Category Archives: Breakfasts

Almond Joy Smoothie Bowl {Vegan, Gluten-Free, and No Refined Sugar}

almondjoysmoothie2_august2015 You know what’s really embarrassing? Planning on posting a recipe in August before college starts and then two months later you still haven’t posted it. And add to that the fact that you only shared one recipe in summer…But summer was amazingly busy–visiting family and friends all over Europe (Serbia, Croatia, Germany, and Greece), making road trips with my family, and going to a leadership camp–  now that’s my kinda busy, even though it also kept me away from food blogging. But now with college in full-swing  I’m turning back to food and photographing it in a desperate attempt to forget the fact that I actually have assignments due soon.

almondjoysmoothie1_august2015 Oh,  and back to our discussion of how awkward I can be, I’m posting a smoothie recipe in October (in my defense, it was totally applicable in the August-summer heat).

Even though I don’t think smoothies can ever be outta place. There’s nothing better than waking up in the morning and looking forward to starting the day with a tastes-like-dessert-but-it’s-healthy smoothie.

almondjoysmoothie3_august2015 And this smoothie bowl fits the bill. It’s my new favorite smoothie–EVER. Toasted coconut: check. Almonds: check. Chocolate:check. No sugar: check (yes!!). Tastes like dessert but it’s healthy and filling: double check!! It’s like your hopes and dreams in a bowl–and you can eat it. Which is always a major plus :)

You seriously can’t go wrong with this recipe. Add more or less of the ingredients based on your taste (this goes especially for the milk: I used 3/4 cup because that yielded the consistency I like. If you like thicker smoothies, try adding 1/2 cup; if you’re more into thinner smoothies, add 1 cup)

almondjoysmoothie4_august2015 Can we just take a moment to admire TOASTED COCONUT through an insanely-close-up shot? It’s life-changing. I’m not sure I’ll ever go back to untoasted coconut.

(You don’t HAVE to toast the coconut, but, you guys, it takes like 5 minutes and it adds so much YUM to the smoothie. If you’re really against it, though, fine. Be like that 😉

almondjoysmoothie5_august2015 So, since you absolutely cannot go wrong with this AMAZINGLY DELICIOUS dessert-breakfast-in-a-bowl, what are you waiting for?? Nothing, that’s what!

Almond Joy Smoothie Bowl {Vegan, Gluten-Free, and No Refined Sugar}
 
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The best of almond joy in a smoothie--without any of the regrets! Crunchy toasted coconut, almonds, and chocolate prove that you don't need much to make a healthy, delicious, and filling breakfast!
Author:
Serves: Serves 1
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • 2 pitted dates
  • ½ cup coconut
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder*
  • ¾ cup milk of choice
  • dash of vanilla extract
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp ground flax (optional)
  • 1 frozen banana**
  • toppings:oats***,chia seeds, cinnamon, etc
Instructions
  1. Soak the almonds and dates overnight (or for at least 30 minutes). ****
  2. Toast the coconut on broil in a non-greased baking pan until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Let cool.
  3. In a blender add the drained almonds and dates, ½ of the toasted coconut, cocoa powder, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, ground flax (optional), and frozen banana. Blend on high until smooth.
  4. Top with the rest of the toasted coconut and any other toppings you enjoy!
Notes
*If you're not a dark chocolate fan, I would suggest adding only 1 tbsp
**Cut the banana into fourths (or so) and freeze overnight (or for at least 3 hours)
***If gluten-intolerant, check that your oats are gluten-free
****Soaking the almonds overnight not only softens them but also makes it easier for them to be digested. Soaking the dates makes it easier for them to blend into the smoothie.

 

 

Waffles For One

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Little me wasn’t a very picky eater. but there were some foods I wouldn’t touch: like spinach and pancakes (it was a shame, I know).

And then there were the foods I couldn’t stop eating, like waffles. The best part: my mom used the same recipe for waffles and pancakes. They were the exact same recipe! But I guess I just wanted it in waffle form (which makes no sense, but do picky eaters ever make sense? Yeah, didn’t think so)

So, on to these waffles. Also known as “Waffles for Me, Myself, and I.” For those mornings when you’re making breakfast for yourself and don’t want to make a dozen waffles–because, if you’re like me, you will eat the said dozen waffles.

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To resist the temptation of scarfing down eating a dozen waffles, I scaled down the recipe for “Me, Myself, and I Waffles” (that phrase is way too much fun to say) It makes two to three waffles, depending on your waffle maker.

Personally I like drizzling them with honey, but maple syrup is delicious and also a classic. Fresh fruits (blueberries, strawberries, black berries, etc) go wonderfully with waffles as well!

Waffles For One
 
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Author:
Serves: 2-3 waffles
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted and cooled
Instructions
  1. Mix together ¼ cup milk and egg; add in ½ cup flour, baking powder, and salt, and mix well.
  2. Add a ½ cup milk and vanilla; mix well.
  3. Add in the rest of the flour, combine thoroughly and add in the last ¼ cup milk.
  4. Stir in the melted coconut oil.
  5. Bake in your waffle maker according to the manufacturers directions. Best enjoyed immediately.

 

 

Pecan Rolls

pecan_rolls11_blog_Jan2015 Hope everybody’s had a great start to the New Year! 2015, here we come! Most of us have our healthy-diet resolutions in full swing, so why am I sharing these rolls with you? Good question. Because they’re sooo good, and every diet needs balance!

So, yeah, that means sweets, including pecan rolls, have their place. And *these* pecan rolls have exactly 1/4 cup sugar in them. Yeah, you read that right! The only sugar is in the pecan topping. Talk about guilt free 😉

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A few weeks ago I entered a giveaway on Sallys Baking Addiction and was one of the lucky winners to get her cookbook and a bag of chopped pecans! (The giveaway was sponsored by  Diamond of California® Nuts) Can I just say this is one of the cutest cookbooks ever? Open up the cover and find a page full of sprinkles; flip another few pages and find the table of contents: from cakes to cookies and muffins to candy, this book covers every craving your sweet tooth will have!

When I found the pecan rolls recipe (“Grandma’s Sticky Pecan Rolls”) I knew I had to make it with the pecans from Diamond Nuts. It was just meant to be.

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To make the pecan topping, all you need are chopped pecans, a little bit of butter, some sugar, and a dollop (isn’t that a fun word?) of molasses. The molasses I used this time came from a quaint little shop we visited when we were in Helen, GA: Nora Mill Granary.If you’re ever near there, you gotta check it out! They grind their own grains and are more than happy to show you around and get you acquainted with their mill. We loved it and can’t wait to go back! (My mom specifically loves their Pioneer’s Porridge; we’ll probably need to head back when she exhausts her big bag of it) :)

pecan_rolls3_blog_Jan2015 Back to these delicious rolls! The dough is a simple yeasted one, no fancy-shmancy ingredients. Just mix it all together and let it rest for a few minutes.

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After the dough has rested, roll it out and fill with grated apples, pecans, and cinnamon.

Wait–stop! Don’t leave!

The grated apples replace the usual sugar-and-butter filling: they add sweetness and moister. The first time I made it that way, I had my doubts, I admit. But one bite converted me–it’s delicious AND healthy? Ah, yes, please!

pecan_rolls5_blog_Jan2015

Roll up the deliciousness into a tight log and cut into 10 pieces

pecan_rolls6_blog_Jan2015

Then place in the baking pan on top of the pecan topping.

Side note–in the above picture, I had completely forgotten about my pecan topping, so I ended up putting the rolls in. After realizing my mistake, I (tried to) carefully remove them, spread the pecan topping on the bottom of the pan, and then put the rolls back in the pan. Don’t make my mistake…

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After baking, resist the urge to cut one out immediately; just let them cool slightly before giving into the urge :)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pecan Rolls
 
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These pecan rolls come with all the deliciousness expected but none of the guilt!
Author:
Serves: 10 rolls
Ingredients
  • Pecan Topping:
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp molasses
  • Dough:
  • 2¾ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2¼ tsp instant dry yeast
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2½ tbsp butter
  • 1 egg
  • Filling:
  • 4 apples, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
Instructions
  1. To make the pecan topping...Mix together the butter, sugar and molasses. Add in the pecan, mix thoroughly, and spread on the bottom of a lightly greased baking pan.
  2. To make the dough...Combine the 2¼ cups flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Pour the water and milk in a small pan and add in the butter. Heat on medium low, stirring constantly, until the butter is melted and the mixture is homogeneous.
  4. Add the butter mixture to the flour and stir a little. Then add the egg and stir until a soft dough is formed (an additional ½ cup of flour may be needed if the dough is too wet).
  5. Knead the dough for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour the bowl it was in previously before placing the dough back inside and letting it rest for 10 minutes.
  6. To fill the rolls...After the dough has rested for 10 minutes, roll it on a lightly floured surface into a rough rectangle about 14 x 8 in.
  7. Spread the grated apples evenly in the filling, leaving about a 1 inch border from the edges. Sprinkle on top the pecans and cinnamon before tightly rolling the dough along the long edge. Cut into 10 pieces (each will be roughly 1½ in wide) and place on top of the pecans in the baking pan.
  8. Place in a warm oven* for 15 minutes or so (until the rolls have doubled in size).
  9. Heat the oven to 375F and bake until the rolls are lightly browned (25-30 min). Rotate the pan after 15 minutes and loosely cover with aluminum foil for the rest of the baking time.
  10. Remove from the oven and slightly cool before serving.
Notes
*I preheated my oven to around 200F, turned it off, and then placed the rolls inside.

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction's cookbook's "Grandma's Sticky Pecan Rolls"

 

This post was not sponsored by Diamond of California® Nuts, SallysBakingAddiction ,or Nora Mill Granary. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Make Your Own Granola!

MakeYourOwnGranola5

It all started about a year ago when my sister made a batch of granola according to a recipe she had found in a magazine. It was love at first bite. I knew I had to make my own batch of this versatile mix; and I’m so glad I did! Granola has become one of my favorite breakfasts (pancakes and scones can’t be forgotten :) ) and snacks!

MakeYourOwnGranola4

This basic recipe opens up a world of endless variations and combinations: like cranberries, add it in! Don’t like pecans? Add walnuts. Don’t like any kind of nut? Leave it out. Get creative!

MakeYourOwnGranola1

In my granola I added mixed nuts (pecans, cashews, almonds, etc), shredded coconut, raisins, and dried figs.  Make sure to add in dried fruits after the granola is baked; I once mixed in the dried fruits before baking, resulting in some hard pieces of fruit. Don’t make my mistake– unless, you know, you like hard pieces of fruit.

MakeYourOwnGranola2

Eat with milk, top yogurt with it, or eat it by itself! Whichever way, it’s pure deliciousness :)

Make Your Own Granola!
 
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This is a basic recipe for granola; there's an endless world of variations and combinations. Get creative!
Author:
Serves: about 3 cups
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup mix-ins (nuts, dried fruits, etc), chopped when necessary
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • honey, to taste*
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F.
  2. Mix together the rolled oats, mix-ins (except the dried fruits), and coconut oil. Spread in a baking pan** and bake for about 45 minutes, mixing every 10-15 minutes.
  3. After baking, mix in the dried fruits and cool before storing in an airtight container.
Notes
*Coming from a family that doesn't like very sweet granola, I only used 1 tbsp of honey
** I used a 9x13 baking pan; any pan will work, but baking time may differ

 

Banana Bread

Banana Bread 4 Mind-blowing fact: most monkeys never eat a banana in their lifetime. The moment I read that fact at the gorilla exhibit in the zoo, I felt betrayed by Disney (The Jungle Book, anyone?) and the media as a whole. How—how could it be true? It may feel like your whole world is falling apart, you may not know who to trust anymore, but don’t despair (take a deep breathe; it’s gonna be alright).

Banana Bread 2

Now, as you’re breathing deeply, here is a recipe made with—bananas. Before the thoughts of anguish overcome you over that word, here are the highlights of this recipe: only 1/4 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar are used. Talk about a guilt-free recipe!

Banana Bread 3

Another highlight, for me at least, is the cinnamon. Sure, you can buy powdered cinnamon. Or you can whip out some cinnamon sticks and your grater and grate your own cinnamon. Either way is fine; it’s just that one of the ways makes you feel more in charge of your cinnamon, if that even matters for you.

Banana Bread 5

 

Banana Bread

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 16 slices

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • raisins (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add the egg and mashed bananas; mix well. Then add the flour, baking soda, and raisins (optional). Beat until well combined.
  3. Pour the mixture into an oiled and floured bundt pan (diameter--about 10inches). Bake for 30minutes (until top has browned).
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