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.
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.
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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Healthy Chocolate & Berry Muffins
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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Dish Me Up Some Single Serving French Toast
You know what I’ve been missing in my life? French Toast. Especially Single Serving Baked French Toast that I can whip up and have ready in less than 30 minutes. You’d never know this version is fully vegan; the bread is perfectly “soaked” in almond milk, vanilla and almond butter. While you don’t miss the eggy-ness of this toast, its cinnamon still makes you think of your childhood dish. Sweetened with bananas and a little agave, you may be tempted to whip up more than just one serving…
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Cozy Up with Some Coconut Chia Pudding
Happy Valentine’s Day! Here’s a little “dessert” to color your day. My parents and I went to First Watch for brunch whilst in Ohio, after such a favorable outing when we were in Florida last May. My mom ordered the AM Superfood Bowl, which consisted of a coconut milk chia pudding topped with bananas, berries and blackberry perseveres and homemade granola. It was delish — literally dessert for breakfast. I usually make chia pudding with almond milk, but full-fat coconut milk was a welcomed surprise. On a whim, I added a pinch of cardamom and the citrus flavor added some levity and brightness to the dish. Enjoy as a snack, topped with fruit and granola for breakfast or with some chocolate for dessert, Coconut Chia Pudding is just one of those things you’ll enjoy again and again.
Oh So Satisfying Cinnamon Bites
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!
Buzzing for these Blackberry Cardamom Oats
So I may or may not have grabbed a handful of this Whole Earth Sweetener packets from Starbucks last weekend 🙈 . . . oops. They’re sitting out for the taking, so I decided why not try them? Not my fault I don’t add sugar or sweetener to my coffee. (Full disclosure: I grabbed three, which I think is a respectable “grab.”) I was grabbing spices to make Indonesian Inspired Quinoa Bowls and saw cardamom hiding out in the back of my pantry. Cardamom has such a nice citrus flavor that I wanted some oats with grapefruit on the side — but the 2.0 version. Thus, I made Blackberry Cardamom Overnight Oats with a Broiled Grapefruit. The grapefruit is amazing! This would be so good on the grill or as a dessert. I foresee myself stalking up on grapefruit during my next grocery run to make this again. Plus, the broiled grapefruit seems like a great standalone side for a brunch or the beginnings of a dessert.
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Sipping on Simply Homemade Irish Cream
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Ok, happy St. Patty’s plus three weeks, but who’s counting? I made this for brunch that Sunday of the Southie parade. I wanted something cheaper (!), less processed and just overall healthier than traditional Bailey’s Irish Cream. Purchasing alcohol in Beacon Hill is effing pricey. Excluding the small amount of bourbon used, this was about $5ish to make after buying coconut milk and using pantry staples. Plus, it’s about 90 calories per 1.5 oz shot compared to Bailey’s 150 calories. Winning! That’s basically a two-for-one deal.* A little thinner consistency when mixed with coffee, but this Homemade Irish Cream has great flavor, still a kick and a take on your traditional Irish cream. Cheers!
* Note: I’m not encouraging to get over-served on a thirsty Thursday, but more to be cognizant of your indulgences.
Berry Deliciously Spiced Overnight Oats
I haven’t made overnight oats in a while and I must say, what a way to get back in the game. It’s (hopefully) getting warmer with spring officially trying to make its way into the New England weather and the daylight slowly growing longer. Although I usually grab cinnamon and vanilla for breakfast items and/or smoothies, this was different. The combo of raspberries, cranberries, and spices were great. Served hot or cold — you choose just how to enjoy Cinnamon Vanilla Berry Overnight Oats.