Tag Archives: Healthy

Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

PumpkinOatmealBreakfastBars

It’s that time of year – the weather is starting to cool down (then warms up again just when you think it’s time to pull out the sweaters).  Around this time of year, I start thinking, dreaming, of the leaves turning.  I joyfully browse the Oriental Trading Co. catalog for Halloween goodies, and get excited to see pumpkin everything!

Yes, I am one of those people who could drink a PSL (pumpkin spice latte) year round, but don’t.  Because that is something to look forward to.  Fall is my favorite season.  I love making warm soup, baking fresh bread, and experimenting with fall recipes.

I ran across a recipe from Modern Parents Messy Kids for Super Powered Oatmeal Bars.  While my kids can down an entire banana in about 30 seconds (which is pretty impressive when you only have 7 teeth), I am not much of a banana fan.  So, I decided to modify the recipe to replace bananas with pumpkin.  I also added pumpkin pie spice, a drizzle of molasses, and chocolate.  Well, pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are one of the BEST.  And breakfast can’t be too healthy all the time.  Plus, chocolate comes from a bean so its basically a vegetable anyway.  Right?

The bars made from this recipe are dense, soft and chewy.  Plus, they really fill you up, and you can eat them on the go!

Hope you are looking forward to the fall season.  🙂

Pumpkin Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

  • 1 large can (29 oz.) pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie mix)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 cup raisins or craisins
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups steel cut oats
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds, ground
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups chocolate chips (optional)
  • 2 cups pecans (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  Line 2 – 9″x13″ pans with parchment paper.  Set aside.
  2. Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until well mixed.
  3. Divide mixture in half, and place half in each pan.  Smooth into an even layer with a rubber spatula.
  4. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until the middle is done (check with a toothpick to make sure it isn’t too goopy).
  5. Lift the bars out by the parchment, and let cool completely.  Cut each  pan into 18-20 bars.  Wrap each in plastic wrap, then in a ziptop freezer bag, and freeze, if desired.

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

bananbread.jpg

Yummy and healthy?  Yes, indeed!  This is another recipe from King Arthur Flour’s Whole Grain Baking.  This recipe is easy and produces a dense, slightly sweet, satisfying loaf.  One slice fills me up for breakfast (until the next craving kicks in).

I used mini chocolate chips instead of walnuts, due to an allergy.  But nuts or raisins could be added as well.  Whatever floats your boat!  The book also has instructions for making the bread into muffins, which freeze very well.

So the next time your bananas are going a little south on the counter, consider making this yummy healthy treat.  😉

Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large or 3 med/small very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (I like semisweet)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9″ x 5″ loaf pan.
  2. Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add baking soda, salt and vanilla, beat well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add honey, and mix well.  Scrape down the bowl.
  3. Break bananas into chunks and add to batter bowl.  Beat well until almost smooth.  Scrape down the bowl.
  4. Add flour all at once, and beat on low until combined.  Add chocolate chips and stir well.  Remove bowl from mixer, and give it one final stir by hand.
  5. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan, using a rubber spatula to smooth out the top.  Bake 50 minutes.
  6. After 50 minutes, lay a sheet of foil over the top, and continue to cook another 10 to 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Mine took the full 15 minutes.
  7. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes.  Loosen the sides with a butter knife, then turn the loaf out onto the cooling rack.  Cool another 30 minutes before slicing.
  8. Store in an airtight container.  I like to heat mine up in the microwave before eating.

Spicy BBQ Turkey Joes

Happy 2012!  Can you believe it’s already 2012?  Where did 2011 go?

It’s the ‘resolution’ time of year.  I like my Mom’s resolutions.  A few years ago, she resolved to eat more chocolate.  Last year, she resolved to wait until my Dad had unlocked the doors before trying to get into the car.  Gotta love it!

The #1 resolution is to lose weight.  The #2 resolution is generally to get organized.  And the #3 resolution usually has to do with finances.  Well, #1, we’ve got you covered.  This recipe is low-fat and packed with veggies.  Plus, it goes very well with baked BBQ potato chips (the Kettle Brand– WAY better than the Lays potato crisps).

Here’s to a happy and HEALTHY 2012!! 😉

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Spicy BBQ Turkey Joes

  • 1.25 lbs ground turkey
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 4 oz. mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce (I used Bullseye Original)
  • 1/2 cup ketchup (HEINZ all the way!)
  • 1 tsp adobo sauce or hot sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 hard rolls, hollowed out
  1. Brown turkey in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  After about 7 minutes, drain the liquid off and return the meat to the pan.  Cook another 3 to 5 minutes or until nicely browned.  Set aside.
  2. Add veggies and cook about 3 minutes.  The onions and/or mushrooms will reduce significantly.  Add the garlic and cumin; cook another minute.
  3. Add the turkey back to the veggies, then stir in the BBQ sauce, ketchup, adobo or hot sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.  Cook, stirring often, until heated through (about 5 minutes).
  4. Spoon mixture into hollowed out roll (makes it a bit less messy) and serve with your favorite baked chips!