Guilt-less Desserts & Treats for your Family
It’s the fist day of the school holidays and we’ve started with a lazy day in. It’s a rainy miserable day so we decided to stay in our pajamas, H made Gluten Free Pancakes for breakfast and we watched ‘Storks’ on Netflix. The perfect no fuss start to what I hope will be a relaxing holidays.
The winter school holidays are the best chance to do nothing. Theres so much social and media pressure to be ‘on’ all the time. I’m sure you’ve seen the articles; ‘101 things to do in the Holidays’, ‘How to prevent school holiday boredom’, ‘How to spend a small fortune on catering to your child’s every demand’. Ok, so I made up the last one but it would be easy to max out the credit card on movies, play centres and babycinos.
The first half of the school year has been busy.
H has been working on his social skills. He is academically very bright but sometimes he struggles to fit in. He once told me that he felt that there was no one who really ‘got him’ in his class. This broke my heart. Above educational accolades, sporting prowess and super cool hair cuts, you just want your children to be happy, to have friends and to feel accepted. H only sees things as black or white, right or wrong. He struggles to deal with it when his class mates are not following the school rules even setting up his own ‘spy club’ (the Spinner Heads) to help keep watch over the playground. Whilst it all sounds cute, I can’t help but worry that his vigilante persona will alienate him from his class mates even further.
S started Kindergarten this year. Last year was hard as we decided to have another year at home with S. He’s a January baby so he could have started kinder at 4 years old, but forever after he would have been the youngest in the class and emotionally he would have struggled. S is so bright; he can read, he knows lots of big words and is a great drawer but he struggles in a group situation. He doesn’t like to join in with singing and dancing, he goes to pieces when publicly put on the spot and is learning to deal with conflict without resorting to hiding in his man cave. So everyday when I drop him off at kinder I’m left hoping that he has a good day; that he is able to join in, feel a part of his class without causing anxiety and that he doesn’t hit anyone. I was so proud of him last week when he joined in his kinder class sports. I was standing there watching with my fingers crossed saying a silent mantra to myself willing him to have fun and join in. It was both joy and relief that I felt as he sprinted past and then did his 10 jumps.
Little Miss L. Well, if she ever sleeps through the night!! Her words are increasing everyday, as is her sass and ability to annoy her brothers. We’ve started toilet training so I now have to over enthusiastically celebrate every toilet tinkle with high fives and clapping.
And me… well I’m exhausted, conflicted and if I didn’t have to go to the shops later I’d be celebrating the school holidays by having a bra-less pajama day.
These holidays are about resting and getting ready for the 2nd half of the year… and there’s a lot coming our way in the months to come. The holidays are a great chance to get baking with the kids and these Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins are the perfect treat.
These Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins are easy to make which makes them a great holiday baking activity (especially on a day like today when it’s so wet outside). There’s no need for fancy equipment, just a mixing bowl and some arm strength to stir in the sweet home made Dairy free Chocolate Chips. This recipe makes 6 Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins and each one has a nice crunchy muffin top. You could make mini muffins instead, just reduce your cooking time accordingly. If you are a nut free family just replace the Almond Meal with Rice Flour. I get this question a lot and I have been experimenting lately. I’ve found that Rice Flour has a neutral flavour and a similar texture to nut meals, where as seed meals can be quite bitter and can change the taste of the muffins quite dramatically.
- 1/3 Cup mashed ripe Banana
- 2 Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Milk (of choice)
- 3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup or Rice Malt Syrup
- 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
- 2/3 Cup Almond Meal (can be swapped for seed meal or Rice Flour if desired)
- 1/3 Arrowroot or Tapioca Flour
- 1/3 Cup Coconut Flour
- 3 teaspoons Baking Powder
- 100 grams Choc Chips (see below to make dairy free Choc chips)
- 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil
- 1/4 Cup Cocoa
- 1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- Dash of salt
- Preheat the oven to 175C/350F
- Line a muffin tray with liners and lightly grease.
- Place the wet ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- In a separate bowl whisk the dry ingredients together.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until combined (do not over stir).
- Add the Chocolate chips and gently fold them through the muffin mixture.
- Evenly divide the muffin mixture between the 6 greased muffin liners.
- Bake for 30 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Remove from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the tin before serving.
- Muffins can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days (place in the fridge if the weather is warm or humid).
- Melt the coconut oil in a saucepan over a very low heat. Stir in the maple syrup and vanilla.
- Add the cocoa and allow to thicken slightly.
- Pour the Chocolate into a medium sized lined baking tray and freeze for 1 hour.
- Remove the Chocolate from the freezer and break into large pieces.
- Place the pieces in a zip lock freezer bag and using a rolling pin, hammer, your feet etc bang the bag until the pieces are broken into smaller pieces.
- Placing the chocolate pieces in a blender and pulsing until broken into the required size chips.
- Using a sharp knife to cut the chocolate into chips.
- Use immediately or refreeze for later use.