Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gingerbread Oatmeal

Just when I thought nothing would ever top my double dark chocolate-peanut butter oatmeal...

I was looking for something "Christmas-y" but healthy to make for breakfast Christmas morning.  Something sweet, but with a different flavor profile from all the holiday cookies I had been baking, when it occurred to me that I had yet to bake anything gingerbread related. Immediately I googled "gingerbread breakfast" and got a hit for gingerbread pancakes. While those sounded amazing, they also sounded more time consuming than desired after a run. Quickly remembering that oatmeal is one of my favorite foods ever I googled "gingerbread oatmeal" hoping for a recipe to at least get me started, seasonings wise.  

And oh boy, did I ever hit the jack pot! I only deviated slightly from the recipe I found online but don't want to be one of those people who review recipes but  I didn't prepare the oatmeal as specifically stated. Regardless, my version turned out absolutely divine and I have no doubt the original is just as tasty.

Sound the alarm. We have a new favorite oatmeal recipe here folks.

Gingerbread Oatmeal
Adapted from here

Serves 2-4


2 1/4 cups milk of choice

1 1/2 cups thick cut oats

1 tablespoon coconut oil

5-6 tablespoons maple syrup

2 teaspoons black strap molasses

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt


Bring milk and salt to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. Once boiling add everything else, stirring to combine well.

Bring back to a boil then reduce heat to low.

Cook until desired thickness, stirring often. This will take about 3-5 minutes.

Remove from heat, divide between bowls, and serve.

Enjoy :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Chocolate Milk For One

This here is just a quick little recipe that I adapted from a recipe I saw on pinterest a couple weeks ago for homemade Nesquik. I thought it would be a fun project because we love chocolate milk around here, but hate that most brands are made with HFCS. I know there are brands out there that are made with sugar, but this recipe is easy enough to make at home and allows you to adjust the final result according to taste.

My first attempt of this recipe came after a trip to the grocery store in which we purchased some chocolate milk. Naturally we wanted to drink it right away, but I just couldn't get over the first ingredient being HFCS so I quickly threw this together without checking the OG recipe. All I remembered what that there was twice as much sugar as cocoa powder. I took a sip and thought it was pretty good so I handed it off to Mark.

"You're about to ruin chocolate milk for me aren't you?" he said before taking a sip.

He thought it was pretty darn good (and yes, better than the store bought), but needed more cocoa powder. So for the glass I made for myself I doubled the cocoa powder and cut back on the sugar. After tasting the second attempt, we both agreed that it was delicious.

Mark likes his exclusively with cows milk, but I think its amazing with Almond Breeze coconut-almond milk. With either milk this mixture creates an extremely rich, chocolately drink which can and should be enjoyed hot or cold.

I just love the color of the drink. It reminds me of the hot chocolate machine on The Santa Clause (my favorite Christmas movie) and how creamy it came out.
This one is definitely a keeper.

Chocolate Milk For One
Adapted from here

Serves 1


1 cup milk of choice

1 tablespoon cocoa powder

1-2 tablespoons sugar

pinch of salt, optional


Mix together cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in a small container and set aside. Warm 1/4 cup of milk in the bottom of a mug in the microwave for about 15 seconds.

Pour cocoa powder mixture into warmed milk and stir until powder has dissolved.

Pour remaining 3/4 cup of milk into mug and mix well.

Enjoy :)

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

I wanted to call this blog post something way longer albeit much more accurate (Chocolately Protein Packed Greek Yogurt Pancakes), but settled with  "Greek Yogurt Pancakes" to save everyone some brain power. You're welcome. Just know that the title doesn't emphasize the facts that this recipe is choco-rific and much more nutritious than normal pancakes.

I was originally given this recipe from my sister-in-law, Elisa, a couple months ago by her handing me a recipe card and saying "let me know what you think" leaving me with no indication of how these would turn out. Being the curious creature that I am, these were made for dinner the next day. Here is a screenshot of the conversation Elisa and I had afterwards:

To summarize: These are pancakes, made with greek yogurt, and actually taste close to the real deal. These are pancakes with a pretty decent amount of protein, meaning I won't be hungry an hour and a half later, very little flour, and no sugar. Sign me up.

Fast forward to this past Saturday when we were looking for an excuse to open our container of Wallaby Greek Yogurt (our favorite), the pancakes popped into my head and Mark was more than willing to oblige. While I was mixing the ingredients I remembered that I had an unopened container of Hershey's Special Dark Cocoa and decided to experiment. Can you really go wrong with adding chocolate to pancakes? I think not.

Turns out I thought right. The biggest difference I could tell between actual pancakes and these was that these were a bit harder to cut through. Rubbery might be the right word, but it seems so off-putting. Either way, these were enjoyed and will be made again.

We topped ours with the usual butter and syrup but feel free to do whatever you want. I have a feeling peanut butter would be a really good topping.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Oatmeal Two Ways: One Savory, One Sweet (Travel Friendly)

This past weekend Mark and I had the pleasure of having a little getaway. While we had looked forward to this getaway, I was a little worried about finding something filling and nutritious with the continental breakfast provided at the hotel. Sure, we could have gone out for breakfast, but it made financial sense to take advantage of the meal provided. Besides, having one healthy meal a day negates all the other unhealthy (but delectable) food I ate for the rest of the trip, right? Challenge: Accepted.

Anywho, getting back to my quest of finding a hidden gem in the enriched white flour, HFCS laden breakfast options available....

The first morning we awoke 30 minutes before breakfast ended so we hurried down to find a very limited quantity of items left. Mark chose a bowl of Fruit Loops and a waffle, which I nibbled on as well (oh, nostalgia). As for me, I immediately noticed the fruit bowl filled with oranges and apples. Given I eat approximately 1,468 apples a week, I switched it up and went with an orange. But the important part of this fruit bowl story is that it gave me notice to my saving breakfast grace for the next three days: instant oatmeal.

Now normally, I am strictly a thick cut oats kind of girl but sometimes compromises are needed. I grabbed two of the original flavored packets and simultaneously had a stroke of genius. Remembering that I just so happened to pack a couple gingerbread flavored tea bags (obsession of the moment) and some stevia packets I raced up to my room and grabbed a tea bag and a stevia packet. The stevia packet isn't necessary since they usually have sugar packets readily available.

This trifeca of ingredients created the sweet version of the two oatmeal recipes I am excited to share with you today.

Hotel Breakfast Style Gingerbread Oatmeal

Serves 1


2 packets of unflavored instant oatmeal

1 1/4 cups hot water

1 gingerbread flavored tea bag

1/2-1 packet sweetener of choice


Steep tea bag in hot water for 5-10 minutes (peel and eat orange during this time).

Remove tea bag and add packets of oatmeal. Stir to dampen oats and place in microwave for 1-1:30 minutes.

Remove from microwave and stir in sweetener packet.

Enjoy :)