whole wheat cranberry orange muffins

I wanted to whip up a batch of healthy muffins that we could take for breakfasts-on-the-go this week.  There were a few lovely navel oranges hanging out on the counter, and I had picked up a fresh bag of whole wheat flour from Provisions yesterday - so I wanted to make something that would use both of those.  Cranberry was an obvious choice, so I set out looking for a recipe.  I ended up cobbling together my recipe from a few online sources I found.   My muffins turned out a bit too sweet for my taste, so I've decreased the sugar in the recipe below.  

Whole Wheat Cranberry Orange Muffins

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • grated zest of one orange
  • 1 tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups cranberries, roughly chopped (fresh or frozen)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Grease a muffin tin or use paper liners.  (This recipe makes 12 muffins)

Combine all ingredients, except cranberries, in a large bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer.  Mix just until everything comes together, then stir in the cranberries.  Bake for about 20 minutes - until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and they look lightly browned around the edges.  

peanut butter & date oatmeal

Hannah and I love eating oatmeal for breakfast and making it from scratch is really easy.  Sometimes I use the quick-cooking oats, but I prefer the texture of the old fashioned oats.  I'm always trying out new flavour combos, and yes, some are better than others, ha ha.  This combo of PB & date was a big hit - Hannah was shovelling it into her mouth with both hands :)  I really liked it too - the peanut butter made it nice and creamy and the little bits of date were sweet.  Yummy!  Like most of my breakfasts I enjoyed this oatmeal with a scoop of yogurt on top.  

Peanut Butter & Date Oatmeal

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3/4 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 heaping tsp peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup medjool dates, chopped

Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add the oats, vanilla, peanut butter and dates and stir.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes before serving.  

chocolate granola

Around our house we enjoy granola with yogurt for breakfast.  For some reason, I've never really made it myself before (maybe a long, long time ago) but I find that a lot of the granola at the store has a higher sugar or fat content then I would like, so I started looking for recipes on Pinterest.  (I realize this one has some sugar in it, but at least I know exactly how much)  I decided to make this one first because anytime you can have chocolate for breakfast is a win :)

I was really pleased with the way it came out.  Nice chocolate taste with little bits of coconut & a hint of toasted almond.  I had sliced almonds in the cupboard, so that's what I used, but I think whole almonds chopped into large pieces would have been better for texture variation and a bit bigger almond taste.  Having a scoop of this tasty granola over top of coconut-flavoured greek yogurt is seriously amazing!  Yum!

Chocolate Granola

  • 5 cups old fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups almonds (roughly chopped or sliced - whatever you have on hand)
  • 1 cup unsweetened puffed rice
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 4 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut

Preheat the oven to 325F.  Grease a rimmed baking sheet with coconut oil.  

In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, almonds, puffed rice, cocoa powder and brown sugar.  Stir until the ingredients are equally distributed.  Put the vanilla in the bottom of a 1 cup measuring cup, then add the maple syrup to fill it up and give it a little stir.  Pour the maple syrup and vanilla over the dry ingredients and stir together.  It will seem like it's not enough liquid, but keep stirring, it will eventually coat the granola mix.  Spread the granola out on the greased baking sheet.  Bake for 45 minutes, flipping the granola over about every 5 minutes.  ** It's key to FLIP the granola with a spatula, rather than just stirring it around - this helps it to stay in lovely, crunchy clumps**  When there are only 5 minutes left sprinkle the coconut over the top and continue baking.  Remove the pan from the oven and allow it to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container.  

Adapted from Foodie with Family

banana pancakes

I was craving pancakes, and what better breakfast for a lazy Sunday morning?  We had a few brown-spotted bananas on the counter, so I decided to add those in too.  I liked the banana flavour in the pancakes - it tasted like banana bread, especially once smothered in butter & maple syrup.

Banana Pancakes

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup mashed bananas (2 medium-sized bananas)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cup milk (to desired batter consistency)

Stir the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.  Mash the bananas in a smaller bowl, then stir the egg, vanilla, milk and melted butter in.  Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir to mix.  If the batter looks too thick add more milk.  I like my batter thick enough that it makes dense pancakes, but not so thick that that the batter doesn't spread out at all on the pan.

Heat a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat.  It's the correct temperature when a few drops of water sprinkled into the pan keep their shape for a few seconds before evaporating.  If the temperature is too low the water drops will spread out.  If the temperature is too high the water drops will sizzle away immediately.

I used about a tablespoon of coconut oil to cook my pancakes in, but you can also use some vegetable oil or a bit of butter (just be careful not to burn it).  Pour a ladleful of batter into the heated pan.  Cook the pancakes until the surface is full of bubbles and the sides are no longer glossy, then flip them over and continue cooking until the bottom is also lightly browned.

Serve them up while they're hot with a smear of butter and a drizzle of syrup.  Yum.

I love a nice cup of coffee along with Sunday breakfast.  This cute mug was a souvenir from Harrods in London - it makes me smile every time I use it.

sprinkle sandwiches

One of my favourite Dutch treats?  Sprinkle sandwiches!

Seriously, they actually do eat sprinkle sandwiches in Holland - for breakfast, lunch, a snack...anytime really.  The recipe is pretty simple too:

A slice of bread (white bread tastes best - I didn't say these were healthy sandwiches)

A smear of butter (mmm, the butter in Holland is so good)

A mountain of sprinkles (I like the pure dark chocolate best)

Thats it, just fold it in half and try not to let sprinkles dump all over the floor!

There are so many types of sprinkles in the grocery stores over there.  I haven't branched out away from chocolate yet, but I noticed fruity ones, licorice ones, chocolate-peanut butter, speculaas (like spice cookie), even mini chocolate chip cookies...it just goes on and on.  Oh, and just in case you were wondering: the Dutch word for sprinkles is 'hagelslag'.

I sneakily took this photo on my phone in the grocery store (ignore the box of cereal on the bottom shelf).  This isn't even a large selection of sprinkles!