I love muffins but they are difficult to find in China. I’ve only found them at western establishments and westernized bakeries. When I used to bake muffins at home, they would always turn out dry or the flavor would be weird. I tried making healthy muffins but they were always so dense. What’s the point in eating a muffin if it’s not going to taste going to taste good?
The fall weather always inspires me to bake more and to try new things. I decided to make cranberry and orange muffins. I found a simple recipe for muffins on The Kitchn’s website. If you don’t know, I love their website. They feature so many tutorials on the most basic foods. It’s really great if you want to try something new but don’t know where to start. I think it’s very easy to get wrapped up in the world of food blogs and pretty food pictures but have no idea where to begin.
I took The Kitchn’s recipe and added dried cranberries,fresh orange juice and cinnamon. I’ve been enjoying learning about spices and flavor combinations lately. I thought that a semi-spiced muffin mixed with something acidic, sweet and tart would taste good. These muffins have a pungent orange flavor, so if you would like them a little less orange, I suggest you remove the orange zest. For a more spiced muffin, try adding an extra teaspoon of cinnamon.
You can find steps at The Kitchen’s website. The measurements for the cranberries and orange are in the recipe box below.Lastly, I used a few different ingredients to get a different flavor and texture of muffin, but you if you don’t have the same ingredients, use what you have.
Now that it’s getting warmer outside, I can finally make sweet treats that aren’t warm. One of my favorite warm weather desserts are popsicles. You can make any juice or smoothie into a popsicle.
I love drinking smoothies because they are so filling and it’s the perfect way to try different foods, especially when you are traveling or living abroad. As I mentioned in my previous post, there has been more fresh produce at the supermarket. One of the fruits that has been looking great and tempts me every time I walk by are the mangos. Whenever I go to the supermarket, they look perfect so of course I have to buy a couple.
Mango and Banana Smoothie Pops
These smoothie pops are refreshing and sweet. They are a perfect treat during the warm months.
At times, I wonder if I am the only person who loves to curl up with a bowl of yogurt with granola and peanut butter. I like to wake up, throw them in a bowl and read the news while sipping a cup of coffee. For me, it’s a healthy comfort food and makes me feel at home wherever I’m residing.
Since I moved to China, I haven’t been able to find granola in the supermarket. I’ve gotten used to walking through the cereal aisle, and picking up a bag of Bear Naked Honey Almond Granola. Then, I would walk to the dairy aisle and grab the thickest Greek yogurt. Now, I don’t have those luxuries anymore, but that is okay. I need to find a way to make a new way to make my comfort food.
Last week, I found walnuts and whole oats in the grocery store. I said to myself “This is my opportunity to make the best granola ever!!”. Without doing any research on if it was possible for me to make granola without an oven, I bought a small bag of walnuts and a large container of oats.
After my impulse buy of walnuts and oats, I searched to see if anyone had made granola without an oven. I came across no bake vegan recipes. All of them looked delicious, and I am still willing to try them, but I didn’t have any vegan-friendly ingredients. I decided that I should find steps in granola recipes that didn’t require an oven. Two techniques I found were the toasting of the outs, and the melting of peanut butter and honey. I thought toasting the walnuts and the oats would help create a crunchy texture. Melting the peanut butter and honey together just looked delicious.
Despite some doubts, and dealing with a crappy frying pan, it turned out well. The oats had a nice crunch and the sesame oil gave it a nuttier flavor. It wasn’t too sweet and would definitely pair well with yogurt.
No Bake Sesame Granola
A very nutty granola recipe that doesn't require an oven. It can be served with yogurt or ice cream.
Chop the walnuts into small pieces. You can also use pre chopped walnuts if you have them.
In a bowl, microwave the honey and peanut butter for one minute. Take the bowl out of the microwave, then thoroughly mix the honey and peanut butter together.
Next, to make the cooking a little easier, place the oats and walnuts in seperate bowls. Place those ingredients, along with the penut butter and honey mixture, beside your stovetop. Take a foot long sheet of aluminum foil, or parchment paper,and place it on a countertop. The granola will be placed on the aluminum foil after it's fully cooked.
Warm your pan on low heat and add the oats and walnuts. Make sure to sure them consistently while they are toasting.
After the oats and walnuts are toasted, add the sesame oil. Move the ingredients around the pan for about one minute.
Then, add the honey peanut butter mixture and the salt. Fully coat the oats and walnuts with these ingredients.
Transfer the granola to the piece of aluminum foil, or parchment paper, and spread it out. Allow the granola to cool for five minutes before serving.
Store the granola in an air-tight container. It will hold for one week.