Recipes: Choc Brownie Muffins

Okay, there is absolutely nothing healthy about this one but since it came by special request from G2 – and it’s holidays – I thought: “why not?” So here it is…

Brownie Muffins


  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 35g cocoa powder
  • 75g caster sugar
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 95g choc bits
  • 125ml Nutella
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 300ml buttermilk


  • Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients.
  • Spoon mixture into a prepared pan.
  • Bake at 190C for 20 minutes.
  • Remove and cool.
  • Top with Nutella for even more decadence.

Choc Brownie Muffins

If are looking for a slightly healthier recipe, you can try this one: Hazelnut Chocolate Muffins

Recipe: The Brain Smoothie

This is our Brain Smoothie inspired by recent findings on Brain foods

The Brain Smoothie

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 5 tbsp of vanilla yoghurt
  • 2 dates
  • 1 handful of dried black currants
  • 1 cup of frozen blueberries
  • 30g walnuts (soaked in water for 4 hours, then rinse)
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 apple
  • 1 banana
  • 12 frozen red globe grapes
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp barley grass powder

Blend everything in a high powered blender and serve.

Many smoothies add ice cubes, we like to freeze our fruits and bananas instead so we don’t have to add ice.

New Brain Foods Improve Cognitive Function

These new brain foods make easy additions to the kids’ morning smoothies…

Walnuts Boost Memory, Concentration and Processing Speed

Photo Credit: Amazon

According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition, Health and Aging by Arab and Ang (2014), eating a handful of walnuts (about 10g a day) may help boost memory, concentration and the speed at which your brain processes information.

Study Details:

  • Adults 20–59 years old reported their walnut consumption
  • The group was tested for a variety of cognitive tests
  • Significantly better outcomes were noted in all cognitive test scores among those with higher walnut consumption
  • Conclusion: These significant, positive associations between walnut consumption and cognitive functions among all adults, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity suggest that daily walnut intake may be a simple beneficial dietary behavior.

See also: Diet Of Walnuts, Blueberries Improve Cognition; May Help Maintain Brain Function

* Soak them in water for four hours before rinsing and blending into your smoothie.

Black Currants Improve Mood, Attention and Accuracy

Photo Credit: Amazon

A study from the Journal of Functional Foods by Watson et al (2015) reveals that blackcurrants improve mood, attention and accuracy. Blackcurrants may also be useful for individuals with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s.

Study Details:

  • 36 healthy adults aged between 18 and 35 years were divided into three groups and given a 250ml drink prior to conducting a set of demanding mental performance assessments. The drinks were:
    • a sugar and taste-matched placebo (no blackcurrant)
    • an anthocyanin-enriched New Zealand blackcurrant extract (Delcyan™ from Just the Berries)
    • a cold-pressed juice from the New Zealand blackcurrant cultivar ‘Blackadder’, bred by Plant & Food Research
  • The assessments showed that after consuming the Delcyan™ and ‘Blackadder’ drinks, attention and mood were improved while mental fatigue was reduced.
  • Blood tests showed that the activity of the monoamine oxidase enzymes (MAO) was strongly decreased after consuming the ‘Blackadder’ juice, indicating the potential for compounds found in ‘Blackadder’ blackcurrants as a functional food ingredient to support brain health or managing the symptoms of disorders like Parkinson’s disease.

* We add organic dried black currants to our smoothies.

Milk and Dairy May be Good for Your Brain


Photo Credit: SOMMAI /

A study from The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Choi et al., 2015) suggests that milk could be good for your brain.

Study Details:

  • 60 participants were asked about their diets in the days leading up to brain scans which were used to monitor levels of glutathione – a powerful antioxidant – in the brain.
  • Researchers found that participants who had indicated they had drunk milk recently had higher levels of glutathione in their brains.

Glutathione could help stave off oxidative stress and the resulting damage caused by reactive chemical compounds produced during the normal metabolic process in the brain. Oxidative stress is known to be associated with a number of different diseases and conditions, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and many other conditions.

A randomized, controlled trial that seeks to determine the precise effect of milk consumption on the brain is still needed.

* Milk makes a perfect smoothie base.

Recipes: Blueberry Banana Muffins

G1 said the blueberry muffins and the banana muffins were nice but it would be even better if we could combine the two – so here we are… Blueberry Banana Muffins modified from our Banana Maple Muffin recipe.

Blueberry Banana Muffins


  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 50g rye flour
  • 1/2 tsp bicarb soda
  • 100g brown sugar
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 2/3 c banana, mashed
  • 1 c frozen blueberries
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 80ml olive oil


  • Preheat oven to 190C.
  • Sift dry ingredients into a large bowl.
  • Stir in maple syrup and bananas, then eggs, buttermilk and oil, then blueberries last.
  • Spoon mixture into a muffin pan or muffin cups.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.

The verdict

Looks like we have another winning recipe here – well, for one boy anyway. Waste of time to ask the other one…

Recipes: Hazelnut Chocolate Muffins

G2’s going through a baking streak. He asked to make another cake but with icing this time. And it had to be chocolate. Since it was one of those rushed afternoons, I convinced him to make hazelnut chocolate muffins instead hoping it would pass off for his chocolate cake…

I found an old Women’s Weekly Coffee Chocolate Muffins and adapted it. Since we don’t have proper muffin trays, I hate it when my muffins overflow because they run down the sides of the muffin cups. To avoid that problem, I under-filled the muffin cups. Here they are pre-icing…

Hazelnut Muffins


  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 100g rye flour
  • 35g ground hazelnuts (I used a blend of hazelnuts and walnuts)
  • 200g brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp nutella
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 375ml milk
  • 180ml olive oil


  • 160g icing sugar
  • 1 tbp cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp nutella
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tbsp milk

Sift icing sugar and cocoa. Stir in remaining ingredients.


  • Preheat oven to 190C.
  • Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
  • Stir in wet ingredients and mix well.
  • Spoon mixture into muffin cups and bake for 20 minutes.
  • When muffins are cooled, top with hazelnut choc icing.

The Verdict:

G2 thinks they’re great. G1 prefers the banana and blueberry muffins that G2 won’t eat. Seriously? What do they think I am? A bakery?

 Powered by Max Banner Ads