And the snow day baking continues!
This time we made muffins that are the perfect thing for breakfast or a mid-day snack. They really taste like banana bread, and are full of nutritious ingredients – and very rich in protein. This is refueling food (I made Phil have one when he finished his workout this morning – he’s always struggling to find non-Clif-Bar snacks to have after exercising).
And they are 100% toddler approved! Finn is a pretty good eater, but picky about textures. These ones don’t seem to be too mushy for my particular kid. And since he’s a banana fan, they pass the taste test.
Enjoy, and let’s all hope this snow stops SOON.
- 1 cup almond butter
- 4 eggs
- 2 ripe bananas
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla powder
- 6 tbsp coconut flour
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350F and line a muffin pan with paper cases.
- Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.
- Spoon the batter into the muffin cases and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Well, it finally happened! Say hello to Finnegan Charles:
He was born on July 11th (I can’t believe he’s 6 weeks old already…) at 1:15AM, wide-eyed and interested in what this big world has to offer him. Apart from the lack of sleep, we are in love with our little man and so glad he’s here.
I’d rather not share my birth story here. Maybe that will change in the future, but for now I’d like to keep it off the internet.
One thing about bringing Finn into this world that I will share, however, is the fact that I struggled hard with breastfeeding during the first week. My milk didn’t come in as quickly as the baby would have liked, so we were forced to supplement with donor breast milk (bless those women who donated!) through a tube and syringe. I was also pumping like a mad-woman, making sure our little one got what he needed.
Everything is going much more smoothly now, and he’s gaining weight and feeding like a champ, but those first days with him were a real challenge.
And then I learned about the Nursing Mama’s Breakfast!
We met with the most wonderful lactation consultant, Jessica, who visited us at home twice to make sure Finn was progressing and feeding properly. But my favorite thing she passed along to me was a list of recipes with ingredients thought to promote lactation. I can eat my way to better breastfeeding? Awesome!
The three magic ingredients are:
- Oats – Full of fiber, protein, and iron! Not to mention the calories they provide – crucial for allowing your body to do its (very hard and tiring) work!
- Flax – The omega-3 content is what counts here. It passes through the breastmilk to your baby, nourishing their growing brains and bodies, as well as supporting yours.
- Brewer’s Yeast (aka nutritional yeast) – this is NOT the same thing as the yeast you use for baking. Instead, brewer’s yeast is rich in B vitamins and a whole host of essential minerals, especially iron. All things a new mama needs for energy and lactation support. Or you could just drink a beer – no don’t.
Of course, you could very easily enjoy this breakfast whether you’re a nursing mama or not! It’s healthy and a wonderful on-the-go breakfast or snack – making all of our lives a little easier 🙂
Baked Oatmeal for Nursing Mamas
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Keywords: bake breakfast snack gluten-free nut-free soy-free vegetarian wheat free
Ingredients (16 servings)
- 6 cups rolled oats (can be gluten-free if required)
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups almond milk
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1⁄2 tsp nutmeg
- 4 Tbs flax meal
- 2 Tbs Brewers yeast
Preheat the oven to 400F. Grease a 9×13 pan with coconut oil.
Mix all ingredients together and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.
Keeps well for a week in an airtight container. A perfect quick breakfast or snack to munch on while you’re taking care of your little one!
Welcome to the last blog post I’ll write as a Londoner…
For the past 4 years, London has been home, specifically Barnes (an absolutely gorgeous little village just a few miles South West of the center of town). I’ve loved my time here – a lot has happened, life has changed dramatically, and I’ve had some amazing experiences. Together with my husband, Phil, I’ve been on travels around the UK and Europe, tasted some phenomenal food, and attended fabulous events. We leave London with some pretty special memories.
One day will stand out though….
While we get adjusted to life in Boston, my blog posts may be sparse. But I am delighted to be able to explore a new city and share these experiences with you. The adventures are only just about to begin…
Thank you for following along at The Particular Kitchen all these years – I hope you’ll stick with me across the pond!
For one last recipe from our kitchen in London, I thought I’d share a super simple, nutritious, delicious breakfast that I’ve been loving during these transitional days. Chia pudding is a magical meal. Simply leave chia seeds to swell in liquid (almond milk is my usual choice) overnight, and you get a fabulous base for all sorts of flavors and textures, making it a perfect and QUICK breakfast.
Chia seeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and fiber – they’re a superstar food, no doubt. It’s important to have a full glass of water with this chia pudding, however, since they soak up so much liquid. While they’re great for healthy digestion, much like flax seeds, they can leave you dehydrated if you’re not properly watered. So make sure you down some pure water after enjoying this breakfast.
I’ve pinned quite a few chia puddings on my Breakfast Inspiration Pinterest board – have a look! And try some out for yourself. While chia seeds can be quite expensive, they last a very long time since you’ll only be having a tablespoon per serving. The texture is a unique one. People liken it to tapioca pudding, jelly, or bubble tea – I think it benefits from the addition of crunchy ingredients to balance this. This would also make a great mid-afternoon snack or whenever you feel you need an energy boost.
Try it out and let me know what you think. This is one of many tasty summer breakfast ideas on my Renewal Detox program by the way! The next one starts July 14th – want to join? Get in touch!
Strawberry Ginger Chia Pudding
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Keywords: raw breakfast snack gluten-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian wheat free summer
Ingredients (serves 1)
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated OR 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- handful fresh strawberries, hulled & halved
- 1 tsp unsweetened shredded coconut (optional)
The night before, stir your chia seeds, almond milk, maple syrup, and ginger in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge overnight.
In the morning, stir well to break up any clumps. The chia seeds should have swelled overnight and absorbed all of the milk. Place the strawberries and coconut on top and eat with a spoon!
Enjoy with a large glass of water 🙂
A friend recently asked me for some smoothie recipe suggestions and it got me thinking. My routine these days is to have a green smoothie every other morning, and I’ve been playing it safe so far. The same tried and true ratio each time:
- 1 banana
- 1 big handful spinach or kale
- 1/2 cup fruit (usually frozen berries or frozen mango)
- 1 cup almond milk or water
- 1 scoop brown rice protein powder
- 1 tbsp ground flax
- goji berries sprinkled on top
Deeeeeelicious, filling, and energizing – all good things! I call it the Green Angel Smoothie and I suggest you give it a try before you wrinkle your nose at the idea.
However, it’s important to break out of your routine from time to time, especially when it comes to breakfast, as most people find they eat exactly the same thing every morning (or in some cases, don’t eat anything at all). So I decided to mix it up this morning and create a chocolatey orangey smoothie, still green, but with chia seeds instead of protein powder. You can see my concoction at the end of this post. I discovered a similar recipe on Pinterest (where else these days?) which has become my new favorite time-waster. Instead of a long boring list of bookmarked recipes I want to save from around the web, I love the visual bookmarking Pinterest provides. So I urge you to use yours as a place to be inspired for recipes, even if you’re not the most confident cook!
Back to the smoothies. Whether you have a state-of-the-art Vitamix or a basic blender, smoothies are so easy and quick, they give us no excuses about skipping breakfast. Rather than the overly sweet stuff you might find at a Jamba Juice or Boost Juice, this is a golden opportunity to add in booster foods and leafy greens where you’d otherwise forget or avoid them completely.
Elements of a Perfect Breakfast Smoothie
- The fruit you include (especially a banana) helps to mask the sometimes bitter flavors of leafy greens. While the greens may create an odd color, don’t let that put you off!
- Make sure to add protein. This will set you up with a load of energy for the whole day and will help to balance your blood sugar levels. Protein options for smoothies include: plain probiotic yogurt, hemp seeds, chia seeds, protein powders (I like Sun Warrior, organic whey, or Bauman College’s own Vital Scoop), spirulina or chlorella.
- Texture is key! Like a more liquidy smoothie? Add more liquid! Fancy something thicker? Less liquid, more frozen fruit – also fun to eat in a bowl with a spoon! If you need some crunch, top that smoothie with toasted seeds, goji berries, freeze-dried raspberries, toasted coconut flakes, or cacao nibs.
- This is your chance to get some much-needed fiber. I like to get my fiber via seeds, such as ground up flax, chia, or hemp. Luckily, these all blend up nicely and are barely noticeable in smoothies. However, chia and flax both swell when added to a liquid, which may make for a thicker smoothie if you let it sit for a little while.
- Get creative! Come up with a combination of smoothie ingredients that follow a theme. I created the Sunshine Smoothie for a recent workshop I gave on Winter Blues: all of the fruit involved is yellow, making for a beautiful breakfast! It includes frozen mango, banana, pineapple, apricots, and lemon zest. Feeling adventurous? Add half an avocado instead of a banana for great smoothness without the sweetness.
- Stock up on frozen fruits. Most grocery stores sell bags of chopped frozen fruit or berries at great prices. Mango will offer a sweeter and smoother mixture, berries will add texture and a rich color, sour cherries bring a tangy tartness. Best of all, they last for months, so you’ll always have access to the base of a great smoothie.
Still need more inspiration? Whole Living have a wonderful slideshow of beautiful smoothies just perfect for breakfast. My friend Gabriela occasionally tweets her awesome green smoothie concoctions. And the Green Monster Movement is just filled with recipes. Go forward and blend!
Cacao Orange Smoothie
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Keywords: blender breakfast beverage snack gluten-free nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian wheat free
Ingredients (serves 1)
- 1 banana
- 2 ice cubes
- zest and flesh of 1 orange
- 1 large handful spinach
- 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
Place all ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. Leave to sit for a few minutes to allow the chia seeds to swell. Reserve the cacao nibs for a crunchy garnish (optional).
Here’s a quandary: how can we have a delicious bowl of granola in the morning without loads of sugar, wheat, and other possibly sensitive foods? How can we keep it tasting delicious but make sure it’s a healthy option for breakfast? AND how can we keep it as cheap as possible?
The answer is: MAKE YOUR OWN.
Honestly… you’ll have much healthier, tastier, faster, cheaper granola if you make your own rather than buy a box or bag. Here are the reasons why:
- HEALTH — Read the ingredients on that box of granola/cereal/muesli you love. 9 times out of 10 you will see some form of sugar listed there, whether it’s “high fructose corn syrup”, “brown sugar” (still sugar), “evaporated cane juice”, “glucose syrup”, and many others. Instead, opt for maple syrup, organic honey, or brown rice syrup to sweeten your homemade version. You won’t get that sugar crash yet it will still taste great.
- FRESHNESS — Store-bought cereals sometimes taste like the boxes they come in. No one likes cardboard in the morning. Making a big batch of your own and keeping it in a large container, such as a metal tin or glass jar, will ensure lasting crunch. Not to mention the fact that it will keep for weeks.
- QUICK — Set aside the thought you may have about how long this will take you. Once you have all of the necessary ingredients, a large batch of granola will take you 35 minutes TOPS. This includes stirring, spreading, and baking. In the time it maybe took you to get to the supermarket, pick up a box of granola, wait in line, pay, and come back home again, you could have made a healthy version yourself.
- CHEAP — I have been seeing some extremely overpriced bags of “gourmet” granola lately. £5 per bag? Really? The ingredients you will find in the recipe below can be sourced cheaply and abundantly. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to find nuts and seeds (and oats) in bulk. Always cheaper to buy from the bulk bins!
So there are 4 decent reasons to make your own. And look at how pretty!
If you’d like to try making your own, I’ll post my own recipe version below, but there are a ton of healthy ideas out there. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Good For You granola from BBC Good Food
- Mark Bittman’s Crunchy granola
- Delicious magazine’s granola recipe
- The Picky Foodie’s Old Fashioned granola
- Gluten-Dairy-Cane Sugar-Free granola from Joy the Baker
Makes approx 800g! Instead of oats, you can opt for marked “gluten-free” oats, spelt flakes, or buckwheat flakes instead.
- 1/2 cup raw organic honey
- 1/2 cup organic virgin coconut oil
- 6 cups rolled or old-fashioned oats (gluten-free)
- 2 cups raw almonds
- 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 tsp pink himalayan salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup dark/Turkish dried apricots, chopped
- 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- Heat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with greaseproof or parchment paper.
- In a double boiler or bain-marie, heat the honey and oil, stirring well, until melted and smooth.
- Add the oats, nuts, seeds, cinnamon, and salt and stir with a wooden spoon until all coated in the honey mixture.
- Spread granola evenly onto the baking sheets and place in the oven for 10 minutes.
- Swap the sheets, turn them around, and bake for an additional 10 -15 minutes, or until browned to your liking.
- Remove from oven, and transfer granola to a large bowl. Stir in the apricots and coconut, then spread back out on the baking sheets and leave to cool.
- Once cooled, transfer to a large jar or container and keep for up to 2 weeks!
- Enjoy for breakfast with fresh fruit and plain yogurt, your favorite dairy or non-dairy milk, or by itself for a snack.