Apple Walnut Baked Oatmeal

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Random fact about me: I eat oatmeal, in some variation, almost every day. It’s just so filling, healthy, and delicious. Seriously, sitting on the couch eating a bowl of oatmeal and drinking some coffee with almond milk is the most ideal start to my day. Can you believe I didn’t have a single oatmeal post up until now? (Neither can I.)

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Most mornings, I’ll just microwave some oats with almond milk and whatever fruit/nuts I feel like, but sometimes I like to switch it up with something like overnight oats, or a different grain (like quinoa or buckwheat porridge), or steel cut oats. Or a baked oatmeal like this one, which is especially ideal because I can make it at the beginning of the week, and reheat some every morning – super easy and quick which is essential if you’re in a rush or just super slow to wake up, like I am.

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PS – If you haven’t been following me/you don’t know about The Oh She Glows Cookbook, you seriously need to go buy it. So much healthy recipe inspiration! You can thank me later. Also! Did you know that it’s apparently National Breakfast Week? It’s almost like I planned that… (I didn’t.)

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Apple Walnut Baked Oatmeal

Serves 6

Adapted from The Oh She Glows Cookbook 

2 1/4 cup Rolled Oats

2 tbsp Coconut Sugar

2 tsp Ground Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Ginger

1/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg

1/2 tsp Ground Sea Salt

1 tsp Baking Powder

2 cups Unsweetened Almond Milk

1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1/4 cup Pure Maple Syrup

2 tsp Vanilla Extract

2 or 3 Apples, peeled, cored, & diced

1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 2 quart casserole dish.

2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, sea salt, and baking powder.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond milk, applesauce, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.

4. Pour the liquid mixture into the oats and stir to combine, then fold in the chopped apples.

5. Pour the oatmeal into your prepared casserole dish, using a spatula to spread evenly. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, gently pressing them into the oatmeal.

6. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes, under the mixture is getting bubbly around the edges and the apples are tender. Serve warm, scooped into dishes and topped with almond milk and maple syrup. Oatmeal will keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 5 or 6 days or in the freezer for 2 – 3 weeks.

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Go-To Smoothies/Shakes

I drink a smoothie pretty much every day; they’re perfect for breakfast, on the side with lunch, or as a midday snack. It’s my favourite way to get in a bunch of protein and other nutrients in a yummy, filling, healthy, quick, and super easy way. These are a few of the combinations that I like the best – I hope you enjoy. The method is the same for each one – just throw everything in the blender and blend until smooth!

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Greatest Green Smoothie 

My roommate literally thinks I’m crazy when she watches me making this, and I guess I can sort of see why. But I swear, it’s crazy green colour is not an indication of taste. It’s super creamy, a little sweet, and completely loaded with protein and other goodness. (I know, really original name for this one. And every other one…)

1 Banana, quartered

1 cup Fresh Kale, chopped roughly

1/4 cup Avocado

2 Medjool Dates, seeds removed

1 tbsp Chia Seeds

1 tbsp Nut Butter (I like PB)

1 tsp Vanilla

2 Ice Cubes

1 cup Vanilla Almond Milk

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California Coconut Date Shake 

I came up with this one when I first started trying to out “Date Shake” combinations about a month ago. Now, it’s one of my favourites in my smoothie rotation. Date Shakes are a specialty of the Palm Springs area of Southern California, where they apparently grow a bunch of dates. They’re usually loaded with ice cream, and while that would be delicious, I can’t exactly justify that in my morning routine. This version, I can.

2 – 3 Medjool Dates, seeds removed

1 tbsp Ground Flax Seeds

1 tbsp Coconut Manna

1 tsp Vanilla

2 Ice Cubes

1 cup Coconut Almond Milk

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Summertime Berry Smoothie  

This is basically everything healthy that you could possibly throw into a smoothie in one cup, but it just tastes like berries. I like using fresh berries, but of course frozen works as well.

1 cup Mixed Berries (Blackberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Blueberries)

1 Banana, quartered

1/2 cup Spinach or Kale, roughly chopped

1 tbsp Chia Seeds

1 tbsp Flax Seeds

2 tbsp Hemp Protein Powder

1/4 cup Yogurt (your choice)

1/2 cup Coconut Water

1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk

1 or 2 Ice Cubes (if using fresh berries)

Rutabaga, Bacon, and Sage Breakfast Scramble

This is going to be a quick post. Partly because I feel like I’ve done a lot of rambling/talking about myself lately, but mainly because I actually made this recipe about a month ago. Although I could have made it again now, I usually like making new recipes instead of re-making old ones. I try not to leave recipes as drafts for too long, but sometimes life happens (sometimes it happens a lot) and I can’t get around to posting as much as I would like.

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This was actually my first time using rutabaga in a recipe. It was when I was house sitting for my friend Erin and her family, and there was a rutabaga sitting in the fridge, so naturally I needed to think of something to do with it. I’m not sure why I hadn’t thought about them before, because they are actually delicious (kind of like potatoes, only sweeter? but not quite sweet potato?) Rutabaga also happened to go very well with sage (and rosemary) both of which my friend’s mom had growing fresh in her garden. And then of course there needed to be bacon.

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You might notice that the light is a little off in these photos. It may or may not be because I was not eating this for breakfast at all, but rather a very late dinner. Which honestly, tend to happen quite frequently around here.

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Rutabaga, Bacon & Sage Breakfast Scramble 

Serves two. 

4 strips Bacon

1 Rutabaga, chopped into 1 inch cubes

2 stalks Celery, sliced thinly

1/2 Yellow Onion, diced

1/4 tsp Paprika, plus extra for dusting

5 medium-large Sage Leaves, sliced thinly

2 small sprigs Rosemary, minced

2 or 3 Eggs

Salt & Pepper to taste

1. Cook bacon until crisp (5 min)

2. Leaving bacon fat in pan, add diced rutabagas and sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 min. medium heat. Reduce heat to low and cover pan, letting steam for 10 min, stopping two or three times to stir.

3. Add celery and onions and sauté, stirring constantly for 2 min. Cover and let steam for 5 min, stopping twice to stir. Add in paprika and season with salt and pepper to taste, sautéing for another 2 minutes. Add in diced bacon and fresh herbs, stirring to combine.

4. Crack 2 or 3 eggs over entire combination, increase heat to medium high, and cook for 2-3 minutes, until white part of egg is cooked. Serve.

Raspberry Oatmeal Scones with Dark Chocolate and Toasted Walnuts

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Like all proper English folks (of which I am technically one), I love a good scone. I also enjoy drinking tea from pretty cups, Harry Potter, obsessing over the royal family, One Direction, and going for pints – so there you go.

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I’d actually been wanting to make scones for quite a while now, but somehow never got around to it until today. I had a hard time deciding what kind I wanted to make, so naturally I just threw everything into one batter. Thankfully, raspberries, oatmeal, dark chocolate, and toasted walnuts are kind of perfect matches for each other.

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Confession – I didn’t mean for the batter to be this pink. I forgot to toast my walnuts until after I had already added my frozen raspberries to the batter so then they kind of thawed and when I mixed the walnuts in, well… you know. Everything got pink. Buuut they’re kind of pretty so I decided to embrace it. I cut half of them into squares and half into triangles, just to see which I liked better. I think I like the triangles a bit more, purely for looks.

This recipe makes quite a lot, so I might cut it in half next time, but it is good if you want to freeze some of them. Just get to the step where you cut them, then place them on parchment paper and throw in the freezer until they’re solid, then transfer into containers. Then, next time you want fresh scones for breakfast, turn the oven on and pop ’em in while you’re showering/making coffee.

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These scones are a bit crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside, and have a delicious nutty flavour. And those bits of dark chocolate are the happiest of surprises. They contain fruit, oatmeal, nuts, and whole wheat flour which I’m pretty sure means that you can have them for breakfast (never mind all that butter!)

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Raspberry Oatmeal Scones with Dark Chocolate and Toasted Walnuts 

Adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

Makes 24 – 30, depending on size

2 cups All-Purpose Flour

2 cups Whole Wheat Flour

1 cup Rolled Oats

2 tbsp Baking Powder

3 tbsp White Sugar

2 tsp Salt

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) Unsalted Butter, chilled and diced

1/2 cup Buttermilk, chilled

4 Large Eggs, lightly beaten

1 tsp Vanilla

2 cups Frozen Raspberries

1 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (or Chunks)

1 cup Chopped Walnuts, toasted lightly and cooled*

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, sift together together the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar and salt. Then, add the cold, diced butter and knead with your hands (or use a pastry blender, but you’re working with a lot here!) until the mixture begins to resemble coarse crumbs.

3. In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and use a wooden spoon to combine, trying not to over mix. Add the frozen raspberries, chocolate chips, and cooled toasted walnuts, and combine (you might have to use your hands).

4. In batches (or not, depending on how you want to cut the scones), dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and use your hands to shape the dough – probably into either a circle or a square – and pat down to be about 3/4 to 1 inch thick. The dough will be sticky, and this will most likely get a little messy. Cut the dough into segments (it’s helpful to wet your knife so it doesn’t stick) and place onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. At this point, you can either pop them in the oven, or put them in the freezer to use later. If you’re baking them now, make sure to brush the tops with egg wash right before you put them in the oven.

5. If you’re using frozen dough at this point, it might take an extra 10 minutes or so, but that’s why I will typically place frozen dough in the oven as it’s heating up instead of waiting for it to preheat (just keep an eye on them). Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until they are lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and transfer to cooling racks. Serve warm, if possible.

* I toasted my walnuts for about 5-6 minutes in the preheated oven

Coconut Quinoa Pancakes

Today I am finally sharing one of my very favourite recipes with you! I’ve been making these guys at least once a month for over a year now, and will be continuing to do so for the foreseeable future. I pretty much always have some leftover quinoa in the fridge because it’s convenient and so darn healthy. This is the best way that I know of to use it up!

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These are a bit more dense than your average pancake, but I swear you can’t taste the quinoa in them. My version is loaded with coconut in all of it’s forms (I may have an addiction…) so if you don’t like coconut you might need to make some substitutions. I’ve learned that this recipe is verrry versatile though, so don’t worry!

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This take is significantly more nutritious than your average pancake, which I did to make myself not feel so terrible for eating them so often (pancakes are a bit of a soft spot for me). They also freeze very well, so you can pop them in the toaster/microwave for a quick weekday breakfast (or dinner. I am a huge fan of pancakes for dinner!)

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Coconut Quinoa Pancakes

Adapted from Fitsugar 

Makes 8 – 10 small pancakes 

1 cup Cooked Quinoa

3/4 cup Whole Wheat Flour

2 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Sea Salt (course)

1 tbsp Ground Flax Seeds

1 tbsp Chia Seeds

1/4 Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1 tbsp Coconut Oil, melted & cooled, plus more for pan

1 Egg + 1 Egg White

1/2 cup Coconut Flavoured Almond Milk

2 tbsp Maple Syrup, plus more for serving

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together cooked quinoa, whole wheat flour, baking powder, salt, flax and chia seeds, and shredded coconut. In a separate medium bowl, combine egg, egg white, milk, melted & cooled coconut oil, and maple syrup. Add wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. Do not over mix.

2. Add coconut oil to a large skillet or griddle and melt over medium heat, spreading it to coat the surface. Once hot, drop the batter onto the surface using either a 1/4 cup or a 1/3 cup measure depending on how big you want the pancakes. Cook until bubbles appear on top, about 2 or 3 minutes.

3. Flip cakes and cook until golden brown on underside, about 2 more minutes. Repeat process with remaining batter, adding more coconut oil to the pan as needed. Serve with maple syrup, fresh fruit, or jam/jelly (my fave!)

Pannekoeken (Dutch Pancakes)

One of the main reasons that I am so excited to go to Europe this summer is because I have a ton of relatives over there that I haven’t seen in forever. Both of my parents were born in Europe. My dad is from England (which explains my affinity for tea and those lovely accents) and I actually have a British passport. My mom is from The Netherlands, which brings me to another big reason why I’m so excited – the food.

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I travelled to Europe quite often when I was younger, and have very fond memories of dutch food. I love liquorice and gouda and speculaas and french fries with mayo and chocolate sprinkles on toast (duh). The dutch, like many other countries, have their own take on pancakes.

Pannekoeken are traditionally eaten at dinner time (and we all know I love breakfast for dinner) and can be sweet or savoury. Their texture can be filed somewhere in between French Crepes and American Pancakes. They are large, like crepes, but not as thin, and are more dense than American Pancakes. The apple/raisin topping is quite common in Holland, plus it is delicious and a little different.

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This recipe is a lot like the ones that my mom made when I was growing up, but alas she is terrible for keeping recipes, so I found one elsewhere and changed it slightly. Coincidentally, Pancake Day/Shrove Tuesday was 10 days ago, so I’m only a little late for that. I think Pannekoeken are a nice change from your regular American pancakes – you should give them a try!

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Pannekoeken (Dutch Pancakes):

Makes 4 10-inch pannekoeken

Adapted from The Foodery

1 cup All Purpose Flour, minus 1 tbsp (measure 1 cup, then remove 1 tbsp)

1/4 tsp Salt

1 1/4 cup 1% Milk

2 Large Eggs, beaten

6 tbsp Unsalted Butter

3 Apples, peeled, cored, and sliced thin

2 tbsp Brown Sugar

1/3 cup Raisins or Currants

Cinnamon, for serving

Dutch Stroop (syrup) or Maple Syrup, for serving

1. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt with a whisk. Make well in center. Add whisked egg to milk & combine. Pour into centre of flour mixture and gradually mix wet ingredients into dry, being careful not to over mix. Let batter sit for 15 minutes.

2. While batter rests, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet over medium heat. When butter starts to bubble and begins to brown (about a minute) add sliced apples and cook for 3-5 minutes until the undersides begin to brown. Turn over pieces, sprinkle in brown sugar and currants and another tablespoon butter, if needed. Cook for 5 minutes more or until tender and apples are nicely caramelized, stirring frequently. Transfer to plate and scrape pan of any remaining sauce with rubber spatula. Set aside.

3. In same pan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Pour a little over 1/4 cup batter into pan, tilting the pan to spread the batter into a wide circle (you want it to cover most of the pan). Cook for 1 – 2 minutes or until underside of pannekoek begins to brown and top begins to firm up. Turn over and cook for 1 or 2 more minutes, until it turns a golden brown colour. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining batter.

4. Top pannekoek with the apples and raisins or currants, a pinch of cinnamon, and a syrup of your choice. Enjoy!

Almond Coconut Granola

I am not a morning person. My internal clock wants me to wake up around 10:30, eat dinner late, and go to sleep around 1:00 in the morning. I think I will fair well in Spain (I’m going in June!) I savour coffee, having 2 or 3 cups if I can, and I like to eat breakfast slowly, adjusting to the time and preparing for my day.

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My love of good granola is not a new thing. I make it regularly, and I like to mix it up with all kinds of different dried fruits, nuts, spices, sweeteners, etc. This one is fairly basic, which is great, because it means you can add/change things to suit your tastes. I especially love the faint citrus-y taste that the orange juice adds.

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A bowl of granola is the perfect morning ritual. It’s crunchy and not too sweet and you don’t have to think about preparing anything fancy in the morning. I like mine best with a sliced banana and some almond milk, but it is also delicious with yogurt, or whatever suits you. Also, coffee (or at least tea) is not optional.

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A batch of this will usually last me about 2 weeks, eating about 1/2 cup almost every morning. The number of servings are not exact on account I have a bit of a late night snacking issue (I’m pretty sure my roommate is also a culprit).

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Almond Coconut Granola:

Makes about 6 cups  

Adapted from The Kinfolk Table (Alela Diane Menig)

3 cups Whole Rolled Oats

1 cup Raw Almonds, chopped

1/4 cup Whole Flax Seeds

1/4 cup Sunflower Seeds

1/2 cup Unsweetened Shredded Coconut

1 tsp Cinnamon

1/3 cup Coconut Oil, melted to liquid consistency and cooled

1/3 cup Honey

1/4 cup Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1. Preheat oven to 300. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Combine oats, almonds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Whisk the coconut oil, honey, orange juice, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add oil the mixture to the oats and stir until thoroughly combined.

3. Spread the granola on the prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 15 or 20 minutes, for 45 to 60 minutes or until golden and dry. Transfer the sheet to a rack and cool completely, about 30 minutes. The granola can be stored at room temperature for 2 weeks and frozen for up to 4 weeks.

Best Banana Pancakes

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I love pancakes. Actually, I love all breakfast food. I’ve said that before. Breakfast is by far my favourite meal of the day. Especially on the weekends, when there is extra time for cooking or going out to eat. When I make breakfast at home, I usually try to keep it pretty healthy; whole wheat flour, flax, no sugar, etc. etc. But in all reality, nothing beats plain ol’ banana pancakes (maybe not the best descriptor… these are anything but plain!) They are worth every single bite.

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These pancakes are a classic. They are tried and true, and I can guarantee everyone will want seconds. They are perfectly moist with just enough banana flavour, they are light and fluffy on the inside, a little crisp on the outside, and every other thing that pancakes are meant to be.

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I like mine best served with a big pat of butter, a good amount of maple syrup, and some fresh sliced bananas – I did warn you this wasn’t a particularly healthy one!

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Best Banana Pancakes:

Adapted from Once Upon A Chef

Makes 12 Pancakes  

1.5 cups All Purpose Flour

2 tbsp White Sugar

2.5 tsp Baking Powder

1/2 tsp Salt

2 large, very ripe Bananas

2 large Eggs

1 cup plus 2 tbsp 2% Milk

1 tsp Vanilla

3 tbsp Butter, melted + another small pat

1 tsp Vegetable Oil

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.

2. In another medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Whisk in the eggs, and then add the milk and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Pour the banana and then the melted butter into the flour mixture. Gently, fold the batter with a rubber spatula until just combined – do not over mix. Let the batter sit for 5 – 10 minutes before cooking.

3. Set a griddle or non-stick pan over medium heat. Add vegetable oil and the small pat of butter to the pan and spread it around. Drop the batter by the 1/4 cup onto the cooking surface, about 2 inches apart. Cook until small bubbles start to appear in the batter and the underside is golden, about 3 minutes. Flip the pancakes, and cook until the underside is golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer cooked pancakes to a plate, placing in the oven at the lowest temperature if you like.

4. Repeat this process, adding more oil/butter to the griddle as necessary, until the batter is all used up.

5. Serve topped with fresh sliced bananas, a pat of butter, and real maple syrup. Enjoy!