Category Archives: Breakfast

Healthy Homemade Granola!

I absolutely love granola but the commercial granola is always filled with calories, fat and sugar. Making homemade granola may sound like a challenge but it’s actually pretty simple and tastes delicious. Last week I made 4 batches of granola and packaged it to give out to my family and friends. I sometimes package granola is small bags and they make very cute gifts.

I often experiment with different add-ins and different recipes. Granola can be a healthy snack, a perfect salad topping or my favorite is to eat it for breakfast in my yogurt parfait.  If you like it sweet and sticky just add a bit more honey and add dried fruit bits after the granola cools. Or you can put less honey/sugar mixture and omit the dried fruit add-ins to limit the sweetness. The best part about homemade granola is that you make it to your personal taste and you can always substitute parts of the recipe for whatever you have in your kitchen.

Here’s my recipe that I tried at least 10 times and absolutely love- I like it sweet and crunchy! Every time I make a batch it somehow disappears the first day!

Ingredients:

  • 2cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ cup chopped pecans (unroasted, unsalted)
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts (unroasted, unsalted)
  • ½ cup raw sunflower seeds (unroasted, unsalted)
  • ½ cup green pumpkin seeds (unroasted, unsalted)
  • ¾ cup raisins

Preparation:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare baking pan lined with parchment paper

2. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts and seeds

3. In a saucepan, combine brown sugar, oil, honey and cinnamon; bring to a boil then lower heat/simmer until smooth

4. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla extract

5. Pour over oat mixture; and stir to evenly coat

6. Spread in a large shallow ungreased baking pan lined with parchment paper

7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes for even baking and as not to burn the nuts and oats on the edges.

8. Cool

9. Add raisins and dried fruit

10. Store in an airtight container.

 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

“So munch on, crunch on, take your nucheon, / Breakfast, supper, dinner, luncheon!”

~ Robert Browning

Speak to you soon,

                  Nicole Doreen

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Delicious Banana Bread …for the banana lovers

Banana Bread!



The other day I was in the kitchen and noticed I bought a bunch of bananas earlier in the week that I completely forgot to eat. They were very ripe, too soft to put into my fruit salad but definitely the perfect ripeness to make a loaf of banana bread.

I have friends that absolutely love bananas… and then some who hate bananas. For those of you who are part of the latter group I will post different dessert recipes in the future. If it is the banana texture you do not like but you like the flavor than you might love this cake.

And for those of you who are banana fans then this is a very easy recipe that comes out sooo yummy. I got the recipe online once and just figured it cant hurt to try it out. Glad I did ! It’s the perfect snack with your morning coffee or as an afternoon treat.

So go try it out and let me know how you like it !

Banana Bread... this time with Chocolate Chips

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup butter
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 over ripe bananas mashed
  • Walnuts to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Add walnuts and mix. Then pour batter into the loaf pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for about one hour or until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

“Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first”
~ Anonymous

Speak to you soon,

                  Nicole Doreen

 

Summer Smoothies!!

Summer is here and it’s time to get your blenders out and start buying all those delicious seasonal fruits! With countless smoothie recipes they are the perfect solution for a creamy breakfast, light snack or dessert.

SMOOTHIES are so easy to make and are a great idea to make at a Sunday afternoon brunch. What I love about smoothies is that they are always so colorful and you can put different garnishes to make them stand out.

My mother just bought me a book filled with over 150 drink recipes. The first drink I made was the “Berry Good Smoothie” and it was so simple because I bought a few bags of frozen berries.

Tips to keep in mind:

1. Put the fresh fruit in the blender before you add any ice or partially frozen fruit. You want the fruit to puree first, so the ice has something to blend into.

2. Frozen nonfat yogurt, sherbet and sorbet make terrific additions to smoothies, but they need to be softened slightly for the creamiest drink.

3. For healthier and lighter drinks decorate the smoothies with paper umbrellas, tall straws, lemon or mint leaves rather than fattening garnishes.

Check out this site for some other great ideas and recipes:

http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/collections/healthy_smoothie_recipes

 

MIXED BERRY SMOOTHIE

1 ½ cups of fresh or frozen strawberries

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup apple juice

1 container vanilla yogurt

½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries

3 ice cubes

Mint Leaves/ Lemon (optional for garnish)

1. Combine the fruit, juice and yogurt and process in the blender until mixture is smooth

2. Add ice cubes and process until smooth. Pour into glasses and garnish. (makes tweo 12 oz servings)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT:

“Summer afternoon- summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language”

~Henry James

Speak to you soon,

Nicole Doreen

Berry Smoothie