Berry Good Banana Bread.

We love our banana bread in this house, as it is, with chocolate, with yoghurt, with nuts and now with berries.

The best thing about this cake is it works well with whichever berries you have on hand. I have made it with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries and it always turns out great. I have also made with with sugar, and honey and it turned out well too.

Banana strawberry goodness!

This is a perfect treat for breakfast, tea time, school snack, dessert and even as a gift for a loved who loves banana bread.

Let us get started.

Ingredients are:-

1. 2 1/2 cups self raising flour. (If using All purpose flour, remember to add 11/4 tsp of baking powder and 1 tsp baking soda, plus a small pinch of salt).

2. 1 level tsp ground cinnamon.

3. 1 tbsp desiccated coconut (optional).

4. 1 1/2 cup sugar or sweet honey.

5. 4 large mashed really ripe bananas.

6. 1 cup frozen strawberries or raspberries. (I usually let them thaw a bit and mash roughly).

7. 1/3 cup coconut oil (or vegetable oil).

8. 2 large eggs.

9. 1 tsp vanilla.

10. 1 cup strawberry or mixed berry yoghurt.

Method.

1. Preheat oven to 180 °C and grease your baking tin really well.

3. Sift your flour and cinnamon in a large bowl, add the coconut and mix well.

4. In another bowl, mix the oil, sugar and eggs till well combined, then add the mashed banana and berries, followed by the vanilla.

5. Add dry ingredients to the wet as well as the yoghurt. Be careful not to overmix.

6. Add the batter to the pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hr, till cake is ready and a skewer comes out clean. I usually lower the temperature to about 160 after twenty minutes, and it takes about the same time to bake.

7. Let cake rest in pan for ten minutes then flip it carefully onto a rack and let cool completely in an airy area.

Baking times may vary as ovens are different so start checking at about the 50 minutes mark.

Looks so good!

Cut a slice and enjoy it!

Tip: I love making it in my bundt pan, but it works well in any large baking tin.

Baked this one with honey, it’s just a bit darker but tastes just as delicious as the one made with sugar.

It looks, smells and tastes so good. It is moist and crumbs beautifully too. Definitely worth a try don’t you think?

One Bowl Banana Muffins.

These muffins are so sweet and fluffy. Perfect for tea time, snack time and the kid’s lunchboxes.

They do not take too much time to make, use what you have on hand and only one bowl from beginning to end. What’s not to to love about them.

Below is the recipe card.

Makes 12 muffins.

They rise so beautifully!

Try them and enjoy!

Love,

Wanjoro.

Baked Rice Balls.

Rice balls are a fave way to use up leftover rice in our house, and they make a perfect snack for the kids’ lunchboxes too.

Lunch box ready with tuna and cheese rice balls with a salad on the side.

Add in finely chopped vegetables, spices, herbs and cheese, they are quite versatile in terms of how you can flavour them up.

I like using short grained rice for the rice balls. It sticks together better than my beloved basmati, and the brand I use has a lovely aroma too. (I use Numa, which is a local Ugandan brand). I also prefer baking them rather than frying as its less to clean up and healthier too.

For the ingredients, I usually use:-

1. 2 cups of already cooked and chilled short grain rice.

2. 1 tsp dried mixed herbs.

3. 1/4tsp ground tumeric

4. 1 tsp paprika

5. Salt and pepper to taste.

6. 1 cup grated cheese (Cheddar, mozzarella or a mix of both).

7. 1 tbsp mayonnaise.

8. 1 egg.

9. 2 tbsp breadcrumbs.

10. 1/2 cup of drained and shredded tuna, or chopped sandwich ham or chicken.

11. 1/2 cup mixed finely chopped veggies. ( I like adding onion, garlic, and bell peppers)

(Tip: if you opt to fry the balls instead of baking, you can roll them in some all purpose / besan flour/ rice flour then fry to get a crispy layer on top).

See the crispy cheese crust?

Method.

The rice balls are so easy to make.

1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.

2. Line a baking tray with some baking paper.

3. In a large bowl, combine all your preferred ingredients well. Roll them into balls and place them on the baking tray. I usually get about 18- 20 balls at a go.

These batch contained cheddar cheese with finely chopped vegetables, ready for the oven.

4. Spray lightly with some olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve them with a salad of choice and ketchup. They are so yummy.

My daughter loves hers with ketchup.

Easy to make, colourful, healthy, fuss free, filling and so tasty.

Definitely worth a try!

Red Velvet cream cheese swirl muffins.

The title is a mouthful I know, but imagine red velvet and cream cheese goodness in one bite? Yum!

Decadence!

These muffins are moist, colourful, flavourful and not at all hard to make.

The cream cheese swirl makes them even more beautiful and delicious.

Ingredients.

• 1 1/3 cups all purpose flour.

• 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder.

• 1/2 tsp salt.

• 1/2 cup of softened unsalted butter.

• 1 cup of sugar.

• 1 egg

• 3/4 cup buttermilk. Made by adding some lemon juice to whole milk, and let it stand a while till it thickens.

• 1 tbsp red food colouring. ( I used liquid).

• 1 tsp vanilla essence.

• 1/2 tsp of apple cider vinegar.

• 1/2 tsp baking soda.

For the swirl, our ingredients are:-

• 2 – 3 tbsp softened cream cheese.

• 1/4 cup caster sugar.

• 1/2 tsp vanilla

• 1 egg.

Preheat oven at 180°C and line a 12 hole muffin tin.

Method.

• In a small bowl, add the buttermilk, then the food colour and vanilla.

• In a larger bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Mix well together.

• Mix the softened butter with the sugar, then add the egg. Mix well.

• Add part of the flour mixture then the buttermilk, mix gently then add again till it is all mixed well and smooth, but do not overdo it.

• In another small bowl, mix the baking soda and vinegar well, it will fizz up and add to the red velvet batter. Mix gently together then spoon into the prepared muffin cases.

• For the swirl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg till smooth. Add about 2 teaspoonfuls of the mixture on each of the prepared muffin batter.

(I always end up overfilling mine.😅)

• You can swirl with a toothpick or teaspoon.

• Bake for 15- 20 minutes. Dependent on oven. Check with a toothpick for doneness from the 15 minute mark.

Don’t they look good?

They smell, look and taste so good. They rarely last in our house, end up being gobbled up very fast.

They are so delicious but not too sweet. The cream cheese adds a lovely tanginess that blends well with the mild red velvet chocolatey flavour.

They are great for tea time or even to gift some friends. Please try it and let me know how yours turned out.

Love,

Wanjoro.

Sautéed Cabbage and Amaranth leaves.

One of the things that’s easy to take for granted in this part of the world, is having access to fresh green vegetables all year round.

If one has space to grow their own, even better. If you do not and have to buy, it is ok as they are not only inexpensive, but come in many different varieties to please different palates.

Amaranth leaves are more commonly known in Uganda as “Dodo” and in Kenya as “terere” or “mchicha.” It is on rotation in our meals a lot. It is rich in vitamins, easy to digest, low in calories and is a great immunity booster.

In this simple recipe, I used red amaranth leaves which are also rich in antioxidants, and gave the veggie mix a bright red color. Green amaranth leaves can work just as well too, minus the red colour obviously.

Let us get started:-

Ingredients.

⁃ Half a head of cabbage, chopped.

⁃ I small bunch of amaranth leaves. I used red but green can work well too.

⁃ 2tbsp ghee.

⁃ 1 tsp mustard seeds.

⁃ 1 large onion, sliced.

⁃ 1 tsp of crushed ginger and garlic.

⁃ 2 tomatoes, chopped.

⁃ 1 tsp dhania jeera powder.

⁃ 1/4 tsp ground turmeric.

⁃ Sliced bell pepper (optional).

⁃ Salt and pepper to taste.

Our spice mix for this dish.

⁃ A pinch of garam masala.

⁃ 1 small lemon halved.

Method.

⁃ Clean and chop all vegetables.

⁃ Heat pan, add ghee and mustard seeds. Once they sizzle a bit, add the onion and let cook till it is soft and translucent.

⁃ Add the ginger garlic paste and mix in well.

Once it’s cooked a bit add the tomatoes and cumin / coriander powder as well as some salt and pepper.

⁃ Let the tomatoes cook down then add the veggies.

Mix well and let cook for not more than ten minutes. You don’t want to overcook them. Leave uncovered.

They will shrink and wilt a bit. Don’t over cook them though. The cabbage is great when it still has a bit of crunch.

⁃ Check your seasoning and add the garam and squeeze half a lemon over the veggies.

The red amaranth leaves’ colour will give the dish a nice reddish, pinkish hue.

Serve hot with rice, ugali or chapati. It’s a perfect side dish but also yummy and healthy enough on its own.

Definitely worth a try don’t you think?

Try and let me know how yours turned out.

Love,

Wanjoro.