Category Archives: Breakfast

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

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Ok, honestly..how many people actually have time to sit down and have a nice breakfast during the week?! I remember the days when I would wake up at my leisure, have a nice pancake breakfast, and take my time getting ready for a class starting at noon. Those days are long gone, out the door, can’t even really remember if they were a reality or not!

Now my schedule goes like this…alarm goes off at 5:40 am…hit the snooze…alarm goes off at 5:47 am…can’t hit the snooze again…better get up or I’ll fall back asleep and never make it to work…shower…go to the kitchen….put my lunch together…inhale a bowl of cereal or some pb toast…back upstairs to finish getting ready…out the door at 6:45 am!

Now, I really refuse to wake up earlier than 5:40 am, and I hate having less than 5 minutes to eat my breakfast so more often than not, I take something to work to eat at my desk. Breakfast is such an important meal that it really can’t be skipped, and it’s important to get something nutritious in to start off your day! When I saw these muffins, I knew they would be a perfect bring to work breakfast. They combine hearty oats, fresh blueberries, and super powered walnuts which are full of omega-3s! One of these little babies along with a banana or yogourt is a perfect breakfast, and something that’s easy to grab on the go when mornings are crazy. These will also freeze well so you could just take them out as you need them.

**The original recipe had 2 tbsp of honey as well, but I just completely forgot to add it in! The muffins are still delicious as they are, so it’s up to you if you want to add it in or not. If you do, add it when you’re combining the brown sugar, applesauce etc.

Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

Slightly Adapted from Skinny TasteIMG_0268.JPG (2)

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

Combine oats and milk in a small bowl and soak for 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine brown sugar, applesauce, egg whites, oil and vanilla, and mix to combine.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add oat mixture to wet ingredients and stir to combine.

Gradually add flour mixture to wet ingredients, and stir until just combined.

Fold in blueberries and nuts.

Spoon batter into prepared muffin tin, and bake for 20-22 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 12 muffins.

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Filed under Breakfast, Healthy Treats, Muffins

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

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There has been a cool breeze in the air all week and I have to say it’s getting me excited for fall! It’s funny how the change of seasons is always so exciting whether it be the first snowfall, the first sunny days in the spring, or the first scorching weeks in the summer. While summer is definitely one of the most enjoyable seasons in Canada (let’s face it….we don’t have too many enjoyable seasons here…especially in Ottawa when 4 months of frostbite rolls around :|), I have always had a soft spot for fall. While summer desserts tend to focus more around fresh flavours, fall brings back warm flavours and comforting ingredients like spices, apples, and pumpkin. I don’t doubt that I will have a boatload of pumpkin recipes to share with you soon, but for now I’ll begin to ease you into the new season with some cinnamon raisin swirl bread…aka the best bread EVERRR!

I actually made this bread for the first time sometime early this year. Despite my constant failures with yeast, I was determined to try again with this recipe, because I was dying to create a homemade version of one of my favourite childhood treats, cinnamon raisin toast. The recipe is not difficult, but does take a bit of time due to the rising time. The first time I made it I started it way tIMG_0196oo late and it didn’t come out of the oven until midnight. It didn’t seem to stop us from consuming almost half the loaf while it around was still warm though, this stuff is SOO good! I honestly couldn’t believe I made a loaf of bread that tasted and LOOKED like one from the store. It was way too good to be true. If I can do it, you can too!

I made this recipe again when we went to visit my Mom a few weeks ago. We couldn’t help but eat almost an entire loaf between 3 of us while it was still warm. I’m telling you, it’s dangerous! The recipe makes two loaves of bread, you can cut it in half to make just one, but you’ll regret it when you eat the whole loaf in 10 minutes! You can always wrap the second loaf in plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze it for later…or you can just eat it and call it a day.

If you’re like me and nervous about baking with yeast, give this a try, you will be pleasantly surprised!! I’m planning to try a savoury cheese version of this bread ASAP. Next time maybe one cinnamon, one cheese? Mmmmm….make me some of this bread now pleaaseeee..?

*My notes are for kneading the dough by hand, but if you are lucky enough to have a stand mixer, you can use the dough hook to do the kneading and to incorporate the raisins, making it even easier!

Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

From The Kitchn

  • 1 cup raisins IMG_0194.JPG (2)
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 1/2 -6 cups all purpose flour

Filling

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 tsp warm water

Put the raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let them plump for at least 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. Reserve soaking water.

Pour 1 cup of water (use the water used to soak the raisins, just make sure it’s cooled to room temp) into a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over top. Let it sit for a few minutes, then stir to fully dissolve the yeast into the water.

Add the milk, melted butter, and salt into the water. Add 5 1/2 cups of the flour and stir to form a shaggy dough. Knead by hand for 8-10 minutes to form a smooth, slightly tacky dough. If the dough is very sticky, add a tbsp of flour at a time just until it is workable. The dough is ready when it quickly springs back when poked.

Toss the raisins in a few tablespoons of flour to absorb any moisture.

Turn the dough out onto your work surface and press it into an oval. Sprinkle half the raisins over the dough and fold it like a letter. Press it into an oval again, sprinkle the remaining raisins, and fold it again. Knead the dough for a few minutes to distribute the raisins.

Return the dough to the bowl and cover with a towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about an hour. In the meantime, combine the sugar and cinnamon in a one bowl and beat together the egg and water in a another bowl.

Split the dough into two pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough out on the counter. Roll it slightly less wide than your baking pan and as long as you can make it.

Brush the surface of the dough with the egg wash, leaving about two inches clear at the top. Sprinkle generously with cinnamon and sugar. Starting at the end closest to you, roll the dough. When it’s rolled, pinch the seams closed. Transfer to a loaf pan seam-side down. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Let the loaves rise until they pillow out over the top of the pans, 30-40 minutes. Halfway through rising, preheat the oven to 375° F.

Brush the top with some of the remaining egg wash. Bake for 40-45 minutes until golden brown.

Remove the loaves from the pans and allow them to cool completely before slicing (Good luck with that part!! haha)

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Filed under Breakfast, Yeast Bread

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

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The warm weather has arrived, everyone is getting into summer mode now and I can’t complain! Although I can’t say my hair likes it…humidity + curly hair = some interesting hair days.

Our moving date is now just over a month away, and I have been on a mission to eat things lurking in the back of the freezer to reduce the amount of food we have to transport to the new casa. A few weeks ago, I was successful on using up a lonely pie crust, and this week my mission involved some frozen rhubarb. Rhubarb recipes are rampant this time of year and despite the fact that my rhubarb was not fresh, I was still determined to use it up!

I spotted this recipe and already had the majority of the ingredients on hand, so it was a winner. I took the rhubarb out of the freezer one day ahead of when I was planning to make the cake. I put it all into a colander over a large bIMG_1642owl to catch the water that would drain off as it defrosted. I also squeezed as much water as I could out of it once it was fully defrosted. I don’t know if this was necessary, but I was afraid of excess liquid because it had been frozen. If you use fresh rhubarb, this shouldn’t be an issue.

This cake was honestly so so sooooo easy to whip up and in the end was a crowd pleaser. I had to scramble to take a picture of the last piece before it got devoured. The crumble topping is definitely the star in my opinion. The cake itself is light and not overly sweet due to the tartness of the rhubarb. Combined with the sweet buttery, cinnamon sugar topping, it’s perfect.

When I was a kid, I would eat a piece of rhubarb like celery, but dipping the end in brown sugar before each bite. While this was delicious, I see this cake as the grown up evolution of that snack. If you aren’t sure about rhubarb, give this cake a try, and then wait for the fight over the last piece! After all, rhubarb is technically a vegetable, and we’re all looking for ways to eat more veggies…riiiiight?

Rhubarb Coffee Cake

From Canadian Living

CakeIMG_1622

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups chopped rhubarb (I probably used close to 2 1/2 cups)

Topping

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds (or any other nut)
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp butter, melted

Grease a 9 inch spring form pan, set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine first four ingredients of topping in a small bowl and stir to combine. Pour in melted butter and mix with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time until fully incorporated. Beat in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

Add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, making 3 additions of flour, and 2 of buttermilk. Fold in rhubarb just until combined.

Scrape into prepared pan. Sprinkle topping over batter.

Bake for 1 hour – 1 1/4 hours or until a toothpick comes out clean. Mine was done around 1 hour, so keep your eye out around that mark.

Let cool in pan on cooling rack for 5 minutes. Remove sides of pan and cool completely.

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Filed under Breakfast, Cakes

Baked Oatmeal

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There’s something so comforting about waking up on the weekend, and being able to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee, and actually take a little time to prepare a delicious breakfast. During the week, breakfast is always an afterthought through the hustle and bustle of getting ready and getting out the door on time for work. I never skip breakfast, but it usually consists of something quick and cold like a bowl of cereal. Don’t get me wrong, I looooove my cereal, but a warm breakfast is always welcome every now and then. Usually on the weekends I will make some oatmeal, or pancakes, but I have been meaning to try baked oatmeal for a while now as I have seen it popping up all over the blogosphere lately.

Baked oatmeal is somewhere between regular oatmeal and a muffin. It’s denser than a muffin, but it does have that ‘cakey’ texture to it. Basically, it is AMAZING! I was able to throw this together pretty quickly and we enjoyed ourIMG_1546 coffee while it was baking away in the oven. I improvised a little to use what I had on hand, and I can see so many ways to customize and change this base recipe in the future by adding different fruits or nuts.

If you’re looking for something warm, comforting and FILLING for a lazy weekend morning, give this a try. It’s healthy too so you can feel good about starting your day right, and it will keep you full for hours on end!

There is no sugar added, so if you favour a sweeter oatmeal, you can add a little brown sugar or honey, but we found it delicious as is. The banana and apple add a natural sweetness, and you can  serve it with fresh fruit or a drizzle of maple syrup as well. 

This makes enough to serve 6, but you can always keep leftovers in the fridge to reheat during the week!

Baked Oatmeal

Slightly Adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oatsIMG_1538
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups  milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup applesauce*
  • 1/3 cup yogourt
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup coconut, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, steel cut oats, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir to combine and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine milk,egg, applesauce and yogourt and mix to fully combine.

Add milk mixture to oat mixture and stir to combine. Stir in bananas, almonds and coconut.

Pour into a 2 quart casserole dish (mine was a square dish, but as long as it holds 8 cups of liquid, it should be big enough no matter what shape it is)

Sprinkle cinnamon on top and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, stir and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until top is golden brown.

Serve with fresh fruit, milk, yogourt, maple syrup or to your liking!

*I didn’t have any applesauce but I did have a lonely granny smith apple hanging out in the fridge. I peeled and chopped it into small pieces, and microwaved, covered, with a bit of water for 2 minutes. Mash it up and you have makeshift applesauce!

 

 

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Banana Chocolate Swirl Muffins

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I have an outrageous stash of bananas in my freezer right now. Just when I feel like it’s going down in size, I shove a few more in there. You see, I have a verrry small window of opportunity for banana eating. Once they start developing a few brown spots, I’m done with them..into the freezer they go! I was starting to get a little tired of bananas smashing onto my feet every time I opened the freezer, so the only logical solution was..banana bread!

Now, I already have a billion favourite banana bread recipes, but of course I had the urge to try something new, something different. Let me tell you there are lots of variations on banana bread out there that look amazing. Peanut butter banana bread? That has my name written all over it. Lime coconut banana bread? Delicious! I will definitely be making those sometime soon since my banana pile doesn’t seem to be getting any smaller!

However, this time I wanted something that I could whip together with ingredients that I already had on hand at home, so I settled on a chocolate banana marbled loaf. I switched up a few things and Banana Chocolate Swirl Muffins were born! The chocolate swirl adds just a hint of decadence to take the muffins to a new level of banana bready goodness.  These have a nice presentation and are a welcome change of pace from the standard banana bread, without straying from the classic flavour too much.

Make a loaf, make muffins, make mini muffins, whatever you want! I now have a stash of these muffins in my freezer, along with the ever growing stash of bananas. I’m not complaining!

Banana Chocolate Swirl Muffins

Adapted from Cooking Light

Makes 1 loaf, 12 muffins, 36 mini muffinsIMG_1467

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk (or plain yogourt)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar with a mixer on medium speed for about 1 minute.

Add banana, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla and beat until blended.

Gradually add flour mixture, stirring by hand just until combined. Set aside.

Put chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish and microwave on medium power in 30 second intervals, stirring in between, until chocolate is melted. Let chocolate cool for a few minutes.

Add 1 cup of batter to melted chocolate and stir to combine.

For muffins, add alternating scoops of chocolate and banana batter to lined muffin tins and swirl with a knife or toothpick. (For mini muffins, I put a small spoon of each batter into the tin and swirled it around with a toothpick). For mini muffins, bake 10-15 mins, until a toothpick comes out clean. For regular muffins, bake 20-25 mins.

For a loaf, alternate scoops of batter into a greased loaf pan, and swirl with a knife. Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Filed under Breakfast, Muffins, Quick Bread

Almond Butter Banana Muffins

Almond Butter Banana Muffins

It’s been a long time, I know, but I’m back, and I have an amazing recipe for you! I was so excited at the idea of this recipe, and even more excited when I tasted the finished product. These banana muffins are perfectly moist, flavourful and addicting! The best part about them is that they contain almond butter instead of oil or butter, and that they contain oats rather than flour. You don’t even taste the almond butter, it just acts as a fat in place of the traditional less healthy ones. You HAVE to try these, I am begging you! They are probably the best banana muffins I have ever had, and I don’t have to feel as guilty when eating them. The protein from the almond butter and the whole grains from the oats make these a great breakfast. I like to enjoy one alongside some yogurt for a quick nutritious breakfast.

You could try subbing peanut butter for the almond butter, but use the natural kind (ingredients should only include peanuts and maybe salt).  If you’re not on the almond butter train yet, get on it! You’ll never look back, I promise!

Almond Butter Banana Muffins

Adapted from Heather Eats Almond Butter

  • 3 ripe mashed bananas
  • ¼ cup almond butter (or any nut butter)IMG_1319
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups oat flour (pulse 2 cups old fashioned oats in food processor**)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt (leave out if using salted nut butter)
  • ½ cup chocolate chips

Stir together bananas, almond butter, sugar, egg white and vanilla until combined and creamy. In a separate bowl combine oat flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Slowly add dry mix into wet mixture, stirring just to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.

Pour into paper lined or greased muffin pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-20 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.

**To make oat flour, put 2 cups of old fashioned oats (the big flake ones, not the instant kind) into a food processor and pulse a few times until they are broken up. I didn’t blend mine until it was powdery like flour, I left a bit of texture, but it’s entirely up to you how fine you want the oats to be.

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Filed under Breakfast, Healthy Treats, Muffins, Quick Bread

Pumpkin Pancakes

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If you have not jumped on the pumpkin loving bandwagon yet, get on it! Even though you can buy canned pumpkin all year round, I only feel appropriate eating it in the fall! This is really crazy, but I also feel this way about mini eggs. Even though you can buy them all year round now, they are only meant to be consumed at Easter! Anyways, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back, the air is crisp, and it’s time to start incorporating pumpkin into my diet.

IMG_0731I made these pancakes when we had breakfast for dinner one night last week. They are really good, and definitely had that pumpkin-y taste that you get from pumpkin pie, or pumpkin muffins. If you don’t like pumpkin pie, it doesn’t mean you don’t like pumpkin! Give these a try, and I promise you will be happy 🙂

I followed the recipe exactly, other than substituting nutmeg for the allspice. I also used half whole wheat, half all purpose flour, but you could use all of one or the other.  I might add some chocolate chips next time, and will probably cut the recipe in half because this made about 8 big  pancakes.

 

Pumpkin Pancakes

Adapted from All Recipes

  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree IMG_0747
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine milk, pumpkin puree, egg, canola oil, and vinegar in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger and salt.

Add dry mixture to pumpkin mixture and mix to combine. Let mixture rest for about 5 minutes while preparing pan or griddle. Heat a lightly oiled frying pan or griddle over medium to high heat.

Pour batter onto the heated surface, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Flip when uncooked side starts to show bubbles, and cook through on opposite side.

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