Maple Banana Oatmeal

DSC_0429DSC_0436Oatmeal has been a staple breakfast food for my family for a long time. However, it has only been within the last few years that I have come to appreciate the health benefits oats have as well as how many different ways there are to enjoy them. I often make this recipe or variations of it for a post workout second breakfast or snack.I recent substituted the mashed banana for roasted acorn squash and enjoyed it immensely!

 

Here are a few other oatmeal recipe ideas to help you mix up your morning routine: http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes_menus/recipe_slideshows/healthy_oatmeal_recipes_for_breakfast

Recipe Analysis (per serving)

Calories (kcal) 295.3
Fat (g) 7.7
Saturated Fat (g) 1.0
Sodium (mg) 54.6
Potassium (mg) 486.7
Carbohydrate (g) 47.3
Fibre (g) 5.2
Sugar (g) 15.6
Protein (g) 11.2

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Maple Banana Oatmeal

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups rolled oats or porridge mixture

1 cup water

2 cups skim milk or unsweetened soy milk

1 ripe banana (or 1/2 – 1 cup of another mashed fruit or vegetable – apples, pears, squash, etc)

2 tbsp pure maple syrup

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped (or other nuts/seeds)

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized pot, combine the oats, milk and water. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Once boiling, stir well, cover and reduce heat. Cook according to package directions, stirring occasionally (different types of oats/porridge mixtures have different cooking times).
  3. In a bowl, mix together banana, maple syrup and cinnamon until smooth.
  4. Add banana mixture to oatmeal and stir well to combine. Cook another 3-4 minutes.
  5. Top each serving with toasted walnuts.

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Recipe adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health

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Berry Buckwheat Pancakes

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These berry buckwheat pancakes are a great gluten free alternative to classic wheat flour based pancakes. They have a nuttier flavour and more grainy texture than whole grain wheat flour pancakes, but are great filled and topped with berries.

Many people think that buckwheat is a cereal grain; however, it is actually a fruit seed that is related to rhubarb and sorrel making it a suitable grain substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat or other grains that contain gluten.  Buckwheat is a very good source of manganese and a good source of copper, magnesium, ,dietary fiber, and phosphorus (from WHfoods.com).

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Berry Buckwheat Pancakes

Makes ~ 8 pancakes

Ingredients:

1 – 1.5 cups buckwheat flour (Add up to 1/2 extra flour if batter is too runny)

1 tsp white sugar

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ teaspoon salt

1¼ cups low fat buttermilk, (or soured milk)

1 large egg

1 cup fresh or frozen berries (if using frozen, do not defrost)

1-2 tbsp. sunflower oil

Directions:

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine buckwheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda salt, and cinnamon.
  2. In a separate bowel, mix buttermilk and egg together.
  3. Create a well in the dry ingredients and add in the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
  4. Fold in berries.
  5. Heat sunflower oil in a skillet over medium-low heat.
  6. Using a ¼-cup measure, scoop the batter onto the warm skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until small bubbles form on the surface of the pancakes, then flip. Cook on the opposite sides for 1 to 2 minutes, or until golden brown.
  7. Serve immediately topped with additional fruit, yogurt, and or maple syrup.

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Recipe adapted from: http://cookieandkate.com/2013/buckwheat-pancakes/

Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes

DSC_0378While the average North American tends to consume enough protein daily, they may not be consuming it in the most optimal way. Many people eat a small amount of protein at breakfast, a moderate amount at lunch and a large portion at dinner. Current recommendations for protein consumption suggest that protein foods should be distributed evenly throughout the day to maximize muscle protein synthesis. Individuals should aim to include about 20 grams of protein at each of their main meals (closer to 25 grams for older adults).

These blueberry cottage cheese pancakes are definitely a great way to get some quality protein into your morning routine. They are the fluffiest whole grain pancakes I’ve ever had, and are now one of my favourite post morning run/workout breakfast foods. Serve them with additional berries or fruit salad and a touch of maple syrup. Each serving of pancakes has approximately 17 grams of protein.

*To determine your total daily protein requirements, multiple your weight (in kilograms) by 0.8.

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Blueberry Cottage Cheese Pancakes

Makes 4 servings (~ 16 small pancakes)

Ingredients:

1 cup whole grain flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tbsp sugar

4 large eggs

1 cup non-fat cottage cheese

1/2 cup skim milk

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Directions:

  1. In a medium sized bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and sugar.
  2. In a separate larger bowl, whisk together eggs, cottage cheese, milk, oil, and vanilla.
  3. Add flour mixture to egg mixture and whisk until just blended.
  4. Fold in blueberries
  5. Lightly spray a large skillet or griddle with cooking oil then heat over medium heat. Pour ~ 1/4 cup of batter onto the skillet at a time. Cook, flipping pancakes once, until golden brown on both sides and cooked through.
  6. Transfer to plates and serve topped with additional fruit and a touch of maple syrup.

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Recipe adapted from: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/fluffy-cottage-cheese-pancakes

Basic Granola

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Granola has a reputation for being healthful and natural, but many packaged brands contain excessive amounts of sugar, salt, saturated fats, and other not so natural ingredients. If you’re someone who enjoys granola, I recommend trying to make your own. This basic granola recipe is great because it is very versatile and is quick and easy to make . You can add in whatever nuts/seeds you have as well as any assortment of dried fruits, coconut flakes, and spices. When I make granola I tend to skip adding dried fruit, but will instead add fresh fruit right before I eat it.

Remember to be careful with your portion size when enjoying granola (even homemade!). Half of a cup can provide about 300 calories. If half a cup of cereal just doesn’t feel like enough, try mixing this granola with a low calorie, higher fibre cereal like Fibre 1 Crunchy Original or Shredded Wheat

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Basic Granola

Makes ~ 8 cups

Ingredients:

1/4 cup safflower oil

1/2 cup honey or pure maple syrup

1 tbsp pure vanilla extract

6 cups rolled oats (not quick or instant)

2 cups mixed nuts, coarsely chopped (almonds, walnuts, cashews, etc)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

2 tbsp sesame seeds

2 tbsp flax seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 F.
  2. In a small pot mix together oil, honey or syrup, and vanilla. Warm over low heat.
  3. Combine oats, nuts, seeds, and coconut in a large bowl. Pour warmed oil mixture over top and stir until all of the ingredients are coated.
  4. Spread the granola over 2 un-greased baking sheets.
  5. Bake for 20- 30 minutes, stirring after 10 minutes to prevent clumping.

** I find that it’s best to cook the trays separately so that you can place each of them in the middle of the oven. This way you are less likely to burn any of the ingredients.

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Recipe adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health – 2009

Swiss Chard, Mushroom, and Feta Crust-less Quiche

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DSC_0385This Swiss chard, mushroom, and feta crust-less quiche is a good choice for a protein rich breakfast or a quick evening meal. I find that this quiche holds together really well on its own. However, other crust-less quiche recipes suggest adding a bit of flour to help create a more substantial “crust-less” crust.                   Serve this quiche with a slice or two of whole grain bread and a handful of other veggies like carrot sticks and sliced tomato for a more complete meal.

Swiss chard is another great green that you can easily blend or mix into a variety of recipes. Swiss chard is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, copper, manganese, potassium, vitamin E, and iron.

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Swiss Chard, Mushroom and Feta Crust-less Quiche
Makes 6 servings
 
Ingredients:
 
1 cup white mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bunch fresh Swiss chard, washed and chopped
6 large eggs
1 cup low fat milk
1/2 cup low sodium feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup mozzarella, grated
Pepper as per preference
 
Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a 9″ pie plate.
  2. Wash the mushrooms and chop them finely. Place the sliced mushrooms in a fry pan with a small amount of oil and cook over low-moderate heat.
  3. Add the minced garlic, and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Turn the heat on to medium-high and saute the mushrooms until they release all of their moisture and no more water remains on the bottom of the skillet (5-7 minutes).
  4. Turn the heat down and add washed and chopped Swiss chard to the fry pan in large handfuls. Allow each handful to begin to wilt before adding another.
  5. Squeeze as much of the water out of the Swiss chard and mushroom mixture. Spread it out on the bottom of the pie dish.
  6. Add the crumbled feta.
  7. In a medium bowl whisk together the eggs until fairly smooth. Add the milk and a small sprinkle of pepper. Whisk to combine.
  8. Pour the egg mixture into the pie dish over the spinach, mushrooms, and feta.
  9. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over top.
  10. Place the quiche into the preheated oven and bake until it is golden brown on top and it begins to pull away from the sides ~ 40-45 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool slightly, then slice and serve.

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Pumpkin Pancakes

Looking for an easy way to use up leftover pureed pumpkin? These light and fluffy pancakes are a
great breakfast idea. I love the idea of putting pureed fruit and vegetables into baked goods. Not only does it reduce the fat, but it is an easy way to boost nutrients and add flavour and moisture.
These pancakes were a great variation on the traditional breakfast food. The pumpkin flavour was complimented by the spices cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves, and once cooked they are a lovely golden colour. Try serving with maple syrup and a side of fresh fruit or applesauce.
* Pumpkins are low in calories, high in fibre ,and rich in the beta carotene.
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Pumpkin Pancakes
Ingredients:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pinch clove
1 cup skim milk
6 tablespoons canned pumpkin puree
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 egg
Directions:

  1. Whisk flours, sugar, baking powder, spices and salt in a bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk together milk, pumpkin,oil, and egg.
  3. Fold wet mixture into dry ingredients.
  4. Lightly oil a skillet and heat over medium heat: pour in 1/4 cup batter for each pancake.
  5. Cook pancakes about 3 minutes per side. Serve with fresh fruit or applesauce and maple syrup.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart Living

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