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, 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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Breakfast/Brunch, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Lightened Up, Low Sugar, Meal Prep, Vegan, Vegetarian

Autumn Oatmeal Bake with Pumpkin & Figs

It’s fig season! Bet you thought I was going to say pumpkin? That, too. I made a berry coconut oatmeal that became a summer staple, and with fresh figs in season and pumpkin filling the grocery store shelves, this only seemed like the natural progression. Although fall is officially here, we’re having a heat wave in Boston. Thus, it only seems fitting to enjoy this morning’s Pumpkin Fig Oatmeal Bake cold with some Greek yogurt, a drizzle of maple syrup, and a little almond butter.

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

Latte Oats for Breakfast

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I haven’t posted an oatmeal recipe in a while. I’ve recently gone back to steel-cut oats to switch it up from my traditional and usually stock old-fashioned oats. I also have an important PSA: if you don’t have a milk frother, go out and buy one. It’s life-changing. That’s a gross hyperbole, but I have noticed I’m quite excited every morning before my cup of coffee. I’ve been using one by Nepresso that does both cold and hot foam. Full disclosure that I received this as a present, but it’s wonderful nonetheless. Adding frothed vanilla almond milk interestingly tastes like marshmallows. While not a “latte” in a traditional sense, Cinnamon Oatmeal Latte are a delicious alternative to your sweet or savory oats, and another way to invigorate your morning.

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

Healthy Chocolate & Berry Muffins

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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.

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

The Best Burcha (aka Superfood Muesli)

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I’ve been itching to make this for a long time, and finally bit the bullet and found all these nuts and seeds. I gravitate toward overnight oats in the summer and for clinical days because it’s so easy to make when you have an early morning. Loni Jane’s version did not disappoint; her all nuts and seed take on bircher muesli is a refreshing break from oatmeal. I enjoy my grain-free porridge, but this is much chewier, crunchy and all-around nutty. I swapped sultana (dried grapes), mango and cacao nibs for dried cranberries, since that’s what I had. If you treat this like overnight oats or granola, this is definitely up your alley. I hesitate to use “superfoods,” but Burcha (A Nuts & Seed Bircher Muesli) is really just full of whole foods and nuts, healthy fats and lots of fiber. This kept me full all morning at clinical with that satisfied-that-I-didn’t-overeat feeling. Literally count down the hours that I can have this for breakfast again!

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

Chocolate Chip Cookies + Fig Newtons = These Muffins

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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).

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