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As a child, I dreamed of becoming a professional photographer. I wanted to capture stunning vistas and cute animals and add scripture verses to the blown-up image like the posters I saw on the walls of our house. In pursuit of the dream, I borrowed my parent’s film camera, and much to their chagrin, took copious (awful) photos that had to be developed, at their expense. Finally, they upgraded and I inherited my mother’s Instamatic. From that point on until the digital photography age, the expense of developing those prints was all mine!

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Thankfully, it doesn’t matter how many images you take on a digital camera, you don’t have to pay for any of them! The downside is that many never see the light of day. That is, not many get printed, but plenty get shared online. First it was Flickr, and now an easier way to get creative is with Instagram; all you need is a phone and an app. When my son was born, I joined the thousands of folk worldwide in the Photo A Day project initiated by Fat Mum Slim. Life gets busy and I dropped it for a while, but in June I picked up the phone again to join in.

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Being creative can be time-consuming, but the pay-off is that it sharpens my technique and eye for detail between blog posts. The other day the prompt was ‘four things’ and I knew it was going to be of muffins. I found a position with good light, stacked the wobbling cakes and proceeded to ignore my son until I had the shot I wanted. Meanwhile he was up to mischief! Once he had completely emptied the bookshelf, I reluctantly acknowledged that he needed my attention. Bonus; the bookshelf got dusted before it was re-populated with books.

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How about you, dear reader? What’s your favourite creative outlet?

Vegan Banana, Chocolate and Chia Muffins {gf}

Makes 12 muffins

Ingredients
3 medium over-ripe bananas, mashed (approx. 1 cup)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I used sunflower oil)
1/3 cup soft brown sugar
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup plain (all-purpose) gluten-free (or regular) flour
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup almond meal
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch salt
½ cup dairy-free chocolate chips

Method
Preheat oven to 190 degrees C/375 degrees F. Grease or line 12 regular (1/3 cup) muffin tins.

Beat mashed bananas, oil and sugar, chia seeds, vanilla extract and vinegar with an electric mixer on a low speed for about one minute. Set aside for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk together the flours, almond meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Add in chopped chocolate or chocolate chips.

Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture and chopped chocolate into the banana mixture just until dry ingredients are fully moistened (no flour streaks should be visible).

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown on top and dry to touch. Let cool in the tins for 5 minutes, and then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

Notes

Adapted from my Banana, Berry and Chia Seed muffins

These are great made with wheat flour, too! Simply substitute the gluten free and rice flours with plain (all-purpose) wheat flour.

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