Ultra-Fluffy Blueberry Yogurt Pancakes (Clean)

I’m in a bit of a dilemma.

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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.

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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.

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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*

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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!

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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!
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Blueberry Bread (Cheat)

It’s blueberry season (I think)! Have some blueberry bread~

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I’m still in utter disbelief that school starts in half a month. It’s honestly so depressing to think about all that work ahead of me that I’ve been procrastinating – college apps, extended essay, IAs…

GAH ok I won’t think about that now. For now, I’m gonna focus on telling you about this blueberry bread, aight? Blueberry bread. Blueberry bread.

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This blueberry bread is everything you’d want in a loaf cake. It has just the right texture and flavor, not to mention that its full of delicious blueberries! Each slice is guaranteed a generous amount of blueberries.

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I’ve never really cared much about flouring blueberries before mixing them into the batter. It prevents the blueberries from bleeding, but look the gorgeous patterns they make when they bleed! It’s so pretty! Food is art, I tell you.

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Blueberry Bread

Recipe adapted from Something Swanky

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175ºC or 350ºF
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, vanilla, salt, and baking powder
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, milk, and oil
  4. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet until almost combined, with a few streaks of flour remaining
  5. Fold in the blueberries
  6. Transfer the mixture into a lined or greased 5×12 loaf pan and bake for 55-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool before slicing.

Fruity Rainbow Fro-Yo Popsicles (Clean)

Expect lots of ice cream recipes these days, ’cause my freezer it literally full of it right now.

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Also – I figured out a problem to that Photoshop problem. I had a bunch of recipes with unedited photos, but my laptop died and my brother’s laptop doesn’t have Photoshop. My solution – using a 7-day trial. Hell yes.

So instead of working on my college apps and my math IA, I’ll gladly spend these next 6 days editing all the photos I had procrastinated.

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These fruity popsicles are perfect for the killer heat this summer. I haven’t left my house for the past week until today, when I took my dog for a walk. I had only been outside for about 5 minutes before I started sweating and my dog was panting like crazy. Needless to say, it was a short walk. When I got home, the first thing I went to grab was one of these popsicles. I gave my dog her water, which she lapped up, but then she just stared at me longingly as I enjoyed my cold popsicle. Poor puppy.

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Feel free to sub in whatever fruit you want, depending on what you have on hand. Oh, and no – blueberries do not make a blue layer, but you could experiment around with spirulina powder to get a turqoise-colored layer.

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Fruity Rainbow Fro-Yo Popsicles

Ingredients

  • 3 cups greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cherries or raspberries
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped kiwi
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon açai powder
  • Honey, to taste

Method

  1. Distribute the yogurt evenly among 5 bowls
  2. In a food processor, blend each fruit separately and set aside. Start off with the lightest colors and gradually use darker ones to avoid washing your food processor/blender every time (pineapple -> kiwi -> cherries/raspberries -> blueberries
  3. Stir the pineapple, kiwi, and cherry/raspberry fruit purees into the bowls of yogurt. For the two distinct layers of purple, stir about a tablespoon of blueberry puree in one, and the rest into the other. Add the açai powder to the yogurt with more blueberry.
  4. Stir in half a teaspoon or so of honey into each bowl, if desired.
  5. Layer the yogurt into popsicle moulds. If your yogurt is runny, it may be easier to freeze the yogurt in between layers
  6. Freeze for 4-6 hours

Fluffy Blueberry Muffins – SORTED (Cheat)

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I know that I ramble about SORTED Food a lot, but I usually ramble about how they’ve changed my life by igniting the side of me that loved baking. Now, I’m gonna continue rambling, but this time, about how insanely amazing their recipes are. In particular – this recipe: “American Blueberry Muffins“.

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Firstly, you’re probably wondering why I decided to rename the recipe, changing “American” to “fluffy”. Well, here’s why: they’re fluffy as hell.

I don’t think I need to say more to that.

In all seriousness though, these muffins are so damn fluffy and so damn delicious and I found my new favorite muffin recipe. Mind you, I make muffins all the time, but these muffins are so good. They rise mile-high and have a soft, delicate crumb with a textured top layer. Not to mention, they’re filled with juicy blueberries that break open so that you get blueberry in every bite.

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I’ve never really used vanilla sugar much. I just use vanilla extract. This time, I decided to just go with the recipe and use vanilla sugar and it was so worth it. When my mom first tried it, she commented about how it was a vanilla blueberry muffin, and when I tried it out myself, I was in awe – the vanilla flavor was there. Not just a barely-noticeable sweet flavor, but vanilla.

But – on that note. I wouldn’t recommend going out and buying vanilla sugar, cause let’s be honest – that stuff is expensive. So what do you do? Why, you make your own, of course.

Last year when I went to Bali, I stocked up on vanilla pods because they’re really cheap there. I used the seeds and pod to make creme brulée, and then dried out the pod. I placed the pod into a jar and filled it with sugar and left it on my counter. Now, a few months later, the sugar has absorbed all that wonderful flavor of vanilla. Not only does it smell amazing, but it seriously heightens your baked goods! Vanilla sugar is my new favorite thing.

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These muffins are little bundles of heaven, I tell you. Little bundles of heaven…

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Fluffy Blueberry Muffins

Adapted from SORTED Food

Makes 10-12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 350g all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 generous pinch of salt
  • 200g vanilla caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 240ml buttermilk
  • 120ml sunflower oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 225g blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon demerara (raw) or brown sugar

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius and prepare a muffin tray
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla extract
  4. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture and fold gently until just combined. Do not over mix. The batter should be slightly thick and sticky
  5. Fold in about 3/4 of the blueberries
  6. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases, filling them 3/4 of the way up. Top with the rest of the blueberries and sprinkle with demerara/brown sugar
  7. Place into oven and immediately turn heat down to 180 degrees Celsius. Bake for 25 minutes until golden and an inserted toothpick comes out clean

Best Ever Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream (Cheat)

HELLO FRIENDS IT’S BEEN TOO LONG.

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In case you were wondering – it’s cause I was dying in exams. I’ve been gone for like a little over two weeks. One week was dedicated to studying, the other was dedicated to dying taking the finals.

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I’ve gotten some grades back, and I’m happy to say that I didn’t do too badly on them, except for Chemistry, of course, but luckily my other Chem grades saved me from this reaaallly really bad final exam grade.

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So I know that I just posted an ice cream recipe, but:

  1. It’s ice cream season. C’mon – there’s no denying that. The weather is H-O-T and we all need ice cream
  2. I owe a lot to ice cream for getting me through the difficult time of exams

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Oh, side note – to anyone still struggling to get through finals, I wish you all the best (of luck) and I wish that you have ice cream to help you get through it.

Anyways, with that aside, let’s talk about this seeriously amaaazing ice cream recipe. It’s honestly one of my favorites. I literally could not stop eating the ice cream batter. I probably ate like a third of the batter before forcing myself to put it in the freezer and let it be ice cream.

It’s got this wonderful, rich, and tangy flavor of cream cheese, which pairs beautifully with the sweet blueberry sauce. Speaking of which – blueberries are in season! Yay!!

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Anyways, I kid you not, this will be one of the best ice creams you’d have ever made. Please make it now and continue making it until summer is over 🙌.

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Best Ever Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

Adapted from Joy the Baker

Ingredients

For the ice cream

  • 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

For the blueberry sauce

  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 heaping cup crumbled Graham Crackers or digestive biscuits

Method

  1. For the ice cream, in a food processor, blend together the cream cheese, milk, whipping cream, brown sugar, and salt until smooth
  2. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions (about 30 to 45 minutes).
  3. While the ice cream is churning, make the blueberry sauce. In a small saucepan, heat the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, water, salt, and lemon juice together over medium-low heat. Stir until the berries burst and the juices thicken (about 5 minutes)
  4. Transfer the sauce into a small bowl and place in fridge until the ice cream finishes churning
  5. When the ice cream has finished churning, spoon it into a freezer safe container and swirl in the blueberry sauce and crackers/biscuits
  6. Place in freezer for at least 4 hours, or overnight. Allow to thaw before serving

Blueberry Almond Granola (Clean)

YAY FOR MORE BREAKFAST FOODS!

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I know that I recently posted breakfast cookies, but c’mon you can’t get enough of breakfast foods, right? I would totally be up for having breakfast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but that’s not really likely to happen. Well, it might. Come to think of it, that should be something on my (nonexistent) bucket list – eat breakfast all day. Hell yes. I’ll make a mental note to do that for my birthday. Just kidding, my birthday’s on a Monday. I just googled (or Yahoo-ed, because my VPN is being a b****) National Breakfast Day and apparently that’s sometime in early March. Seriously? Okay, you know what – I’ll add that to my baking bucket list. I know, it doesn’t really count, but shhh…

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Alright – back to the reason you’re here: granola.

Lemme tell you a little story. One day I came home to find this a bunch of packages of food on our dining room table, and I was so excited. Unshelled macadamias – so good! I just sat there for a good half hour or so breaking apart macadamias, feeling especially proud whenever I broke off the shell and was left with a full, gorgeous, sweet, and aromatic macadamia. Sorry jk that’s irrelevant, but as I was saying, there were a bunch of packages of food, including unshelled nuts and nougats and – dried blueberries. There was this pretty big package and inside it were these perfect snack-sized packages of dried blueberries. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of eating dried fruit. If it’s in a salad or in granola, I love it, but by itself? Nah.

So, eventually we (mostly my mom and grandma) finished off the little packages of dried blueberries, and my mom decided to order another package online. Somehow, she managed to order 5 packages – each with like, 20 mini-packages inside. Okay, that’s a lot of dried blueberries. But then, as a baker, I was like, I CAN BAKE THIS INTO STUFF! I usually don’t bake with dried blueberries because they’re slightly costly and we don’t usually have them around, but now we had a good bunch of dried blueberries, so I went hunting on the web before facepalming and thinking – duh, granola.

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And now we’re here.

Here, with this aromatic almond granola that’s studded with sweet, sweet dried blueberries. Cases like these – dried fruit tastes so darn good.

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I don’t know why I haven’t tried this combo before. I’ve done lots of blueberry-white chocolate, but never blueberry-almond. That’s about to change. This is seriously such a good combo. I’ve been throwing handfuls of this granola into all my nana ice creams and onto my smoothies (after I take a photo, of course, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see the ice cream/smoothie underneath. Yes, I do put on that much granola).

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Blueberry Almond Granola

Adapted from Recipe Runner

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup silvered almonds
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, almonds, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar until fully combined
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, honey, almond extract, and vanilla extract
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together until well combined
  5. Spread the granola onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown, making sure to remove the granola from the oven and stirring it to ensure that it bakes evenly
  7. After the granola is done, stir in the dried blueberries and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

White Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies (Cheat)

I need to make cookies more often.

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I’ve always loved oatmeal cookies, but the addition of fresh, plump blueberries and sweet, smooth white chocolate take these cookies to a whole new level of yum.

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These cookies are crispy on the edges, yet still soft and chewy in the center. I didn’t chill my cookie dough before baking it, so they turned out to be a little flat, which personally, I don’t mind. If you want them to be more puffy and cakey, then I’d recommend chilling them for an hour or two before baking.

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White Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Broma Bakery

Makes 14-16 large cookies

Ingredients
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch (optional, omit for a crunchier cookie)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • ⅔ cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a medium mixing bowl with an electric hand mixer, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla extract.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. With the wet ingredients mixing on low speed, slowly incorporate in the dry ingredients until almost combined. Fold in oats and white chocolate chips with a spatula until fully combined, and finally carefully fold in the blueberries, making sure not to break them
  4. Using a cookie scoop, scoop the dough onto a lined baking sheet (or just roll them into balls using your hands), leaving 2 inches in between each cookie. If you want a more puffy and cakey cookie, chill the cookie dough in the fridge for 1-2 hours before baking (I didn’t)
  5. Bake cookies for 19 minutes, or until just beginning to brown. Allow to cool on cooling rack before serving