Experimenting with Breakfast

Although I find many intriguing recipes on the blogosphere, I am probably most frequently interested by breakfast recipes. I never realized how many different ways there were to use oats or protein powder or eggs or bananas or…you get the idea. If you’re not someone who gets excited about the prospects of breakfast (somehow, I never seem to struggle with that myself), my best advice to you is to start blog hopping. I guarantee you’ll be looking forward to tomorrow morning before long. 🙂

This week, I tried two breakfast recipes I’ve had my eye on for a while. The first was a version of oatmeal minus the oats, most frequently admired on Tina’s blog, Carrots N Cake. Tina’s version was adapted by Girl Meets Whisk to create this recipe, and – finally – I changed that version to make my own.

I used the following:- 1/2 cup almond milk
– 3/4 cup egg sub
– 1 banana, smooshed
– 1 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1 teaspoon nutmeg
– 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
– 2 tablespoons ground flax

I whisked everything together for approximately 5 minutes over medium heat until the mix thickened. I served topped with a large quantity of honey peanut butter:

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This was tasty, but it didn’t keep me full quite as long as I was hoping.

The other breakfast recipe I finally tried this week was breakfast cookie cereal from The Fitnessista.

I combined 1/2 cup of oats with slightly less than one scoop of chocolate Tera’s Whey protein powder:

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I added a few shakes of cinnamon, a touch of vanilla, and stirred to combine:

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Add approx. 1 tablespoon peanut butter and stir:

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According to Gina’s recipe, the mixture is supposed to become cookie-dough like after stirring in the peanut butter. I think my peanut butter to oats ratio must have been really off, because I was a long shot from anything like cookie dough. I added a banana though and mashed that up into the mixture, and that held things together a lot better:

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I topped with a generous amount of almond milk:

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This tasted good while I was eating it but, again, didn’t seem to keep me full that long. I’ve been struggling to find a breakfast that really keeps me satisfied until lunch.

Does anyone have suggestions for tasty and filling breakfasts?

Chocolate Granola Bars

I love chocolate. Big time. Why anyone would ever choose a non-chocolate dessert is beyond me. Given my affinity for the stuff, chocolate seems to find its way into my mouth pretty much every. single. day. Luckily, I am able to control my quantities, thereby avoiding any major health issues (so far…). Also luckily, I don’t need thick slabs of cake or ooey gooey brownies. I just need some chocolate in some variety. Plain and simple. Due to my indiscriminate chocolate taste, I like to experiment making chocolate recipes on the healthier side. Or should I say, the ‘healthier’ side?

I came across this recipe for chocolate granola bars by the Marathon Mom. They’ve been on my pinterest wall for quite awhile, so I decided it was finally time to give them a shot. I ended up tweaking the original recipe slightly given that I didn’t have all the called-for ingredients in my kitchen. Bonus: they don’t require any baking! full recipe below

First, melt a half stick of butter in a saucepan over medium heat:

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Add peanut butter and honey, and heat, stirring frequently, until melted:

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Add oats, flax, and shredded coconut:

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And the best part….add the chocolate:

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Stir to combine:

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Scrape into an 8×8 greased pan and let cool in the refrigerator until set. Once cool, divide into 8 bars. Store in the fridge.

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This recipe was incredibly quick, easy, and delicious. The peanut butter and oats make the bars pretty dense, so they are a super satisfying afternoon snack as well as a chocolate fix!

Chocolate Granola Bars
makes 8 bars
Ingredients
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (I used super chunky)
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 cup oats
- 2 tablespoons ground flax
- 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Method
Melt butter, peanut butter, and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir frequently.
Once melted, add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine.
Scrape into 8x8 greased dish and set in fridge to cool.
Once set, divide into 8 bars. Keep in the refrigerator.

Breakfast in Jars and a Public Declaration

For the last two days, I’ve been experimenting with oats in a jar variations to make – more simply – breakfast in a jar.

Yesterday: Last bits of Hell’s Kitchen peanut butter plus granola, ricotta, and almond milk, soaked overnight. Sprinkled with cinnamon in the morning.

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Today’s breakfast: last bits of raspberry jam plus granola, ricotta, cashew butter, and almond milk, soaked overnight and sprinkled with cinnamon in the morning. Apple on the side.

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Obviously, I am the type of person who – after liking something – wants it again! ‘Breakfast in jars’ is a winner for me right now, and you should do it too! Benefits of breakfast in jars include:

1. You don’t waste any of the last bits of jam/nut butter/(fill in the contents of your favorite jar).
2. Granola, oats, nuts, and dried fruit all taste amazing after being soaked in milky deliciousness overnight.
3. It is beautiful! I love seeing the yummy swirls through the jar’s glass in the morning.
4. It’s something to look forward to when you finish a jar off – besides scraping the insides in an attempt to get it in recyclable condition, that is.

Moral of the story – if you make breakfast in a jar, you will be happy.

In other news…I have a public declaration to make.

I will be taking a one week hiatus from running.

I needed to put that out on the blogosphere to keep myself accountable. If you’ve been reading my blog, you know that I have been having some knee/IT band/hamstring/weak butt issues for the last several months. I’ve gone to the doc, been doing physical therapy, tried new shoes, and more new shoes.

Unfortunately, the issues still persist, and every time I try to add mileage back in things start to flare up again. I’ve decided that what I might need is some actual rest from running, rather than just ‘taking it easy.‘ I know it will be hard to stick to my guns on this one, but I’m committing to doing only low-impact activities for the next week. Give me your support!

Do you have any suggestions on good stress-relieving but still low-impact cardio? If you do, please share in the comments section!

Oats in a Jar

I was first introduced to the idea of oats in a jar by Tina at Carrots n’ Cake. Tina’s version of OIAJ uses cooked oatmeal combined with the last bits of a peanut butter container. The concept of using the peanut butter container as a bowl for breakfast was something that – although I had not previously considered – filled me with great excitement. Primarily because 1) I love peanut butter and 2) I hate wasting the last little bits of deliciousness that are impossible to scrape from the jar. The ‘oats in a jar’ practice solves the problem!

Still, I have never actually followed the cooked oats method. Instead, I’ve made a combo of Tina’s OIAJ along with the basic version of overnight oats that I learned from Ashley at Edible Perspective. Process as follows:

Makes 1 serving of 'overnight oats in a jar' (OOIAJ)
- one nearly empty peanut (or other nut) butter jar
- 1/4 cup oatmeal
- small handful of dried fruit
- a few spoonfuls of yogurt
- milk to nearly fill jar
Combine all ingredients in the jar and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir, 
top with a couple tablespoons of granola, and enjoy!

Last night, I made OOIAJ in a White Chocolate Wonderful PB & Co jar. As an aside, if you haven’t tried any of the PB & Co. varieties, GO TO WHOLE FOODS NOW AND BUY ONE! They are unbelievably delicious. But with flavors like chocolate dream, cinnamon raisin, and white chocolate wonderful, what else can you really expect?!

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OOIAJ for breakfast!

Extra perk of this breakfast: it’s fun trying to get all the pb out of crevices with your spoon. (why is ‘crevice’ such a weird word?)

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Ta-Dahh!!