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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Everything Oats!

I swear I have been doing a TON of cooking recently, but unfortunately, I have NOT been doing a lot of writing.

Between full-time teaching, being a mommy (and I am excited to announce that we are growing as a family with another one on the way due in February), and trying to cook as much whole-food meals as possible...
I am usually too exhausted to clean up the kitchen after cooking (sorry, honey!), let alone get out my computer and start writing.

But I'll welcome my fingers back to the keyboard and writing by sharing a quick summary of what I have had such a hankering for since becoming pregnant: anything with oats! Specifically, I've been doing lots of granolas, oats-in-a-jar and granola bars.

While I have been playing around with these things quite a bit, I've had successes and failures all around. Below are some of my favorite successes so far. And with almost another 20 weeks of pregnancy left, I am sure that there will be more to come. Hope you enjoy!

  1. I have been really craving pumpkin this season, so this Pumpkin Maple Pecan Granola from Minimalist Baker has hit the spot! My sister even came over and had a bowl with almond milk, and questioned if it was really homemade; it's that delicious! (Note: Instead of pepitas in this recipe, I used some of the sprouted pumpkin seeds I bought from Costco). 
  2. Another granola I made was from My Recipes and called Power Granola. I doubled the original recipe and then did half with some dried cranberries and half with raisins. Admittedly, I liked the raisins more, but do what you'd prefer. (Note: Instead of the canola oil, I used coconut oil; instead of flax, I did coconut flakes; instead of orange juice, I did unsweetened applesauce. I did have to keep a closer eye on mine and turned it every 8 minutes, instead of every 10, since it was getting a little too brown after the first ten minutes). I'll probably play with this recipe some more and figure out ways to cut down the brown sugar, but overall this is a great basic granola recipe. 
  1. Like above, my hankering for pumpkin went to great use with this fabulous Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats recipe from My Whole Food Life. I didn't change a thing (except leave out the flax, because my stomach has problems handling it and using half rolled oats and half steel-cut), but I did enjoy these warmed with some raisins on top.
  2. These are probably the most decadent oats-in-a-jar I have had yet, and they are delicious cold: The Breakfast Drama Queen's Black Forest Overnight Oats. I used the cacao powder with maple syrup (not the hot chocolate mix) and added a 1/2 c of steel-cut oats, which almost doubled the amount it made, without touching the other ingredients. Maybe I just like my oats a tad thicker than this recipe called for? Who knows. But these are amazing!
Granola Bars

  1. First, I'll say, I am going to play around some more with recipes like Hungry Healthy Girl's Peanut Butter Honey Granola Bites and try and come up with a recipe that works to have bite-sized granola treats close by. I've attempted several times now, and they usually end up as a mess of raw oats covered in peanut butter that won't form a ball...So keep posted for that :)
  2. The 5 Ingredient Granola Bars from Minimalist Baker are awesome! I'd totally recommend toasting the oats first; they tasted more like traditional granola bars when doing this. I also added raisins, which added just a tad more sweetness, so I cut the honey down just a tad. 

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