How To: Healthy Breakfast – Savoury Squash Pancakes

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I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a long time.

It’s been bookmarked in my “recipe to try folder,” along with so so SO many more. Well, thank goodness for national food holidays. When #pancaketuesday rolled around last month, it was the perfect excuse for a breakfast-for-dinner meal.

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And oh how glad I was that I made these. They are deceivingly simple sounding. Just some roasted and mashed squash, an egg, some cheese and yogurt, and flour. That’s basically it. And somehow, through the magic that is Smitten Kitchen, they become addictive little pancakes that you eat so fast you thoroughly regret not making a double batch.

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These pancakes are honestly perfect for any time of day – feeling like a savoury breakfast but also want pancakes? Make these! Feeling like you want something a little different for lunch? Make these! Feeling like a breakfast for dinner type meal? Make these! Feeling a little peckish mid afternoon? Make these! The fact that they come together lickety-split makes it really easy not to miss out. They also freeze wonderfully so make up that double or triple batch, you won’t regret it.

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I’ve eaten them plain, topped with a dab of butter, and a drizzle of maple syrup. But my favourite way is to top them with a little extra plain yogurt. But you do you – I imagine a soft poached or fried egg on top would be lovely.

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So make them and tell me your favourite way to eat them, okay? And if you’ve made a double or triple batch, give me a ring!

Dara

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Savoury Squash Pancakes

Serves 4-6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Main Dish, Side Dish
Website Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 butternut squash (halved and seeds removed)
  • 1/3 cup 2 % Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 3/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • butter (for frying pancakes)
  • additional butter or yogurt, maple syrup, sour cream (for serving)

Note

These pancakes are great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! I love them as a side to eggs and topped with some extra butter or yogurt. You could definitely cook up a double batch as they freeze really well.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place squash flesh side down on baking sheet and bake for about 45 minutes, or until very tender. Remove and let cool slightly and scoop out flesh and mash. Measure out 1 cup of mashed squash and store the rest in the fridge or freezer for another time.
3. In a large bowl whisk together squash, yogurt, eggs, cheese, salt, and baking powder until combined. Add flour and stir until just mixed in.
4. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat and add some butter to coat the bottom of the pan (I used about 1 tbsp or so). Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, spoon batter onto pan, flattening it slightly with the back of a spoon.
5. Once brown on the bottom side, flip and cook until brown on the other side. If the pancakes are cooking too quickly, turn down the heat slightly. If you aren't eating them right away you can keep them warm on a parchment lined baking sheet at 200 degrees.
6. Serve as is, or topped with some maple syrup, additional butter, or yogurt.

How To: Healthy Breakfast – Baked Plum & Almond Butter Oatmeal Pie for #ChileBrunch

By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Fruits From Chile and I am eligible to win a prize associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

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Pie for breakfast? Sign me up!

Now wait a second. Isn’t this a so-called “healthy recipe” blog written by two registered dietitians? What’s the deal here?

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This ain’t no ordinary pie! One of our most popular breakfast recipes is the baked peanut butter and apple oatmeal. Have you made it yet? You should! It’s hearty, loaded with peanut butter, dense and doughy, and most importantly, delicious. So that got me thinking, why not change things up a bit and make a breakfast that would catch everyone’s eye, even that of the 3 year old with the ever changing taste buds. And oatmeal pie was born! #kidapproved

It also so happens that this said 3 year old has recently fallen in love with plums. So once I heard about this fantastic contest hosted by fellow dietitian Christy Brissette of 80 Twenty Nutrition and Fruits from Chile to develop a brunch recipe, I knew exactly what the star of this breakfast pie would be.

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If you’ve ever strolled through your store and grabbed a plum or two, chances are you were probably picking up fruit from chile. Same goes for your nectarines, grapes, and peaches. The plums I bought were perfectly juicy and also beautiful – check out that colour! The perfect pie topper.

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I paired the plums with a good serving of almond butter – not only does it add some extra staying power to your usual oatmeal, the almond flavour pairs so well with the sweet plums. With some ground flax for fibre, an egg for protein, and a hint of brown sugar, this pie is perfectly suitable for your breakfast meal. I don’t like my morning bowl of oats to be super sweet, but if you wanted to add some more sweetness, top your slice with a drizzle of maple syrup.

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I scattered some walnuts on top for some extra crunch, but they are totally optional. What’s not optional? The plums! Serve up a slice as is, topped with an extra dollop of almond butter, a spoonful of yogurt, or some more of those delicious fruit from chile plums. Totally fancy enough for your next brunch party and easy enough for a mid-week breakfast treat.

Before you know it we will be serving you cake for dinner! Crazy town!

Dara

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Baked Plum & Almond Butter Oatmeal Pie

Serves 5-6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 Cups almond milk
  • 1 eggs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1 cup plums (thinly sliced)

Optional

  • 1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)

Note

This pie could also be baked in an 8 x 8 pyrex baking dish sprayed with cooking spray. It won't be a pie, but it will still be delicious!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and spray a 9 inch pie plate with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl combine oats, flax, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl combine almond milk, egg, applesauce, and vanilla.
3. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir to combine. Add almond butter and stir again until evenly incorporated.
4. Pour mixture into pie plate and evenly place plum slices on the top. Sprinkle with walnuts and bake for about 30 minutes, until brown and cooked through.
5. Serve topped with additional almond butter and plums, yogurt, or a drizzle of maple syrup.

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How To: Snack Healthy – Oatmeal Molasses Muffins

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“Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes!”

This David Bowie song has been playing in my head on repeat this past weekend.

My babe – the youngest of my two girls is starting daycare today. DAYCARE. When did this happen? I swear I closed my eyes for like a minute and my 3 month old tiny babe turned into an almost 1 year old big girl. She’s starting daycare, turning one next month, and my oldest starts Junior Kindergarten in September. “Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes!”

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I don’t deal well with change. Does anyone really? If you have any strategies – please comment below! One of mine – baking. Now, I would normally refer to myself as more of a home cook than a home baker. But when it comes to taking my mind off something, the need to concentrate on exact measurements of flour and sugar definitely helps. And when the result is something as delicious as these muffins, that extra concentration and attention to detail is so worth it.

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These muffins, brought to you by the food blog queen turned Food Network superstar The Pioneer Woman, are my new favourite. They are so tender without the need for any additional fat. Mashed banana, applesauce, and some buttermilk provide all the moisture you need. I usually avoid recipes that call for buttermilk since I’m always left with half a carton that ends up in the garbage. So for this recipe I simply made my own by adding some lemon juice to milk which sours it, creating your own buttermilk.

These muffins are quick, easy, and the perfect blank canvas for all of your wildest muffin dreams. I happen to like them just the way they are but they are also a great vehicle for some raisins, nuts, or chocolate chips. My girls devoured these as is – the perfect first day of daycare breakfast.

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The molasses in this recipe adds a unique sweetness and flavour, but I imagine maple syrup or honey would also work just fine.

I know change can be a good thing and help us grow or whatever it is people usually say. But please excuse me if you happen to see a lot more muffins or baked goods over the next few weeks here – some baking therapy sessions may be in order.

Dara

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Whole Wheat Oatmeal Molasses Muffins

Serves 12
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Pioneer Woman

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 Tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1% but I imagine any milk will do)
  • 1 Tsp vinegar
  • 1 ripe banana (mashed)
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2-1 cup mix ins of your choice (raisins, walnuts, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, pecans)

Note

I think these muffins are fantastic as is, but I've also made them with raisins, chocolate chips, and walnuts and all are delicious. They freeze really well and are a great grab-and-go breakfast or snack option.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12-count muffin pan with cooking spray or line with cupcake liners. Mix milk and vinegar in a small bowl and set aside.
2. In a large bowl combine both flours, oatmeal, flaxseed, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
3. In a small bowl combine the mashed banana, egg, applesauce, molasses, and milk mixture. Add wet ingredients to dry and stir until just combined. If you are adding any mix-ins, add them here and stir again until evenly distributed.
4. Divide mixture evenly among the 12 muffin cups and bake for about 17-18 minutes. Remove and let cool or devour warm if you just can't wait!

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How To: Healthy Breakfast – Single Serve Flour Free Banana Pancake

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I have absolutely nothing against flour. In fact, the more gluten the better I say!

I love our pumpkin pancakes and the coconut version is on regular rotation here on Sunday mornings, but I’ve recently been experimenting with a more eggy variety. Last weekend my cereal loving husband even asked for one for breakfast. And when he asked for it again the next day and the next, I knew I had a winner. And I also knew my husband needed to learn the recipe himself! So I sure hope he’s reading this post!

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I’ve seen many variations on the world wide web for the two ingredient banana pancakes. Having made them a couple times I just found them like a giant wet and spongy omelet. Sound appetizing? Here, a spoonful of flax seed is added which replaces the flour and helps give this more of a pancake-like feel AND a healthy dose of fibre. Doesn’t get much better than that!

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This pancake is perfect for when you want a pancake, but don’t want to make a whole stack. It is perfect for when you want a pancake, but don’t want to take a nap after breakfast. It is also the perfect canvas for all that peanut butter you want to just eat with a spoon. Oh, is that just me?

Dara

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Single Serve Flour Free Banana Pancake

Serves 1
Meal type Breakfast
Website Adapted from Fannetasticfood

Ingredients

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg whites (or 1/4 cup egg whites from a carton)
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 Tsp cinnamon
  • peanut butter, berries (for topping)

Note

This pancake is a little delicate, so if it breaks when flipping to not fret! It will still taste delicious! Just continue to cook the pancake pieces on the opposite side. Letting the pancake sit and cook untouched for a good 5-8 minutes is key in keeping it together. I love it slathered with almond or peanut butter, but you could also top it with some toasted nuts or seeds, a spoonful or two of yogurt, or eat it as is.

Directions

1. In a small bowl mash banana well with a fork. Add egg, egg whites, ground flaxseed, and cinnamon and mix very well to combine.
2. Preheat a non stick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour banana batter in pan and let it cook for about 5-8 minutes. Using a spatula, lift the edges carefully to see if it is brown underneath.
3. Very gently flip pancake using a flexible large spatula and let it cook for another 1-2 minutes on the other side.
4. Remove to a plate and top with a spoonful (or three!) of peanut butter and berries, if desired.

 

How To: Healthy Snack – Double Sesame Cereal

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My husband is religious about his breakfast – 364 days of the year he has a bowl of cereal with almond milk.

What about that other day? Challah french toast. But 9 times out of 10 it’s a bowl of cereal. And not just one cereal – four cereals go into his bowl. A layer of raisin bran, then comes kashi go lean, multigrain cheerios, and lastly a sprinkle of bran buds. Gotta stay regular.

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Now, if we he’s lucky, he gets a fifth fun cereal. His favourite? Homemade granola. While he does love our pumpkin version and the almond butter one also ranks up there, this new almost savoury spin has been the latest addition to his morning bowl.

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I have a recent obsession with tahini – it’s just as creamy as peanut butter but has such a unique flavour. And along with maple syrup, it acts as the “glue” for the dry oats and rice krispies. The “double sesame” component is a couple spoonfuls of sesame seeds that get mixed in with some coconut, which all together amounts to an extremely crunchy and delicious final product.

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This granola like cereal is great on it’s own, sprinkled over yogurt, or drowned in almond milk, my husband’s preference.

Dara

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Double Sesame Granola

Serves makes about 1 1/2 cups
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Shutterbean

Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice krispies
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 3 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 Tbsp water
  • 1/4 Tsp salt

Note

While I was eating this cereal, I tossed in a handful of toasted almonds and it was just delicious. So I would suggest adding a handful of the nut of your choice to the oat mixture before baking it. You could substitute honey for the maple syrup if you would like.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, combine rice krispies, oats, coconut, and sesame seeds. In a small bowl mix together the maple syrup, tahini and water.
3. Pour tahini mixture over oat mixture and stir until evenly coated. Pour mixture over parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Serve with milk, yogurt, or just eat straight up. Store in an air tight container for up to 1 week.