Summer is underway, it’s a different summer this year, quiet and reflective.
I’ve been putting off the mundane and my worries are melting away with the warm weather.
There are some days so sweet and languorous; I never want to end…
I haven’t been cooking much, I’ve been all about the snacks and decadent summer drinks.
For a different kind of snack I make baked plantain chips, I find the plantains at my local grocery store, imported from exotic tropical places I long for.
I love plantains! I have childhood memories involving plantains the way some remember cookies and milk from when they were little.
These baked plantain chips can be made with green unripened plantains for a crispy, crunchy addictive snack akin to potato chips. When made with ripened plantains, it’s soft and deliciously sweet.
I still can’t decide which I like best, sweet or savoury; both are a treat, handy to bring along for spontaneous evening picnics on the beach.
Baked Plantain Chips
- 1 – 2 ripened (yellow) plantains, peeled and sliced thin (use green plantains for a less sweet version)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
- Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
- Grease a baking tray with half (or less) of the olive oil
- Toss the plantains in a large bowl with the remaining olive oil and salt
- Spread the plantain on the baking tray in a single layer
- Bake plantains for up to 30 minutes, turning once halfway through, until they look golden
I don’t think I ever really got the charm of going for a drive just for the sake of the ride, but I think I’m beginning to appreciate it.
Thank heavens for long weekends… on Canada Day we went for a drive along the winding and scenic Chuckanut Drive (more on that in another post).
A Sunday drive is quite an unusual way to celebrate Canada Day, considering how I’ve spent previous Canada Days, but this long weekend sort of lent itself to it.
Since we left in the morning for our drive, we wanted to bring something substantial for snacks.
These jars of yoghurt, blueberry sauce and toasted oats are a cross between breakfast and a snack and they quite compliment leisurely drives.
Not only do they make a delicious and healthy snack, they look utterly irresistible in those cute mason jars.
It’s easy to put together and adaptable – you can use granola or your favourite cereal, add in fresh fruits like strawberries, cantaloupes etc or whatever kind of sauce/syrup you fancy.
I use this recipe as a general guide to making sauces using berries; and it works for all types… blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries etc.
The trick to not getting your cereal soggy (that’s if you’re not into that sort of thing) is to layer it on top.
Our drive was special; we pulled over into one of the lookouts, perched ourselves on a huge boulder, ate our snack and let ourselves be mesmerized by stunning vistas of the sea, mountains and forest
I left things too late this long weekend to make getaway plans, so I’m going to be hanging out in the city while the lucky ones are out on their camping trips, island getaways, and cross-border adventures.
I’m not jealous; staying home isn’t all that bad especially when I can wake up to breakfast like this.
Besides I have a few local hiking and beach trips planned if the weather holds up.
And this breakfast practically puts itself together, just how lazy weekend mornings should be.
I love finding (new to me) Italian cookies, and I found another interesting cookie from Doria, this is the Melodie ai cereali, a shortbread biscuit made with wholegrains and a touch of yoghurt.
It’s crunchy, crumbly and soft, and little nutty and lightly sweetened, and it doesn’t have a crappy ingredients list (for a packaged food).
It’s good on its own, but on mornings when you don’t want to cook breakfast and box-cereal and milk just won’t do, this is what @adjoa does… she mixes broken up pieces of melodie cookies with yoghurt and blueberries.
It’s quick and easy, filling and not rushed, the breakfast of long leisurely mornings.
This is a simple and good breakfast, I suppose you could use any grainy cookie here if you wanted, but this melodie cookie makes it so much special.
And you know what? I’m kinda glad the neighbours are away so I can have a quiet breakfast.
I had a good weekend, perhaps a little too good a weekend; so of course, fate had to course-correct – by Saturday night I’d managed to dump a glass of water all over my laptop’s keyboard!
It finally felt like a spring on Sunday, the kind of day where you could actually try that old Vancouver adage; ‘go skiing in the morning and sailing in the afternoon’.
Or if you’re me; go snowshoeing in the morning, and be back down in time for a late afternoon picnic in the park.
And in between these activities – there’s even time to stop by the Apple Store to get the bad news.
Somehow, the sun improves my outlook and I’m all… “whatever! It’s just stuff… nature is what heals the soul!”
I packed my little picnic and walked along the seawall headed for the park.
And through it all, these muffins are what kept me going…
Almond butter and banana muffins… sweet bananas with nutty almond butter.
Almond Butter & Banana Muffins
(adapted from One Green Planet)
- 1 Â½ cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup uncooked old-fashioned oats
- Â½ cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- Â½ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 6 tablespoon almond butter
- 1 cup mashed banana
- 2 tablespoon ground flax seed + 4 tablespoon water (mixed, and set aside)
- 1 cup coconut milk
- Crushed nuts/flaxseed/chocolate chips (for topping)
- Preheat oven to 350Â°F.
- Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl, mix well
- In a separate bowl, stir oil and almond butter until well mixed
- Add mashed banana, flax mixture and coconut milk and mix well
- Combine the dry ingredients with the dry ingredients, and mix until it’s all well combined.
- Spoon batter into paper-lined (or greased) muffin pan, about Â¾ full for each and top with a few toppings of your choice
- Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean
- Transfer to a wire cooling rack and enjoy!
The microwave is on the fritz, so I had to make other plans for dinner.
AB&J… almond butter and jam bagel for dinner