In the U plus house, we try hard to live consciously, keeping things as clean and green as possible. Family time, eating well and keeping fit are top priorities, but we also try to buy fresh, local, sustainable produce and minimise our waste. Food waste is something we struggle to minimise as we generally shop once a week on the weekends to save time.
Recently we have been making a meal plan for the week before/during our shopping trip. I find this helps us in so many ways. With a plan, dinner prep seems less stressful. We can plan for quick or pre-prepared meals on nights when Steve has PT sessions and save more complex meals for when we are all home to share dinner time. We also seem to eat healthier, more balanced meals this way. And it stops me getting over-excited by the fresh produce at the markets and buying way too much!
All that aside, we still manage to get it wrong occasionally – the lettuce goes limp before salad night, the sweet potatoes sprout, or I find a very fat, very happy caterpillar in my corn at the end of the week. But in summer in Brisbane it is always bananas that I struggle with the most. This week they went from green to brown in about 2 days. By this morning, we had eaten bananas with yoghurt, on our breakfast, on toast, in smoothies. And still there were more left!
To avoid throwing out my now overly fragrant bananas, I decided to make something for this morning’s Carers & Terrors session. In the back of the fridge I found some blueberries
that were past their prime and some Philly cheese (left over from making chicken, asparagus, cream cheese sushi, yum). This became my inspiration.
The end result was a pleasantly moist but dense muffin with just a hint of sweetness. The toasted pepitas added a nice crunch and the blueberries gave a lovely pop of flavour. I didn’t use any raising agent which makes this very low in salt. It also has no added sugar and no nuts, so it’s perfect for your littlies and their lunch boxes.
Blueberry, banana, pepita muffins
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
- 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 1/2 cup blueberries, washed
- 120 g cream cheese, softened and cubed
- 3 small bananas, mashed
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 cup milk (I use lactose-free)
Preheat oven to 190ºC. Grease or line a 12 hole muffin pan.
Set aside 1 tbsp of pepitas for the tops of the muffins. Finely chop the remainder or blitz briefly in a food processor. Pop on a small tray in the oven. Leave to toast for about 10 minutes, checking and shaking the tray every few minutes. Set aside to cool.
Combine the cream cheese and mashed banana in a food processor until smooth. Add the egg yolks, vanilla and milk and mix again.
In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks.
Sift the flour and cinnamon together into a large bowl. Add the toasted pepitas and blueberries and toss to coat with the flour.
Add the wet ingredients to a well in the centre and stir to combine. Don’t over mix. Fold in the beaten egg whites.
Scoop mixture into the prepared muffin pan or papers. Sprinkle with the remaining pepitas.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean and the muffins and pepitas are lightly browned.