Lemon Raspberry Muffins

We have a raspberry bush in our backyard. We have to watch the plant carefully and make sure we pick the berries immediately at the slightest hint of ripeness, or squirrels plan their attack and make off like bandits. Or maybe it’s the one squirrel; the guy who is always wobbling around in our backyard, stuffed with the tiny strawberries and other fruit we managed to grow.

As much as we love eating fruit on its own, sometimes it’s best in a fluffy muffin. These also make a delightful breakfast.

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large lemon, zested
2 large eggs
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees C. Spray 12 muffin cups with a non-stick cooking spray.
2. Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking sod, and lemon zest. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, vegetable oil and vanilla.
4. Stir in the flour mixture.
5. Coat raspberries in flour, and fold in very carefully. Spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cups.
6. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

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Peanut Butter Strawberry Smoothie

Green smoothies get all the hype. I’m looking at you, Green Monster Movement.

And yes, while they’re super healthy and super delicious, sometimes they just don’t cut it. When it’s finally 22 C in April instead of -15 C and snowing, (it used to snow on my birthday every year – and I have a May birthday) you just want a fruit smoothie.

That you can sip on while sitting on the porch, as your Vitamin D-deficient skin slurps the sun up for the first time in months – without being shielded by a giant winter coat, hat and ear muffs, of course. Calgary is a very sunny city. Even when it’s -40 C.

On those wonderful days when you can escape the perpetual chill, you just want something that you can slip some vodka into, if you feel like it. Am I right?

Peanut Butter Strawberry Smoothie

1 cup orange or cranberry juice
1 banana
1/2 cup strawberries
1/4 cup mango
1 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 scoop soy protein powder
Crushed ice (optional)

1. Combine everything in a blender on ice setting. Blend for 30 seconds to a minute.

– Silvia