Healthy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Raisin Breakfast Cookies

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Here’s a ‘no refined sugar’, gluten-free healthy breakfast cookie that’s great for breakfast on the run,  bedtime snack and I love them for travelling as well.  They freeze really well and you can modify the ingredients as you see fit.

Ingredients:

makes about 20 three inch cookies

3 large ripe bananas, mashed (1.5 cups)

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

2.5 cups rolled oats (I use large flake)

1/3 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 cup raisins or dried cranberries

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners. Set aside.

In medium bowl, mix together oats, coconut, salt, cinnamon, baking powder, raisins and chocolate chips. Set aside.

In food processor, puree bananas (or you can mash by hand). Add in egg, coconut oil and vanilla. Blend well. Add wet ingredients to oatmeal mixture and mix well.

Drop by 2 tablespoon sized dollops about 2 inches apart on cookie sheet.  Bake for 13-15 minutes, until bottoms are brown. You may need to rotate your pans halfway through or leave them in a little longer, depending on your oven, and their size.

Cool. Keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

 

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Here’s the best recipe for chocolate chip oatmeal cookies in my opinion. I’ve been making them for years and years, and my friends Morgan and Leah begged me to post it,  so here it is.  The key here is not having your butter too soft when you start out – ‘room temperature’…and making each cookie the same size for baking consistentcy…use a ‘cookie scoop’ if you have one.

Ingredients:

makes 3 dozen

1.5 cups all purpose flour

1/2 cup large flake oats

2 tsp cornstarch

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup dark chocolate chips

1/2 cup chocolate chunks (if unavailable, increase chocolate chips)

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 egg

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare baking sheets, lined with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

In a bowl, mix together flour, oats, cornstarch, baking soda, salt. Set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer, beat butter until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl. Add brown and granulated sugars and continue to beat, until well mixed and fluffy, scraping down sides as you go.

Beat in egg and vanilla.  With mixer on low, gradually add in flour/oat mixture, just until evenly mixed. Fold in chocolate chips and chunks with a wooden spoon.

Scoop dough in one tablespoon size globs, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes, rotating pan if necessary, until edges are golden.  Remove from oven to cool for a few minutes, then, using spatula, remove to a plate or rack to cool.  Eat! Yum!

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Homemade Hummus

 

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Homemade Hummus

Some simple ingredients are all you need to whip up this basic recipe for hummus.  You can adjust the flavour by adding more lemon juice, cumin, olive oil, smoked paprika…It’s delicious and healthy as a dip with veggies or pita, as a spread on a sandwich or wrap,  or even spread on a plate and topped with salad or curry.  Super versatile – don’t just think ‘dip’.

Hummus

adapted from the book Jerusualem

makes 4 cups

3 cups chickpeas (cooked or canned)

1 cup tahini

4 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

4 cloves garlic

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice cold water

Method:

Drain chickpeas and place into food processor, blend until it forms a thick paste. Add tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt. Continue to blend, scraping down sides until mixed. Pour ice water through feed tube while leaving the processor to run for 5 minutes. Let hummus rest for 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste.

Will keep for approx. 4 days in fridge.

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Homemade Hummus

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Homemade Hummus

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Red Onion Jam

onion jam on a cracker with old cheddar

onion jam on a cracker with old cheddar

This jam is totally my jam.😉  It’s a fantastic condiment with a never-ending list of uses.  I love it on a piece of cheese on a cracker. On a grilled cheese? D-lish. This recipe requires a few exclusive ingredients,  but aside from that, it is very straight forward and easy.  I’m a big fan of kicking up the flavour of dishes with the use of great quality condiments.  Makes a great hostess gift with a chunk of cheese and some artisinal crackers.

Red Onion Jam

adapted from a recipe by Rachel Allen

Makes about 3 cups

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of unsalted butter

6 cups of diced onions (I used red but use whatever you like)

1.5 tsp salt

1.5 tsp freshly ground pepper

3/4 cup (real) maple syrup (or granulated sugar)

1/2 cup sherry vinegar (or balsamic)

1 cup red wine (leftover from the night before is fine, or even if it’s been sitting around a few days)

3 tbsp creme de cassis (a blackberry flavoured liquer)

Directions:

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, salt, pepper and maple syrup (or sugar). Stir. Cover and let cook on medium-low heat, stirring every few minutes to avoid it sticking (add more butter if it starts to stick). Cook for approximately 30 – 45 minutes until onions are quite soft and cooked down.

Add the red wine, sherry vinegar and creme de cassis. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and continue to cook, uncovered, until it thickens and becomes ‘jammy’.  (anywhere from 30- 60 minutes. If using maple syrup, it will take longer as there is more liquid).  Pour into sterilized jars. Refrigerate when cool. Will keep for months, in sterilized jars – refrigerated.  Caution: addictive.

dice up onions

dice up onions

add to saucepan and cook down slowly

add to saucepan and cook down slowly

red wine, creme de cassis and sherry vinegar

red wine, creme de cassis and sherry vinegar

makes about 3 cups. Pour into sterilized jars.

makes about 3 cups. Pour into sterilized jars.

YUM

YUM

close up YUM

close up YUM

Banana-Beet Chocolate Cake (GF)

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rich and delish

 

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just so you see how everything isn’t perfect! Still tastes good.

I found this recipe, modified it to suit my baking tastes, and boy is it good! Deliciously moist for a gluten-free product and keeps that way for days (covered).  I made mine in a non-stick bundt pan which gives it a nice appearance, and, as with all the recipes here — if it’s not a ‘keeper’, I don’t blog it.  Easy, easy, easy.  You can eat this as is – plain, and it’s great, but dress it up for any occasion and there will be no complaints from anyone– gluten-free or not.  Just make it.  I think you’ll actually be healthier after you eat this, too.😉

Banana-Beet Chocolate Cake

adapted from a recipe from www.greenkitchenstories.com

Serves 8

Ingredients:

1 ripe banana, grated

1 medium cooked beet, grated

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted

1/2 cup (real) maple syrup

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 cups almond flour

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Grease a bundt pan or 8 x 8 inch baking pan. (I used non-stick as well). Dust pan with a bit of cocoa to prevent sticking.

Mix together in a medium sized bowl – banana, beet, coconut oil, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla. Blend well.  In separate bowl, mix almond flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and when combined, add to wet ingredient and mix until well incorporated.

Pour batter into greased bundt pan or an 8 x 8 inch baking pan.  Bake for 45 minutes or until tester comes out fairly clean. Remove from oven, let cool and then loosen cake and pop out onto a cake platter or plate. Cool. Serve plain or with whip cream, yogurt, chocolate sauce, berries – get creative and enjoy.  Keeps for several days, covered.  (but won’t last that long).   Cheers! Enjoy.

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easy ingredients

mix together grated beet, banana, egg, oil, vanilla and syrup

mix together grated beet, banana, egg, oil, vanilla and syrup

baked in bundt pan, tastes great plain

baked in bundt pan, tastes great plain

it's this good.

it’s this good.

everybody enjoys this cake

everybody enjoys this cake

 

 

 

Fruity Breakfast Pilaf (made with steel-cut oats)

Fruity Breakfast Pilaf with pecans (optional)

Fruity Breakfast Pilaf with pecans (optional)

fruity breakfast pilaf

fruity breakfast pilaf

I love this recipe, not only because it’s delicious, but because of it’s make-ahead ability, ensuring you have a healthy, low-glycemic breakfast that really sticks to your ribs.  Steel-cut oats are used, making this recipe a lower glycemic option to flaked oats or instant oats. Remember, the more processed oats are (or grains in general),  the quicker they convert to sugar in your body. So, it takes some extra time to cook these oats (30 minutes), but when you make a batch large enough for 4 or 5 days, it’s not really that much of a time investment. Just reheat in the microwave and Bob’s yer uncle, as they say.  Feel free to change up the fruit and nut component to your liking. You can find steel-cut oats in every grocery store in the cereal aisle.  ***You can use any grain in this recipe (rice, millet, quinoa – just adjust the water amount and cooking time according to package directions).***

Fruity Breakfast Pilaf

adapted from VB6 by Mark Bittman

serves 6 

Ingredients:

1.5 tbsp cooking oil (I used coconut oil)

I 1/3 cups steel-cut oats

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp each nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger

2 tbsp real maple syrup

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 cups berries, fresh or frozen (divided – 1 cup added at end of cooking)

4 cups water

Directions:

Put the oil in a large non-stick pan or medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.  When it’s hot, add the steel cut oats. Cook and stir for approximately 4 minutes until kernels are starting to colour and are well covered in oil. Add salt and spices, stirring until fragrant.  Add 4 cups of water, maple syrup and 1 cup of fruit. (I used blueberries). Stir, bring to a boil, then lower heat to a simmer. Cover and let cook, stirring occasionally for about 25-30 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed and oat kernels are tender.

Uncover, and stir in remaining cup of fruit (I used raspberries) and serve with milk product of choice (very nice tasting with nut milk or coconut milk beverage) and additional nuts, if desired.  You can eat these without any milk product if you prefer.

If making ahead, let cool (covered) then place in a container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.  Reheat individual portions in microwave.

steel cut oats

steel cut oats

Saute oats in oil, add spices

Saute oats in oil, add spices

add water, syrup, nuts and fruit

add water, syrup, nuts and fruit

simmer, covered (stirring occasionally) for 25-30 mins

simmer, covered (stirring occasionally) for 25-30 mins

serve with milk product of choice and nuts (optional)

serve with milk product of choice and nuts (optional)

Walnut-Date Chews (gluten free)

Walnut Date Chews

Walnut Date Chews

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These are the best cookies if you want to avoid too many carbs, refined sugar, gluten, egg and dairy! Even if you aren’t avoiding these things, they are the best cookies. You know how after dinner you just want a little sweet? This fits the bill with absolutely no guilt and all pleasure.  It’s based on ‘bliss ball’ recipe but I’ve refined and adapted it to be even more blissful. I sometimes even crumble one on my yogurt in the morning.  They are a snap to make,  so get going.

Walnut-Date Chews

makes 16-20 cookies

Ingredients:

2 cups walnuts

1/3 cup dates, diced (make sure they are soft – reconstitute them with boiling water if they are hard )

2 tbsp maple syrup

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper. Set aside.

Place walnuts in bowl of food processor and pulse 5 or 6 times until roughly chopped.  Sprinkle dates over top and pulse 5 or 6 more times.  Add vanilla, maple syrup, coconut oil and salt.  Continue to pulse until walnuts and dates are finely minced and a nutty ‘dough’ has formed.  You may have to take the top of and move the mixture around, pressing it down, then pulse a few times, then repeat until it’s evenly processed.

Using a 1 tbsp scoop,  scoop balls of nut mixture onto cookie sheet.  Shape into flat-topped circles.  If using, place 2 chocolate chips on each cookie. (just for fun and a little hit of chocolate–so good).  Cookies only need to be about an inch apart, you can fit them all on one sheet.

Place in preheated oven for 9 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Enjoy! Store in airtight container for 1 week, or freeze for up to a month.

process until fairly fine

process until fairly fine

these are the best dates

these are the best dates

1 tbsp of dough

1 tbsp of dough

bake at 350 for 9 mins

bake at 350 for 9 mins

 

YUM

YUM