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Healthy

Granola Bark

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Anyone else need a breakfast or snack face lift? Now that the weather is getting warmer, I’m craving easier and lighter foods. Thank you Jesus! My diet has largely included the beige part of the rainbow, you know, the one for whole grains, or carbs, like bread. Not that any of them are bad, at all. But the amount I’ve relied on for energy as of late should be criminal. But this healthy little recipe right here, is just what I needed to help me branch out. I’ve recently discovered how good apples with peanut butter and this granola bark broken up a bit is, as a snack or light lunch. The more obvious yogurt, fruit, granola bark combo is also divine. It’s super super easy to make. Seriously super easy. It also tastes amazing. Once it’s cooled, you just break it up into large pieces, like any other type of bark you would make, and enjoy! I love grabbing a couple of pieces to have in a pinch. Add this to your list of recipes to try. I highly recommend it!

Granola Bark

Granola Bark

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 13x18 - inch baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cinnamon, oats, almonds, coconut, flax, chia, and almond flour. Stir to blend and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the maple syrup, brown sugar, water, vanilla, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove from the heat and let cool to a warm temperature.
  4. Once the maple syrup mixture is cooled, add the olive oil and egg white. Whisk to incorporate. Pour into the bow with the oat mixture and mix well with a spatula.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly across the prepared baking sheet. Use the bottom of a pot to press the mixture down firmly, compacting it. Bake for 45 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the sheet about halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning. During the 45 minutes, open the oven a few times to release steam.
  6. Leaving the oven on, transfer the baking sheet to a wire rack and let cool until the surface of the granola is crisp. If the surface is still tacky, return the pan to the oven and bake 10-15 minutes more, checking every 5 minutes to avoid over browning. Once cooles, break the bark into pieces and store in an airtight container.

Notes

Adapted from Everyday Annie.

Weekend Waffles

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I have proclaimed my love of breakfast a few times throughout my blog. It’s arguably my favorite meal of the day. Well that and snacking. (not quite a meal, but I do love snacks). I was reading through my A Couple Cooks, Pretty Simple Cooking, book for breakfast inspiration this past weekend. One of the Chapters in the book starts off with the concept of slowing down. I took this to heart because it has been my biggest challenge… always. In an effort to reign in my eating habits as of late ( ahem – I’m speaking to you crazy last week) I have made a promise to myself that I am going to slow the F down.

I am going to take lunch, regardless of how busy my day is. And not check emails when I get home from the office – I’m leaving work, at work. I have also made a promise to myself, and really my family, that I am going to slow down more. No more running out the door in the morning like the house is on fire. Or breaking a sweat because I’m trying to get my son out the door with me. So many mornings, I leave the house with a red face, full blown sweat, almost in tears. Everything is so demanding of my time, so perhaps I should demand to have less demands? (:: Lifts hand to reveal palm::)

So I’m thumbing through the cookbook looking for some ideas on breakfast. I saw the waffles and thought “I like those, so I am going to make them.” I put on some music and made breakfast. It was such an enjoyable and satisfying experience. Not only the process of making them, but the process of slowing down to make them. The process of enjoying them and not with the slightest ounce of guilt. I was still in my pajamas, hair in a bun that was likely on the side of my head, still unfixed from the night before, with my cup of coffee, enjoying my morning. It was the most refreshing start to a weekend that I’ve had in a very long time. Because of all of this, these waffles have instantly become my favorite. If you feel like you need a minute, to slow down, even if it is to enjoy some waffles, this is my gift to you. That minute, and these damn delicious waffles.

Weekend Waffles

Weekend Waffles

Instructions

  1. Heat your waffle maker.
  2. In a medium bowl combine the flours, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and all spice. Whisk together and set aside.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the milk, egg, vanilla, and maple syrup. Whisk together. Pour the egg mixture into the dry mixture. Whisk together until incorporated. Do not over mix, there will be lumps!
  4. Scoop a heaping 1/2 cup of the batter onto the heated waffle maker. Serve with Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, almond butter, additional maple syrup and cinnamon.

Notes

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Muffins

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If there was ever a day to make these muffins, it would be today. The weather is awful here. My morning commute included a drive through Narnia. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever driven through so many different types of weather to get to the office. But, I made it and am dreaming about these citrus filled muffins. They are light and the grapefruit flavor is absolutely wonderful. I ate these muffins ever single day for breakfast and did not get tired of them. I’m not one of those people who eat the same thing everyday for one meal and am ok, I definitely need a change. But with these, I did not mind in the least. They are that good. The day I made them, I think I had three! But I would argue the health benefits outweighed the fact that I ate three. Also, they were good. If you are looking form something to elevate your breakfast, this is it!

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Muffins

Grapefruit Poppy Seed Muffins

Ingredients

For the muffins

For the glaze

To finish

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar and grapefruit zest. Rub together with your fingertips until the sugar is moistened and fragrant. Add in the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and poppy seeds. Whisk to blend. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the melted butter, milk, yogurt, egg and vanilla. Whisk until well blended. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl with the dry ingredients and fold together just until incorporated and no dry streaks remain.
  2. Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pans , filling each about 2/3 of the way full. Bake until the muffins are lightly browned and just set, about 20-22 minutes. Let cool in the pan, about 5 minutes. Gently remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. Place the wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar with 2 tbsp. of the grapefruit juice. Add more juice as needed a tsp at a time until the glaze is thick but drizzelable. Drizzle some over each muffin top.
  4. In a small bowl combine the granulated sugar and grapefruit zest. Rub together until well combined. Sprinkle on top of each muffin.

Notes

Recipe from Everyday Annie. 

Crispy Cumin Chickpeas

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Who love snacking? This girl! Who would eat an entire bag of potato chips? This girl! No really. I was talking to a colleague earlier this week about marathon runners eating potato chips while running to keep their energy up. I was instantly “into” running! But, no, it’s not ok to always eat potato chips. It is ok, however, to always eat something healthy and satisfying. These crispy chickpeas are a fantastic alternative. The spicy, salty, protein filled treat. They are very easy to make. I think the most intense part of the whole treat is removing the skin of the chickpeas. Which is really easy. This snack is another awesome treat from A Couple Cooks new book, Pretty Simple Cooking. This was super simple cooking. I’m sure any seasoning on here would be fantastic. Truffle oil and salt, rosemary and parmesan, my snack list keeps growing.

Crispy Cumin Chickpeas

Crispy Cumin Chickpeas

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. Place them on one side of a dry towel and fold the other side over the top. Gently roll your hands over the towel to loosen the skins.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the chickpeas, oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. Stir until evenly distributed.
  4. Place parchment paper on a baking sheet. Pour chickpeas onto the prepared baking sheet and spread them out so they are in an even layer. Bake 45-50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until they are crispy and dry.
  5. Allow to cool, and store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Notes

Adapted from A Couple Cooks Pretty Simple Cooking.

Blood Orange Vanilla Popsicles

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I am on an all things citrus kick lately. Maybe it’s the flu going around or maybe it’s me craving some warm weather but whatever it is, my kitchen smelled like a citrus grove last week and I loved it. I love blood oranges, the vibrant color, the super juicy fruit. Perfection! When I was searching for something different, I found these and immediately moved them to the top of my must try list. I was slightly discouraged when I didn’t have vanilla beans left to make the syrup, but then realized that I had homemade vanilla extract…and simple syrup…so I was going to be just fine. Not only are these packed with vitamin C there are basically no preservatives and zero red 40. Yay! The vanilla syrup balances out the tartness of the juice. A combination that is so refreshing it’s hard to eat one. And honestly, if you went for two, who cares, they’re healthy! I opted for the wooden sticks for this batch. I will say the foil method is magic, once you get it to work. I had a hard time with my sticks staying in place and not floating to the top. So annoying! But third time was the charm. I poked the foil with a sharp knife and then slide the stick in…worked like a charm! If you wanted to get fancy you could add some color to the sticks, or use different shapes.

Blood Orange Vanilla Popsicles

Blood Orange Vanilla Popsicles

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Juice blood oranges to get 2 1/2 cups of juice. If you have a juicer, use it! If not, just do it the good old fashioned way like I did!
  2. Measure out the simple syrup in a liquid measuring cup. Add in 2 tsp. vanilla extract. I would highlly recommend using homemade for this. I have not testing it with any other version.
  3. Pour the simple syrup into the juice and combine. Taste the liquid, if you think it needs more vanilla, add it in here.
  4. Pour the juice into the Popsicle mold. Use the sticks that come with it, or use the foil method I described above.

Notes

Recipe slightly adapted from Everyday Annie.