banana-almond pancakes

These high-protein and grain free pancakes make a delicious and filling breakfast. To be honest the kids weren't the biggest fans of this recipe but that just meant I could save the batter to make more for myself over the next few days. Top with fruit and maybe a dollop of Greek Yogurt or mascarpone cheese (and a drizzle of honey if you are in the mood for something decadent). Recipe is from The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.
makes 8-10 pancakes


4 large eggs
1 medium ripe banana
½ cup water
2 cups almond flour
⅓ cup arrowroot powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. sea salt
butter or coconut oil for cooking


1. Place all ingredients, except the butter or coconut oil, into a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Add a few tsp. of butter or oil to a hot skillet. Pour in the batter, about ⅓ cup per pancake, and cook for 60-90 seconds on the first side; then flip and cook for about 60 seconds on the other side.

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pumpkin cream cheese muffins

these are a fun and healthy treat with a surprise filling
adapted from
makes 21-24 muffins


for the filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp. honey

for the muffins:
3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
4 large eggs
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

for the topping (optional):
4 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
7 Tbsp. rolled oats
3 Tbsp. turbinado (coarse) sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces

1. To make the filling combine the cream cheese and honey in a bowl. Beat with mixer until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag and pipe 24 equal dollops onto parchment or wax paper. Freeze until firm, at least 3 hours.
2. To make the muffins, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line muffin pans with paper liners or grease. In medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking soda; whisk to blend. In a large bowl combine eggs, sugar, pumpkin, oil, and applesauce. Mix until blended. Add in dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.
3. To make the topping, combine flour, oats, sugar, and cinnamon in a small bowl. whisk to blend. Add in the butter and cut into try ingredients with a pastry blender or two forks (or handy dandy tupperware food mixer) until mix is coarse and crumbly. Transfer to refrigerator until ready to use.
4. To assemble muffins, fill each muffin well with a small amount of batter, just enough to cover the bottom (about 1 Tbsp). Place the dollop of cream cheese on top. Divide the remaining batter among the muffin cups, covering the cream cheese completely. Sprinkle each with topping if desired.
5. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely before serving (because the filling is hot).


pumpkin bran muffins

A healthy fall treat. Great for breakfast, snack, or along with soup.
adapted from


1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
2/3 cup buttermilk (or add slightly less than 1 Tbsp. vinegar to milk)
1/4 cup oil or applesauce (if you choose applesauce then spraying the paper liners helps the muffins not to stick)
orange mascarpone cream for serving (optional) Mix mascarpone with orange zest and honey to taste

1. Heat oven to 400ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, wheat bran, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In a separate large bowl whisk together the pumpkin, eggs, buttermilk, and oil (or applesauce).
4. Fold the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until combined. Divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 20-25 minutes.
5. If desired serve the muffins with orange cream.

FRIDAY, MAY 10, 2013

toasted almond, quinoa, and dark chocolate granola

need I say more?
adapted from
1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup cooked quinoa*
1 cup toasted sliced almonds (for a quick option use the Almond Accents since they are ready to go)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
4 Tbsp coconut oil or unsalted butter (both taste great)
1/2 cup honey
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 cup dark chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. If using butter: add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 min., then immediately remove from heat and set aside. Stir in honey and vanilla (it will now smell delicious. If using coconut oil, melt and add honey and vanilla.
2. In a large bowl, combine oats, almonds, quinoa, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt. Stir well. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and stir very well with spoon or hands. Spread evenly on baking sheet in one layer. Bake 10 minutes, toss and then bake for 10 minutes more. Toss again, then bake for about 10 more minutes, stirring every 3 minutes or so until the mixture is golden.
3. Remove and let cool for about 10 minutes. Gently squeeze granola together with hands to help it clump. Pour chocolate chips over and stir gently. Let cool completely for at least an hour before eating (this will be difficult).

yummy with milk, almond milk or yogurt. Enjoy!

*Soak for at least 15 minutes, rinse, then bring to a boil along with 1 1/4 cup water. Simmer for 25-35 minutes. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork


Breakfast (part 2)

chocolate avocado pudding
"What??" you may say? Don't knock it until you try it for youself. Here is a way to have a breakfast that is truly a treat yet also rich in nutrients and healthy fats. Delicious served with fruit and for an extra indulgence serve with whipping cream and possibly some orange zest.

2 large avocados (ripe but not over ripe)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp cocoa
3 Tbs coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)
1 tsp vanilla

Place all ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. You may need to scrape down the sides several times. Taste and adjust flavors if needed. If it needs some more liquid add a bit more oil or a splash of milk.

cocoa banana berry "ice cream"
a fun twist on a smoothie that is very fun to eat
In a blender or food processor blend 2 frozen bananas 1 cup berries (if omitting berries add additional 2 frozen bananas), 1 Tbsp cocoa, 1/4-1/2 cup yogurt (as much as is needed to reach the right consistency), and 2 tsp honey (optional, especially if using vanilla yogurt)

               animal pancakes
So not the most skilled presentation but it's a start ;)
Can you tell it's a giraffe? Good thing kids are pretty imaginative
There are way many fun ideas online...

an elephant as requested by our little guy

I started with a recipe for whole wheat pancakes:
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flower
1 T baking powder
3 Tbsp raw or brown sugar
2 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
1 1/2 cups milk
3 Tbsp oil (or 2 Tbsp applesauce and 1 Tbsp oil)

1. Mix all the above ingredients (except egg whites), then fold in beaten egg whites.
2. Pour batter into squeeze bottle (I used a wilton bottle with the top of a honey bottle).
3. Heat butter or oil in pan or on a griddle (someday I'd love one!)
4. Get creative with animals or shapes. If the kids are old enough they would love to make some too! Our daughter enjoyed making some "blobs" for me to eat. Turn when crisp and golden and cook until done. Add chocolate chips or raisins for eyes.

apple pie oatmeal
serves 4
1 apple, cored and chopped (skins on)
2 cup water (or milk)
1 cup oats
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

Bring the liquid to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the oats, apple, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Adjust heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes. That's all there is to it. Serve it with a splash of milk and a little or a lot of brown sugar sprinkled on top.


Breakfast (part 1)

I have been compiling some healthy and delicious breakfast recipes that also pass the kids' taste test (and most also made it to the "yummy" list). I usually don't plan out breakfasts in advance but I thought some exciting new recipes could help us all out a bit. I don't know about in your house but for some reason meal times (especially breakfast) can be a battle. Here are some ideas for ya.

orange bran flax muffins 
adapted from Barlean's  flax oil recipes

makes 18 muffins
1/2 cups oat bran
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup ground flax seeds (in blender or coffee grinder)
1 cup wheat bran (or more oat bran)
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil (I used coconut)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup raisins (a mixture of golden and red looks pretty)
2 small oranges, washed, quartered, and seeded (with peels)

1. In large bowl, combine the oat bran, wheat bran, flax, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine oranges, brown sugar, buttermilk, oil, eggs, and baking soda. Blend well. Pour into dry ingredients. Mix until well blended. Stir in raisins. Fill paper lined muffin cups almost to top.
3. Bake at 375 for 18-20 minutes or until tooth pick comes out clean. Cool in tins for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

best oatmeal 
adapted from Barlean's flax oil recipes
servers 4
1 cup oat groats (whole oat grain)
4 cups milk (I used part whole milk and part almond milk)
1/2 cup rasins (if you aren't a fan, substitute dried apricots or apples)
1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of cinnamon
raw honey, agave, or maple syrup to taste
4 Tsp flax oil (optional)
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds (optional)
plain yogurt to top

1. Grind the oats in a blender or coffee grinder to desired consistency (depending on your preference for coarse or fine cereal.
2. Bring milk to a rolling boil. Whisk in ground oats. Add raisins. Reduce heat and summer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, cinnamon, a sweatener. Stir in flax oil. Serve topped with yogurt and flax.

orange peach smoothie
serves 1
blend together:
1 cup vanilla or plain yogurt
1 cup frozen peaches (or nectarines)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 banana
1 Tbsp ground flaxseed
pinch nutmeg

vanilla raisin cream of rice
adapted from Barlean's flax oil recipes

serves 3-4
1 cup brown rice
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cups milk (rice, almond, regular or a combination)
4 Tbsp flax oil
1/2 cup raisins
maple syrup or other sweetener to taste (if desired)
plain yogurt for top (if desired)
ground flax (if desired)

1. Finely grind the rice to a powdery consistency in a blender or coffee grinder.
2. Bring milk to a boil in a large pot. Whisk in the rice powder. Add the raisins. Cover and summer gently over low heat for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and flax oil and sweetener if using and top with a drizzle of yogurt if desired.

The picture isn't the best but this is so good. It reminds me of rice pudding.

whole grain waffles
adapted from allrecipes
makes about 6 waffles
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/4 cut wheat germ
4 tsp. baking powder
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
dash cinnamon (optional)

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Beat in flour, flax seed meal, wheat germ, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon until batter is smooth.
2. Preheat a waffle iron, and coat with cooking spray. Pour batter into waffle iron in batches, and cook until crisp and golden brown. 

You can double the recipe and save extra waffles in the freezer. Just toast in the oven or toaster for a quick breakfast.

date and almond energy bites
adapted from
makes approx. 15 bites
1 cup oats
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup dried dates (can substitute other dried fruit such as figs or apricots), cut into small pieces
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp almond extract
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt

1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl, then add almond butter and honey. Mix together and let sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
2. Roll into balls.
store in refrigerator (they last at least 1 week)


Maple Cinnamon Granola

We have noticed recently that a lot of customers are making their own granola. Here is a recipe for you to try. A huge thanks to my good friend Rianne who shared this recipe with me last week (and was happy for me to share it with you). Until then, I had never attempted making granola. It is so yummy! It is great for snacking, having with milk or on top of yogurt or oatmeal. I would like to try it on top of a fruit crisp. What a great start to the day. The prospect of having this for breakfast the first time made me excited to get up in the morning.

1 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. sliced or chopped almonds
1/2 c. chopped pecans
3 Tbsp. flaxseeds
1/2 c. unsweetened flaked coconut
1/3 c. maple syrup (I did as Rianne suggests: 1/2 syrup and 1/2 honey)
1 Tbsp oil (I used coconut)
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
and the fun part to experiment with: 
up to 1 cup of dried fruit (this time I used chopped apricots and golden raisins but you could try dried cranberries, cherries and a whole lot of other things)
other nuts and seeds (this time I added about 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds)
you can also try 1/8-1/4 c. wheat germ

1. Preheat oven to 250°F
2. Combine oats, nuts, flax seeds and coconut. Place on a cookie sheet and toast for 10 minutes
3. Combine syrup, oil, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and warm on med-low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add vanilla
4. Take the oat mixture out of the oven and drizzle with liquid. Stir until coated. Spread out and put back in the oven for 40 minutes, or until browned, mixing every 10 minutes.
5. Let cool and add dried fruit

Makes about 4 servings. You may want to at least double the recipe as it will be gone in no time!


Sweet Breakfast Quinoa

Quinoa is naturally loaded with protein and fiber making it a perfect nutritious start to a productive day. It has a light fluffy texture and slight nutty flavor.  It is also gluten-free.
I have to admit I never tried quinoa before and am happy I did since it opens up a lot of possibilities.

1 c. red quinoa, rinsed
2 c. water
1 Tbsp. oil (I used walnut)
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1/2 c. dried apricots, cut into bite-size pieces
1/4 c. golden raisins
2 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp. finely grated orange zest
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. quark (a ricotta substitute)

1. In a small saucepan, cover the quinoa with water and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, 15-20 minutes. Lightly fluff with a fork and cover it again.
2. In a medium skillet heat oil and add almonds. Cook over medium stirring a few times, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add apricots, raisins, maple syrup, orange zest and cinnamon and stir until heated through.
3. Add quinoa to the skillet and stir gently to mix. Top each portion with a dollop of quark.

Serves 4
*all ingredients except maple syrup are available at the Green Barn

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