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BANANA MUFFINS (W/FLAX EGG)

Banana Muffins with Flax EggIt’s been a while since we’ve baked anything around here (I blame and the heat and the baby) but I had some perfectly ripe bananas and decided to try out the flax egg with my mom’s banana bread recipe. This is one of my favorite recipes and I’m happy to report that these muffins lost none of their flavor by replacing egg with flaxseed. In fact, they were equally as moist and delicious as I remember from my childhood. Phew! My husband typically begs me to add chocolate morsels to all baked goods, but this recipe is far better without them, in my opinion. Honey and golden raisins are the key. Isla is now at the age when she was able to help a little with the prep, and by that I mean she sat on the counter eating raisins out of the bag, stealing pieces of banana from the mixing bowl and she even tried to eat the batter when I let her mix. She’s a natural. Check out the full recipe below.

Helping mama bakeBanana Muffins with Flax EggBanana Muffins with Flax EggIngredients:
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup crisco (we used a 1/2 cup unsalted butter instead)
2 flax eggs (or 2 regular eggs if you choose)
3 mashed bananas (the darker the sweeter)
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
golden raisins to taste

Flax Egg Instructions:
1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds + 3 tbsp of water (this muffin recipe called for 2 eggs so I used 2 tbsp of ground flaxseeds and 6 tablespoons of water)
Whip water and ground flaxseeds with a fork (like you would a real egg for scrambled eggs)
Place flax egg in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to an hour while you prepare the rest of the recipe
When you reach the step in your recipe that calls for your eggs, add the flax egg

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat together honey, sugar, crisco/butter, flax eggs, bananas
In separate bowl, add powder and soda to flour and mix
Add flour mixture to honey mixture and mix by hand
Add raisins
Bake 18-20 minutes until golden (bake for 1 hour if making a bread loaf)

Food and Drink, Travel

ROSE’S FINE FOOD, DETROIT

Rose's Fine Food, DetroitYou know how I love brunch. On the last morning of our visit to Michigan to see my sister and her family we decided to take a quick drive into Detroit for breakfast while my mom watched the kids. A friend of mine from high school (Lucy) opened up a restaurant called Rose’s Fine Food in the city about a year ago. Though I haven’t actually seen Lucy in 15 years, I’ve been drooling over her food pictures on social media and watching as this quaint, local joint gets recognized nationally for its incredible, local, freshly made food. So here we are. Don’t mind the less than stellar quality photos; I hadn’t planned on taking photos or blogging about it, but the food was so amazing I couldn’t help myself. My brother-in-law, who is currently in med school, was so enamored (like the rest of us), he declared Rose’s his new after work (read: early morning) breakfast stop. As I mentioned, the food is either made from scratch (i.e. all the breads and other baked goods) or purchased from various local farmers who are currently cultivating the land in Detroit. And we could tell. Everything was unbelievably delicious. I’m still dreaming about that homemade “Crybaby” peach doughnut we devoured. Lucy and Molly (her cousin and co-owner) offer their entire staff a living wage and she was telling us all about how opening a restaurant has been a long-time dream of theirs. If you’re ever in Detroit, I highly recommend a stop at Rose’s!

Rose's Fine Food, DetroitRose's Fine Food, DetroitRose's Fine Food, Detroit Rose's Fine Food, Detroit

Baby-Led Weaning, Recipes

pancakes from scratch (with flax egg)

pancakes from scratch with flax egg
Remember those mediocre egg-free blueberry-banana yogurt pancakes I made for Isla a few months ago? Well, I can do you one better. Since flax egg is my new favorite magic egg replacer (after my successful flax egg zucchini bread), I decided to give pancakes another go on Valentine’s Day. For Isla I added blueberries (her current obsession), cut them into heart shapes and sprinkled a little powdered sugar on top. My husband, however, wanted none of that so he got circles, chocolate chips and a lot of maple syrup (he’s too manly for hearts and healthy breakfasts, I guess). I used this really simple pancake recipe by Martha Stewart and used one flax egg in lieu of an egg. Apparently flaxseeds add a bit of a nutty flavor to dishes but I really haven’t noticed that. They were a tiny bit thicker/heavier than regular pancakes but they were a crowd-pleaser nonetheless. Isla really just wanted the blueberries and couldn’t have cared less about the heart shapes, but I’m ruling this one a success. Flax egg saves the day again!

How to Make a Flax Egg:
1. 1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds + 3 tbsp of water whipped up like you would a real egg
2. place flax egg in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to an hour while you prepare the rest of the recipe
3. when you reach the step in your recipe that calls for your eggs, add the flax egg

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Baby-Led Weaning, Recipes

zucchini bread (with flax egg)

Zucchini bread with flax egg | really risa
Finally! A successful egg replacer for baking! Why didn’t I try this before, you ask? Because I’m a twit. That’s why. While the rest of you were watching the Superbowl, I was baking something edible for the first time in about six months. For those just tuning in, my daughter can’t have eggs (at least for now) and I’ve been striking out in the kitchen when it comes to egg replacers. The cake I baked for her birthday was disgusting, her pancakes were mediocre at best (though she didn’t know any better) and I was resigned to the fact that there’d never be another edible baked good in this house. Until I discovered flax egg. We had some extra zucchini that was on its way out and since Isla won’t eat veggies unless I hide them in her smoothies or smother them in cheesy goodness, I decided it was time to step up my vegan game. And by vegan I mean not really vegan, just no eggs because I am too cheap to go out and buy all the other ingredients you need for a real vegan recipe. And because I like meat. And so does my daughter. And my husband.

I used this recipe for the zucchini bread, only I used 1 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract instead of the orange peel and used flaxseed instead of eggs. Here’s how I did that last part:

I bought Whole Foods 365 brand organic whole brown flaxseeds. Grinding them was a really bad word. Really, really bad word. It was the worst. If you have a coffee grinder, use that. If you are like me and ask people at the coffee shop to grind your beans, you’re in trouble. In the end I spent about 45 minutes smashing the hell out of these damn seeds using my mortar and pestle. Why didn’t I just buy the ground flaxseeds you ask? Because apparently they spoil very quickly once they’re ground and since these little guys are not exactly cheap I wasn’t taking any chances.

How to Make a Flax Egg:
1. 1 egg = 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds + 3 tbsp of water whipped up like you would a real egg (this zucchini bread recipe called for 2 eggs so I used 2 tbsp of ground flaxseeds and 6 tablespoons of water)
2. place flax egg in the refrigerator for 15 minutes to an hour while you prepare the rest of the recipe
3. when you reach the step in your recipe that calls for your eggs, add the flax egg

It really works! Really! This bread was delicious! Dear vegans: THANK YOU. And now I’m going to go shop for a coffee grinder.

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Baby-Led Weaning, Recipes

isla’s favorite smoothies

favorite toddler smoothiesIsla has a smoothie nearly every day. For breakfast, as a snack or, when she’s teething, all day long. Since she’s been rejecting whole vegetables lately (except for peas), I find smoothies are the best way to sneak them into her diet. My base is almost always whole milk yogurt and I prefer to use whole milk instead of juice if I need more liquid to cut the thickness (though I do occasionally use apple juice, apple cider or OJ). She loves spinach, carrots, pumpkin and avocado, and I add any additional fruits I can get my hands on (we always have bananas in the house and I grab whichever frozen fruits are on sale at the time). I use an immersion blender so they’re quick and easy to make, and they’re great for on-the-go. Plus, they’re filling and packed with all the vitamins and nutrients she needs.

Here are a few of our favorite smoothie combinations. All of these recipes make approximately 16 ounces (Isla drinks five to eight ounces at a time) and the measurements are approximate (I wing it a lot). (Note: frozen fruits add thickness so you’ll usually need a liquid).

Avocado, Berry, Pineapple Smoothie with Honey (pictured above)
1 cup plain whole yogurt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 tbsp honey (if baby is under one skip this)
1/2 avocado
6-7 frozen strawberries
6-7 frozen pineapple pieces

Spinach, Apple, Peach Smoothie
1 cup plain whole yogurt
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
handful fresh baby spinach
1/2 granny smith apple (peeled)
6-7 frozen peach slices

Banana, Peanut Butter, Berry Smoothie
1 cup plain whole yogurt
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 banana
handful of frozen blueberries
6-7 frozen strawberries
(optional: handful of fresh baby spinach or tbsp honey)

Carrot, Apple, Pineapple smoothie
1 cup plain whole yogurt
1/2 cup apple juice or cider
1 peeled, shredded carrot
1 banana
6-7 frozen pineapple pieces
1/2 granny smith apple (peeled)

Spinach, Banana, Peach/Mango/PineappleSmoothie
1 cup plain whole yogurt
handful fresh baby spinach
1 frozen banana
6-7 frozen peach, pineapple or mango pieces (or a combo of these)

Kiwi, Strawberry Smoothie
1 cup plain whole yogurt
1/2 cup water
1 banana
1 kiwi (peeled)
6-7 frozen strawberries
(optional: handful blueberries or fresh baby spinach)

Pumpkin, Banana Smoothie (makes 16 oz):
1/2 cup plain, vanilla or banana yogurt
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
dash of ginger
1 frozen banana

I’m going to start adding things like zucchini, almond milk and flaxseed, too.

What are your favorite smoothie combos?