I’m looking forward to blueberry season when I can pick my own berries! Until then, I have to settle for buying them at the store. I prefer using fresh blueberries when I bake, but the two markets I went to were totally out of them! So I had to use frozen, but this muffin recipe works well with either fresh or frozen berries. Continue reading
Fruit and yogurt parfaits are perfect for a summer breakfast—it’s nice to have something that’s cool, refreshing, and easy to make! I had come up with this Tropical Breakfast Parfait recipe a few years ago and made it a little fancy by serving it in a vintage glass. If Continue reading
It’s hard to believe we’re almost through November already and looking forward to the Thanksgiving holiday! I didn’t realize until this year that November is also American Diabetes Month. In 2012, 9.3% of the American population (or 29.1 million Americans) had diabetes, so chances are that you or someone you know has been diagnosed with it. I recently received a review copy of the Two-Step Diabetes Cookbook by Nancy S. Hughes, so I thought I’d share a little about the book and try out a recipe.
This cookbook includes over 150 recipes that are simple, quick, flavorful, and healthy. And everyday ingredients are used to create these diabetic-friendly dishes. Some of the recipes include:
- Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
- Apple-Walnut French Toast
- Pepperoni Mozzarella Pita Crisps
- Corn and Black Bean Salsa Salad
- Vanilla Honey Sweet Potatoes
- Veggie-Loaded Sweet Corn Muffins
- Herb-Roasted Chicken with Root Vegetables
- Cinnamon Raspberry Cookie Cake Squares
I decided to try the Breakfast Berry Scooper Cake, which is served with Greek yogurt. This breakfast cake is very, very moist, lightly-sweet and packed with fruit. If you serve this hot, you can scoop it out of the pan. If you serve it warm or cool, you can cut into squares, which is what I did. The yogurt is a nice creamy pairing with the cake, giving you a slightly sweet, slightly tart taste combination–a great option for your morning meal!
BREAKFAST BERRY SCOOPER CAKE AND YOGURT from Two-Step Diabetes Cookbook
Makes 9 servings in an 8″square pan (2 1/2″ square and 1/3 cup yogurt per serving)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (I used unbleached flour)
- 7 Tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 3 Tablespoons canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 (1-pound) bag frozen mixed berries
- 3 cups plain nonfat Greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Meanwhile, combine the flour, all but 2 teaspoons of the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, buttermilk, egg, oil, and extract in a medium bowl. Whisk together until smooth and pour into an 8-inch square baking pan coated with cooking spray; top with the frozen berries.
Bake 1 hour or until browned and wooden pick inserted 2 inches from edge comes out clean. Remove from oven, place pan on cooling rack, and sprinkle with remaining sugar (I forgot to sprinkle on the remaining sugar, but I didn’t really miss having it on there). Serve hot, warm, or room temperature with yogurt on the side.
Cook’s Tip: If serving hot, use a spoon to remove. It will be a “loose” pudding cake texture. If serving warm, carefully cut into squares and use a flat spatula to remove; it will be a very moist pudding cake texture. If serving room temperature, cut into squares. Use a flat spatula to remove. It will be a firmer, but still very moist, pudding cake texture.
EXCHANGES/CHOICES: 2 Carbohydrate, 1 Protein, lean 1/2 Fat
BASIC NUTRITIONAL VALUES: Calories 215 (Calories from fat 45), Total Fat 5.0 g (Saturated Fat 0.5 g, Trans Fat 0.0 g), Cholesterol 20 mg, Sodium 175 mg, Potassium 180 mg, Total Carbohydrate 30 g (Dietary Fiber 2 g, Sugars 17 g), Protein 11 g, Phosphorus 170 mg
My cake had browned quite a bit on top, so next time I’ll check to see if it’s done at 55 minutes instead of 60. You may want to do that too, especially if your oven tends to run hot.
Even if you don’t have diabetes, the recipes in this cookbook give you lots of great ideas on ways to eat healthier. What are some of your favorite healthy breakfast dishes?
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I’ve been putting off making granola because it’s been so hot outside! I try to avoid using my oven if I don’t need to when the weather is really hot, but I was really wanting to make some granola. So I got up very early one Saturday morning–which lately has been the coolest, least humid part of the day–and made this Vanilla-Almond Granola. It seemed like a nice, basic, summery flavor to try. I really like the vanilla-almond combination. You’ll notice that it does have quite a bit of vanilla in it–2 whole Tablespoons! It’s a slightly sweet granola, so if you like yours more sweet, add in the brown sugar, which I have listed as an optional ingredient. It’s sweet enough for me without the brown sugar, though, and I love eating this sprinkled on top of some vanilla Greek yogurt–a good, easy breakfast for the summer months!
VANILLA-ALMOND GRANOLA by NancyC
Makes about 6 1/2 cups
- 4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (do not use quick oats)
- 1 1/2 cups sliced or slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup wheat germ or ground flax seed
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower kernels (if you use roasted kernels, add those to the mixture after baking)
- Optional: 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (if you want your granola sweeter)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup plus 1 Tablespoon honey
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 2 Tablespoons pure vanilla extract
- Parchment paper for lining baking sheet
Preheat oven to 300˚F. Line a 10 x 15″ or 13 x 18″ baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
In a large bowl, toss the oats, almonds, wheat germ or ground flax seed, sunflower kernels, brown sugar (if using), salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.
In a small microwaveable bowl, heat honey for 20 to 30 seconds to make the consistency thinner. Then, in a medium size bowl, blend honey and melted coconut oil. Stir in the almond and vanilla extracts, blending everything well. Pour honey mixture over oat mixture and toss until the oat mixture is well coated.
Spread granola mixture on prepared baking sheet and bake at 300˚F for 45 minutes, until mixture is golden, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let granola cool completely (the mixture will get crunchier as it cools). Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.
I’ve heard that you can also freeze homemade granola for two to three months, although I haven’t tried that myself yet. This granola would also be good sprinkled over ice cream for dessert. Have you made any special homemade granola flavors this summer?
Breakfast just seems more like breakfast when maple syrup is involved! And as fall approaches, I like to use maple syrup in my recipes. These muffins have pure maple syrup in them and oatmeal is also an ingredient, so I like to think they’re a little healthy, too! 🙂 Chopped pecans also give these muffins a hearty texture and flavor. They’re topped with a very thick maple glaze, but you can leave the glaze off if you want…if you make them without the glaze, I recommend serving them warm with butter! These are just the thing for a fall breakfast or brunch!
MAPLE OAT PECAN MUFFINS by NancyC
Makes 20 muffins
- 2 cups quick-cooking oats
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
- 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- Maple Syrup Glaze (recipe below)
Pre heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper baking cups. In medium bowl, combine oats and milk; let stand for 5 minutes.
In large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; set aside.
Going back to the medium bowl, stir the maple syrup, melted butter, and egg into the oat-and-milk mixture. Then add all of this mixture to the flour mixture in the large bowl. Stir just until moistened, then fold the chopped pecans into the batter.
Spoon batter into the lined muffin cups, about 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean or almost clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then remove muffins from pan onto a wire rack. Either serve muffins warm without adding the glaze, or let them cool completely and then top with the Maple Syrup Glaze.
MAPLE SYRUP GLAZE
- 1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- pecan halves for garnish (optional)
Mix all ingredients together, blending well. This is a thick glaze–almost a frosting–if you want a thinner glaze, you can add more milk and maple syrup. Use a small spoon to add the glaze over each muffin top, then add a pecan half on top, if desired. Let the glaze set and serve.
You can serve these muffins with the glaze and a pecan on top, or with just the glaze, or no glaze at all…whatever way you like best!
The pure maple syrup gives these muffins a wonderful flavor and sweetness! Do you use maple syrup as a sweetener in any recipes?