Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


8 Comments

Berry Good Baked Goods

I’m heading into the last few weeks of my pregnancy.  I’ve loved every moment of being pregnant, but I’m also looking forward to meeting the little one!  And I’m finally done with work, so I have some time to myself at the moment!

Keeping Busy

I’m not one to sit around with my feet up, so I’ve embarked on a baking extravaganza, all in preparation for baby’s arrival and my anticipated lack of time.  My goal has been to bake something every few days and then toss it in the freezer. My baking has largely been limited to berry-based recipes due to the 72 baggies of berries that I had in my freezer until quite recently.  I’ve also been trying to choose healthier ingredients where I can so that I have somewhat healthy midnight snacks.  To do that, I’ve used oatmeal as a partial substitute for flour, apple sauce and yogurt to moisten the muffins and, for the non-berry recipes, I’ve used veggies.  In all of my experiments, I’ve used coconut oil which worked out really well in all of them.

Here’s how it has turned out so far:

Berry Good Baked Goods

Lemon-Blueberry Loaf

This was the first lemon loaf I ever made.  I liked it so much that I made a second batch the next day.  It incorporates yogurt in the recipe which really kept the loaf moist.  It froze well and I’d definitely make it again!

Lemon Blueberry Loaf with Yogurt

Lemon Blueberry Loaf with Yogurt

Blueberry Muffins

I tried a couple of different recipes for my blueberry recipes.  Ultimately, this one was my favorite.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

Strawberry Lemon Muffins

Not only do I have lots of blueberries to use up, I also have strawberries!  I loved this recipe for strawberry and lemon muffins, two of my favorite flavours.  These were a cinch to make and they taste great!

Strawberry Lemon Muffins

Strawberry Lemon Muffins

Non-Berry Based Baking

I also dabbled in some non-berry baking, mainly because I couldn’t resist the temptation.   It’s been squash and pumpkin season and here’s what I made with those:

Butternut Squash Muffins

I was inspired to make these after reading Heidi’s post about them on her blog Lightly Crunchy.  I used homemade squash puree, homemade apple sauce and I even made my own pumpkin spice for this recipe.  Heidi’s recipe and tips both worked great. I only tasted one of these before putting the rest in the freezer.  I really enjoyed that muffin!

Butternut Squash Muffins

Butternut Squash Muffins

Apple Zucchini Muffins

I also tried some apple zucchini muffins.  Unfortunately, these didn’t turn out so great.  Maybe I got the proportions wrong, but they came out tasting pretty bland and a wee bit tough.  They won’t go to waste, but I don’t think these are up to standard for serving to others!

Carrot Scones
Carrot Scones

Carrot Scones

I was lucky enough to receive a bag full of fresh carrots from a friend’s garden.  The carrots were so sweet!  I used a few of them to try out a carrot scone recipe I found on Pinterest.  If you check out the recipe, you’ll see that two of the key ingredients are carrots and cheese.  How could you go wrong?  Truly, they turned out well!

More Baking to Come?

To date, I’ve made 3 loaves of bread and 12 batches of muffins (that includes a couple batches of scones).  My freezer doesn’t have any more room than before. Rather, I’ve just replaced the bags of berries with baked goods.  I have no doubt that we’ll go through them quickly and soon enough, there will be room in the freezer for other goodies.

If you’re interested in any one of these recipes, just about all of them are pinned on one of my Pinterest boards called Yummy Food and Treats.


12 Comments

The Third Trimester – In the Home Stretch

I’m in the home stretch!  With about 5-6 weeks to go, I’m almost at the end of my pregnancy.  I can barely believe how quickly time is flying! 

Kicking Up a Storm

One of my favorite parts of being pregnant has been feeling my little baby kick up a storm.  He kicks, punches, does somersaults, squirms and once in a while, he tires himself out and has a little snooze.  He regularly gets hiccups, but fortunately, they never last too long.  I’m fascinated by the movement I can feel and see in my pregnant belly.  I’m sure it seems quite alien to someone who hasn’t had this experience before.  For me, I’ve loved it so far. 

Getting Around

I’m not one to sit still for long.  I like to make lists, get things done and tick things off my list.  I’m still doing those things, but I’ve learned that it pays to slow down and physically move a bit slower.  It was frustrating when I first realized that I actually had to slow down.   However, it has become a necessity and a luxury.

Time For a Snooze?

I count myself quite lucky as I’m still able to sleep through the night.  With the help of my plethora of pillows, I’ve been able to find comfortable positions that allow me to get some rest.  The part that I didn’t expect was the exhaustion that I tend to feel during the day, even when I’ve had a good night’s rest!  I could easily insert a siesta into my afternoons these days.  In about three weeks, I’ll be off work and I’m already looking forward to napping in the afternoon!

What’s On My To-Do List?

While I still have energy, I’ve been doing my best to do some baking and cooking, in preparation for my little one’s arrival.   You’ll see a post on my baking experiments soon!  I’ve also been working on some very basic soap and lotions, for the whole family.  In the ideal world, I’ll have all of my Christmas preparation done before the big day arrives.  However, that might be a bit of a stretch, even for me!