Posted in breakfast, Chocolate, Coconut, Ingredients, Oatmeal, Recipes, Snacks

Almond Joy Granola

Originally published: 12/17/2013
Updated: 12/19/2022

Gluten-free (if using gluten-free certified oats)
Meal planning
Quick

One of my favorite candy bars is Almond Joy.  This is a good thing on Halloween because the boys won’t touch them with a 10-foot pole or if the Imaginative One is being his snarky self, a 9 and 3/4-inch pole.  I get their Almond Joy candy bars on Halloween.  The combination of chocolate and coconut is pure heaven!!  ūüėÉ

My other favorite treat is granola, either plain or with plain Greek yogurt.  So the combination of the taste of Almond Joy candy bars with yogurt is the best flavor, at least it is to me.

Almond Joy Granola

Kiss My Broccoli
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Stars of the recipe:
  • 2 c. quick oats
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp. coconut oil (I heated mine up in the microwave for a minute.  Then it smelled like paradise.)
  • 1/3 c. honey (Spray down your measuring cup with cooking spray first.)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • 1/3 c. shredded coconut (I used sweetened.)
  • 1/2 c. almonds – 1/2 whole, 1/2 slivers
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine oats, cocoa powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a smaller mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil after it’s heated up, honey, sugar, and almond extract.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients.  Mix until combined.
  5. Spread in a thin layer on a cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 8 minutes, stir and then bake for another 8 minutes.
  7. Take out of the oven and let cool for 10 minutes.  Then add almonds and coconut.
  8. Store in an air-tight container for 2 weeks.
  9. Enjoy by itself or over yogurt!

Printable Recipe

Posted in breakfast, Electric Pressure Cooker, menu plan monday, Menu planning, Oatmeal, Recipes

Mom, What’s For Dinner? – January 8, 2018 & Pressure Cooker Steel Oats

Last week was crazy.  I only worked twice during the week.  We had below freezing temps.  Extremely below freezing temps.  The wind chill on a couple of the days registered -20 or so below.

Continue reading “Mom, What’s For Dinner? – January 8, 2018 & Pressure Cooker Steel Oats”

Posted in Chocolate, Granola, Oatmeal, Oatmeal, Recipes, Strawberries, Valentine's Day

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Granola

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’ve been in the mood for homemade granola, so I decided to experiment. ¬†With Valentine’s Day approaching, I thought chocolate-covered strawberry granola would be a great version.

Continue reading “Chocolate Covered Strawberry Granola”

Posted in breakfast, Cinnamon, Oatmeal, Pecans, Recipes

Snickerdoodle Oatmeal

Snickerdoodle oatmeal
Snickerdoodle Oatmeal

Snickerdoodle Oatmeal

Stars of the recipe:

  • ¬Ĺ c. quick cooking oats
  • ‚Öď c. milk of your choice
  • ‚ÖĒ c. water
  • pinch of salt
  • ¬ľ tsp. butter
  • 2 tsp. maple syrup
  • 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)

Steps:

  1. In a large microwavable bowl, combine oats, milk, water, and salt.
  2. Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
  3. Top with butter, maple syrup, and cinnamon.  
  4. Stir to combine.
  5. Top with sugar and chopped pecans or walnuts if desired.
  6. Enjoy!

For a printable version of the recipe, click here.

Happy Eating,
Traci

Posted in breakfast, Oatmeal

Applesauce Overnight Oatmeal

Until a few years ago, breakfast was not a favorite meal of mine. ¬†I rarely ate breakfast which is not a good habit to get into. ¬†Then I made a resolution in 2013 to eat breakfast every day. ¬†I did 98% of the time, but a few times, I forgot to – usually if I was sick. ¬†I’ve been getting into the habit of not eating breakfast some mornings or grabbing breakfast at school. ¬†Those breakfasts are not the healthiest, so I need to rethink breakfast once again.

In August 2013, I wrote a blog post about 6 Easy Breakfast Foods.  One of the foods I mentioned is oatmeal.  Oatmeal can be eaten hot or cold.  It can be savory or sweet.  I have not eaten savory oatmeal,, though.  I took oatmeal packets with me to Walt Disney World when we went during my Spring Break in 2014 with a hot water kettle.  Mornings were oatmeal and coffee and then running around the parks.

Lately, I have been craving oatmeal for breakfast. I tried to make some overnight oats for breakfast on Friday. However,, it was very runny. So I did not eat it since it was unappetizing.

I tried to make a different overnight oatmeal Friday night. It ended up being much better than Friday’s oatmeal. It tastes just like fall. Yum!

A year ago, I had made this recipe while the boys and I were on a road trip, so I knew it was good. However,, I stopped eating oatmeal for a while.  Actually, I continued to eat oatmeal but in the form of granola.

So why is overnight oatmeal a great choice for breakfast?

  1. It can be made up the night before.
  2. You don’t need to cook anything. ¬†Just place it in the container and go, so it’s great for when you are on road trips.
  3. You can dress it up almost any way you like.

Some overnight oatmeal recipes call for yogurt, while others don’t. ¬†This one is one that does not call for yogurt. ¬†Instead, I use applesauce as the binder. ¬†You can either use homemade applesauce or store-bought. ¬†It’s totally up to you. ¬†If you are using unsweetened applesauce, feel free to sweeten the oatmeal with some honey. ¬†If you want to add some protein, add some nuts. ¬†I think walnuts are a great type of nut for this overnight oatmeal.

Onto the recipe:

Applesauce Overnight Oatmeal

Adapted from Cheap Recipe Blog 

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/2 c. rolled oats (don’t use quick oats or steel-cut oats)
  • 1/2 c. milk of choice (cow, almond, coconut – I used almond.  It tasted wonderful.)
  • 1/2 c. applesauce – (homemade or store-bought)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon or apple pie spice
  • 1/2 to 1 Tbsp. honey or sweetener of choice – optional
  • 1/4 c. chopped nuts – optional (I used walnuts.)

Steps:

  1. In a jar or mason jar, place the oats, milk, applesauce, cinnamon, and sweetener.
  2. Put the lid on and shake it up.
  3. Place in the fridge overnight or for at least 3 hours.
  4. When you are ready to eat it, take it out of the fridge.  Allow sitting on the counter for 10 minutes to take the chill off.
  5. Add the nuts if using.
  6. Enjoy your breakfast!

Happy Eating,
Traci

Posted in breakfast, Coconut, Ingredients, Oatmeal, Pumpkin, Recipes, Snacks

Pumpkin No Bake Energy Balls

For a long time, I had wanted to try Larabars but was afraid because I didn’t know how they would like it because of the dates. Once I finally tried one of the bars, I decided it was not as bad as I thought it would be.

This past weekend, I picked my first container of dates to make some energy balls to eat as a snack and for breakfast. At first, I was going to make regular no-bake energy balls, but then I found a recipe for pumpkin no-bake energy balls. I decided to make them instead. Oh my goodness, they are delicious!!!!!!! ¬†:)’

The best thing about this recipe is you don’t need to bake them. I also like all the different textures and flavors within one little ball.

Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Balls

adapted from Gimme Some Oven

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 packed cup pitted and chopped dates
  • 1/4 c. honey
  • 1/4 c. pumpkin puree (make sure it’s not pumpkin pie)
  • 1 Tbsp. chia seeds or ground flax seeds (I used chia seeds.)
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 c. old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked) (I used quick oats. Those worked great.)
  • 1 c. toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 c. pumpkin seeds

Steps:

  1. Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin puree, chia or flax seeds, and spices in a food processor. Pulse until it’s smooth and combined.
  2. Put the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients until evenly combined.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  4. Once it’s cool, using a spoon or cookie scoop to shape into desired size of energy balls.
  5. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (When they are stored in the refrigerator, it helps the energy balls hold their shape.)
  6. Enjoy – Savor the textures and flavor as you are eating them.

Printable Recipe

Posted in breakfast, Cranberries, Crockpot, Ingredients, Oatmeal, Recipes

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal

A few days ago, Tiffany from Eat at Home posted a recipe for cranberry orange oatmeal cooked in the slow cooker. ¬†I’ve attempted to make oatmeal in the slow cooker, and it did not turn out pretty. ¬†Most of it was wasted.

This recipe turned out great because I found a different way to cook the oatmeal in the slow cooker that did not burn or dry out the oatmeal. ¬†The result was creamy oatmeal, so I did not have to add any liquid to it when I heated it up the next day!!!!!! ¬†ūüôā

Cranberry Orange Oatmeal

adapted from Eat at Home  and the Motherload

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Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/2 c, steel-cut oats
  • 1 c. orange juice
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/4 c. sugar (I omitted this.)
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 c, dried cranberries

Steps:

  1. Find a bowl that is big enough to hold the oatmeal but small enough to fit in the slow cooker.  It also needs to be oven safe.
  2. Spray the bowl with cooking spray and add the ingredients.
  3. Stir!
  4. Place the bowl in the slow cooker.
  5. Pour water around a bowl to create a water bath (an inch high).  Place the lid on the slow cooker.
  6. Turn the slow cooker on low and cook for 6 to 8 hours.
  7. Enjoy!

BTW:  I used a 6-quart slow cooker.

Printable Recipe

 

Posted in Apples, Dessert, Ingredients, Oatmeal, Pecans, Recipes, Walnuts

Individual Five Spice Apple Crisp

Last November, my foodie pen pal introduced me to Chinese five spice and suggested I use it in some of my fall time recipes instead of¬†pumpkin pie spice blend. The five spice really does take it up a notch. If you didn’t know, the Chinese five-spice blend is cinnamon, star anise, white pepper, cloves, and fennel. It’s primarily used in Chinese cooking but is found in other cuisines.

With fall around the corner and the pumpkin spice latte already at Starbucks, it’s time to start my favorite flavor season. I love fall flavors! Apples, cranberries, and pumpkins, oh my goodness, deliciousness. Cinnamon is my favorite spice. So if asked, my favorite seasons are the transition seasons – fall for its bold flavors and spring for its beauty.

I got some apples from one of our local produce stands, so I made myself an apple crisp. Since the boys do not eat apple crisps, I decided to make my own. Instead of using cinnamon, I used the Chinese Five Spice.

Individual Five Spice Apple Crisp

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Before cooking the crisp
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Before cooking the crisp

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 c. glass dish
  • 1 med. Apple seeded and diced (peeled if you want to)
  • 2 tsp. Chinese Five Spice (1 tsp. and 1 tsp.)
  • 1 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. quick cooking oats
  • 1/2 Tbsp. butter, cut into fourths or halves
  • Optional: ¬†2 Tbsp. Pecan or walnuts for topping

Steps:

  1. Spray your glass dish with cooking spray.
  2. Add the apples to the dish. Sprinkle the apples with 1 tsp, of Chinese five spice.
  3. In another dish, mix the oats, brown sugar, and the other tsp. of Chinese five spice.
  4. Evenly distribute the oat mixture over the apples.
  5. If you are using nuts on top, sprinkle those on top of the oat mixture.
  6. Place the pats of butter over the oat mixture.
  7. Microwave for 2.5 to 3 minutes. Be careful, it will be hot.
  8. Top with ice cream or whipped cream if desired.
  9. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

Posted in Almond milk, breakfast, Coconut, Granola, Healthy, Ingredients, Menu planning, Oatmeal, Peanut butter, Pumpkin, Yogurt

6 Easy Breakfast Foods

In January, I made a resolution to eat breakfast daily. I’ve been faithful toward that resolution except for one time. That one time was a killer on my body. My blood sugar was not stable, so the likelihood of me making bad food choices increased.

As the school year started, I decided to compile a list of easy breakfast foods, especially with a little prep.

1. Yogurt Parfaits

This is my favorite breakfast. In fact, when we were at the beach, I ate this for breakfast several times.

I place Greek yogurt, Granola, and fresh fruit in a bowl. (My favorite Greek yogurt is Greek Gods Nonfat Plain.) You can dress it up any way you want – nuts, Chia Seeds, coconut, different types of Granola, and different fruits.

Here are some granola recipes:

White Chocolate Granola

Pumpkin Granola

Apple Crisp Granola

2. Oatmeal

All it takes is some quick oats and milk/almond milk/water. Place in a bowl and microwave for 2 minutes. You can add nut butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, chopped-up nuts, coconut, and/or fruit. Place the fruit on the oatmeal before microwaving for a different flavor experience.

Here is an oatmeal recipe:

Instant Oatmeal Mix

3. Breakfast Sandwich

This can be done in a million different ways. Okay, maybe not that many different ways, but you can change it depending on your mood.

Here is the basic formula:

  1. eggs or egg whites
  2. some sort of protein (turkey bacon, bacon, sausage, Canadian bacon) cooked
  3. cheese or no cheese (Switch the kinds of cheese – Colby, Cheddar, Swiss, Feta, etc . . .)
  4. Veggies – spinach, onions, etc.
  5. bread product – whole wheat bread toasted, English muffin, tortilla, Bagel thin

Here’s an easy way to cook the eggs or egg whites: ¬†Spray a round glass bowl (1 cup size) or a coffee mug with cooking spray. Place the egg scrambled or whole. Place in microwave for about 1 min and a half to 2 mins. If it’s not cooked to your liking, continue cooking it at 30-second intervals. (If you want to, you can cook the veggies with the eggs.)

After you cook the eggs, assemble your sandwich and then enjoy!

4. Muffins

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Depending on what flour and the ingredients are in your muffins, they can be a semi-healthy choice for breakfast. Whole wheat flour is the best flour to use when making muffins. Lots of fats (oil) and sugar will make your muffin unhealthy. Replace the oil in your recipe with unsweetened applesauce (1 to 1 ratio) to make it healthier.

You can make the muffins ahead of time and then freeze them. Pull a muffin out of the freezer and warm it in the microwave.

I usually pair them with a cheese stick and fruit for a more balanced meal.

Here are some muffin recipes:

Snickerdoodle muffins

Cranberry Pecan Muffins

All-Star Muffin mix

Young’s Dairy Pumpkin Muffins/Bread

French Toast Mini Muffins (My sons’ favorite muffins)

Double Chocolate Chip Muffins– Has avocado in it

5. Smoothies

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This is another favorite of mine.

Easy peasy is the name of the game when it comes to smoothies. Throw in some fruit, greens, veggies, Chia seeds, flax seeds, ice, liquid (water, milk, juice, or almond milk), yogurt, and/or nut butter in a blender jar. Blend it together, place it in a cup, and enjoy! (Don’t worry; I don’t put all of those ingredients in at the same time. Those are just some ingredients you can use in your smoothie.)

I pair this up with either a cheese stick or a hard-boiled egg.

Here are some smoothie recipes:

Fruit¬†Smoothie¬†(the Imaginative One’s favorite smoothie)

‚ÄúTropical Smoothie‚ÄĚ Smoothie‚ÄúTropical Smoothie‚ÄĚ Smoothie

Carrot Tropical Smoothie

Key Lime Smoothie

Apple Jack Smoothie

St. Patty’s Day Smoothie

Power Up Green Smoothie

6. Pancakes/ Waffles

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This can be easy if you make pancakes or waffles during the weekend and freeze them. Pop them in the microwave or toaster for a quick breakfast. You can use the pancakes and waffles for your breakfast sandwich. You can also top the pancakes or waffles with nut butter. Pair it with some fruit for a balanced breakfast.

Here are some pancake/waffle recipes:

Waffle House Waffles

Homemade Baking Mix and Pancakes

What is your favorite easy breakfast?