Dark Chocolate and Oats Muffins

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Any celebration is almost incomplete without chocolate. And this freshly baked Dark Chocolate and Oats Muffin is a celebration of my 5th wedding anniversary today. I can;t believe time has flown by so quickly and looking back each day in this journey has been extremely gratifying. Its been a roller coaster ride – plenty of excitement, lots of anxiousness, lots of laughter and so much fun. We’ve grown to become a better us each day and I couldn’t ask for anything more. This Dark Chocolate Muffin is indeed a epitome of a bittersweet journey we’ve completed – moments of happiness and moments of tears, we’ve held each other and embarked on a new day everyday!

Coming back to this muffin, the dark chocolate chunks lends a beautiful bitter touch to the muffin. The toasted oats flour adds the nutty flavor to it. Super simple to make, healthy and absolutely decadent. Put on your Chef hat, wear your baking apron and its time to get started with his indulgent muffin.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 6 regular muffins)

  • 120 grams oats flour (lightly dry toast the oats on stove and grind it to a powder)
  • 60 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 30 grams unsweetened cocoa powder ( I used Hershey’s cocoa powder)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 120 ml buttermilk
  • 130 grams jaggery powder or brown sugar
  • 2 – 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 100 grams dark chocolate, roughly chopped ( I used 70% dark chocolate)
  • 1/2 cup mixed seeds and nuts (I used almonds, pumpkin seeds, dried berries, melon seeds)

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METHOD:

  • Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes. Put the muffin liners on the muffin tray and keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix oats flour, cocoa powder, jaggery powder, baking powder and baking soda and keep aside.
  • In another bowl, add the lightly beaten egg, melted butter, butter milk and vanilla extract and whisk it until just incorporated.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold in gently.
  • Add 2 – 3 tbsp of milk along with dark chocolate chunks and fold in until the mixture is just incorporated.
  • Evenly divide the batter in the muffin liners arranged in the muffin tray.
  • Garnish it with the mixed nuts and seeds and put it to bake for 18 – 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean
  • Once done allow it to cool for 10 – 15 minutes and then dive in!

 

 

Eggless Oat Cookies

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Usher into the cookie month with some simple Oat Cookies. Making batches after batches of cookies is indeed therapeutic. Warm spices to fresh herbs, chunks of butter to heaps of flour, beautiful little cookie cutters to perfectly baked cookies – the journey of making cookies is fun. Every cookie dough has exciting ingredients and its own story to tell.

These Oat Cookies were specially baked for my 2.5 year old lil one. He loves munching on homemade cookies during evenings and I love baking it for him. It allows me to introduce different flavor combinations in a beautiful way. Watching me bake so often, he loves taking part in the entire process, mixing ingredients to cutting the cookies. These classic cookies are super easy, fun to bake with kids and a total winner in my kitchen. The spice blend in the cookie dough lends a wonderful warmth to the cookie, while the oats make it chewy and addictive. Add this easy cookie recipe to your reportoire and you’ll never regret it!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 24 cookies)

  • 220 gms oat flour + extra for dusting
  • 40 gms rolled oats
  • 220 gms unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 70 gms icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 2 tbsp whole milk (optional)
  • pinch of salt

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METHOD:

  • In a bowl take unsalted butter and beat it until smooth. This will take around 30 – 40 seconds. Now add icing sugar and beat it until its smooth.
  • Now add vanilla extract and beat it for 20 – 25 seconds.
  • Add oat flour, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder and salt and fold in the mixture until well incorporated.
  • Add the remaining rolled oats and fold in until just incorporated. In case the dough is too thick, add 1 – 2 tbsp of whole milk and fold in gently.
  • Transfer the mixture to a well dusted surface and bring the dough together to form a disc. Do not knead it.
  • Wrap the dough with cling wrap and put it in the refrigerator for 40 – 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile line the baking sheet with parchment paper and keep aside. Preheat your oven to 180 C for atleast 15 minutes.
  • Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 – 1/3 inch thick circle. Using cookie cutter cut the cookies into the desired shape and tranfer on the baking sheet.
  • Keep this baking sheet in the freezer for 10-15 minutes until its firm.
  • Now take it out and put it to bake for 15 – 17 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown.
  • Take it out of the oven and allow it to cool completely. Once its cools down, it firms up better.
  • Transfer it to an airtight container and enjoy these for a week.

 

 

Eggless Buckwheat and Oats Banana Bread

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Its gratifying to see how something so delicious and addictive comes together effortlessly. A cozy chilly morning, a steaming cup of coffee and a moist banana bread – my dreamy kinda morning! Actually this is the way to break-fast. A quiet early morning, baking this quick banana bread, breakfast table seems all the more pretty and these small little joys makes a fulfilling day!

This buckwheat and oats banana bread is a healthy makeover to the classic eggless banana bread and is tastes darn delicious. Just the right amount of sweetness and moistness, try this once and this bread will be everyone’s favorite in your house.

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Make 1 – 9 inch loaf)

  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 3/4 cup oats flour
  • 3 medium sized ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (you can use vegetable oil too)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of nutmeg powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp star anise powder
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 tbsp mixed seeds (I used pumpkin and melon seeds) + extra for garsnishing
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats, for garnishing

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 180C and grease the loaf tin with oil and dust it with flour and keep aside. Optionally  you can line it with parchment paper and keep aside too.
  • Meanwhile in a bowl mix buckwheat flour, oats flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, star anise powder and mixed seeds and keep aside.
  • In another bowl, take oil, honey, vanilla extract and brown sugar and whisk it still well combined.
  • Take 2 bananas and mash it used a fork and add it to the oil mixture.
  • Now combine the wet and dry ingredients and gently fold it until the mixture is well combined.
  • Add milk if the consistency it too thick. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf tin.
  • Now take the last remaining banana and cut it lengthwise from the center. Place it on top of the transferred mixture and garnish with mixed seeds and some brown sugar.
  • Bake it for 30 – 35 minutes at 180C or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once baked, allow it to cool, unmould it, slice it up and serve with vanilla ice cream or as is.

Granola Breakfast Tarts

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Its time to awaken your taste buds and kickstart your morning in a healthy, hearty way! I love to have a sumptuous breakfast, the kind where the entire breakfast table is adorned with fresh juices, freshly baked breads, brewed coffee, perfectly cooked eggs and a beautiful breakfast dessert tart. Oh gosh! I am already dreaming about it. Very rarely my breakfast table looks so full that I am spoilt for choices. All I try to do is make one or the other dish of my dreamy breakfast table on and off. Once such dish is the fabulous breakfast granola tart.

Fancy to look but simple to make, these tarts can appease your sweet cravings in a nutritious way. Loaded with heavenly flavours, these tarts makes mornings happier and merrier. The stunning granola crust, the fresh juicy fruits and luscious yogurt – all come together beautifully. Indulgent but definitely healthy. So just when you were craving dessert for breakfast or breakfast for dessert, we got you a solution!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 3 – 4 inch tarts)

For the tart:

  • 1 1/2 cup quick cooking oats (I used Quaker oats)
  • 3 /4 cup finally chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup finelly chopped hazelnuts
  • 75 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature + extra for greasing the tin
  • 1 tbsp mixed sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

For the filling and topping:

  • 180 grams plain Greek Yogurt (I used Epigamia Greek Yogurt)
  • 3 tbsp agave nectar (you can use honey instead)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp black chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1 small green apple, thinly sliced

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METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 160C for atleast 20 minutes. Grease the tart tins slightly with melted butter and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile take all the dry ingredients for tart crust – Oats, Sesame Seeds, Chia Seeds, Walnuts, Hazelnuts and Cinnamon – and mix it in a bowl.
  • In another bowl whisk together melted butter and vanilla extract and then add it to the dry ingredient bowl.
  • Using a spoon mix the entire granola mix. Now transfer 1/3rd of the mixture to one tart shell. Using the back of your spoon press the granola mix towards the edges of the shell. Make sure that there are no gaps left.
  • Put these tart shells to bake in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes.
  • Once done, using the back of your spoon, press down the granola mix and then allow the tart to cool completely in the tart shell.

For the filling:

  • While the tart shell is cooling down, we can make the filling.
  • In a bowl take greek yogurt, agave nectar (or honey) and vanilla extract and whisk it using the wire whisk.

For assembling:

  • Once the tart base has completely cooled down, demould it carefully.
  • Divide the yogurt mixture between the 3 tart shells and fill it completely.
  • Garnish with pomegranate arils, green apple slices, chia seeds and any leftover granola and serve!

 

Triple Layer Chia Pudding

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Chocolate, Berries and Superfood – mornings just got better and brighter. All of these packed in a jar and I am in seventh heaven. This trip layer breakfast pudding is a reminiscence of my childhood. Of course I didn’t eat chia seeds or even oast as a child, but all the flavours are inspired by when I enjoyed as a child. Mornings has gotten better with this pudding since I can kickstart my day on a healthy note. And definitely brighter since breakfast has become a no-brainer! Concoctions and combinations of whatever is available in the kitchen and you have something absolutely gorgeous to start your day with .

The flavours are inspired by the different milkshakes mum used to make for me and my cousins. I thoroughly enjoyed milkshakes. Thick shakes, loaded with goodness from ice creams – oh so yum! My favourite was mum’s berry shake (which I can assure is the best berry shake in the world) and my brothers loved decadent chocolate shake. Every shake mum served was loaded with drama – some were a treasure trove of all the good things while others had fresh fruits and nuts in it. Life was simple and full of awesomeness.

And now is the time when such fancy things adorn my pantry. Keeping abreast with new food trends and fancy thingsavailable in the supermarket , I try to incorporate some of the good things into my diet. Something which is easy, nutritious and tasty. I enjoy some and I outrightly reject a few after a few attempts. Chia seed puddings are my favourite. This triple layer pudding has a surprise in every bite. The berry layer adds a freshness to the dish, the vanilla-oats layer provides a good break before we dig further into the creamy chocolaty layer full of chia seeds.

Its time to eat right and eat tasty!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (For 2 people)

  • 400 ml coconut milk
  • 5  tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 2 – 2.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp  pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mixed berries
  • 2 – 3tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 1/2 tbsp agave nectar (you can substitute it with honey)
  • 2 tbsp kiwi, chopped
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate arils

METHOD:

  • In a bowl take half of the coconut milk, cacao powder, 1 tbsp agave nectar, chia seeds and whisk until it is lump free and it is evenly mixed. Once done keep aside in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes.
  • In another bowl, take the reamining coconut milk, vanilla extract, rolled oats and 1/2 tbsp agave nectar and whisk it well and keep aside.
  • Meanwhile take a saucepan on medium heat and put the berries along with remaining agave nectar and water and cook it until it becomes mushy. This takes around 8 – 10 minutes.
  • Allow it to cool to room temparature and mix in the lemon zest and keep aside.
  • In a jar first put the chocolate – chia layer. Then top it with vanilla-oats layer. Finally put a generous layer of berry compote.
  • Cover the lid of the jar and allow it to set in the refriegrator overnight.
  • Take it out of the fridge around 5 – 10 minutes before consuming it. Garnish it with fresh fruits of your choice and enjoy!

 

Banana Bread Granola – 100th Post Celebration!

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Hello folks! I can’t believe that I have penned down 100 of my favorite recipes and shared my culinary stories with all if you. The love I have got from each of you is completely overwhelming. It is so gratifying to see the blog grow from a single viewer to a community of such amazing people who appreciate my efoorts and my love for food. I can’t thank each of you enough for your unending faith in me.

Coming to the 100th blog post celebration, means something special was cooking in my kitchen. A dish that invokes memories of my first baking experience and has become my family (and definitely my lil one’s) favorite – Quick Banana Bread. However this is not a post about the classic banana brad but something which is healthy, super easy and unquestionably delicious – Banana Bread Granola!

When you feel like munching something, a bowl of this granola with or without yogurt is all you will need to satisfy your hunger pang as well as your sweet craving. The aroma of banana bread flavors wafting through the entire house is therapeutic. The warmth of the spices and the infused banana flavor makes it quite addictive.

Just as we enjoyed this super bowl of granola, make a BIG batch for yourself because I bet this will get over in no time!

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RECIPE

METHOD: (Makes 3 cups)

  • 1 3/4 cups jumbo oats
  • 2 tbsp walnuts
  • 1/4 cup almonds
  • 15 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tbsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin/melon seeds
  • 1/8 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 tbsp pure maple syrup (you can use agave syrup or honey)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 medium sized banana, mashed

METHOD:

  • Preheat the oven to 165 C for atleast 15 minutes. Meanwhile line a baking tray with parchment paper and keep aside
  • In a bowl add jumbo oats, cinnamon powder, nutmeg powder, chia seeds, walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, salt and brown sugar and mix well so that the ingredients are evenly spread.
  • In another bowl add maple syrup and melted butter and whisk it. Add vanilla extract and whisk the mixture.
  • Now add the mashed bananas and mix it well.
  • Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients bowl and using a spatula mix it well so that all the ingredients are well coated and evenly spread.
  • Spread the entire mix onto the baking tray and spread evenly. Put it in the oven to bake for 23- 25 minutes.
  • Around 10 minutes into baking, take the baking sheet out and using a fork just mix the entire granola mixture to avoid burning of the ingredients.
  • Put it back into the oven and allow it to bake for another 13 – 15 minutes.
  • Take it out of the oven, fluff it using a fork and allow the mixture to cool down completely. Only once it is cooled will the mixture get crunchy.
  • Store it in an airtight container upto 2 weeks.

Voila!

Mango Smoothie Bowl

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Each day being hot and muggy, you need something absolutely delicious to recharge yourself.  Off late breakfast had become mundane and to break from the typical options, I started making more creative options. This smoothie bowl is a pretty start to my day. After sweating it out in the gym, my husband and I are lured to these smoothie bowls almost instantaneously.  This smoothie bowl is great guilt-free make ahead breakfast option that leaves you satisfied and happy.

There are myriad of options with which you can play around while making your bowl, however this Mango Smoothie Bowl is a nice way to honor the summer by including the most delicious mangoes available in the super market. The bursts of different flavors from the fruits makes you crave for more. The simplicity in preparation and inclusion of super foods and healthy ingredients in this bowl makes you devour this yummy bowl.

After all that sweet sweat, you deserve this little reward. Why wait, go and make your favorite breakfast bowl now!

RECIPE

INGREDIENTS (For 2 people):

For the base:

  • 2 cups low fat yoghurt
  • 1 medium sized alphonso mango roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp agave nectar (optional, or you can substitute with honey)
  • 1 tsp black chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats

For toppings:

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated coconut
  • 1 plum, cut lengthwise
  • 1 tsp black chia seeds
  • 10 – 12 pieces dried berries
  • 1 alphonso mango, diced

METHOD:

  • In a blender mix 1 mango and yoghurt until it forms a smooth puree.
  • To this mixture add agave nectar, chia seeds and rolled oats and mix well until well incorporated and oats don’t form clusters.
  • Divide this mixture evenly between 2 bowls in which the dish will be served ultimately.
  • Refrigerate it overnight or atleast 8 hours.
  • 30 minutes before serving, top the oats mixture with diced mangoes,pomegranate seeds, grated coconut, plums, chia seeds and few dried berries.
  • Dive in!

 

Eggless Vanilla Spiced Oat Crumble Muffins

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Your New Year’s eve breakfast special – a reminder of the good things that happened in 2016 and much  more happiness that will bestow on you this 2017. Yes, I do believe in starting the last day of the year and the first day of the coming year with great vigor and excitement. I do believe in the fact that if we start anything with a positive note, the positivity trickles down through out – be it the first day of the year, be it any task you are undertaking or probably any other day of the year. And now I suddenly this is too much philosophy but I do believe in this.

And now when I talk about having a special breakfast, muffins are a must. Some of my favorites are banana muffins, apple muffins but what surpasses all is the vanilla spiced oat crumble muffins. These are my recent favorite and they are so delicious.

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While the spices like star anise, cinnamon provide you the perfect warmth during the winters, the oat crumble adds the perfect golden color to the muffins and a lovely healthy texture too. I simply love making these since its quick, mess free and tastes beautiful.

So as this wonderful year comes to a close, let’s celebrate a new year, a new day with these beautiful muffins. I am sure you will love it as much as I do. HAPPY NEW YEAR

Please share your New Year’s images with us on Facebook or Instagram #plateandpalate

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RECIPE

INGREDIENT: (Makes 9 muffins)

  • 100 grams all purpose flour
  • 120 ml yoghurt
  • 60 ml flavorless vegetable oil
  • 75 grams caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup full fat milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp star anise powder
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 50 grams butter
  • 50 grams brown sugar
  • 60 grams rolled oats ( I used Quaker oats)
  • 1/2 tbsp honey

METHOD:

  • Preheat you oven to 180C for atleast 15 minutes. Also line your muffin tray with muffin liners or grease it using a non stick cooking spray.
  • In a saucepan, take butter, brown sugar, rolled oats and honey and keep it on medium heat until all the components are well combined. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  • Meanwhile in a separate bowl, mix yoghurt, baking powder and baking soda and allow the mixture to stand for 5 minutes.
  • Sieve all purpose flour, star anise powder, cinnamon powder and whisk and keep aside.
  • In a bowl mix caster sugar, oil and vanilla extract and whisk it well.
  • Add the curd mixture to the oil mixture and whisk until well combined.
  • Now add the all purpose flour mixture to the oil-curd mixture along with lemon zest and gently fold the mixture until all the components are well incorporated.
  • Add milk and mix the batter gently.
  • Fill each of the muffin liners by half its quantity. Taking a small portion of the crumb put it on top of each of the muffins until the batter below isn’t seen. Make sure not to dump a lot of the crumb on the batter.
  • Allow the muffin to bake for 15-18 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
  • Once baked, allow it to cool down for 10 -15 minutes and serve warm or you can eat it at room temperature.

These muffins are great accompaniment to vanilla ice cream or salted caramel ice-creams too.

Wishing all my readers a Happy New Year! Thank you for all your support. Keep cooking, keep eating!

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No Bake Granola Bars

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Granola bars have become my absolute favorite snack. They satiate my sweet cravings in a healthy way. These happiness health food bars have solved my problem of binge eating to a great extent. Its a complete powerhouse to keep you going through the day.

Living in San Francisco, I ended up hiking a lot. Beautiful weather, picturesque vista points and great company. Some healthy and mess free snack was so important and this is when I resorted to granola bars from Trader Joes. They were delicious and my favorite. Moving back to India I started missing them especially during my snack time. So I decided to make my version of granola bars, mixing some ingredients that I love and that are easily available. Homemade bars are indeed so much more delicious.

With every minute being precious at morning, I fail to cook lavish breakfast for my family. Finally these granola bars have come handy. You can have it as your morning energy meal or your afternoon snack with a cup of coffee, its wholesome and super healthy. Keep tinkering with different ingredients you have at your home, the possibilities are going to be endless and the result – some marvelously yummy granola bars!

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RECIPE

INGREDIENTS: (Makes 6 – 8 bars)

  • 1/2 cup + 6 tbsp rolled oats (I used Quaker oats, toasted lightly)
  • 2/3 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 tbsp dark choco chips
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract

METHOD:

  • In a bowl mix peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract and keep aside.
  • In another bowl mix lightly toasted rolled oats, almonds, chia seeds, cinnamon, and salt. Mix well.
  • Now add the wet and the dry ingredients together. The mixture might be very difficult to work with since it might be dry but mix it well.
  • Lastly when all the above ingredients are well incorporated, add the choco chips and mix well.
  • Line a baking dish/ tin with parchment paper with sufficient parchment paper on the sides so that we can life up the mixture later using the parchment paper.
  • Transfer the granola mixture to the baking dish and press it down firmly so that no gaps are left in the corner.
  • Allow it to set in the refrigerator for atleast 2 hours or until firm and it holds its shape.
  • Once set, lift the entire mixture using the extra parchment paper in the sides. Using a sharp knife cut it into bars of even size and enjoy!

NOTES:

  • Put the oats on a baking tray lined with baking paper and toast it for 7 – 8 minutes at 150C in a preheated oven.
  •  You can use white chocolate chips  instead of dark chocolate chips
  • You can use flax seeds instead of chia seeds.