Heading on a road trip to the beach and baked these muffins up to nibble on, because trip snacks are half the fun right? In other news, also heading back to work in two weeks and hoping a freezer stocked with these will ease what will soon be very busy weekday mornings. I like big life events that I can prepare [read: cook/bake] for.
This recipe came about as I cruised the kids aisle at the grocery store and found all the snack items to have sugar listed in the top ingredients. I am trying to avoid giving any to our 13 month old. Not entirely, just not on a routine basis. So i whipped these up (I think the photos are from the fourth batch I’ve made this summer) and skipped adding any sugar or maple syrup and don’t even miss it! Naturally sweet bananas and dates work so well together. Feel free to throw in some chocolate chips if you like but we thought these were pretty delicious as is. Recipe makes 12 regular sized muffins, or 18 smaller sized muffins for baby/toddler hands. I just fill the empty muffin cups with water when I bake the second round. These freeze well too, but don’t generally last very long in my house. Topping one with almond butter is my favourite breakfast this week. Wishing you happy summer adventures big and small.
no sugar banana muffins
1 cup oats
3/4 cup flour (or gluten free alternative)
1 + 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (use 2 tsp if using gluten free flour)
1/2 tsp salt
5 dates pits removed and chopped into small chunks
1/2 cup walnuts chopped
1 tsp vanillia extract
4 ripe bananas peeled and mashed
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Mix wet and dry ingredients in two separate bowls. Combine them being careful not to over mix. Batter should be lumpy. Use muffin liners, or lightly grease the muffin pan with coconut oil or non stick spray and scoop out batter, filling each cup about 2/3 full. I bake these for exactly 17 minutes in my oven (which runs hot) and they come out perfect every time. Bake until a knife comes out clean and tops are slightly golden. Let muffins cool for a few minutes in pan before removing.
I’m devouring this smoothie bowl as I type and it’s amazing. Slightly sweet and so satisfying. It feels a bit more mindful to eat from a bowl and spoon, rather than chug a smoothie straight from the glass, right?
Summer always feels busy. Our little man is turning 1 in a week, barbecues with family and friends are in full swing, and I am loving the last months of my maternity leave spending a lot of time at the park and local splash pad or cuddled up at home with my babe. I try to incorporate veggies in my breakfast and needed a break from green smoothies. This was a perfect change of pace.
A few tips for this recipe, boil your sweet potatoes the night before and this smoothie bowl comes together in a flash. I just stick them in the fridge cooked and whole and peel them quickly before I toss them in the blender. I added pepita seeds and shredded unsweetened coconut, but chia seeds and any nuts would be delicious. Makes enough for two small smoothie bowls, or one very hungry one!
sweet potato smoothie bowl
1 pitted date
1 frozen banana
2 small organic sweet potatoes boiled and peeled (or 1 large)
1/2 milk of your choice
1/4 tsp cinnamon
pinch sea salt
1 scoop protein powder
Suggested toppings: shredded coconut, chia seeds, pepita seeds
Combine all ingredients in blender and blitz until smooth.
Eight months into motherhood and what have I learned? Be okay with unfinished. Nothing is going to be perfect. Ride the wave. And if I am still wiped? My mom taught me to quietly whisper to myself “this too shall pass”. And it’s so true. The weeks and months swim by and old challenges become new triumphs. It’s still dark in the mornings when we wake here in Toronto. Neil is running out the door after an early morning play session with Oscar and I am still nursing in the night so knowing that breakfast is made makes the day feel great. This recipe has been saving us of late. Steel cut oats are a commitment, as they take much longer to cook than oats but they are packed with protein and keep you feeling full longer. I put a batch in the slow cooker Sunday afternoon. It’s foolproof and ready in 2 hours with minimal effort. I store in a container in the fridge and we have breakfast for a few days.
Slow cooker steel cut oats
1 cup steel cut oats
pinch sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
4 cups water
1 tbsp coconut oil
Coat inside of the slow cooker generously with coconut oil. Leaving any leftover chunks in there. Combine remaining ingredients and cook on high for 2 hours, stirring once, or on low for 6 hours. Top and enjoy with more cinnamon, milk, banana slices, almond butter, raisins, dates, walnuts, maple syrup, goji berries, anything you have on hand. Recipe makes four servings and keeps well in the fridge for about a week. Wishing you happy mornings!
Oatmeal, cinnamon, bananas and berries. Humble, and so satisfying. I’ve been devouring these oatmeal bars after being up in the night with our four month old son Oscar. (Oats are great for nursing!) These bars are simple to make and I’ve even served them as a make-ahead breakfast for overnight guests. Recipe makes 10 servings, but you can easily half it. I’ve also packaged and frozen these individually and they still taste delicious.
baked oatmeal bars
4 ripe bananas cut into slices
2 cups thawed and drained frozen blueberries or mixed berries (can also use fresh)
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 cups large flake oats
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk
1 tbsp vanilla
coconut oil for greasing baking dish
Heat oven to 350 degrees and generously grease a 9 x 13 (or similar size) baking dish with coconut oil. Layer the bananas, then half of the berries. Bake for 20 minutes. In a separate bowl mix the oats, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Pour over the bananas, gently pressing down with your hands. Then combine the milk, maple syrup, eggs and vanilla and pour over the oats and bananas. Sprinkle remaining berries and walnuts on top and bake for 35-40 minutes until top is golden brown. Let cool, slice into desired slices and enjoy!
Two pints of fresh blueberries plus lemon zest go into this cake. It’s so delicious it got half eaten by Neil and my Dad before I could shoot it! Truth be told, I had a big slice too. The recipe was a childhood favourite of Neil’s that his stepmother Liz used to make every summer when local blueberries were in season. So I give you photos of a half eaten cake that was so good it couldn’t sit on the counter untouched any longer. The recipe feeds at least 8. And it’s wonderful with a side of ice cream or whipped cream.
Ingredients for the cake:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup soft butter
3/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup milk (I use almond milk)
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
2 pints fresh blueberries (or 2 and 1/2 cups)
Ingredients for the crumble topping:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soft butter
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix flour, baking powder, salt and spices. Then using a spatula whip the butter with the wet ingredients and then combine with the blueberries. Mix the crumble topping ingredients with a fork until it looks like small pebbles. Grease a large deep pie plate or 8 inch spring form pan. Pour into greased dish and top with crumble. Bake 350 degrees about 40 minutes until a knife inserted comes out clean. Be sure to place a cookie sheet under the dish when baking. Sometimes those sneaky blueberries can really expand. Enjoy as dessert or in the morning with coffee.