Honey Almond Granola

Since I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my 28 weeks, I had been quite enthusiastic about finding "desserts" or snack recipes that I can eat within tolerable range.

I came across quite a few granola recipes, and as I have never tried granola before (yes I know!), I decided to just pick one recipe and try.

Woah! I know why some of us love granola so much now! Hahah!

I modified the original recipe so that it's less sweet, and I also added in this hazelnut paste I bought from Baking Blocks.

It seemed to be quite a new online store selling premium baking ingredients, such as this hazelnut paste (I cannot find pure hazelnut paste anywhere!), chocolate, lemon oil, extracts etc.

I also love adding 1 tsp of this paste into my unsweetened cocoa milk with oats lol.

Oh yes, it also came as a surprise when the little one & husband loved munching on these!

Honey Almond Granola - Recipe Adapted from Cookie + Kate
-  2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
-  3/4 cups raw sliced almonds or any other nuts
-  1/2 tsp sea salt
-  1/8 tsp cinnamon
-  1/8 tsp ground ginger
-  60ml melted coconut oil or olive oil
-  60ml honey or maple syrup *I've used only 1.5 tbsp of honey due to my condition
-  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-  1/4 cup chopped dried fruits *I omitted this

1.   Mix the oats, nuts, spices and salt in a large bowl.

2.   Add in oil, honey, vanilla. Mix to coat well.

3.   Pour mixture onto lined baking pan. It would be good if you can get a larger pan to spread the oats and nuts out in thin layer. Else, you would just need to stir more often during baking.

4.   Preheat oven to 170C. Bake for 20-30 mins. Stir the mixture about 2-4 times in between baking time. Once you reach the 15 min mark, watch the oven more frequently as the oats can darken very quickly (prevent them from burning!).

5.   Once baked, cool completely before storing in air-tight container.

-  I have tried taking this granola with low fat yogurt + raspberries and my reading remained in the good range. However, please note that everyone's body will react differently to different food :)

-  For my liquid ingredients, I actually measured out 60ml oil + 1.5 tbsp honey + top up remaining liquid with hazelnut paste to about 120ml.

Chocolate Chip Wholegrain Pancakes

After having some yummy pancakes for brunch yesterday at Fresh Fruits Lab, I was inspired to make pancakes for the husband and little one for breakfast this morning.

I tweaked a little of these fluffy pancakes to wholegrain pancakes. I really enjoyed using the Prima's superfine wholegrain flour - which makes these pancakes not too dense also!

Chocolate Chips Wholegrain Pancakes - Recipe adapted from Nasi Lemak Lover
(Makes about 10 small pancakes, or 5 regular pancakes)
-  120g plain flour
-  30g superfine wholegrain flour
-  1.5 tsp baking powder
-  1/2 tsp salt
-  40g sugar
-  Pinch of cinnamon, optional
-  110ml milk, room temperature
-  1 egg, beaten and room temperature
-  1 tbsp oil
-   A handful of semi-sweet chocolate chips

1.  Whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt in a mixing bowl.

2.  Add egg, milk and corn oil to the mixing bowl. Whisk the mixture well till lumpy and thick. Add in chocolate chips and mix briefly.

3.  Scoop the batter onto a non-stick frying pan, on medium-low heat. You might need to use the ladle to spread out the batter so it would not be too thick.

4.  Pan fry till you see bubbles on the pancake surface, flip over (the pancake should be golden brown). Pan fry till slightly golden brown on the other side.

5. Best served warm, with maple syrup, fruits and/or granola.

-  You do not need oil to pan fry because oil has been added into the mixture.
-  I had used a soup ladle to scoop the mixture onto the frying pan. If you wish to make petite sized small pancakes, you can use a tbsp to scoop the batter.
-  I've used demerara sugar so it's "healthier" than refined sugar.

My (2nd) 1st Trimester

Hello Darling at 12 weeks!

Actually this should be considered to bemy 3rd pregnancy, but due to the previous miscarriage, so I don't really take it as my 3rd, first trimester - I think!

Anyway... This 1st trimester is a whole lot of emotional rollercoaster for me. While battling with the surging hormones, I had quite bad morning sickness as well. I also had to battle with negative emotions I still had towards the miscarriage - I miss my previous baby so.

Comparing to my first pregnancy, I guess it's really different this time round!

Since both the husband and I were not pan tang people, we announced our 2nd pregnancy previously quite early on. And I also could not contain my happiness, so I had to share with my mummy friends lol.

However, that also meant that I had to inform quite a bit of people of the miscarriage news, and it was truly difficult to do.

So this time round, I just decided to "inform" some of my close friends, as I needed their support. Particularly those who had experienced miscarriage, and then conceived and gave birth successfully.

We also hid the news from both our families until 12 weeks were over lol.

This is how "paranoid" I am, but is normal due to the previous bad experience.

During CNY period, where I was pregnant for just a few weeks. Nothing much changed
- since I was not piling weight on that time haha!

There were not much changes compared to my first pregnancy, except that I realised my tummy protruded quite early on (okay la, I also gained "spare tyre" around the tummy after stopping breastfeeding lol).

I also realised that the fatigue and aches I experienced was much worse than before, but I am not sure if this was also contributed in a way by my 2 year old toddler hahaha!

So as usual, I used my trusty Blooming Marvelous' belly band from Mother Care to ensure that I have enough support to reduce backaches.

I also relied quite heavily on my Scholl's compression socks to sleep at night, at least until the 2nd trimester.

While my husband took over patting the little one to bed, I was trying to rest my aching legs
and sending a picture to my pregnant friend, telling her this is a must-buy lol!

In my battling with fatigue, I often spend afternoons taking 2-3 hours nap, because if I do not, then I usually would end up with bad headaches.

At the same time, thank God that I was able to continue to bake despite having morning sickness lol.

I managed to finish a 60 fondant cookie order then, and was so thankful to Mummy T
for the communication and understanding :)

Also thankful that I was able to take on some baking workshops,
despite standing on feet for quite a few hours!

This time round, the raging hormones continue to spare no one hahaha!

I guess I get even easily irritated due to taking care of the toddler when she was unwell. She had a few bouts of flu and even an episode of HFMD!

And yes, negativity continue to "take over" me sometimes. I also continue to rely on the pregnancy prayer book I bought during my first pregnancy.

Due to the previous miscarriage, I needed more emotional support. I guess this is where close friends really come in! I am so thankful for close friends who knew what I was going through, and listened without judgement. The advice they gave me is also so invaluable!

Well, I thought, as a 2nd time mummy, I would be quite "well equipped" to handle whatever that would be coming.

But I was wrong!

Since I couldn't feel any movements during the first trimester, most of the time was spent in fear and prayers.

The fear is especially real and scary after a loss :(

So, just like my first pregnancy, I kept myself informed and to try eliminate the fear by reading up on Christian mums' blogs for support, on articles for successful childbirth after miscarriage, etc. Reading up and attending courses would be something important for expectant mummies like us through the entire pregnancy, I feel.

And yes, without realising much and without much "happenings" - I reached the 13 weeks mark :)

Currently I am in my 30 weeks, and I am so looking forward to cradling my baby in my arms. To all fellow mummies who are TTC or expecting rainbow babies, may you have the strength to believe in God's gift from above :)

Honey Oat Pain de Mie

It has been a while since I've blogged or baked!

The little one fell sick on Monday, and after that it was my turn, and I spent the past few days with a heavily painful nose (sinus?!) + lethargic body. I haven't also been going for my morning walk, but thankfully whenever I test my sugar level randomly, it's always within range.

Honestly, being diagnosed with gestational diabetes seemed like quite a (craving) challenge for me, however, it has also made me reflect on the food choices I have made for myself. I am also now more conscious of the food I cook and offer to the family :)

So I guess it's also a blessing in disguise!

So far, I had been eating store bought bread. I really miss baking bread - however I am not sure if my blood sugar level will spike, due to the flour/butter/sugar used in the bread making at home.

I don't have much problem with store bought bread, since most of them use shortening + minimal sugar in the recipes. I also wonder if I can make soft wholegrained bread at home - you know store bought bread is always softer because of the bread improver used :p

So I decided to just try baking yesterday, since I gave up on cooking dinner and had a cheat meal instead lol.

One of my friends told me about Prima's superfine wholegrain flour, so I decided to try it out - and yes, it's really so fine!!!

What's special about this recipe is that it doesn't use bread flour, so the texture is not the usual chewy bread slice. However, it is soft, and mildly sweet (but might be a little too sweet for GD mummies), which make a very nice sandwich bread! Just take note that it's quite "crumbly".

As you can see, it's not as "flexible" as the usual loaves we make using bread flour -
but still a very enjoyable texture!

Honey Oat Pain de Mie - Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour
(Makes 1 x 9" loaf bread)
- 220g superfine wholegrain flour
- 140g plain flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (not quick oats)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 57g melted butter
- 64g honey
- 227g lukewarm water

1.   Place all ingredients into bread pan and place into bread machine; yeast into yeast compartment. I am using Panasonic SD-P104. If you do not have separate yeast compartment, make sure you "dig" 2 holes at opposite ends in the bread pan, place in the salt and yeast.

(*If you are kneading by hand, simply combine all ingredients and mix well. Cover the bowl, let the dough rest for 20 mins so that the oats can better absorb the liquid. Knead by hand or mixer to a soft elastic dough. Then place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, let rise for about 1-1.5 hours)

2.   Select Mode 9, Bread Dough. The machine will knead the dough and let rise for about 45 mins. I let the dough continue to rise for further 20 mins, until double in size.

3.   Gently deflate the dough, and shape into a log. Place the dough into a lightly greased or lined bread pan (I've used 2 loaf pans for shorter loaves instead). Press the top of the loaf gently to slightly flatten it.

4.   Cover the pan with lid, or cling wrap. Let the dough rise and proof for about 1 - 1.5 hours.

5.   Preheat oven 170C. Bake the proofed dough for about 30 mins. (I've baked at 2nd lowest rack for 30 mins, then shift upwards to middle rack for browning, 5 mins)

6.   Cool bread completely on cooling rack before cutting or storing in air tight container. 

This is how I usually have my breakfast lol!
Bread + cheese + egg; 1/4 guava and had some pomegranate. My reading was 5.4 after 2 hours :)


Paleo Blueberry Muffins

So during my previous 28w visit to the gynae, I failed my glucose test for gestational diabetes.

After that day, I had been quite grouchy (lol), probably due to the diet. The portion of the menu plan issued by my gynae is really very little; thankfully I've joined a support group for GD and got many tips there.

Some of my other friends who've had GD experience, and low carb diet experience, came forward to share with me their menu - so thankful for that!

It's really quite upsetting for someone who loves to bake to get GD! Hahaha, such an irony!

Thankful for those paleo baking recipes, which doesn't use grains (flour) in the recipe, and are also usually lower in sugar.

I tried out this blueberry muffins recipe, and it was full of coconuty flavour! I couldnt't find coconut oil in the supermarket, so I just substituted it with canola oil. I think there's some difference in the texture of the baked muffin though.

Paleo Blueberry Muffins - Recipe adapted from Living Healthy with Chocolate
(Makes 6 regular sized muffins)

-  59g coconut flour
-  1/8 tsp baking soda
-  2 tbsp honey
-  120ml milk *original was coconut milk
-  2 tbsp canola oil *original was coconut oil, melted
-  3 eggs
-  1/2 tsp vanilla extract
-  35g fresh blueberries, washed and pat dry

1.   Mix together coconut flour and baking soda.

2.   Whisk together honey, milk, oil, eggs and vanilla extract in another bowl.

3.   Mix the wet and dry ingredients together till well combined.

4.   Gently fold the blueberries into the batter. 

5.   Spoon batter into lined muffin tin. You can fill the muffin cups to the top.

6.  Bake in preheated oven at 170C, for about 30-35 mins, or until skewer inserted in centre of muffin comes out clean.

7.   Cool the muffin tin on cooling rack when it's done. Cool completely before serving or storing in air-tight container (in the fridge).