Tag Archives: oatmeal

Mocha Banana Pecan Overnight Oats

I’ve noticed lots and lots of recipes for overnight oats in the last few years and have been wanting to try making some. I finally got around to doing that after receiving some complimentary breakfast coffees from Community Coffee. They sent me one of their new products, Amber Sunrise Blend, along with their tried-and-true Breakfast Blend.

Amber Sunrise Blend has a smooth, bright, pleasant flavor and smells wonderful as you’re brewing it. As one of my friends said, “It’s a coffee you want to wake up to.” The light roast Breakfast Blend also has a nice smooth, mild flavor–a great coffee to start your day with.

So what do overnight oats and coffee have in common? Well, I came across an overnight oats recipe on the blog at the Community Coffee site that includes coffee as one of the ingredients–along with oats, cocoa powder, banana slices, and other yummy ingredients. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and added some chopped dark chocolate on top. It’s a special mocha-flavored treat for breakfast–or you can have it later in the day as a healthy snack!

MOCHA BANANA PECAN OVERNIGHT OATS by NancyC, adapted from Community Coffee

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or substitute the same amount of milk)
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed Community Coffee (I used the Amber Sunrise blend)
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped pecans (toasted or untoasted)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chopped dark chocolate (72% Cacao works well in this)

In small jar or bowl with tight-fitting lid, combine oats, yogurt or milk, coffee, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with banana, chopped pecans, and chopped dark chocolate just before serving.

I used 72% Cacao dark chocolate when I made these overnight oats–it gives the oats a good rich cocoa flavor without making it too sweet. I can see now why overnight oats are such a popular breakfast item–they’re so easy and convenient to make! Have you tried making overnight oats yet?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Weekend Potluck.

Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies

Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies @ NancyC

I’ve been in a chocolate chip mood lately! I recently posted a recipe for some Chocolate Chip Scones and then I thought I’d make some breakfast-type cookies, but with chocolate chips in them, too–I call them Dark Chocolate Chip Granola Cookies. A cookie made with ingredients that I usually put in granola, like honey, coconut flakes, old-fashioned oats, wheat germ, ground flaxseed, chopped nuts, raisins or dried cranberries, and a good amount of dark chocolate chips!

These cookies brown a little more around the edges because of the honey, I think. I read somewhere that baked goods made with honey brown faster, so that’s true of these cookies. They’re a good, slightly chewy cookies that make a great snack or quick breakfast if you like sweet things for breakfast!

DARK CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA COOKIES by NancyC

Makes about 26 cookies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup wheat germ
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed (you can substitute wheat bran or oat bran for the wheat germ or flaxseed)
  • 1 cup golden raisins, dark raisins, or dried cranberries (or a mix of 2 or 3 of these)
  • 1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In large bowl, cream butter and sugar, until smooth, then add honey, vanilla, and eggs, blending well.

In medium size bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add this mixture, half of it at a time, to the butter/sugar mixture; mix until everything is blended, but don’t overmix.

Fold in, a few ingredients at a time, the coconut flakes, oats, wheat germ, flaxseed, raisins or cranberries, chocolate chips, and nuts, stirring to blend everything evenly into the batter (batter will be thick).

Using a measuring cup, drop dough by 1/4 cupfuls, 2 inches apart, onto parchment-lined cookie sheets (you should be able to fit 6 cookies per sheet). Bake at 350˚F for 12 to 13 minutes or until edges are browned. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 to 3 minutes, then move to wire rack to cool completely.

It’s nice eating cookies that have some healthy ingredients in them–I guess it helps justify eating cookies, right? 🙂 Do you have any healthier cookie recipes you like to make?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck.

Crunchy Honey Almond Granola Bars

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I love those crunchy Nature Valley Granola Bars, so I thought this would be a good recipe to try. It originated from Americas’s Test Kitchen, but I actually found these granola bars on Bakerlady. I adapted the recipe by making them into Honey Almond Granola Bars by using almond extract instead of vanilla, canola oil instead of vegetable oil, adding a little extra salt, and leaving out the cinnamon, since I didn’t want it to take away from the almond flavor. I also added some milled flaxseed for extra fiber. I liked the way these turned out, so I plan on making them regularly! They don’t taste exactly like Nature Valley Granola Bars, but they have the same great crunchy texture. Since I eat a lot of granola bars, I’m sure I will save money making them myself! Making your own granola bars is also much more eco-friendly, too, when you think of all the packaging used for those store-bought bars.

This recipe works best in a 13 x 18″ pan; if you make it in a 10 x 15″ pan the bars will be thicker and harder to cut. Also, you should not use quick-cooking oats–be sure to use Old Fashioned Oats!

CRUNCHY HONEY ALMOND GRANOLA BARS by NancyC, adapted from Bakerlady

Makes a 13 x 18″ pan (about 24 to 30 bars, depending on the size you cut them)

  • 7 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 to 1 1/2 Tablespoons almond extract (if you just use 1 Tablespoon, the almond flavor will be very, very mild)
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons milled or whole flaxseeds or wheat germ (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped or sliced almonds

Adjust oven rack to the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 375˚F.

Line a 13 x 18″ rimmed baking pan with aluminum foil or parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, oil, and salt, mixing until oats are evenly coated. Transfer mixture to baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake, stirring oats every 10 minutes, until pale gold, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove pan from oven and lower temperature to 300˚F.

Combine honey and brown sugar in a saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, to dissolve the sugar. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract.

In large bowl, combine the oats, flaxseed or wheat germ (if using), and almonds, mixing until ingredients are blended well. Then add the honey mixture and stir with a large spoon or rubber spatula until the oats are thoroughly coated with the honey mixture.

Spray the baking sheet, still lined with foil or parchment paper, with non-stick spray and spread the granola mixture in an even layer on the sheet. Spray a large spoon or metal spatula with non-stick spray and firmly press the mixture into the pan. Make a flat, tight, even layer. Bake at 300˚F until golden, about 35 minutes.

Cool granola in baking sheet, on a wire rack, for 10 minutes before cutting into bars with a knife or pastry scraper. Cut bars all the way through (2 x 3″ is a good size), then allow the bars to completely cool. Do not wait any longer than 10 minutes to cut the bars because they harden up as they cool and become difficult to cut.

You can put the bars in a covered container and store for up to 2 weeks.

NOTE: You can make Cinnamon Walnut Granola Bars by substituting vanilla extract for the almond extract, chopped walnuts (or pecans) for the almonds, and adding 1 to 2  teaspoons of cinnamon to the honey and brown sugar mixture.

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Do you like crunchy or chewy granola bars–and do you have a favorite granola bar recipe?

Linked to Inspire Me Monday.

Cranberry-Almond Oatmeal Bake

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Last week, my friend Ann gave me a recipe for baked oatmeal to try. I fully intended to make the recipe exactly as it was, but as I looked it over I thought, What would it taste like if I added this instead of that, and this much instead of that much…and so on, until it became quite a different recipe with a totally different taste and texture. The original recipe (which I still plan on making and posting here soon) was more cake-like, but this Cranberry-Almond Oatmeal Bake is very moist…it’s like eating very thick, rich oatmeal packed with lots of yummy, healthy things like applesauce, cinnamon, sliced almonds, and dried cranberries. And it’s sweetened with honey instead of sugar. It does have eggs in it, so if you have to be careful about your egg intake, you can use an egg substitute instead. This recipe makes a 9×13″ pan of oatmeal yumminess. If there’s any extra left over, you can freeze it and just thaw and reheat when you’re ready for more. You can also make a smaller amount by halving the recipe and baking in an 8 or 9″ square pan.

Another great thing about this recipe is that you can mix the ingredients the night before, put it in the refrigerator overnight, and bake it in the morning…so convenient!

When serving this, you can either cut it into squares or spoon it out into a bowl. It’s moist enough on it’s own to eat just the way it is, or you can serve it with milk or a dollop of vanilla yogurt (with a sprinkle of cinnamon) on top…or both! 🙂

CRANBERRY-ALMOND OATMEAL BAKE by NancyCreative

Makes a 9×13″ pan

  • 1 cup applesauce (I used all-natural unsweetened)
  • 4 large eggs (or use an equivalent amount of egg substitute)
  • 1 1/2 cups honey (if you don’t have enough honey, you could use 1 cup honey and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups fat free or low-fat milk, or almond milk
  • 6 cups rolled oats (you can used old-fashioned or quick cooking oats)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or substitute raisins)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (or substitute walnuts)
  • optional–milk or vanilla yogurt (to serve with)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13″ baking pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk applesauce and eggs together, then add honey and blend well. Add in the vanilla, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt, and blend well. Add milk, blending everything well. Stir in oats and mix until evenly distributed, then fold in the cranberries and almonds and blend until evenly distributed in mixture.

Pour or spoon mixture into greased pan and refrigerate overnight. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 35 to 42 minutes, or until the oatmeal is set in the middle of the pan (the texture should be thick and moist, but not runny). Serve hot (cut into squares or spoon into bowls) with warm or cold milk poured over, or with a dollop of vanilla yogurt on top…or both! And it looks nice with some cinnamon sprinkled on top, too!

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This oatmeal bake is a tasty, healthy way to start your day! I’m trying to get more oatmeal in my diet, so I’m sure I’ll be making this often! What about you…do you start your day with oatmeal and how do you like to serve it?

Cranberry-Pecan Oatmeal

Here’s an easy way to make oatmeal a little more exciting…it’s called Cranberry-Pecan Oatmeal! I used old-fashioned oats, but you could use quick oats or instant oatmeal…whatever you like making best (just adjust the cooking time for the quick or instant oats, which will be less). The dried cranberries add some sweetness and the chopped pecans add a nice crunchiness!

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