berries · breakfast · coffee · food · french toast · healthy · lemon · lemon zest · pancakes · with coffee

Berry Preserves Found Their Way to My Heart

img_5356One of my favorite mornings rituals on the weekend is to wake up, stumble to the kitchen with my eyes barely open and get the coffee machine going. Ahh, I love my coffee. It is the one thing I look forward to every morning and sometimes I even start to look forward to it before I go to bed the night before. The darker the better. The hotter the more enjoyable. Recently, I got into the (good) habit of making my own berries preserves to enjoy with my toast and of course coffee. I used to buy my preserves, but one day after scooping out the last bit of preserves left in the container I decided to try and make my own. Oh, heavenly was the day I realized how easy and delicious this was! Now, I make a small batch which lasts me about 2-3 weeks. Here’s how to make this magic happen:

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup of Blueberries/Raspberries (I’ve used both fresh and frozen)
  • 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar (you can use regular sugar as well)
  • a splash of lemon juice and water and a bit of lemon zest

fullsizerender-20In a small pan cook down the berries with about 1 tablespoon of water over medium heat until they are soft and you can break them down. I use a wooden spoon to pop the blueberries as they soften. It will take a few minutes for the berries to break down. Add the sugar, lemon juice, zest and combine together. Let everything cook down until you see that jam consistency. Make sure you taste it. Sometimes I’m in the mood for more sweet while others I look for a more lemony taste. Total cooking time is about 5-8 minutes. Pour over a small container and place in the freezer for about a minute or two to cool.

In the mean time get that toast ready, by the time your freshly made berries preserves have cooled they will be ready to slather over your toast and to enjoy with that perfectly made cup of coffee. These also make a great topping for pancakes of french toast or even pie fillings! The possibilities are endless, all it takes is a little creative moment to completely change your life and a few berries to have a change of heart.





banana · banana pancakes · birthday breakfast · blueberries · blueberry pancakes · coconut · from scratch · pancakes

A Perfect Pancake Batch Match

You’re probably thinking, “Is breakfast all you eat?” Let me assure you that while I absolutely love my morning meals I do not have it all day every day, even though I would totally be fine with that. This has been an unusual eating week, but from it did come some good ideas that I will be producing and sharing soon. In the meantime, I want to tell you about some pancakes I attempted from scratch for the very first time. I usually buy the pancake mix because I thought it would be faster or produce fluffier pancakes but I was wrong. Making pancakes from scratch takes the same amount of time, makes fluffy pancakes AND I don’t have to worry about added preservatives or unknown ingredients listed on the box of the pancakes mixes.

This time around I made two types of pancakes: banana-coconut pancakes and blueberry pancakes. It was my boyfriend’s birthday weekend so I gave him the choice. Can you guess which one was my pick? The blueberry of course, but then again I knew he would pick banana so no risk for me there!  Having just made banana nut bread a week ago, I thought I would give his pancakes a different kick by adding some sweetened coconut flakes. You just wait and see what I did with that.

The first thing I did was mix an egg, 1 tsp of vanilla extract and 1 ¼ cup of almond milk (you can use any milk type) and 3 tbsp of melted butter together then set that aside. I combine 1 well rounded tbsp of cane sugar, a pinch of sea salt and 3 tsp of baking powder. With a hand mixer I combine all the ingredients until mixture was fluffy (fully is the word of the day, can you tell?). I mashed 3/4 of a banana in a bowl and set aside about ¼ of it to slice for the finished pancake. Split the batter in half and pour one half in with the mashed bananas. To the remaining half of the batter add ¼ cup of blueberries. *Make sure the blueberries are not wet when you add to the batter so they don’t all settle on one side of the cake. This is especially important when you make some kind of fruit muffin or cake so the fruit doesn’t just sit at the bottom of the pan. It will give your cakes even fruit distribution throughout.

Melt butter on a flat pan and cook your pancakes until all its pretty dimples are exposed. That’s when it’s time to flip. Not before and not after. Trust that the batter is cooking without constantly doubting and lifting the pancake “just to make sure”. Believe me, I know this feeling all too well.
Once each side is golden serve the banana cakes by placing the banana slices on top, sprinkling sweetened coconut flakes and drizzling maple syrup on top. Yum-Mee! I also recommend fresh strawberries along with the slices of bananas to give it a bit of a tropical flair, but it seems not everyone is into strawberries as much as I do. (WELL!)

To my blueberry batch I added fresh blueberries, raspberries and strawberries on top and drizzled with maple syrup. You can use any of the three, but I like the combination of all the fruit as it adds tartness and variety to each bite!