh! These are topped with fresh strawberry cream cheese frosting. Yes, it is 2 recipes in 1 blog-post kinda day today. Anyway I can compensate my absence on this space 😉
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These soft and fluffy whole wheat banana donuts are what dreams are made of! This is a healthier and eggfree version. Brown sugar has been used which used with bananas lends a caramelized depth of flavor. I prefer to use oil instead of butter in most of my cakes and cupcakes. Oil combined with yogurt gives moist and pillowy end product even when whole wheat flour is involved.
And what do I say about the frosting! It is super cool. Spread it on donuts or frost some vanilla or chocolate cupcakes with it. Yes, the recipe below will frost about 12 cupcakes and will frost 12 donuts even more generously with a spoonful or two extra for licking! The frosting naturally is pink without addition of any artificial color and it is flavored with real strawberries and just a bit of strawberry extract. Perfection indeed!
Happy Baking!
xx
Baked Banana Donuts with Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Frosting ~ Healthier & Eggfree
Makes : 12 donuts | Prep time: 20 minutes | Bake time: 13-14 minutes | Total time: under 30 minutes
Ingredients:

For donuts:
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 + 1/2 cup mashed banana (about 3 large)
  • 6 Tbsp yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
For frosting:
  • 2 large strawberries
  • 4 ounce / 110 gm plain cream cheese spread, at room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 tsp strawberry essence
  • 1/4 tsp strawberry essence
  • 1/4 cup icing sugar, sifted (or more as per preference)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven at 180ºC / 350ºF. Grease 12-count donut pan with oil. Set aside.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together oil and sugar until completely incorporated. Whisk in banana, yogurt and vanilla extract.
  4. Gently fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until no flour pockets remain. Do not over-mix. Divide the batter equally and fill the molds no more than 3/4th. Bake for 13-14 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Then carefully turn out doughnuts directly onto rack to cool.
  5. Preparing frosting: Wash, hull and pat dry 2 large strawberries. Cut them in small pieces and mash them using fork. Add cream cheese spread, butter and strawberry essence to the bowl and whisk using your electric mixer. Add sifted sugar to this mixture and whisk until completely incorporated and frosting is firm. On completely cooled donuts, spread a thick layer of this frosting. The donuts will keep well in refrigerator for 4-5 days.
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Oreo Chocolate Brownies

Oreo Chocolate Brownies2

2 months into this year and 2014 has been spectacular so far! In the beginning of the year, Amrita (most popular as a bacon jam lady!) & I decided to do a little food exchange. She being a queen of all things yummilicious, I had a hard time deciding what to send. Just around that time, I had re-made these (Fudgiest!) Chocolate Brownies and sneaked in some Oreo cookies in them. They were epic! Oreo + Chocolate lover’s dream. I decided this was it but was still a bit skeptic.

 

or
Photo Courtesy – Amrita Kaur

 

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Imagine my relief when she said she totally loved it! She blogged about it too and thanks a ton to her, the recipe became so so popular. I got so many mails and messages from all you lovely people who tried and loved these beauties! I thank all of you beautiful readers who attempted the recipe and reported back. I lou you all. It definitely deserves a spot of its own on the blog so here it is!

Happy Baking! 🙂

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Oreo Chocolate Brownies

Makes: 9-12 squares | Prep time: 15 minutes | Bake time: Approximately 35 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 250 gm / 9 oz dark chocolate, roughly sliced
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, roughly sliced (approximately 115 gm)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, cold
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp Rum
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 16 Oreo cookies, plus more for sprinkling
Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºF / 350ºC. Grease an 8×8-inch square pan; line base and sides with parchment paper (I use foil).
  2. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate, butter and brown sugar in a microwave for 1-2 minute, stirring every 30 seconds. The mixture should be lump-free and glossy. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes.
  3. Once chocolate mixture is cooled down, stir white sugar, eggs, vanilla extract and rum into it.
  4. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, salt and cocoa powder and fold into chocolate mixture with wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Pour half the batter in a baking pan and arrange whole 16 Oreo cookies on it in a single layer (do not press them down). Pour rest of the batter and sprinkle few pieces of Oreo on top. Bake for 33-36 minutes, until the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Let cool completely in pan over a cooling rack. (If you’re in a hurry, throw it in a refrigerator or freezer for a while for easy cutting.)
  5. Lift up the ends of parchment or foil liner, transfer the brownies to cutting board and cut into 9 or 12 squares. Store it in an air-tight container for 3-4 days at room temperature or refrigerate for a week.
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Baking 101 & Raspberry Banana Bread ~ A Guest Post on The Tummy Tale

Raspberry Banana Bread2

 

For many of you, baking can be quite overwhelming at first. A lot of beginners will burn a few (or a lot) of cookies, flatten some cakes or over bake brownies.  So when Elson asked me if I could do a post on baking basics, I was anxious (this kind of post is my first attempt!) and excited!!

I am reproducing that guest post ~ ‘Baking 101’ and the recipe of Raspberry Banana Bread for my readers here but hop onto The Tummy Tale blog for some good reading. While you’re at it, don’t forget to check out Elson’s fabulous recipes. Elson believes in using simple ingredients to create special dishes and his forte is Mangalorean cuisine. Also, do check out his ‘The world on my plate‘ series.

If you spend enough time in the kitchen baking, you quickly begin to pick up the dos and don’ts. I am far from a professional pastry chef or even an expert baker but with these tips and tricks, I’m hoping to make baking an easier, more enjoyable experience for you all. So, here it is – baker’s dozen tips & tricks!

  1. Take your time and read the recipe thoroughly from beginning to end before you start. Many baking failures come from not reading and understanding the recipe, not from poor recipes! Remember, cookbook authors and bloggers REALLY want to help you bake masterpieces. They know and understand the limitations of home kitchens. So have faith in the recipe and read the notes.
  2. Get your mise en place started. Measure out all the ingredients mentioned in the recipe to exact amounts first before you proceed further. There is nothing worse than reaching halfway and realizing you’re out of an important ingredient. Prepping is very very important.
  3. Unless otherwise stated, use room temperature ingredients. If something is meant to be used cold then a recipe should state that, otherwise make sure your eggs, butter, yogurt etc. are at room temperature.
  4. Buy salted butter for your toast but unsalted butter is what you need for all the baking you plan on doing. You want to control the amount of salt going in your baked goods. So unsalted is a way to go!
  5. Always preheat the oven. This might sound amusing to some of you but this step is of utmost importance.
  6. Preparing baking pan – Grease and/or line your baking tin. Use paper liners for muffin tins (unless stated otherwise). Always grease a Bundt pan with butter and dust the insides with flour. Do not grease the cookie sheet unless the recipe states you should; just line it with parchment paper.
  7. It is always better to sift the dry ingredients to avoid lumps. This step will ensure that baking powder, baking soda or salt are equally dispersed among flour. Also, measure the flour after it’s been fluffed up a bit with the help of a fork. Lightly spoon it into the measuring cup and level it off (weighing flour is of course more accurate but I’m more accustomed to cup-method).
  8. Use baking powder and baking soda no more than 5-6 months old. Dud ingredients will make your recipe dud. Also, baking powder and baking soda are different ingredients and not interchangeable! So pay attention. They serve the same purpose but do not react the same way in baked goods. Read here for more info.
  9. When baking cakes, cupcakes and cookies, take your time creaming the butter. Beat/cream for at least 3-5 minutes (preferably with the electric mixer’s paddle attachment) to aerate the butter.
    Check if the recipe calls for any herb or fruit zest. If so then rub the herb/fruit zest into the sugar which will release the essential oils and then add this sugar to butter and beat/cream really well again. A trick I have learnt recently from Joy The Baker is beating the spices along with the butter and sugar to enhance the flavor much more.
  10. When mixing the batter, gently fold the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients – you don’t want to lose all the air. Over-mixing will especially ruin your muffins and make them tough and rubbery.
  11. Keep in mind that all ovens are different. Do not rely on the time in the recipe to work for your oven. It is usually provided by a time range which is just an estimate for you. Set your timer for several minutes before it says it will be done just to make sure you don’t overcook. Check the doneness by inserting toothpick in the center of the baked goods. Trust the process and trust yourself.
  12. Make it your own! Just because baking is all about science doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with the ingredients that only affect the flavor. Change up the extracts, spices, and other add-ins that only affect the flavor of the baked goods to make it your own. Have fun in the kitchen and it will all turn out amazing!

 

The more you bake, the better you will become. But remember… “When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste.” – Laiko Bahrs J 🙂

 

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*Recipe*

This recipe is a no fuss, too easy even for beginners sort. So after reading the tips and tricks mentioned above, get your baking mojo on and try this basic, classic banana bread made a tad bit healthier. Vegetarians and vegans are going to be much much happy.

This recipe is eggfree and oil/butterfree. Yes! Can you believe?!! For sweetness, I have used date syrup in part which lends a beautiful depth of flavor to the bread. The other part comprises of brown sugar. Brown sugar + banana = a match made in heaven! Brown sugar gives a caramelized flavor but you can make the bread refined sugar-free too by using coconut sugar in place of the brown sugar. It would be wonderful too! The bread is light, airy and moist (in a good way). Yes! Not a crumb in sight, my friends. Perfect for toasting and if you’re not skinny-minny types then slathering it with some butter. If you are not into healthy baking then feel free to use all-purpose flour completely. Don’t have date syrup? Use liquid jaggery or maple syrup or honey. All works brilliantly. Don’t have raspberries? Use strawberries or may be toasted walnuts or chocolate chips! Change the ingredients as per your convenience and make the recipe yours. Add a dash of cinnamon if you like. Just have fun! So brew yourself a cup of coffee, preheat the oven and get baking. Your quest for that perfect banana bread ends here.

Enjoy!

Healthier Raspberry Banana Bread – Eggfree & Oil/Butterfree {can be made refined sugar-free too!}

Yields: 1 8×4-inch loaf, about 10 slices | Prep time: 10 minutes | Bake time: 60 minutes | Total time: 70 minutes

Ingredients:

• 1 cup whole wheat flour
• 1/2 cup all purpose flour
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp salt
• 1/3 cup yogurt
• 1/3 cup date syrup (or liquid jaggery or maple syrup or honey)
• 1/3 cup brown sugar (to make it refined sugar-free use coconut sugar)
• 3 large over-ripe bananas, mashed (I used heaping 1 & 1/2 cups purée)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1 cup chopped raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven at 170°C/350°F. Grease the 8×4-inch loaf pan with oil and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, date syrup and brown sugar until completely incorporated. Whisk in banana purée and vanilla extract.
4. Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and slowly stir in wet ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir until no flour pockets remain. Do not over-mix. Fold in chopped raspberries.
5. Pour the batter in your prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with few moist crumbs. Let the bread rest in the loaf pan for about 10 minutes before inverting it on a cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing. Serve warm as is or slathered with butter. You may toast the slices too. Store the bread in an airtight container up to 1 week in refrigerator. It freezes well for up to 3 months.

*For a more classic twist, substitute raspberries with toasted walnuts. For chocolate lovers, I would suggest replacing raspberries with dark chocolate chips. I’ve tried and it is dee-vine!

Tomorrow is ‘Banana Bread Day’ and you might wanna bake one to celebrate!

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