Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Lemony Oatmeal Bake with Maine Blueberries

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A breakfast just in time for the end of summer. These are the blueberries from my parent’s house in Maine. We have blueberry bushes in the backyard and I always associate picking them with mid to late August, nearing the end of summer. These blueberries tend to be a bit tart, so baking them seemed ideal. Last summer and this summer, I liked to meal prep my breakfast to give me more time to sleep and less time assembling and cooking in the mornings before work. Oatmeal bake has been a staple, topped with Greek yogurt and drizzled with maple syrup. I love using my Maine blueberries and the bright addition of citrus for Lemon Blueberry Oatmeal Bake.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegetarian

Gooey, “Buttery” White Chocolate Strawberry Blondies (Gluten-free!)

Do you ever make a recipe that you just want to eat and eat? That’s these White Chocolate Strawberry Blondies. They’re gooey, melt, rich, and sweet while using applesauce and almond butter for butter and also gluten-free. As I write about these blondies, I’m literally salivating thinking about eating one. They’re very tasty and the perfect spring or summer treat, packed with fresh strawberries and white chocolate chips.

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Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Lightened Up, Snack, Vegetarian

Social Distancing with Cinnamon Walnut Quick Bread for Sunday Brunch

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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.

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Better Than Takeout, Bread, Breakfast/Brunch, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Snack, Vegetarian

Sweet Potato Bread for Breakfast

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.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Vibrant & Bright Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Chewy (& Healthy-ish!) Chocolate Chip Cookies with Sea Salt

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…

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Tantalizing Tahini Brownies

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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.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Vegetarian

Toasted Coconut & Spiced Carrot Oatmeal For Breakfast

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Too many carrots from your garden? Have them for breakfast as a Coconut Carrot Oatmeal Bake. What can I say? I love cardamom and the citrusy flavor it gives to the cinnamon, ginger, carrots & apple. Like my other oatmeal bakes, this is lightened up with   applesauce instead of butter, coconut milk and egg whites. I love the crunch from the walnuts and carrots, and sweetness from the raisins and apple. Oatmeal bake is a great meal prep and if you can use your over in the summer, you can still enjoy the end result hot or cold. Add a little yogurt and maple syrup for a deliciously easy breakfast.

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Dairy-Free, Dessert, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, One Pot Dish, Side, Snack, Vegan, Vegetarian

Craving Cranberries & Applesauce

Cranberry Cinnamon Applesauce

I always associate applesauce with the kind in your elementary school lunch or when you’re sick. This is applesauce for grown-ups. If you haven’t noticed, I took pictures of the Cranberry Cinnamon Applesauce in tupperware — it was that hard not to immediately consume. Bursting with cinnamon, the combination of the sweet Gala apples and tart cranberries is truly decadent. To top it off, this version has no added sugar (thanks, Aloha), you literally chop the apples and dump them in a pot and your kitchen may or may not smell like a Yankee candle. So take a bite of this naturally sweet and insanely delicious applesauce.

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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low Sugar, Vegan, Vegetarian

Apple Pie in a Bowl

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I wanted something that was filling, healthy but still sweet for breakfast. I saw a recipe for this apple pie oatmeal on Instagram. Why not slowly detox from the Holidays? The chia seeds and oatmeal add substance and protein, while the apples add fiber and vitamin C, and we’ll all need some extra vitamin C to combat the cold and flu season upon us. Another tasty way to transform an ordinary bowl of oatmeal to Apple Pie Oatmeal.

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