Modifying Original Recipes to Fit Your Needs!

A blog about healthy eating, healthy living and happiness. Join me and I'll show you how easy it is to substitute, modify and enhance your favorite recipes to accommodate your special diet, all without missing a thing!

March 31, 2012

Blackberry Oat Flour Bake

So.... I think I've discovered a new breakfast to add to my repertoire.

Oat bakes.

If you don't remember last Saturday's post, here's a quick refresher... I had seriously been craving a big, fluffy, bad-for-you kind of cinnamon roll. But of course, dietary restrictions stopped that dream and I instead came across this recipe for a, shall we say, stand in cinnamon roll? I made it, it was delicious, pure Cinnamon Raisin Oat Bake Goodness.

Okay. Now that you're refreshed... back to the amazing addition to my weekly breakfast rotation ;-)

After the successful outcome of last Saturday - perfect breakfast, fueled with energy and a happy 6 mile run... I began to think.. Saturdays might just be the new oat bake day. Doesn't sound so bad, right?

Hence... my newest creation... a Blackberry Oat Flour Bake.

So simple, so healthy, so... yummmmmm.

I love showing you the final product before giving the ingredients and cooking instructions... just a little teaser to get you sucked in ;-)

Here is what you'll need...

1/3 c oat flour (or grind your own from gluten free oats - just not the instant kind)
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 banana very mashed
3 tbsp vanilla hemp milk
1/4 tsp vanilla

4-6 fresh blackberries cut in half + some for topping (~1/2 c total)

Preheat your oven to 350. Combine the dry ingredients and mix well. Combine the wet ingredients, really mash your banana - you want it almost liquid like. Combine the wet and dry ingredients until fully mixed. Fold in your blackberries. Grease a mini bread loaf pan or a small oven-safe dish (4-5 inches wide), scoop the batter into your prepared pan and bake for 16-18 minutes. (I checked mine at 16 and the toothpick was almost clean but I still ended up cooking the full 18 minutes.) If eating immediately let cool slightly before adding your toppings (you don't want to burn your taste buds and ruin the enjoyment of this amazing breakfast!) If eating the next morning, let fully cool and wrap in plastic wrap, store in the refrigerator over night. Heat for 45 seconds in the microwave, add the toppings you wish and enjoy.

Now, let's talk toppings..

I was planning on using the other half of my banana as a topping but when I realized how dense this bake was, I didn't think my stomach could handle it. I chose instead to top my bake with a drizzle of honey, a few more blackberries (halved), a few broken-up banana chips and a sprinkling of dairy free chocolate chips. Oh yes. If you're drooling right now it's okay... I am too and I already enjoyed this masterpiece.

I know you are ready to make this... perhaps you will have an Oat Bake Sunday. But just in case you need a little more of a push.. here is a rough estimate of the nutrition facts (I know you love them.)

Per One Blackberry Oat Flour Bake 
400 calories  
65g carbohydrates  
13g fiber
12g protein

Don't forget your morning paper and your smooth breakfast blend coffee... 
and please... 
enjoy responsibly.

March 24, 2012

Cinnamon Raisin Oat Bake Goodness

Let me set this up properly--

I am a senior at the University of Colorado, majoring in Marketing in the Business School.

I am graduating on May 10th, exactly 47 days from today.

Today is the first day of the last Spring Break I will ever have.

WHAT?!?!? This is unreal.

So... what better way to start this day than with a mouth-watering, stick-to-your-gut breakfast, paired with coffee of course ;-)

I've had a massive craving for cinnamon rolls lately. You know the kind they sell at Cinnabon? The larger-than-life, should-be-split-between-four-people, loaded-with-fat cinnamon roll? Oh yes. Now you know what I'm talking about. While there are plenty of gluten and dairy free recipes out there for cinnamon rolls, they all still contain yeast. Bummer. I'm determined to somehow create a gluten/dairy/yeast free cinnabon copy-cat, but until I find the time (most likely after graduation) I've been searching for a stand-in. I found this recipe for Cinnamon Roll Baked Oatmeal from Chocolate-Covered Katie and thought... this just might do it!

I've made buckwheat bakes several times and have never been disappointed so I was more than willing to give an oatmeal bake a try.

The outcome??

Delight. Smile on my face. Was literally scraping the chocolate off of my plate. Yes.

As you've noticed the last few of my recipes have not been my own creations. Why? Because there are so many talented people out there making the most amazing looking foods... how can I not make their recipes?!

That being said, I followed this recipe [almost] to the tee. I strongly encourage you to visit Chocolate-Covered Katie, she has incredible recipes! But, here my dear is the recipe with my minor tweaks.

Cinnamon Raisin Oat Bake Goodness
1/4 cup steel cut gluten free oats + 1/4 cup oat flour (you can grind your own)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup vanilla hemp milk (using a flavored milk eliminates the need for added sweeteners)
a dash of salt (careful not to overdo it! I really mean "a dash"!)
1 tsp melted butter
a handful of raisins
small handful (or more) dairy free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Use a coffee grinder, grind 1/4 cup oats into a flour. Add to bowl along with the remaining whole oats, cinnamon and [dash] of salt. Mix hemp milk, applesauce, vanilla and butter and add to dry ingredients. Stir until fully mixed. Add raisins and chocolate chips, stir again until fully mixed. Lightly grease a 4-inch oven-safe dish or 2 ramekins and add oat mixture. Place in oven for 15ish minutes (you just don't want it to still feel mushy). If eating immediately turn broiler on high and let your oat bake get a nice crunchy top for about 5 minutes. If eating the next morning, let your bake cool, wrap in plastic wrap or foil and store in the fridge overnight. When ready to eat microwave bake for 30 seconds and then place under broiler for 5-7 minutes.

I topped my oat bake with a small mixture of cashew butter, melted butter (oh come on.. it's supposed to replicate a cinnabon, remember?!) and a dash more of cinnamon. I smothered this over my bake along with half of a banana (sliced) and oh my.... breakfast heaven.

While I do still have a yearning for that soft yet crunchy, completely sinful cinnabon-like cinnamon roll, I will say that this oatmeal bake did quite the job at suppressing that craving for now. Not to mention, as I was eating it ideas were overflowing in my head of other oat bake variations I could make!

This is a great breakfast to enjoy on the weekend when you have all the time in the world to drink your coffee and read the morning paper, however, it stays together extremely well and I'm sure could be taken for an on-the-go breakfast (if you must).

Thank you Katie for this great recipe! 

Now go on.... get baking ;-)

March 16, 2012

Quinoa Hazelnut Granola

Oh goodness. This granola is fabulous. Phenomenal. Crunchy. Semi-sweet. Packed with nutrients. It is everything you could ever want in a granola and guess what... it's oat free!

For many who are gluten free oats are not a problem and can be a go-to source for protein and complex carbs. Unfortunately, there are also many, gluten free or not, in which oats do not agree with them. I had to cut oats out of my diet for a while and when I went back to eating them things seemed okay... but whenever this happens with foods I've been cutting out, I get a little too excited that things "seem to be okay" and I begin eating the food like it is my only option. This tends to backfire.. requiring me to cut out the food once again to cleanse my body and get my stomach back on track.

Hence... the search for an oat-free granola began. I have always been a fan of quinoa for its nutritional content (it is a complete protein after all!) and have known that quinoa flakes can be substituted for oats in many recipes. Perfect! So why not make a granola out of it?!

Traditionally.. I make my own granola from scratch.. no recipe... I just go with my gut and the outcome is always delish. For this first attempt.. I reached out to my fellow foodie bloggers and stumbled upon this recipe from the Comfy Belly. If you haven't heard of this blog well... now you have so you have no reason not to visit it just as soon as you finish this post ;-) Erica has amazing photography and such a wide variety of delicious and healthful recipes, including this (as mentioned before) phenomenal quinoa granola.

I'm not going to post the recipe here because I really do feel that you should take advantage of her wonderful blog yourself. I will however explain a little about my modifications...

  • I halved the recipe and ended up with about 3 cups of delish granola
  • I used only hazelnuts, simply doubling the amount called for (for my halved recipe I used just over 1/2 cup of whole hazelnuts - I then gave them a slight chop before adding to the granola mix)
  • I also halved the amount of maple syrup - I prefer my granola on the less sweet side.. I know, crazy right?
That's it! Her recipe is so delightful that the changes I made were strictly based on my dietary restrictions.

Oh yes... I almost forgot... here are the nutrition facts because I know you love them oh so much.

Per one 1/2 cup serving:
368 calories
37g carbs
10g protein
5g fiber

*Don't let the calories scare you, every single one of them are as healthy as can be and I promise this will hold you over and leave you oh so satisfied.

And now.. on to the pictures...

prior to the oven

after baking... the colors become even more beautiful

March 7, 2012

What Ate Wednesday ~ 4.0

Disclaimer: Before I begin this lovely and sunny edition of WIAW... I have to admit that today is actually... Tuesday. I know many WIAW participants do in fact log their Tuesday meals and post it on Wednesday but until now I have stayed true to the name and taken pictures throughout the day, publishing my post at about 9:00pm Wednesday night. 

Now that my conscience is clean... let's begin!

While I absolutely love posting my entire day of eats, I've quickly realized that I seem to have a rotation of breakfasts. Okay, okay.... I didn't just realize this, I've known it for quite some time but hey, I'm a create of habit and I like it that way! Today's bfast was another amazing Divine Chia Breakfast Pudding. I topped it with raspberries, banana chips, my all-time favorite spice cinnamon and then after taking this picture I added a few golden raisins (I couldn't resist!)

This was a fabulous meal to eat while sitting in the front row of a 150-student class. Let me share with you a little background... ya know that person you had classes with who always brought snacks or full on meals to class every single day? Yea well... I'm that girl, and I'm definitely not apologizing for it ;-) Back to lunch... I made these bagels over the weekend. SO delicious and moist  [grain and yeast free!], with a hint of sweetness and perfect when smeared with avocado and accompanied with a crunchy red apple.

Last night, I made Hazelnut Quinoa granola with a few variations from the original recipe (look for my version posted soon!) This was the most perfect snack to enjoy outside in the most perfect 65 degree weather in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. [side note: Tuesday = 65 degrees, sunny, blue skies, wonderful; Wednesday = 30 degrees, cloudy, gloomy, yuck. Yup... that's Colorado!]

Ahhhh.... How I love it when a good pasta of [mostly] leftovers comes together! I had some veggies already cooked and ready to eat in the fridge, the only work required was to cook the [corn-quinoa] pasta along with some bacon #yum#, top it all with a few spices, one or two drips of olive oil and HOLY VEGGIES you have some damn good pasta.

I was originally thinking... chocolate... fruit... some sort of creative combination. Then I realized I was very satisfied from my delightfully yummy eats throughout the day, so I settled on a hot cup of sleepy time tea. Perfect ending to a most wonderful day. 

Happy Wednesday!