How To: Make Your Own – Trendy Green Smoothie Bowl

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I’ve never been so into smoothies as a meal.

Sure, as an on-the-go snack or to quench the thirst on a hot day, sign me up. But I feel like in order to truly be satisfied, I need to chew my food, not drink it.

Then I see this new hashtag all over instagram – #smoothieinabowl. Light bulb moment. All the best qualities of the smoothie but with all the toppings and chew of a good breakfast. This is a bandwagon I was ready to jump on.

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So when I was generously gifted some Zespri Sungold Kiwifruit, my first ever green smoothie bowl was born. The best part about this whole smoothie bowl movement is the toppings. It’s like being at your local self serve frozen yogurt bar, only it’s breakfast! I went with some more deliciously sweet kiwis, toasted coconut flakes, and peanut butter, but the kitchen is your oyster!

And wouldn’t you know it, there is a whole two handfuls of baby spinach in that bowl. Well on your way to getting your daily dose of green vegetables and it’s not even noon! Perfect start for the first morning back to school.

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Jump on the smoothie bowl bandwagon with me and quench your thirst AND your hunger all at once! #breakfastwin

Dara

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Trendy Green Smoothie Bowl

Serves 2
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 banana (frozen)
  • 2 Large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 cup frozen berries
  • 1 kiwi (peeled and chopped)
  • 1 1/2 Cups almond milk
  • 2 Tbsp almond or peanut butter
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed

Toppings

  • almond or peanut butter
  • coconut flakes
  • sliced kiwi
  • chia seeds
  • granola
  • toasted nuts or seeds

Note

These smoothie bowls are easily adaptable to whatever fruit you have on hand - frozen pineapple or mango would be delicious in place of the berries. Add whatever toppings you like! If you want it a little thicker, add a handful of ice to your blender.

Directions

1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Divide between two bowls and top with toppings of your choice.
3. Leftover smoothie will keep in the fridge for a couple days.

How To: Healthy Breakfast – Double Maple Overnight Oats

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I tend to go in waves when it comes to breakfast choices.

Oatmeal for one week, cereal the next, pancakes and yogurt and granola are also on rotation. But right now I’m on an overnight oat kick. Way back when we were blogger newbies, I posted a recipe for an overnight oatmeal variation. While it is still delicious, I now enjoy more creative variations for my grown up and sophisticated palate.

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For this version I used the classic oatmeal topping of maple syrup to add sweetness and flavour. These oats get a double dose of maple flavour by using a maple brewed tea as part of the soaking liquid. I was generously gifted a bottle of pure maple syrup and a pack of Canada true maple tea by Canada The Store. I love the subtle maple flavour of this tea and in combo with the classic maple syrup – oatmeal heaven!

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Another thing I’ve learned since that first overnight oatmeal post, is that chia seeds are a key component of overnight oatmeal. I find they really thicken up the mixture as it sits overnight. I usually like to soak my oats in part almond milk and part yogurt, but for this version, I left the yogurt as a topping to really let the maple flavour of the tea and syrup shine through.

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One of my favourite things about these oats are the toppings – it’s like when you go to a self serve frozen yogurt bar. You can add whatever you like to jazz these up – nuts, fruit, dried fruit, go WILD!

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Assemble these the night before and then trust me, you will be so excited for breakfast you won’t be able to sleep! Thank goodness for the caffeine jolt in these oats from the maple tea. Your serving of breakfast and caffeine all in one!

Dara

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Double Maple Overnight Oats

Serves 2
Meal type Breakfast, Snack

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of maple tea
  • 1 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • plain Greek yogurt, walnuts, and blueberries (to garnish)

Note

You can top these overnight oats with whatever toppings you'd like - sliced strawberries, raspberries, raisins, almonds, pecans, more sliced bananas, and another drizzle of maple syrup would all be delicious. I find these oats sweet enough but for a little extra sweetness top with vanilla yogurt in place of the plain. The oats will keep for up to five days in the fridge.

Directions

1. Place tea bag in a cup and add 1/2 cup boiling water. Let it steep for about 5-10 minutes.
2. Place banana in a medium bowl and mash. Add oats and remaining ingredients and stir t combine, ensuring oats are covered with liquid.
3. Place oat mixture in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight. In the morning, divide among two bowls and top with yogurt, blueberries, and walnuts.

 

How To: Snack Healthy – Applesauce Oat Cranberry Muffins

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I may be a bit of a weirdo, but whenever I can get some “me-time” I thoroughly enjoy using it for grocery shopping.

Having the time to go up and down the aisles without a child requesting every second food item we pass feels like a luxury. This past weekend, however, that was not the case. And that is how I ended up with not one, but two full bags of dried cranberries in the cupboard. Not to mention about three bags of baby bell cheese and a box of some cereal with a panda on it that my daughter absolutely had to have.

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While half a bag of cranberries got eaten in line, the other half got used to make these muffins. And I now should apologize to my daughter for trying to distract her from making this unnecessary purchase because without it, these delicious muffins would not have been made or shared with you.

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These are not your ordinary bakery muffins, they can be labelled “healthy” muffins as they are full of oats, whole wheat flour, and applesauce. But firstly, they are delicious! And if your toddler tends to reach for the bags of raisins or chocolate chips, throw those in instead.

Now if I could only find a use for that extra box of cereal we would be golden!

Dara

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Applesauce Oat Cranberry Muffins

Serves 12 muffins
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup milk (whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted)
  • 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries

Note

These muffins freeze really well and are great to keep on hand for quick a quick snack or breakfast on the go. Raisins or chocolate chips could be substituted for the dried cranberries.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 and spray a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine the oats, applesauce, milk, egg, vanilla, coconut oil, and sugar until combined.
3. In a small bowl mix together the whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and cranberries. Add dry to wet mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over mix or muffins will be tough.
4. Divide evenly among muffin cups and bake for 17 minutes, until brown cooked through. Let cool for about 5-10 minutes until in the muffin pan and then remove and enjoy!

How To: Snack Healthy – Whole-Wheat Maple Oatmeal Banana Muffins

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Our broken oven saga has finally come to an end!

After going back and forth too many times to count with a kitchen appliance company that shall remain nameless and too many weeks of frustrations, our oven is finally in working condition. What better way to celebrate this victory than by baking muffins?

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Maple sweetened, whole wheat, banana, oatmeal muffins to be exact. That’s a mouthful for a recipe title. But I needed to convey all the deliciousness that went into these super easy one bowl muffins. You read that right – ONE BOWL! Yay for easy clean up!

I first stumbled across these muffins when a friend of mine generously made us a batch during our first week home as a new family of four. They were such a hit with my sometime picky two and half year old that I knew I had to make a batch ASAP.

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I kept them super simple as I like to eat them topped with some peanut or almond butter – I mean what is better than bananas and peanut butter? But some chocolate chips or chopped nuts would be just delightful.

As the oven drama is finally over, I can focus on more important things, like baking another batch of these muffins!

Enjoy!

Dara

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Whole-Wheat Maple Banana Oat Muffin

Serves 12 muffins
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Misc Freezable
Website Adapted from Cookie and Kate

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil (or canola oil)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas (mashed)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or any other milk you have on hand)
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (plus more for sprinkling on top)

Note

These one bowl muffins are super easy to make. You can substitute honey for the maple syrup of you don't have any on hand. If you want to jazz them up, add a handful or two of chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or raisins. They can be frozen and defrosted individually in the microwave when you are ready to eat them.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 and spray a non stick muffin pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl whisk together coconut oil and maple syrup. Add eggs and whisk to combine. Whisk in mashed bananas and milk and then the salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.
3. With a large spoon, mix in the whole wheat flour and oats until just combined.
4. Divide batter evenly among muffin tins, filling them about 3/4 of the way to the top. Sprinkle each muffin with a pinch or two of additional oats.
5. Bake for about 25 minutes until brown and fully cooked through. Once cool, remove from the pan using a knife to help loosen the edges.

How To: Healthy Breakfast – Pumpkin French Toast Bake

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Sorry for the blog hiatus folks. Lets chalk it up to the need for some R&R over the holidays after a big move.

I left you in the midst of packing hell and I am FINALLY beginning to emerge from the other side – I’m not sure what’s worse – packing or UNpacking? Thoughts?

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Finally, with a functional and semi-organized kitchen, I hosted my first brunch. Amidst the chaos of four children under the age of four ransacking enjoying our much more spacious play area, we all were able to sit down for at least a good ten minutes and enjoy this sweet and satisfying pumpkin french toast bake.

If there was a choice between pancakes or french toast, you will always find me on the pancake side of things. However, after making and tasting this overnight baked version of the classic breakfast, it may have changed my mind.

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I hate being stuck in the kitchen when hosting any sort of brunch, lunch, or dinner party. So what to do when you want to serve french toast to a crowd? You soak it overnight so it’s more of a casserole style dish. In this version, pumpkin is added to the usual egg and milk based custard. The cubes of crusty french bread absorb all this liquid overnight and bake up into an almost bread pudding-like dish. Topped with some nuts for texture, the end result pleases both adults and kids alike.

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This pumpkin french toast bake would be just as perfect for your New Years day brunch as a special mid week treat – leftovers reheat great in the microwave.

Speaking of leftovers, if anyone wants to help me finish the unpacking, I will trade you a slice! Any takers??

Dara

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Pumpkin French Toast Bake

Serves 8
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast
Website Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • 7-8 Cups cubes of whole wheat french bread (or enough to generously fill a 9 x 13 baking dish)
  • 2 Cups almond milk (any milk you have on hand will do too)
  • 7 eggs
  • 3/4 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 2 Tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tsp vanilla
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar (for topping)
  • handful pecans (for topping)

Note

You could substitute any milk you have on hand in place of the almond milk. Any dense bread would work in this recipe - challah or a crust baguette would both be great. Use any nut you have on hand, or leave them out all together.

Directions

1. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Spread bread cubes evenly in baking dish. Whisk together almond milk, pumpkin, eggs, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Pour over bread cubes and press down to make sure all the bread is submerged.
3. Place pyrex in the fridge over night. In the morning, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Top the bread mixture evenly with brown sugar and pecans and place in the oven for about 45 minutes, until brown and the liquid is absorbed. Serve with extra maple syrup on the side.