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.

Broccoli Salad with Yogurt Dressing

Broccoli is packed with Vitamins C, K & A, as well as folic acid, fibre and a whole bunch of other nutrients.  So the challenge is to find new ways to serve it up, and preferably raw, as that’s the best way to keep all the valuable nutrients intact, or so they say.  I’ve adapted this recipe from one I found on everybodylikessandwiches.com.  I prefer to add the nuts and dried cherries on top – the nuts stay crisper, and the fruit looks prettier.  If you’re serving it all right away and plan to have no leftovers, you can get away with tossing it all together.

This one can be whipped up in no time at all!

What you need:

1 head broccoli, broken into small pieces

2 tablespoons finely diced red onion

1 tablespoon mayonnaise

3 tablespoons plain yogurt (I don’t use low-fat yogurt ever!)

juice of 1/2 lemon

a few dashes of hot sauce

1-2 teaspoons honey

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

1/4 cup dried cherries, cut in half (or raisins or cranberries)

What you do:

1.  Toast the almonds – I do this is a dry frying pan on my stove top.  I just heat it to medium-low, then give it a stir every once in a while, keeping an eye on it do it doesn’t burn.

2.  Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, lemon juice, hot sauce, honey, salt and pepper.

3.  Put the broccoli and onions in a bowl and toss them with the dressing.

4.  Top with dried cherries and almonds just before serving.

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.