Breakfast On The Go…Apple and Almond Butter Baked Oatmeal

I was recently asked about creating breakfasts on the go. What is a breakfast on the go? Specifically, this is means a breakfast you can easily pack up and take with you on a busy morning and either eat on the road or once you get where you are going. For me, this is typically a breakfast in a mason jar (like a homemade smoothie or overnight oats), but recently my creative juices got flowing when I read about a breakfast idea called baked oatmeal.

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Baked oatmeal is basically taking your favorite traditional oatmeal and making it into a casserole. Unlike regular oatmeal, which is made on the stove-top and has a porridge-like consistency, baked oatmeal is made in the oven and has a consistency similar to that of bread pudding. What is nice about this sort of consistency is that once it is cooled, it is easy to cut into pieces and take on the road.

There are many ways you can make this sort of dish, but I decided I would add two of my favorite healthy choices that add fiber and flavor and some healthy fat and protein as well. Apples, especially when baked, add natural sweetness to this recipe and almond butter makes it more satisfying and gives this dish a rich, nutty flavor. Again, this is baked oatmeal is great for an on the go breakfast, snack, or even dessert.

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Apple and Almond Butter Baked Oatmeal

2 cups old fashioned oats
1/4 cup coconut sugar (great because it is lower glycemic)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3/4 cups skim milk (or milk of your choice)
1  egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup crunchy almond butter
3-4 diced organic fuji apples, skin on

directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8 x 8 square baking dish with cooking spray of your choice and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut sugar, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.

3. In another small bowl, whisk together the milk, egg, and vanilla extract.

4. Pour the liquid mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the almond butter and mix until combined. Add the apples and stir again. Pour mixture into prepared pan.

5. Bake for 35 minutes or until the top is golden and oatmeal is set. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.

Goji Cranberry Green Smoothie…A Festive Cleansing Drink :)

I was visiting my parents all last week for Thanksgiving in the San Francisco area. As a family, we tend to eat fairly moderately, so I didn’t feel like I overindulged so much on turkey and pie. What I did indulge on was BREAD. That San Francisco sourdough will be the death of me, I tell you!

At any rate, I am back home and cooking in my own kitchen again. I came up with this little recipe after I went to the grocery store yesterday. As I was re-filling my refrigerator and putting some things in the freezer, I realized I had taken a bag of fresh cranberries I had opened before I left town and put them in the freezer so they wouldn’t be rotten when I returned. I thought about them before I went to bed last night and decided they would be added to a green smoothie I intended to make in the morning.

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Now I am not always a green juice or smoothie drinker, but ever since I purchased a Vitamix about a year ago, I have really enjoyed creating my own and bringing them places with me in mason jars. I prefer the smoothie version of green juices, because I like to get all the fibers, vitamins and minerals that are found in the skin of most of my favorite fruits and veggies. This smoothie may or may not be a filling breakfast for some. I do add a scoop of my friend Sophie’s raw vegan protein powder called Green Dream and a tablespoon of flaxseed oil, since the healthy fat helps our bodies absorb the vitamins from the fruits and vegetables more readily.

Using cranberries in a smoothie is also a seasonal thing. It will make your smoothie taste more tart, but on the plus side, cranberries are known for fighting cancers and contain proanthocyanidins, which help block urinary tract infections.

Goji berries are something I also do not normal add to smoothies. They can be pricey, but I ran a turkey trot race when I was home for Thanksgiving and they gave us sample bags in our race gift bags, so I figured this would be a clever way to use them. Goji berries, like other berries, are known for their antioxidant properties and are said to help with mood, sleep and energy levels. If you are interested in purchasing some, I recommend this site for some of the best prices.

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GOJI CRANBERRY GREEN SMOOTHIE

1 cup water

1 head of romaine*

1 cup kale or spinach*

2 celery stalks*

1 piece of raw ginger

1/2 cup cranberries, fresh or frozen (fresh preferred)*

2 tbsp. goji berries

1/2 banana

1 tbsp. flaxseed oil

1 tbsp. Philosophie Green Dream (optional)

Blend and enjoy!

*I do recommend using organic produce wherever possible 🙂

Power Up With Protein…Kale Tomato Avocado Frittata!

Hey there folks,

Sorry I haven’t been keeping up lately. I have taken on a bit more work lately, which has left me little time to create new recipes or write much of anything. I was in New York City visiting my younger sister and a close friend I haven’t seen in awhile. While on vacation, I found myself straying from drinking my usual morning juices (although I did have a few good ones while I was there…Juice Press or Juice Generation, anyone?) and dining on egg dishes and scrambles. I forgot how satisfying it is to have more protein in the morning, and how sometimes those larger breakfasts keep me from straying and snacking on sweets later in the evening. I decided when I returned home, I would try to switch up my juices once in awhile for these heartier breakfast dishes.

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When I returned to Los Angeles, I did some research and found a few great frittata recipes. A frittata, for those who are not familiar, is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crustless quiche, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables…pretty much anything you want to add to it. Since kale is such a trendy and healthy veggie, I decided to research recipes with eggs and kale. I came across a few great ones, but most include cheese. Lately, I have been trying to leave cheese and most dairy out of my diet, because it leaves me feeling less congested and lighter without it. This recipe here is delicious and by adding the avocado, you don’t even miss the cheese…seriously! Feel free to pair it with a tablespoon or two of salsa and a piece of Ezekiel toast…it goes great with that! Or eat it plain…it is also a great mid day high protein snack.

KALE TOMATO AVOCADO FRITTATA

4 whole organic eggs

4-6 egg whites

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 roma tomatoes

1-2 cups shredded kale

1 avocado, peeled and sliced

Preheat your oven to 425F.

Grease your egg dish/skillet with 1 tsp of olive oil and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add all ingredients except the tomatoes, kale and avocado. Combine all those ingredients with a wire whisk. Then place that mixture in the skillet/pan and then arrange the kale, tomatoes and the avocado slices as you wish.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 20-25 minutes.

Berry Topped Oat Nut Butter Pancake…You Know You Want It!!

I tend to be a creature of habit when it comes to making my own breakfast, especially when I am in a hurry in the morning or have to be somewhere early and just don’t have time to make a fuss. My typical go to breakfast is a green juice/smoothie I make in my Vitamix every morning. I pour it into mason jars and take it with me. Sometimes if I know I have to go somewhere super early, I will make it the night before and have it ready to go for when I leave in the morning. photo 1

But like most people, I get bored of my routine and sometimes I want something heartier…like pancakes. Who doesn’t love pancakes? My love of pancake goes all the way back to childhood. I remember going to International House of Pancakes ( I think it was still called that back when I was little?) with my parents once in awhile, and my favorite thing was the buttermilk pancakes that they would make into a Mickey Mouse face…anyone remember those? They would do whipped cream and berries for the face?

Anyhow, times have changed…and pancakes are not considered healthy anymore…or are they? Of course if you end up at the Griddle on Sunset Boulevard , each pancake is the size of your head and usually covered in some sort of caramel and ice cream confection. So no, that is not going to work for a healthy lifestyle. Or the waffles at Beach 26 near Marina Del Rey smothered in peanut butter and chocolate sauce? Hmmm…not so much. Not to say that these indulgences should not be shared with a friend once in awhile, but I wanted to stay realistic and came up with something that you could legitimately eat every day if you wanted.

You could also put this pancake in tupperware and take it with you to work. I actually had a busy day when I created this and had to go somewhere right after I made this pancake. I didn’t want to waste it so I put it in tupperware and ate it about an hour later. It was fine. Though I do not recommend topping the pancake with frozen berries if you are taking it somewhere, because they will make the pancake very mushy. Put those in a separate tupperware if you want to have them.

This recipe is for one person, but you could definitely make it for two people. I also only made ONE big pancake, and you could make 2-4 small ones. Berries are optional, but I did like the added sweetness they gave the pancake. feel free to use fresh ones. When I created this I did not have any fresh ones in my refrigerator, so I used frozen.

Berry Topped Oat Nut Butter Pancake

non-stick cooking oil spray

1/4 to 1/2 cup of rolled oats

2 egg whites

1 tsp. coconut oil

1 heaping spoonful of almond butter ( you can use peanut to cashew butter if you desire)

1 tbsp. raw organic honey

cinnamon, if you desire

1/4 cup of fresh or frozen berries

Put all the ingredients, minus the berries and spray, into a high powered blender or food processor first and blend until the texture is batter-like.

Take a cooking skillet/saute pan and spray in with the non-stick cooking oil spray. Turn your stove on to a medium heat level ( you don’t want them to cook too fast or you may burn them!) and pour the batter on. The batter may be pretty thick so you might have to spoon it onto the pan. There is no set time for how long you cook the pancakes, I would say roughly 2 minutes on each side.

After the pancake is cooked, set it aside and add the berries. If you use frozen berries, heat them in the microwave or on the stove for about 1-2 minutes and the pour them over the top of the pancake.