Archive: July, 2013

July 23, 2013

Chocolate Chip Avocado Muffins (gluten-free)


My sis gave me this recipe last month (visit her at! They turned out pretty delicious, my toddlers LOVED them! The recipe is adapted from, but I substituted chocolate chips for the walnuts. I am not crazy about nuts in my desserts, & the chocolate chips add a lot of flavor!

Wet Ingredients
6 tablespoons avocado oil (or your choice of oil)
1 cups milk (almond milk or goats milk to keep it vegan)
1/2 cup natural cane sugar (unrefined)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 avocado peeled and mashed up (about 1/2 cup)

Dry Ingredients
2 cups all purpose gluten-free flour mix
1/2 cup raw cacao powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
vegan choco chips

Preheat oven to 350° F. In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a large bowl with a hand mixer on a low setting, mix all the wet ingredients together until smooth. In another bowl whisk together all the dry ingredients. Add the dry ingredient mix to the wet mix and using your mixer on low speed blend everything together (be careful not to over-mix, stop mixing once it is combined). Divide the batter into a lined muffin pan or a greased muffin pan with 12 spaces (I like to use a ice cream scooper to help with this part). Sprinkle on your topping of choice or leave them plain. (I topped mine with finely chopped almonds) Bake 20-25 minutes or until they pass the toothpick test. Set them to cool on the counter or cooling rack.

July 23, 2013

Five Unusual Pancake Recipes

Pancakes can be so much more than the annual lemon-and-sugar Shrove Tuesday. Below are 5 unusual recipes that breathe life into the floppy old pancake. Click here for your basic batter ingredients, or for more pancake ideas, here’s how to make pancakes Schwartz style.

1. Cinnamon swirl pancakes

This filling works equally well with classic pancakes as it does American-style pancakes.

Mix raisins, brown sugar and a pinch of ground cinnamon in a bowl before heating in a pan on medium-low. Slowly add small amounts of water to create a sticky paste. In another bowl, combine natural yoghurt and honey to taste.

Arrange the raisin mixture on the pancakes in a nice swirl, drizzle with the yoghurt and top with crushed walnuts and extra honey.

2. Baked cheese and mushroom pancakes

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Fry the mushrooms with garlic and thyme, adding a little seasoning and some crème fraiche when they’re done. Spoon this mixture onto your pancakes (at this point you can also add spinach or bacon if you like) and sprinkle with grated cheese.

Roll the pancakes up, place side to side in a baking dish and cover with more grated cheese. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden.

3. Pancetta and ricotta maple pancake stack

This reinvention of a classic recipe requires American-style pancakes. For a twist, add ground cinnamon, ginger and lemon zest to the batter before frying.

Fry pancetta until crispy. When the pancakes are done, it’s time to build your stack. Work in layers, adding the pancetta, crumbling ricotta cheese and dribbling maple syrup as you go. Goes fantastically well with banana milkshake.

4. Spicy lamb pancakes

The secret to these delicious pancakes is the crispy polenta crust. Add salt and lime zest to your normal batter mixture to really bring out the flavour of the lamb.

Brown lamb mince in a pan on a medium-high heat. Remove the meat from the pan and add onion, garlic and red chilli. Once softened, add the lamb along with some paprika and tomato puree and cook on a low heat for twenty minutes.

Spoon the mixture onto the pancakes and roll them up, tucking in the ends to form a parcel. Beat an egg or two and spread polenta on a plate. Brush each pancake with the egg wash, roll in the polenta and fry in a little butter until crispy and golden.

5. Coconut pancakes

Sift 100g plain flour, 1 tablespoon caster sugar and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Make a well in the middle and add an egg and 150ml coconut milk. Whisk into a thin batter and add a few drops of vanilla extract and some lemon zest.

In a separate bowl, combine grated coconut, raisins, molasses, ground cardamom and nutmeg. When the pancakes are done, stuff them with this mixture and serve with vanilla ice cream.

The simplicity of pancakes makes them the perfect blank canvas for your culinary creativity. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination and seek out those original flavour combinations.

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