I was working as a volunteer at a legal centre for a year between the periods of March 2013 to March this year, and it was quite unusual back then how I didn’t have much of a sense of any sort of financial responsibility – even though I was earning a grand total of zero dollars a week. A casual afternoon visit for a hot chocolate at our local Lindt Cafe? Sure. A pastry or pie run down to Flour and Stone, which was a a mere dangerous 10 minute walk from us? I’d love to. I probably thought I deserved the (quite frequent) treats as I was working for no money.
Now that I am though, it seems that I appreciate my earnings a lot more! I’ve clamped down on my savings and internally wince when I hand my card over for expensive, but necessary purchases. I’m moving in two week’s time to an unfurnished apartment with a friend, and so of course this has required a fair bit of spending in these last couple of weeks on household furniture and basics.
As a result, I’ve started to take a lot more packed lunches, and packed snacks. I came across a recipe for Blueberry, Oat & Yoghurt Muffins on the Donna Hay website, and decided that it would be a good morning tea snack to have. I added chia seeds to the muffin mix, to reassure myself that it was healthy with its extra kick of protein! These muffins freeze very well, allowing you to eat one a day; wrap each up tightly in cling film before freezing and then just take it out in the morning and leave it until you’re about to eat it and give it a 10 second zing in the microwave for a steaming, fragrant muffin. Too good.
For 12 muffins, you will need:
- 2 cups (375g) self-raising flour, sifted;
- 2/3 cup (110g) caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling;
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten;
- 3/4 cup (180ml) vegetable oil;
- 1/2 cup (140g) thick Greek-style (natural) yoghurt;
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste;
- 50g black chia seeds;
- 1/3 cup (30g) rolled oats, plus extra for sprinkling;
- 1 cup (150g) frozen blueberries.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celcius. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases or grease and flour.
In a bowl, combine the self-raising flour, caster sugar, eggs, vegetable oil, yoghurt and vanilla. Gently fold in the chia seeds, rolled oats and frozen blueberries, before spooning this into the paper cases.
Sprinkle each with a little more rolled oats and some caster sugar as a sort of crumble crunchy topping.
Cook for about 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of a muffin comes out clean, or the tops are nicely light brown. I find I usually know when something is ready by its sense of smell; but it’s only when what’s baking has butter in it, producing that caramelised, rich aroma. These won’t smell as much because they lack butter (hence why I consider them healthy), so keep a watchful eye out.
Allow to cool completely before wrapping in cling film, or if you’re so inclined, eat them while they’re still deliciously hot.