Fall’s arrived. Sweaters are being yanked out of storage and scarves are back. All I want is cozy. Muffins made with squash, oats, pecans and coconut oil, perfect for chilly morning with a cup of something hot. Texture is crispy on the top and moist inside. “It’s fall in a muffin!” Neil exclaimed as he ate his third. You can’t even tell they’re squash, promise. Makes 12.
squash pecan muffins
1 cup mashed oven roasted acorn squash
3/4 cup flour or gluten-free flour
1 cup oats
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (use 2 tsp if using gluten-free flour)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil
Squash can be roasted in advance. Slice in half, remove seeds and bake at 375 degrees skin side down with a little water for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine wet ingredients with brown sugar. Combine remaining dry ingredients. Mix together. Spoon into greased muffin tins. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Great with almond butter or regular butter for breakfast. Acorn squash is my favourite, but butternut squash, sweet potatoe or pumpkin would all work well.
These little bars have no gluten, no baking time, require minimal effort and then they reward you with how loaded with protein and delicious they are. Love these recipes where the healthier version tastes so much better than store bought granola bars. Perfect for travel, lunches or general snacking needs. Use your food processor or a good quality blender. I use my blender on the same setting that crushes ice. Makes 12 bars. Let’s get started.
nut + date bars
1 cup unsalted almonds
½ cup unsalted pepita seeds
½ unsalted cashews
1 cup unsweetened cranberries
8 medjool dates pits removed
1 heaping tablespoon of room temperature coconut oil
Line an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 pan with plastic wrap. The edges at the sides will help you lift out the bars. Pulse the almonds first. Add the pepita seeds, cashews and salt to pulse. Lastly blend in the remaining dates, cranberries and coconut oil. Tumble the mixture into the lined pan. Press down. Wrap it up and store in the fridge for 3 hours or overnight. When set, lift out and slice. Store in the fridge for 10 days or freeze for longer.
Experiment with what you have on hand. Raisins, orange zest, chocolate or crystallized ginger chunks would all be lovely additions. I make these as bars. But if there are little (or big) hands at home that want to help, they could easily be rolled into small balls, and then set in the fridge the same way. Thanks to my own mom and sees for this recipe inspiration!
This recipe reminds me of my Polish grandmother. It takes an ingredient you might throw out, beet greens, and makes it into something delicious. I find so many people in love with food attribute it to a grandparent who got them hooked. Lucky I say.
frittata with beet greens
2 cups peeled potatoes sliced 1/2 inch thick (approximately 2 cups, it’s a forgiving recipe)
greens of one bunch beets washed and chopped (spinach works too)
1 onion chopped
1/3 cup olive oil
half of a zucchini sliced (red pepper/mushrooms also work well)
6 eggs beaten with a dash of milk
salt and pepper to taste
mozzarella cheese torn onto chunks (or feta) to taste
Boil the potatoes in salted water for five minutes. Drain well. Saute onion on low in half of the measured olive oil, with salt and pepper for 15 minutes until caramelized. Use a pan that is oven safe. Add zucchini or chosen vegetable to pan when the onion is almost done. Cook for an additional two minutes and then remove veg and onion from pan.
Add remaining olive oil to pan and fry potatoes, adding salt and pepper for 5 minutes until starting to brown. Preheat oven broiler to high. Fold in the greens to pan to wilt. Add the onion and vegetable back in. Pour the egg over top, allowing it to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Let egg “set” on stove for 2 minutes. Place the cheese on top, then transfer to oven to broil for 5 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the frittata poofs up a bit and cheese begins to melt. Remove from oven and slide a spatula around edge of pan to loosen. Shimmy onto a waiting large plate. Wonderful served with a light green salad. Slice into four large or six smaller servings. Leftovers often
fought over enjoyed in our house the next day for lunch with a little hot sauce.
Rise and shine. This recipe is proof to the theory that planning is half the battle for delicious nourishing food.
I make this most mornings I work out. Truth, I sometimes even think about it while I am working out. If I’m going to get up early to get my sweat on, breakfast is my reward. A hybrid of the now famous chia pudding and overnight refrigerator oatmeal, it’s easy to assemble the night before and full of protein from the yogurt, oats and chia seeds, and anti-oxidants from the blueberries, but I really eat it because it tastes so good.
Swap out the blueberries for mango if you like this one. I’d say it’s a good start to the day. Serves two.
wild blueberry chia pudding
3 tablespoons chia seeds
½ cup oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
½ cup of frozen wild blueberries
½ cup plain full fat or greek yogurt
½ cup almond milk
The night before, combine everything in the bowl you want to eat it in. Stir and cover. In the morning give it a quick stir. The chia seeds will have absorbed most of the liquid, so add in almond milk and stir to get the consistency you want. Refrigerate for up to two days.
Late summer and the peaches are ripe. This smoothie reminds me of peach pie and lazy afternoons. I made this with super ripe peaches from the end of a bushel on a hot Saturday morning. Serves two.
1 cup chopped and unpeeled fresh or frozen peaches
2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
1/2 cup almond milk
1 scoop sprouted brown rice protein power (optional)
2 ice cubes (reduce to 1 if using frozen peaches)
1 tablespoon almond butter
generous dash cinnamon
Combine all ingredients in blender and off you go.