UPDATED March 14, 2017 in honor of the Nor’easter blizzard we are having today!
UPDATED again (one of my very favorite posts!) March 7, 2018:
Wow, I was looking for some of my best cozy- stay-at-home-we-are-about-to-have-a-big snow storm-baking recipes… and look what I came across!!! Almost to the day, I was thinking the same thing as I am today on this cold snowy day here in Connecticut: it’s time to turn on that oven and start baking breads and muffins and scones (I added more this year): the kind that warms your heart, satisfies your tummy and still keeps you healthy!
Brrrr…It is cold outside, and to me, that means it’s time for some cozy baking inside! Time to have the house filled with those heartwarming smells of breads and muffins baking in the oven and sit by the fire with your honey with a hot cup of tea…or mulled wine!
Of course, I make these wonderful treats mindfully, Cuisinicity style, so you’ll find that I have cut down the sugar (and eliminated the salt of course–I wrote about this before in my “cookie-makeover” post and in my “Put Salt in its place” post) I use wholegrain flour instead of refined flours, replace the saturated fat from butter with healthy oils and use lots of fruit and/or veggies to give them that true flavor of wholesome deliciousness!
The nice thing about muffins and breads is that they keep beautifully in the freezer so I love to make several batches and store them for a later day. Just take out however many muffins, and no more than you need, for a special treat or dessert whenever the occasion arises; that way, you keep yourself in check and don’t overly indulge!
There are times, of course, that you just want to bake right there and then, just because -like today when it’s snowing outside and I am cozy inside, or for me every time my kiddies come home! I actually time it just right so that I have my Welcome Home Banana Bread in the oven when they walk in the door! Just ask all 5 of them! That wonderful aroma that fills the house has come to define our homy welcoming nest for them-hence the name!
I have recently created 2 vegan versions of it and honestly, I wonder which ones I’ll make next time they come home, it’s that good!
Years ago, I also created these Soft wheat Banana Muffins that are astoundingly low in sugar (1/4 cup for 12 muffins–say what?) so that I could just have them as snacks for the kids, as opposed to treats or dessert–Now, knowing me, that’s saying something!
I have also recently created a whole line of scones which I decided to call my trifecta scones (Apple date walnut scones, Pumpkin, Raisin Walnut scones, Pear Fig Walnut scones , Peach Walnut Date scones and I have many more in mind that I am working on)! It makes sense: the definition of trifecta is “a perfect group of three” or ” winning three times” and that’s what all my wholegrain scones are based on: 3 wholesome main ingredients, one fresh fruit or vegetable, one dried fruit, one nut and I vary any one of them to create a new flavor. I am having so much fun creating these moist luscious scones and one more thing…they have no added sugar!
Zucchini is another one of those veggies that lends itself beautifully to baking. My Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are a vegan variation of my conventional dark chocolate cake. They too are filled with grated zucchini that just “melt” inside the batter for pure rich moistness–so much so, that they could pass for little birthday cupcakes!
I have to admit, this recipe astounded me: First, the muffins rose in the oven and then, when they came out….they “deflated” (and I thought, argh, no, there goes my Vegan baking!) but really, that’s what created their unique dark rich dense outrageous lusciousness…
Come inside my kitchen, I’ll make a batch with you!
If chocolate is not your thing (say WHAT???!!!), then I have a plain Zucchini Bread for you. There is actually nothing “plain” about it except that it is just plain yummy!
Pumpkin is another one of those veggies that is just luscious-melt-in-your-mouth-flavorful-perfect (how is that for an adjective?!) for muffins and breads…WOW! Just go check these recipes for my Pumpkin Honey Ricotta Muffins and my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins, or if you prefer vegan, my Pumpkin Banana Date muffins–That’s all I’ll say!
I couldn’t write a post about breads and muffins without including Carrots as the main ingredient. I decided to make my Carrot Bread with a healthy-fat-free-just-sweet-enough-with-a-touch-of-honey-and-a-sprinkle-of-cinnamon-kind-of dip (here I go again with my descriptive adjectives!)
So, with all this baking and wonderful smells in my kitchen, it’s time for me to go put on my cozy socks, sit in front of that roaring fire and ride out that beautiful snow storm with my honey!
I hope you will do the same!