Category Archives: Breakfast

Wholesome Honey-Sweetened Dried Blueberry + Chocolate Snack Cookies

I’ve had this post in my drafts for at least a month now, just waiting to be shared. I haven’t been happy with the photos, and haven’t found myself just sitting down to write in quite some time. But here I am now, sitting to write, on my second (or third?) cup of coffee , and getting over the fact that I don’t love the photos so that I can finally share this recipe that I love so much with you.

Let me tell you about how these little cookies came to be.

Greg and I are not big dessert eaters (well, he isn’t – I love dessert but don’t make it, otherwise I’d eat it all) but we are big snack eaters. I always like to have healthy snacks on hand for times when we just want something before the next meal, or, for times like right now, when I’m just not ready for breakfast yet but my coffee is starting to get to me (just ate one of these cookies). I usually go with some sort of homemade granola bar or something similar (lately, I have been on a healthy banana bread kick). 

Right around this time last year, I made these no-bake almond + peanut butter energy bites. We were consuming those for a long time, but then I started switching it up to more of a baked granola bar because we need something that will hold up for long periods of time without being refrigerated. The energy bites are so good, but they do tend to get crumbly when not refrigerated. 

A few months ago, I was making Sally’s berry vanilla cashew snack bars and was mixing the wet ingredients for that recipe. The combo is: honey, vanilla extract, almond meal, salt and almond butter (I also added some almond extract because I love it). After I mixed that together, I got a spoon, tried a little bit, and thought it tasted like cookies. And it was healthy! I was in love with that combo of ingredients. I sat with those thoughts for a few weeks, did some experimenting and came up with the recipe you see today. I combined those wet ingredients with oats, walnuts, dried fruit and chocolate. So while I am calling these cookies, they are really like granola bars, in a cookie shape, because why not? They are healthy enough to be a wholesome snack, yet in my opinion, delicious enough to be a healthy dessert if that is what you’re looking for. 

Let me break the recipe down a bit:

The oats, walnuts and almond flour: I know that using all three of these is a little high maintenance, but I really like the flavor and texture that using all three brings. We keep the oats and walnuts a little more coarse while the almond meal is more fine and soft, providing great contrast of texture throughout the cookies.

The almond butter: I list almond butter in the ingredient list but I have made this recipe using plain almond butter, vanilla almond butter, sunflower seed butter and a combination! I feel confident that any type of nut butter would work with this recipe, just keeping in mind the changes in taste. 

The dried blueberry + chocolate: This flavor combo was inspired by my childhood obsession with chocolate covered blueberries. I still love the combo, but haven’t had one of those (suspiciously purple) chocolate covered blueberries in years! I have also made these cookies with the following combos: dried cranberry + chocolate, dried cranberry + dried blueberry + dried apricot, plain dried cranberry. They are all good, and I feel confident that so many other combinations would be good, too. Experiment a little, find what you like.

If you are looking for a wholesome, homemade snack, I hope that you will give these a try. I love these little snack cookies and I hope that you get to make them and love them, too!

1-2

2-2

3-2

4-2

5-2

7-2

8-2

9-2

10-2

13-2

Wholesome Honey-Sweetened Dried Blueberry + Chocolate Snack Cookies
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups rolled oats
  2. 3/4 cup walnuts
  3. 1/2 cup honey
  4. 1 cup almond meal
  5. 2 tablespoons almond butter*
  6. 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  7. 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  10. 1/3 cup chocolate**
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add the oats to a food processor and process until coarsely ground. You don't want them to be fine, or whole, but somewhere in between. Add the walnuts and pulse several times, just to lightly chop the walnuts. You want some texture to remain. Add oat mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  3. Add the chocolate to the food processor and process until broken into little bits. Add the blueberries and pulse several times, to break them up a bit.*** Add chocolate mixture to a bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, combine the honey, almond meal, almond butter, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt. Whisk together until smooth. Mixture will be thick - that's okay. Add the oat mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until very well combined and no dry bits remain. Add the chocolate + blueberry mixture and stir well. I usually go in with my hands and almost "smash" the ingredients together, ensuring that the chocolate + blueberries get fully incorporated into the cookie dough.****
  5. If time allows, refrigerate the dough for at least one hour.*****
  6. Using a spoon, scoop out some dough, and using your hands, roll it into a tight ball. Place on a baking sheet and gently flatten the top of the cookie just a bit. The cookies will not change shape in the oven - whatever shape they go in, is how they will come out. Repeat with remaining dough until all cookies are rolled out and evenly spaced on the baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes. When cookies are done, they will still be soft but will smell amazing and will be golden brown on the bottom.
  8. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. * Use any nut butter that you desire. I have used plain almond butter, vanilla almond butter and sunflower seed butter.
  2. ** Use any type of chocolate that you like. Milk, dark, chips or a bar, I think so much could work here.
  3. *** You don't necessarily have to do this, I just like the add-ins to be small in size. You could also just chop your chocolate if you don't have a food processor.
  4. **** Once everything is mixed together, if dough is too dry, add some additional honey, if dough is too wet, add some whole rolled oats. Dough will be just right when you can form the cookies easily with your hands.
  5. ***** Refrigerating the dough is not necessary, but if time allows, will help the dough to stay together better.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/

Peanut Butter + Jam Baked Oatmeal

As I type this, a bowl of this peanut butter + jam oatmeal sits in front of me for breakfast, as it has for countless days now. Each bite that I take is warm + comforting, especially as I look out the window to the gray morning sky and white ground.

That’s how this oatmeal came to be. A yearning for something warm. I’ve had a smoothie for breakfast almost daily for the last two years, but one cold Saturday morning recently, a smoothie just wasn’t going to do. I thought oatmeal sounded like a good idea, but I wanted it to be extra comforting, extra warm, extra special. Introducing: the breakfast that happily broke my two and a half year smoothie streak.

Let’s talk about it. The peanut butter and jam, it’s not in your face flavor wise, but I’d say that you do have to appreciate those flavors to enjoy this oatmeal. More than anything though, the coming together of the oats, milk, peanut butter and applesauce creates something special. The combination creates the creamiest oats I’ve ever had, no kidding. These creamy oats have a pleasant hint of peanut butter flavor, with a sweet/tartness coming from the jam and some crunchy texture from the toppings. I’d say that no one single flavor sticks out, everything just comes together in all the right ways.

If you plan to make this, here are some more details:

The peanut butter. If you like peanut butter, you will like this oatmeal. If you don’t like peanut butter, you still might like this oatmeal. If you LOVE peanut butter, you might actually want to add more than I suggest. The peanut butter flavor is not overpowering. Use an unsalted peanut butter if possible. If you do use a salted peanut butter, decrease the amount of salt that you add to the oatmeal. I have noted this below the recipe as well.

The jam. I thought that the jam would add sweetness, which it did, but it also adds tartness, an unexpected flavor that I love. Try to use a jam that has lemon juice in it, as that helps to add the right amount of tartness to these oats. I have been loving strawberry and blueberry jam but use what you love.

The applesauce. It acts as the main sweetener, with no other sugar added to these oats. And I will be honest, this is not a sweet dish, but that is how I prefer it. If you like things a little sweeter, you may want to use a sweetened applesauce (I use no sugar added applesauce) or you may want to add some other form of sweetener. Play around, find what you like. 

The oats. Use old fashioned or rolled oats. I thought about trying this with steel cut oats because I do love them, but I am just obsessed with the original version made with rolled oats, so why mess with something that works. Like I said above, these are the creamiest oats I’ve ever had so I don’t plan to change it up.

The milk. I have no doubt that these oats would work and be great with any kind of milk. I always use original unsweetened almond milk, but use what you love. 

Toppings. I really like to serve this with an extra dollop of jam and something crunchy. The extra jam, just because I love it and you just can’t have too much and the crunchy toppings for texture. I have been doing a sprinkle of hemp seeds but so many different things could work here. Another kind of seed, a variety of chopped nuts or a combination of both. Play around with it, find what toppings make you happy.

A few more notes:

This can be made into a single serving recipe, as that’s how I made and enjoyed it the first few times. I will list that recipe below as well. If you do make the four serving version, keep in mind that it does reheat very well. As I am the only one who will eat this in my house, that’s what I do. I just microwave the leftovers with a splash of almond milk for two minutes. Also, as far as what you bake this oatmeal in, there are options. In the recipe below, I state to cook it and then also bake it in an oven proof pot, like a dutch oven, like I did for the batch you see in the photos. I have done that successfully, and it’s nice to use only one dish. I have also successfully used an eight inch enamel cast iron skillet. If you don’t have something that can go from stove top to oven, just cook the oats in a regular pot on the stove and then transfer to any kind of baking dish for the oven. One thing to note is that you may want to lightly grease the dish that you bake it in to prevent sticking. 

I hope that these oats bring you as much happiness, comfort and warmth as they have been bringing me!

1-2

7-2

2-2

3-2

9-2

5-2

Peanut Butter + Jam Baked Oatmeal
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups rolled oats
  2. 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil (or butter)
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt*
  4. 2 cups water
  5. 2 cups milk of choice (I always use almond)
  6. 1 cup applesauce**
  7. 1/2 cup peanut butter
  8. 1/3 cup fruit jam or preserves (I like strawberry and blueberry)***, plus more for serving
  9. Crunchy toppings (I like hemp seeds and chopped nuts)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the coconut oil (or butter) in an oven proof pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add the oats and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. They are done when they smell toasted. Transfer the oats to a bowl, add salt and set aside.
  3. Add the water and milk to the pot and bring to a light boil. Once lightly boiling, add the oats, stir, turn the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 7-10 minutes, or until oatmeal has thickened but is still very creamy. Add the applesauce and stir. Add the peanut butter and stir well until everything is combined.
  4. {If you are not using an oven proof pot, transfer the oatmeal to a baking dish now}.
  5. Turn off the heat, spoon the jam on top and lightly swirl it into the oatmeal.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, or until oatmeal is lightly bubbling and lightly browned on top.
  7. Serve, topped with a dollop of jam and crunchy toppings of choice.
Notes
  1. * The peanut butter that I use is not salted. If you use peanut butter that is salted, you may want to decrease the amount of salt that you add to this recipe.
  2. ** I use no sugar added applesauce. Keep in mind that because applesauce is the primary sweetener in this recipe, the type that you use will affect the sweetness of the oatmeal. The no sugar added applesauce makes the oatmeal just right for me, but if you like things a little sweeter, you might want to use a sweetened applesauce.
  3. *** Try to use a higher quality jam or fruit preserves that is as close to just fruit as possible. I think that the good stuff is worth it and makes a big difference in this recipe.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
Peanut Butter + Jam Baked Oatmeal - single serving
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup rolled oats
  2. 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil (or butter)
  3. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 cup water
  5. 1/2 cup milk of choice (I always use almond)
  6. 1/4 cup applesauce
  7. 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  8. Heaping 1 tablespoon fruit jam or preserves (I like strawberry and blueberry), plus more for serving
  9. Crunchy toppings (I like hemp seeds and chopped nuts)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Place the coconut oil (or butter) in a small pot over medium high heat. Once hot, add the oats and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. They are done when they smell toasted. Transfer the oats to a bowl, add salt and set aside.
  3. Add the water and milk to the pot and bring to a light boil. Once lightly boiling, add the oats, stir, turn the heat to medium-low and let simmer for 5-7 minutes, or until oatmeal has thickened but is still very creamy. Add the applesauce and stir. Add the peanut butter and stir well until everything is combined.
  4. Transfer the oats to a small oven proof bowl or dish.
  5. Spoon the jam on top and lightly swirl it into the oatmeal.
  6. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until oatmeal is lightly bubbling and lightly browned on top.
  7. Serve, topped with a dollop of jam and crunchy toppings of choice.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/

15-2

Almond + Peanut Butter Energy Bites

Hi everyone! It’s been awhile. I’m back today with a little recipe that has become a recent love of mine. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, but special anyway. Almond + peanut butter energy bites. Let’s talk about ’em.

I have been making + loving these little energy bites for months and it has just now occurred to me to share them with you. Last week while I was rolling a batch out, I thought, I should share these on the blog. I know that there are many, many “energy bite” recipes out there and that this one isn’t anything revolutionary, but after many experiments in different flavor/ingredient combos, this is the one that I have come to know and love and it makes me happy to share it with you today.

Here is why I love these:

1) I haven’t had to buy granola bars in the store. And that makes me so happy. Since I have been eating these, granola bars from the grocery store just won’t do the trick. 2) They satisfy a sweet tooth craving. I have had a major sweets craving lately. Like, I never want to pass up dessert. And guess what, these satisfy that craving perfectly. 3) Not only do they healthfully satisfy my sweets cravings, they are filling. Whenever I am feeling drained in the afternoon and lunch is long past and dinner is far away, these save me. They fill me up until dinner and give me the evening energy that I need. Love it. 4) I know every ingredient. No mystery ingredients here. Also – every ingredient is one that I keep on hand and every ingredient is one that is good for me. Can’t get much better than that!

If you are looking for something to replace store bought granola bars, or looking for a snack that is super healthy + filling, please make these energy bites. This little snack has brought me much happiness and I know that it can do the same for you!

11-2

10-2

9-2

12-2

15-2

13-2

14-2

*Recipe inspired and adapted from How Sweet Eats — click link to view her recipe.

Almond + Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup peanut butter
  2. 2/3 cup honey
  3. 1 teaspoon almond extract
  4. 2 cups rolled oats
  5. 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  6. 1/2 cup ground flax
  7. 1/4 cup chia seeds
  8. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  9. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  10. Extra almonds or peanuts, finely crushed, for rolling, if desired
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, combine the peanut butter and honey. Microwave for 15 seconds, then stir well to combine. Add the almond extract and lightly stir. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the oats, sliced almonds, ground flax, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon. Stir well to combine.
  3. Add the peanut butter mixture to the dry oat mixture and stir well to combine all ingredients. Mixture should be wet + slightly sticky. If it seems overly sticky and won't roll into balls, add more oats.
  4. Using your hands, form the mixture into balls, rolling each ball in crushed almonds or peanuts, if desired.
  5. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. For best results, store in the refrigerator and serve cold. They can be stored/eaten at room temperature, although they will be much softer. I highly prefer them right out of the fridge.
  2. This recipe yields 15-20 energy bites, depending on the size you make them.
  3. I prefer to roll the bites in crushed almonds over crushed peanuts - just a personal preference. Use a food processor to finely crush the nuts.
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
5-2

Blueberry, Peanut Butter + Banana Power Smoothie

Hey guys! Has it really been over a month since I last posted? Sorry for the silence, but it has been one heck of a month! So many things to do, and I guess blogging has fallen to the end of the priority list. To be honest, I still have some busyness coming up, so I can’t promise how often I’ll be posting, but hopefully I can get things together and start sharing more frequently soon!

But for today, I’m sharing with you something that I have been making consistently, almost everyday, even through the busy times. Blueberry, peanut butter, banana power smoothie.* I have even hauled my blender across the state twice, on a train, to continue making this smoothie. Truly my current obsession.

This smoothie is as tasty as it is healthy. I call it a “power smoothie” because of all the goodness in it. Let’s go over that:

Coconut water: Full of potassium and very hydrating.
Almond milk: I use vanilla, unsweetened. Besides adding a delicious vanilla flavor, it’s high in calcium and vitamins B and E.
Banana: More potassium! and so much more!
Blueberries: Antioxidants!
Peanut butter: Protein!
Chia seeds: Full of nutrients, antioxidants, protein, fiber and more. Eat chia seeds!
Spinach: Full of all the good stuff – nutrients, vitamins and antioxidants.

And that’s it. All real, whole foods that bring so many good things, and when combined, become a creamy, tasty treat! 

I’ve been making this for breakfast daily. I honestly never thought that just a smoothie would be enough for me for breakfast, but this one is. It keeps me full and I know that it’s probably the healthiest meal of my day – a great start. 

While each and every ingredient included in this smoothie is important to make it just what it is, if I had to stress one to absolutely not leave out, it would be the chia seeds. If blended long enough (I blend my smoothies a long time!), the chia seeds make the smoothie super thick and creamy, and it almost reminds me of ice cream. I like this smoothie so much more since starting to add chia seeds and it’s all because of that creamy, dreamy texture. A smoothie that reminds me of ice cream – can’t pass it up. 

3-2

4-2

6-2

1-2

7-2

Blueberry, Peanut Butter + Banana Power Smoothie
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup coconut water
  2. 1/4 cup almond milk
  3. 1 banana
  4. 1 - 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  5. 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  6. 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  7. Large handful spinach
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend, until completely smooth and creamy. Enjoy!
The Dreaming Foodie http://www.thedreamingfoodie.com/
*Inspired by a smoothie sold at the Cedars House Cafe!

10-2

Springtime Strawberries

I recently found myself home with 8 quarts of springtime strawberries. And not just any strawberries, the best strawberries, thanks to the wonderful and generous Three Springs Fruit Farm.

What does one do with enough strawberries to overtake half a fridge? 

Most we ate just fresh. There is nothing better than fresh, local springtime strawberries, just as they are. 1.5 quarts were lovingly washed, sliced and sent to be enjoyed by Greg’s PhD committee members. My good vibes for Greg were sent in with those strawberries.

And, I made these muffins. Some of the best muffins that I have ever consumed. Roasted strawberries, ricotta cheese and lime zest, in a muffin, together. They’re heavenly.

They were a bit time consuming, but when I was given a day off of work due to lots of rain, I got to muffin making. And strawberry photographing. I turned on some music, put on my favorite comfy dress, opened the windows for Ivy cat, and made muffins all day long. It was great. And therapeutic.

I highly suggest you make these muffins if you get a chance. They are so, so tasty. Use local strawberries if possible. Take your time, enjoy the process. Enjoy the muffins!

4-2

1-2

3-2

11-2

6-2

8-2

10-2 

Click here for recipe.