Category Archives: Snacks

Olive oil Zucchini Banana Bread with chocolate chips

Olive oil Zucchini Banana Bread with chocolate chips

Shredded zucchini and mashed banana work perfectly together and ensure that this nutritious loaf stays nice and moist. The banana adds sweetness so there is no need to add too much sugar.
It’s the best of all quick breads if you ask me. With the added chocolate chips to make it a real treat. Lightly sweet and perfectly fluffy and moist, and very healthy too.


INGREDIENTS:

WET
• 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
• 2 large eggs
• 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
• 1/4 cup honey
• 1/3 cup mild olive oil
• 2 tsp. vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cup grated zucchini, don’t pack to measure, instead fit loosely in the cup. (about 1 medium/large zucchini) SEE NOTE about drying zucchini*


DRY
• 1 cup oat flour, made by simply grinding oats in a food processor
• 1 cup brown rice flour or whole wheat all purpose flour
• 2 teaspoon baking powder
• pinch salt
• 1/2 cup chocolate chips

INSTRUCTIONS:


1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Spray one 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, add the the first six ingredients and whisk to combine.
3. In another bowl combine the flours, baking powder and salt, stir in the grated zucchini. Add the wet ingredients, and stir with a spatula, now add the chocolate chips and stir thru.
4. Turn batter out into the prepared pan , smoothing the top lightly with a spatula.


5. Bake for about 55 minutes or until the top is golden, the center is set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
6. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Note – place grated zucchini on a clean kitchen towel and roll it up, wring out as much moist as you can.

Enjoy!

Healthy Salted Caramel Twix Bars

These home-made Twix Bars are a nutrient powerhouse!

Aside from being an easy, on the go snack, these nutrient powerhouses contain essential vitamins, minerals, protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Yes, they are super healthy and super delicious.  And they keep you full and satisfied for a long time.

The base of the twix is made with healthy oats, nuts and some maple syrup.

The caramel layer is made out of dates, some of the most impressive benefits of Medjool dates include their ability to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, aid bone strength, protect cognition, boost metabolism, ensure proper hormone production, optimize digestion and help with normal growth and development.
Medjool dates also contain notable levels of magnesium, manganese, copper and calcium, all of which are required to improve bone mineral density in the body. Even if blood tests show that you are not deficient in minerals, this could be because your body is extracting minerals from your bones, especially women are prone to calcium deficiency so adding essential minerals in every snack is an important health decision.

So what are you waiting for? Let’s make some Twix!
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🔪 Prep time : 15 minutes
⏰ Cooking time : 25 minutes
🍪 Makes : 16 Twix


INGREDIENTS:
BASE
• 1 cup cashew nuts, preferably soaked for a few hours
• 2 cups oats
• ½ Cup (pea) protein powder
• ¼ tsp. salt
• ¼ cup flax seeds
• ¼ cup coconut oil melted
• ¼ cup peanut butter,
• ½ cup maple syrup or agave syrup or a combo of both (I use 50/50)
CARAMEL
• 1 cup (heaped, well packed) pitted medjool dates
• ¼ tsp. instant coffee granules
• A few drops of natural caramel extract (optional)
• A few tablespoons of water
CHOCOLATE TOP
• ½ cup roughly chopped 80% dark chocolate
• 2 tsp. coconut oil
• Flaked sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Pre heat the oven to 350° F / 180° C
2. Drain the cashew nuts and pat dry.
3. Place all the dry ingredients in a high powered food processor and process until fine.
4. Transfer to a bowl.
5. Place the cashew nuts in the food processor and blend until smooth.
6. Place the dry ingredients back into the food processor.
7. Heat the peanut butter, syrup and coconut oil briefly in the microwave until just softened. Add to the rest of the ingredients.
8. Mix everything well.
9. Line a square 8” / 20 cm. baking pan with parchment paper
10. Place all the base ingredients in the baking pan and press down firmly.
11. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden on top and firm to the touch.
12. Remove from the oven and let cool on a rack in the pan.
Meanwhile make the caramel.
1. Place the dates in a sauce pan with a thick bottom to prevent burning and add the water.
2. Add the coffee granules
3. Cook slowly, stirring often to break down the dates completely. Add a little water if necessary.
4. This can take up to ten minutes depending on the dryness of the dates
5. Keep stirring until you have a thick paste. (that smells heavenly)
6. Add the caramel extract
7. Let cool completely.

When ready to assemble, spread the date caramel all over the cookie base, evenly.
Place in the refrigerator until firm and cooled. Or in the freezer if you are in a hurry
Melt the chocolate in 20 second intervals in the microwave until melted.
Spread evenly over the caramel and return to the fridge until set.
When you are ready to cut the Twix bars, make sure to immerse a sharp knife in hot water before cutting thru the chocolate or it will break unevenly. Cut into 16 squares.
Sprinkle over some flaked sea salt.
And I’m really wondering how long they will last in your home…..let me know, ok?

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Chocolate Granola, only 6 Ingredients

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This fantastic Granola is chocolatey and super crunchy. It has very little fat and very little sweetener. All natural, all healthy, ’cause that’s what we’re doing this month. Are you with me?

…and ONLY 6 INGREDIENTS.

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INGREDIENTS;

  • 4 Cups whole rolled oats
  • 1 Cup large Coconut flakes
  • 1/2 Cup whole almonds
  • 1/3 Cup honey
  • 1/4 Cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 Cup cacao powder

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METHOD:

Pre heat the oven to 160 C / 320 F

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients.
Layer a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the granola mix out evenly over the baking sheet.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Toss the granola around at least 4 times during cooking time making sure it toasts evenly all over.
After 30 minutes. Take out the tray and leave to cool completely before storing away in a large Mason jar or similar.
Will keep for about three to four weeks.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

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Detox tips for January plus Smoothie freezer packs.

Let’s get down to business.

If you are anything like me, you couldn’t wait to get back on track and start with nutritious healthy food now that we’ve started the new year.
I feel like I am in desperate need to replenish. How about you?

Although I had a great time during the whole month of December, enough is enough.
The first thing I do, is to clean out the fridge and check very well what you have, write it down if necessary. Plan meals to use up leftovers if you have any, and as far as I’m concerned throw out the fattening stuff. Get rid of chips and salty stuff too. We need to get rid of all that water retention, you may not notice it per se, but you’ve got excess water weight for sure, unless you only ate carrots and cucumbers in December.
Cleaning your fridge helps you to get the right mindset, it gets you in the mood to fill the fridge with vegetables and beautiful crunchy nutritious foods.

Clean the fridge as you normally would and then rinse with warm water and soda to get rid of any smells.
Then what I do is, I get lots of vegetables, wash them, prepare them and put them in containers in the fridge at eye level. So whenever I’m hungry I can pick a healthy snack, Other things I may have are a bowl of hard boiled eggs, fat free yoghurt and low carb fruits. Some nuts are ok too, unless you want to loose a lot of weight then you really need to watch your portions, no more than 1 tablespoon a day.

TIP No. 1:
First thing in the morning drink a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon.  It purifies and detoxes the body from toxins and also kick starts your metabolism. And I mean…..it does wonders.Wait for twenty minutes before consuming anything else.
Meanwhile make your detox water for the day.

TIP No. 2:
Make Detox water
Boil 2 liters of water ( about 0.5 gallon / 8 1/3 Cups) and let it sit for two minutes or so.
Pour in a large container or teapot over 2 tablespoons of Dandelion thee, the juice of half a lemon, a few slices of ginger and one bag of green tea. Leave to infuse and drink all of it during the day. If you must,  sweeten with little bit of Stevia.

Now let’s make some smoothie packs;

When you have smoothie packs ready in the freezer you will be less tempted to grab something else, and you might even feel a little guilty if you do because you really don’t have any excuses not to have a smoothie (wink).

The first thing you need to do, a day in advance, is to freeze coconut milk in an ice cube tray. It’s the best thing ever, great for smoothies and also for recipes that require just a bit of coconut milk.

Then we are going to freeze two or three more trays with a mixture of yoghurt, flax and almond butter, like this;

32 oz. of high protein yoghurt (more protein will keep you full the longest, I like Skyr)

3 tablespoons flax seeds

6 tablespoons almond butter.

Mix this in a bowl and divide over the ice cube trays. Freeze. When ready divide over six zip lock bags. This is the base. Now add the remaining ingredients and store the bags in the freezer. I have given you a few examples of what to put in the zip lock bags, but you can add whatever you like.

       

Blueberry Acaï Spinach

1 cup spinach

1 cup blueberries

2 tsp. Acaï  powder or a frozen Acaï  pack

1/2 banana, sliced

Pineapple Goji

1 cup pineapple cut into chunks

1 tbsp. dried goji berries (I love these)

1 whole banana, sliced

5 frozen coconut milk cubes

Mango Passion Baobab

1 cup Mango chunks

pulp from 1 passion fruit

1 banana

1 tsp. Baobab powder (optional)

1 tangerine in segments

Green Detox

1 cup kale

1 apple or pear, peeled and core removed

1 kiwi

1 lemon segment

1/2 banana

Strawberry Fields

1 1/2 cups strawberries

1 orange, peeled and in segments

1/2 banana

Raspberry Delight

1 Cup raspberries

1/2 Cup strawberries

5 frozen coconut milk cubes

1/2 banana

Chocolate Moca Smoothie

1 banana

1/2 cup blueberries

1 tablespoon semi sweet chocolate chips

1/4 avocado

1 tsp. instant expresso powder

(no yogurt cubes in this one, replace with milk of choice)

When ready to use:

Place freezer bag ingredients in a blender and add 1/2 cup almond milk or soy. Blend until smooth. Add a little water if you like it a bit thinner. Enjoy and feel the goodness!

If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Vegan Brownie Cookie Squares with Chocolate Fudge Layer

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I love anything you can mix in one big bowl and then press into a tin.

These cookie squares are somewhere between a brownie and a cookie, hence the name. They are super quick to make and so nutrient dense that one little square will be enough to last you until lunch or dinner.

I have used half Buckwheat flakes  and half Oat flakes just because I happened to have it but you can use one or the other or a mixture of both.

If your dates are dry, soak them in water for about an hour before using.

I have used a bit of Lucuma, but if you don’t have it, it’s fine without.

*Lucuma  is made from whole Peruvian lucuma fruit that has been dried at low temperatures and milled into a fine powder. It is a  low-glycemic sweetener with many nutrients including beta-carotene, iron, zinc, vitamin B3, calcium and protein. Lucuma has a maple-caramel like taste and I like to use it in sweet things and smoothies.

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Makes 16 squares

Ingredients;

Brownie cookie;

  • 1 C. Buckwheat Flakes
  • 1 C. Oat flakes
  • 5 tbsp. Cacao Powder
  • 2 tsp. *Lucuma Powder  (optional)
  • 1/4 C. Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/2 C. Peanut Butter  or an nut butter
  • 5 large soft Medjool dates, stones removed
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 3 tbsp. Light Agave Syrup
  • 2 tbsp. Coconut Oil, melted or left in a warm place until soft.
  • Sprinkles (optional)

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Raw Chocolate Fudge Layer;

  • 1/4 C. Raw Cocoa powder
  • 1/4 C. Coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tbsp. Date syrup
  • 2 tbsp. Agave

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Instructions;

Blend the Buckwheat and Oat flakes until you have  flour and place in a bowl.

Add the remaining dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon.

In a food processor blend the Medjool dates until you have a paste, add a splash of water if necessary. Add the nut butter, the vanilla, the agave and the coconut oil. Blend until well mixed.

If you are using a home made nut butter you can add a pinch of salt. Store bought nut butters have salt already.

Now mix the dry into the wet and mix thoroughly. To test the consistency press a bit of mixture between your fingers or try to make a tiny ball, if it sticks together it good to go, if it crumbles add a little bit of water, or coconut oil. Blend, repeat.

Line a square dish 8″x 8″,  with parchment paper, press the cookie brownie mixture into the dish and cover with cling film, refrigerate for a couple of hours until firm. Cover with a thin layer of raw chocolate or leave as is.

For the Chocolate fudge layer, mix all the ingredients and stir well to mix, spread or pour over the squares. Decorate with sprinkles and leave in the fridge to set. About one hour should be enough. Cut into 16 squares.

Note: the chocolate will melt slightly if left at room temperature for a while.

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If you try this recipe let me know! Leave a comment below and don’t forget to snap a pic and tag it  #thecookingspoonblog on instagram! You’ll make my day.

Raw Chocolate with Berries and Nuts

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Making your own chocolate is probably one of the easiest thing to make in the whole wide world. And the good part is….it’s actually good for you. Obviously in moderation because fat is still  fat no matter how healthy, but at least you don’t have to feel guilty when indulging. I have used maple syrup to sweeten it and coconut oil instead of cocoa butter. And I thought since the holiday season is coming up it might come in handy to have some healthier options on hand.

So here we go, pretty straight forward and you can add anything you like, nuts, seeds and dried fruits of choice.

Makes 1 large bar 

Ingredients;

  • 1 C. Organic Grade A Dark Maple Syrup
  • 1 C. Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, melted
  • 1 C. Organic Cacao Powder, Raw plus 2 tbsp.
  • 1/2 tsp. Organic Pure Vanilla Extract
  • Dried fruits and nuts

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Method;

Melt the coconut oil by putting it in a glass bowl and placing in a hot water bath. Or melt it simply by leaving it at room temperature or near an oven or heater.

Add the cocoa powder , maple syrup and vanilla extract. Beat very well to combine.

Get a plastic container and lightly oil it, I use a Tupperware dish because it’s flexible and I can just flip out the chocolate when it has set.

So place the mixture in the Tupperware container and sprinkle with whatever nuts and berries you have chosen. Leaf in the fridge to set overnight or if you’re in a hurry put it in the freezer for about an hour.

When ready to serve or eat, flip out the chocolate and break into large pieces for serving.

You have to store this chocolate in the fridge because it will melt at room temperature.

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Not quite what you’re looking for? How about these healthy  Bounty Bars

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Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Bar, an easy recipe for fat free and sugar free bars. Great for breakfast or as a snack. High Protein!!! SO Good.

With Halloween behind us it’s time to get back on track, at least until Christmas. Can you believe it’s only seven weeks away.

These bars are the bomb. No refined sugar and no added fat whatsoever, just a tiny bit from the sunflower seeds. The chocolate I’ve used is sugar free which you can get at any health store or good supermarket.

Basically super healthy and trust me, you really can’t tell they’re sugar free and fat free, they taste as if they are very naughty. So it’s a win win.

Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

      

Makes : 16 squares

Needed: Baking dish 8 x 8″

Ingredients;

  • 2 C. Gluten Free Oats
  • 1/2 C. Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 1/2 C. Xylitol (or sweetener of choice)
  • 1/2 C. Sunflower Seeds
  • 1/4 C. Ground Flaxseed
  • 1/4 C. Almond Flour
  • 1 tbsp. Stevia Extract
  • 1 tbsp. Lucuma Powder (optional)
  • 1 tbsp. Psyllium Husk Powder
  • pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 2/3 C. Applesauce
  • 1/4 C. Unsweetened Soy milk
  • 1 C. Frozen Cherries, cut in half
  • 1/2 C. Sugar Free Chocolate Chips

Decoration:

  • 2 oz Chocolate
  • 3 – 4 Pistachios
  • chopped Goji Berries (optional)

Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Instructions;

Preheat oven to 400° F/ 200° C

prepare your baking dish by spraying it with oil, then lining it with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine all the ingredients in the order stated above. Mix well but carefully. Press firmly into the prepared baking dish with the back of a spoon. I find that metal spoons stick less than wooden spoons.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before decorating.

To decorate, chop the chocolate fine and put in a glass bowl. Microwave until melted at 20 second intervals. When melted spoon over the bars with a zigzag motion. Grate pistachios over the bars with a fine mandolin.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Almond Cherry Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Not quite what you’re looking for? How about these bars Macadamia-Cashew Bars

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Spiced Pumpkin Soup with a twist…

 

Spiced Pumpkin Soup with a twist...This soup recipe will become one of your favorites, it's quick and easy to make. Smooth and comfort food at it's best.I thecookingspoon.org

…and with XXL Cheese Croutons and crunchy pumpkin seed topping!

I’ve been making this soup for at least ten years and it’s very very comforting and has a velvet like texture. When it’s raining outside this is the kind of soup you look forward to.

I was about to make it for lunch when I realized I didn’t have a enough onions. Yikes, that ment I had to go outside again and it was pouring with rain.

Thank goodness the supermarket is just across the street so I put on my raincoat and made a run for it! I came back a little soaked but hey, this soup’s worth it.

The soup only takes about 15 minutes to prepare at the most, plus 30 minutes of simmering.  During the simmering you can make the crunchy seed topping and prepare the croutons. It really is a meal in itself, but you could serve it as a first course too, just serve small portions since it is quite filling.

I’ve added a super delicious crunchy topping of spicey pumpkin seeds and some XXL cheesy croutons. YUM!

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Serves 6

Ingredients Soup:

  • 2 tbsp. Butter (use coconut oil for vegans)
  • 2 large onions, peeled and chopped fine
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped fine
  • 2 tsp. Coriander , ground
  • 1 tsp. Cumin, ground
  • 2 lbs. peeled and cubed pumpkin, fresh or frozen
  • 3 C. chicken stock made with 3 Bouillon Cubes (use vegetable stock for vegans/vegetarians)
  • 3/4 C. Apple Juice without added sugar
  • 1 ripe peeled banana, sliced
  • 3 tbsp. Almond Meal
  • 1 tsp. Sambal Oelek

Method;

In a large pan, melt the butter, add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes on medium low. Add the garlic, stir around and add the spices. Stir a couple of times. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to  medium simmer and leave to cook for thirty minutes until everything is very tender. Turn off the heat. Blend with a hand blender until completely smooth.

Ingredients Crispy Pumpkin Seeds:

  • 1/2 C. Pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. cajun seasoning
  • 1 tsp. honey (use coconut sugar for vegans)

Method;

Heat a small frying pan over medium high heat. Add the oil.  Add the seeds and toast tossing constantly for about three minutes. Add the remaining ingredients. Cook for an other minute. Transfer the seeds to a tray lined with baking parchment and let cool until ready to use.

 

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Ingredients for the XXL Croutons;

  • 1 baguette
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. butter softened  (use coconut oil for vegans/vegetarians)
  • 4 – 6  slices thick cheese (use vegan or omit)

Method;

Preheat the grill of your oven.

Slice the baguette as diagonally as you can to get long slim pieces.

Butter the bottom of the slices and place on a lined baking tray. Cover with the cheese and grill in the middle rack of the oven until golden on top for about 5 minutes.

To serve, ladle some soup into a bowl or mug, sprinkle with the crispy pumpkin seeds a place a xxl crouton on top. Yum.

Enjoy!

Myra XO

No Bake Almond Protein Bars

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Makes: 12 bars

Needed: Glass baking dish 8×8″

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These super quick bars are packed with protein and nutrients to keep you going for a ages and are also really great as a pre or post work out snack. Kids love them too.

Just 5 basic ingredients!!!

Ingredients;

  • 1 1/3 C. Gluten Free Oat Flour
  • 1/4 C. Plant Based Protein Powder, Sweet Vanilla Bean
  • a pinch of Himalayan Salt
  • 1/2 C. Almond Butter
  • 1/4 C. Honey ,  Maple Syrup or Light Agave Nectar
  • Some Almonds for decorating.

TIP No.1 : add some Pumpkin Pie Spice, Cinnamon or Vanilla Extract to suit your mood.

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Method;

Put oat flour and protein powder with a pinch of salt together in a bowl and stir to mix. Add some spices like suggested above if you want, but it’s not necessary since they taste great without too. Add the almond butter and honey. Mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Add a drop of milk or water if it seems to dry.

Oil spray your baking dish first and then line with parchment paper, press the mixture very firmly in to the dish. Decorate with the Almonds if desired.

Place in the freezer for about an hour before cutting or overnight in the refrigerator.

Eat within 5 days.

TIP No.2: Dip them in very dark melted Chocolate (70% Cocoa) , if you want to be extra naughty.

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Not quite what you were looking for? How about Black Bean Brownies

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Halloween Donuts

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GUESS what…it’s almost HALLOWEEN….

So exciting, I love Halloween. We also love making all food Halloween-ish, like these cute little Halloween Donuts. They are super easy and are baked rather than fried in oil. Everyone loves them, see for yourself.

Makes 6 Donuts

Needed: Donut Pan

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Ingredients;

  • 1 C. All Purpose Flour
  • Remove one tablespoon and replace it with Corn Starch
  • 1 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp. Baking Soda
  • pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1 large egg at room temperature
  • 1/3 C. fine Caster Sugar
  • 6 tbsp. Buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp. melted Butter
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract

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Method;

Pre heat oven to 350 F

Sieve the first four ingredients very well together.

In an other bowl, combine the remaining ingredients.

Stir in to the flour mixture. DO NOT OVER MIX.

Grease your doughnut pan or oil spray. Divide the batter between the holes.

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Insert a tooth pick to test if they are done. If it comes out dry they are ready. Remove them from the oven. Let cool completely before icing.

For the icing I have used confectioners sugar with natural food colours

and a Halloween Sprinkle Mix.

The icing has to be quite thick or it will absorb into the doughnuts.

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