New Zealand is my Home (and the wonders of microwaved apples)

I’ve been home for just about a month, and in that time I have been doing studying and studying and learning to drive (YAY) and neglecting this blog and cooking and recovering and shivering because its only just hitting spring. But anyway I am so glad to be back: New Zealand is so familiar and the winter (when we had missed most of it) seemed cozy and comforting when we first got back. In the pouring rain I might add. Typical New Zealand! Our suitcases were a bit soggy.

And the recipe: In those chilling hours of boring old maths, I remembered a delicious little treat that takes 1 minute to prepare and 3 minutes to zap the healthy goodness out of in the microwave, thus turning it into a really delicious fluffy, self saucing, tangy, cinnamoney treat.

Here it is: the 3 minute baked apple!

apple

So it’s very basic: just wash a nice crispy apple (if you are a good person who bothers to do this) and cut out the core. Put it in a microwave safe bowl or ramekin.

 Put a teaspoon of butter (optional) in the middle. Fill up with currants or raisins, then sprinkle cinnamon over.

Microwave for 3 minutes (it may take longer or shorter depending on the power of your microwave – our one is quite powerful) until the apple is soft and fluffy, and a sticky caramel sauce is drizzling out of it. It will smell delicious too.

Wait for it to cool slightly before devouring.

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On my weird photo: It actually isn’t that delicious looking in my quick messy instagram photo (I wasn’t very interested in taking photos – I wanted to eat) but it is. Truly. 🙂

On microwave poison: I know microwaves probably aren’t the most healthy way of cooking an apple. But I still felt healthier than eating a piece of cake. And then there’s the WORST I suppose, which is a delicious cookie in a mug. This is a combination of cake and microwave. Oh well, I like it! Yum I say.

On sugar and dairy free: I categorised this as sugar and dairy free, as the butter is only an optional unhealthy additive, and the only sugars are fruit sugars.

Enjoy! Becca 🙂

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3 Ingredients: basic banana berry smoothie

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This is a quick easy delicious pretty yummy nice refreshing healthy quick easy as smoothie.

It is getting colder and colder here in New Zealand. We live in the sub-tropical North Island, and the norm for winter is rain, mud, and just enough cold to give you chill blains and make you huddle by the fire. Meaning, the discomfort of the cold but not the excitement of Snow! We got hail the other day. That’s a big excitement in the Snowless North.

For some reason we made smoothies today. A summer treat, just as it’s getting cold enough to make your toes ache! Well, a lot of the world is just getting their Summer, so I suppose this recipe will have some appreciation, if not from New Zealanders.

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For 3 Banana Berry Smoothies I:

-put 2 bananas in the blender with about 2 cups of orange juice. (any fruit juice will do)

-I added about 1/2 cup of frozen (or use fresh) mixed berry’s.

And then I blended it all up and poured it into pretty glasses.

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A perfect healthy snack.

Sugar (apart from the sugars in the fruit) free, dairy free, gluten free, everything free.

You could try all sorts of things, maybe using whatever you have in your fridge. I always find delicious smoothie recipes, but I NEVER have all the ingredients. This is my basic smoothie recipe, and I have made this with just bananas and orange juice in the past. It is a very delicious summer treat. You could add a spoon of natural yoghurt for extra deliciousness.

Oh, and they are very pretty, too.  Enjoy!

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Delicious (& sugar & dairy free) Banana Bread

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I am so happy with this recipe! One of my friends is sugar and dairy free, and that means she misses out on lots of the baking we do.
There are lots of gluten-free recipes online, and lots of sugar-free recipes, or dairy free, but it’s always one or the other!

I found this amazing recipe (http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,164,149191-253198,00.html) that has NO sugar and NO dairy!

I had some rather gross looking frozen bananas, so I thawed them out and edited the recipe a little. Here is my version of this recipe:

3/4 c. mashed bananas
1/3 c. vegetable oil
2 large. eggs
1/2 c. water
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. currants
1 tablespoon honey

Beat together mashed banana, oil, eggs and water until creamy. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and spices. Beat well. Stir in nuts. Spoon batter into oiled and floured 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Spread batter evenly. Bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean. Cool completely on wire rack before slicing.

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The original recipe was for a cup of nuts, but typically, we had run out. So I put a cup of currants in, and I think it actually made it really nice and sweet. I added a tablespoon of honey to sweeten it even more. Our slimy frozen bananas didn’t seem to have much sweetness left in them! So I only changed the recipe slightly, and I am so pleased with it. It disappeared very quickly, though. That was a shame, because I couldn’t have any toasted for breakfast!
I know honey and bananas are both “sugars”, but when I say sugar-free, I am meaning white sugar! The sugars in honey and banana are perfectly edible. 🙂