4-Ingredient Healthy Spelt Crepes (Clean)

dsc_1168

dsc_1166

I love crepes. To be honest, I probably love making crepes as much as I enjoy eating them. They’re honestly one of my favorite things to make. Call me a loser, but it’s just so cool to see the silky batter cook to form lacy edges and these beautiful, golden brown designs.

dsc_1163

dsc_1119

You’ll almost always find crepes in my fridge, just because I can’t eat them as fast as I make them! I’ll usually make a large batch on Sunday and eat them for breakfast or (my current favorite snack) make banana sushi! It’s basically where you spread a generous layer of peanut butter over a crepe, add a banana, roll it up, and then cut it like you would cut sushi. I’m not sure why, but I’ve been really obsessed with that lately.

dsc_1165

Anyways, I tried to make these crepes a little healthier. I used to make healthy buckwheat crepes, and those are amaazing! If you’re looking for a gluten-free crepe recipe, then definitely go for that one. Anyways, these spelt crepes give you a thinner, more flavorful crepe. The ingredients for both crepes are essentially the same, but with one addition to the spelt crepes – applesauce! Yes, you heard that right. Crepes are generally made with butter. In my buckwheat crepe recipe, I chose to omit it entirely, but here, I’ve added a little applesauce, which gives the crepes a lighter consistency, but keeping them just as healthy!

dsc_1159

dsc_1172

4-Ingredient Healthy Spelt Crepes

Makes approx. 10 crepes

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 3 tablespoons applesauce

Method

  1. Whisk all the ingredients together until smooth
  2. Place the batter in the fridge and allow it to rest for 1 hour, or up to 48 hours
  3. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat and spray the pan with cooking oil or brush on a little coconut oil
  4. Turn the heat down to medium-low and pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan. Swirl the batter around so that it spread into an even, thin layer
  5. Cook until the crepe is dry before flipping it over and cooking briefly on the other side
  6. Repeat with the rest of the batter

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies (Cheat)

dsc_1101

dsc_1110

I’ve always been a huge fan of anything involving brown butter. Remember this brown butter banana bread recipe? AKA my faavorite banana bread recipe of all time? Ever since I stumbled upon that recipe, I’ve just loved using brown butter in baked goods. It takes the flavour to a whole new level, building so much depth in the flavours and complexion. Plus, you can’t deny that it’s kinda fun to melt all that butter down and watch it foam and go brown.

dsc_1113jpg

These brown butter chocolate chip cookies are just so heavenly. I made them for a bake sale and they sold out ridiculously quick! Almost every person who walked by inquired about the price of the cookies, and some of them even asked us to reserve cookies for them. One person said that he came by after seeing everyone else with the chocolate chip cookies. Not to mention, so many people came back to compliment me on how delicious the cookies were.

Needless to say, this is a recipe that I will be using for many bake sales to come. This one’s a keeper!

dsc_1104

dsc_1111

I honestly don’t think these photos do the cookies justice. They’re suuper rich and gooey and full of chocolate and mocha chips, not to mention the nutty, caramel-y goodness of the brown butter! If that’s not a foodgasm, I don’t know what is.

dsc_1108

dsc_1112

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Makes 24-26 cookies, depending on size

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups (315g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups (345g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (25g) granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon plain greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup mocha chocolate chips

Method

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Make the brown butter by melting the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking constantly. After a few minutes, the butter will begin to foam, darken to a brown color, and give off a nutty aroma. At this point, remove the saucepan from heat and transfer the brown butter into a bowl. Allow the butter to cool for 5-10 minutes, until cool to touch
  3. Using an electric mixer, beat the brown butter and sugars together until well combined
  4. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, vanilla extract, and greek yogurt until well combined
  5. Mix in the dry ingredients until just combined
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips
  7. Chill the dough for 2-3 hours in the fridge, or up to 12-24 hours*
  8. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  9. Allow the dough to thaw for about 20 minutes before rolling into balls and placing them on a baking sheet 2 inches apart
  10. Bake for 9-11 minutes or until the edges of the cookies turn golden brown. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes

*Alternatively, freeze the cookie dough after you’ve rolled them into balls. When baking them, simply add a minute or two to baking time

 

 

Ultra-Fluffy Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes (Clean)

I’m in a bit of a dilemma.

dsc_0882

dsc_0847

By the time I post this, my mock exams will probably be over, but right now, they haven’t happened yet and I don’t know what to expect. (Yep. Mocks ended today and I’m just posting this now.)

See, I had a week-long break recently, and I spent the whole time watching movies and sleeping because senioritis hit and I just couldn’t be bothered to do anything. Not to mention, I kept reminding myself that mock tests don’t matter, because they just count towards Semester 2 grades and nobody ever sees those. But now, just a night’s sleep away from my first exam, I’m starting to question that philosophy. I’m starting to wonder, what actually matters??

If you think of it in the perspective that everything contributes towards university, then wow – that changes things. When I was in middle school or when I just started high school, upperclassmen would always say “ah, don’t worry, none of that actually matters”. If I ever complained about how much homework I had, upperclassmen would always say, “that doesn’t matter, and that’s nothing in comparison to what’ll come later”. As we get older, we tend to play down the things that happened in the past. I think it’s because, once things are over, we realize how insignificant each thing was because we already know how it turned out.

Let me explain that. Say you have an essay due. It stresses you – of course it does. But once you find out what your grade was, and you did alright, it becomes something of the past. The grades go by and because nothing devastating or life-changing happened, it becomes relatively insignificant. What we don’t understand is that, for the people who are experiencing what we’ve already experienced, it’s all that matters.

dsc_0880

I think I’m starting to understand my thoughts now. I think my point is that all that matters, for anyone, is now. The simple concept of what is happening in the present, or in the recent past/near future. It all matters.

Okay, I’ve finished that thought. Now I’m going back to the concepts about how we learn. Technically speaking, mock exam grades don’t “matter” in terms of university applications, since those have already been sent. But, they do quite accurately predict how you’ll do on your final exams, and are also a good way to refresh what you’ve learned in the past two years of IB.

All those tests you take in middle school are “useless” and “pointless” in terms of college applications, but really, they’re not. The numbers themselves will never be seen, but grades are a representation of what you learn. Thus, if you don’t give a damn in middle school, your grades will tell you that you’re not learning, and you won’t do well in high school or university. If you do well in middle school, you will build the core skills you need to become a good learner and a good student. It all matters. Think about it. The kids who didn’t learn well in middle school usually don’t change much in high school, and the kids who worked hard continued to do so through all their years of education. It matters. It’s not all about grades and university applications and Ivy Leagues, it’s about learning. That’s it.

In conclusion, don’t look back at a younger kid who’s determined to do well and tell him/her that “it won’t matter”, because it does. That determination will grow with them and become a part of their personality, which is a wonderful thing. Each step of life has its significance, but it’s not always shown through numbers and letters and quantity – it just becomes a part of who we are. Everything matters.

Okay so none of that made any sense, but I’ll keep that there because I’ll probably enjoy rereading that when I’m like, 30 years old.

dsc_0872

dsc_0881

Well, then. My mock exams are now over so all of that^ is now irrelevant. Now, it’s time to talk about these pancakes! *insert heart-eye emoji here*

dsc_0824

dsc_0810

Okay, these pancakes are really special. They’re asiudhjnk ridiculously fluffy!!! I mean, if they weren’t super duper fluffy I wouldn’t have added the word “fluffy” to the title, right? So, I think my point has already been proven.

These pancakes are honestly just a dream. They’re full of that classic pancake flavor. You know the one I’m talking about – the sweet sweet scent of pancakes that just reminds you of fluffy little patties drenched in syrup. That’s the one.

The added yogurt makes them super moist without much oil, and the blueberries are just sweet little blobs of goodness that provide wonderful flavor and happiness 🙂

Because I didn’t manage to finish all of the pancakes in one sitting (despite my best efforts), I stored the leftovers in the fridge or freezer, and they were just as perfect when I heated them up in the microwave. They make the perfect 2-minute breakfasts. Just plop a few on a plate, microwave them, cover in honey and fruit and you’re good to go!

dsc_0811

dsc_0849 dsc_0850

dsc_0874

Ultra-Fluffy Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar (optional)*
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • Toppings of your choice (blueberries, honey, maple syrup, yogurt, banana…)

*If you want to eat the pancakes plain, then I’d recommend adding a little sweetener, but if you plan on eating them with maple syrup or honey, then it’s fine to omit as well

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, oil and eggs.
  3. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir together until just combined
  4. Fold in the blueberries
  5. On Working in batches, scoop 1/3 cup batter for each pancake and cook until bubbles appear on top and underside is nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook pancakes on the other side, about 1-2 minutes longer; keep warm in oven.
  6. Serve immediately with maple syrup.
  7. Lightly grease a skillet and heat over medium heat. Add in a 1/3 cup of batter and cook until bubbles appear and the bottom is golden brown. Flip over until cooked. Repeat with the rest of the batter.
  8. Serve with your desired toppings!

Mini Valentine’s Chocolate Cake (Cheat)

dsc_0664

dsc_0621

I went through so much to get this cake to work (none of which should discourage you from making it! You’ll see…)

dsc_0650jpg

So Valentine’s Day is coming up, and I figured I’d find a mini chocolate cake to bake in my heart-shaped cake pan and share that with you guys!

dsc_0697

I found the perfect recipe. I precisely measured out all my ingredients and mixed them together, only to find that the batter had turned into a thick dough instead of a silky cake batter. In my state of despair, I added in a splash of milk to thin the batter, but no luck. I was utterly confused. Everything was perfect…right?

I decided to take a look at the recipe again, reading the first ingredients and – oh. It called for 1/2 cup of flour, but because I’m so used to making full-sized cakes, my mind automatically processed it as 1 1/2 cups. uGH. Unfortunately, I had to discard that batter (after eating a bit of it, of course), and starting over. You can observe this failure here:

img_0954

Also, the cake is meant for a 6-inch circle pan, but mine is heart-shaped so it’s smaller. I had a little bit of leftover cake batter, which I made into a cute little bear cake! I was planning on drawing on it’s little eyes and nose and mouth with melted white chocolate, only to find that I don’t have white chocolate at home. Since when is that a thing?? What happened to my emergency stash of 3 white chocolate bars?

And lastly, lighting was not my friend today. I must’ve tried taking photos in at least 6 different locations around the house, hence the inconsistency with backgrounds in these photos.

dsc_0633

dsc_0684

img_0957 img_0955

Despite all that, the cake itself turned out amazing. Look at how fluffy it rose! It’s so fluffy and has the perfect chocolate flavor to it. If you wish, a chocolate ganache would pair beautifully with it, but a dusting of icing sugar works just fine as well.

dsc_0712

dsc_0686

dsc_0676

Mini Valentine’s Chocolate Cake

Adapted from Dessert for Two

Makes one 6-inch round cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup (70g) all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons (37g) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 1/3 cup full-fat sour cream or yogurt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon warm coffee
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • Powdered sugar or chocolate ganache (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, sour cream or yogurt, egg, vanilla extract, and coffee
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips
  5. Transfer the batter into a lined and greased 6-inch round cake pan and bake for 29-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
  6. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with chocolate ganache (optional)

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies (Clean)

dsc_0940

dsc_0996

Happy New Year, everyone! (yes, I know, it’s been like two weeks but still).

dsc_0945

dsc_0984

I hope that you all had an amazing Christmas and New Year’s. I definitely did. I spent the first Christmas at home for as long as I can remember. It was full of good food and good times and was probably one of the best ones ever.

dsc_0972

dsc_0979

dsc_0959

Now, it’s back to school. To be fair, workload was alright in the first week back, but I’m also training for a swim meet, which requires waking up early sometimes and leaves me tired all the time. So, you could probably guess (and if you follow me on Instagram, you’d know) that I’ve been pretty lazy with breakfast and food in general these days. I’ve just grabbed a Squarebar and a couple bread rolls for breakfast, but also – these cookies!

dsc_0961

I’ve always had my doubts with making healthy cookies. Cookies are just so technical, but these turned out beautifully. They aren’t super sweet, so they make a perfect on-the-go snack. I’d definitely want to have a batch of these in my fridge at all times. They’re healthy and delicious and studded with chocolate and they’re perfect.

dsc_0952

These cookies are soft, but hold their shape very well. They’re also slightly chewy thanks to the added oats.

And of course, chocolate makes everything better, so there’s that…

dsc_0997jpg

dsc_0992

Banana Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup chocolate chips

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius or 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda
  3. In another bowl using an electric hand mixer, or in the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the coconut oil, coconut sugar, vanilla extract, and egg together until smooth
  4. Mix in the mashed banana
  5. Fold in flour mixture until just combined, before folding in the oats and chocolate chips
  6. Use a cookie scoop to drop dough onto prepared baking sheet, flattening them down slightly
  7. Bake for 10-13 minutes until edges are golden brown

Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms (Clean)

dsc_0001

dsc_0018

Christmas is only 4 days away! These past few days have been fully dedicated to Christmas prep, and I mean purely Christmas prep. Yesterday, I spent the entire morning putting up Christmas window stickers with my mom, spent the afternoon shopping for more gifts, and spent the night wrapping gifts. I’ve probably spent at least 5 hours wrapping gifts in the past few days, but it’s all worth it. Not to brag or anything, but those gifts are looking pretty damn good. I’d show you now, but I think I’ll save that for a separate Christmas post where I can show off how festive my house is at the moment.

dsc_0038

dsc_0011

Pop quiz: Why did I choose to make peanut butter blossoms?

dsc_1095

Answer: Because Hershey’s kisses were on buy-one-get-one-free and I didn’t know what to do with all of them ^_^ (If anyone has suggestions, I’d be happy to hear them!)

dsc_1114

dsc_1123

dsc_0014

Let’s focus on these peanut butter blossoms. I do realise that the cookie-to-chocolate proportion is a little off, but hey – more chocolate is never a bad thing, right?

dsc_0012

dsc_0049

These cookies are so easy to make and are perfect for sharing during Christmas! You could even wake up half an hour early on Christmas Eve to bake these cookies – they’re that quick! You just throw together a bunch of ingredients, bake them for just under 10 minutes, stick a Hershey’s kiss on top of each one and voila! Cookies!

dsc_0029

What I love about these is the perfect pairing of both textures and flavours. The cookie has the wonderful texture of a crunchy cookie, while the chocolate just melts in your mouth. In terms of flavour – peanut butter and chocolate is a classic flavour combo, and all classics exist for a reason – because they pair so damn well together!

dsc_1118

This may perhaps be my last post before Christmas, so I wish you all a Merry Christmas and I hope that you get to spend time with your loved ones, receive lots of gifts, and eat delicious food. I know I will 😉

dsc_0005

dsc_0024

Vegan Peanut Butter Blossoms

Adapted from Amy’s Healthy Baking

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (120g) white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg white, room temperature or 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 1 tablespoon (15mL) almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (64g) natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup (96g) coconut sugar
  • 15-20 dark chocolate kisses

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the aquafaba/egg white, almond milk, and vanilla extract
  4. Stir in the peanut butter until fully combined
  5. Stir in the coconut sugar
  6. Stir in the flour mixture (you may want to use your hands for this part) until a dough forms
  7. Roll the dough into 15-20 spheres and place onto a baking sheet lined with a parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet. Flatten each sphere until it’s larger than the base of the chocolate kisses
  8. Bake for 8-10 minutes. While the cookies bake, unwrap the chocolate kisses
  9. As soon as the cookies come out of the oven, press a chocolate kiss into the centre of each one*
  10. Allow the cookies to cool and the chocolate kiss to set before serving. Serve at room temperature

*If you don’t want the kisses to soften and have a truffle-like consistency at room temperature, place the cookies into the freezer immediately to prevent the kisses from warming up

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chunks (Clean)

 dsc_0639

Ooh been a while since I’ve posted a muffin recipe. Been a while since I’ve posted at all, to be honest. Sorry about that, end of semesters are always ridiculously chaotic, but at least Winter Break is just around the corner! One more day!!

dsc_0611

dsc_0620

dsc_0647

Let me start off talking about the muffins so that you can skip directly to the recipe later without having to read all my random rambling.

I’ve made plenty of muffins in my life, and I have to say, that this is one of my all-time favourites. The crumb is absolutely perfect. It’s not dense, and it doesn’t fall apart when you bite. It’s soft and light and perfect.

And the flavour! It has a very distinctive banana bread flavour, but these are just so much easier. With banana bread, you have to wait over an hour for the banana bread to bake! With these, you need less than 20. Not to mention, muffins are the perfect snack size and easier to bring along as a to-go snack or even breakfast.

But of course, my favourite part would have to be the chocolate. I have a rule when it comes to muffins with chocolate in them. I either eat them cold – straight out of the fridge, or hot – microwaved or baked. When the muffins come straight out of the fridge, the chocolate chunks become so distinct in their tempered texture, demanding you to notice the chocolate chunks and appreciate them fully. On the other hand, when the chocolate chunks turn into melty globs of perfection…well then, they’re melty globs of perfection. It’s quite simple, really.

I happened to have hazelnut dark chocolate on hand, which I thought would add texture and contribute a nutty texture, and I’m really glad I did. Nevertheless, if hazelnuts aren’t your thing, then dark chocolate works fine as well.

dsc_0635

dsc_0641

dsc_0654

I’m so excited for break. Like, so excited. It’ll be the first time in forever that I’ve spent Christmas at home, and it’ll be extra special now because my family is rarely together nowadays. My brother’s off at university and my dad comes home once every two weeks because he was relocated. My mom is really excited too, going out and buying all sorts of Christmas decorations and gifts while I plan all the Christmas activities and movies and desserts. It’s going to be a good one.

And of course, this weekend my friends and I are going to have the best time ever. They’re both leaving quite early on in the break, so we’re making the most of this weekend – movie nights, visiting TianAnMen square, dinner dates, hot pot…

dsc_0651

dsc_0655

If you’re still reading this, which I doubt many of you are, I have a question for you: Would you rather know how you die or when you die?

My friends and I were discussing the question. One friend and I wanted to know when, and the other wanted to know how. It’s an interesting topic and a question worth discussing.

I’d rather know when I die. My reasoning was that I would be able to truly cherish my last moments, whereas, if I knew how I would die, I’d just be paranoid of everything relating to that. For instance, if I knew that I would die by getting hit by a car, I’d just have a fear of cars for the rest of my life.

But then I asked someone else while walking home and he said that he’d rather not know anything about his death. I can’t believe it hadn’t crossed my mind, but as soon as he pointed it out, I realized that it’s not necessarily a good thing to know anything about your death.

If I did know when I would die, I’d see my life as a ticking bomb. I’d feel guilty every second I don’t do something “meaningful” and I’d live in constant terror of finding meaning to life. It’s better to just sit back and go with the flow. Enjoy life, friends xx

dsc_0638 dsc_0658

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Dark Chocolate Chunks

Adapted from How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 3 large bananas, mashed (about 1.5 cups)
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • 6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (I used hazelnut dark chocolate)

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 170 degrees C or 350 degrees F
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg
  3. In a separate large bowl, whisk the egg and coconut sugar together until smooth. Whisk in the vanilla extract, coconut oil, and mashed bananas until combined
  4. Gradually add in dry ingredients, mixing until just combined
  5. Stir in the milk and mix until just combined
  6. Fold in the chopped dark chocolate
  7. Fill each muffin liner 2/3 of the way full with batter. (Optional: Place a very thinly sliced banana slice on top of the muffin and a little chopped chocolate before baking)
  8. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until tops are slightly golden. Remove and let cool