healthy breakfast

Banana Chia Pudding with (The Easiest) Cinnamon Raisin Granola

I'm excited to have partnered with Nugo Fiber d'Lish to host a recipe contest. Follow along on Instagram, as a few talented dietitians and recipe developers share their original vegan recipes using Nugo Fiber d'lish granola bars.

*Disclaimer: I was compensated for hosting this recipe contest and did receive product to create a recipe. However, all opinions are my own and I never work with or talk about a product I wouldn't recommend.


 
banana chia pudding and cinnamon granola
 

While I'm known to drool as I scroll through fancy food blogs, when it comes to cooking, I tend to keep it pretty simple. Usually, if the recipe has too many ingredients, anything weird, or takes more than an hour, I'm pretty quick to X out. This isn't to say always, because I do love to cook when I make the time for it (priorities right?).

Lately, my weekday mornings have been rather tight on time, so I've been relying on my usual oatmeal (I love Seven Sundays Muesli and Nature's Path Organic Oatmeal Cups). But, believe it or not, day after day, week after week, (it's probably been months) it's starting to get a little old. 

So... the other day I remembered chia pudding and have added it into the breakfast rotation. I love chia pudding because not only is it super filling (hello protein and fiber!) but you can flavor it however you want - chocolate, berries, turmeric, you name it. The typical ratio is 1 cup liquid to 3 Tbsp chia seeds.

Personally, I really like the Nugo Fiber d'lish granola bars. They're soft in texture and a good source of fiber and whole grains. If you toss them in the oven they get nice and crunchy like granola and are the perfect topper to your morning chia pudding.

The recipe below will take no more than 15 minutes. Prep it the night before and you'll have breakfast for the next day (or two).


Ingredients:

2 medium, ripe bananas
1.5 cups soy milk (or milk of your choice)
2.5 tsp cinnamon (I also tried it with homemade chai spice!)
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
6 Tbsp chia seeds
1 Nugo Fiber d'Lish bar, Cinnamon Raisin Flavor (my personal favorite)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Crumble your Nugo Fiber d'Lish bar onto a baking sheet into small bite size pieces.

3. Bake the granola for about 15 minutes until it begins to look toasty. It will feel soft when you first take it out of the oven, but as it cools it will become crunchy.

4. While the granola toasts, blend all ingredients (except the granola bar) in your blender until combined.

5. Divide the mixture evenly between two mason jars (a little over 1 cup in each).

6. Add 3 Tbsp of chia seeds into each jar. Close the jar and shake to distribute the chia seeds. If the chia seeds stick to the sides or lid, use a spoon to scrape them down and mix together. Let sit for ~5 minutes to allow the chia seeds to absorb the liquid and become a pudding like consistency.

7. When the pudding is set and granola is toasted, sprinkle the granola on your pudding. Top with bananas, or other fruit if you'd like - Enjoy!

 

September Monthly Faves - 5 Things I'm Really Into Right Now...

As we wrap up September, I thought I'd share a few things I'm really into right now.

Some links happen to be Amazon affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase something, I receive a minimal kickback.

Some links happen to be Amazon affiliate links, so if you choose to purchase something, I receive a minimal kickback.


What are you loving right now?


 

1. 1915 Juice

I'm usually not a big juice drinker. I find that drinking doesn't have the same satisfying and satiating effect that eating does. I much prefer smoothies, because I can eat them as a meal or snack and they retain the fiber from the fruits and vegetables. But, like all foods, juice can have a place in a healthy diet.

Last week I over did it. I was busy, I was stressed, I was working late every night. I didn't take time for me or to take care of my body. Sure enough, I woke up with a cold Saturday morning and was exhausted and congested for the next few days. For the first day or two I couldn't breathe through my nose and all I wanted was juice. I thought I'd load up on Vitamin C and Zinc to help kick the cold. (While Vitamin C may not prevent the onset of a cold, it has been shown to shorten the duration of a cold).

I found this 1915 juice (made by Bolthouse farms) at the store and have loved every flavor I've tried (I went for the ones higher in Vitamin C). If you too are coming down with your change of seasons cold, I'd recommend giving it a try. When choosing juice, read the label to make sure it is 100% juice.

(If you'd rather pop pills this cold season, use my discount here :)- for this link I do get a small kickback as a thank you, but really you're the one that reaps the benefits).

 

2. Artisana Organics Nut Butter Packets

I'm the kind of person who always needs snacks on hand. I'm also the kind of person who goes through a jar of peanut butter every other week. These packs really are the perfect way to support my habits.

I've been loving these to-go packets to bring with me to work, on hikes, bike rides, or driving around town. I've tried the walnut butter, pecan butter, and almond butter and love them all. They have a nuttier, more earthy taste than my peanut butter go-to, but they taste just as good on apples, nectarines, strawberries, toast, or on their own.

 

3. 7 Sundays Muesli

I highly recommend this one!  Their blueberry chia muesli has been my go-to breakfast for the past few weeks. Lately I've been loving it cold with siggi's dairy plain drinkable yogurt, but I love it warm like oatmeal too. With fiber from the whole grain oats and protein from the chia seeds, it's totally satisfying and keeps me full till lunch. Plus it's lightly sweetened with honey and lower in sugar than most other brands.

 

4. Peanut Stir Fry Sauce

Last weekend I taught a meal prep workshop. It was a ton of fun. We learned how to make overnight oats, chia seed pudding, we made meal plans for the week, and made our own power bowls. I made this sauce and have been putting the leftovers on everything this week.
Here's how I made it:

1/4 cup natural creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp pure maple syrup
sriracha to taste

 

5. #GirlBoss by Sophia Amoruso

Not food related, but a good read nonetheless. I've been trying to read more, but for me, it has to be an easy read or a really good book to get me through it. This is both. I'd recommend it to any recent grad, 20-something, or driven young woman. Sophia Amoruso was a broke 21 year old, dumpster diving through San Francisco. She decided to start an ebay store to sell her thrift store finds. 7 years later that ebay store is now a multi billion dollar company. Her book is both funny and serious and is a reminder for young women to show up and give their best. She reminds me to slow down in business and that success doesn't happen overnight. What are you reading right now?

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My Pantry Essentials Checklist- check it out here.


Zucchini Muffins with Kefir

This year, I'm thankful for so many friends with gardens. It seems to be that time of year when everyone is getting way more zucchini than they want and are graciously passing it off to our household. We just moved into a new place in the middle of the summer and are hoping to have our own garden next year. But in the meantime, we'll gladly accept all your extra veggies.

I was starting to get a little tired of straight up zucchini and thought it was time to make some zucchini bread. Spending summers on Cape Cod we had a big garden and always had tons of zucchini, which meant we constantly had (chocolate chip) zucchini bread in the house. And while I love Gram Gorham's recipe, I wanted to make something that was less of a dessert bread and more appropriate for breakfast. For me, I know muffins are better for my portion control (although I'm pretty sure I ate all the muffins before Colin even found them- talk about control, right?).

For this recipe I used kefir instead of a classic milk and they came out nice and moist. Have you tried kefir before? I love it! It's a fermented, drinkable yogurt- like product and is a great source of probiotics, protein, and calcium. This recipe also uses just a 1/2 cup of sugar compared to the 2 cups in Gram's (any many others) classic zucchini bread.

I used siggi's dairy filmjolk (or kefir as we call it in the US), which is a staple in Sweden. I love it in smoothies to add extra protein and creaminess or lately I've been eating it over seven sundays muesli. siggi's products aim to be as low in added sugars as possible (remember all dairy has naturally occurring sugars - lactose).

So, while these muffins are higher in protein and lower in sugar than the classics, they are not short on flavor or moisture.

 

 
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Ingredients:

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Dry:
1 1/4 cups of white whole wheat flour
1 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Wet:
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup plain Kefir (I used siggi's)
1/4 cup canola oil
2 eggs

Other:
1 1/2 cups zucchini, grated (from about 1 medium zucchini)
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425. Grease your muffin tin.

2. Grate your zucchini over a dish towel and squeeze to remove water.

3. Combine the dry ingredients in a small-medium sized mixing bowl.

4. Combine the wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Whisk until well combined.

5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.

6. Fold in the zucchini and chocolate chips.

7. Fill the muffin tins about 3/4 full.

8. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Check at 10 minutes to see if fork or toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!