The day started with me doing my 2 hour morning shift at the YMCA. Then I rushed home to where Phil had packed the car and was ready with the boys to set off on our mini adventure to Ottawa. The drive was nice and smooth with only 2 Timmies coffee stops which resulted in a 5 hour road trip time. We arrived in Ottawa around 3:30pm and booked into our hotel.
We are staying at the Marriott downtown Ottawa, work is paying the first two nights while we’ll cover the third. They upgraded our room free of charge so we’d have more comfortable sleeping arrangements, thanks Marriott! Once we got unpacked we both went on a nice 4 mile jog following the Rideau Canal river bank, a really nice run. It was sure hot, around 28C which made it really feel like a mid summers day. After our jog we got cleaned up and collected the boys to go strolling around downtown Ottawa.
Here’s a photo of me and our boys, Jordan next to me and Ethan on the far right with the Hotel Chateau Laurier Ottawa in the background. Yes thats some McDonald fries in Jordans hands, it’s the only thing he eats from there and only on special occasions like this. We had a quick bite to eat at a British pub (with a pint of course) and then strolled back to the hotel passing a beautiful sunset along the Rideau Canal.
Even though we are staying in a hotel we brought a cooler of snacks for the kids so we don’t have to spend too much. It was filled with bananas, mandarins, watermelon and mangos. We also had some banana muffins that I baked a few days ago.
These date and banana muffins are sweetened with the dates, there’s no refined sugars in this recipe. Philip has to work tomorrow all day so these will be good snacks. We’ll continue our Ottawa exploring once he finishes work. I’ll spend the day with Jordan swimming and shopping.
- 7 ounces medjool dates pitted ( about 12)
- ½ cup hot water
- 4 Tablespoons unrefined coconut oil, at room temperature
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups spelt flour
- ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
- 3 large, ripe bananas, mashed
- ½ cup raw copped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 12 cup muffin tray.
- Place the dates in the blender Add the hot water and allow the dates to soften for at least 10 minutes.
- Turn the blender and blend until the water has incorporated with the dates. Turn the blender on high and blend the dates until a smooth puree forms.
- Add the coconut oil and blend until well blended. Add the applesauce blending well.
- Add the vanilla extract and mix.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to the butter-date mixture and mix until just combined.
- Fold in the mashed bananas and walnuts.
- Pour the mixture into the greased muffin pans. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack.