Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins Have Joy in Every Bite

Servings: 18-24 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

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When you want just a little something sweet, as an afternoon snack or after supper nibble, chocolate chip banana muffins are just the thing. Made wholesome with whole wheat flour, unsweetened coconut and yogurt.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

My dining room table makes a pretty good home office. It feels appropriate given that I work in food.

Those I feed are sitting nearby and the kitchen is just three steps to my right. I have a view of the yard, of birds flitting about, and I have been keeping track of a pair of mallard ducks that likes to wander down to our little stream.

We’re a lucky bunch here, for all sorts of reasons, but mostly because we’re tuning ourselves into the simply joys in each day.

“I will look for reasons to feel good and I will find them.”

-Abraham Hicks

I always find joy in the kitchen – and that’s under normal circumstances. Now, with so many people spending more time in the kitchen – for comfort, or necessity, or both – I’m feeling even more inspired. And that means I have all kinds of new recipe ideas to share with you.

Which brings me to this new recipe for Tropical Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins. It’s a recipe I have had kicking around for years, inspired by a recipe from Leite’s Culinaria.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

The recipe is a true cross between a cake and a wholesome muffin. The muffins aren’t quite as sweet as a slice of cake and the texture is so lovely. The recipe calls for chocolate chips but you could substitute walnuts or pecans.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Made with whole wheat flour, bananas, yogurt and coconut these muffins have a lovely flavour and texture. They’re a little wholesome and so satisfying.

  • Author: Bridget Oland
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 24 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil (I use grapeseed)
  • 3 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (or flavoured, if that’s all you have)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 lg. eggs, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F
  2. Line muffin pans with paper liners or grease them well.
  3. In a large bowl whisk together the flours, baking soda and salt.
  4. In another bowl whisk the bananas with the sugar, oil, molasses, yogurt and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time.
  5. Add wet ingredients to the flour mixture and stir until almost combined. Stir in coconut and chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon into prepared muffins pans, place pans in the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the tops are golden and spring back when lightly touched.

Notes

Substitute walnuts or pecans for the chocolate chips if you’d prefer the muffins to be less sweet.

This batter can be baked in mini banana bread tins. (Adjust baking time accordingly).

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Cook with Your Kids: Fun & Easy Recipes (Free eBook)

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We want to make it easier for you and your family to enjoy all of this extra time at home. This free eBook, and our new Cooking with Kids recipe section, will give you more ways to stay busy while you stay home, and keep your kids learning and having fun.

Cook with Your Kids: Fun & Easy Recipes to Keep Your Kids from Climbing the Walls (Free eBook)

There are so many great reasons to cook with your kids. It’s a terrific way to keep kids entertained and they can be learning and having fun in the kitchen while they’re at it. Our free eBook includes 17 easy recipes that your kids can make on their own or with just a little help.

Let your kids loose in the kitchen – encourage them to cook, with you or on their own.

I love baking with my kids. They have always spent time in the kitchen with me, and baking together was a regular thing once they were old enough to stand on a chair beside me.

A great way to learn

Baking with your kids is a great way to teach life skills. Young kids learn their way around the kitchen without even thinking about it and that helps build the confidence to cook on their own.

Like other forms of creative play letting kids explore in the kitchen engages all of their senses and strengthens learning. (And don’t forget about all of the math involved in making a recipe!)

Making memories!

Best of all, cooking with your kids, and then sharing the kitchen creations, is a beautiful way to spend time together.

More time at home these days means more time for cooking and more time with family. Look for the silver lining…

Download our free eBook here:

Cook With Your Kids: 17 Fun & Easy Recipes

Cook with Your Kids: Fun & Easy Recipes to Keep Your Kids from Climbing the Walls (Free eBook)

We have an entire section on our website for cooking with kids. Here you’ll find all sorts of recipes for making memories in the kitchen.

Cooking with kids

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe. 

8 Healthy Big Batch Suppers for Sharing

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These 8 healthy big batch suppers are wholesome, nourishing and comforting. This selection includes chicken, shrimp, pork and vegetarian options.

8 Healthy Big Batch Suppers for Sharing

On Sunday, The Globe and Mail columnist André Picard posted a very simple and meaningful opinion piece about how he believes we’ll all get through this pandemic. Picard has been a health reporter for decades but his column wasn’t about the virus or how it’s spreading. He wrote  about humanity, how it’s in our DNA to help others and that a desire to lend a hand will carry us through to the other side of this crisis.

“The only way to slow this pandemic is for all of us to become helpers…” he wrote. By now we all know how we can help our communities (working from home, avoiding social gatherings, self-isolating if necessary…)

Since most of us are spending more time at home than we’re used to, the kitchen could become a hub of helpfulness.

Eating well is one of the ways we can keep our immune systems strong. With that in mind we’re sharing some of our favourite recipes for healthy big batch suppers – wholesome meals that are nourishing and comforting.

These recipes can feed a crowd if you’d like to share with friends or family.

8 Healthy Big Batch Suppers for Sharing

Easy Sweet & Sour Chicken Drumsticks

This chicken cooks in a rich sauce and stays so moist. Remove the skin before baking to make these healthier.

Sweet & Sour Chicken Drumsticks

Baked Beans with Sausage

This is a slow cooker recipe that uses canned beans so is quick to throw together.

Slow cooker baked beans with sausage: an easy one-pot meal for a winter day. Choose your favourite type of sausage for this recipe (pork, chicken, turkey).

Cajun Shrimp (or haddock)

This is a 30-minute meal that feeds a crowd. The spice blend and marinade are delicious on haddock too.

Easy Cajun shrimp recipe ready in 30 minutes

Hearty Guinness Stew

This recipe can be made with beef or chicken, depending on your preference. Ready in an hour.

Healthy big batch suppers: Hearty Guinness stew is late winter comfort food at it's best. Filled with root vegetables and loaded with flavour this warming meal is delicious and satisfying. Ready in an hour.

Turkey Black Bean Chili

A hearty stick-to-your-ribs chili that combines a little sweet with heat.

Healthy big batch suppers: Black bean turkey chili combines some sweet with heat.

Sloppy Joes

One of my childhood favourites made a little healthier. The mixture is great in tacos too.

Healthy big batch suppers: Turkey Sloppy Joes: a Friday night supper that's easy to throw together. This contemporary version is healthier and more flavourful than your typical Sloppy Joes

One-Pot Mustard Molasses Chicken

Another 30-minute meal. Make this easy recipe in the Instant Pot or in the oven.

Healthy big batch suppers: One pot mustard molasses chicken is simple and flavourful. Made in the Instant Pot or baked in the oven.

Thai-inspired Chickpea Sweet Potato Stew

A healthy and delicious vegetarian meal that your kids will love.

Healthy big batch suppers:  Chickpea sweet potato curry

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe. 

Hearty Guinness Stew (with beef or chicken)

Servings: 8-10 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hours

Cooking time: 40 minutes

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Hearty Guinness stew is late winter comfort food at its best. Filled with root vegetables and loaded with flavour this warming meal is delicious and satisfying. Ready in an hour.

Hearty Guinness stew is late winter comfort food at it's best. Filled with root vegetables and loaded with flavour this warming meal is delicious and satisfying. Ready in an hour.

Sometime damp and slushy March days can feel colder than January. That’s when hearty dishes like hearty Guinness stew become standard weeknight fare. This is a stew that sticks to your ribs and makes the whole kitchen feel warm.

Hearty Guinness stew is late winter comfort food at it's best. Filled with root vegetables and loaded with flavour this warming meal is delicious and satisfying. Ready in an hour.

No one in my house enjoys beef so I make our Guinness stew with chicken. For me the charm of this stew is in the root vegetables anyway, and the richly flavoured broth. The protein can be optional (although my brother Geoffrey might disagree).

The key to having this stew ready in an hour

It may seem like this recipe is complicated because the ingredient list is long but it’s easier than you might think.

While you’re browning the meat set the remaining ingredients out on the counter. You can prep the vegetables while the meat is browning too so when it comes time to saute the onions, carrots and turnip you’ll be all set.

Two secret ingredients:

The flavour of the broth really is amazing thanks to the wine and the beer. But I also credit the molasses (adds a savoury kind of sweet) and the Worcestershire sauce which adds great depth of flavour.

Serve this stew with crusty bread, these cheddar biscuits with whipped molasses butter or  sweet and buttery molasses biscuits.

Of course soda bread is a great option too. Here are three of our favourite soda bread recipes.

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Hearty Guinness Stew (with beef or chicken)

Hearty Guinness stew is late winter comfort food at it's best. Filled with root vegetables and loaded with flavour this warming meal is delicious and satisfying. Ready in an hour.

Hearty Guinness stew is late winter comfort food at it’s best. Filled with root vegetables and loaded with flavour this warming meal is delicious and satisfying. Ready in an hour.

  • Author: Bridget Oland
  • Prep Time: 20 min.
  • Cook Time: 40 min.
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 8-10 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
Scale

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 6 chicken thighs*
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled & diced
  • 1 small turnip, peeled & diced
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 1 cup Guinness Stout (or any dark beer)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 4 cups broth
  • 23 potatoes, cut into 1” pieces

Optional: broth thickener

  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/3 cup water

Whisk flour into water and stir into cooked stew 5-10 minutes before serving.

Instructions

  1. Warm a large heavy pot (Dutch oven) over medium heat and add the oil. When it shimmers add the chicken thighs in a single layer. (Brown chicken in two batches if necessary).
  2. Cook chicken about 4 minutes each side and remove to a plate.
  3. Add the onion and bay leaves and saute until soft. Add the garlic, carrots and turnip and saute for 5-10 minutes, covered (stirring from time to time).
  4. Add remaining ingredients, stir to combine and add the potatoes.
  5. Place the chicken back in the pot, cover and cook for about 40 minutes, until vegetables and chicken are cooked.

Notes

*If you’re using beef instead of chicken…

  • 1 lb beef stew meat, cubed
  • ¼ cup flour

Toss the beef in the flour and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate and continue on with the recipe. Add meat back into the pot at step 5.

Keywords: stew; comfort food; soup

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe. 

Healthy Chocolate Dessert Hummus

Servings: 8 serving(s)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

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Healthy chocolate dessert hummus is a tasty treat that’s filled with all sorts of wholesome ingredients. It’s a good source of fibre, folate, iron and more. Refined sugar free.

Healthy chocolate dessert hummus is a tasty treat that's filled with all sorts of wholesome ingredients. It's a good source of fibre, folate, iron and more. Refined sugar free.

When my kids were young they were crazy abut chickpeas. We ate them often at mealtime but also used them as snack food as soon as the kids were old enough to hand-feed themselves. From there it was fairly easy to move onto hummus.

Chickpeas for dessert?

This chocolate dessert hummus is unlike any recipe I have ever made, in a good way. It’s just sweet enough and oh so chocolaty. It feels a bit like eating chocolate frosting – flavour and texture anyway – but tastes healthy too.

The first time I ever heard about chickpeas as dessert was from a good friend who spent some time in Morocco. She gave me a recipe for a pie made with sweetened chickpeas and also taught me how to skin chickpeas to create a more pleasing texture. (See her tip below).

Chickpea Tips:

  • Chocolate dessert hummus can be made with canned chickpeas or those cooked from dried. I buy dried chickpeas on cook them in my Instant Pot because I much prefer the flavour and texture of home cooked chickpeas. I cook them two cups at a time in plenty of water. (16 minutes on high in the pressure cooker and then allow for 20 minutes of natural pressure release). Cooked chickpeas can be frozen making them almost as convenient as canned.
  • Another thing I love about cooking chickpeas from dried is that you can save the cooking liquid and use it like broth in soups and stews.
  • To skin the chickpeas place them in a bowl of warm water and rub them together between your hands. The skins will release and float to the top when you stir the bowl and will be easy to skim off. Even removing half of the skins will make a noticeable difference in the texture of your hummus.

Healthy chocolate dessert hummus is quick and easy to mix up. Use it as a snack with fresh fruit or serve it as a healthy dessert with fresh fruit, nuts and and your favourite wafer-thin gingersnaps. (Chocolate gingersnaps are a tasty option too.)

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Healthy Chocolate Dessert Hummus

Healthy chocolate dessert hummus is a tasty treat that's filled with all sorts of wholesome ingredients. It's a good source of fibre, folate, iron and more. Refined sugar free.

Healthy chocolate dessert hummus is a tasty treat that’s filled with all sorts of wholesome ingredients. It’s a good source of fibre, folate, iron and more. Refined sugar free.

  • Author: Bridget Oland
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (can reduce by half)
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and whir until smooth.
  2. Add more milk or chickpeas as required to get your preferred consistency.
  3. Store in the fridge up to two weeks.

Notes

Skin the chickpeas first for a smoother hummus. To skin the chickpeas place them in a bowl of warm water and rub them together between your hands. The skins will release and float to the top when you stir the bowl and will be easy to skim off. Even removing half of the skins will make a noticeable difference in the texture of your hummus.

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe. 

Quick & Easy Blueberry Oat Muffins

Servings: 12 muffins serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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Quick and easy blueberry oat muffins are wholesome and satisfying. They have a great texture and aren’t too sweet. 

Quick and easy blueberry oat muffins are wholesome and satisfying

These muffins have been flying off the counter in our house this week. We have eaten two batches already and it’s only Wednesday.

On Sunday afternoon my daughter and her friends each grabbed a blueberry oat muffin as they headed up to their school for rehearsal.  I mixed up another batch early Monday morning before work to replenish (and so I’d have a couple for my lunch too). I expect they’ll be all gone by the time I get home from work today.

What makes a great muffin?

Blueberries sure help. In fact, there are no fewer than six recipes for blueberry muffins on this blog. A little molasses is a good thing too, adding just the right kind of sweet and a lovely flavour. And I love that this recipe has both rolled oats and whole wheat flour. Those two ingredients do wonders for the flavour of any baked good and add some nutrition as well. That’s why these quick and easy blueberry oat muffins have become a new family favourite.

Quick and easy blueberry oat muffins are wholesome and satisfying

This recipe is easy to work with and offers great flexibility (see tips below). The biggest tip of all with muffins is to be gentle with the batter – that’s the key to beautifully textured muffins. A few streaks of flour left in the batter when you’re spooning it into the tins is okay.

This recipe makes a dozen old-fashioned-sized muffins.

Quick and easy blueberry oat muffins are wholesome and satisfying

Tips:

  • For the milk you can use cow’s or non-dairy.
  • Use any kind of yogurt you have on hand, including flavoured.
  • For the oil you can use whatever you have on hand. (I use grapeseed or olive)

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Quick & Easy Blueberry Oat Muffins

Quick and easy blueberry oat muffins are wholesome and satisfying

Quick and easy blueberry oat muffins are wholesome and satisfying. They have a great texture and aren’t too sweet. 

  • Author: Bridget Oland
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 12 muffins 1x
  • Category: Muffins
  • Method: Quick bread style
  • Cuisine: North American
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tsp. yogurt or lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, spooned in
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour, spooned in
  • 1 ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

TOPPING:

  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon or lemon zest

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and prepare muffin tins.
  2. Whisk together the oats, milk and yogurt or lemon juice. Let sit for five minutes then whisk in the molasses, egg, oil and sugar.
  3. In another bowl stir together the flours, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  4. Add wet to dry and stir gently until almost combined. Add the blueberries and stir until evenly distributed.
  5. Spoon batter into prepared pan and sprinkle each muffin with the topping mixture.
  6. Bake 18-22 minutes.

Notes

Your muffins are cooked when they’re golden and the tops spring back when lightly touched.

Keywords: blueberry, muffins, easy

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Golden Ginger Energy Bites

Servings: 10 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 15 minutes

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Golden Ginger Energy Bites are a nutritious snack filled with turmeric and ginger. (Gluten-free and vegan too.)

Golden Ginger Energy Bites are a nutritious snack filled with turmeric and ginger. Gluten-free and vegan

This recipe for golden ginger energy bites is a decidedly grown up version of an energy ball. There are no chocolate chips or nut butter and no rolled oats. The substance in these energy bites is unsweetened coconut, raw cashews and hemp seeds. Ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and molasses add flavour and a little sweet.

Filling and wholesome

These little bites make a filling snack. I list the serving size as two because that’s what quells my hunger pangs late afternoon but everyone is different.

(Once, when I was about 14, I was tasked with packing the family lunch for the ski hill while my brothers loaded the car. I packed four “Bridget lunches” and off we went for the day. The problem was that  my brothers could eat a weekend worth of food in one sitting after a morning on the hill and my picnic lunch –  a bit of cheese, raw vegetables, hard boiled eggs and a few crackers – wasn’t much appreciated.)

Refined sugar free

Golden ginger energy bites are refined sugar free, gluten-free and vegan. If you’re in search of more refined sugar free snacks and treats we have a whole section of this website devoted to wholesome and delicious recipes made without refined sugar. FIND IT HERE! 

This recipe makes about 20 ball. Store them in the fridge for up to two weeks or leave them in the freezer.

The recipe is an adaptation of a recipe in Canadian House & Home

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Golden Ginger Energy Bites

Golden Ginger Energy Bites are a nutritious snack filled with turmeric and ginger. Gluten-free and vegan

Golden Ginger Energy Bites are a nutritious snack filled with turmeric and ginger. The substance in these energy bites is unsweetened coconut, raw cashews and hemp seeds. Gluten-free and vegan. 

  • Author: Bridget Oland
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 2 Tbsp. hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ Tbsp. ginger
  • ½ Tbsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Cocoa powder to coat (optional)

Instructions

  1. In a food processor whirr the coconut until it starts to clump together.
  2. Add the cashews and whirr until finely ground.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and process until mixture comes together.
  4. Scoop by tablespoonful and form into balls.
  5. Roll in cocoa powder.
  6. Store in the fridge.

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe. 

Sweet and Sour Turkey Meatballs

Servings: 4 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

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Sweet and sour turkey meatballs make great party food but can also be enjoyed as a main dish meal. The delicious sauce comes together quickly and suits all sorts of meatballs, including beef and pork.

Sweet and sour turkey meatballs make great party food but can also be enjoyed as a main dish meal. The delicious sauce comes together quickly and suits all sorts of meatballs, including beef and pork.

When I was growing up meatballs were party food. Mom would make dozens and dozens for our neighbourhood parties and as kids we’d be the ones to serve them. Drenched in sweet and sour sauce and passed around with toothpicks they were always the most popular appetizer that mom would make for these gatherings.

While I love meatballs as appetizers, my favourite way to enjoy sweet and sour meatballs is as part of a main dish. Served with rice and steamed or roasted vegetables they’re so satisfying and surprisingly simple to make.

Sweet and sour turkey meatballs make great party food but can also be enjoyed as a main dish meal. The delicious sauce comes together quickly and suits all sorts of meatballs, including beef and pork.

I make my meatballs with ground turkey but this recipe suits any type of meat. In this recipe for sweet and sour turkey meatballs, the garlic adds lots of flavour and the sauce has that irresistible tangy-sweet flavour that makes you want to lick your fingers.

This recipe can be made with store-bought meatballs too. In fact, the sauce is an easy way to add oomph to any plain meatballs and is versatile enough to toss with chunks of cooked chicken or pork. Make a double batch and store it in the fridge for up to three weeks.

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Sweet & Sour Turkey Meatballs

Sweet and sour turkey meatballs make great party food but can also be enjoyed as a main dish meal. The delicious sauce comes together quickly and suits all sorts of meatballs, including beef and pork.

Sweet and sour turkey meatballs make great party food but can also be enjoyed as a main dish meal. The delicious sauce comes together quickly and suits all sorts of meatballs, including beef and pork.

  • Author: Bridget Oland
Scale

Ingredients

Meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground turkey or beef
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses

Sweet and Sour Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • ½ cup bouillon or apple juice
  • 1/4 cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Instructions

Meatballs:

  1. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or foil.
  2. Combine the meatball ingredients. Mix well (but don’t over-mix) and shape lightly into 1½ inch balls.
  3. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until done. (Be careful not to overcook.)

Sweet and Sour Sauce

  1. Melt butter in a medium pot and add the onion.
  2. Saute until soft then add remaining ingredients.
  3. Bring to a boil and simmer for five minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Add meatballs and toss gently.
  5. Warm on minimum for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

One more thing…

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe. 

Gingerbread Pancakes Might Become Your New Favourite Breakfast

Servings: 6-8 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

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Gingerbread pancakes are a delicious alternative to your regular fluffy white pancakes. You’ll love the added flavour from the spices and molasses. Whole wheat flour makes them hearty and filling.

Gingerbread pancakes are a delicious alternative to your regular fluffy white pancakes. You'll love the added flavour from the spices and molasses. Whole wheat flour makes them hearty and filling.

Pancakes are one of the most versatile foods in our house. Of course they’re wonderful on weekend mornings but gingerbread pancakes also make great snack food. They’re portable (put a pancake in your lunchbox, instead of a muffin) and filling.

My son has always eaten his pancakes bare or with just a little butter but the rest of us eat them with a generous drizzle of syrup and molasses. I often pack leftovers in my lunch.

Gingerbread pancakes are a delicious alternative to your regular fluffy white pancakes. You'll love the added flavour from the spices and molasses. Whole wheat flour makes them hearty and filling.

Healthy tips:

You can make this recipe as wholesome as you like. Use whole wheat or whole spelt flour, add a little ground flax (up to 1/4 cup), omit the sugar…

To serve I combine pure maple syrup with a little molasses for a rich flavour and to help my maple syrup go a little further. The ratio is 3:1 maple syrup to molasses.

These pancakes will last in the fridge for a few days and they freeze well.

Gingerbread Pancakes Recipe

Makes 16 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (can use up to one cup whole wheat)
  • ¼ cup sugar (optional)
  • 1 ½ Tbsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 ½ tsp. ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. allspice
  • Pinch of cloves
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp. oil

Instructions:

  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. In another bowl combine the wet ingredients.
  3. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk to combine.
  4. Let batter sit for 5-10 minutes.
  5. Drop by ¼ cup measure on a medium-hot, well-greased frying pan.
  6. Flip when the batter is set and the edges lose their wet look.
  7. Keep warm until ready to eat.

Drizzle with a maple syrup, or a molasses maple syrup blend (3 Tbsp maple syrup and 1 Tbsp molasses)

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If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.

Peanut Butter Granola Makes Snack Time More Interesting

Servings: 24 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hours

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This easy recipe for peanut butter granola is wholesome and delicious. It’s a substantial snack that’s great sprinkled over yogurt and can be used as a salad topper too. Peanut butter granola is a good source of protein and iron. Refined sugar free.

Easy peanut butter granola is wholesome and nutritious.

Now that we have flipped the calendar to January I’m craving a different kind of snack. There are still Christmas cookies in the freezer, and we’ll get to them, but for now I have fibre on my mind. Fibre and flavour and wholesome treats.

Peanut butter granola fits into all of those categories.

Easy peanut butter granola is wholesome and nutritious.

The peanut butter in this recipe adds a wonderful richness to the flavour along with a good amount of protein. Unsweetened coconut adds natural sweetness and the seeds (three different kinds!) add lots of nutrition. The added sweetness comes from a combination of molasses and maple syrup.

Easy peanut butter granola is wholesome and nutritious.

Peanut butter granola is delicious stirred into plain yogurt and is good on it’s own too. Try peanut butter granola on your morning porridge (with sliced banana). For dessert, sprinkle it over our Healthy Greek Yogurt Chocolate Pudding.

Tips:

  • To keep my raisins tender I add them at the very end, once the granola has baked and cooked.
  • The oil in the recipe can be replaced with water.
  • Granola can be frozen up to three months (in an airtight container).

Peanut Butter Granola Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • ½ cup ground flax
  • ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ¾ cup natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • ¼ cup canola, grape seed, coconut or olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup raisins

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300 F and line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. In a smaller bowl whisk together the wet ingredients.
  4. Add wet to dry and stir to combine, ensuring the dry ingredients are completely coated.
  5. Spread evenly between the two cookie sheets.
  6. Bake for one hour, tossing well every 15 minutes.
  7. When cool, add raisins and remove to an airtight container.

Nutritionals are based on generous 1/2 cup servings. 

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Top 10 Molasses Recipes of 2019

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Viewing our readers’ favourite molasses recipes of 2019 is a great way to discover new molasses recipes you’ll want to try.

Top 10 molasses recipes of 2019

I always love this annual blog post, the chance to dig into my website data to see what recipes (or blog posts) have been the most popular each year.

Sometimes there are a few surprises but it’s reassuring to know that the old favourites make it to the top 10 list year after year.

Old fashioned gingerbread, six-week bran muffins, molasses baked beans and oatmeal brown bread are always on the list (albeit this year the ranking changed).

You’ll notice that this year readers also gravitated to blog posts that gathered some of my favourite recipes into one spot. My blog post featuring 10 healthy side dishes for summer is in the top three for 2019, and also sits in that spot every month of the year, no matter the season.

See below for readers’ favourite recipes of 2019. A top 10 list with two bonus recipes (the count for #10, 11 & 12 were so close).

Top 10 Molasses Recipes of 2019

Chewy Molasses Crinkle Cookies

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

10 Healthy Side Dishes for Summer

healthy side dishes for summer

Six-Week Refrigerator Bran Muffins

six week refrigerator bran muffins made with natural bran

10 Easy Appetizers

10 easy appetizers

Molasses Baked Beans with Sass

molasses baked beans with sass

Chewy Hermit Bars

Chewy hermit bars are a classic molasses cookie recipe - nicely spiced with a wholesome texture.

Molasses Meatballs

molasses meatballs in a flavourful molasses sauce.

Ginger Shortbread with Molasses

Ginger Shortbread with Molasses

Buttermilk Bran Muffins

Basic Buttermilk Bran Muffins are wholesome and just sweet enough. High in iron and fibre.

Bonus recipes:

Sarah’s Oatmeal Brown Bread

oatmeal molasses brown bread - an easy recipe for beginners

Instant Pot Molasses Baked Beans

Instant Pot Baked Beans recipe: authentic baked beans flavour and texture in no time at all.

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Four Great Granola Recipes

Servings: 24 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hours

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Why buy granola when you can make healthy and delicious granola at home, for half the cost? Here are four easy, and great, granola recipes to try..

Four healthy granola recipes: Why buy granola when you can make healthy and delicious granola at home, for half the cost.

Granola is so easy to make at home that there is no need to buy it. Especially if you want to be in charge of what goes in your granola. Make it refined sugar-free, or not. Make it low fat, or not. Fill it with every nut and seed in your cupboard, or not.

That’s the beauty of making it yourself. And it’s pretty in expensive too.

I fell in love with granola when I was in grade three. That’s when my mom received a recipe for granola in the mail from cousins who had moved from New Brunswick to California.  I had the best recess snack in the class on granola day. By the time I was on my own I was in the habit of baking a weekly batch and you can still find a homemade jar or two in my cupboard.

Here are four great granola recipes to try this year:

Healthy Applesauce Granola

Applesauce adds flavour and reduces the fat in this colourful recipe.

easy applesauce granola

Hearty Granola Cookies

This is the hand pie of the granola world. A granola cookie is easier to eat when you’re on the run than a bag full of granola. It’s basically the only way to eat granola with one hand.

healthy granola cookies

Shaker-Style Granola

Okay, this isn’t really a Shaker recipe but it is a simple, almost elegant recipe. Not too many ingredients, not too sweet. Wholesome and satisfying.

Simple molasses granola

Cranberry Almond Granola Clusters

This is one of my favourite ways to eat granola. Nut-filled clusters are a cross between loose granola and a granola bar. The clusters are bite-sized so convenient for hand snacking. The recipe is on my personal blog…

Granola clusters

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Easy Fruitcake Fudge Made with Pantry Staples

Servings: 20 pieces serving(s)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

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This easy fruitcake fudge recipe is made with pantry staples like evaporated milk instead of whipping cream. Fill it with your favourite toasted nuts and dried fruit. 

Easy fruitcake fudge made with pantry staples The first fudge I ever made called for evaporated milk, not whipping cream. It was a simple chocolate fudge recipe and tasted a bit like chocolate milk and my dad’s Ovaltine.

In some ways this recipe is like a grown up version of that recipe. It uses pantry staples like evaporated milk but this recipe is filled with all of my favourite toasted nuts and dried fruit.

And one of these days I’ll try adding a teaspoon of brandy to the recipe, so it will be even more like fruitcake.

Easy fruitcake fudge made with pantry staples

The recipe calls for unsweetened chocolate but doesn’t taste too chocolaty. And if you don’t have unsweetened chocolate in the house you can substitute chocolate chips.

If you’d like your fudge to have more texture you can increase the total fruit & nut add-ins to 1 cup.

Fruitcake Fudge Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 squares unsweetened chocolate, chopped*
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • ½ cup nuts (finely chopped)
  • ¼ cup raisins, currants or other dried fruit
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

*Can substitute 1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 Tbsp. bittersweet chocolate chips.

Instructions:

  1. Line an 8” x 4” loaf pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. In a heavy pot combine sugar, milk and molasses. Warm over medium heat and stir until sugar has dissolved.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 238°F or until a drop of the mixture forms a soft ball when dropped in cold water.
  4. Stir in the butter and chocolate and remove from heat. Continue stirring until both have melted and mixture is smooth.
  5. Pour mixture into a large bowl without scraping down the sides of the pot. (You don’t want those sugar crystals making their way into your finished fudge.
  6. Stir mixture until it has a satin sheen then stir in the fruit, nuts and vanilla.
  7. Pour into prepared pan.
  8. Cut into squares when cool.

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Gingerbread Scones with Vanilla Glaze

Servings: 6-8 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 33 minutes

Cooking time: 18 minutes

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Gingerbread scones with vanilla glaze are delicious, beautifully textured and quick to mix up.

Gingerbread scones with vanilla glaze are delicious and quick to mix up.

I think you should take a little time for “you” in the lead up to Christmas. With all the busyness, a few minutes of time to yourself is just what you need and I suggest you enjoy your quiet time with these gingerbread scones.

That’s what I did on the weekend. After a Saturday of baking cookies I saved Sunday morning just for me and made a batch of these scones to enjoy with a cup of tea.

Gingerbread scones with vanilla glaze are delicious and quick to mix up.

Gingerbread scones are the perfect counter to Christmas baking. They aren’t too sweet (even with the pretty glaze) and have a comforting texture. The spicing is fairly light and can be doubled if you want a stronger gingerbread flavour.

As with all quick breads, gingerbread scones are best eaten within a couple of days. My favourite way to enjoy them is right out of the oven.

Gingerbread Scones with Vanilla Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour, spooned in (can use 1/2 cup whole wheat)
  • 1 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. gingerbread spice (or half cinnamon, half ginger)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • ½ cup cold butter, cut into cubes
  • Scant 1/4 cup of Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup milk

Glaze:

  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. milk
  • ½ tsp. vanilla

To make the scones:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, spices and sugar.
  3. Cut in the butter until it’s pea-sized. (You can do this step in the food processor.)
  4. In a small bowl whisk together the molasses and milk. Pour over the flour mixture and stir to combine.
  5. When mixture almost comes together scrape onto a lightly floured counter and knead to combine.
  6. Gather dough into a ball and gently press it into the shape of a disk about ¾” thick. Place on prepared sheet.
  7. Score into eight wedges.
  8. Bake for about 18 minutes, or until golden and the top springs back slightly when touched.

To glaze:

  1. Whisk together the glaze ingredients.
  2. Let scones cool for about 10 minutes then pour over the glaze.

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Holiday Baking eBook: 19 Festive Recipes for the Holidays {free}

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This free Holiday eBook includes all the recipes you need for your Christmas baking. It features a combination of old-fashioned favourites, updated classics and new ideas with a molasses twist.

Holiday Baking eBook: 19 recipes for festive favourites. Free.

Holiday Baking eBook

It’s easier to get going on your holiday baking when you have a great stash of recipes that are well tested, lovely and delicious. That’s what you’ll find in our updated holiday recipe collection. Every recipe includes a full-colour photo so you know how festive-looking your finished product will be. This ebook is free and easy to download.

Get your Holiday Baking eBook here

Enjoy!

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Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Servings: 6-8 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 10 minutes

Cooking time: 55 minutes

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Cake doesn’t have to be complicated. This recipe has stood the test of time and has been trusted by generations of bakers, and it couldn’t be simpler to make. Enjoy this old fashioned gingerbread cake while it’s warm, with Coffee Toffee Sauce poured over, or vanilla ice cream (or both). It’s also delicious plain or with butter. 

Old fashioned gingerbread recipe: a classic gingerbread cake that's simple to make and always satisfying.

This is the recipe that began my love affair with gingerbread. My mom discovered it the year I was born and I have been eating it ever since. To this day I have never found a gingerbread recipe that I love more.

The recipe came out of the Laura Secord Canadian Cookbook, compiled in 1967 as a Centennial project of the Canadian Home Economics Association. The collection amounts to a nation-wide family favourites cookbook with recipes that span centuries and the many cultural influences that are Canada. In the book this recipe is called Signal Hill Gingerbread.

My copy of the book came from a second hand bookstore but thankfully the book was reissued last year. If you’re on the lookout for a new “go to” cookbook this is an excellent choice. Of all my mom’s cookbooks, this is the one she has used most often.

This is about the easiest cake recipe you’ll ever find.

You simply toss the egg, butter and molasses in on top of the sifted dry ingredients, mix well then add the boiling water. To make things even easier I line the pan with parchment paper. The cake comes out without a hitch and the pan in a cinch to wash.

Eat this cake while it’s warm, with Coffee Toffee Sauce poured over, or vanilla ice cream (or both). It’s also delicious plain and I know others who always eat it with butter.

Moist gingerbread is an easy one-bowl cake

Old Fashioned Gingerbread

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup soft butter
  • ¾ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Grease and flour an 8”x 8” square pan (or line the pan with parchment paper.) *
  3. Sift together dry ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Add the butter, molasses and egg and beat for two minutes or 300 strokes by hand. (This is a very old recipe…)
  5. Add the boiling water.
  6. Beat for another two minutes and turn into prepared pan.
  7. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until cake springs back when lightly touched.

A great tip from a reader: “In preparing your loaf pan for the gingerbread mixture, take a mixture of a handful of sugar with a handful of cinnamon and use that to sprinkle onto the greased pan instead of just flour. It gives the edges and bottom of the cake some additional flavor that the flour will not.”

 

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Extra Chewy Coconut Molasses Bars

Servings: 24 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

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Chewy Coconut Molasses Bars are quick to mix up and last for days in a tin on the counter. This is a one-pot recipe. 

Chewy Coconut Molasses Bars are quick to mix up and last for days in a tin on the counter. This is a one-pot recipe. 

These chewy coconut molasses bars have a rich caramel flavour and a great texture. The recipe calls for two eggs, but it’s only the egg whites that you use. And there is so much coconut. Another reason for the lovely texture.

Chewy Coconut Molasses Bars are quick to mix up and last for days in a tin on the counter. This is a one-pot recipe. 

Like so many baked good made with molasses, the flavour and texture of these chewy bars improve with age.

Even better, this is an easy one-pot recipe.

Coconut Molasses Bars Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup flour, spooned in
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ tsp. vanilla
  • 2 large egg whites, unbeaten (eggs room temperature)
  • ¾ cup + 2 Tbsp. moist, unsweetened shredded coconut

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line an 8” baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in flour, baking soda, salt and sugar.
  3. Stir in molasses, vanilla and egg whites. Add coconut.
  4. Scrape into prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes until centre is set.
  5. Cool in pan 10 minutes then remove from pan to finish cooling.
  6. Cut when cool into 24 bars.

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18 Gingerbread Recipes in a Free eBook

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Enjoy 18 favourite gingerbread recipes in our updated Gingerbread eBook. 

18 gingerbread recipes in our free gingerbread ebook
Every November I comb through our gingerbread recipes and select my favourites to compile into our annual Gingerbread eBook. This year we’re sharing 18 recipes for gingerbread cakes, cookies, muffins and more.

Gingerbread is my favourite and although I bake this spicy treat year round, fall is my favourite time to enjoy  all things gingerbread. Something about the warm spicing  suits the chilly days, especially this year since winter seems to have arrived early.

Like all of our eBook, the new Gingerbread version is an easy-to-download file.

Get all 18 gingerbread recipes

Here at Crosby’s gingerbread is our specialty. That’s why we have a whole section of our website dedicated to all things gingerbread. Check out our Gingerbread Page .

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Three Cosy Treats to Bake with Fresh Ginger

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Warmly spiced baked goods are best enjoyed when the weather turns chilly. These three recipes for gingerbread cake, ginger muffins and chocolate gingerbread cookies will warm your belly with a double dose of ginger — fresh ginger and dried. 

Cosy baking with fresh ginger: three recipes for gingerbread cake, muffins and cookies made with fresh ginger

We’re in for a chilly few days, the start of winter weather here in Southern New Brunswick. This kind of forecast always gets me thinking about warming baked goods, especially gingerbread.

There is no shortage of gingerbread recipes on our website. In fact, recipes that call for ginger are a bit of a specialty on this website and we have a whole section devoted to these sorts of recipes.

Today I’m calling out three cosy treats that you can bake with fresh ginger.

Fresh ginger adds a bit of moisture to your baked goods along with the heat. If you don’t have fresh ginger, regular dried ginger can be substituted in these recipes. Use about 1/4 tsp. of dried ginger for each Tbsp. of fresh ginger called for.

You’ll notice that these recipes also call for dried ginger. A combination of the two is a great way to turn up the heat in you baked goods.

Three Cosy Treats to Bake with Fresh Ginger

Fresh Ginger Gingerbread Cake

In this super moist cake recipe from my Aunt Nana a full 1/4 cup of fresh ginger adds heat and moisture. The recipe calls for dried ginger too. Fresh ginger cake recipe is moist and beautifully spiced with fresh ginger, powdered ginger, cloves and a little pepper.

Healthy Ginger Molasses Muffins

In this simple, light-textured muffin recipe from a reader, fresh ginger is the star.

healthy ginger molasses muffins

Sparkly Chocolate Ginger Cookies

These chewy cookies get a nice bite from both fresh and dried ginger, a flavour that is perfect with chocolate. You’ll find these cookies warming but not too spicy. Dress them up to give as a gift or keep them plain for a treat with tea or coffee.

Sparkly chocolate gingerbread cookies

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Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites a Healthy Treat

Servings: 24 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

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Healthy protein-packed pumpkin pie energy bites are easy to make and kid-friendly. Vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free too.

Healthy protein-packed pumpkin pie energy bites are easy to make and kid-friendly. Vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free too.

What began as a quick way to use up the last of a can of pumpkin puree turned into a new favourite recipe discovery.

I often make energy balls and bites to have on hand for snacking, especially when I need something to tide me over until lunch or supper.

This recipe stands out among all of the others because of the texture. The pumpkin makes them softer and not as dense as other energy ball recipes I make so they feel more like a treat.

Because pumpkin pie energy bites are softer I roll them in coconut and almond flour to keep them from getting sticky, and I store them in the fridge.

Healthy protein-packed pumpkin pie energy bites are easy to make and kid-friendly. Vegan, gluten-free and refined sugar-free too.

Tip: It’s easy to make these pumpkin pie energy bites school-friendly. Simply replace the nut butter with sunflower seed butter.

The recipe lends itself to all sorts of other adaptations too. Add sunflower seeds, chia, change up the nut butter, try almonds, add a few raisins…

Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats (not instant)*
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • ¼ cup pumpkin seeds
  • ½ cup chocolate chips**
  • ½ cup canned pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • ¼ cup peanut butter, almond butter or sunflower seed butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • Coconut and/or ground almonds for rolling

* Use gluten-free rolled oats if necessary.

** Use vegan chocolate chips if you can find them, or substitute cacao nibs.

Instructions:

  1. Combine oats, hemp, seeds, pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips in a food processor. Whizz until the pumpkin seeds and chocolate chips are chopped (but not pulverized).
  2. Add remaining ingredients and whizz until everything comes together.
  3. Scoop by tablespoonful and shape into balls.
  4. Roll in coconut or almond flour.
  5. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

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Three Favourite Pumpkin Muffins

Servings: 12 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 35 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

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Three favourite pumpkin muffins: One combines pumpkin and apple, another is a cornbread variation and the third is a pumpkin oatmeal muffin. Choose your favourite.

Three favourite pumpkin muffin recipes, all refined sugar free

Fall is definitely the season for pumpkins and what better snack to bake this weekend than pumpkin muffins.

Here are three of our favourite recipes. One combines pumpkin and apple, another is a cornbread variation and the third is a pumpkin oatmeal muffin.

All three recipes are refined sugar-free, sweetened naturally with molasses along with honey or maple syrup. They’re wholesome and flavourful and taste just like fall.

Three Favourite Pumpkin Muffins Recipes

pumpkin oat molasses muffins are refined sugar-free

These Pumpkin Oat Molasses Muffins have a surprisingly light texture and they’re nice and moist. I use whole wheat pastry flour, but regular whole wheat flour works fine too.

These are great snack muffins. Hearty and wholesome, they hit the spot. No butter required.

Apple cider pumpkin muffins are refined-sugar-free - sweetened only with molasses and maple syrup.

Apple Cider Pumpkin Muffins are refined-sugar-free – sweetened only with molasses and maple syrup.

Pumpkin and apple are a great combination. The flavours both go well with spice and adding diced apples to the batter helps keep the muffins from feeling too dense. The apple cider is just a nice touch.

Pumpkin Spice Cornmeal Muffins

Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins

With just a half cup of pumpkin puree, and cornmeal and molasses to balance the pumpkin flavour, these muffins have just the right amount of pumpkin taste for me. And they’re surprisingly light textured. Even after a few days on the counter they don’t end up dense like many muffins. These muffins are a delicious substitute for cornbread.

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Whole Wheat Apple Snack Cake (Refined sugar free)

Servings: 9-12 serving(s)

Prep time: 15 minutes

Total time: 55 minutes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

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This whole wheat apple snack cake is like a muffin, only easier. Made with 100% whole wheat flour, a full three cups of apple, and sweetened naturally with honey and molasses, this cake is about as wholesome as they get.

This whole wheat apple snack cake is like a muffin, only easier. Made with 100% whole wheat flour, a full three cups of apple, and sweetened naturally with honey and molasses, this cake is about as wholesome as they get.

I love the idea of a snacking cake. Something that isn’t fancy and can be enjoyed in the morning, or after supper. It almost feels indulgent without actually being over the top.

I also love that a cake is easier to make then a batch of muffins. Just one pan to prep and wash and the baked cake can be easily lifted out of the pan by taking hold of the parchment paper. No loosening around the edges with a butter knife even. And you can slice it into as many pieces as you’d like.

This whole wheat apple snack cake is like a muffin, only easier. Made with 100% whole wheat flour, a full three cups of apple, and sweetened naturally with honey and molasses, this cake is about as wholesome as they get.

I like to tuck as much healthy stuff as possible into my cakes and this whole wheat apple snack cake recipe makes it easy. It’s made with wholesome whole wheat flour, a healthy oil of your choice, lots of tart apple, and natural sweeteners that add loads of flavour.

Whole Wheat Apple Snack Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¾ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ cup oil (olive, grape seed, canola…)
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups shredded apples*

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F and line a 9″x 9″ pan with parchment paper or grease it well.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk the oil with the molasses and honey.
  4. Whisk in eggs.
  5. Add this wet mixture to the flour mixture and stir to combine.
  6. Stir in vanilla then grated apples.
  7. Scrape into prepared pan and bake about 40 minutes.
  8. Cool in pan 15 minutes then remove to a rack to finish cooling.

*To prepare the apples, peel them first then grate on the large side of a box grater. To measure, sprinkle into the measuring cup, taking care not to pack them in. Once measured, give grated apple a little squeeze to remove some of the juice. (Save juice for another use.)

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Spicy Salmon with Mustard and Molasses

Servings: 4 serving(s)

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

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Spicy Salmon with Mustard and Molasses is a weeknight meal that really is ready in under 30 minutes. With this recipe you’ll have leftover spice blend and extra sauce, so you’ll be all set to put this recipe on repeat.

Spicy Salmon with mustard & Molasses is a weeknight meal that really is ready in under 30 minutes.

Salmon is the new chicken

There are so many reasons to eat more salmon. But if you’re getting tired of the same old same old recipe try this lively version. In our spicy salmon recipe, a delicious spice blend and Dijon mustard add just the right amount of heat while molasses provides a savoury kind of sweet to keep the flavours balanced.

Salmon is so versatile and can handle lots of added seasoning. Have you tried our recipe for Garlicky Orange Juice Salmon? It’s another speedy recipe. We have a delicious Teriyaki Salmon recipe too.

Spicy Salmon with Mustard & Molasses is a weeknight meal that really is ready in under 30 minutes.

This recipe cooks quickly so you can enjoy a fantastic weeknight meal in next to no time.

Another option: Brush sweet potato wedges with oil then toss with the spice blend. Roast at 375 F  until soft and then use the mustard & molasses sauce as a dip!

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Spicy Salmon with Mustard and Molasses

Spicy Salmon with mustard & Molasses is a weeknight meal that really is ready in under 30 minutes.

Spicy Salmon with Mustard & Molasses is a weeknight meal that really is ready in under 30 minutes. With this recipe you’ll have leftover spice blend and extra sauce, so you’ll be all set to put this recipe on repeat.

  • Author: Bridget Oland
Scale

Ingredients

  • 4 salmon fillets/portions

Spice Rub:

  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika (optional but yummy)
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. chipotle chili powder (can substitute regular chili powder)

Molasses Dijon Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 F
  2. Place salmon on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the rub ingredients (you will have way more than you need).
  4. Sprinkle about ½ tsp. of rub over each salmon portion and rub in a bit.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the molasses & Dijon. Brush on salmon
  6. Bake salmon for 6-10 minutes, until done. (Cooking time will depend on thickness of salmon.)

Notes

Brush sweet potato wedges with oil then toss with the spice blend. Roast at 375 F  until soft and then use the the mustard & molasses sauce as a dip!

One more thing…

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Maple Molasses Zucchini Cake

Servings: 15-18 serving(s)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Total time: 1 hours 10 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

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This lightly spiced maple molasses zucchini cake is moist and not too heavy. A great recipe if you’re feeding a crowd.

This lightly spiced maple molasses zucchini cake is moist and not too heavy. A great recipe if you're feeding a crowd. 

I have spent the week tucked away at an old lodge in Quebec, cooking, working and looking at the lake. I’m away with family and have been sharing meal prep with one of my brothers who also loves to cook. It has been great fun cooking huge feasts and spending evenings around the table.

As they prepare to close the lodge for the season we have been “cooking down” the freezer and the cupboards so there will be less to cart home in October.

On top of that I have challenged myself to use up all of the produce from a local farm that had accumulated in the fridge before we arrived. Among other things I have made chocolate beet cake, coleslaw with apple dressing, roasted zucchini, and baked zucchini balls. There is still a mound of zucchini to go through so yesterday I baked a big zucchini cake.

This lightly spiced maple molasses zucchini cake is moist and not too heavy. A great recipe if you're feeding a crowd. 

I love how moist and light a zucchini cake can taste. My version is mildly spiced and includes chopped walnuts for texture. We served it with a slightly runny cream cheese frosting on the side so everyone could choose how much added sweet they wanted in each bite. Serving the cake unfrosted also makes it easier to store leftovers.

This recipe make a 9″ x 13″ cake so is great for a crowd.

Maple Molasses Zucchini Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • ½ cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup Crosby’s Fancy Molasses
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ¼ tp. Cloves
  • ¼ tsp. nutmeg
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a 9” x 13” pan with parchment paper or grease and flour it well.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda and baking powder, salt and spices.
  3. In another bowl beat the eggs then whisk in the oil followed by the sugar, molasses, maple syrup and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients to dry and whisk until almost combined. Stir in the zucchini and walnuts.
  5. Scrape into prepared pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until set.
  6. Let cool about 10 minutes then remove from the pan.
  7. Serve with cream cheese frosting on the side.

If you’re in search of family-friendly food that’s easy to prepare, healthy and tastes good, then sign up to receive blog posts by email. We’d love to send you our monthly newsletter too. It includes cooking tips, menu ideas, featured recipes and more. Here’s the link to subscribe.