Dark Chocolate Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

IMG_4308 I’m getting a little tired of pre-made scrambles every morning so I thought I’d try something new. I still wanted something healthy but I also needed something tasty that my husband will eat…enter baked oatmeal muffins…made with NO FLOUR! These are easy to prepare ahead of time, customize with whatever toppings you prefer and grab and go as you head out the door in the morning.

Oatmeal Muffins
Makes 24 muffins
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups applesauce, unsweetened
1 banana, mashed
1/2 cup honey
5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
2 Tbsp almond meal
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups 1% milk
Toppings: walnuts, blueberries, chocolate chips or whatever your heart desires

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Mix eggs, vanilla, applesauce, banana, and honey together in a large bowl.
3. Add in oats, almond meal, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and mix well with wet ingredients. Add milk and combine.
4. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray. Pour approximately 1/4 of mixture into each cup.
5. If using toppings, add them onto the tops of the muffins. I used blueberries, dark chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. You can also mix frozen fruit right into the batter. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before eating (muffins may not come out of liners cleanly if they are not cool)

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Squash Egg-in-the-Hole

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I’m beginning to feel like the struggle of juggling the many things I have to do will never go away. No matter how much a plan and schedule, something will always come up to throw things off track or derail the progress. This is just something I’m working on dealing with right now. Trying not to be overwhelmed by all the things I expect myself to get done and not getting frustrated when things don’t go as planned.

One thing I got used to this summer, while not working, was having delicious and healthy food all the time. I had so much time for meal prep and cooking that I made breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. As you probably guessed by my above rant, I have not been keeping up on this lately. The search continues for things that are quick and easy to prepare but are still filling and healthy…enter Squash Egg-in-the-Hole. So delicious, so filling and so fast! It took me 30 minutes to prepare this, I could make a dozen and it would serve as breakfast for an entire week for the two of us. This is a great weekday breakfast for busy mornings that you can make ahead of time, pop in the microwave and eat before running out the door.

Squash Egg-in-the-Hole
Makes 4 servings
1 large acorn squash
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
cooking spray
4 large eggs
1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
2. Trim off about 1/2 inch from each end of the squash; discard. Slice remaining midsection of squash crosswise into 4 (3/4 inch thick) rounds. Remove seeds and membrane with spoon.
3. Brush both side of squash with oil, and place on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and crushed red pepper. Bake at 425ºF for 15 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
4. Remove baking sheet from oven. Crack an egg into the center of each squash slice; sprinkle eggs with remaining salt. Return pan to oven, reduce oven temperature to 350° and bake for 12 minutes or until eggs are cooked. Transfer to plates using a spatula; sprinkle with thyme and bacon. Serve immediately.

Original recipe from Cooking Light.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

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I threw this together this morning for a quick and tasty breakfast. I don’t generally like to eat a big breakfast but I know it’s important in jumpstarting your metabolism for the day. This is a light and easy way to do it.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter-Banana Smoothie
1 ripe banana
1 cup almond milk
2 Tbsp peanut butter (I like to use one naturally sweetened with honey)
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup rolled oats
1 cup ice

Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Berry & Oat Smoothie

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Happy Friday all! Getting the weekend started off right with a yummy fruit smoothie! I added rolled oats right into the blender which I haven’t tried before and it worked pretty well. A great way to get your oatmeal in the summertime.

Berry & Oat Smoothie
Makes approx. 16 ozs
12 ozs original unsweetened almond milk
1 cup frozen raspberries
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth

You can easily add in some other tasty treats, a banana would taste great as well. I was going to add spinach but realized I was all out when I went to make the smoothie. You could also substitute coconut water for the almond milk if you prefer. Get creative, the point is to get your morning oats!

Raspberry Scones

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I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! We spent the holiday at home trying to comfort our anxiety ridden dog from the noise of the fireworks. Our puppy didn’t seem to even notice the noise but our older female dog has a tough time with the holiday every year and spent the entire night under bed. I did, however, happen to get a lot of DIY projects done over the weekend which means some great posts coming your way very soon, including antiqued mirrors and crown molding! Stay tuned for those. I also made my first attempt at homemade scones and am pretty excited with how tasty they are.

I don’t do a ton of baking and am usually a little intimidated by pastries but this recipe was relatively easy to follow so I think it’s good for beginners. I got the recipe from another food blog that I’ve been following religiously in the last few weeks, Food 52. I’m not sure if this is done in all scones recipes but the key to these tasty and moist scones is keeping the butter a bit “chunky” in the dough and not completely mixing it in and also freezing the dough before baking.

Raspberry Scones
2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar, plus more for sprinkling on tops of scones
1 Tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp kosher salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
3/4 cup frozen raspberries (or any frozen berries of your choice)
1 cup heavy cream, plus more for brushing on tops of scones
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade, place the dry ingredients and pulse to combine. (If you don’t have a food processor, this can be done by hand in a mixing bowl. The food processor just makes step 2 a bit easier)
2. Add the butter and pulse about 10 or so times. You want to retain some chunks of butter, not mix it all in completely. Transfer the flour mixture to a large mixing bowl.
3. Gently toss the frozen berries into the flour mixture and lightly coat them. (Using frozen berries and coating them with flour before hand with help to keep them from bleeding as much and turning your dough completely pink)
4. In a large measuring cup, place the heavy cream, egg and vanilla. Mix well and pour into flour mixture. With a dinner fork, fold the wet into the dry as you gradually turn the bowl. It’s a folding motion you are shooting for here, not a stirring motion. When the dough begins to gather, use a plastic bowl scraper to gently knead the dough into a ball (or you may find it easier to use your hands). If there is still a lot of flour at the bottom of the bowl, drizzle a bit more cream, about 1 teaspoon at a time, until the dough comes together.
5. Transfer the dough ball to a floured cutting board. Gently pat into a 6″ to 7″ circle. With a pastry circle or a large chef’s knife, cut the dough like a pie into 8 triangles.
6. Place the scones on wax-paper lined sheet pan and freeze until solid. Once they are frozen, you can store them in a freezer bag for a few weeks until you’re ready to bake them.
7. Preheat oven to 425°F. Place frozen scones on a parchment-line sheet pan, about 1 inch apart. Brush with cream and sprinkle tops with sugar.
8. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. They are done when the tops begin to brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

These are great to make and freeze ahead of time when you have people coming to stay at your home. Try different mix-in berries and let me know how they turn out!

Spinach Bacon Crust-less Mini Quiches

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The great thing about these little cuties is that you can easily turn this into a full size quiche for Sunday brunch by baking in a quiche dish rather than a muffin tin. I made them for weekday mornings last week so the smaller muffin size quiches worked a bit better for us.

Spinach Bacon Crust-less Mini Quiches
Makes 12 servings

Cooking spray
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 slices thick cut bacon, sliced crosswise 1/4 in thick
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cups spinach
4 ozs shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
8 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Add bacon and cook until it begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion and cook 3 more minutes, until onion is tender. Add spinach and cook 2 more minutes, until spinach begins to wilt.
3. Drain most of the olive oil out of the spinach mixture, transfer to a bowl and allow mixture to cool for 3 minutes.
4. In separate mixing bowl, combine cheese, milk, salt, pepper and eggs and whisk together. Add spinach mixture to the egg mixture and whisk again.
5. Spray muffin cups with cooking spray and divide egg mixture evenly among cups.
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until cups are puffed at top. Serve immediately.

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

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I’m always looking for easy on-the-go breakfast items for my husband to eat on the way out the door that are still relatively healthy. These whole wheat blueberry muffins certainly fit the bill. I tried to keep the ingredients whole wheat and organic and rather than using milk, I used Almond milk instead. They turned out DELISH and perfect for workday mornings. Try them out and let me know what you think!

1 cup old fashioned oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup unsweetened original almond milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup brown sugar (topping)
1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (topping)
1/4 canola oil (topping)

1. Preheat oven to 400ºF
2. Prepare muffin tin with liners
3. In a large bowl, combine oats, whole wheat flours, baking powder and baking soda
4. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, almond milk, canola oil, vanilla extract and sugar together
5. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture and stir
6. Gently fold in the blueberries (to avoid smashing them)
7. Pour the mixture into the muffin cups, filling 3/4 full
8. Mix together brown sugar, unbleached all-purpose flour and canola oil
9. Evenly distribute brown sugar mixture to the tops of the muffins
10. Bake for 20-25 minutes

Enjoy!

Pineapple Cucumber Juice

Pineapple Cucumber Juice

This has to be one of my favorite green juices. You would think since the majority of the juice comes from the pineapple that it would be very sweet, but no. This juice, in my opinion is a great balance of sweet and “green”. Just pop all the ingredients in your juicer and voila!

Pineapple Cucumber Juice
1/2 of a pineapple, peeled and cored
1/2 of a cucumber, peeled
1 stick of celery
3 kale leaves
1/4 of a lemon, peeled
1/2″ piece of ginger, peeled