Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

Quinoa Honey Nut Granola 1

Eating should be easy, shouldn’t it?

After all, it’s one of our innate human instincts, something most of us do effortlessly minutes after being born (along with breathing and pooping, of course).

For some, though, eating is not simple at all. We’ve got a plethora of experts touting the ‘perfect’ diet and constantly hear about nutritional philosophies that directly oppose one another.

Depending on the diet, we’re told to avoid gluten, dairy, soy, corn, beans, eggs, yeast, sugar, starchy vegetables, saturated fats, grains, or rainbows. (I made that last one up.)

I recently experimented with a grain-free diet. I’ve been told countless times that grains are a poor choice for people with Crohn’s, along with a number of other ‘baddies’ outlined in this diet.

Grains have never appeared to bother me, yet I thought I’d give it a try to see what happened. I didn’t notice a difference in my body, but what I did feel in my mind was deprived.

I don’t eat an abundance of grains in the first place. When I told myself I wasn’t allowed to have them, they suddenly became all I wanted.

An enormous part of my struggle to heal has been letting go of the idea of a ‘perfect’ diet to cure Crohn’s. There is no such thing – there’s just been a heck of a lot of trial and error to discover what works uniquely for me.

I don’t want to deprive myself of a food my body wants, as long as that food has health-promoting properties. So for the moment, grains are back in.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t have some fun with grain-free recipes.

I’ve had a bag of quinoa flakes sitting in my cupboard for ages. I think I bought them to make these cookies, but haven’t used them since.

They are the perfect replacement for rolled oats, and when paired with nuts and honey, they create unreal granola goodness. My husband liked eating his with coconut milk for breakfast, while I just enjoy scooping spoonfuls as a snack.

You can substitute other nuts or seeds in here if you’d like, and if you want to make this vegan, simply use maple syrup instead of honey.

Is eating stressful for you? How do you find balance in your eating life?

Quinoa Honey Nut Granola
gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, grain-free

1 1/2 cups quinoa flakes
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup walnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.

In a food processor, pulse the pecans and walnuts until they are finely chopped (you could also do this by hand).

Put the nuts in a bowl along with the quinoa flakes, coconut and salt.

Gently melt the honey, coconut oil and vanilla, then pour over the rest of the quinoa-nut mixture. Stir until everything is coated.

Spread the granola on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper. Bake for 28-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the granola is nicely golden.

Cool the granola completely, then store in an airtight container.


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Tahini usually gets the short end of the stick, doesn’t it? We blend it into dips, sauces and spreads, eager to disguise its nutty, earthy taste with other flavours.

Poor tahini. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.

Until now.

In this very more-ish granola, tahini has the opportunity to take centre stage. It doesn’t overpower, but it’s definitely there. Being delicious.

As always, you’re welcome to chuck in more ingredients: pumpkin seeds, shredded coconut, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, walnuts, almonds. Just do what you need to. Remember: the sooner you get this in the oven, the sooner you’ll have it in your belly.

(Looking for ways to eat healthy without spending a ton of cash? Check out my latest e-book about healthy eating on a budget.)

Tahini Granola
Adapted from The Jew and the Carrot
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, egg-free, five ingredients or less

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1/4 cup tahini
1/3 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup raisins
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, raisins and cinnamon. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk the tahini and maple syrup until they are well mixed.

Add the tahini mixture to the oats and stir until everything is coated. Spread the granola out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silpat.

Bake for 30 minutes, stirring halfway. The granola will crisp up as it cools. Allow it to cool completely before transferring to a sealed container.

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A significant portion of this granola was intercepted by my belly on its way to the storage jar.

It all started with the decadent, heavenly aroma that permeated the house. Then I began gingerly breaking off small chunks to nibble on as the granola cooled. Before I knew it, I couldn’t stop grabbing for more.

One chocolatey bite will instantly take you to your happy place (incidentally, my happy place is eating chocolate in my kitchen – so I didn’t have far to go).

Another bonus is that this granola is incredibly simple. You could embellish it with extra nuts and dried fruit, or use it as a topping for dairy-free yogurt or ice cream, but I just loved it on its own.

So the moral of the story is: prepare yourself to exercise restraint before you attempt this.

What foods do you need to summon your willpower for?

Chocolate Granola
From Colourful Palate

2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened, shredded organic coconut
¼ cup cacao powder
½ cup raw honey
½ tsp vanilla powder, or vanilla extract
pinch of Himalayan sea salt

Mix all of the ingredients together and spread out on a baking sheet lined with a silpat or parchment paper.

Bake at 250-275 degrees F for about 30-35 minutes, or until the granola is dry and crunchy.

Store in a sealed glass container.

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Most of my readers know that this blog is all about my adaptations or imitations of droolworthy recipes.

As I’ve been interning in a cooking school where recipes are creative, fluid and spontaneous, my experimental side has emerged and I’m beginning to play with building recipes from scratch.

The result? Amazingness!

So head on over to this post on the Love in the Kitchen blog to read the reviews of this ultra-comforting, delicious coconut buckwheat porridge.


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I haven’t made waffles in years. It’s difficult to find a recipe that has no gluten, dairy, eggs or soy. Though I have no problem with eggs or soy, the husband does. And I’m not about to make an entire batch of waffles for myself while he gazes at them with longing.

These waffles were utterly delicious. Crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside, with a lovely nuttiness and hint of sweetness. For some reason, I was craving something savory when I made these, so I topped mine with sautéed kale, mushrooms and tomatoes. The husband doused his in maple syrup, and we both enjoyed them equally.

I think my waffle iron has risen from purgatory!

Now that I’ve got the basic recipe down, I can play with add-ins. Pumpkin, berries, chocolate chunks or nuts would work perfectly in a sweeter version, while chopped onions, spinach, grated zucchini or garlic would make great savory additions.

This would be a good pancake batter, too, if you don’t have a waffle iron. Just use a ¼-cup measure, drop the batter into a heated pan and cook a few minutes on each side, or until they are puffy and golden.

Buckwheat Groats and Oats Waffles
From Lexie’s Kitchen

1 ¼ cup water
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
¼ tsp vanilla powder, or 1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats
¾ cup brown rice flour
¼ cup buckwheat groats
¼ tsp Himalayan salt
1 tbsp baking powder

Place the water, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla powder, lemon juice, oats, flour, groats and salt (in that order) into a blender or food processor. Blend on high for about 30 seconds until the batter is smooth. Add in the baking powder and blend for another 10 seconds.

Pour batter into a heated waffle iron that is lightly coated with oil. Cook for five minutes, or to desired crispness.

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Who likes the idea of eating nutritious cookie dough for breakfast?

Um, me. Obviously.

I know you’re thinking that ‘cookie dough’ and ‘healthy’ are contradictory terms that can’t be used next to one another, but it’s true. This baked oatmeal is low in calories, high in protein and it’s a good source of fibre.

It probably took me less than five minutes to prepare this and although the quantities don’t seem like much, the finished product is actually quite filling. And totally tasty, too.

Another bonus: there are four other flavours to choose from. Please go and check out the cinnamon bun one – it looks fantastic.

Cookie Dough Baked Oatmeal
From Chocolate Covered Katie

½ cup gluten-free rolled oats
¼ tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp almond butter (optional)
¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
¼ cup water (or almond milk)
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
Handful of cacao nibs or chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine dry ingredients, then mix in wet. Pour into a small pre-greased baking pan, loaf pan, or 1-cup ramekin. Cook for 20 minutes, or more until it’s firm. Finally, set your oven to broil for 2-5 more minutes (or simply just bake longer, but broiling gives it a nice crust).

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Despite its name, buckwheat does not contain wheat – it’s actually a fruit seed related to the rhubarb family.

Buckwheat is high in fibre and it’s great for your digestive tract, cardiovascular system and blood sugar levels. Though I’ve used buckwheat flour in the past, this was the first time I’ve tried it in its whole form.

This granola was beyond delicious. I loved the mild taste and crunch of the buckwheat, while the maple syrup created gooey, sticky and sweet clumps (which I love in raw granola).

When it comes right down to it, you could substitute any dried fruit, nut or seed in here. But I’d recommend that you try this recipe as is, because it’s wonderful – and I’m going to make double next time!

Choosing Raw Granola
From Choosing Raw

1 cup soaked and dehydrated buckwheat
2 tbsp ground flaxseed
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup gogi berries (optional, I had some on hand so I threw them in)
1/3 cup maple syrup or agave
1 tbsp coconut or flax oil
2 tbsp water
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of salt
Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.

Whisk together the maple syrup, water, coconut oil, cinnamon and salt. Pour over dry ingredients and mix them well.

Dehydrate at 115 degrees for about 10-12 hours, or until granola is sticky but adhering firmly. Refrigerate till ready to use; this will help maintain crunch and texture.

If you don’t have a dehydrator, put the granola on a baking sheet in the oven at 250 degrees F for about an hour, or until it’s dry and crunchy.

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