Flax-Bran Raisin Muffins

This recipe is based on my usual bran muffin recipe, but I’ve added flax because of the Omega-3s it contains, and provides even more fibre than a regular bran muffin.  I’ve also lowered the amount of sugar in these, balancing out the sweetness of the raisins. They’re easy to make, taste great, and they’re good for you.  Throw them in the freezer and you’ve got a quick snack whenever you need it.

You need:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup bran

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1 cup raisins

2 eggs

1 cup milk (soy is good too)

2 Tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup butter

What you do:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400F.

2.  Stir dry ingredients  in a large bowl.

3.  Melt butter, then mix in the milk slowly, so the butter doesn’t harden when you add cold milk.  Add molasses.  Pour the liquids, along with the slightly beaten eggs, into the dry ingredients.  Mix by hand only until the ingredients are combined; if you mix more you’ll get tough little muffins.  Mix in the raisins.

4.  Place mixture in muffin tins lined with paper baking cups.

5.  Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.  Take muffins out of tins and cool on a rack for a few minutes before eating.

6.  If you freeze them, make sure they’re completely cool before they go in the freezer.

Blueberry Flax-Bran Muffins

This tasty muffin recipe uses Omega 3-rich flax seeds, which are a great way to lower cholesterol.  Plus they provide, along with the bran and blueberries, a great dose of fibre.  And blueberries – besides being delicious, contain antioxidants and vitamin C.  Did I mention these muffins also taste good – you can’t go wrong here!

It is important to use ground flax seeds so you can access their benefits; the chewing and digestive processes are not enough to break down the seeds.  You can buy them ground, or grind them yourself in a coffee grinder.  They are best stored in the fridge after grinding, so they do not become rancid.

You need:

1 cup flour

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup bran

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

2 eggs

1 cup milk (soy is good too)

2 Tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup butter

What you do:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400F.

2.  Stir dry ingredients  in a large bowl.

3.  Melt butter, then mix in the milk slowly, so the butter doesn’t harden when you add cold milk.  Add molasses.  Pour the liquids, along with the slightly beaten eggs, into the dry ingredients.  Mix by hand only until the ingredients are combined; if you mix more you’ll get tough little muffins.  Gently mix in the blueberries, so they don’t break and you don’t over-mix.

4.  Place mixture in muffin tins lined with paper baking cups.

5.  Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.  Take muffins out of tins and cool on a rack for a few minutes before eating.

6.  If you freeze them, make sure they’re completely cool before they go in the freezer.

Fresh and Healthy Quinoa Salad

This is a simple and healthy salad that works great for a lunch or picnic food.

Quinoa is a supergrain, originating in South America.  It is an excellent source of iron and fibre, and is a complete protein.  It is also gluten-free.

You need:

1 cup quinoa

1 can corn

1/4 red onion

1 jalapeno pepper

1 red pepper

1 orange pepper

juice of 1/2 lemon

juice of 1 lime

1/4 cup cilantro or parsley

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

What you do:

1.  Rinse the quinoa – this is important to rinse off the slightly bitter coating.  Place in a pot with 1 & 1/2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, cover pot and cook for 15 minutes.  Take the pot off the heat and let sit for 5 minutes.  Allow to cool.

2.  Dice onions and peppers and chop cilantro.  Chop jalapeno, removing the seeds if you don’t like it very spicy.  

3.  Mix the veggies in with the cooled quinoa,  along with lemon and lime juices, salt and hot sauce.  You can add the juice along with the canned corn. 

4.  Mix it all up and it’s ready to go, but I like it after a few hours, as the flavours come together and the onion mellows a bit.