Lemon and Herb Kefir Spread

lemon--herb-kefir-spread-image

Lemon and Herb Kefir Spread

(Look for kefir in the yogurt section of your grocery store.)

2 cups plain whole milk kefir
1 teaspoon finely chopped preserved lemon (optional)
½ teaspoon lemon zest, grated on a Microplane
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
kosher salt, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Pour the kefir into a nut bag or a triple layer of cheese cloth. Place the nut bag in a strainer. Place the strainer inside a bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 16 to 18 hours.

Discard or reserve the whey (clearish liquid) in the bowl. Transfer the strained kefir from the nut bag into a small bowl. Add the preserved lemon, lemon zest, lemon juice and thyme and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Slather on a piece of your favorite toasty bread and serve!

Photo: Ronald Tsang

P.S. This recipe was recently featured in an issue of Clean Eating Magazine!

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins

Banana bread muffins? With pumpkin pie spice? And chocolate hazelnut spread? YES, please!

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut1

I can just see that chocolate hazelnut spread peeking through the cracks…

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut2

Chocolate banana hazelnut deliciousness

Banana Chunk Chocolate Hazelnut Muffins

Yield: 12 Muffins

 

1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

¾ cup light brown sugar

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/3 cup pitted deglet noor dates, approximately 10 dates

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for greasing pan

2 whole eggs

3 very ripe large bananas, broken into large chunks, plus 1 large banana, diced small

1½ tablespoons chocolate hazelnut spread

 

Set an oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a muffin tin with paper muffin cups.

Place flour, oats, salt, baking soda, sugar, pumpkin pie spice and dates in a food processor. Process until dates are broken down and mixture is fairly even. (There will still be some very small pieces of dates which is fine.)

Add butter, eggs and the 3 large bananas broken into chunks and process until mixture is fully combined.

Stir in (do not process) the diced banana.

Fill each muffin tin with 2½ tablespoons of batter. Top each with 1/8 teaspoon chocolate hazelnut dollop. Cover each muffin with another 2½ tablespoons of batter.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 25 minutes. Test readiness by poking a toothpick or knife in the middle of a muffin; if it comes out clean, it’s ready.

Remove from oven and let cool before removing from muffin pan.