Category Archives: Summer

Biking in the city and a healthy snack!

I simply love summer weekends in the city and, although I haven’t traveled anywhere recently, I feel like Toronto has so much to offer that you just can’t get bored.  This weekend, we went biking to a nearby park, Betty Sutherland Trail, a scenic path alongside the Don River.

We enjoyed the beautiful scenery, the ride was pretty good (approx. 7 km) and took lots of pictures along the way.  I recommend this place if you’re biking, rollerblading,  going for a walk or looking for a great picnic place in the city.

When we returned home, we were of course starving…but luckily these wholesome muffins were waiting for us. This is one of my favourite recipe, delicious, easy to make and relatively healthy. Bon appétit!

Raspberry lemon muffins adapted from eatingwell.com

1 lemon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup non fat buttermilk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen (not thawed) raspberries

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 large (1/2-cup) muffin cups with cooking spray or line with paper liners.
Use a vegetable peeler to remove the zest from the lemon in long strips. Combine the zest and sugar in a food processor; pulse until the zest is very finely chopped into the sugar. Add buttermilk, oil, egg and vanilla and pulse until blended.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture and fold until almost blended. Gently fold in raspberries.  Divide the batter among the muffin cups. Bake the muffins until the edges and tops are golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

Chocolate frozen yogurt…too good to be true

Once you discover Greek yogurt, you can’t really go back to the regular yogurt.  Greek yogurt has a very thick and creamy texture. According to wisegeek.com, the principle difference in creating Greek yogurt is that after the milk is heated and cultured, it is allowed to sit in muslin or cheesecloth bags, so that the whey filters out of the yogurt. In Canada, Liberté is one of the few brands that produces Greek yogurt and luckily it is fat-free. Since I’ve purchased my ice-cream maker, I’ve tried a few recipes, mostly fruit-based frozen yogurt. They tasted OK but nothing out of this world. I even checked the recipe book that comes with the ice-cream maker, but most of them rely on eggs, milk and/or whipped cream which are way too heavy for me. A couple of months ago, I discovered a great recipe on Chocolate & Zucchini and never looked back. Now, I’m making this once a week…it’s heavenly and really addictive. It is great on a hot afternoon which has been the norm in Toronto since the beginning of the summer.

I’ve actually adapted the recipe a bit, used less sugar (approx. 60 grams or half), substituted crème fraiche with 5% table cream and used 500 grams yogurt as opposed to the 300 grams called for in the recipe. It still tasted amazing…I can’t rave enough about this recipe. You seriously need to try it…Bon appétit!

Chocolate Frozen Yogurt adapted from Chocolate & Zucchini

100 grams good-quality bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
100 grams  cream (heavy, table cream, I used the lower-fat version 5%)
60 grams sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
a good pinch of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
500 grams plain Greek yogurt

Melt the chocolate in a double boiler,  a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave. In the meantime, place the cream in a medium mixing-bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt until no lump remains.

When the chocolate is melted, whisk it into the cream. Whisk the sugar mixture into the chocolate cream. Add the vanilla and yogurt, and whisk until well blended.

Cover and refrigerate for an hour, until chilled (you can skip this step if your ingredients are chilled). Whisk again, and freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.