No-Bake Energy Balls Monday, Jul 15 2013 

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I am preparing for the arrival of our third baby soon, and wanted to make some no-bake energy balls in the freezer for the labour, or post-partum. My husband and boys LOVE these as well, so hopefully there will be a few left for the midwives and I by the time the baby arrives!!

There are easy to make, and don’t heat up the house on these hot summer days. They are wonderful to bring on a car ride, picnic, play date at the beach or park, or anywhere else you go.

The recipe is a slight adaptation from here.

No-Bake Energy Balls

1 cup oatmeal (I use large flakes so they take longer to digest, keeping one feeling full longer)
1/2 cup natural peanut butter
1/3 cup honey
1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup ground flaxseed/chia seeds/psyllium husks/hemp hearts
1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or use cranberries, etc!)
1 tsp vanilla
Mix all ingredients together, and put the mixture in the fridge for at least 20 minutes (to make it easier to handle). Shape into balls, and freeze on a cookie sheet. Once frozen, transfer them to a container or ziploc bag and either store in fridge or freezer – if they last that long!

Granola Bars Thursday, May 2 2013 

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A friend gave me this recipe a few years ago, and I remember really liking them. I finally got around to making it again, and yes, still just as delicious! These are pretty sweet, more like a dessert to me, but hold together really well.

 

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Granola Bars

3 cups oatmeal
2/3 cup slivered almonds
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp maple extract
1/4 cup maple syrup

Mix thoroughly, by hand. Press it on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes, or until it bubbles in the middle and is just a bit brown. Cut when warm, and leave in the pan until completely cooled.

Single-serve Baked Oatmeal Wednesday, Jan 23 2013 

 

 

One of my favourite breakfast is Baked Oatmeal. I love to make huge batch and eat it all week! ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I came across the idea of baking it in muffin tins. These are great for a breakfast on the go, a snack, or to put in a lunch box.

It would be a great recipe to make with your children, as they could each add their own toppings (blueberries, chocolate chips, coconut, almonds, raisins, cranberries, etc). ๐Ÿ™‚

These would also freeze well, and thaw out quickly!

I love Baked Oatmeal! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oven-Baked Granola Bars Friday, Oct 19 2012 

These granola bars are chewy with crispy edges, sweet, and an excellent dessert. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย My friend Sara adapted this recipe, and I think its awesome. I’m glad she doesn’t mind me sharing it here! ๐Ÿ™‚

My son (4 yrs old) said they were the best in the whole world! He uses that expression a fair bit recently, but basically means he realllllly likes it! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oven-Baked Granola Bars

7 cups oatmeal (can use all quick, or 2 cups old fashioned and 5 cups quick)
1 1/3 cups shredded coconut/chopped slivered almonds/hemp seeds/flax (I did 2 Tbsp ground flax, then 1/2 coconut and 1/2 almonds for the rest)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup (if you do not have maple syrup, use 1/2 cup brown sugar in it’s place)
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cup butter

Mix oatmeal and coconut/almonds/flax in a large bowl.

Melt butter, brown sugar, and maple syrup in a pot. Heat until most of the sugar has melted.ย  Stir thoroughly to incorporate the butter and other ingredients, then add vanilla.ย  Stir well.ย  Pour over oatmeal mixture.ย  Stir well.

Divide mixture between 2 greased cookie sheets (I used parchment paper instead of greasing the pans) and press down evenly.ย  Once it is packed down, bake at 375F for 10-15 minutes, until bubbling and golden on edges and top. Cut while warm.

Makes 64 bars.ย  They may be stored at room temp for quite a while, but keep very well in the freezer too.

Quick and Easy: No Bake Granola Bars Thursday, Aug 30 2012 

 

This week, my son started JK. I can’t believe school has entered our household!! With that, means school lunches. I’ll share more ideas as time goes on, as it is very important to me to send lunches and snacks that are homemade and as healthy as possible. I have a really good granola bar recipes (this one!), but the problem with it is it gets soft pretty quickly and crumbles up. Not as good for school lunch, probably, although it would totally still work wrapped in plastic wrap individually.

I came across this No Bake Granola Bar recipe, tried it, and loved it! My sons and husband did it. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย I had to quickly sneak out a few pieces to stick in the freezer for a school lunch!! But, it’s so quick and easy, that I don’t mind making it again. And again. And again. ๐Ÿ™‚

Only SEVEN ingredients, and about 5 minutes of work. I can handle that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hmm, so good. I barely had time to snap a picture of the granola bars on a plate before he grabbed one. ๐Ÿ™‚

Next time, I’ll add some ground flax to it, and may substitute some of the rice cereal for sunflower seeds or something. But it really doesn’t need any changing, it’s quite yummy as is. ๐Ÿ™‚

Brown Rice Blender Waffles Wednesday, Jul 25 2012 

I recently purchased a Vita-Mix, and am having fun trying new recipes. We are loving this blender pancake recipe, and so I wanted to try a blender waffle recipe! I cam across this one, by Sue Gregg, that is made from brown rice and oatmeal. I’m always game to try new ways to incorporate more grains (less wheat) in our diet, so I gave them a try!

They are more crumbly than my regular waffle recipe, but we still enjoyed them. ๐Ÿ™‚

Rice and Oatmeal Blender Waffles

1 1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup brown rice
1/2 cup oatmeal
1 egg
1 Tbsp flax seeds
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Put milk, oil, vanilla, brown rice and oatmeal in blender, blend on high for 3-5 minutes, depending on the strength of your blender. Add in egg, and flax seeds, blend 1-3 minutes. Finally add baking powder, baking soda, and salt, blend just until it is mixed through.

Bake in waffle maker according to directions, but make sure to spray oil before every batch! These are not as high in oil content as other waffles, and stick easily. You can also bake these like pancakes, if desired!

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies Wednesday, May 9 2012 

We were recently on a trip for 18 days. Towards the end of the trip, I was getting pretty antsy to get back into my kitchen! I think I’m addicted to cooking and baking, is that bad? ๐Ÿ™‚ ย My birthday was right when we returned and I had no time or energy to make a cake. I still craved a homemade sweet though, and really wanted cranberries and chocolate, and these cookies were the result! Yum! I’ll be making these again! I thought there would be some left for potluck on Sunday… but I doubt it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ They are loaded, with yummy-ness!

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

(Makes 3 dozen small cookies)

1 cup butter/margarine
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1 1/2 cup wheat or white flour (I used 1 3/4 cups of spelt)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup dried cranberries
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Cream together butter, brown sugar, and eggs. Mix together dry ingredients, and add in to the butter mixture. Finally, stir in cranberries and chocolate chip. Scoop unto greased cookie sheets, bake 12 minutes at 350F!

Oatmeal Rye Cake Thursday, Mar 29 2012 

When I first came across this recipe, I was not tempted to make it. Oatmeal Rye Cake? Seriously? Who would want to make it? Doesn’t rye flour add a very distinct taste?

So why, do you ask, did I make it after all those hesitations? Because I’m a bit of a sucker for recipes that aren’t normal. ๐Ÿ˜‰ ย And because I love finding desserts that are somewhat healthy (no white flour). It’s easier to justify eating more of it that way, you know!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am very glad I made it. You would never know it’s from from rye flour! It’s moist, delicious, and even friends loved it and were surprised at the ingredients!

Oatmeal Rye Cake

1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp barley flour*
1 1/4 cup rye flour
1 cup rolled oats**
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 1/4 cup water/milk

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla, mix. Combine dry ingredients. Alternately add dry ingredients and water/milk to creamed mixture (batter will be thin). Pour into greased 9×13″ pan. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

*I’m quite certain this flour could be substituted with any other kind, if you don’t have any barley flour!
**I used quick oatmeal, and the cake was very moist. Almost too moist. Next time I use quick oatmeal instead of the rolled oats called for in this recipe, I will decrease the water/milk to 1 cup.

The Brown Sugar Coconut Frosting recipe is here (pictured above)!

Recipe from Sensible Cooking.

Hearty Harvest Bread Monday, Mar 19 2012 

I was wanting to make a very healthy bread, packed with nutrients, iron, and overall goodness. A bread that can boost the system, and help one recover from a long illness. So, I partially followed a recipe from Eat More Whole Grains, and adapted it to my preference. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย Bread is versatile (other than the basic water, yeast, and flour!), so go ahead and experiment! I was pleased with how fluffy this bread turned out, even though it has so many hearty ingredients.

 

Hearty Harvest Bread

3 1/2 cups lukewarm water
3 Tbsp yeast
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup flax, ground (I use my coffee grinder)
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup cracked grain (I used Red River ceral)
2 eggs
1 cup lentil puree*
2 Tbsp vinegar/lemon juice (keeps bread more moist)
1 chewable vitamin C (I have powder vitamin C, keeps bread moist longer, optional)
3/4 cup oatmeal, cooked**
1/4 cup molasses (I used blackstrap, richer in iron)
11-15 cups flour (I used spelt)

If using regular yeast: dissolve yeast, and water, let sit 3 minutes. (If using instant yeast, simply add it in with the flour – saves a step!)

Add remaining ingredients, except flour, and mix briefly. Add flour until the dough is no longer sticky. Knead to develop the gluten. Depending if you knead by machine or hand, it may take 8-12 minutes (4 minutes for spelt flour). Place in a slightly greased bowl, cover, let rise until it doubles in volume (about 1hr). Punch down, let rise another 30-45 min until it has risen again. Punch down, divide into 4 sections, shape into loaves. Place in greased bread pans, cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cover the tops with foil paper towards the end of cooking time if the crusts get darker than desired. Cool completely on cooling rack.

Freezes well! When thawing out, remove loaf from bag so the moisture doesnโ€™t make bread soggy.

* I cooked red lentils until mushed, similarly to oatmeal! 1/2 cup lentils and 1 1/4 cup water, bring to a boil and let simmer for 20-30 minutes until cooked and mushed. Can blend in blender, if desired. I used it as is.
** I put 1/3 cup of quick oatmeal in a bowl, add 2/3 cup water, microwave for 1 minute, and voila! Ready to throw into the bread. ๐Ÿ™‚

Banana Oatmeal (Chocolate Chip) Muffins Friday, Feb 17 2012 

My husband really loves banana chocolate chip muffins. I like this recipe because it’s more hearty due to the oatmeal! I like theย chewinessย of oatmeal in muffins. ๐Ÿ™‚ ย The chocolate chips are optional, of course!

Banana Oatmeal (Chocolate Chip) Muffins

1 cup oatmeal
1 cup milk
2 cups flour (white/wheat/spelt)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup melted butter/margarine
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups banana, mushed (4-5 bananas)
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (optional)

Mix together oatmeal and milk.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Add melted butter, eggs, vanilla and bananas to the oatmeal and milk. Combine wet and dry ingredients, mixing only until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips, if desired. Spoon into greased/lined muffin tins.

Bake 20 minutes at 375F, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

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