Steel Cut Oats with Apples and Raisins

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I know these past few weeks I haven’t been posting as regularly as I normally have been and I’ve been feeling really guilty about it. The truth is I’ve been feeling so short on spare time lately and a little uninspired. I’m also going to be away on spring break in a few days so I probably won’t be able to get a post in for another week or so, but hopefully when I return I’ll have lots of great pictures and stories and recipes to share with you!

When it comes to my marathon training, I usually do my long runs on the weekends when I naturally have more time and daylight. I try to go first thing in the morning, and since I know I’ll be out running for at least 2 hours I really make an effort to get a filling and nutritious breakfast in beforehand. Enter these steel cut oats! I’ve never had steel cut oats before but have been hearing great things about them for a while. In short, steel cut oats are less processed than your regular oats and therefore retain more of their nutritional value. They also take longer to digest and therefore make you feel fuller for longer. Steel cut oats have a chewier texture than regular oats which I actually really enjoyed. I loved the combination of apples, cinnamon and raisins and have already made it twice in the past couple of weeks, which is really saying something! 🙂

Steel Cut Oats with Apples and Raisins

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
3 cups water
1 cup (2% or 1%) milk
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 cup steel-cut oats
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 apple, peeled, cored and grated
1/3 cup raisins
¼ cup maple syrup

Directions:
Combine the water and milk in a medium saucepan.  Bring to a simmer.  Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10- or 12-inch skillet over medium heat.  Add the oats and toast, stirring occasionally, until golden and fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Stir the toasted oats into the simmering liquid.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the mixture is very thick, about 20 minutes.  Stir in the salt, cinnamon, apple, raisins and maple syrup.  Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the liquid has been absorbed and the oatmeal is creamy, about 10 minutes more.  Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes before serving.

—SOURCE—
Annie’s Eats, from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

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Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins

IMG_4728Sorry for my absence this past week! I caught a nasty bug earlier this week that had me throwing up all night and left me bed-ridden for 3 days after. Today is the first day I’m feeling somewhat normal and have managed to have more than a small piece of toast in my system. The thought of any kind of food other than tiny pieces of toast and chicken noodle soup had made me really nauseous but this morning I woke up bright and early craving eggs, bacon and blueberry muffins. My fingers are crossed that my appetite is back for good and here to stay!
IMG_4723It probably took about half an hour from start to finish to have these oatmeal blueberry applesauce muffins freshly baked and ready to eat in front of me. Whole wheat flour and oats along with applesauce and fresh blueberries make these a somewhat healthier breakfast option and I’m happy to say that I’m already craving another one 🙂 I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Oatmeal Blueberry Applesauce Muffins

Yields: 12 muffins

Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 cups oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 375˚ F.

Line a 12 cup muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In a medium bowl combine applesauce, buttermilk, sugar, oil and egg. Make a well in dry ingredients and add applesauce mixture. Stir until just moist. Fold in blueberries. Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups, filling to about 2/3 full.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin from the middle of the tray comes out clean.

—SOURCE—
slightly adapted from Joy the Baker

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

IMG_4613I’ve been feeling a little down in the dumps this past week with very little motivation to do anything really. All I’ve been wanting to do these past couple of days is to bury myself in my bed and just watch movies on Netflix on repeat. I’ve been replacing all of my outdoor runs with sessions on the treadmill at the gym this month because with the snow and extremely cold weather we’ve been experiencing this January it’s been difficult to run outside. However two days ago I got up early, made myself these pancakes (which I’ll get back to in a sec) and then ventured outside into -20°C/-4°F weather and ran just under 10km. This is probably the coldest temperature I’ve run in, and despite wearing 2 pairs of leggings and 4 long sleeved shirts, it still took me at least 5 km to actually warm up. I’m so glad I went though as the cold, crisp air really cleared my mind and helped to put things into perspective for me.

I feel like all my life I’ve always been putting other people first, before me. I always did what made other people happy, and if I did something that made me happy but made someone else upset I would feel horribly guilty for it and wouldn’t be able to shake the feeling that I had upset someone.  This past year I’ve really grown as a person and decided that enough was enough, I refuse to do things I don’t want to do, just to keep others happy. I’m going to do the things I want to do, when I want to do them and how I want to do them. I’m no longer interested in compromising my happiness just to keep someone else happy. The reason I’ve been feeling so down is because this time around I wasn’t afraid to change something in my life even if it meant upsetting a friend. However ever since I made that change I feel like I have constantly been punished in my relationship with them. Things are constantly changing in life and unfortunately so do friends. However in this ever-changing world we live in where people come and go, there have been a few friends that have stuck around and are still there for me when I need them, no matter what. And I’m happy to say that those are my real friends.
IMG_4626I’m really sorry for that massive, selfish rant, so now onto something a bit more positive! I’m constantly on the lookout for a good pancake recipe to bookmark for a weekend breakfast when I have a bit more time to play around in the kitchen. These pancakes are great in that the batter comes together quite quickly in one bowl! Peanut butter, a banana and coconut oil all go into these fluffy pancakes but not enough to take away from the chocolate chip oatmeal cookie flavour. Whether you are about to go for an hour-long run or just laze around the house watching movies, these pancakes are effortlessly good and I know I will be making them again soon 🙂

Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes

Yields: 2 servings (6 pancakes)

Ingredients:
1 banana, ripe
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg
Pinch sea salt
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp peanut butter
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 tbsp skim milk
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cups whole wheat flour
3 tbsp chocolate chips

Directions:
In the bowl of your mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), beat together the banana and baking powder until the banana is mushy.

With the mixer speed on medium-low, add the egg, salt, vanilla, almond butter, coconut oil, milk, oats, and whole wheat flour.  Mix until the batter is mostly smooth (you will still have lumps, and this is ok.)

Gently fold in the chocolate chips by hand until incorporated.

Meanwhile, heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat.  (I sprayed mine lightly with cooking spray.)

About 1/4-cup at a time, gently pour the batter into the hot frying pan and cook the pancakes, flipping after about 2-3 minutes (or until one side is cooked-check yours frequently) and cooking evenly on both sides.  Serve immediately.

—SOURCE—
slightly adapted from The Curvy Carrot, adapted from the Minimalist Baker.

Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

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Happy Halloween! I’m so disappointed that I was unable to share any Halloween themed goodies with you this year. I had it all planned out to bake Halloween appropriate sugar cookies for you this past weekend, but then I got really sick and spent most of the weekend passed out in bed. Instead, I’ll just have to tell you about this blueberry banana baked oatmeal with a promise of spookier treats next year!

I love this blueberry banana baked oatmeal because it’s so easy to put together, and makes for such a fast and filling breakfast in the mornings – just a quick zap in the microwave and you’ll have oatmeal that tastes and smells like you just took it out of the oven! A bonus is that you can use frozen blueberries, making it perfect for those cooler mornings when you’re missing summer.

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Blueberry Banana Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients:
1.5 cups (3 medium) mashed bananas
2 large eggs
1/4 cup white sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. baking powder
2 cups milk
2.5 cups old fashioned oats
8 oz. frozen blueberries

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Mash the bananas in a measuring cup, starting with two or three and adding more until you have 1.5 cups of banana mash.

Combine the banana mash in the large bowl with the eggs, sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Whisk to combine. Add the milk and whisk again until smooth.

Stir in the dry old-fashioned oats. Lastly, stir in the frozen blueberries (keeping them frozen and stirring them in last helps prevent Bake in the preheated 375 degree oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the center is no longer wet to the touch.

Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to eat. These oats can be quickly reheated in the microwave each morning for a quick, filling breakfast.

—SOURCE—
Budget Bytes

 

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