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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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!

Allergy Friendly Brunch

I’m not the only one with spring fever, right? I desperately want to open all the doors and windows in the house and spend countless hours at the park.

I am so thankful that we had a glimpse of spring on Easter. It was wonderful to have an Easter egg hunt outside and not feel rushed to get back inside to warm up! We had a busy day, starting with 7:45 am mass, breakfast at my sisters and ending with an egg hunt and dinner at Karl’s uncle’s house. Our immediate families have really started to come around to serving only Ricky-friendly food when we’re all together. Have I mentioned that we have awesome families? Because we do. Breakfast is especially tricky to avoid dairy and eggs, on top of that my niece cannot have gluten so we need to try to eliminate that as well! When trying to fit in so many family gatherings on holidays, avoiding breakfast is not really an option, so we have come up with a pretty excellent brunch menu that is delicious and free of nuts, dairy, eggs and gluten!

Brunch Menu

breakfast brunch

It may be simple, but it works for us and I haven’t heard any complaints yet!

Gluten Free Banana Cinnamon Crumble Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs (2 Tbs ground flax, mixed with 6 Tbs water)
  • 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 King Arthur All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • 1 tsp xanthum gum
  • 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 King Arthur All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 Tbs unsalted butter softened**
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  • 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, xanthum gum, 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

*To make dairy free buttermilk, mix 1 Tbs vinegar with 1 scant cup coconut milk
**Best dairy free option here is Blue Bonnet Lactose Free

And since I know you’re all dying to see my cuties on Easter, here you go! Karl and I have agreed that I can dress the boys (including him) on Christmas and Easter without any sass from him, and I make the absolute most of it!

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.

IMG_5504 (1) IMG_5508

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!

IMG_5515 (1)

Banana Cinnamon Crumble Bread

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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 🙂

brothers

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

Ingredients

  • 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

Directions

  • 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!)