Chocolate Porridge (Oatmeal)

Ingredients:

1 cup hazelnuts
1 cup pitted dates
2 cups oatmeal
3 T cocoa powder
2 t vanilla
zest from 1 orange

Directions:

Toast hazelnuts in a fry pan until medium brown. Then add to food processor. Add pitted dates to food processor, along with 1 cup of the oatmeal, the cocoa powder, vanilla and the orange zest. Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped. Add remaining 1 cup oatmeal, stir to combine, and store in air tight container for up to 2 weeks.

To serve:

Combine 1/2 cup of oatmeal mixture with 1 cup liquid (water, milk, coconut water). Heat in microwave or stovetop. Can add yogurt, fruit, or other toppings as desired (although it tastes great on its own!)

This recipe came from Jamie Oliver and is an excellent way to switch up your morning oatmeal routine.

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Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup buttermilk (I use almond milk with 1 t of vinegar)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted and cooled
1 cup flour (I use gluten free flour)
1/2 t salt
1 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 cup dried currants or other dried fruit (or choc. chips!)

Directions:
In bowl, combine oats and milk and let stand for up to 1 hour (or long enough for oats to soften and absorb the milk. Add eggs, sugar, and butter to oats, then add dry ingredients. Fold in currants. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes. Makes 12 muffins.

I found this recipe on Epicurious. You can also add cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice if you want to give it more of a kick. You can also add flax seed or walnuts for omega-3s.

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!

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!