Category Archives: breakfast
Almost as much as I love the prettiness and simplicity of a yogurt parfait. (Okay, kinda corny segue, I admit.) There’s just something about taking just a few minutes to layer fruit, yogurt, and nuts and making it look like dessert that makes a morning feel special. But this dessert-for-breakfast isn’t like sneaking a slice of pie the day after Thanksgiving for your morning meal (although pie does go really well with coffee…). It’s actually healthy for you, offering a good dose of fiber, healthy fats, and probiotics.
A bonus? It’s easily made in advance and can be made totally portable. Just take a glass jar or container and prepare it in there instead. It’ll keep just fine overnight. In fact, I recently made little parfaits like these in small jars to take on a road trip. I made them the night before, and they were a lovely little breakfast treat for us on our ride. Of course, they’re not just for breakfast – you could totally pack one in a lunchbox as dessert or afternoon treat.
While I love the combination of chia seeds, pecans, and peaches, this parfait is endlessly adaptable. Cherries and almonds? Apples and walnuts? Bananas and chocolate chips? (What, chocolate chips can be part of a healthy diet, right?) They all sound good to me. Use whatever is in season or whatever you like. But whatever you do, take a moment to treat yourself to “healthy dessert” for breakfast!Print Recipe
Chia Pecan Peach Parfait (gluten-free, vegan)
1 peach, cut into large dice
1/2 T chia seeds
About 10-12 pecan halves (1/2 oz)
In a parfait fish (or glass jar), spoon a third of the yogurt in the bottom. Top with a third of the diced peaches. Sprinkle a few chia seeds and pecans over. Repeat this process twice more. Refrigerate if not served immediately.
This post is linked to 5-Ingredient Mondays over at The Daily Dietribe.
I’ve never been a big cereal fan. I grew up eating it – everything from corn flakes to Cheerios to raisin bran – but if given a choice, I’d rather have something else. (A frittata, pancakes, muffins, smoothies, or maybe all of those things!) However, I make an exception when it comes to granola. In my mind, granola is not the same thing as cereal.
Especially when granola doesn’t mean oats. I like oats (the gluten-free ones, of course), but I really can’t tolerate them much. So I substitute. Who said granola had to mean “made with oats” anyway? I hereby declare the definition of granola to mean “any combination of dried fruit and crunchy yummy healthy stuff, commonly served for breakfast or as a snack.” Sound good? Okay. Let’s move on.
This granola is packed with nutrition, as it is nearly raw and made with sprouted buckwheat. Sprouting increases the digestability of grains, nuts and seeds, and if you’re like me, you could use all the digestive help you can get. Besides, sprouting buckwheat is super-easy, and once dehydrated into granola, it’s light and crisp and delicious. What’s not to love?
Yes, I said sprouting buckwheat is super-easy. Because it is. I am a newbie when it comes to sprouting anything. In fact, the idea kind of scared me – I was worried I’d kill my sprouts or otherwise screw it up. Needless to say, my fears were unwarranted, as buckwheat is one of the easiest things to sprout, and it’s a relatively quick process.
To sprout buckwheat: Start with some raw buckwheat groats. I buy mine in bulk from Amazon, as I use the groats quite frequently to make granola like this as well as grinding them into flour. (Raw buckwheat, ground into flour, is much milder in taste than the traditional store-bought buckwheat flour, which has a strong flavor that is disliked by some.)
Place those groats in a colander with holes small enough to not allow the groats to fall through. Rinse the buckwheat, and then place in a bowl or container and cover with at least 2-3 inches of water. Soak for 8 hours or overnight.
Drain the groats into a colander and rinse thoroughly. Place colander over a large bowl (or something to catch the water as it drips off). Cover with a cotton towel and allow to sit at room temperature for 4-6 hours. Rinse again and allow to sit for 4-6 more hours. Do this every 4-6 hours for about 24 hours, or until you see little tails sprouting out of your buckwheat.
(By the way, I successfully sprouted my buckwheat even though I didn’t rinse every 4-6 hours, which is what is recommended. I would rinse it right before I left for work, and again as soon as I got home – and that was more like 10 hours. It still worked like a charm. So if you can’t be home in time to rinse, don’t stress. In my experience, you can push the envelope a bit.)
Buckwheat sprouts – see the little tails? (forgive the quality, this is an iPhone photo!)
Once your buckwheat is sprouted, then you can use it in your granola recipe. This recipe is more of a guideline. I can see endless variations just by substituting the dried fruits, using other fruit purees in place of applesauce, or even adding nuts in place of the sunflower seeds. The sky is the limit on this one. I loved the basic, familiar flavors of cinnamon and raisin, and both ingredients supply ample sweetness, making it easier to keep the amount of added sweetener down. The end result is crisp, crunchy granola that’s tasty as a snack, but in my opinion, even better in your favorite non-dairy milk.
Sprouted Buckwheat Granola with Cinnamon and Raisins (gluten-free, dairy-free, optionally vegan, nut-free, soy-free)
2 c raw buckwheat groats, sprouted according to the directions above
1 c raw sunflower seeds
1/2 c applesauce
1/2 c chia seeds
3/4 c raisins
1/2 c dried apricots or dates, chopped
1 T cinnamon
scant 1/2 t kosher salt
1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1/4 c honey (or agave nectar for vegan)
In a large bowl, gently toss all of the ingredients together until well-mixed. Spread granola out onto two Teflex-lined dehydrator trays. Dehydrate at 110 degrees for about 10 hours or until granola is crisp. Store in air-tight containers.
(No dehydrator? While I haven’t tried it, I imagine this granola would do well at the lowest temperature in your oven. Just spread out on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake on the lowest setting (mine goes down to 170). I imagine it will dry out more quickly, so you might check it in 4-5 hours and see how crisp it is.)Print Recipe
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.
It’s late summer in Texas. This is the time of year when I’m SO over the heat. I shouldn’t complain – it’s not like we’re experiencing 40+ days of 100-degree temps around here like we did last year. We’ve had SOME rain. But still, the heat drags on a bit longer than I’d like.
This means I still try to avoid turning on the oven, so there isn’t much baking going on. However, there are times when a sweet treat is necessary – like when you’re entertaining a crowd of little ones, and they’re ready for a good snack. If that sweet treat can be good for you and satisfy the fiercest of cravings, then I consider that a win.
This decadent dairy-free chocolate “milkshake” is just that. Creamy, cool, and full of chocolatey goodness, no one would guess this baby is packed with healthy fats, fiber, protein, potassium, and tons of vitamins, without any inflammation-causing dairy or sugar. Fool your taste buds and fool the kids.
How did I do this without ice cream or milk? Easy!
Enter Silk. I knew of Silk’s products before I was dairy-free, but as far as I knew, they only made soy milk. However, in the past few years, they have greatly expanded their selection. Now, you can buy almond milk, coconut milk, and even organic soy milk. I’m a big fan of the unsweetened varieties – I’d much rather add my own healthier, natural sweeteners whenever possible. It’s wonderful that Silk provides that selection. I also love that their non-dairy milks still provide a full mouthfeel – they’re not watery like some can be. This is essential when you want a creamy “milkshake”. (Silk-shake? You could totally go so far as to call it that!)
To bump up the creaminess even more, I added frozen banana and avocado. Frozen bananas are a common ingredient in our home – we always end up with overripe bananas, so I peel them and break into chunks and freeze. This way, there are always bananas available for smoothies and treats like this. As for the avocado, don’t freak out. The end result isn’t green (as you can see), and the flavor of avocado isn’t present. It simply provides some excellent healthy fat and an excellent texture. For even more nutrition and a thicker shake, chia seeds are key. They provide omega-3′s, fiber, and protein.
But enough about the nutritional aspects – it’s time for a chocolate indulgence! Gather the kids after an afternoon of swimming or sports, and celebrate “chocolate milkshake time!”
Creamy Chocolate “Milkshake” (gluten-free, vegan, refined sugar-free)
Makes 2 servings
1/2 ripe avocado
1 banana, frozen
3 Medjool dates, pitted
1 T ground chia seeds
2 T cocoa powder
1/4 t cinnamon
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c unsweetened Silk non-dairy milk (such as organic soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk)
2-3 ice cubes
1-2 T cacao nibs (optional – probably preferred by adults more than children)
In a high-powered blender, blend all ingredients until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses, top with cacao nibs, and serve with a straw or a spoon.
For more fun “Silkology” blended and mixed dairy-free treats, check out Silk’s Facebook page and “Like” them!
Silk inspired me to think outside of the bowl with their new Silkology-inspired drink recipes. Tell me something new you want to try this summer when entertaining to win a Silkology prize package.
Rhubarb isn’t a really common food around Texas. Apparently, if you mention rhubarb around these parts, the response you are likely to get is “What’s that?”, or “You’re not from around here, are you?”. I also got “Isn’t that green?” as a response from more than one person. (Well, yes, sometimes it’s kinda green, with some red…) While I didn’t grow up eating this vegetable-parading-around-as-fruit, I do have a very fond memory of my great aunt, who lives in Washington, making us a rhubarb crisp when we visited one summer. Actually, I have quite a few fond memories of that summer. You see, my great aunt and uncle live in this little house on the southern portion of the bay, a ways from Tacoma and Olympia. Their house is a drive from any major city, and you’d get lost if you didn’t know where you were going trying to find the place. But as you pull up, the tall, evergreen trees are everywhere. The front of the house is across the street from what feels like endless amounts of forest. It’s quiet, except for the sounds of birds. As you walk around the side of the house, there are trees and huckleberry bushes. The back of the house is on stilts, and below is a rocky beach. As a young girl, this was paradise. I remember spending all day outdoors while we were there, playing. I’d go down to the beach and watch gulls and peer at distant neighbors, digging for clams in the sandy spots. I’d catch as many hermit crabs as any one girl could carry. I even helped a hurt baby chipmunk (I say helped, I might have simply frightened him more by picking him up, showing my Mom, and eventually releasing him back into the woods). I remember going out on their deck, and how relaxing and beautiful the entire place was. But I also remember meandering into the kitchen, hungry from playing, to find my grandmother, great aunt and Mom working and talking. And that rhubarb crisp! It was slightly tart, sweet, and so delicious. Unbelievably so.
And then I proceeded to not eat rhubarb again, that I can recall, for 20 years or so. But still the wonder of this vegetable, and that memory, holds its grip on my attention.
Being a food blogger is a funny thing. Over time, you read a lot of other food blogs. A LOT. I’ve been blogging for nearly four years, and I’ve learned so much about seasons and all types of foods from all areas of the world and even in my own country in that time. For instance, in spring, people in the Northeast part of the U.S. rave about ramps and fiddleheads, two things I’ve always been curious about, but have never even seen in person before. Of course, I imagine there are quite a few of those bloggers that have never seen purple hull peas, okra, or nopales (cactus), things that are pretty common around here. It’s part of what I love about food – there are still some delightful things that can only be found in certain regions. I hope it stays that way – it makes food special.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try to experience foods outside my region. Like rhubarb. I’ve only recently seen it in grocery stores in the past few years, but that’s only in frozen bags. However, this summer, all of a sudden, I’ve seen it everywhere – at higher-end groceries and even the normal Kroger down the street from me. Big, juicy red stalks of rhubarb. So I set aside my “I usually try to eat local” mindset, and viewed it as a sign. I’d have to try my hand at making something with rhubarb.
And so I did. First on the list? A rhubarb crisp, of course. It wasn’t anything special, and not much different than this peach-pear crisp – only I substituted chopped walnuts for the almonds, and threw some quinoa flakes in there. But it was tasty. Not as good as the memory of my first (Isn’t that the funny thing about food memories?), but good nonetheless. The real challenge (and success), though, was muffins.
These muffins were based on a gluten-full recipe. If any of you have tried to convert a regular recipe to a gluten-free version, you know it’s not always just about substituting one flour for another. Besides, I have to throw dairy-free in there as well, so I have to exercise a lot of freedom in my adaptations. This means that my recipes don’t always turn out the first, second, or even third times. However, this one was perfect right out of the gate. Fluffy, moist, lightly sweet muffins, studded with sweet-tart rhubarb and chopped walnuts. They make the perfect hearty breakfast or afternoon snack, and they showcase this lovely vegetable in a way that makes my heart smile. My coworkers have been enjoying them all week long (many of which were the same people wondering what rhubarb was). They also freeze well, so feel free to bake some up and then store some away for future breakfasts. This recipe makes 2 dozen muffins, so there will be plenty of extras. Feel free to halve the recipe as well.
While I’m not likely to start buying rhubarb often, it’s lovely to find it once a season, bake up these muffins, and relive those childhood memories.
Rhubarb-Walnut Muffins (gluten-free, dairy-free)
1 1/4 c brown rice flour
1 1/4 c sorghum flour
3/4 c potato starch
2 T ground flaxseed meal
1 T psyllium husk
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t kosher salt
2 eggs at room temperature
1 c non-dairy milk (I used coconut milk beverage, but almond milk or hemp milk could also be used)
1 T apple cider vinegar
3/4 c coconut oil, melted and cooled
2 t vanilla extract
1 1/4 c coconut palm sugar
1/4 c agave nectar or honey
1 c chopped walnuts
2 c diced rhubarb, frozen or fresh
About 4 T coarse turbinado sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 muffin tins with cupcake papers. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, potato starch, flaxseed, psyllium, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the non-dairy milk, apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, vanilla, coconut sugar, and agave nectar.
Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir well to combine. Add the walnuts and rhubarb and stir again thoroughly.
Spoon 1/4 cup of batter into each cupcake paper. Sprinkle the tops with turbinado sugar. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Makes 2 dozen muffins.
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays over at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.
This month, Adopt A Gluten-Free Blogger, the fun little blog event created by Book of Yum, is being hosted over at Enjoying Gluten-Free Life. I’m glad to be participating again this month – I always love adopting a gluten-free blogger and learning more about them through their recipes!
I adopted Stephanie of Hope For Healing this time around. I’ve followed her blog for a few years now, as she always manages to post some delicious gluten-free, healthy dessert and baking recipes. Like this strawberry custard pie she just put up the other day? Oh, my, gonna have to add that to the “must try” list! It looks so cool and creamy.
Anyway, Stephanie and I share similar experiences when it comes to how we eat today and why. She doesn’t have celiac disease, however, she experienced a lot of the same ailments I did before going gluten-free: fatigue, brain fog, stomachaches, etc. She since has turned to a gluten-free, healthier diet to find a place of healing and health. Since then, she became a Holistic Health Counselor, and helps others with digestive ailments find health again through food. Stephanie shares her story on her blog.
I love the way she approaches cooking and baking. Sometimes, it stems from a need to use leftovers (well, in my mind, cooked quinoa is leftovers), like with this Quinoa Protein Bread. I’m all about using leftovers! But overall, I love that she uses whole gluten-free grains, unrefined sweeteners, and yummy nuts, seeds, and coconut. All things I love to play with in the kitchen! I had to narrow down the list though – there were so many of her recipes I was dying to try.
First on the final list: I chose to make her Blueberry Cornbread (shown above). A sweeter cornbread, mixed with other whole grain gluten-free flours, plus blueberries? Yum. And it was. It’s a perfect, subtly sweet breakfast “cake” that was delicious with coffee. Our youngest, Brittany, really enjoyed it as well.
Another recipe that made it to the final list was her Cashew Summer Granola. I love, love LOVE making granolas. I also had quite a few cashews around. So I threw this together, subbing regular raisins for golden, but otherwise keeping the recipe in tact. It was delicious – I especially love the maple syrup. Perfect for on-the-go snacking.
I also realized, when going through her Recipe Index, that I’ve made her Stevia-sweetened Lemonade before. Last year, I attempted to grow a stevia plant, and so I used some of the leaves for this purpose. It’s a lovely, lighter (read: less sticky) beverage, perfect for hot summers.
There are so many more delicious treats I would love to make. Stephanie’s definitely a genius in the baking department, and I’d love to spend an afternoon snacking on one of the many treats I’m sure she’d be baking up!
Did you happen to overindulge this weekend? I did, just a bit – too much barbecue, and one too many helpings of dessert. I don’t regret it one bit, but now my body is craving lighter, fresher fare. This morning, as I woke up, I knew what I needed was some raw greens.
I am no stranger to green smoothies. I have them several times a week, at least, as part of my breakfast. You often don’t see them here, as I’m usually throwing random fruits and vegetables in the blender at 5:00 AM so that I can take it with me to the office. Not a lot of time to photograph during my morning routine. Furthermore, there are rarely “recipes” I follow when making my smoothies – it’s a “little of this, a handful of that” and a bit of blending, and breakfast is ready. But since today is a day off, I figured it would be a great opportunity to share with you one of my favorite refreshing smoothies.
It’s almost not a smoothie. A juice, really - only the pulp is not removed. (I don’t have a juicer; if I did, I’d certainly use this combination to make a great juice as well!) I figure I’m getting my fiber in this way, so it’s a win-win, right? But rather than the creaminess that often accompanies smoothies, this one is lighter and thinner, so it’s more of a “whole-food” juice.
It’s my blog, I can call it what I want, right?
Anyway. Again, it’s not truly a recipe, more of a guideline. I didn’t measure. If you don’t have something, just omit it or substitute something else. I opted to not make it sweet – if you want it sweeter, feel free to throw some apple in there. Or stevia. Whatever floats your boat. My version is spicy, refreshing, and invigorating. I like it that way – it’s an excellent way to jump-start my morning.
Whole Food Spicy Green “Juice”
2 big handfuls of spinach
about 1/4 cup parsley
1 stalk celery, cut into chunks
1 small cucumber, peeled
1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
juice of 1 lemon
6 ice cubes plus enough water to blend
Place all ingredients into a high-powered blender. Blend until everything is smooth and frothy.
Drink immediately, as this “juice” will separate.
Note: If you don’t have a high-powered blender, you can use a regular blender, but it may take quite a bit longer to get everything smooth and all of the small bits might not be blended completely. However, you can definitely make smoothies in a regular blender – I did for a long time before dear hubby gave me the VitaMix!
Looking for more gluten-free smoothie ideas? Check out this conversation over at Udi’s Gluten-Free Living Community!
Remember cinnamon raisin toast? That warm, slightly sweet slice of bread, swirled with cinnamon and studded with raisins, slathered with butter, made the best breakfast. We didn’t have it often when I was growing up, but it was a treat when it was around. I didn’t realize just how special it was until I went gluten and dairy-free, and could no longer enjoy it.
Then it became another one of those fond food memories, forever tucked away in my brain, pulled out only every once in a while for reminiscing.
Then one day, I decided that I needed to bring back a version of that breakfast treat. I don’t often make or eat breads anymore, but an exception needed to be made for this. But I wanted to make it both full of nutrition and full of that cinnamon-y goodness. I also wanted to make it grain-free, since I feel best when I’m not consuming too much in the way of grains (and subsequently, that also makes it paleo-friendly and lower-carb).
I wasn’t sure the best way to go about making a grain-free bread, but then I remembered the bread I’d made based on AndreAnna’s recipe a while back when I adopted her for Adopt a Gluten-Free Blogger. That recipe used almond butter. The wheels started turning. Could I do the same with this loaf? I started to play around with the batter.
After 3 tries, I got it down. It’s a lovely, hearty little loaf that rose well, had a subtle sweetness packed with cinnamon, and in every bite, a raisin or a walnut. I love that baking with almond butter brings a gorgeous brown shine to the top of the loaf. The slices held together beautifully as well, and were moist – quite a feat for gluten-free baking. I decided to spread a little coconut spread on a slice, heat it up a skillet, and toasted it on both sides. Heaven.Print Recipe
Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread (Grain-Free, Dairy-Free, Paleo)
½ c almond butter
1 T coconut oil
2 medium eggs at room temperature
1 t lemon juice
2 ½ T arrowroot powder
½ t salt
¼ t vanilla extract
¼ t baking soda
1 T plus 1 t cinnamon
¼ c Medjool dates, chopped
¼ c raisins
½ c walnuts, toasted and chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a small/mini loaf pan with coconut oil and set aside. In the bowl of a mixer, blend the almond butter, coconut oil, eggs, and lemon juice until well-blended. Add arrowroot powder, salt, vanilla extract, baking soda, cinnamon and date. Blend again until well-blended. Add the raisins and walnuts and stir in.
Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan. Smooth out on top with spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely before slicing.
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.
Sometimes, dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) just has to be fast. Easy. A no-brainer. And sometimes, you just didn’t adequately plan ahead of time so that you could make this happen. Then what do you do?
This was my story, the evening after I ran Warrior Dash. I came home and scarfed a bit of leftover salad from the fridge, showered to get rid of the 1,000 pounds of mud from my body, and made myself presentable enough to take the kids out for a promised pizza dinner. (Yes, sometimes the kids get junk food.) By the time we got back home, I was suddenly famished (obviously, my salad “snack” wasn’t enough) and craving pizza. I hadn’t made plans for a meal beforehand, since we were taking the kids out. I figured I would rummage something up for myself. Only for some reason, I’d underestimated a) how hungry and b) how tired I would be.
So my “rummaging” turned up some portobello mushrooms that needed to be used up, some eggs, and a few pantry ingredients – tomato paste, olives, and a bit of Daiya cheese I’d stashed in the freezer. I was going to make some sort of pizza, I’d decided. It might not be traditional, but it would be nutritious, easy, and hopefully tasty.
Indeed it was. I had the “pizzas” ready to go into the oven in about 5 minutes (although it took longer than that to allow the oven to heat up) and could relax for a few minutes while they baked in the oven. In less than 30 minutes, and with the few dishes I used already washed (a bonus!), I had dinner – two gigantic portobello pizzas, enough to serve 2 people (with a side salad, perhaps). I paused just long enough to get this somewhat decent photo taken for you before both were gone. And I’m not apologizing for that.
These indeed hit the spot. They were delicious. The portobello provided a lovely, meaty base for the “pizza”, and the olives and seasoned tomato paste gave it the “pizza” flavor I was after. The egg just gave it a delicious, rich sauce, as I only baked it long enough to set the whites, leaving the yolk all warm and runny. So. So. Good.
All of a sudden as I’m writing this, I’m hungry for another one of these. I might have to accidentally-on-purpose make some more this weekend.
Portobello Mushroom Egg Pizza
2 large portobello mushroom caps, stems hollowed out
Olive oil or baking spray
salt and pepper
1/3 c tomato paste
1 t Italian seasoning or pizza seasoning
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
8-10 black olives, sliced (I used Kalamata)
1/4 c dairy-free cheese (such as Daiya)
2 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray or brush mushrooms with oil and season the insides with salt and pepper and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the tomato paste, Italian seasoning, garlic and onion powder. Spread the sauce over the inside of the mushrooms. Sprinkle olives and dairy-free cheese over. Carefully crack one egg on top of each.
Place baking sheet in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until eggs are set to your liking. Remove and serve.
Serves 2, or one very hungry person.
Note: You can use any toppings you like on these pizzas. Roasted red peppers, pepperoni, cooked crumbled Italian sausage, ham, jalapenos, artichokes – anything goes!
This post is linked to Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free.