Savory oats: A healthy breakfast option

Breakfast, I love you. Oatmeal, you are amazing.

What’s great about oatmeal is that it doesn’t always need to be sweet and topped with fruit. This take on oatmeal packs all the benefits of the hearty whole grain, plus protein from… drumroll… lentils!

Lentils are a staple in vegetarian diets. They can be seasoned to take on a variety of flavors… and you’ve probably seen them in curry dishes, veggie stews and on hearty salads.

Yesterday we made this savory oatmeal dish at Om, Nom — my yoga and food series at Boston Public Market. We started with 60-minutes of yoga bootcamp followed by a tasting and quick explanation of how to put together a healthy savory oatmeal bowl.

Here is the nutritional breakdown of this dish:

Calories Fat Carbs Fiber Protein Sugar
Green lentils, 1 cup 680 2 115 59 50 3.9
GF Oats, 1 cup 300 5 54 8 12 2
Sweet potato, 1 cup cubed 114 0 27 4 2.1 6
Avocado, 1 322 29 17 13 4 1
Total 1416 36 213 84 68.1 12.9
Per serving (4) 354 9 53.25 21 17.025 3.225

Now, get to cooking.

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  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Healthy Savory Oatmeal

Ingredients

1 cup green lentils

1 cup gluten free oats

1 cup cubed sweet potato, cooked

1 avocado

1/2 cup salsa of choice

Optional toppings: eggs, mixed greens, tofu scramble

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Directions

  1. Start by cooking the lentils and oats at the same time. Follow the cooking  instructions on the lentil packaging, but also add the oats and 1 extra cup of water. You can also do the cooking in a rice cooker.
  2. After the lentils are cooked, top your oats with your favorite ingredients — greens, 2 Tbsp salsa, 1/4 avocado and maybe an egg.

How about the pico de gallo?! Recipe coming this week.

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4-Ingredient Protein Pancakes

Pancakes are amazing — there’s no argument there (I hope). One of the best things about pancakes is that they can be vegan, gluten-free and dairy free and still taste delicious. These four-ingredient protein pancakes are the bee’s knees.

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I’ve seen several protein pancake recipes on Instagram and the blogs I follow, but I thought I’d share my personal go-to. As always, you can add your personal touches, i.e. cinnamon, fruit, cacao nibs, honey, maple syrup, nut butter, etc. Opting for a breakfast that is a great mix of protein, healthy fats and whole grains keeps you full throughout the morning and prevents that crash you experience after a sugary meal.

Try this recipe and tell me how you customize it!

Protein Pancake

(Serves 1)

Ingredients

1 banana

1 egg (vegans sub one flaxseed egg)

1/4 cup quick cook oats

1 scoop protein powder (I use Whole Foods’ whey protein, use vegan if needed)

1 tsp coconut oil

Pancake batter

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, mash your banana. In the same bowl, scramble your egg (or add flaxseed egg) and combine it with the mashed banana.
  2. Add oats, protein powder and any extras (i.e. cinnamon, stevia or vanilla) to your bowl. Mix well to make sure protein powder is fully incorporated.
  3. Let the batter sit for 5 minutes so that the oats absorb some of the liquid. In the meantime, heat 1 tsp of coconut oil in a small skillet over medium heat. If using a non-stick skillet, feel free to skip the oil.
  4. Pour batter into heated skillet. Flip once the pancake starts to bubble.

Serve drizzled with maple syrup or honey. Another great addition is a scoop of nut butter, fruit or cacao nibs. Enjoy!

Baked oatmeal muffins: A simple, on-the-go breakfast

I’m telling you… oats make the best breakfast. When I’m not eating overnight oats, I’m eating warm oatmeal. When I’m not eating traditional warm oatmeal, I cook my oats and then top them with eggs over-easy, avocado and salsa.

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In this case, my oatmeal is baked in a muffin tin. I was a little nervous about this one because I didn’t think it would fill me up. But, two muffins held me off until lunch time. The ingredients are essentially identical to what I put in my overnight oats (+eggs) — so DUH, it filled me up.

This recipe makes three servings. Double the ingredients if you are cooking for two people or if you want 6 days worth of muffins. These baked oatmeal muffins are good to store in the fridge for 1 week (longer in the freezer). In this recipe, I didn’t use a sweetener. Add 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey if you need it.

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Baked oatmeal muffins

(serves 3)

Ingredients

2 Tbsp nut butter

2 bananas

3 eggs

1/2 cup almond milk

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed

1.5 cup oats

1 tsp cinnamon

Optional: sweetener like honey, stevia or maple syrup; chocolate chips; blueberries; cacao nibs

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  In a mixing bowl, mash the banana and nut butter together (using a fork works). I like to leave a few chunks of banana.
  2. To the mashed banana, add the eggs and milk. Combine well .
  3. Stir in the oats, flaxseed and cinnamon (plus any optional ingredients), and then let the batter rest for 5 minutes. Resting the batter lets the flaxseed absorb some of the liquid.
  4. Pour batter into 6 muffin molds (12 if you only have a cupcake tin). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tops are golden brown.

Store in the fridge and eat two for breakfast. Serve warm or cold!

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What is your favorite on-the-go breakfast?

 

 

Nutty Coconut Granola Recipe

Before I dive into this delicious Nutty Coconut Granola recipe, I’d like to share a quick announcement. At last night’s MoveWith Zumba class on the Cambridge Center Roof Garden (the perfect hidden gem) I shared about two events in Harvard Square this summer. Here’s a pic from last night…

And now, the announcement… I’m teaching Zumba and Yoga Barre at the gorgeous Jose Mateo Ballet Theatre. Sign up for Zumba at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 26, and/or Yoga Barre at 10 a.m. on Saturday, July 11. I vote we all go for a coffee date afterwards. Who’s in?

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Now, the reason you came…

Every week or two, I like to make a big batch of nutty granola to store in the fridge. Homemade is the way to go because… 1. You can control the ingredients, and 2. granola a great option when you need a quick breakfast, snack or smoothie topping. My go-to ingredients are oats, maple syrup and coconut oil. This Nutty Coconut Granola recipe also has almonds, shredded coconut and other goodies. Check ‘er out and make your own!

Nutty Coconut Granola

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

1 cup oats (gluten-free)

2 cup brown rice cereal

1 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp ground flaxseed or chia seeds

1/4 cup coconut oil, melted

1/4 maple syrup or honey

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet or pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a mixing bowl, mix melted coconut oil with maple syrup/honey. Set aside.
  3. In a food processor, grind 1/2 cup raw almonds to a fine powder. Add the remaining 1/2 cup and pulse to chop lightly. Add to the mixing bowl of oil/sweetener.
  4. To the same mixing bowl, add the oats, sunflower seeds, cinnamon and flaxseed/chia seeds. Stir until everything is well-coated. If you need more liquid to coat, add a touch more sweetener (1 Tbsp at a time).
  5. Pour granola onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper in one mound. Using the back of a spoon or spatula, start to pack the granola down tightly so that it spreads out and is about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. Packing tightly will ensure you get coveted clusters!
  6. Bake for 20-30 minutes, turning the rotating the pan after 10 minutes. Granola is done when the edges start to reach a darker brown and the center is golden.
  7. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Break the granola apart and store in an air-tight container for up to a week. I store mine in the fridge to keep that freshness and crunch.

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Stay healthy, stay happy!

Mint Cacao Smoothie Recipe

Summer, where have you been all my life?  When the weather is warmer, my smoothie game is on point. There’s nothing better than an ice-cold, refreshing smoothie on a hot day — especially a filling one.

When it comes to creating a good smoothie, it’s about including something frozen + something creamy + something slightly sweet. After that, the world–err–fridge is your oyster. For me, my base is almost always a frozen banana (creamy and cold), 1 cup of almond milk and 1 tbsp of chia seeds. From there, I’ll usually add whatever greens I have on hand, plus some berries or flavor booster.

This particular mint cacao smoothie recipe came about for two reasons:

  1. I love raw cacao. (I buy TruVibe Organics.)
  2. My mint plant is out of control.

My stepdad built an amazing vertical planter for my porch and the herbs are thriving to the point where it’s becoming overwhelming. I pick mint regularly for minty lemon water (thanks for the idea, Lisa), but I need another use. I thought, mint chocolate smoothie… then thought, mint cacao smoothie. Um, yum!

Raw cacao mint smoothie

(serves 1)

Ingredients

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao powder
  • 4-5 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs for garnish

Directions

Place bananas, raw cacao, milk and other ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth! Add more milk or ice to alter the consistency. Tip for freezing bananas: Peel, chop into 4s and freeze in a ziplock bag.cacao smoothie

Optional: If you need something more filling, add a handful of spinach, 1/4 cup oats, or 1/2 cup of berries, etc. Other good add-ins are more chia seeds, flaxseed, hemp hearts or a dollop of granola.

Try some of my other favorite smoothies:

Vegan Matcha Oatmeal

I finally got my hands on some Japanese matcha powder a couple weeks ago and experimentation has begun. Last week I made matcha muffins, but concluded that they needed more matcha (stay tuned). On Monday, I made a green tea latte but struggled to get it right without a milk frother or bamboo whisk (birthday present ideas, people). FullSizeRender (11)

Also, I have a high standard for this beverage in particular after sipping on matcha lattes in Japan. Lucky for me… WE ARE GOING BACK TO JAPAN IN JULY. Downside, the last thing I’ll want in the 100-degree whether is a hot matcha latte. But, who knows!

This morning, I thought, why not marry two of my fav things — matcha and oatmeal — to make a yummy breakfast. Here’s what we got!

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Invest in some high-quality matcha powder and make this alternative vegan breakfast yourself!

Matcha Oatmeal

Ingredients

1/2 cup oats

1 cup dairy-free milk

1.5 tsp matcha powder

2 Tbsp hot water

sweetener*

toppings**

*I used liquid stevia. Brown sugar, raw honey, maple syrup or other sweeteners work too!

**I recommend going the coconut route and opting for coconut milk as your non-dairy milk. Then sprinkle your oats with shredded coconut, banana, etc.

Directions

  1. In a small pot, heat 1/2 cup oats and 1 cup dairy-free milk to a simmer. Stir constantly and cook until oats are soft and milk is mostly absorbed (about 5 minutes). Before removing from the heat, stir in sweetener of choice.
  2. Stir 1.5 tsp of matcha powder in 2 Tbsp of hot water until it dissolves. Add this to your cooked oats.
  3. Top with shredded coconut, nut butter, raw cacao nibs, chia seeds — what have you.

oatsEnjoy!

Raw Cacao Banana Oats (or Pancakes)

Breakfast, I love you. Raw cacao, I love you too.

Raw Cacao Banana Oats

Ingredients

1/4 cup gluten-free oats*

1 banana, sliced

1/4 cup raw cacao powder

3/4 – 1 cup almond milk**

Toppings: Sliced banana, raw cacao nibs

*Any oats work

**This depends on how thick you want your oats; you can always add more milk

Directions

  1. Add sliced banana, oats and 1/2 cup almond milk to your bowl.
  2. Microwave for 1 minute and 30 second to soften the banana and oats. Remove from microwave to stir and smush the banana.
  3. Add the raw cacao powder and the rest of the almond milk (1/4-1/2 cups). Place back in the microwave for 2 minutes (watch so that it doesn’t overflow while cooking).
  4. Stir, let cool and them top with your favorite toppings (cacao nibs, extra banana, a scoop of nut butter).

oatsFeel like pancakes? Instead of putting the bowl back in the microwave during step three above, pour the oat batter onto a warm skillet and cook like pancakes. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Millet Porridge

Fall is the best — but always so short-lived. I’m taking advantage of fall flavors and autumn-inspired meals before the season turns to winter. Up first, we have a breakfast item.

If you know me at all (or follow me on Instgram), you know that I eat gluten-free oats almost every day for breakfast. They can come in any form: warm oats, cold overnight oats, savory oats with an egg on top, or even in a smoothie. I love how I feel when fueled by oats in the morning. But, there’s more to breakfast — and the grain family — than just oats. For example quinoa, millet, rice and buckwheat are all gluten-free.

Each of those make a fine breakfast grain option believe it or not. The star in the millet porridge dish is certainly the pumpkin purée. I buy the good, organic, as-close-to-straight-up-pumpkin as you can get. The toppings and sweetener are up to you — as always.

Pumpkin Millet Porridge

(serves 2)

Ingredients

1/2 cup dry millet

1 cup water

1/2 cup organic pumpkin purée (get the good stuff!)

1 cup almond milk

1 tsp cinnamon

*Optional: Sweetener of your choice (honey, stevia, maple syrup)

Directions

  1. If you are starting with dry, uncooked millet, add it to a small sauce pan with the water. Bring the millet and water to a boil, and then let it simmer until all the water absorbs (about 10 minutes). If you are starting with cooked millet, use 1 cup and start at step #2.SAMSUNG CSC
  2. To the saucepan add pumpkin, almond milk and cinnamon. Let ingredients simmer until everything warms to your desired serving temperature. Add in your preferred sweetener (optional).SAMSUNG CSC
  3. Split porridge into two bowls and share with a friend, or store half in the fridge to eat warm or cold the next day.
  4. Top with sliced banana, sliced almonds and/or — of course — pumpkin seeds!SAMSUNG CSC

 

Breakfast Blueberry Crumble

I often lay in bed at night scrolling through recipes on my iPhone’s foodgawker app. I know, I know; screen time before bed negatively affects your quality of sleep. In fact, I’ve even written about that before on Boston Magazine’s Hub Health blog in, “Bedtime yoga flow.” Ninety percent of the time I practice what I preach, unless I’m a little hungry and already thinking about breakfast.

Anyways… While scrolling though my foodgawker feed last week, I found a recipe for a breakfast crumble. The recipe called for butter and brown sugar, however added fat and sugar are two things I try to avoid when possible (esp. when cooking for myself). Banana and stevia stepped up to the plate when I called for replacements and the outcome was delicious!

To replace the flour, I used a scoop of vanilla protein powder. If you don’t have any, just two tablespoons of all-purpose, whole wheat or gluten-free flour.

Breakfast Blueberry Crumble

(Serves 1)

Ingredients

Fruit

1 c frozen berries

1 tsp flaxseed

Sprinkle of cinnamon

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Crumble

1/4 c oats

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 mashed banana

4 drops liquid stevia/sprinkle of powdered stevia

Sprinkle of cinnamoncrumble

Directions

    1. In your serving bowl, microwave berries for 3o seconds. Stir in flaxseed and cinnamon, microwaving for another 30 seconds.
    2. In a separate bowl, mash banana then add oats, protein powder, stevia and cinnamon. Combine well, forming your crumble.crumble
    3. Top berries with your crumble and microwave for 45 seconds, + 30 more if needed.SAMSUNG CSC
    4. Add your favorite toppings, i.e. almonds, dollop of Greek yogurt, more berries,etc., and enjoy!

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Simple, quick, easy, healthy.

Cocoa Coffee Smoothie

I really love Starbucks coffee, especially their dark roast blend. On days I work from home, I typically head down to my local coffee shop and get a small cup of dark roast, add my Stevia, then sip, sip, sip. Since I use my Starbucks card so often, coffee and tea refills are on the house. Before I leave, I frequently ask the barista for my free refill  and then store that beverage in the refrigerator to use the next day.

Not only is this a great way to save a couple dollah, dollah bills, but it allows me to get a little creative with my beverage. After seeing this smoothie post from a friend, I was inspired to create my own concoction. Here we have a…

Cocoa coffee smoothie

Ingredients

1 cup of cold* coffee

1/2 banana

1 tbsp cocoa powder

3 drops liquid Stevia

Splash plain, unsweetened almond milk**

1 handful of ice

Cacao nibs for garnish***

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*Making the beverage hot isn’t out of the question, just warm the coffee and omit the ice.

**Any milk will do — even 1 tbsp of coconut oil.

***Going the coconut route? Top with shredded coconut.

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Directions

  1. Blend coffee, banana, cocoa powder and Stevia.
  2. Add ice to a glass and pour smoothie in. Add a splash of milk and garnish.

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Delicious and refreshing! Perfect for this transition from winter to spring. :)

Let me know if you try it out!

Zucchini Protein Pancakes

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I haven’t had a lazy Sunday AM in a very long time. As I lay in bed this morning, completely relaxed, I started thinking about breakfast. Today is a grocery shopping day, so we had very little in the refrigerator — no eggs, no apples, no bananas, and only one piece of bacon. Perfect opportunity to get creative!

I started looking through foodgawker.com and came across a couple zucchini recipes, unrelated to breakfast. But, then I got thinking… 1. I love zucchini bread, and 2. I have been trying to master protein pancakes for a while. This batch is a winner! I kept my pancakes simple and as clean as possible, but to Ryo’s batch I added extra sugar and some chocolate chips. Yum!

Here is a rough breakdown of their makeup:

Calories: 251 
Protein (+/-  depending on protein powder): 25g
Carbohydrates: 29.5g
Fiber: 6.5g

Zucchini protein pancakes (Serves 1)

1 flaxseed egg (1T ground flaxseed + 3T water)
1/4 c shredded zucchini
2 T Greek yogurt
2 T water
4 drops of liquid stevia
1/2 t vanilla extract
1/2 t cinnamon
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1/4 c whole wheat flour (or preferred GF flour)
1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (21.5g)
1/4 t baking powder
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*Optional (… for the boyfriends/kids/sweet tooth): 1 T brown sugar, palm-full of chocolate chips 
**Alternative to flaxseed egg = 1 egg white.
  1. Grab your mixing bowl and prepare the flaxseed egg by combining  1T ground flaxseed with 3T of water. Let the mixture sit for 5 minutes. In the meantime, gather your ingredients.

    Flaxseed egg, protein powder and zucchini.

    Flaxseed egg, protein powder and zucchini.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, Greek yogurt, water, stevia, vanilla and cinnamon to the flaxseed egg and combine.

    Liquid mixture.

    Liquid mixture.

  3. To the liquid ingredients, add the flour, protein powder and baking powder (plus, any optional ingredients). Mix well.
  4. Lightly grease the skillet with non-stick spray and portion your batter out into 3 or 4 pancakes. Cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side — or until golden brown.protein pancakesprotein pancakes
  5. Serve topped with fruit, nuts, nut butter, honey or syrup. This time around, I did honey and some warmed frozen fruit.

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Enjoy!
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