Category Archives: Breakfast

Breakfast Gluten-Free Vegan

Almond Butter Granola with Flax Seeds

This Almond Butter Granola with Flax Seeds is gluten-free, vegan, and packed with healthy fats. Try it on top of yogurt or as a quick snack on the go.

 

If we were to play word association with the word “granola,” I guarantee one of the first words to be thrown around would be “healthy.” But the sad reality is, that just ain’t true. So many packages of granola and even homemade versions are so loaded with sugar and other junk, that those poor little oats go from wholesome and nutritious to just plain unhealthy.

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I will refrain from giving you too much of a nutrition lesson. But in short, for this very reason, I have never been a big granola eater.

I typically top my greek yogurt with fresh fruit and chia seeds, but I am getting kinda sick of that combination. I have been craving texture.

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So after buying three large tubs of oats today (we eat A LOT of oats in this house), I set out to make a healthier granola that I could bring into my snack rotation.

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I was browsing through my cabinets for flavor inspiration and my eyes spotted the almond butter. I tried to move on because my taste buds CONSTANTLY tell my brain to grab the precious AB. But I couldn’t ignore it this time — I knew that little nut butter would be a delicious addition to my granola.

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And I was right.

Adding the almond butter was a fantastic way to give the granola lots of flavor without pouring in more and more sugar.

IMG_0291Unfortunately, only half of this Almond Butter Granola made it into ziploc baggies for storage. I um….had to keep taste testing it…because I wasn’t sure if it was just delicious or hella freaking delicious…

Self control. I know. I’m working on it…

 

Almond Butter Granola with Flax Seeds
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 Tablespoon Flax Seed (not ground)
  • 2 Tablespoons Almond Butter (I used unsalted, if yours is salted omit salt below)
  • 1.5 Tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray lightly with cooking spray. In a large bowl combine the oats and flax seeds. Set aside.
  2. In a small microwavable below, combine the almond butter and honey. Microwave for 30 seconds until almost melted. Stir in the vanilla. Quickly, add the almond butter mixture to the oats so that it is easy to stir. Add the cinnamon and salt. Stir ingredients well so oats are fully covered by the almond butter mixture.
  3. Spread the oats on the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir the oats on the tray. Return to oven for an additional 8-10 minutes until the oats are toasted and slightly brown. Remove the tray from the oven and set aside to cool. Once the granola is completely cool store in an air-tight container or ziploc bag.
 

 

Breakfast Gluten-Free

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Banana Pancakes

You’d never know these Buckwheat Banana Pancakes are gluten-free. They are fluffy, delicious, and nutritious!

I am finally unpacked and ready to rock ‘n roll in my new kitchen. This kitchen is a dream. All of the appliances are new and there is beautiful granite countertop with plenty of space for prep work.  The natural light is amazing and it leads onto a little deck where we finally have room for a grill! Oh the possibilities.

This past Saturday was my birthday and my birthday morning started off on a sweet note with these amazing buckwheat banana pancakes.

You would NEVER know that these Buckwheat Banana Pancakes are gluten-free! They're fluffy and SO delicious! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Have you cooked with buckwheat before? It is a wonderful flour with a unique taste. Despite it’s name, buckwheat is not actually wheat (so for those of you avoiding gluten — it’s safe!) Soba noodles are also made from buckwheat. It has lots of fiber and protein, so these pancakes stay with you much longer than ones made from simple white flour.

You would NEVER know that these Buckwheat Banana Pancakes are gluten-free! They're fluffy and SO delicious! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I added fresh bananas into the batter to sweeten up these buckwheat pancakes a bit.

You would NEVER know that these Buckwheat Banana Pancakes are gluten-free! They're fluffy and SO delicious! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

And I served them with real maple syrup, of course. Now I talk a lot about how fantastic the produce is here year-round in California, but one thing that I REALLY miss about the East coast is real maple syrup. Nothing compares to the real stuff.

You would NEVER know that these Buckwheat Banana Pancakes are gluten-free! They're fluffy and SO delicious! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This recipe makes about 8-10 pancakes and serves two very hungry people.

Or it just serves one if you’re the birthday girl. You should never have to share on your birthday.

You would NEVER know that these Buckwheat Banana Pancakes are gluten-free! They're fluffy and SO delicious! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I am loving buckwheat these days. Next time I may try to make these with blueberries instead. And I may sub in almond milk for the buttermilk. If you adapt them in any way, let me know how they turn out!

 

Gluten-Free Buckwheat Banana Pancakes
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 1 cup buckwheat flour (I found mine at Whole Foods)
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk*
  • 1 large egg
  • ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large banana (optional)
  • Maple Syrup
  • Butter or Cooking Spray for the skillet
Instructions
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, mix the buckwheat flour, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  2. Measure out the buttermilk in a liquid measuring cup. Whisk in the egg and vanilla. Once well combined, slowly pour the buttermilk mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix together to form the batter (some small lumps are fine here).
  3. Preheat a non-stick skillet or griddle to medium-low heat. Add the cooking spray or butter to the pan. Scoop slightly less than a ¼ cup of batter at a time and pour onto the skillet. Cook until bubbles begin to form on top of the pancake and the edges appear less wet than the center, then flip to the other side and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes and each side is golden brown.
  4. Optional: Preheat oven to 250 degrees and place the pancakes on a baking tray in the oven to keep warm until you are ready to serve them.
  5. Serve with real maple syrup and extra bananas.
Notes
* To make buttermilk, pour 1 Tablespoon white distilled vinegar in a liquid measuring cup. Then, pour milk (I used skim, but reduced-fat is fine as well) into the measuring cup exactly to the 1 cup line. Stir and set aside for 10 minutes. Then use as you would use buttermilk.
 

You would NEVER know that these Buckwheat Pancakes are gluten-free! They're fluffy and SO delicious! // www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Breakfast Smoothies

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Earlier this week my friends and I had a debate over the difference between a smoothie and a milkshake.  Some people said that smoothies always include blended ice. Others said that milk never goes into a smoothie and only in a milkshake.  And then one person insisted that a milkshake has ice cream, milk, and ice.

Then given all of that, I really don’t know what this drink is, but I am going to go ahead and call it a smoothie, okay? It has milk, no ice, and no ice cream, but it’s a smoothie. Great, glad we’ve settled that.

For this smoothie I used Peanut Butter & Co. Mighty Maple Peanut Butter – one of my favorites. Peanut Butter & Co. makes ten different peanut butters in the most delicious / incredibly addicting flavors. If you’ve never tried their PB, you have to check them out. Their website is called ilovepeanutbutter.com….I mean c’mon already!

Oh, and did I mention no hydrogenated oils?

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie Recipe

Their Maple Peanut Butter is perfect for this smoothie because it compliments the agave very nicely, but any PB you have on hand will also taste great.

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie Recipe

This peanut butter and banana smoothie is great for breakfast…or as a snack in the middle of the day…or as a healthy dessert (because for all we know it could be a milkshake, right?)

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie Recipe

Simple Things: Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim, but almond, coconut, or soy will work)
  • 1 frozen banana, cut into chunks
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut butter (any kind)
  • 1 teaspoon agave (or honey)
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until there are no more banana chunks. Pour into a tall glass and enjoy right away.
 

Breakfast Snacks

Homemade Healthy Granola Bars

Last week was a tough week in the kitchen.

Things just didn’t turn out as well as I had hoped.

For example, I tried to make Chicken Ropa Vieja for Travis…major fail. Soggy, watery, flavorless, chewy chicken mess. I wouldn’t eat it. You wouldn’t have either.

(Travis did. He’s a sport. We like Travis.)

And my beautiful coffee cake, the weekend before? Oh, it LOOKED good. Mmmhmmm. But how would YOU feel feel after biting into a good ‘ol piece of dense, dry coffee cake that you worked so hard on?

Super? Yeah. Not really.

(We’re going to blame it on my super finicky oven. We were battling that day).

So I guess you could say I was kinda bummed out.

But then something happened…

I think I should have called these “Miracle Granola Bars”

Wouldyaa look at that? Girls got her groove back. Hhellllllllll yaaa.

Here’s the thing: you’re going to need to make these immediately.

And I literally mean right now.

Yes, stop.

Stop, what you’re doing and get to the kitchen. C’mon get up.

No. It’s not too late.

The Modern Family episode you Tivo’d can wait.

(P.S. I totally just used Tivo as a verb. We agreed that was fine. Thanks)

Okay, so now that you’re in your kitchen (go with me here, people), it’s time to get a little bit crazy.

I’m giving you the basis of these bars (flour, oats, salt, egg, oil, etc) but you get to call the shots with the rest.

I’m talkin’ get WILD. Throw in some spices. Chop up some nuts. You like M ‘n M’s? Get ‘em in there! You want low fat? Sub some apple sauce in for the oil. What’s that? You want peanut butter granola bars? You’re a GENIUS. Mail me some.

I’m super excited about the possibilities here. Can you tell?

These babies are chewy, flavorful and pretty frickin’ awesome.

Healthy Granola Bars. Made From Scratch. From my kitchen to yours.

Make it happen.

 

Homemade Healthy Granola Bars
 
Serves: 8-10
Ingredients
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ t. salt
  • ½ t. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup almonds, chopped (I used a little bit more because I wanted the added fiber)
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil (for a lower fat version sub half the oil for unsweetened apple sauce)
  • ¼ cup agave nectar (or honey if that is what you have on hand)
  • ½ egg, beaten (or one egg white)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or maple syrup (optional for sweeter bars)
  • ⅓ cup dried cranberries or raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350.  Grease and 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Then, line it with parchment paper, so that the ends of the paper stick out of the pan (this will help you lift the bars out of the pan when they are done baking).
  2. In a large bowl mix the first six ingredients (oats through almonds). In a separate bowl whisk together the oil, honey, egg, and vanilla.
  3. Make a well at the center of the dry ingredients and slowly pour the wet ingredients into the center of the flour mixture. Stir until combined.  Then add the dried cranberries or raisins and stir until they are mixed throughout.
  4. Press the mixture into a square at the bottom the baking dish, leaving a ½ inch border around the edges. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. (Do not overbake)
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool for 5 minutes. Then, using the edges of the parchment paper, lift the square of bars up and out of the pan and onto another flat surface. While they are still warm, cut the bars into 8-10 pieces. Store in a cool place or wrap individually to grab and go!
 

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