Baked Milk Challenge: Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Ricky’s taste buds change faster than any human I know. It is insane. Example: I bought clementines for him to try this past winter because the previous year he had been a big fan. He tried them twice and spit them out both times- just not happening. Then he visited my sister’s house about a month later and ate an entire clementine, all the while chirping about how delicious it was! So, of course I go to the store and buy more for our house. Two days later, he hates them again. wth. It is annoying with clementines, but it is absolutely infuriating when it happens with milk muffins. I usually make a double batch of baked dairy muffins and freeze them, because they are such a pain to make. I’m sure you all understand- when cooking with something your little one is allergic to, you try to be as cautious as possible! I only make them when Ricky is sleeping, then scour the kitchen afterwards to make sure no dairy got anywhere. Gotta love food challenges. So, when I have 24 muffins in the freezer is not the best time for Ricky to decide he no longer likes a certain flavor. Lucky for me, I have found the winner. He has yet to get sick of these and I suspect it is due to the chocolate chips. That kid will eat anything if you put chocolate chips in it… I wonder where he comes from 😉

My Banana Chocolate Chip muffin recipe is modified from this original. I like to think that the whole wheat flour balances out the chocolate chips in the health spectrum.

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffin

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Makes 12 muffins


  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 flax egg
  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  •  1/2 tsp salt
  •  1/2 cup Enjoy Life chocolate chips
  • ~1 Tbs granulated sugar


  • Preheat oven to 400ºF. Make flax egg and set aside. Mash bananas. 
  • Combine bananas, brown sugar, milk, oil and flax egg in a large bowl- beat well. Mix in flour, baking powder and salt just until incorporated (don’t over mix). Add Enjoy Life chocolate chips.
  • Grease muffin cups or place muffin liners into pan. Divide batter evenly into muffin cups. Sprinkle each with ~1/4 teaspoon sugar.
  • Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Immediately remove from pan and cool on rack.
  • Enjoy!

Baked Milk Challenge: Banana Cinnamon Crumble Bread

Hello world! I promise we’re all still alive and well over here- just a little busier with two babes running the show. Raymond is 2 and half months and fits into our little family perfectly. You often read about how adding a child to your family makes it feel more complete, and that is exactly the case with little Ray. We still plan to add a couple more munchkins to the gang eventually, but Raymond makes us feel even more like a family. Ricky has adjusted wonderfully! He was a little extra sassy the first month or so, but has started to calm down and get back to his normal, well-behaved self. I think this is because Raymond is taking more consistent naps in the morning, allowing me to give Ricky some one-on-one time. A little attention goes a long way with him and as long as he gets some face time, he is much more well-behaved the rest of the day. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true, if we don’t get any one-on-one time and I’m focused on Raymond the majority of the morning, by nap time Ricky is guaranteed to have more than his fair share of tantrums. Let’s hope Raymond continues this new trend of morning naps, for everyone’s sanity!

Also, Raymond is huge. He is already starting to wear 6 month clothing! Ricky was in 3 months until he was around 5 months old! Just another example of each kid having their own identity, I suppose. Either way, they are both pretty darn adorable. Life is good.

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Allergy update. We had a set-back a few weeks ago. We had worked our way in the baked dairy challenge all the way up to baked cookies (no longer considered “extensively baked,” baked at 350 degrees for ~10 minutes) with no reactions. So, we moved forward to the next step: stove-top pudding. We gave Ricky about a teaspoon of stove top pudding made with milk, and within a couple minutes he started itching and his lips got puffy. We monitored him closely for about 10 minutes before deciding to go to the ER. There were no hives, but his mouth was obviously swelling and he coughed a few times. We did not administer the epi because we live so close to the hospital, but I had it on hand, in ready the entire time. So scary. It was a real blow to our morale, we had truly gotten our hopes up that he had outgrown his allergy. This reminder that a small amount of something as common as dairy could kill our son was jarring. Because of the mouth swelling, our allergist suggested we dial back the baked dairy challenge to “extensively baked” for the next year, meaning everything has to be baked at 350 degrees for at least 30 minutes. Ricky is only 2 and although he is very communicative for his age, he is still not able to accurately describe things like an itchy mouth or tongue swelling, so our allergist felt it best that we wait another year before trying to move forward and we completely agree. Which means, I need to continue to find yummy breads and other recipes that fit the “extensively baked” requirement. Here is one of my most successful finds, adapted from this recipe.

I have tried a lot of banana breads and they always seem to end up under-cooked in the middle. Finally, the yummiest, completely cooked bread with a crunchy cinnamon crumble on top. Enjoy!

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Banana Cinnamon Crumble Bread


  • 2 flax eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup bananas, mashed (~2 large very ripe bananas)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 3/4 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Cinnamon Crumble Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter softened
  • 1 tsp cinnamon


  • Make flax eggs and buttermilk and set aside for approximately 5-10 minutes
  • Whisk together flax eggs, buttermilk and oil
  • Mash bananas and add to the flax egg mixture along with the vanilla. Mix well
  • In a separate bowl combine flour, sugars, baking soda, cinnamon and salt
  • Add flour mixture into the flax egg mixture slowly, stirring to combine. Be careful not to over-mix
  • Pour bread dough into a greased 10″ bread pan
  • Mix your cinnamon crumble topping by adding the flour, sugar and cinnamon to the softened butter and stirring with a fork. Break any large pieces up and sprinkle evenly on top of your bread dough
  • Bake at 325 degrees for 75-85 minutes. Note: this is a lower temperature setting than called for by the “extensively baked” plan, but the duration of time is quite a bit longer, so it is approved by our allergist.
  • Take the bread out of the oven and cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing and placing on a cooling rack
  • Enjoy!

Baked Milk Challenge: Lemon Poppyseed Muffins and Friday Ramblings

Happy Friday! We have a very exciting weekend ahead of us- Raymond’s baptism is this Sunday! I am so excited for our littlest man to officially join God’s family. We are having our immediate families plus grandparents over afterwards for a late lunch, so much of the weekend will be spent prepping the house. Since it is starting to get cool outside I was forced to think outside our normal grilling options for a big group- I decided on chili and chicken and wild rice soup for the main course. I’ll be sure to share the recipes (and more importantly- baptism photos) next week!

For this week’s baked milk challenge I made Two Peas and Their Pod’s delicious Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. Talk about yummy! The only switch I made was using flax eggs in place of the 2 eggs in the recipe. If you know me well, you know just how much I like muffins. They are one of my absolute favorite foods- I’d go so far as to say that I never met a muffin I didn’t like. These are no exception and Ricky agreed. They are baked for 20 minutes at 400 degrees, so the next step is something baked for ~20 minutes at a lower temp.

On another note, Karl has accused me of going a little too far in dressing the boys alike. My response? Get used to it 🙂


Baked Milk Challenge: Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Raymond is 6 weeks this Thursday! We’re finding a rhythm around here and loving our little family of four. It is definitely busier than usual, but I’m already past the zombie stage, which seemed to last a good 3 months with Ricky! We had a great weekend relaxing and spending some much needed family time. With Ricky’s 2nd birthday party last weekend and Raymond’s baptism next weekend, we knew we needed a little break in the middle.

Saturday snuggles- talk about a nice, lazy weekend.

Saturday snuggles- talk about a nice, lazy weekend.

The biggest highlight of the weekend though was finding out two of our closest friends got engaged! WAHOO! We are so thrilled for them and can’t wait to watch as they start their lives together. Now on to the recipe…

Blueberry breakfast cake ingredients Blueberry breakfast cake batter

On top of having a new little baby to snuggle, I’ve been trying to bake on a regular basis for Ricky’s baked milk challenge. This kid loves food, but he also knows exactly what he likes and what he doesn’t like. One of the worst things- finding and making a new recipe that fits within the baked dairy challenge only to have him not eat it. The worst. This delicious blueberry “breakfast” cake did not fall into that category, though – YUM! I almost didn’t want to share it with the toddler or husband. The recipe is altered from this original.

Baked dairy challenge - breakfast blueberry cake

Blueberry Breakfast Cake


  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbs ground flax, 3 Tbs water)
  • ½ cup butter, room temperature
  • Zest from 1 large lemon
  • 7/8 cup* + 1 tablespoon sugar**
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups flour (set aside 1/4 cup of this to toss with the blueberries)
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup buttermilk (made with a scant 1/2 milk combined with 1/2 Tbs apple cider vinegar)

*7/8 cup= 3/4 cups plus 2 Tbs
** Save for sprinkling on top


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and make flax egg, set aside for at least 5 minutes
  • Combine butter, lemon zest and 7/8 cup sugar- mix until light and fluffy
  • Add flax egg and vanilla, beat well until fully combined.
  • Toss blueberries with 1/4 cup of flour
  • In a seperate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk
  • When fully combined, gently fold in the blueberries.
  • Spread batter into a greased, square 9 inch pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar.
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!

Another baked milk challenge recipe: Pumpkin Zucchini Bread (with chocolate chips!)

Baked Milk Challenge: Pumpkin Zucchini Bread

Ever since we got the go-ahead from our allergist to do a dairy challenge, also known as a baked milk challenge, I’ve been seeking out recipes that fit the specifications given. It was suggested that we start with recipes using a semi-low amount of dairy (1/4-1/2 cup) that can be baked at 350 degrees for at least 30 minutes. These recipes are a lot harder to find than you’d imagine! So far the best options I have found are sweet breads. Since I’ve had such a hard time finding recipes, I figured others probably struggle as well, so here is the first of many to come. This is a delicious fall recipe altered slightly from this original, including chocolate chips to entice your little one!

Pumpkin Zucchini Bread


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (or all purpose flour)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of ginger
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 flax egg (1 Tbs ground flax, 3 Tbs water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dairy milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a bread loaf pan
  • If using, make flax egg by whisking together 1 Tbs of ground flax with 3 Tbs water)
  • In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger)
  • In a separate large bowl mix pumpkin, zucchini, honey, oil, flax egg, and vanilla until well combined. Whisk in milk.
  • Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Bake for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Remove and cool on wire rack (in pan) for ~10 minutes.
  • Remove bread from pan and place on wire rack to finish cooling,

We have successfully passed this challenge and will continue with this amount for several weeks. The next step is increasing the amount of dairy in the recipe. After that is accomplished, our allergist suggested trying either a lesser amount of cook time or a lower temperature. Beyond sweet breads I plan to try casseroles next!

If you have any good recipes that include dairy and are baked for at least 30 minutes at 350 degrees or higher, please share!

Raymond turned three weeks yesterday and we took our first trip out of the house with just me and the boys. It only took two hours to get out of the house, so I’m calling it a success! Raymond did great (read:slept through 90% of the trip) and Ricky was super well-behaved; he must have sensed that I was not up for any two year old sass, thank goodness! I had been waiting for my Solly Baby wrap to come in the mail before attempting any big adventures (ahem…Target) and I am so glad I waited! This wrap is awesome and I am officially a fan of baby wearing!

Solly Wrap Target trip

I love having my hands this full! My two boys snuggling on my lap ❤

Full hands, full hearts!