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Oatmeal Bliss & Instagram

So I spent some time on the weekend helping my aunt and cousin design a website for their new business, and I started feeling incredibly disappointed in myself for abandoning my blog for so long. It was something I had been so excited about, yet I somehow just let it fizzle.

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So I’m back :) and hope to stay back for good!

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I have, however, started an Instagram blog, under the same name, and have been posting (somewhat) regularly there. (That’s where the photos are coming from).

I’ve been really lovin’ oatmeal lately (as usual I guess…) so here are two pretty awesome combos I’ve enjoyed recently. They correspond and match with the photos I’ve posted above.

Strawberry Banana Coconut Almond Crunch

Add:
-1 tsp almond extract

Top with:
-Sliced banana
-Granola
-Roasted coconut chips
-Cacao nibs
-Sliced strawberries
-Almonds
-Dried Cranberries

Lemon Lover

Add:
-1 tsp lemon extract
-lemon zest (as much as you like)
-1/2 mashed ripe banana

Top with:
-Sliced banana
-Sliced kiwi
-Buckwheat groats
-Dried cranberries
-Chia seeds
-Buckwheat groats
-Slivered almonds

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Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats

Much like most of my creations in the kitchen, the inspiration for this recipe came from a half-full can of pumpkin puree sitting in my fridge, leftover from making some granola. For me, what I have available is my biggest inspiration when creating new recipes. I will almost always have something in my fridge to work with to use as a starting point if I am lacking creativity–whether it be an opened can of beans, a pre-cooked batch of quinoa or barley, vegetables or fruit that are about to go bad, or even leftover meals from the day before. These are the things I use to both create and challenge my creativity in the kitchen to see what I can invent out of them, while also, of course, limiting unnecessary waste. :-)

pumpkin spice steel cut oats

This recipe will work with any kind of oats, but if you have steel cut oats I do recommend using them as they have a nuttier flavour, which I thought complemented the other flavours in the dish quite well. This recipe is quite dense and filled with lots of protein and fibre, so it’s the perfect breakfast after a morning workout, or even just for those mornings you wake up a hungry beast, ready to eat the whole kitchen. (which is me, quite often…)

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Pumpkin Spice Steel Cut Oats

Serves One

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lowfat vanilla yogurt (or vanilla almond milk)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 5 pecans, chopped (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a large microwave bowl, combine steel cut oats and water and microwave on medium-high for 15 minutes.

2. Once oats are cooked, remove from microwave and stir in pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, vanilla yogurt, and vanilla extract.

3. Transfer oat mixture to a serving bowl and top with chia seeds, pecans, dried cranberries, maple syrup, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon to serve.

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Over the weekend, I purchased some apple butter for the first time. I had never tried it before, but I had read about it and thought it sounded quite good! So when I saw it at Bulk Barn while I was picking up various nuts and grains, I knew I had to buy some. I brought it home, but I didn’t really know what to do with it, so with a quick search of the internet I discovered it goes great in oatmeal! And on my own, I have discovered it also goes great stirred into vanilla yogurt… yum!!

apple pie oatmeal

Dessert for breakfast anyone?! This recipe actually tastes like apple pie or apple crumble.  I loved every bite, it was just so flavourful and sweet–and perfectly in season with fall apples! :-) The apple butter added a whole new level of deliciousness, while the cinnamon and fresh apples gave the desserty flavour. The walnuts were the perfect topping, adding a nice crunch to finish. (I wouldn’t recommend skipping them!)

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apple pie oatmeal 2

Apple Pie Oatmeal

Makes One Serving

Ingredients

  • 1/2 apple, chopped
  • 1/3 cup steel cut oats (or other type of oatmeal)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon apple butter
  • 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts
  • 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
  1. In a medium sized pot, bring water to a boil. Add oats, reduce to medium-low, and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until oats are cooked and water is absorbed.
  2. While oats are cooking, in a small bowl stir together yogurt and apple butter until combined.
  3. Transfer cooked oats into serving bowl, and top with apple butter and yogurt mixture, and chopped apples.
  4. Finish bowl with cinnamon and chopped walnuts to serve.

Three Ingredient Banana Pancakes–With a Twist!

After watching the bananas on my counter turn from green, to yellow, to speckled, and finally black, I knew it was time to do something with them before my kitchen turned into fruit fly infested madness. So today I woke up with a specific mission: Three ingredient banana pancakes (which really turned into five or seven ingredient pancakes once you include the toppings and tweaks I made, as usual.. but that’s besides the point. :-)

I don’t actually remember where I originally saw or heard of the three ingredient pancake recipe, but it is quite popular, and I’ve wanted to test it out for a while. And after recovering from being sick all week, I thought it was the perfect opportunity–because who doesn’t love a pancake breakfast when they’re sick?

The recipe is really simple and quick to whip up, and literally only three ingredients (+ 2 + 2) :) After bite number one, I completely fell in love with everything about these pancakes. I can easily say it is my   favourite recipe on my blog (even though it isn’t completely mine), and it hit the perfect spot. When cooking the pancakes in the pan, I noticed they were really crumbly and difficult to flip. (Or I’m just a bad pancake flipper…) But because of the banana, it was easy to just squish the pieces back together with the spatula. This was also the first time I combined microwaved frozen raspberries with vanilla yogurt as a topping and OH MY was it delicious. It has probably become my new obsession. The recipe makes three pretty large pancakes, but they are really quite filling. I made three pancakes, expecting to eat them all myself, but I was very full after eating half of it, and set the rest aside for later, or for someone else to enjoy. (And I eat a lot!)

Banana Chocolate Oatmeal Pancakes with Raspberry Topping

Makes 3 large pancakes

For the Pancakes

  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 very ripe bananas (mine were small-medium sized)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cacao nibs (or dark chocolate chips)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (I used 1/4 teaspoon for each pancake)

For the Topping

  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt

1. In a medium sized bowl, peal and mash bananas. Once mashed, combine rolled oats, egg, cacao nibs, and coconut sugar, and stir until well mixed.

2. Heat 1/4 teaspoon olive oil over a small skillet on medium-low heat.

3. Pour 1/3 pancake mixture onto pan. Once underside is golden and edges are slightly crispy, flip pancake using a spatula. Once pancake is cooked, use the spatula to place pancake on a plate, and repeat steps 2 and 3 for the remainder of the pancake mixture.

4. Heat frozen raspberries in a mug in the microwave on high for 1 minute and thirty seconds, or until liquified. Stir in vanilla yogurt, and pour over pancakes.

5. Sprinkle with whole raspberries and cacao nibs for garnish, and serve warm!

 

New Spin Shoes & Protein Power Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal

Waking up after a super shortened sleep to a super sore back was not a very great start to my day.. but I’m happy say it has certainly turned around! After over a year of attending spin classes between 6 and 10 times a week, I have finally invested in a pair of spin shoes, and I am so very, very excited!! On our way home from our workout this morning, we decided to stop by the cycling store to see what was in stock. A pair of black, lace-up specialized vibram shoes were sitting on the shelf just waiting for me to take them home. So I did. And I am beyond excited. Once I try them out a few times in class I’m also thinking of buying the pedals for my bike to ride with them outside as well, but that’s another day’s project. I will certainly make sure I post some updates about what I like (and dislike) about the shoe, but here is a picture of what they look like.

So when we finally made it home after a long morning, we were just absolutely starving. And after a tough workout, our bodies needed a protein-rich meal. So we made some oatmeal. But I wouldn’t really call it oatmeal because, as you can see in the picture, it’s more toppings than it is oatmeal. Possibly because we couldn’t resist adding everything we could find because it all just looked so good and our tummies were just so empty… But it was still absolutely delicious and definitely loaded with protein! There is certainly more to this simple bowl than what meets the eye, that’s for sure!

This recipe makes quite large servings (again because we were super hungry), so keep that in mind when preparing it. I also used two teaspoons of cinnamon because I really like a whole lot of cinnamon, but if you don’t want as much cinnamon flavour just use one teaspoon. We used oat bran, but really any kind of oatmeal or oats would work. You can also change up the fruit and use fresh instead of frozen, we just used frozen because we had no fresh berries left :'( But I think the juice from the frozen fruit added some wetness and flavour to the dish, as well.

Protein Power Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal with Berries & Mango

Makes one large serving

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup dry oat bran (or other oats)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons coconut granola
  • 1/8 cup low fat vanilla yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup frozen fruit

1. Boil water in a small pot over the stove. Once boiling, add oat bran, reduce heat, and let simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until water is absorbed.

2. While oat bran is cooking, heat frozen fruit in the microwave to desired meltedness.

3. Once oat bran is cooked, stir in cocoa powder, coconut sugar, shredded coconut, and cinnamon, and pour into a bowl.

4. Pour yogurt and melted fruit on top.

5. Top with coconut granola to serve.

 

YUMMM :-)