Fall is back. Back with all things I love: slow cookers, back to school, scarves, the desire to get cozy and a new sense of routine (with a few bumps along the way). When I was asked if I would like to try out one of Ricardo’s slow cooker recipes I jumped at the chance. When I saw slow cooker rice pudding I was sold. I used to think both rice pudding and tapioca pudding were gross. Once I tried rice pudding I quickly changed my tune. Rice is normal food, tapioca ball things are not. Still in the gross category for me.
Now that my oldest is in school I have more time with my middle, Sawyer. He was the perfect assistant to help with this recipe. Middle children are sneaky. They grow up when you aren't looking. Everything is anticipated with the oldest: walking, talking, school. The middle is who they are right now, I am so much more in the moment with him. So he surprises me when I notice the passing of time. My husband picked him up yesterday, he was so long. We were both gob smacked. So sneaky. The third is a whole other story. He has three molars. We just noticed them. Yikes. We catch on, eventually.
On a side note: moving forward most of my blog posts will feature iPhone snaps. I realized that I was blogging less because in the chaos of my life the simple act of grabbing my digital SLR camera was too much. I don’t think you are here for the beautifully styled food photos anyways. You are here for ideas and my undeniable wit and charm, right?
So onto the rice pudding recipe...
1 cup (250 ml) arborio or other short-grain rice
1 cup (250 ml) 10% half and half
4 cups (1 litre) 3.5 % milk
1 pinch salt
3/4 cup (125 ml) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla extract
Cinnamon to top
In the slow cooker, combine the rice, cream, milk and salt. Cover and cook on high heat for 2 hours. Add the sugar and vanilla and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Let cool partially. Serve warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top, or cover and chill.
Turned out beautifully; creamy, perfectly sweet and cozy. I prefer it a little warm, it is easy to reheat in the microwave. All my kids liked it and I may of even converted my husband to the “not the gross food I thought it was" category. Of course you can add raisins or nuts or whatever you feel like. I took it to work for breakfast one morning with almonds and raspberries thrown in. I played around with the milk and cream in the recipe to use what I had on hand. I also decreased the sugar a bit, because why not. As you can tell by the brief directions, this is simple. Great chance for your kids to help out.
So I hope the start of your fall has brought good things with it.
Well, well, well....I have finally made my way back to my blog. I have many excuses: three busy boys, recent return to work, a computer that needs an upgrade, but none of that matters. I'm here.
Where to even start? We are all getting used to our new roles. Me: at work, pumping mom. Braden: stay at home, training for his forth triathalon dad. The boys: happy to have some wild dad time and maybe happy to have a more present mommy when I am home.
We drink a lot of smoothies around here. The whole family loves them. I also love mason jars. Imagine how excited I was to learn that a mason jar fits on the base of my blender.
I don't have a super fancy blender. I have had this one since I moved out of my parents house. It still works, but I am secretly hoping it will die so I can get a fancy one. Although this whole mason jar attachment has me pretty excited about my old, tired blender. It does let off that "forgot to disengage the emergency break and driving" kind of smell when it really works, so maybe close?
I had been lusting after these mason jar drink tops and straws.
I was waiting for them to go on sale. So they went on sale. At Target. Everything is on sale at Target. I don't even want to get into how sad I am that Target is closing. Anyways, I bought them and they are great. But maybe more great enjoyed with a costume on. I have also been using them for tea and iced coffee as well as to dispense home made vinaigrettes. The straw is wide enough for extra thick smoothies and all can be popped into the dishwasher.
Some tips to create a better smoothie:
-add fruit: frozen or fresh
-lots of veggies: greens, avocado
-a protein source: low fat Greek yogurt, nut butters
-healthy fats: flax or hemp seeds
-watch your liquid: choose low fat milk (dairy or unsweetened non-dairy) or water instead of fruit juice to keep the sugar content down
-any left overs are great to pour into a popsicle mold
When we want to switch it up a bit we make a funky monkey smoothie:
2 cups milk
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
1 frozen banana
1-2 tbsp. natural peanut butter
1-2 tbsp. cocoa powder
So hoping to be back here soon, there are certainly some recipes I am excited to share.
I am totally into Christmas this year. I have never been a scrooge, but I dread some of the set up, decorating, shopping. Not this year. Our outdoor lights were up by the end of November, the tree up and house decorated by December 1st. I love the lights and the colour, it makes the house feel brighter and cozy. Plus the boys love it all and are mostly old enough to not to be picking at the tree all day. I am sticking to one of my past boycotts though, no Christmas baking. I loathe it. My boys are headed over to their Great-Grandma’s to bake and decorate gingerbread men this weekend. She loves it and they will too.
Then there are the gifts. My boys get spoiled. They are the only grandchildren on both sides. That not only means grandparents going wild with giving, but aunts and uncles too. I am a clutter-phobe. We are staying in our three bedroom rancher when baby arrives. We don’t have a playroom. I fear being over taken by toys. A few weeks ago I cleaned out all the toys that are no longer played with, or were never played with. They all went up on Craigslist. So far I have made $110. I have vowed that that is the only money I am spending on the boys this Christmas. It has really made me think about what they truly need and want. I finished their shopping the other night. I bought everything locally. There is more than enough. Plus there is more to go around in January on our annual Maui vacation. I would rather spend money on doing than things. I feel good, might make this an annual November toy sale.
Now for the most part I am an egg hater (minus that weird pregnancy moment when I ate a breakfast burrito). I love the idea of quiche, so when I saw the recipe for Sundried tomato, mushroom and spinach tofu quiche I wanted to give it a try. It should be said that I am also not a huge tofu or mushroom lover. I made a few changes, subbing in asparagus for the mushrooms. The original was gluten and dairy-free, which I didn’t need, so I changes that a bit too. If you are looking for gluten and dairy-free get the recipe here.
For the crust:
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 very cold water
For the quiche:
1 block (14-oz) firm tofu
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups chopped asparagus or broccoli
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1.5 cups baby spinach
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (I used smoked cheddar)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
I had my doubts. I tried a finger full of the pureed tofu and was almost ready to call it quits. We all loved it. It tasted like there was bacon in it, I think the combo of sundried tomatoes and the smoked cheese maybe. It re-heats well. I managed to get it on the table on a weeknight, but it was a bit of a push.
I hope all your holiday preperations are going smoothly. My goal it to avoid stress, that's why I am wrapping everything tonight.
I am heading into two weeks’ vacation. This is the first time my husband and I have ever had a summer vacation as a couple. We tend to take sunny destination winter vacations instead. Our summers are usually spent cramming a lot of things into weekends, then trying to recover through the week. I am looking forward to this vacation immensely. We are going to be camping for the first week then staying in a cabin on Salt Spring Island with my in-laws for the second week.
My parents bought a trailer this year that they are nice enough to lend to us. After tenting it with two kids, this upgrade is incredibly luxurious. By current standards the trailer is modest at 20 feet long. It has everything we need: beds, a toilet, a fridge and a bit of warm water. Even with all this luxury I still find prepping and cooking food while camping to be not fun. Not to mention the dishes. Blah. Time spent cooking means more time for my children to be poking around the sewer outlflow drain, flipping lawn chairs (they are both in love with doing this?) and playing with the hatchet. Kids have a natural talent for finding the most dangerous things in a matter of seconds.
It is pretty easy to wing it for weekend get-aways. A whole week is a bit long to be eating only hot dogs, chips and cold cereal. The key to more fun in the sun and less cooking is pre-planning and a few short cuts. Before I leave I am going to make Salsa Stuffed Meatloaves and Chipotle Turkey Burger patties. Once cooked or barbequed I am going to freeze them so I just have to thaw, heat and serve. I am also going to marinade some chicken breasts with a simple marinade I found on Pintrest. Throw it all into a re-sealable bag and freeze. Toss into a cooler to help keep drinks cold while defrosting safely. I will also bring along the makings for some quick, vegetarian quesadillas, whole wheat tortillas, re-fried beans, cheese and veg. On our way out of town I am going to pick up a deli roasted chicken which can be for dinner one night and used in sandwiches for lunch. Of course we will have the required hot dogs too.
Most of the fruit and veg I pack will be ready to serve: cherry tomatoes, snap peas, mini-cucumbers, mini carrots, grapes, blueberries, bananas, nectarines, etc. Others will be prepped/chopped ahead of time: broccoli, cauliflower, melons and peppers so they are ready to be thrown out as a quick snack or into a cooler bag for a take along lunch.
For breakfast it's going to be a lot of cold cereal, it's easy and my kids love it. I am also bring along some pancake mix that just needs water. I usually throw in some berries (hopefully huckleberries the kids have picked) and top with yogurt. I like to do fruit, yogurt and low sugar granola parfaits too.
As far as sides go I will prep my favorite Southwest Quinoa Salad before I leave. I am also a fan of these rice pouches. The wholegrain brown rice is just rice with a bit of oil to prevent sticking. No added salt which you will get with the flavoured varieties. It is ready to go after a quick microwave (if you have power) or a stir fry with some veggies. You are going to pay a bit more for this product, but in this case I would rather spend the 40 minutes I have saved at the beach or reading a trashy mag. I also like to make a simple potato salad with new potatoes tossed with Greek yogurt Tzatziki.
For snacks I try to serve veggies and hummus, fruit, cheese strings, homemade muffins and trail mix more often. Of course there are a few cookies, potato chips and s’mores too. If you can’t have a little junk while camping, when can you?
I am pretty sure it goes without saying: I am so happy our summer weather arrived with July. In my mind summer doesn’t really start until July anyways, so I don’t get too bent out of shape when the weather is less than great in June. Anything that is, a bonus.
Hot weather changes the way we eat. Hot comfort foods are a lot less comforting in the heat. I love oatmeal and had abandoned it in summer. But its back in full force, just in a different form. Meet refrigerator oatmeal. When I first spotted this (on Pintrest maybe?) I thought it sounded kind of gross, maybe because of the chia content.
There is no shortage of places or people that will list for you the reasons why chia seeds are amazing. The fiber! The omega threes! Bottom line: I don’t like them. I find the gelatinous texture they produce very unappealing. In this case I just left them out, no problem.
There are a lot of foods out there that are deemed as absolutely necessary to achieve good health. They vary from chia to salmon to kale to blueberries to quinoa to green tea. There is an even longer list of foods that are deemed unhealthy. They are talked about in ways that may lead us to believe that if they ever pass our lips we are doomed to a life of chronic disease and weight issues.
If you are a regular reader, you know I like to take a balanced approach to healthy eating. I don’t think there are specific foods that must be eaten to be healthy. Lots of foods have vitamins, minerals or other profiles that can make them great, but they can all be found elsewhere. The highly touted foods I tend to stay away from (simply because I don’t like them) are: green tea, kale chips, plain yogurt, ginger and most forms of tofu. On the flip side I eat things that some people express shock over: Fillet-O-Fish sandwiches from McDonalds, Old Dutch Popcorn Twists (odd obsession), hot dogs, tempura anything and Diet Coke. How often do I eat these things? Not often. Could I go without? Probably. Do I want to? Nope.
Eating is about so much more than just fueling your body. We eat when we celebrate, we gather around the table (hopefully) to eat together as a family; it provides joy and variety to our days. Life is too short to never have the foods we love. On the flip side your life will be shortened if all you eat is crap. All in moderation, a dietitian’s favorite word.
Anyways, I came back to the recipe and gave it a go. I am going to share the flavor combo I tried.
1/4 cup uncooked old fashioned rolled oats (not steel cut)
1/3 cup skim milk
1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds (optional)
1 cup strawberries, sliced
1 tablespoon natural peanut butter
In a container that seals well, add oats, milk, yogurt, chia seeds, and peanut butter. Seal and shake until well combined. Remove lid, add strawberries and stir until mixed throughout. Cover and refrigerate overnight or up to 2-3 days. Eat chilled.
Love it. Folks who don’t like oatmeal due to texture might like this. I made mine in mason jars (which I use for everything under the sun). I made a few different flavor combos to eat through the week. My creation was a twist on peanut butter and jam. There are a lot of flavor ideas here and here.
Some things to keep in mind: choose a low fat and sugar content Greek yogurt (or plain) for a protein boost, regular yogurt can be used but tends to be thinner so reduce the milk. Any milk can be used in place of cow’s milk. Be sure to include a healthy fat like nuts, nut butter or seeds to keep you full for longer.
If you start your day off right there might be room for something from the less healthy category here and there too…..
Have you ever thought of what you would like to pass onto your kids? I'd like to think that I am instilling a love of laughter, not to take anything too seriously as well as a curious and optimistic attitude. I feel like those three tenants have gotten me to where I am and ensure that I love that place. Of course there are many other ideas, stories and values that I hope get passed along the way. I love how each member of the family has something to expose my kids to. This past Sunday Hudson, my oldest son, had an amazing day.
We kicked off the day watching his Dad complete his second triathlon in Comox. Hudson loved that it was a race. He was the best cheerleader and had his Lightning McQueen water bottle all ready for his Daddy at the finish line. Hudson was also super pumped that his Dad had won the whole thing (not quite). On the surface I love that this triathlon exposes our kids to a love to activity. On a deeper level it demonstrates goal setting, perseverance and a continuation of sport through adulthood. I am always inspired by my husband’s undertaking. A few years ago he could hardly swim two lengths of the pool when he decided he wanted to complete a triathlon. I love that through re-locating, raising two boys and having a body that likes to sink, he did it. Extra bonus for having your son think you are the coolest guy ever.
After that we were all off to The Port Theater in Nanaimo to watch Hudson’s Granny in her choir performance. It was a lively show with a great variety of songs. Hudson was literally dancing in the aisle (along with a somewhat eccentric fellow a few rows down) and was pretty excited to see his Granny up on stage. Given mine and my husband’s limited participation in the arts I was so happy to have the opportunity to give him some arts exposure starring his own Granny. His Granny has shown him that taking a risk to join a choir when you are new to town pays off. You get to sing your heart out and spread some joy.
I feel so, so lucky to have close family around. Our kids get to see and experience so many different passions, views, challenges and successes. I sometimes find myself staring at my kids wondering what passions are locked in there. What things will come easy, what will require extra time and attention? Our job, I think, is to show them around and follow their lead.
Enough story, onto the food! I have been looking for a good homemade granola bar type recipe. There can be many down falls when making them; they crumble when you cut them, they don’t hold together enough to cut or taste like sawdust. I think the biggest problem is that many claim to have “no added sugar”, but are loaded with honey, maple syrup, cane sugar, etc. This recipe solved all those problems, along with being gluten-free and vegan. Recipe adapted from here.
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/4 cup shredded coconut
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup of old fashioned or large flake oats
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a large bowl mash the banana. Stir in the remaining ingredients until combined.
3. Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper. Then spread the batter in an even layer.
4. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until the edges are golden brown
5. Allow to cool completely before cutting into slices
Of course I doubled the recipe. I used a combo of almonds and walnuts because that is what I had on hand. The result is a fairly soft bar that holds together and freezes well. They taste great too, kids loved them. There is a lot of room to play around with the recipe, you could change up the nut butter to almond or cashew butter, vary the nuts or use seeds, substitute other dried fruit in place of the coconut. When compared to the store bought variety these bars are lower in calories, sugar and sodium…..yes. Watch the portion though, cut into small bars. They make a great on-the-go throw in your purse kind of snack for yourself or your kids and are easy to grab for part of a fast breakfast (great paired with a piece of fruit and a low fat latte).
I guess I have also been exposing my kids to cooking, baking and a lot of different foods. They might be on the road to making excellent husbands one day.
Two years ago today I posted my first blog entry. For real. The time has gone really quickly. When I started out I wasn't really sure what this blog would look like or what sort of information I would provide. It quickly evolved to a recipe testing/transforming/sharing format. A much slower evolution also took hold; the sharing of more of my personal life. There was only so many ways I could talk about how I swapped out whole wheat flour for white, or Greek yogurt for sour cream before things get a little dry and repetitive. When I was younger I was a diary keeper, my last entries were done around grade eleven, After that I kept a yearly planner that included homework, weekend adventures, dinner plans, holidays and work schedules. I have now progressed to iCal on my phone. I keep track of the boys' big moments in the calendar too (I have yet to get a baby book started for either of them). I guess I have always had a need to document. The part that is missing is the details. Maybe that's where this blog fits in, a way to document some of the details.
It has also been a great way to keep track of my favorite recipes. I refer back often. There are still things I would like to do: add a print option, figure out a better way to categorize the recipes so they are easier to find, add a search box, etc. Someone asked me a while ago "Why do you write your blog?". I thought it was kind of a strange question. It was hard to answer. I don't make any money doing it. I guess it does provides some exposure for my business and website, but that's not the motivator either. I think I would still write entries even if no one was reading. I just really like doing it, which is really the best motivator. Of course I love that people do read, try recipes and realize that healthy eating doesn't have to be tasteless or difficult.
For this entry I am sharing a recipe for lemon loaf. When I was younger I was not a lemon dessert fan at all. My Mom and Grandma love them. I was sure it was an older lady thing. Then it hit me like a truck. A sudden love of lemon desserts. I am officially an older lady by my own definition. Whatever, as long as there is lemon loaf. Of course I was looking for something a little more healthy, but still moist and very lemony. I used Meyer lemons. Good lord, go out and buy some if you haven't already. First off they are the most beautiful yellow colour, they scream spring. They release the most amazing smell when you zest them (like candy). They are also easier to juice than their traditional cousins.
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
3/4 cup of sugar
1 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/3 cup of canola oil
1 cup of low fat plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 teaspoons of grated lemon peel (I was very generous to achieve max lemon flavour)
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
3/4 cup of powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Squeeze lemon juice from a fresh lemon. Then grate the peel.
Combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda into a bowl.
In a large bowl, stir egg, oil, yogurt, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and lemon peel. Once mixed, add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Mix well (it will be a pretty thick batter)
Pour mixture into a greased loaf pan.
Bake for 45 - 50 minutes.
While baking, mix together the sugar and remaining lemon juice to create a glaze. When bread is done baking and has cooled, apply glaze. I used a spoon to drizzle the glaze over the bread. Adapted from here.
So yeah, delicious. I doubled the recipe (of course) and froze a loaf for a later date. I added a little more lemon juice to the glaze because I wanted it more tart than sweet. Loved it. Very moist.
Thank you for reading, trying recipes and all your comments. The last two years have flown by. I feel so lucky to have something in my life that I enjoy so much.
So much has happened since I last posted that I can't even begin to write it all out, so I am going to offer the highlights:
1. Hudson turned three! He was so excited. It was the first year I felt motivated to pick a theme and really go for it. If you need a theme for anything choose a Hawaiian theme! It was really easy to find the decor, music, food ideas and everyone can dress in their summer clothes.
We did the decorating while Hudson was out of the house. All of his "this is for me?", "this is for MY birthday?" and declaring "all I want to do is dance" made the decorating more than worth it (even the oh so tedious for me cupcakes).
I won't even start on how incredible it is that my first born is three.
2. I finally bought a bottle of my new favorite hot sauce Chalula. Go out and get some. Best ever. All the flavour without burn your face off heat.
3. I may have also watched the best documentary I have ever seen: Stories We Tell. Incredibly emotional, I don't think I have stopped thinking about it since I saw it three weeks ago. My mother-in-law got us tickets to see it at the Comox Valley Art Gallery TIFF Film Series. I have no idea where else you can see it? But if you get the chance....watch. Hopefully it will make it's way to iTunes.
4. So I am not the greatest sports star, at all. But I have always had this secret idea that there was a sport out there that I had an incredible amount of natural talent. I just hadn't discovered or tried it yet. I was proven wrong with tennis. I enjoyed my lessons but my instructor wasn't blown away by my talent. I always thought rowing could be for me, but chickened out before signing up back in my UVic days. This weekend I tried cross country skiing. Again I didn't have my instructor wondering how I was so good given it was my first time on cross country skis, but I for sure had more talent than one other person in the lesson (Yes!). Most importantly I really loved it. Can't wait to give it another go.
5. Lastly I discovered the recipe for Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies on the back of a bag of Trader Joe's gluten free oats. I never make cookies, more of a muffin girl, but this caught my eye.
1/4 cup butter
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup sugar
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
8 oz dark chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup natural peanut butter
1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sugar, brown sugar, and butter in a large bowl. Beat until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and baking soda: mix well. Add peanut butter and mix. Stir in the oats, chocolate chips, and nuts. Place dough by heaping teaspoons onto a lightly greased cookie sheet (I used parchment paper), about 2 inches apart. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light gold on the edges. Makes approximately 48 cookies.
Love these. I made them small because they are pretty calorie dens.There are about 100 calories, 3 grams of protein and 6 grams of sugar per cookie. I reduced the amount of sugar that was called for and they were sweet enough. They freeze very well. It is hard to believe that they don't have any flour in them. You can also get creative with what you add into the mix. Instead of chocolate chips and nuts you could do raisins and coconut or cranberries and sunflower seeds. Endless ideas.
A side note about oats and gluten. Oats themselves are gluten free, but are usually processed in factories that process wheat so there can be cross contamination. Look for uncontaminated or gluten free oats to be sure your oats are gluten free.
Any new discoveries you want to share?
Last post I discussed the things I like and don’t like (loved all the feedback and comments that post generated). I am sure you noticed things like yoga, working out at the gym on my not enjoy list. People often assume that I eat healthy and am fit and active. I do eat healthy, but fit and active, not so much. I find fitting regular activity into my life difficult. It isn’t even a time thing, I just don’t feel like it for the most part. I know all the benefits and reasons for activity, but at 7:00 pm they are not always convincing enough. When I have spare time I want to read a book. Having two small boys I am often on the move. I am not sitting with my feet up for the most part. At the same time I know I am not getting my heart rate up or breaking a sweat. My husband is one of those people that doesn’t have trouble building activity into his life. He chooses goals like doing a triathlon or running a marathon and works towards that goal (the wallpaper on his iPad is his training schedule). Marathons, triathalons, so not for me.
I know the activity that I am more likely to enjoy and therefore stick with. I need a class with a start time. I also like a group and music. I grew up taking dance classes so those things feel right to me. That being said I have a three month pass to Stereo Fitness waiting to be started. Since August....no joke. I have managed to create legitimate reasons (to myself) why the present month was not the month to start. I went to some classes while I was pregnant with Sawyer and loved them. I had every intention of starting back up as soon as my midwife gave the go ahead. They even offer child care.
Stereo Fitness is currently running a fabulous health and wellness challenge. Last night was the kick off. The participants were given their challenges and were introduced to the Health and Wellness Squad, which I am included in. It was inspring to see so many people excited about making healthful changes in their lives without the focus being on weight loss alone. Well guess what? It was enough to kick my sedentary butt into gear, drop the excuses and get active. It is about damned time.
Back to food. At my son's playschool parents take turn making snacks for the entire class. For my turn I decided on Pineapple Carrot Mini-Muffins and a fruit tray.
Directions:Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, soda and cinnamon. Combine remaining ingredients and add to dry blend until moist. Do not overmix. Spoon into muffin pans (greased) and bake for 25 minutes at 325 degrees farenheit. Adapted from here.
I made a double batch because it used up the whole can of pineapple and I love to have muffins in the freezer. Compared to the original recipe these muffins are higher in fiber, lower in sugar, fat and sodium. I also like that there is a variety of fruit and veg in them. The pineapple makes them very moist. A double batch made 36 mini muffins and 12 regular muffins. The mini muffins were perfect in my oven between 15 and 20 minutes of baking.
They were a hit, no leftovers sent home. One of Hudson's class mates called them "delicious". These are a great on the go snack, or work as a part of breakfast or lunch.
Not to be outdone by active husband, the wallpaper on my iPad is the Stereo Fitness class scedule. Hope to see you there!
The recipe for Raspberry Banana Baked Oatmeal has been kicking around my Pinterest to try list for a while. Summer didn't really seem like the right time for something like this. Now that kids are back to school and most of us are into our routines, it is the right time. Although it still doesn't feel like fall, which is fine by me. There is something about the warm orange glow of September sun that I love.
As I discussed in my last post September means back to school. I am no longer going back, but my oldest started playschool this week. We was pumped. So proud of himself with his little MEC backpac slung over his little shoulders. He rushed into the classroom without even saying goodbye. He was ready. When I came to pick him up he came running into my arms, which more than made up for the lack of goodbye.
This is the perfect breakfast to fill your little one's tummies before school, or your own. It is easy to make ahead and re-heat in the morning. There are a lot of make ahead breakfast type casseroles out there. Most involve a lot of eggs and soaking chunks of bread, for sure not for me. I had the perfect amount of oats in the cupboard to make this, meant to be.
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon (I was generous because I love cinnamon)
1 cup walnut pieces
1 cup raspberries (can use frozen)
2 cups milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ripe banana
Preheat oven to 375°F and generously spray the inside of an 8 or 9 inch square baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, half the walnuts and half the raspberries. (Save the other half of raspberries and walnuts for the top). Spread evenly into baking dish. In the same bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, canola oil and vanilla extract. Arrange the remaining raspberries and walnuts on top. Slice banana over top then pour the milk mixture over. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until the top is nicely golden brown and the milk mixture has set. Adapted from here.
Loved it. People that are not huge fans of the texture of oatmeal might like this, not mushy. I served it up with a dollop of plain non-fat greek yogurt and a drizzle of maple syrup. This gets two thumbs up nutrition wise too: fiber from oats, walnuts and raspberries and omega three fatty acids from the walnuts and canola oil. If you wanted to you could cut out the brown sugar completely.
There are lots of possible variations as well. You could try strawberry almond or blueberry pumpkin seed or coconut and pineapple. Ideas are endless. This makes breakfast easy.
Tiffany McFadden, RD