Sunday Baking: Healthy Carrot Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins

Carrot Oatmeal Muffins 2Winter is a great time to get creative with root vegetables, including for breakfast. Here is another muffin recipe that is healthy enough to eat for breakfast, like the Cranberry Almond Chocolate Chip Muffins I posted back in November.  This recipe has no added sugars whatsoever, and is tasty enough with the sweetness from the fruit and carrots, but next time I would add a tablespoon or two of honey just to add a tad of sweetness that I think will bring out the flavours better.  Continue reading

Sunday Baking: Granola x 3

We’ve stopped buying cereal in exchange for making home-made granola.  It’s an easy breakfast or snack, stirred into Greek yogurt or with milk poured onto it like cereal.  And these recipes make your house smell amazing while they cook!  It’s worth making a batch just for the smell alone.

I used some fabulous local honey, maple syrup and vanilla to make these batches of granola.  I bought raw honey at the Westboro Farmer’s Market.  The seller, A Country Garden, had several different types of honey with varied tastes, as they were harvested at different times of year when different flowers were in bloom!  I sampled each one and you could really taste the difference.  The vanilla I use is from Really Horrible Enterprises and it’s made with rum!  It’s delicious and I don’t want to ever buy store bought vanilla again.  I found him at Urban Craft, but you can also order from the website.

Here are three variations to try, but each time I make it I use a different combination of ingredients.  I love the use of apple sauce in the second and third variations as this eliminates a lot of the oil that is often used.  However, they didn’t get as clumpy as you’d expect granola to be.  They had more of a cereal texture – still delicious though!

Honey Almond

3 cups oats
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sliced almonds
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup Honey
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract

Apple Walnut Cinnamon

3 cups oats
1 cup walnuts
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup applesauce (about 1 individual size cup)
1 1/2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup chopped dried apples

Cranberry Maple Pumpkin Seed

3 cups oats
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup applesauce (about 1 individual size cup)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup dried cranberries

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 300.

2. In a large bowl, mix together dry ingredients.

3. In a separate bowl, mix wet ingredients.

4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Spread the mixture evenly on a baking sheet.

5. Bake for 40-50 minutes, stirring every ten minutes, until the granola is golden brown. (NOTE: Make sure you stir up all the bits around the edges and in the corners – these are the parts that will burn first.)  Remove from oven, and stir in dried fruit. Let cool completely. Store in an airtight container (I use mason jars).

This recipe easily doubles and keeps for quite a while in the cupboard.

Cranberrie Pumpkin Seed Granola

Recipes adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod and Simply Scratch.

Sunday Baking: Strawberry Apple Crisp

I’ve gotten into the habit of baking something each Sunday since the weather has started to turn cold, so I’m going to see how long I can keep it up for.  I’m not an overly accomplished baker, but I would really like to be!  I’m hoping this personal challenge will get me there.

Today’s baking was my first attempt at making apple crisp (or any sort of crisp) – and it was SO easy!  It’s like a pie, but without a bottom crust.  One less step!  It probably took me 20 minutes, max,  to put it all together while dinner was cooking, then I popped it in the oven and we had a warm, delicious dessert to savour fresh from the oven after dinner.  Amazing and so simple.

I wouldn’t have thought that strawberries were in season this time of year, but lo and behold I saw several stalls displaying them at the farmer’s market this past Saturday (and it’s a local farmers only market)!  Who knew?  I had been planning to make another apple dessert, but when I saw the strawberries, I knew I had to add them as well.  But… they were a little pricey.  So that’s why there are more apples than strawberries.

1/2 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup Red Fife flour (more on Red Fife here, but you can also use whole wheat flour)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, cut into cubes
2 cups sliced strawberries
3 cups sliced apples
1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Directions

1. Slice apples and strawberries and mix in a 9 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

2. In a food processor, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pulse to combine.  Add vanilla and butter, process until a crumbly texture forms.  (If you don’t have a food processor, you can just mix them together.  Using softened butter will help.)

3. Sprinkle crumb topping over fruit.

4. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. (I accidentally left mine in for an hour… it turned out fine, but the fruit was extra mushy.  I so I suggest reducing the cooking time if you want firmer fruit, and lengthening it if you prefer the fruit to cook down more.)