Banana Pancakes

For a summer breakfast treat, play Jack Johnson’s Banana Pancakes and whip up these very simple, paleo-friendly pancakes. They are adorably small and snack-able, but satisfying and delicious.

Banana Pancakes

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • Dash Nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Coconut oil (for the fry pan)

DIRECTIONS

  1. Mash the ripe bananas
  2. Add the eggs and spices to the banana mash mix well
  3. Add  1 tsp of coconut oil to a skillet and heat up to medium-high heat (cast iron works well for even heat distribution)
  4. Drop dollar size amounts of batter on the pan. When the pancakes are slightly dry on the edges and bubbly in the middle, they are ready to flip.
  5. Add more oil as needed between batches of pancakes
  6. Serve with fresh peaches, berries, or almond butter and maple syrup

Makes 24 dollar pancakes, 23 calories each
(Fat 0.9g, Carb 2.4g, Protein 0.9g)

Apple Pie Oatmeal

As the heaters turn up and the frost lines windows, I love warm comfort foods, especially when they are good for you too! This recipe was originally inspired by Bob’s Red Mill’s cookbook, but I have made several modifications until it finally became my perfect autumn/winter breakfast.

Apple Pie Oatmeal (2)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 large apple, chopped (Honey-crisp is particularly delcious)
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup steel cut oats (or 1 cup of old fashioned rolled oats)
  • 1/2 cup fresh pressed apple cider
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans

Apple Pie Oatmeal (3)Apple Pie Oatmeal (1)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Put the coconut oil in a medium sauce pan on high-medium heat. When the oil is melted, add the chopped apples and spices.
  2. Saute apples until soft, then add the oats, apple cider, and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer until the oatmeal thickens (15 – 20 minutes).
  3. Heat the chopped pecans in a fry pan over medium heat. Stir them frequently and watch them as they burn quickly. Remove from heat when they are slightly toasted.
  4. Once the oatmeal has thickened, add the chopped pecans and serve immediately.

Makes 3 servings, 250 calories per serving
(Fat: 13 g, Carb 33 g, Protein 4.3 g)

Pumpkin Pie Custard

Autumn is one of my favorite times of year. The air feels crisp and clean, apples taste sweeter, and my favorite winter squash abounds: Pumpkin! How can you not love a vegetable that makes the most delicious desserts? I use every possible opportunity to incorporate pumpkins into my fall recipes, but pumpkin pie custard has to be my favorite. I eat it for breakfast or as a sweet treat after lunch or dinner. Best of all, it is filling and satisfying but without all the extra sugar and processed flour in pumpkin pie.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 x 15 oz cans of Fresh Pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup Raw Honey
  • 1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice (1-1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp cloves)
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 14 oz can of Light Coconut Milk (or low fat 2% evaporated milk)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Lightly grease glass bakeware with butter (one 13″ x 8″ dish, or several smaller dishes)
  3. Mix together pumpkin, honey and spices (KitchenAid mixer will work well!). Add the eggs. Last, pour in the coconut milk.
  4. Pour the liquid into your greased dishes. Place in the middle of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
  5. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for 40 – 60 minutes (depending on the size of your pan). The custard will be done when you can shake it and the middle does not jiggle (or insert a butter knife in the middle and see if it comes out clean).
  6. Let the pumpkin cool completely (overnight is ideal) and serve cold, either as breakfast or a dessert.

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Makes 12 servings, 100 calories per serving.

OPTIONAL Alternative Serving Ideas:

  • Top custard with nonfat vanilla greek yogurt as a creamy topping.
  • Serve custard with a plate of ginger snap cookies for a sweet dip at parties.

Pumpkin Custard French Toast

This recipe could also be called “Pumpkin Coffee Creamer Reclaimed.”   Essentially, I add a couple eggs to the pumpkin creamer that is already well-stocked in my fridge, and we have some delicious pumpkin french toast batter!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups Pumpkin Coffee Creamer
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 8 Slices of Bread (slightly stale brown rice bread or New Cascadia Honey GF bread works well!)
  • Ground Cinnamon

DIRECTIONS:

1.   Preheat griddle to high (or 400° F). Add 1 tsp of butter to grease the surface.

2.   Preheat oven to 170° F.

3.   Whisk eggs and blend with pumpkin creamer in a flat bottomed bowl or dish.

4.   Soak each slice of bread for 30 seconds in the batter.

5.   Place bread on preheated griddle and sprinkle cinnamon on the top.

6.   Cook bread for 3 minutes, or until the bread is browned and crispy.

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OPTIONAL Topping Ideas:

  • Almond Butter
  • Maple Syrup
  • Toasted Pecans
  • Vanilla Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • Pumpkin Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • Sauteed apples with cinnamon

Pumpkin Coffee Creamer

When pumpkin lattes are released early each fall, I am the girl who is standing in the front of the line at the coffee shop. I love them! But they do have a fair amount of sugar, processed ingredients, and (surprise!) gluten. Yikes! As necessity–or desperation–is the mother of invention, I had some trial and errors in my kitchen until I created a pumpkin coffee creamer that is delicious, satisfying, and made with solid, gluten-free ingredients.

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 32 oz Vanilla Almond Milk, Unsweetened
  • 32 oz Coconut Milk, Unsweetened
  • 7.5 oz (1/2 can) Pumpkin Puree
  • 3/4 cup Raw Honey
  • 1/4 cup Mulling Spices in Satchel (or 1 tbsp Pumpkin Pie Spice)
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

1.   Combine ingredients in a large sauce pan over medium heat.

2.   Stir periodically, allowing ingredients to simmer for 45 – 60 minutes.

3.   Remove spice satchel, and pour the liquid through a mesh strainer to catch the pulp.

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4.   Pour the strained liquid into a glass jar and store in your refrigerator.

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5.   Serve a healthy portion with coffee (I add 1/4 cup of the milk for a 16 oz cup of coffee).  Shake well before each use as the pumpkin may to settle.

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Makes 2 quarts, or 32 servings of 1/4 cup, 35 calories per serving.

Egg White and Sweet Potato Casserole

Casserole (3)

Finding the time and motivation to prepare a healthy breakfast every day is rather challenging, so I have become a huge fan of making frittatas and casseroles that will last for several days in a row. That way, I can reheat my delicious, veggie-rich and protein breakfast in just a couple minutes. This recipe almost functions as a quiche, as the sweet potato lined dish almost functions like a crust. As always, subbing other veggies for the zucchini definitely works.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium 5″ sweet potatoes (orange and/or white flesh)Casserole (1)
  • 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
  • seasoning to taste (sea salt, fresh ground pepper, fresh rosemary)
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup almond milk

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes and then slice them into very thin discs. Set aside 12 discs for the top, then layer the bottom of a glass casserole dish with the sweet potatoes.
  3. Pile the grated zucchini, cheese, chopped onions and seasonings.
  4. Add the leftover 12 discs of orange sweet potatoes on the top of the casserole.
  5. Whisk together the egg whites and almond milk and pour over the vegetables.
  6. Bake for 60 – 75 minutes. The casserole is done when it doesn’t jiggle.

Casserole (2)

Makes 4 servings, 130 calories per serving.

Homemade (Dairy-Free) Creamer

Vanilla Spice Almond Milk

When a certain well-known coffee shop recently came out with the delicious Vanilla Spice latte, I was enthralled! The simplicity of a warm vanilla latte mixed with the spicy cardamom was absolutely delicious. After indulging in this sugary treat one too many times, I decided it was time to see if I could recreate my own version with raw ingredients and less processed sugar. And now I cannot get through my morning without it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/2 Gallon of Vanilla Unsweetened Almond Milk (or Coconut Milk works too)
  • 1 tsp Cardamom seeds
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine all ingredients in large sauce pan over low-medium heat.

photo 12.  Cover and let it simmer for 45 – 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. The longer it simmers, the more of the delicious cardamom flavor will come out.

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3.  Pour the liquid through a mesh strainer to catch the cardamom seeds.

4.  Pour the strained liquid into a glass jar and store in your refrigerator.

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5.  Serve a healthy portion with coffee (I add 1/2 cup of the milk for a 16 oz cup of coffee). Due to the chemistry of the almond milk and the coffee, curdling does occur sometimes, but the texture and taste should be unhindered.

Makes 8 cups, 60 calories per cup (or 30 calories per 1/2 cup serving)

Cheesy Vegetable Polenta

My Texas-bred Uncle Ron has this incredible recipe for  Jalapeno Cheese Grits, an ultimate comfort food. My version captures the same delicious cheesy texture with lots of vegetables and without all the extra cream and butter.  This recipe is one of my favorite plan ahead meals, particularly as a filling, easy breakfast for early mornings before work.  It also works well as a side dish for dinner, doing double duty as the starch and vegetable. I have experimented with all sorts of vegetables (including spinach, mushrooms and asparagus). All of the variations have been delicious, though I am particularly fond of the zucchini bell pepper combo that I have laid out here because it provides some great color contrast to the yellow polenta.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 medium zucchini, grated (a large tooth cheese grater works well)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 sweet (or yellow) onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cups of boiling hot water
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup polenta (dry corn grits)
  • 1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop the vegetables and lay them out in a 13 x 9 oven safe casserole or glass dish.

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3.  Add boiling water to polenta and sea salt.  Mix together well, then pour over vegetables.

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4.  Bake in oven for 40 minutes.

5.  Take casserole out of the oven and add the sharp cheddar cheese. Mix well and return to the oven for 20 more minutes.

6.  Remove casserole from oven and let it cool at least 10 minutes before serving. If you are making this for later, I scoop out the warm polenta and put into individual microwave safe dishes so that it is easier to grab and go during the week

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Recipe makes four hearty servings, 240 calories per serving.

Egg White Summer Vegetable Frittata

The skills needed to create a perfect omelet has eluded me for quite some time. Over the past several years, my travel work schedule has given me the opportunity to observe many skilled omelet makers at work in hotel restaurants. I can now report back the secret ingredient to making a great omelet: lots of oil. While a bit of olive oil is great, I try to avoid it in large doses, especially just for the purpose of a perfect looking omelet. And that is why I love this method for making a frittata: it is quick, easy, and looks beautiful when you’re done!   I also strongly recommend experimenting with different veggie fillings, such as asparagus, spinach and mushrooms.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Medium Sweet (Walla Walla) Onion, chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated (large tooth cheese grater works well)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp ground sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 – 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary (1 tsp)
  • 1/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat the oven to broil

2.  Saute the onion in olive oil for about 8 minutes. Add the bell peppers and zucchini.Add the fresh spinach, and put a lid on the sauce pan (the spinach only takes a minute or so to steam and cook down). Put veggies in a separate bowl to cool.

Frittata (1)

3.  Mix together the egg whites, cheese and seasonings in a separate bowl or Pyrex pitcher. Add the vegetables. Poor the mixture back in the frying pan over low-medium heat, making sure the veggies are evenly dispersed. Cook for a couple minutes, or until the edges start to turn brown. Put the frying pan directly in the oven and broil until the top is slightly brown.

4.  Slice the frittata into 4 wedges.

Frittata (2)

This recipe yields 4 servings, 150 calories each.