Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Honey Graham Oatmeal Cookies (Baked or Not!)

These oatmeal cookies are chewy, sweet and full of "bits" accented by @nakednutrition Naked Shake Peanut Butter Blueberry powder. The best part? You can eat the dough raw by the spoonful if you want - Graham crumbs replace flour in the eggless recipe so there is little e.coli risk!

I love my home ec classes. Even on Zoom, the kids love being able to watch me cook or create treats (and sometimes they even mix along!). I altered my curriculum this year to incorporate more "no bake" items, partially due to the unpredictable format of lessons and partially due to the limitations on lifting and carrying my car accident placed on me. These oatmeal based "cookies" were one such invention - filled with safe-to-eat graham cracker crumbs, oats and optionally a few scoops of protein powder in place of flour, sweetened with honey and packed with tasty mix-ins, what more could a kid want? 

One of my favourite discoveries with this recipe is that it is absolutely bake-friendly, if standard cookies are more your speed. I baked off some of the extra dough that didn't get consumed raw, and when eaten in a day or so they're a great chewy-crisp texture. After that, they do get really soft and fall-aparty (yes, that's a word now) so I tossed a tray of them in the freezer for future ice cream sandwich making. I'm very tempted to make a honey-vanilla frozen yogurt to nestle in between these cookies, since the flavours would mesh really well!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Multigrain Blueberry Bread #BreadBakers

This Multigrain Blueberry Bread is full of nutty flavour from whole grain cereal while a hearty addition of @croftersorganic Wild Blueberry Spread adds a touch of sweetness and authentic fruit flavour. Baked in loaf pans, a slice or two are perfect for breakfast - I suggest toasted and topped with cream cheese and more blueberry spread, but they apparently also work with bacon and eggs!

Toast and jam used to be the absolute best part of a school day morning for me. Quick, easy and as variable as the available toppings in the fridge and pantry, it was a great way to get something in before the 45 minute car ride to school. When we had homemade bread on hand, breakfast was even better - you could not beat the heartiness of a slice toasted golden and topped. 

Now that I'm the principal bread maker in the house, I love playing around with ideas from my childhood as well as flavour combos that just taste awesome. I still had a large amount of blueberry jam left over after making the Butter Pecan Thumbprints and wondered if I could swap it in place of honey in a standard whole wheat bread recipe. The results were even better than I thought - the perfect blend of sweet, fruity and nutty with the multigrain and flax mix, a beautiful toastable crumb and the most delicate purple hue. Thankfully the recipe makes two large loaves because the first one disappeared in a few days!

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.
This month’s event is Breakfast Bread hosted by Zesty South Indian Kitchen

Friday, June 11, 2021

Honey-Oat Granola Bars

Who doesn't love a chewy granola bar? These are made with a mixture of oats, local honey, coconut oil and a couple scoops of @nakednutrition Naked Shake Peanut Butter Blueberry powder. Baked in a loaf pan, the bars are the perfect snack size - chocolate drizzle is optional (I guess!).

 Summer is (almost) here, and with the end of school comes the hordes of kids (and adults) who are seemingly always starving. When I worked summer camp, we knew that aside from frequent water and shade breaks, the campers would be craving energy boosts to keep up with all the activities they were doing. Apart from fruit (which is great, but needs to be kept cool), we went through a lot of granola bars. It's easy to see why - they're convenient, portable, individually wrapped, high energy and kid-sized. Field trip purchasing runs involved an embarrassing amount of boxes of the snacks!

That said, buying all those boxes is expensive - not to mention some bars are essentially candy with a health halo attached. Luckily, not only are home-made granola bars easy to make, you can get the kids involved with mixing and you can add anything your heart desires to the mixture - my Home Economics students decided that dried apples, cherries, chocolate chips and banana chips were top contenders, while I opted to keep the base "bit" free and instead added flavour and nutrition with a healthy dose of Naked Shake Peanut Butter Blueberry powder and Naked Rice protein powder. I drizzled each bar with dark chocolate for no other reason than I could, so why not? 
Once the bars are cooled, you can wrap them individually for travel and keep them on the counter for a week or so, or freeze them. Of course, if you're just enjoying them at home you can keep them in a covered container for the same amount of time, or freeze. Here's to a summer of beginning adventures!

Saturday, June 5, 2021

Veggie Pesto Pizza

Veggie Pesto Pizza is all homemade and vegan, from the Sweet Potato Pizza Crust to the spinach and lentil pesto and mozzarella cheese. Leftovers (if any!) Freeze well and are perfect for snacks, lunches or next-day dinners.
Pizza and I used to be best friends when I was growing up. There was a small pizza place around the corner from my house growing up, and the owner Kerry was always there with a smile, asking us kids about our weekends and occasionally throwing us a double slice for the price of a single. School pizza days were okay, but the mass produced stuff couldn't hold a candle to Kerry's hand tossed crust and generous toppings.

As I got older and developed my host of dietary issues, pizza generally fell off the menu for me. I loved making it - I just couldn't eat it! When N (who also eschews pizza due to his sensitivity to tomatoes) was musing about missing his pizza, the two of us put our heads together and came up with an alternative that was healthy, tomato free and still delicious! A quick shop later and we had all the fixings for a new, vegan but equally delicious pizza on hand, using one of his favourite veggies - sweet potato!

I added the sweet potato to the crust in lieu of some of the water and oil traditionally present. I added a decent portion of whole wheat flour to the mix for flavour and nutrition, keeping enough all purpose to keep the dough smooth and elastic. Instead of tomato sauce, I whipped up a spinach and lentil pesto with lots of garlic and (vegan) Parmesan which added a great bright flavour that accented the sweetness of both the crust and the onion / pepper topping. A quick blast in the oven on my pizza stone later and we had two pies ready to go - one disappeared between dinner and breakfast (cold pizza is amazing, am I right?) and the other was packed for his work meals the next day. 

Friday, June 4, 2021

Blueberry Chocolate Chip Cookies with Naked Shake

 These two bite cookies are tender, ever so slightly chewy morsels packed with the rich flavor of @nakednutrition Naked Shake Peanut Butter Blueberry. Bursts of dried blueberries and chopped dark chocolate add texture and a fun twist on tradition too.

I love pretty much everything about cookies - they are fast to make (usually), portable, and open to pretty much every variable under the sun. If one type of cookie isn't your thing, there are probably at least 20 that are. The variability that a simple recipe - say, a classic chocolate chip - has affords a whole world of possibilities for not only flavour, but texture and nutrition. It was in that vein that I decided to take a simple, two-bite chocolate chip cookie recipe and turn it into a snack that was a great medley of sweet, fruity and nutty. I was inspired by the jar of Peanut Butter Blueberry Naked Shake sitting on my countertop, freshly opened after I had made myself a sample with cashew milk and discovered it tasted like a PB&J without the bread. I had dried blueberries on hand and a bar of dark chocolate, so along with the shake powder these cookies packed a punch of flavour!

I am so fortunate to be partnering with Naked Nutrition once again. You may remember them from my posts using their Naked Collagen and Naked Rice protein powders - two products which regularly make their way into my baking and eating routine - and this time they've come up with an innovative, gluten-free, soy-free and vegan protein shake powder made with fruit juice, MCT oil and no artificial sweeteners or flavours. One serving (5.8 tbsp or 2 scoops) 20g of protein and only 5g of sugar wrapped up in 140 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. Their blend uses non-GMO pea protein, which I found paired extremely well with the nutty peanut powder in the flavour I chose. I obviously used the Peanut Butter Blueberry flavour (what can I say, I love my peanut butter!) but they also have a strawberry-banana flavour as well. The powder is on sale now with a suggested retail price of $39.99 US - a deal since a little goes a long way!