Caprese Egg Bake Recipe

I mentioned on Monday that I didn’t workout over the weekend.  I planned to go on a run, but the cooler (cold!!!) temperatures scared me away, and it was way too easy to stay in my warm bed.  Well, that’s not going to fly all fall and winter.  I can’t just hibernate for half the year though some days it does sound appealing.  I’m a big believer in “every bit counts” and “do what you can when you can.”  So on Monday morning, I met my coworkers in the gym for a quick 15-minute workout before our students arrived.

plank

Working out is a great way to start off the week no matter how long or short!  Moving your body everyday is essential and every little bit adds up.  No excuses!  If I can get 10,000 steps in as a full time working mom, you can too!

While fitness is one aspect of living a healthy life, fueling your body with nutritious foods is another.  It’s easy to get in the habit of “comfort food” in the cooler weather, but it’s essential to stay up on eating well as the days get shorter and cooler.  One of the major ways I accomplish this is by meal prepping and batch cooking.  This means cooking in advance large quantities of food that last for more than one meal.

I love eating eggs in the morning for breakfast.  Specifically, Eggland’s Best (they really are the best and most nutritious!).  However, sometimes cooking eggs in the morning just doesn’t happen with my little toddler running around.  It only takes a few minutes, but sometimes it feels like I don’t even have that.  Plus, having a dish already prepared in the refrigerator feels so good and means one less thing for me to do in the busy morning.  Recently I made a Caprese Egg Bake.

caprese egg bake

It’s warm and cheesy and filling and so unbelievably easy to make.  You ready for it?

Caprese Egg Bake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 oz mozzarella, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons basil
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper in large bowl.
  2. Layer tomatoes and mozzarella in greased casserole dish.
  3. Spread spinach out on top.
  4. Pour in egg mixture.
  5. Sprinkle basil.
  6. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes or until cooked through.

Whenever I follow recipes at home, I usually alter them just a bit depending on my taste and what I have on hand.  Some options for this recipe include adding one cup of shredded mozzarella cheese to make it even cheesier.  Cherry or grape tomatoes also work.  I’ve used 2 cups of them and make sure they’re halved.  I’d like to add more vegetables such as zucchini or squash though really any vegetables would work.

caprese egg bake recipe

Did you know that compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs stay fresher longer, have 10X more Vitamin E, 25% less saturated fat, have more than DOUBLE the Omega-3s, have 4X more Vitamin D, 3X more Vitamin B12, and 38% more Lutein. [source]

All Eggland’s Best eggs are produced by hens that are fed an unique, all-vegetarian diet of healthy grains, canola oil, and an all-natural supplement of rice bran, alfalfa, sea kelp and Vitamin E.  The feed contains no animal fat, no animal by-products, and no recycled or processed food.  Eggland’s Best never uses added hormones, steroids, or antibiotics of any kind.

Check out Eggland’s Best eCookbook!

caprese egg bake brunch

Whenever I eat regular caprese salads, I love a light drizzle of balsamic on top.  Well, I did that last night as I was photographing the bake.  William was watching me and I was worried that he was going to go for the plate, so I passed him the bottle of the balsamic to keep him occupied while I snapped away.  Unfortunately, I forgot to put the cap on before I gave it to him!  You know what happened… he wanted to be like his momma and pour some on the eggs!

spill

Wah!  I was sad because this was the last of a really good bottle of balsamic I received for my birthday.  Silly baby.  Don’t worry though, I didn’t let the eggs go to waste! 😉

PS: The balsamic, even in this massive quantity, was a great addition!

Caprese salads – yay or nay?  Caprese egg bake? YAY!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

cheesy egg biscuit bake

Are mornings hectic for anyone else besides me?  If you’re a mom, I’m sure you are nodding your head right now.  If not, you could still be agreeing with me since mornings tend to be rushed with getting yourself together and out the door.  And if you have leisurely mornings, then please tell me your secret!

Since being back at work since summer ended and actually having to follow a time schedule, mornings at my house are constantly rushed.  I’m running around trying to get myself ready, keep William entertained, and make him presentable for school.  In between all that, I’m also making sure to eat breakfast.  After all, it is the most important meal of the day!  And I wake up starving.  I don’t understand people who say they “can’t” eat breakfast too early in the morning.  Food is literally one of the first things I think about each day.

While I always make sure to eat breakfast, preparing something the morning of can be tricky.  I’ve written here recently how I’m really trying to get better at meal prepping; it makes the world of difference!  Even if I just make one thing over the weekend, it makes the week so much smoother and that much easier.  Eggs are probably my absolute favorite breakfast item.  Not only do they pack a killer nutritional punch, but there are a million ways to eat them (30 recipes right HERE!) and they keep me full which is important as an elementary teacher with few breaks and equally important as a breastfeeding momma.  My latest EGG-session?  Cheesy egg biscuit bake!

cheesy egg biscuit bake

This is so easy to throw together!  I make it on Sunday and cut pieces to eat throughout the week for breakfast.  It reheats really well, and it’s toddler approved!  William is a big fan!  This breakfast bake is a total crowd pleaser.  I made it for the first time last year for a school breakfast, and it was gone within minutes.  Then, I made it for a play date (literally, on three separate occasions with different play groups!) over the summer.  Now, I make it to help make mornings a little easier knowing breakfast is already made.

Cheesy Egg Biscuit Bake

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 package of jr. biscuits (I use honey butter)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Line bottom of greased baking dish with biscuit dough.
  2. Sprinkle with cheese.
  3. Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour egg mixture over biscuits and cheese.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes at 425.

Each bite is cheesy, eggy, biscuity, and delicious.  When I make this, I eat it for several days in a row until it’s gone without ever once getting sick of it.  And I don’t have to spend time in the morning preparing breakfast!  Double win!

biscuit egg cheese casserole recipe

This is the base recipe that I use.  However, often times I add vegetables and / or meat to this casserole.  My favorite is spinach and seasoned turkey meat.  Sausage crumbles work, as do mixed vegetables.  Really, you can add anything you want; just add your chosen mix-ins on top of the biscuits and before the cheese.

Since I eat eggs on an almost daily basis, I am very choosy about what kind of eggs I buy and, especially, feed to William.  Always, always, always, it’s Eggland’s Best.  Why?  They’re more nutritious, simply put.  To be exact, compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs stay fresher longer, have 10X more Vitamin E, 25% less saturated fat, have more than DOUBLE the Omega-3s, have 4X more Vitamin D, 3X more Vitamin B12, and 38% more Lutein. [source]  Of course I’m going to choose EB!

egglands best

Check out Eggland’s Best eCookbook!

What would you add to this breakfast casserole?  I want some new ideas!

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins Recipe

I’ve been so much better at food / meal prepping and cooking lately.  Even if I make just one thing over the weekend, it makes the busy work week a little bit easier.  Last weekend I made apple cinnamon oat bread, and then it went so fast that I didn’t even get a chance to properly photograph it.  So I made it again, took pictures, and decided I must share the recipe with you.  I actually like it a lot better as muffins rather than bread.  Muffins are easier to grab and go and help with portion control.  With loaves of bread (or brownies or cakes), I’m one of those people who always has to “even it out.”  You know what I’m talking about.  Slicing a small sliver here and there to make a straight line across, and then before you know it, half the pan is gone.  Sorry not sorry.

apple cinnamon oat bread

Anyway, even if I (with William’s help) did eat the whole loaf way too quickly, it’s fine because they are very healthy with no refined sugar.  There’s just a small amount of honey in it, but besides that, everything is good for you.

The first time I made it, I wasn’t sure how much it would rise, so I poured a small amount in a small loaf tin, as well.  The second time I made it, I tweaked a couple things, and it made a dozen muffins – the perfect amount.  I tried to photograph it almost straight from the oven, but some sticky fingers, impatient hands, and rumbling bellies got a hold of the tray before me.

apple cinnamon oat muffin

There are many add-in options for these apple cinnamon muffins.  I kept half plain and added raisins to six of them.  I think I like it better with raisins, but William doesn’t eat raisins yet.  Other fun options include nuts, chocolate chips, or even peanut butter.  These muffins are flavorful and super moist.

William is a big fan of apple cinnamon muffins.  They’re so convenient to take out and add to his lunch box for school. So these are baby (toddler) approved, kid (Audrey) approved, and momma approved.  Make them for a healthy snack or enjoy as a sweet treat.  Oatmeal is a healthy food for a variety of reasons.  It was William’s first food, but he doesn’t eat it on a regular basis anymore.  Now that he eats breakfast at school, it needs to be foods that he can feed himself.  He can feed himself liquids (like yogurt), but he makes a big mess, so we stick to more solids if he’s on his own.

apple cinnamon oat muffins recipe

I use Coach’s Oats which are perfect for these muffins.  Coach’s Oats are toasted to bring the natural sugars to the surface of the oat, then cracked into small pieces.  Some oat muffin recipes require you to grind the oats to a flour.  No, no.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  Coach’s Oats are perfect since they are already in small pieces.

Apple Cinnamon Oat Muffins Recipe

~makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 large, ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups Coach’s Oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 apple, diced
  • optional: 1/2 cup raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, etc.

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, mix egg, banana, milk, honey, and vanilla.
  2. Stir in Coach’s Oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and apple.
  3. Pour batter into greased muffin tins.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes (or until done) at 375 degrees.

apple cinnamon oat muffins

Not only are these muffins delicious, healthy, easy to make, and perfect to grab and go for anyone who is busy, but they also make your house smell amazing when they’re baking.  Most likely, you already have the ingredients on hand, so go ahead and try out this recipe over the weekend.  Let me know how much you love them! 🙂

What’s your favorite flavor of muffins to bake?

flourless peanut butter blueberry muffins recipe

Packing William’s lunchbox this year has proved to be challenging.  He eats breakfast, lunch, and two snacks at school, so trying to provide some variety can be difficult.  Plus, as you other mommas know, toddlers can be PICK-Y when it comes to food.  When I find something he likes (for the moment), he gets it everyday.  Well, for awhile he was getting scrambled eggs everyday since they’re healthy and he loves them.  Then, his teacher told me there was an egg allergy in his class, so I couldn’t do scrambled eggs anymore.  Argh.  Time to get creative.

I ended up making flourless peanut butter blueberry muffins which not only served as a perfect breakfast for him, but a delicious snack for me.  I’ve written time and time again about how busy the beginning of the school year is.  Morning workouts have begun twice a week before school.  I wake up most mornings at five o’clock and eat breakfast around six.  At 8:40am when the workout is over, I need something to refuel and I need something quick before the kiddos arrive at 8:50.  Enter flourless peanut butter blueberry muffins.  I told you, they’re perfect all around – for breakfast or as a pre or post workout snack.

flourless pb blueberry muffins recipe

When I heard there was an egg allergy in William’s class, I asked if I had to avoid eggs completely.  His teacher said no, just don’t do scrambled or hard-boiled eggs.  I was still allowed to cook with them.  New breakfasts included french toast or peanut butter toast.  Both of those required me to make them the morning of, and I am really trying to get better at meal prep to speed my mornings along.  Over the weekend, I rummaged through my kitchen and created these muffins with ingredients I had on hand: bananas, eggs, peanut butter, and blueberries.  The result?  Faaaaaantastic!

flourless pb blueberry muffins tin

They’re light and moist and packed with nutrition.  Eggs and peanut butter provide a good dose of protein to keep you full and build muscle.  Bananas are a great source of natural carbohydrates and contain a lot of potassium.  Blueberries are loaded with antioxidants.  There is no added refined sugar; they are sweetened with honey.

As always, I use Eggland’s Best eggs.  There are several reasons why, but in an eggshell (ha) a nutshell, compared to ordinary eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs stay fresher longer, have 10X more Vitamin E, 25% less saturated fat, have more than DOUBLE the Omega-3s, have 4X more Vitamin D, 3X more Vitamin B12, and 38% more Lutein.  Click HERE for more information on Eggland’s Best nutrition.

I eat eggs on a daily basis, so naturally, I want the best.  That’s Eggland’s Best.  Nutrition is a crucial factor in staying fit and there are a million different ways to eat eggs.  Need some fresh ideas? –> check out 30 Egg Recipes or the EB eCookbook.

ebeggs flourless muffins

Flourless Peanut Butter Blueberry Muffins Recipe

~makes 12 muffins

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 3 Eggland’s Best eggs
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients (except blueberries) until smooth.
  2. Stir in blueberries.
  3. Pour batter in greased muffin tin.
  4. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

flourless pb blueberry muffins

Make these for your toddler, kids, or yourself and have a healthy snack or meal on hand all the time.  Pin them for later – they’re so easy to make over the weekend to set yourself up with healthy choices for the week.  Let me know how you like them!

What snack do you always have on hand to help make healthy choices?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Why Are Eggs Healthy + 30 Egg Recipes

I. LOVE. EGGS.  Simply put.  For good reason, too.  Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, can be eaten at any time of day as a meal, snack, pre/post workout, are incredibly versatile, and are delicious!  When my refrigerator is bare, you can bet I at least have eggs in there.  Not only that, William, my dear fifteen month old super picky eater, LOVES eggs (cooked in coconut oil!), so I feel good that, even though he doesn’t eat a ton of different foods, he’s getting the protein, nutrition, and benefits from eggs.

But guess what?  Unfortunately, all eggs are not created equal.  I’ve been learning how and why Eggland’s Best eggs are better than other eggs.  For a food that I (and William) eat on an almost-daily basis, you better believe I want the best.  That’s Eggland’s Best.

Not only do Eggland’s Best eggs have more vitamins in them, but they stay fresher than ordinary eggs, as well.  The secret behind creating the Eggland’s Best egg is their special, wholesome, all-vegetarian hen feed consisting of healthy grains, canola oil, and a supplement of rice bran, alfalfa, sea kelp, and Vitamin E.  The Eggland’s Best hen feed contains no animal by-products and no recycled or processed foods. Eggland’s Best never uses hormones, steroids, or antibiotics of any kind.

So why are Eggland’s Best eggs the BEST eggs?why are eggland's best eggs the best eggs

Here are the stats and why they’re important:

  • Stays fresher longer: Based on an independent study, Eggland’s Best eggs were shown to maintain freshness longer than ordinary eggs. To ensure they remain the leader in nutrition and freshness, Eggland’s Best conducts more than 30,000 tests a year & created a 27 points of quality and freshness program.
  • 10X more Vitamin E: Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect body cells and tissues in the heart, skin, lungs, joints, or elsewhere in the body.
  • 25% less Saturated Fat: Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet is recommended for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and cardiovascular functions.
  • More than DOUBLE the Omega-3s: Omega-3s are believed to be beneficial for heart health, brain and eye function, infant development, and alleviating hypertension.
  • 4X more Vitamin D: Vitamin D aids in the body’s absorption of calcium, which is essential in helping to form and maintain strong bones and muscle strength.
  • 3X more Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 is important for healthy protein metabolism, energy production, and cognitive, cardiovascular, and nervous system health.
  • 38% more Lutein: Lutein is an antioxidant that helps maintain healthy vision, overall eye health, and may slow the effects of age-related macular degeneration.
  • A GOOD source of Vitamin B2: Vitamin B2, also known as Riboflavin, plays an important role in the production of energy by helping convert carbohydrates into sugar.
  • A GOOD source of Vitamin B5: Vitamin B5 is a water-soluble vitamin essential for our bodies to synthesize and metabolize proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

Information from Eggland’s Best superior nutrition page.

Do you ever get bored from eating eggs? (WHAT?! How could you?! There are a million different ways to cook ’em!)  Here are 30 delicious egg recipes from my fellow FitFluential Ambassadors that are sure to mix up your usual routine:

30 egg recipes nutritional benefits

For even MORE recipes, check out Eggland’s Best eCookbook!

Whew!  The list could have gone on forever, but I thought 30 was a good number to stop at.  I was going to organize the recipes by meal, but really, you can eat eggs any time of the day!  Eggs are my go-to for every meal: breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner.  And like I said before, William loves his eggs, too!  They make him a happy, healthy baby (fine, toddler!).

eating eggs

What’s your favorite way to eat eggs?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of Eggland’s Best.

Café de Paris Dip Recipe

You know me when it comes to recipes… they must be easy.  Well, I’ve got a new one for you that passes my “easy to make” test.  It’s the Café de Paris Dip Recipe.  It’s an extremely flavorful, creamy, yet healthy dip that is delicious with raw vegetables, white meat, or as a salad dressing.

cafe de paris diprecipe

Through my partnership with SimpleRecipes.club, I received two products from Vom Fass that pair perfectly together: Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Café de Paris Dip Spice Blend.  The olive oil came in a funky shaped bottle which was unique and fun.  The spice blend had a recipe on the jar which is what I made.  It’s super simple, but crazy flavorful.  The flavors in the spice blend are garlic, onion, turmeric, parsnip, coriander, cumin, chillies, fenugreek seeds, paprika, pepper, allspices, mustard speeds, ginger, fennel, cardamom, and sea salt.

cafe de paris recipe

Café de Paris Dip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tsp Café de Paris Dip spice blend
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tsp VOM FASS extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

Directions:

  1. Mix Café de Paris Dip spice blend with water and let stand for three minutes.
  2. Add olive oil and Greek yogurt.  Stir.
  3. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

cafe de paris dip recipe

What is your favorite dip?

healthy strawberry chocolate smoothie

This “Easy as Breeze” post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk. For more “Easy As Breeze” recipes made with five ingredients or less, visit Almond Breeze on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Summertime.  How I love thee.  I love the hot weather.  I love the cool foods.  I love the time off work.  I love my time with William.  I love summer.  I’m a smoothie fan all year round, but especially so in the summer.  They’re easy to make, they can be packed with nutrients, and most importantly, they’re cold and delicious.

Strawberry and chocolate is one of my all time favorite flavor combinations.  I love vanilla custard with strawberries and hard chocolate mixed in.  Unfortunately, it’s not too healthy to eat ice cream for breakfast.  Especially everyday.  So I found a better solution.  A much healthier solution.  And one that is equally as delicious.  It’s a healthy strawberry chocolate smoothie.  Also, beautiful as it is nutritious.  Heart healthy, high fiber, no added sugar, you name it, this smoothie has got it all.

healthy strawberry chocolate smoothie

There are some options with this smoothie, as well.  It contains four core ingredients with three optional mix-ins.  I went with them all as you can see from the picture, but use what you have on hand.  Here’s what’s inside:

  • 1 cup Almond Breeze Chocolate Almondmilk
  • 3/4 cup strawberries
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seed (optional)

healthy strawberry chocolate smoothiebluediamond

Why is it healthy?  Here’s why:

  • Almond Breeze Chocolate Almondmilk: 50% more calcium than dairy milk, all natural with added vitamins & minerals, excellent source of Vitamins D & E, good source of Vitamin A, vegan, and free of dairy, soy, lactose, cholesterol, peanuts, casein, gluten, eggs, saturated fat, and MSG.
  • Strawberries: packed with antioxidants, loaded with Vitamin C, boost immune system, help fight cancer, naturally sweet, reduce inflammation, regulate blood pressure, and fight bad cholesterol
  • Plain Yogurt: no added sugar, contains good-for-you bacteria, loaded with vitamins, may prevent high blood pressure, and high in protein
  • Old Fashioned Oats: keeps your digestive system functioning well, high in fiber, rich in vitamins and minerals, and contains complex carbs
  • Chia Seeds: natural high-orac antioxidants, essential fatty acids, high in dietary fiber
  • Flaxseed: high in fiber, high levels of natural antioxidants called lignans, and mega-source for omega-3s
  • Hemp Seed: high in omega-3s, omega-6s, and high in protein

healthy strawberry chocolate smoothie recipe

What is your favorite smoothie flavor combination?

Greek Six-Layer Dip Recipe

Everyone loves dips.  They’re so versatile, can be eaten as an appetizer, snack, or meal, and there’s a million different ways to make them.  They can be healthy or not, eaten with chips, crackers, or fresh vegetables.  Many times, dips have a Mexican flare.  Nothing against that; I love Mexican style dips.  However, this Greek Six-Layer Dip recipe is a new twist on an old favorite and absolutely perfect for the summer.

greek-six-layer-dip

Greek Six-Layer Dip Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 (6 oz) container plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 (8 oz each) containers roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sliced Greek olives

Directions:

  1. In small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, dill, lemon juice and salt; set aside.
  2. Spread hummus onto a 12-inch platter.
  3. Layer yogurt mixture over hummus.
  4. Top with cucumber, tomatoes, olives and cheese.

Delicious served with Lemon-Basil Garlic chips.

This recipe, and many more, can be found on Hy-Vee’s Homegrown Pinterest page.

I’m so excited to announce my partnership with Hy-Vee for an upcoming Twitter Party on Thursday, July 23, 2015 at 2:00 pm CST

hyvee

Details:

Get all the health benefits of homegrown produce with Hy-Vee’s Local Homegrown Twitter Party July 22nd at 3pm MT with #WinFreshWinLocal

Want to know why fresh, local watermelon is always bursting with sweetness and flavor? Or how to perfectly prepare sweet corn at your next family cookout?

A team of Hy-Vee’s in-house health experts will be on-hand and ready to answer all of your fresh, local, homegrown questions at our upcoming Twitter Party!

Whether you’re looking to eat more nutritiously or to support your local growers (or both!) we’ll be tweeting all things FRESH, LOCAL, and HOMEGROWN and we want to hear from you!  When you share your questions with #WinFreshWinLocal during the Twitter Party you’ll automatically be entered to win 1 of 4 Hy-Vee Gift Cards valued at $250 each! A great opportunity for you and your family to enjoy all the fruits and vegetables grown within 200 miles of Hy-Vee stores across the Midwest!

Don’t Forget: keep your eyes out for the Local Homegrown program logo when you’re shopping at Hy-Vee!

For more information and to reserve your space at the Twitter Chat Tweet @Hyvee with #WinFreshWinLocal and you’ll be entered to win a $250 gift certificate to the store!

What do you buy local? What are your favorite recipes using homegrown ingredients? Do you have a Hy-Vee near you?

Summer Berry Jam Oat Bowl Recipe

Sometimes I follow recipes, and sometimes I don’t.  Sometimes that works out for me, and sometimes it doesn’t.  Sometimes I intend on following recipes, but then it just doesn’t happen.  Sometimes that works out for me, and sometimes it doesn’t.  This is the story of a time that it did.

So I had a sweet tooth one night (nothing new there), so I began perusing some of my favorite blogs for recipe inspiration.  I was scouring Arman’s blog, The Big Man’s World, as I knew he had tons, and I mean tons, of dessert recipes.  I found this recipe: Healthy No Bake Thumbprint Cookies, and the pictures had me drooling (as always), so I decided this would be it.  No bake?  Perfect!  Cookies?  Fantastic!  Healthy?  Even better!  Thumbprint?  I don’t know, but sure.  I pulled up the recipe on my phone, and headed to the kitchen.  I loosely followed the recipe, and I mean not really.  You see, I’m pretty lazy when it comes to the kitchen.  Arman, I’m sorry for how badly I butchered your recipe.  But I’m not at all sorry with how it morphed into my Summer Berry Jam Oat Bowl recipe that I’ve made over and over since then.

summer berry jam oat bowl

It’s like pie that you can eat in the morning for breakfast that’s healthy.  Or you can eat it at night as a dessert.  Or whatever time in between that strikes your fancy.  So Arman’s recipe was supposed to make cute little cookies.  I’m really impatient in the kitchen.  Especially when my sweet tooth is in full force.  I kind of made the batter.  Kind of because his recipe called for gluten-free oat flour.  I’m not gluten-free, so that didn’t bother me, but I didn’t have oat flour and I was too lazy to grind my own… so whole old-fashioned oats were used.  His recipe called for sifted coconut flour.  Sifted?  Ain’t nobody got time for that.  Ok, it probably takes an extra 30 seconds, but remember, I’m lazy in the kitchen.  I used peanut butter instead of cashew butter because that’s what I had, but I have no doubt that cashew butter would have been fantastic, as well.

summer berry jam oatbowl

His recipe called for homemade or store bought jam, and believe it or not, I made my own.  And by “made” I mean I stuck some frozen fruit with some water in the microwave for two minutes, added some chia seeds, and let sit for a few minutes.  Yeah, not really fancy jam or true jam at all, but it totally worked here, take my word for it.  The first time I made it, I ate half of the mixture (the “dough”) in the evening and poured the rest in the bowl and ate it for breakfast.  The second (and third and fourth) time I made it, I halved the amounts to make a good sized bowl for one.  I’m loving throwing it together at night for an easy, healthy, filling breakfast in the morning.  Are you ready for this super easy and super delicious recipe?

summer berry jam oatbowl recipe

Summer Berry Jam Oat Bowl Recipe

~makes one healthy serving

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2 heaping tablespoons coconut flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice (possibly more for the morning)
  • 1/2 cup frozen fruit
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Put frozen fruit and two tablespoons of water in the microwave for two minutes.  Stir in chia seeds while mashing the fruit.  Set aside.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine oats, coconut flour, coconut sugar, and cinnamon.
  3. Add peanut butter and stir, equally disturbing the peanut butter throughout the bowl.
  4. Stir in milk.  Dough will be thick.
  5. Press batter into bowl, scooping out a section in the middle.
  6. Pour in fruit and chia jam.
  7. Let sit in refrigerator overnight.  Enjoy!

Sometimes I add a bit more milk in the morning as the coconut flour really soaks up the liquid!  It’s crazy thick, and in my opinion, better than overnight oats.  Like I said, it’s like pie, and you really can’t go wrong with pie so early in the morning! 🙂

summer berry jam oat bowl recipe

Do you follow recipes or use them as inspiration? What fruit would you use to make the jam part?

Honey Vanilla Chia Pudding

This post is sponsored by Almond Breeze Almondmilk.

Chia pudding – what do you know about it?  If you read (or write) healthy living blogs, you most likely are very familiar with it.  What is it?  It’s pudding made with… chia seeds!  Chia seeds absorb whatever liquid they are put into and substantially thicken the liquid, so much so that it turns into a pudding consistency if you add enough chia seeds.  The general rule of thumb for making chia pudding is one cup liquid to a quarter cup chia seeds.  Add whatever fun mix-ins your little heart belly desires and let the mixture set in the refrigerator for several hours.

honey vanilla chiapudding

I added strawberries and used Almond Breeze Almondmilk Hint of Honey Vanilla.  When I first saw that Almond Breeze made a Hint of Honey almond milk, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I love honey.  Like sometimes I squeeze the little bear of honey right into my mouth.  I could probably eat honey on everything.  No, scratch that.  I could definitely eat honey on everything.  So honey combined with Vanilla Almond Milk (my previous favorite flavor) is just genius.

honey vanilla chia pudding

Why eat chia seeds?  Chia seeds are powerfully nutrient dense (aka LOTS of good stuff in them), loaded with antioxidants, high in fiber, protein, and calcium, could help you lose weight by making you feel full, and are high in omega-3s.  They are named a “superfood.”  (Read more about chia seeds HERE.)

Why drink almond milk? Almond milk contains 50% more calcium than dairy milk, excellent source of Vitamins D & E, good source of Vitamin A, and Almond Breeze almond milk is free of dairy, soy, lactose, cholesterol, peanuts, casein, gluten, eggs, saturated fat, and MSG. (20 of the Best Almond Milk Recipes HERE)

See? Combining the two just makes sense.

honey vanilla chia pudding

I’m not going to lie. As much as I love using almond milk in recipes, thanks to its thickness, creaminess, and aforementioned benefits, I don’t love drinking a glass by itself.  I grew up drinking a glass of milk with dinner every night, but now I don’t like to drink any milk (unless it’s chocolate!) by itself.  Almond Breeze’s Hint of Honey Vanilla almond milk is different.  When I first got it, I tasted it by itself because I obviously was curious as to what it tasted like.  It’s AMAZING.  The hint of honey is truly just a hint of honey; just a tiny bit of sweetness that compliments the vanilla so perfectly.  This is, by far, my very favorite almond milk.

Go ahead and make this honey vanilla chia pudding and tell me how good it is.  Mix one cup of Almond Breeze Almondmilk Hint of Honey Vanilla with a quarter cup of chia seeds and place in the refrigerator.  I mix it a couple of times throughout the few hours it’s setting before I eat it.  Sometimes I make it in the evening and leave it in the fridge all night; other times, I make it in the morning and eat it as a snack or dessert.  It’s so good with any and all fruit mixed in, granola, too.  It’s slightly sweet, super creamy, and absolutely delicious!  Not to mention HEALTHY!

honeyvanilla chia pudding

Have you tried Almond Breeze’s Hint of Honey Vanilla Almond Milk? What fruit would you mix into this chia pudding?