Back in the saddle

29 Aug

After a summer hiatus, due to the lack of internet at camp, I am back in the blogosphere. Camp was great. I adore the kids, love being outdoors all summer and have the best co-workers anyone could ask for. I kept up with running 3 days a week (most weeks) and threw in the occasional body weight workout and yoga. Camp food was okay for the most part. Packing the oatmeal, muffins and bringing protein powder got me through the summer relatively unscathed.

Now that I’m home I’ll be prepping for school and planning tonnes of new culinary and workout adventures for the new year. I’m hoping that keeping organized will keep me on track and feeling wonderful.

 

K

oatmeal schmoatmeal

14 Jun

I don’t like oatmeal. At least not in the mushy, cooked in a pot or the microwave, looks like dog vomit kind of way. But I do like baked oatmeal as I discussed earlier when I made the pumpkin mini baked oatmeal that my dad loves so much.

Well, I’ve been stuck in an apple cinnamon baked oatmeal rut for a while and decided I needed to break free. Especially since I will be eating baked oatmeal every morning at camp. At least that’s the plan. To dig my way out of this apple and cinnamon hole, I threw all caution to the wind and made a peanut butter and banana baked oatmeal. I know! CRAZY, no cinnamon or apples to be found in this recipe. Not even applesauce. I must have lost my mind considering I basically made this recipe up.

Anyways, these little beauts will be frozen and packed up for me to take to camp…which I leave for on Sunday and am super excited about!

Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal

1 egg

2 bananas mashed – I used bananas I had frozen, but extra ripe would work too

1/4 c honey

1 1/4 c milk of any kind

1 tsp vanilla

1/3-1/2 c peanut butter (adjust to your taste)

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 c shredded coconut

1 heaping tablespoon flax meal

1/4 c unsalted peanuts – chopped

Mix and pour 1/4 cup into lined muffin tins – this will make about 18-20. Bake for about 25 minutes at 350. Enjoy!!!!

12 Jun

These delicious, and pretty nutritious treats are from my cousin Sarah’s blog. They’re super easy to make, and you can customize them however you want. I mix in coconut, flax meal, white chocolate chips and chopped peanuts with 1/4 c of honey instead of the 1/3 because they’re a little sweet for me.

justmypeanuts

I’ve always been a lover of the butter – peanut butter that is. My condolences to all those with an allergy that inhibits them from experiencing what is in my opinion, the greatest food on earth.

My peanut butter eating habits have evolved over time. I used to be a nothing but Kraft extra creamy kinda gal but dabbled in the crunchy once and fell even more in love. Since reaching my adult years and starting to put more thought into what I eat I begin eating the natural stuff. At first I hated it. It missed that zing, that makes you never want to stop eating it, extra creamy bit – aka the sugar! So it took awhile for it to catch on but now I’d never go back! The “regular” kind taste kind of like a dessert to me now. I am not partial to any particular brand…

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Russian Spy Cookies

1 Jun

final productSneaky baking is becoming an obsession. I love putting weird things in traditional baked goods to make them a) healthier and b) more fun! Today, with some inspiration from whatrunslori.com’s avocado coconut cowboy cookies, I made cookies that are super soft and moist and taste just like banana bread! Delicious. To make them even better they contain only 4 tablespoons of honey, no refined sugar and the fat comes from avocado! Even better, they are gluten free, low carb, and super high fibre. I consider this a winning recipe!

Why Russian Spy Cookies? Russian spies are the sneakiest things I could think of, and these cookies are pretty sneaky too! They aren’t the sneakiest looking cookies, since they have a tiny bit of a green tinge from the avocado, but they sure don’t taste weird. As I’ve mentioned before attaining “not weird” status is important. If my picky brothers will eat it I’ve done a good job of hiding whatever it is that’s weird.

This recipe also uses coconut flour, which smells delicious and is super high fibre and super low carb. There’s lots of liquid in this recipe as well so the cookies turn out nice and moist. The original recipe calls for you to roll them into balls, yeah that wasn’t going to happen. I think my bananas were a little big so it was more liquid-y than the version from http://www.whatrunslori.com. But they still turned out great.

Coconut Avocado Cowboy Cookies

1 cup coconut flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 mashed bananas – ripe but not overripe – try to use medium sized bananas

1/4 mashed avocado

1 cup milk (I used coconut)

2 eggs

4 tbsp honey

1 tsp vanilla

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup shredded coconut

1 cup chocolate chips (you could use craisins, or other dried fruit too)

Mix up the dry ingredients and set aside. I like to squish the lumps out of the coconut flour now to make it easier when you add this mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix all the wet stuff, mashing the banana and avocado up so they’re not chunky. Add the dry to the wet and mix, squishing lumps as you go. Add in the coconut and chocolate chips (or whatever else you like) and then put the mixture in the fridge for about 15 minutes. I found this helped the mixture thicken up as the coconut flour had time to absorb the liquids a bit. I spooned out the mixture onto baking pans (parchment lined worked better than just greased) and then baked for about 18 minutes at 375 F. They were golden brown but still soft.

 

 

hitting the pavement

31 May

And I’m back! Running, that is. Finally, I am able to test out this foot of mine and so far it’s holding up. This makes me super excited because in less than 3 weeks I will be at one of my favourite places on the planet: Camp Towhee (seriously, http://www.camptowhee.ca). This is where I will spend my summer with some of the most fun and caring people and campers I know. Perks of the job include a wonderful running trail around the lake…which I intend to conquer. 7km. That is the goal this time around. 6k gave me issues last time, so I’ll be a little more cautious this time around.

Sneaky Mini Cupcakes

23 May

Sometimes I like to make things that look normal, and taste normal, but actually aren’t. Mom likes to do this too with her black bean brownies. These cupcakes are super moist…which is odd for gluten free stuff and really rich. I’m going to attribute this to the fact that there’s a whole avocado in them. They’re also vegan (until I added the orange buttercream frosting), because I made them with coconut dream instead of regular milk. There’s no xanthan gum, no eggs and they don’t crumble to bits. I think I’m in love.

Anyways, I modified slightly the recipe from Un Petit Oiseau (http://bonjourpetitoiseau.blogspot.ca/2009/08/gluten-free-chocolate-avocado-cupcakes.html)

 

Chocolate Avocado Gluten-Free mini Cupcakes

1 1/2 c gluten free flour blend – I use  a mix of white and brown rice flour, potato starch, cornstarch and soy flour

3/4 c cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 avocado, pitted and peeled

1 1/4 c sugar – I didn’t have agave, or honey

3/4 c coconut dream beverage

1/3 c canola oil

2 tsp vanilla

1/2 c chocolate chips

I threw the avocado, sugar, coconut drink, canola oil and vanilla in a food processor until its a green mush. It should be pretty smooth so you’ll need to scrape the sides down a bit to get all the avocado pureed. I then mixed all the dry ingredients in a bowl, stirred in the avocado mixture and tossed in the chocolate chips. I then popped the bowl of batter in the fridge for an hour to let the flour soak up the liquids. I find this helps keep the mix moist and not so crumbly. I then scooped spoonfuls of the batter into mini muffin tins and baked at 350F for 18-20 minutes. They’ll feel really soft when they come out, but that’s the nature of the cupcake, trust me, it’s cooked.

I let them cool and whipped up a little orange buttercream frosting. I don’t have a recipe for this. Martha would cry if she knew most of my baking involves not a whole lot of exact measuring. So I  mixed up some butter, lots of icing sugar, orange zest and the juice of half an orange. BAM! buttercream.

These have been brother approved. He has no idea what’s in them and he still likes them.

You only live once,

Karla

neglect, and breakfast

23 May

So I’ve neglected my blog. I knew this would happen eventually. But to be honest, I haven’t been baking much. Or running due to a lovely stress fracture in my foot. Once that’s healed up I’ll be back on the pavement once again. For now it’s just upper body and abs workouts.

On a breakfast note, I generally eat yogurt and a banana, or one of my new found favourites, baked oatmeal. I, in no way, came up with this. I hate normal oatmeal. I have a texture issue and the goopy, mushy mess that is traditional oatmeal has no place in my diet. However, I do like how it fills me up and that it’s basically a blank slate. I can add whatever I want to oatmeal: peanut butter one day, dried fruit and coconut the next. I started off baking oatmeal in an 8×8 pan using this budget bytes recipe for baked pumpkin pie oatmeal. (http://budgetbytes.blogspot.ca/2011/09/baked-pumpkin-pie-oatmeal-277-recipe.html). It has lots of flavour, not a whole lot of sugar, which I have subbed for honey or maple syrup most times I’ve made it.

I’ve made a few other versions, keeping with a 1 cup of milk to 2 cups of oats ratio, then adding whatever I feel like. Usually some apple sauce, cinnamon, dried fruits and coconut. Sometimes they’re more granola bar like and sometimes they’re more soft and oatmeal-y. It’s different every time. I find an egg helps to bind the mix together, but it isn’t totally necessary if you use enough other liquid stuff.

My dad also really loves these. So much that I’m making a batch every 5ish days.I usually eat mine warmed up in the microwave and just plain, but I can almost guarantee he’s topping his with maple syrup! They’re delicious either way!

You only live once,

Karla