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Posts tagged “Oatmeal

Maple Spice Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

I’ve been dreaming of this granola for weeks it seems … dying to make it … looking for pumpkin seeds at the store. I thought about toasting up some out of one of these little pumpkins I have here, but I really wanted those lovely little crunchy green ones that you can get, not the big seeds you pull out of your pumpkin and roast.

I knew I saw some at the grocery store, but every time I went back, they were gone … FINALLY, this morning, I found some! Granola time, baby!

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

So I made this lovely granola with maple syrup and pumpkin puree, pumpkin spices, honey, dried cranberries and lots of fun seeds and nuts.

But  I’m sorry to say, you’re not going to find the recipe for this delicious holiday granola here …

Spiced Pumpkin Cranberry Granola

I’ve decided it’s time for my blog to have its own space … I think we’ve outgrown the capabilities of Free WordPress and we need to move on … sooo I moved everything over to www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com … yes, all of it, all the recipes, all your comments, everything! Tada! Isn’t that magic?

Please go over there to find the recipe for this granola (and ALL of my others!) and while you are there, I would really love it if you would click the link to follow me there. If I am can figure out a way to redirect all of you lovely people who already follow my blog, I will … and for a little while, I will post little ticklers here to remind you I’m hanging out over there now.

So what are you waiting for? Come hang out with me in my new home and get the recipe for this lovely Maple Spice Pumpkin Cranberry Granola!

Maple Spice Pumpkin Cranberry Granola ~ www.SumptuousSpoonfuls.com


Pumpkin Apricot Oatmeal Pie

Pumpkin Apricot Oatmeal Pie

If you bake it in a pie pan, it’s a pie, right?

I am naming this a Pumpkin Apricot Oatmeal Pie to distinguish it from the mushy stuff you usually think of as oatmeal. Don’t get me wrong: I love a hot steamy bowl of oatmeal, but this definitely doesn’t have that soft mushy texture of stove top oatmeal. But then again, it’s not totally soft, moist and dense like a pumpkin pie either, and it has no crust. It’s not cakey either. I think most people would call it baked oatmeal, but really, it’s a cross between baked oatmeal and pumpkin pie. It is packed with dried fruit and has a slightly chewy texture to it. You could eat it for breakfast (because it’s totally healthy and packed full of fiber and  protein and vitamins and other good things), or you could add ice cream and a little drizzle of caramel and call it dessert.

This lovely “pie” was inspired by my sweet friend Ann at The Fountain Avenue Kitchen, who made Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal the other day. She always soaks her oatmeal for several hours before she bakes it. I keep meaning to try that method, wondering if it would change the texture, but I never seem to think ahead enough to do it. Maybe next time?

Pumpkin Apricot Oatmeal Pie

Pumpkin Apricot Oatmeal Pie

  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 Tablespoons rum (optional)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 3 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Stevia in the Raw or brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Amaretto (optional)
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white
  • 1 ripe banana, smashed (or grated apple would be wonderful too … )
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots, chopped into bits
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • For the top: 1/3 cup pecans + a Tablespoon or two of raw turbinado sugar

Directions:

  1. Soak the raisins in the rum for at least 15 minutes to get them nice and plump. If you don’t want to include the alcohol, you can use water with a little vanilla and/or rum extract to plump the raisins.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Mix all the other ingredients (except for the topping) in a mixing bowl until everything is well mixed. Add the rum-soaked raisins (with any residual rum).
  4. Spray a large pie pan with cooking spray and pour the pumpkin oatmeal mixture into it, spreading it evenly with a rubber spatula.
  5. Sprinkle the top of the pie with pecans and raw sugar. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes or until the pie is set and golden brown on top.

To serve, you can cut in wedges and eat it warm, with no topping, or for a fancier dessert oatmeal pie, you can top it with light vanilla ice cream (or vanilla yogurt for an even healthier option!) and drizzle with a little warm caramel sauce. The warm oatmeal pie with the toasted pecans on top and cold ice cream melting into it is really a wonderful contrast, but most of the time I ate it just plain, no topping, because it’s quite nice just like that, with a cup of hot chai.

Pumpkin Apricot Oatmeal Pie

This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous FridayShare it SaturdayScrumptious SundayWeekend Potluck, Melt in your Mouth Monday, Totally Tasty Tuesday, Tuesday Talent Show, Thursday’s Treasures and Everyday Mom’s Meals.


Chocolate, Fruit & Nut Energy Bytes

Chocolate Fruit & Nut Energy Bites

Chocolate craving! Time for something chocolatey good. With nuts. Yes LOTS of nuts. Oh and some peanut butter. Dried fruit in there … ah yes. And to add a little bit more healthy yumminess, some oats.

Roll it all into a little ball and what do you have? A quick, healthy snack. Not one you want to eat a LOT of at one sitting because they are a bit calorific, but something you can grab on the go when you need a little energy, especially before or after a good workout. An energy byte! (Terrible geeky pun intended.)

I like to eat one of these for a bit of dessert after a good meal, or when I am running out the door and need something fast to grab for a quick bit of energy. Or when you need a quick chocolate fix, but you don’t want to totally destroy your healthy eating plan. A little bit of chocolate and a few nuts every day are very good for your health.

Chocolate Fruit & Nut Energy Bytes

Chocolate, Fruit & Nut Energy Bytes

You could use a good quality dark chocolate in place of the almond bark and cocoa powder. I just didn’t have enough on hand, so I decided to make my own “chocolate”!

  • 2 squares of almond bark (or white chocolate)
  • 4 Tablespoons dark cocoa powder
  • 3 Tablespoons of Chocolate PB2 powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 2/3 cup nuts (I used a mix of peanuts and cashews)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped into bits
  • Coarse sea salt

Directions:

  1. Melt the almond bark in a medium mixing bowl in the microwave by microwaving on high for 1 minute, stir, microwave for 30 seconds, stir again, keep microwaving for 30 seconds/stirring until the white almond bark is completely melted.
  2. Stir in the dark cocoa powder, PB2 powder, vanilla and peanut butter and stir until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Stir in the oats, nuts, cranberries and apricot bits until everything is coated in chocolate. Form the mixture into balls and set on a tray. Sprinkle the bytes with a bit of coarse sea salt.
  4. Set it in the fridge until the chocolate is set, then transfer to a covered storage container. You can store these at room temperature or in the fridge, as you prefer. I like to eat them at room temperature so I’m not bothering to refrigerate mine. They aren’t going to last that long anyway!

Chocolate Fruit & Nut Energy Bytes

This recipe was shared at Katherine Martinelli’s Nut BloghopShare it SaturdayLunch Box Linky and Scrumptious Sunday.


Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Since my first baked oatmeal turned out so good, I wanted to try another version. I meant to make this one banana pecan, but once I got into the kitchen, well, I couldn’t help but add chocolate. In the end, I’m glad I did … this oatmeal is SO deep dark chocolate decadent. I almost want to try making it again without the banana … or maybe use berries instead? Yeah, it’ll happen.

This could be breakfast or dessert. Mid-afternoon snack. After dinner treat. Whenever you eat it, it’s delightful.

Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • 1 cup (100g) old fashioned oats (not instant oats)
  • 1/3 cup (30g) pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tablespoons unsweetened quality dark cocoa powder (such as Ghirardelli)
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 2 Tablespoons of Chocolate Chia Pudding or 1 large egg white
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon Frangelico (optional)
For the top:
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons pecans
  • 1/2 Tablespoon or so of raw (Turbinado) sugar
  • A few chocolate chips
  • A few banana slices

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Spray a small casserole dish or 8×8 inch square baking dish with cooking spray and make a layer of banana slices on the bottom.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the oats, chopped pecans, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Sprinkle half the oat mixture over the bananas, then add another layer of bananas and cover with the remaining oats.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, chia pudding (or egg white), vanilla, and Frangelico. Pour this liquid mixture over the oats, trying to coat all the oats with liquid. Sprinkle the top with the toppings, then set in the oven.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the dish has set. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

Chocolate Banana Pecan Baked Oatmeal

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysCast Party Wednesday, Thursday’s TreasuresTastetastic Thursday, My Sweet Party and Fit & Fabulous Friday.


Mulberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Crumble

Mulberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Crumble

Is this baked oatmeal breakfast or dessert? I styled it like a dessert, with a pouf of whipped cream on top because it TASTES like a decadent fruity dessert, a lovely warm fruity crumble with a crunchy topping and a fruity sauce on the bottom. But really (if you skip the whipped cream) it is a quite healthy breakfast full of fruit, fiber, and protein. I love breakfasts like that.

This is something I’ve been meaning to try ever since Ann at The Fountain Avenue Kitchen posted her Strawberries & Cream Baked Oatmeal. When I met mom and dad for lunch last Sunday, they brought me some rhubarb. To me, that seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out this “baked oatmeal thing”. After trying this delicacy, I may never go back to eating regular oatmeal again …

Mulberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Crumble

Mulberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Crumble

Adapted from Nutmegs, seven

  • 3 cups rhubarb, cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 4 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (100g) old fashioned oats (not instant oats)
  • 1/3 cup (30g) almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup (60g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the top:
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons flaked almonds
  • 1/2 Tablespoon or so of raw (Turbinado) sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 cup mulberries (or other berries)

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F. Spray a small casserole dish or 8×8 inch square baking dish with cooking spray. Scatter the rhubarb over the bottom and toss with the sugar and vanilla.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, mix together the oats, chopped almonds, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, egg white and almond extract.
  3. Sprinkle your oat mixture over the rhubarb evenly, then pour the milk mixture over the oats as evenly as you can. Sprinkle with mulberries, raw sugar and 1 1/2 Tablespoons of flaked almonds.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes or until the dish has set and turned a lovely brown and crunchy on top. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

If you want to serve it for dessert, serve in wedges with a little dollop of whipped cream. Or just scoop it out in warm spoonfuls into a bowl for breakfast with your coffee or tea in the morning.

Mulberry Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal Crumble

This recipe was shared at It’s a Keeper ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayFit & Fabulous Fridays and Weekend Potluck.


Almond Berry Granola

Almond Berry Granola

I don’t know what it is with me and breakfasts lately … all my posts seem to be about breakfast. Oh well, breakfast is important. What you eat in the morning sets the tone for your day, so you should make it good.

Granola is the perfect breakfast on mornings when you’re in a rush. Have it with fresh berries and milk, or sprinkle some on your yogurt or ice cream. Or just munch on it for a snack throughout the day. Besides, oats are especially good breakfast food. I was just reading about that yesterday.

If you’ve never made your own granola, just trust me that it’s SO worth it. The house smells heavenly while it’s baking and the result is truly fantastic. Oh so much better than the store-bought stuff. I’m really excited for the mulberries to come in because I think they would be just wonderful with this granola. I see the little baby berries starting on my beloved mulberry tree and I’m almost shivering with excitement. It’s the little things in life …

Almond Berry Granola

Almond Berry Granola

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds (or other nuts … I was thinking perhaps 1 cup almonds, 1/2 cup pecans might work even better)
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 3/8 cup basil strawberry sauce (recipe below) or strawberry applesauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoons maple syrup (or berry syrup), depending on how sweet you want your granola
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (optional … leave out the salt if you are watching your sodium)
  • 6 oz. dried berries (I wanted to use strawberries, but couldn’t find any dried strawberries at the store. I dried a few strawberries myself, but it wasn’t enough fruit for my granola, so I added dried blueberries, cranberries, and cherries.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the oats and nuts. Set aside.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix the strawberry sauce, honey, syrup and spices. Microwave on high for a minute, stir, and then microwave 30 seconds more until the mixture is good and hot. (Or heat the mixture in a saucepan. Either way will work.)
  3. Pour the hot sweet sticky mixture over the nutty oat mixture in the bowl. Stir it all up until it’s well mixed.
  4. Spread all this wonderful stuff out into a thin layer on a large jellyroll pan (or other big flat baking pan with an edge to it). Set it in the oven and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. It should be browned to a lovely brown color and smelling fantastic. You can taste a little sample to see if it’s crunchy enough. If it’s not, bake it a little longer.
  5. Let the granola cool for a bit before stirring in the dried fruit. Store in an airtight container. It will keep for about a month or so. There’s NO way mine is going to last that long …

Basil Strawberry Sauce

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lb strawberries

In a saucepan, mix the sugar and water and heat to boiling. Add the basil leaves and cook about 5 minutes. Strain out the basil (or remove with a slotted spoon). Add the strawberries with the simple syrup in the pan, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the strawberries are soft. Remove all the strawberry chunks and put it in a blender or food processor, add some of the syrup and puree to make an applesauce-consistency of strawberry sauce. Reserve the rest of the pretty red syrup for using in mojitos or over pancakes.

Almond Berry Granola

This recipe was shared at Tastetastic Thursdays and Weekend Potluck.


Homemade Banana Nutella Granola

Homemade Chocolate Banana Nutella Granola

I am completely obsessed with homemade granola. It’s so marvelous to munch on … to have for breakfast in a bowl with milk. To make into a parfait. To sprinkle on ice cream. It’s nothing like that flat-tasting store-bought stuff that to me just tastes like sugar and cardboard. Homemade granola is like 10,000 levels better than that. It’s delicious and decadent and nutty.

And the best part is … it’s easy to make.

This granola has been floating around in my head for a while … ever since I saw this “Granola Fit for a King” recipe, I wanted to make something like it. But I wanted more chocolate. And what’s more chocolate than peanut butter? NUTELLA! Oh yeah. That’s the ticket.

Homemade Chocolate Banana Nutella Granola

Banana Nutella Granola

Adapted from Oh Nuts! Sweet & Crunchy Talk

  • 4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup flax
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 2 cups mixed nuts (I used 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts, 1/2 cup pecan pieces, 1/3 cup sunflower seeds, 2/3 cup peanuts)
  • 1 very ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup Nutella
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dark cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. In a large bowl, mix the oats, flax, wheat bran and nuts. Set aside
  2. In a separate small bowl, mash the banana very well until it’s smooth (not lumpy). Put the banana in a small saucepan with the maple syrup, Nutella, cinnamon, sea salt and cocoa powder. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture is hot and bubbly. Stir in the honey and remove from heat.
  3. Pour the hot sweet chocolatey banana Nutella mixture over the nutty oat mixture in the bowl. Stir it all up until it’s well mixed.
  4. Spread all this wonderful stuff out into a thin layer on a large jellyroll pan (or other big flat baking pan with an edge to it). Set it in the oven and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. It should be browned to a lovely chocolate brown color and smelling fantastic. You can taste a little sample to see if it’s crunchy enough. If it’s not, bake it a little longer.
  5. This is the hard part. Let the granola cool COMPLETELY before stirring in the mini chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container. It will keep for about a month or so. But it is not likely to last that long …

Homemade Chocolate Banana Nutella Granola

This recipe was shared at Meatless Mondays.


Lowfat Apple Berry Granola Crisp

Lowfat Apple Berry Granola Crisp

It was raining this morning and I’d been gone all weekend. I needed to bake something. I have these frozen apples in a bag my friend gave me for making apple pies, but I’m not so good at pies. Have I mentioned my fear of crusts? I am not good with pie crust … and besides pie crust has so much fat in it! And I don’t need any of that … so how about a crisp? Crisps are easy, relatively healthy and yummy. Especially if you can cut out some of the fat and sugar in the topping. You can really make this crisp with any kind of fruit you like … I’m thinking peach crisp will most likely be next …

Lowfat Apple Berry Granola Crisp

Lowfat Apple Berry Granola Crisp

Adapted from Food.com

  • 6 cups mixed apples (peeled and sliced) and berries (use any proportions you like … I used mostly apples, and just a few raspberries because that’s what I had on hand)
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon quick-cooking tapioca (not whole pearl)
  • 1 ½ cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup unbleached white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 inch square baking dish (or 10-inch pie pan) with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, mix together the fruit layer ingredients. Spread the fruit evenly in your baking dish and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
  4. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg white, oil, vanilla, and fruit juice and then stir into the dry ingredients until thoroughly combined. Stir in the granola.
  5. Sprinkle the oat-sy granola topping over the fruit.
  6. Cover and bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the fruit is soft and bubbly and the topping is crisp and golden.
  7. Serve warm. Top with lowfat ice cream or frozen yogurt if you like … or even a bit of greek yogurt. That would be yummy too.

Lowfat Apple Berry Granola Crisp

This recipe was shared at Crazy Sweet TuesdayTotally Tasty TuesdaysMidweek Fiesta, Cast Party WednesdayFull Plate ThursdaysFit & Fabulous Fridays, and Successful Saturday.


Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

I’ve seen a bunch of chocolate granola in the foodie world lately and oh I ached to do one myself. Because I really really love eating chocolate for breakfast.

I looked at all their recipes and they were all different. Each foodie did their own take on chocolatizing granola, and each one looked perfectly marvelous.

So naturally, I did my own take on it. It’s a little of this recipe, a little of that one, a little of my own inspiration.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

Dry ingredients:

  • 4 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup of dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 1/4 cup wheat bran
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
Wet ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dark unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoons maple syrup (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • 2 – 4 Tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut buttter
  • 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
Add-ins:
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix the dry ingredients.
  2. In a small saucepan, heat the wet ingredients over medium-low heat, stirring until well mixed and nicely warmed.
  3. Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture until completely incorporated and everything is evenly mixed.
  4. Spread the granola out onto a large jellyroll pan. Bake for about an hour, stirring every 10 – 15 minutes until the granola is a deep golden brown.
  5. Remove from oven. Cool completely. Mix in the chocolate chips. Store in an airtight container. Keeps up to one month.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola

This recipe was shared at Weekend PotluckReal Housewives Recipe Roundup, and Totally Tasty Tuesdays.


Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Peasant Bread

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

Is that bread … green? Yes. Yes, it is. I know it might look a little odd, but I wanted to try making a green bread for St. Patrick’s Day. Well, the color of the bread after it’s cooked isn’t quite as bright green as I might like, but it is still green. More importantly, it’s delicious. I ate about half of one of the loaves last night by myself. The slight crunch of the sunflowers with the subtle cheese and spinach taste play together so marvelously in this bread. I think this would be the perfect bread for garlic toast, bruschetta, sandwiches, toasted or just plain (like I was eating it last night). It’s tasty enough to munch on with no butter or anything added at all.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

You could make this bread really fancy pretty by making the spinach-cheese into a swirl in the bread instead of incorporating the spinach right into the dough, like I did with my French Bread with Basil & Gruyere.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Peasant Bread

Inspired by Ally’s Kitchen’s Buttermilk Cranberry Walnut Bread. If you don’t have a bread machine, see Ally’s recipe.

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed, with the extra liquid squeezed out, and then chopped fine … reserve any liquid to use as “water”
  • 1/4 cup water (or spinach juice)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ½ cup oatmeal
  • 3 cups bread flour (add a little more if needed)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup freshly shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 – 2 Tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds

Dump all the ingredients except the sunflower seeds into your bread machine and start it on the dough cycle. Check the dough a few minutes after you start it while it’s “processing” to see if the dough is sticking together properly and making a nice ball of dough. If it seems like there is too much flour, add a bit of water. If it seems like the dough is too sticky, add some bread flour.

About 25 minutes into the dough cycle (when it is near to done), throw in the sunflower seeds. I actually tossed mine in after the dough cycle was done and then I had to go back and knead them in myself.  I think it would be easier to toss them in just a bit earlier, so the bread machine doesn’t break them to bits, but incorporates the seeds into the dough.

Cut the dough in two and shape it as you like. I shaped half of the dough into a round loaf and the other half into a long, skinny french-bread-style loaf. They both turned out to be pretty big … I was kind of amazed to get that much bread from just 4 cups of flour.

Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This only took about 30 – 45 minutes for me.

Bake at 375 for 35 – 50 minutes or until the top is browned and the bread sounds hollow when tapped.

Remove from oven and let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes before cutting with a good bread knife. I like to spray my loaves with cooking spray to soften the crust and make it all pretty and shiny, but if you want a chewier crust, don’t do that.

Sunflower Spinach Parmesan Bread

Here’s my big old round loaf. I’m going to freeze it and take it along when I visit my sister this weekend. I think she’s gonna love it.

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This recipe was shared at Fit & Fabulous Fridays.


Homemade Maple Cranberry Pecan Granola

Homemade Maple Cranberry Pecan- Granola

I have long been fascinated with the idea of making my own granola. I don’t know why it took me so long to actually DO it. Suddenly several of my foodie friends are talking about it, so perhaps it was the power of suggestion? I don’t know. I just know that last week I suddenly felt a strong urge to make granola.

And I’m soooo glad I did. It is really quite simple to make and it just blows away the taste of store-bought granola, with the added bonus that you can control what goes into it. So it’s easy to make it healthier. This is so tasty, my parents and I munched on little handfuls of this granola all weekend. The first day I made it, I had three bowls of it with milk. The jar is disappearing quite quickly. (Which is exciting to me, because that means I get to try out my NEXT granola flavor! woo hoo!)

Maple Cranberry Pecan Granola

Maple Cranberry Pecan Granola

Slightly adapted from ChinDeep.

  • 2 1/2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 1 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup flaxmeal
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons unsweetened pearsauce (drain a can of pears and blend until smooth) or applesauce
  • 1/6 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 oz. dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a very large mixing bowl, mix oats, pecans, sunflower seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt, flaxmeal and nutmeg.

In a small saucepan, warm the apple or pear sauce, maple syrup, honey and oil. Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture until completely incorporated and everything is evenly mixed. Divide the granola between two large jellyroll pans. Bake for 45-55 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until the granola is a deep golden brown. Remove from oven. Cool completely. Mix in dried cranberries. Store in an airtight container. Keeps up to one month. But it isn’t going to last that long …

Make your Own Maple Cranberry Pecan Granola

This recipe was shared at Midnight Maniac Meatless Mondays and Tuesday Talent Shows.


Honey Oatmeal Bread

Honey Oatmeal Bread

There’s something so comforting and homey about baking bread. Every once in a while I like to make an old-fashioned bread, something like my grandmother might have made when I was a little girl. Memories of her house are so full of the scent of homemade bread. Gram (as we called her) was always baking bread, buns, or pie. Of course she did it all by hand. This little wooden cutting board is one of the things I was lucky enough to inherit from Gram, along with a LOT of bread pans, including a bunch of adorable mini-bread pans that my daughter and I both love, and some regular-sized loaf pans too. In fact, I think it was one of her loaf pans that I used for baking this bread.

Honey Oatmeal Bread

Honey Oatmeal Bread

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

  • 2 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal (the recipe calls for the old-fashioned rolled oats, but I used the quick-cooking oatmeal and it worked fine)
  • 2 tablespoons vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cups milk + a little extra

Directions:

  1. Place all of the ingredients into the pan of your machine, program machine for the dough cycle, and press Start. About 10 minutes into the cycle, check the dough and adjust its consistency as necessary with additional flour or milk–I had to add a little more milk. It should be holding together well and forming a nice ball of supple dough.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled surface, and shape it into a log. Place the log in a lightly greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pan, cover the pan with a clean kitchen towel, and allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, till it’s crested 1″ to 2″ over the rim of the pan.
  3. Bake the bread in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 190°F or the dough sounds “hollow” when you thump the top of it. If the bread appears to be browning too quickly, tent it with aluminum foil for the final 10 minutes of baking. I didn’t need to tent it. The color came out a beautiful golden brown.

If you don’t have a bread machine, see King Arthur’s site for traditional instructions.

I used one of my new favorite bread spreads on my first slice of honey oatmeal bread … a mixture of light cream cheese and a bit of kumquat syrup. My son came home from his dad’s house today and the first thing he wanted was two slices of bread, toasted, with peanut butter and grape jelly. And a big glass of milk. He was happy I had some bread made when he got home. I’m happy he’s decided it’s okay to eat mom’s homemade bread.

Honey Oatmeal Bread

This recipe was shared at It’s a Keeper Thursdays, Full Plate Thursdays,  Tastetastic Thursdays, Thursday’s Treasures, Fit & Fabulous Fridays, and Everyday Mom’s Meals.


Quick & Easy Banana Nutella Oatmeal

Quick & Easy Banana Nutella Oatmeal

I dreamt of this oatmeal last night. And woke up from my dream and couldn’t stop thinking about it. Seriously, what kind of weirdo dreams about OATMEAL? Me, I guess. Because when I have a flash of foodie inspiration, it won’t leave me alone. It nags at me and churns around in my mind until I MAKE it.

So I had to have this for breakfast. Which is quite handy, because I have several bananas starting to get spotty on my counter. Not to mention that it’s chocolate. and quick. and healthy. and quite yummy. I totally love this oatmeal.

Quick & Easy Banana Nutella Oatmeal

Banana Nutella Oatmeal

Makes 1 serving for a small person like me. If you’re a big person with a hefty appetite, you probably want to double this recipe.

  • 1 over-ripe banana
  • 1/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used 1% … substitute whatever milk you like. I bet almond or coconut milk would be good in this!)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon Nutella
  • 1 teaspoon dark cocoa powder
  • a pinch of salt

Directions:

  1. Mash the banana in a bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir well.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Take the bowl out and stir everything up again.
  3. Microwave for another minute. Take it out and stir. If the oatmeal is done, eat it. If it’s not quite done, put it back in there and microwave for another 30 seconds or so.

Quick & Easy Banana Nutella Oatmeal

This recipe was shared at Melt in your Mouth Mondays, Old Fashioned Recipe ExchangeCast Party Wednesday, Midweek Fiesta, and Thursday’s Treasures.


2-Minute Decadent Dark Chocolate Oatmeal

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal - Ready in 2 Minutes!

This is the most amazing oatmeal I think I have ever had … well, okay, I’m a chocolate fiend, so of course I like it, and I’ve had many different kinds of chocolate for breakfast, but have you ever thought to put chocolate in your oatmeal?

I confess, I hadn’t (although I can’t quite figure out why not … I put chocolate in just about everything else!), until I saw The Pastry Affair’s Dark Chocolate Oatmeal … now THAT I had to try!

This oatmeal tastes like a decadent chocolate pudding … but it’s totally good for you. I had really meant to fancy it up with toasted almonds (I had even already toasted the almonds!), some pomegranate seeds, maybe a bit of cinnamon and chocolate chips, but when I pulled it out of the microwave and tasted it … I wanted to absolutely nothing to get in the way of that heavenly chocolate taste.

Yes, you can have it for breakfast, yes, it’s good for you, and yes, you have time for it. It’s SO simple!

Sinful Tasting Dark Chocolate Oatmeal

2-Minute Decadent Dark Chocolate Oatmeal

Inspired by The Pastry Affair’s Dark Chocolate Oatmeal

  • 1/4 cup of quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4  cup of 1% milk (or milk of your choice)
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon high quality cocoa powder *
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon good quality pure vanilla extract

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and stir. Microwave on high for two minutes. Stir again to mix the flavors well. Mine was absolutely perfect after two minutes, but microwaves vary so if it’s not done, put it back in the microwave and microwave for another 30 seconds or a minute until it reaches a pudding-like consistency.

2 minute Dark Chocolate Oatmeal

* A note on the cocoa: last time I went to buy cocoa, I was looking at the choices on the shelf. Usually my choices are Hershey’s or Nestle, and they work okay, but this time there was also Ghirardelli cocoa powder. The regular cocoas were in the $2 range, but the Ghirardelli one was almost $6. I decided to take a chance and splurge this time and oh my gosh what a difference! Instead of a light puke brown color that you see when you open a can of Hershey’s or Nestle, this cocoa powder is dark and rich and it smells intoxicating.  Eating this oatmeal was my first experience of the difference in taste. If you have a choice of buying good quality cocoa powder, I totally recommend spending the couple extra dollars. It’s frickin’ amazing.

This recipe was shared at Totally Tasty TuesdaysNewlyweds Recipe Linky, Crazy Sweet TuesdayThese Chicks CookedCast Party Wednesday, Tastetastic ThursdaysFull Plate ThursdayFit & Fabulous FridaysWeekend Potluck and Tasty Tuesdays.


Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Bars

with Toasted Pecans

Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Toasted Pecans

Now if you ask me, THIS is the way to eat your oatmeal.

When I saw these gorgeous bars that Kay from And Then I Ate It shared, I stashed away the recipe because I knew right then and there that I wanted to make them. I just needed to find a time to make them.

Today was the day. This is gonna be my breakfast every day this week … well, that is, if they last that long.

Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Toasted Pecans

Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Toasted Pecans

Adapted from And Then I Ate It! I made quite a few changes … just can’t leave a recipe alone!

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup butter, room temperature
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup white whole wheat flour
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ cups oatmeal (any type is fine)
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup pecans, toasted
  • ¼ cup white chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, beat the butter until pale yellow. Add sugar and beat until well blended. Add the egg, maple syrup and yogurt and beat until fully incorporated. I used my beaters to get them mixed fully because the yogurt and the butter were being persnickety.
  3. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and mix only until they are combined.
  4. Add the oatmeal, cranberries, nuts and chocolate chips and fold in uniformly. (I use cashew pieces since they are about 1/3 of the price of whole cashews)
  5. Add the thick batter evenly to a well sprayed 9 x 9 inch pan (she used a 7” x 11” pan, but I don’t have a pan that size …).
  6. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden brown. It should still be soft to the touch but firm enough to be cook.
  7. Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for at least 20 minutes. (The wait will kill you! They smell soooo good!) With a sharp knife cut into bars. You may need to wipe the blade to get clean cuts. Remove bars from pan and store in an air tight container.

Cranberry White Chocolate Oatmeal Bars with Toasted Pecans

This recipe has been shared at Tuesday Talent ShowTotally Tasty TuesdaysTastetastic Thursdays, and Full Plate Thursdays.


Double Chocolate Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies (Secret Recipe Club)

Double Chocolate Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

It’s my second month of Secret Recipe Club and (as my kids would say) I am such a FAIL! I had a trip to California for work and I thought “I will have plenty of time to do this when I get back” … I so forgot that it’s DECEMBER and there are a million extra things that need to get done this month and on top of all that, my son’s birthday and then on top of THAT we had some other crazy things happen …

So here it is the night before our posting date and I have not even started! Well, that’s not totally true, I did look through the blog I was assigned to before my trip, and I picked out some recipes I wanted to try. But with the rush before Christmas and the interesting turn of events in our lives this past couple weeks, I just completely forgot to shop for ingredients, and make it. So I am staying up late to make this and get it photographed and up … (but I DID swap out the crappy late night photo for some good ones in the morning!)

My assigned blog this month was My Catholic Kitchen. She is chronologically going through a list of 50 women game changers and featuring each of these women. I think that’s pretty cool. This one is a recipe from Food52.

In a rush to get this done, I am making cookies. Because I love chocolate, and oatmeal, and nuts, and this recipe has all of those. I modified it a bit, but not TOO much … I added the cinnamon because I love cinnamon with chocolate. These cookies are AMAZING!

Double Chocolate Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

Double Chocolate Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

From My Catholic Kitchen

  •  1/2 cup butter
  •   1/2 cup brown sugar
  •  1 large egg
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  •  1/4 cup cocoa powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  •  1/2 cup oats
  •  1/2 cup coarsely chopped dark chocolate (I used Ghiradelli chocolate, just like she did!)
  •  1/4 cup chopped nuts

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and vanilla and mix until everything is nicely creamed together.
  3. Add the  flour, cocoa, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
  4. Stir in the oats, nuts, and the dark chocolate.
  5. Drop spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake for about 12 minutes.
Double Chocolate Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies

See what the other Secret Recipe Club members have made! Click the image below …


Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal with Peanut Butter & Sliced Almonds

This is a warm, sweet, spicy bowl of autumn comfort.

My friend Russ made a wish the other day … he was wishing for a Pumpkin Raisin Oatmeal. Well, I can’t let a wish like that go by without granting it! (Did you know I have wish-granting powers? Yes, I am a virtual food fairy ♥)

This makes an Ann-size portion (if you know me, you know that I am small and I eat very small portions!), but I used easy proportions so you can easily scale it up to your own portion size — or to make oatmeal for a crowd! Just use equal portions of oatmeal, water, milk, and pumpkin puree, then add your spices and mix-ins to taste

This pumpkin-infused oatmeal goes oh so well with a cup of Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal

  • 1/4 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk (Any kind. I used 1%, but soy, almond or coconut milk would work fine too.)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (if you don’t have any, here’s a recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • dash of salt
  • brown sugar (or your choice of sweetener), to taste

Options for Mix-ins:

  • A teaspoon of peanut butter or almond butter (or maybe Nutella?)
  • Sliced almonds, chopped walnuts or pecans — I highly recommend toasting your nuts before adding them. They are SO much better when toasted!
  • Raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dates or chopped, dried apricots
  • Chopped apple
  • Chocolate or white chocolate chips?

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in a bowl except for the brown sugar and stir to mix. (If you are using chopped apples as a mix-in and you want them cooked, you may want to add them at the beginning. Cooking time will be a little longer if you include apples.)
  2. Microwave on high for about 2 minutes or until the oatmeal is done to your liking.
  3. Sweeten to taste and add your choice of mix-ins. I added a small spoonful of peanut butter and sliced almonds this morning.

Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal with Peanut butter & Almond slices

This recipe was shared at Favorite Breakfast Recipes and Gooseberry Patch Comfort Foods.


Pumpkin Toffee Oat Cake +

Pumpkin Toffee Oat Cake with Protein

I met a new friend the other day. Her name is Kate and she is a healthy foodie that likes to cook with protein powder. She posted this pumpkin protein cake recipe and I was intrigued. I do not normally cook with protein powder, but I know it’s important when you’re working out to get enough protein, and being someone who works out a lot, yet doesn’t eat much meat, I thought this was certainly worth a try. It sounds like an awesome treat to have after a good workout, doesn’t it?

I added just one little thing: some toffee chips. It just seemed like the thing to add. I know it pulls down the nutritional value, but you know what? If it tempts me to eat it, that is a good thing, right? I didn’t add toooo many …

I like to mix a little bad in with the good. Life is all about balance, my friends.

You wouldn’t believe how good this cake smelled while it was baking …

Pumpkin Toffee Oat Cake with Protein

Pumpkin Toffee Oat Cake +

The + is for the extra protein and fiber!  … Recipe from Kate at Weights and Cakes.

When I first tasted this cake, I thought it needed more sweetness, but now the not-so-sugary-taste is kind of growing on me. So if you like your cake really sweet, you may want to add a little extra sugar or maybe stir the “toppings” into the batter and add a bit of frosting?

  • 1/4 C Xylitol Brown Sugar Blend or light brown sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • 2 oz. applesauce – (her recipe called for baby food applesauce, but I used my own homemade applesauce)
  • 1 ½ tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2  tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 of a 15 oz. can of raw pumpkin or 3/4 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 c. oat flour – (put rolled oats in a blender or food processor!)
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1/4 cup almond milk or milk

Toppings (optional)

  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 c. chocolate-covered toffee chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Spray a 9×9 square baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Combine all ingredients (except the topping ingredients) in a medium bowl.
  4. Spread batter into the baking dish. Sprinkle with the toffee chips and nuts.
  5. Bake for 30 min. Cut into squares. Enjoy!
Pumpkin Toffee Oat Cake with Protein

Quick Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal for One

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

This is warm, comforting, and filling. It’s almost like eating a baked apple. A perfect breakfast for a chilly fall morning. My daughter loves this oatmeal. She is always cold in the morning and it helps warm her up.

It’s simple, it’s fast, it’s the perfect comfort food for breakfast before heading off to school or work.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
  • 1/4 c. quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. lowfat milk
  • 1 – 2 T. brown sugar
  • A splash of vanilla
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon
  • Sprinkle of nutmeg
  • Sprinkle of salt
Directions:
  1. Peel, core and chop the apple and put it in a microwave-safe bowl.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir.
  3. Cook in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, then take it out and stir it. Cook for 1 minute longer or until the oatmeal is cooked through.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
This recipe was shared at Apple-icious and Iron Chef Mom.

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