Hearty, Wholesome, Chunky Apple-Cinnamon Muffins

When I come home from school, I always try to reach for a healthy, yummy and satisfying snack. These muffins are the perfect after-school treat but can really be eaten anytime of the day. They are just sweet enough with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg and fresh chunks of apple. They are made with a combination of flour and oats and have NO butter (but they do have oil, so it's kind of cheating!). 

Chunky Apple Cinnamon Muffins
Makes 12 Muffins
4 medium apples cut into 1 cm chunks (I used red, but green would work fine if you don't mind the tartness)
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup castor sugar
4 medium eggs
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 cup wholemeal flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup apple juice or grated apples
a dash of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 175 °C. Get together all your ingredients.

Combine all your dry ingredients in a medium bowl. 

Whisk together the oil and the sugar and then beat in the eggs one at a time.

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir in the chunks of apple.

Line a muffin tray and pour the batter into each muffin cup. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Once every corner of your house smells like a wonderful blend of spices and apples, you'll know that they're nearly done.

Ta da! Of course, these taste best fresh out of the oven - with a slightly crispy top and warm and tender center - but feel free to store them in an airtight container either in the fridge or a cool place. The muffins will stay fresh for 4-5 days.


4.8 km Run and the Perfect Post-Workout Smoothie

This morning, I woke up bright and early and went on a 4.8 km run with my dad. We walked to our starting point and then ran 6 rounds of a 0.8 km trail. I was totally pumped up and the run was great! We took exactly 26:43 to finish. We stopped by at the gym on the way back and did a few shoulder strengthening exercises. I came back and refueled with a refreshing, healthy banana smoothie.

Half an hour later, I was all set for our weekly Sunday family yoga class. What a fitness-filled Sunday morning!

Banana Smoothie Recipe
Serves 1
1 banana
4-5 walnuts
1 tbsp flax seed
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup milk
a handful of ice
Look at that wonderful ripe banana just waiting to get blended into a smoothie!

 Put all the ingredients into and blender and blend away!

Serve chilled. Give those muscles the nutrition they deserve!


Simple Strawberry Sauce

When you have a bunch of succulent, juicy, ripe strawberries sitting in your fridge, what's the best thing you can do with them? Make the most simple, yet scrumptious treat - a strawberry sauce. What's not to love about the best fruit in the world (in my opinion) floating in a sea of its own slightly-sweetened juice? And if strawberries aren't your thing, feel free to sub any fruit you would like ranging from blueberries to peaches!

The "recipe" is super simple and takes less than five minutes from start to finish. So if you have any fruit lying around your house or if you just want to savor this delectable, fruity, fresh sauce, go into your kitchen right away and cook up this beautiful sauce.

Strawberry Sauce
1 cup strawberries (or your favorite fruit)
3 tablespoons sweetener of choice (I used agave but feel free to use honey, maple syrup or even sugar - you could completely omit this if your fruit is very sweet)
1-2 drops of vanilla essence for fragrance
(You could even add in a dash of cinnamon if you wish to do so)

Wash and chop the strawberries into bite sized pieces.

Combine the strawberries, sweetener and vanilla essence in a saucepan; turn on the heat.

Bring to a simmer and continue stirring & breaking up the chunks of strawberry until fruit is very tender. Turn off the heat and let the sauce cool. At this point, you can even blend the mixture if you want a very smooth sauce. However, I love biting into chunks of fruit, so I skipped this. 

Serve however you would like to! Enjoy. :) Store any leftovers in the fridge or freezer depending on your plans.

Use this to top anything you would like - ice cream (as I did), greek yogurt, waffles/pancakes, granola, blend it into smoothies, drizzle over cheesecake or pound cake, french toast even. The options are endless! This would be delicious paired with anything and everything - even if you decide to secretly enjoy it by the spoonful.

You can make larger batches of this and freeze it until the craving hits. Just be warned - if you only make a bit, your family will eat it all up before you even get to taste a bite.


Why Strawberry Chocolate Concoction?

Well, simply put, strawberries and chocolate are the two best things on this universe.

But really, strawberries and chocolate are my two favorite foods in the entire world. Alone they are amazing, but paired together - now, that's one extraordinary combination! They are simply a match made in heaven. Imagine eating a succulent, sweet, juicy, red strawberry dipped in gooey, rich, chocolate. Strawberries and chocolate have been the loves of my life ever since I was about 8 years old. Since then, I have started enjoying my time in the kitchen and have been whipping up recipes and preparing delectable spreads for my (small, but fabulous!) family of four - my parents, my sister and I. It seemed like time to start a blog, so I thought, why not name it my closest link to the foodie world?

Last, but not least, strawberries and chocolate perfectly capture the essence of this blog. I am always trying to create semi-healthy recipes without compromising on taste. Strawberries and chocolate are a pair which exemplify the coming together of the naughty and the nice.