You’ve been warned. I said I’d end up baking during these crazy pandemic times. After irrationally craving cinnamon rolls–it is a Sunday morning–, I settled on making a version of Joanna Gaines’ cinnamon swirl quick bread from her cookbook, Magnolia Table. As a Christmas present, I’ve looked through this cookbook, but haven’t had a time to tackle any recipes. Given my brunch cravings and the copious time on our hands, I settled on making Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread, but a lightened up version of this classic. I still think it’s crazy that the original recipe for this bread was supposed to have 2½ c sugar and a third of a cup of oil. Here, we use just under three-fourths cup sugar, less than a tablespoon of oil, and mix coconut and raisins. It’s perfect right out of the oven, but I recommend it cooling longer than we did, since we were a bit too eager to slice it up, thus left with some crumbly pieces. Ted and I enjoyed this warm, served with a cup of coffee and a side of Greek yogurt and strawberries (see first photo after recipe!). It was the perfect stay-at-home Sunday brunch.
March has been a weird month. As a nurse practitioner, it’s the year of the nurse. However, with the coronavirus pandemic knocking on our door (or literally at our door), I wasn’t expecting the year of the nurse to be quite like this. I deal with stress by cooking and baking. You should maaaybeee expect some baking recipes to come. I started on this sweet potato bread recipe before the pandemic broke out, and man, this breakfast bread is good. After some tweaks, it’s finally ready to share. Oats and almond flour are the “flour” or grains and applesauce and Greek yogurt act as the butter and oil. Have you had Starbucks’ pumpkin loaf when it debuts each fall? This Sweet Potato Breakfast Bread is that good, but a little healthier for you. It’s spiced, just the right amount of sweet, and pairs oh-so-well with your bitter cup of coffee in the morning or a mug of tea.
While I do not claim for these cookies to be true Anzac biscuits, the basis for the ingredients screamed like an Annie cookie. Without eggs, the cookies held up quite well despite lacking eggs when families sent these biscuits to the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps–hence Anzac–circa WWI. The true recipe calls for oats, flour, sugar, butter, “golden syrup,” and coconut. I found a recipe for these in Sweet, and I decided to tweak these to be my own. I call them Coconut Oatmeal Cookies with Raisins & Lemon. They’re still sweet (despite using only 3/4 c sugar instead of almost 2 c), bright from the cardamom and lemon zest, and perfectly chewy thanks to the oats and raisins. They’re like an updated version of your grandmother’s oatmeal raisin cookies.
I think I found the holy grail of chocolate chip cookie recipes! Made with old-fashioned oats, almond flour, and applesauce, these Sea Salt Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies are light and chewy while retaining that classic chocolate chip cookie taste. They’re sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt to accentuate the dark chocolate. Perfectly lightened up, people won’t know the difference that they’re kind of “healthy.” And stay tuned! There may be a pumpkin version of these in the works some time soon…
I’ve been baking lately. Ted is enjoying batches of brownies, as I try to perfect the recipe and I think I’ve found it. Tahini Brownies. A simple take on brownies using tahini and applesauce as a substitute for butter, while still leaving the brownies fluffy without being dry. Adding seasame seeds to the top gets them nice and toasted as the brownies bake and bring out even more sesame flavor complement that dark chocolate. If you’re feeling extra indulgent, drizzle the top with extra tahini and sprinkle with extra chocolate chips.
Healthy chocolate muffins!? Is this a thing? Absolutely. I feel like I’ve been killing this muffin meal prep game. I love having these as a snack or before a workout. Mixed Berry Chocolate Protein Muffins are no exception. You satisfy your chocolate craving as a yummy breakfast or snack. I used my strawberry rhubarb compote to act as the berries, but feel free to use mashed raspberries instead; plus, I don’t know about you, but there’s something I love about the way blueberries bake into muffins.
These may not be my best looking muffins, but they’re like a chocolate chip cookie and fig newton wrapped into one. They’re dense, the figs are complimented by cardamom and the dark chocolate adds a bittersweet taste. I stumbled upon dried whole figs at a TJ Maxx/Homegoods when home in Maine, but I’m sure you can find them anywhere. As you know, I like making muffins with protein powder so they’re a bit heartier, nutrient-dense and keep me full longer. I reallyyyyy enjoyed these Chocolate Fig Protein Muffins, and they were both friend and boyfriend approved (which are both necessary measures of approval).
Is there anything better than banana bread in the oven? I was debating if I should go the peanut butter and chocolate chip route or honey walnut, and I settled on the latter (which just means I’ll have to save some bananas to bake up a new kind!). I loved the crunch of the walnuts and floral notes that the honey added. Whilst best straight out of the oven, the loaf freezes well to be enjoyed at a later date, like when you’re skiing up in Vermont. Using Soul Bee powered honey, this Honey Walnut Banana Bread is a fun take on your standard loaf.
It’s that time of year! Time to break out the meal prep and healthy snacks and maybe some indulgences for those New Year’s resolutions. These Cinnamon Almond Bites are perfect for a quick dessert or a taste to satisfying your sweet tooth. I think they’re fine energy bites, and if you choose to coat them in cocoa powder or cinnamon sugar, they become a bitter, dark indulgence or a sweet one. I make them instead of protein muffins and enjoy with some a cup of coffee or with fruit/extra carbs to balance them out. Either way, have fun with these bite-sized energy bites!
This is my second batch of Pumpkin Spice Protein Muffins and they keep getting better. I’ve grabbed two before my first Soul Survivor spin class (it was 60 min) and thank God I did. For being kind of bite-size, they fill you up as a snack or a meal. This morning I had two fresh out of the oven along with some Siggi’s vanilla skyr yogurt. I like the crunch of the pecans and the chewiness from the raisins. The mashed banana and pumpkin make these muffins pretty dense, but in a good way. Pro tip — aka how I enjoy them — serve warm with a cup of cinnamon coffee. Happy weekend!