Morning Glory Muffins

Ingredients:
2 cups flour (either white, whole wheat, or gluten-free all purpose)
1/2 cup sugar
2 t baking soda
2 t cinnamon
1/4 t salt
2 cups shredded carrots
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 apple, peeled and shredded
3 eggs
1 cup oil
2 t vanilla

Directions:
In a medium bowl, mix together dry ingredients. Next mix in the carrots, raisins, nuts, and coconut. Then stir in the eggs, oil, and vanilla. Scoop into 12 muffin tins and bake at 350 for ~20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

With carrots, raisins, apples, and nuts, these muffins are backed with fiber and make a filling on-the-go breakfast. But they also taste delicious! I was introduced to these muffins by my mom. This recipe is from All-Recipes, except I halved the sugar. These can also be made gluten free using all-purpose GF flour and they don’t lose their taste!

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Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 t cinnamon
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 c milk (I usually substitute almond milk)
2 eggs
1/2 c melted butter
2 t vanilla
3/4 c frozen (or fresh) blueberries or mixed berries
1/4 c chopped walnuts

Directions:

In 9×13 baking dish, combine all dry ingredients and mix. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Bake at 350 for 30 – 45 minutes .

Somehow baked oatmeal is 1,000% better than regular oatmeal. I think it is the crispiness factor. A 9×13 dish usually lasts for a few days and makes for a quick yet delicious breakfast.

No Bake Granola Bites

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cups crunchy peanut butter
1 c ground flaxseed
3/4 c honey
1/2 c chocolate chips (mini)
1/4 – 1/2 c chopped nuts (I used walnuts)

optional: dried cranberries, shredded coconut

Directions:
Throw all the ingredients into a bowl and stir until blended. Roll into golf-ball sized balls. Place in a 9×13 pan, cookie sheet, or plate. Store in the fridge. Done.

I tried this recipe because I was looking for a less expensive lunch option than buying boxes upon boxes of granola bars every month. I had tried homemade granola bars in the past and they always fell apart and just weren’t worth the mess and hassle. With this recipe, I took a different approach, and it worked like a charm. Instead of granola bars, I rolled them into balls – granola bites is the term for it now a days (or power bites or something?) A friend told me that these are a GREAT post-partum snack for new moms. They are super easy as they don’t involve any baking or microwaving or heating of any kind. Easier than rice krispie treats in that regard! This is a great no frills recipe. Adapted from Allrecipes.

Autumn Sweet Potato Hash

Ingredients:
2 links Spicy Italian Sausage, casing removed
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into tiny cubes
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, and diced
Salt
Black pepper
Pinch paprika
Pinch onion powder
Pinch garlic powder
Pinch Italian seasoning
2 teaspoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 green onion, chopped
¼ cup grated asiago cheese

Directions:
Crumble sausage into large skillet at medium-high heat and brown. Add onion, pepper, spices, and cook for a few more minutes. Add sweet potato, stirring to coat. Cook covered for about 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft. Top with parlsey and/or green onion and cheese.

This is another great find from Molly Fogleman. While the original recipe from The Cozy Apron intends this as a breakfast dish, Molly served this over grits for a satisfying dinner meal. As always, visit the original recipe site for more detailed instructions and pictures!

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Ingredients:

3 small bananas (9.5 ounces), mashed
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1 small lemon, juiced)
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
2 eggs
1 cup oat flour*
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

Optional: chopped walnuts

*To make oat flour out of old-fashioned oats, simply pour one cup of oats into a food processor and process until it is ground well. One cup before and after grinding measures just about the same.

 Directions:
Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and cook on a griddle, waffle maker, or frying pan with some melted butter as you would your traditional pancakes. The batter will fluff up quite a bit if you let it sit for a few minutes. Enjoy the most delicious breakfast of your life.

We have tried many, many, many gluten free pancakes and most of them just fall short. They have ranged from almost inedible to not very satisfying. A lot of gluten free recipes also require purchasing special flours which I never have on hand so I loved that you can make your own oat flour for these. These pancakes were not only delicious but also healthy and don’t put you into a sugar coma. I even served them to wheat-eating friends by choice. I have also tried them in the waffle maker, which definitely worked but they didn’t get super crispy (mostly because there are so moist from the bananas.) They taste great with peanut butter on top, and I’ve also added chopped walnuts for some crunch. So thank you, Cookie + Kate for making a delicious, healthy, gluten free pancake recipe that I actually look forward to! Check out their blog for some beautiful pictures and other delicious whole food recipes. And as always, you can get much more thorough directions there, as opposed to my lazy man methods (i.e. combine and cook).

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 c sugar
1/2 c vegetable oil
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
3 bananas, beaten
1 3/4 c flour
1 t vanilla

Directions:

Mix in order given. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Makes one loaf.

Here’s the thing. I hate over-ripe (or maybe even ripe) bananas. I blame it on one too many pre-race bananas followed by post-race hurling (negative associations). In any case, once a banana has reached that ripe stage, its too far gone for me. Consequently, I end up with a lot of bananas in the freezer, and a lot of banana bread. There are a lot of banana bread recipes. This one comes from my college cookbook.