Berry Bake Yum

Times are trying right now as we adjust to working from home, homeschooling and entertaining children at home and just keeping a normal routine for a minimum of the next month as we battle COVID-19.  The first couple of days at home, my children thought we were on vacation…… well, it kind of is I suppose.  In our household, that also means waking up earlier, knowing the children don’t have to pretend they’re sleeping to avoid going to school (they’re starting early!), and also, wanting to eat whatever they want whenever they want.
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I decided I needed to get an upper hand in this mess and started a frenzy of organizing my pantry and creating my menu.
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Over the years, I’ve learned that my munchkins are creatures of habit and though they would prefer to eschew breakfast in lieu of playing and running around or snacking all day, their bodies tell me different when we go through a tantrum.  This berry bake is loaded with fiber, protein, vitamins, and great flavor, it’s a win-win.
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I put this recipe of a bake together because it can loosely be termed as a breakfast bar and it’s a dump and bake deal.  It’s also really easy because you make a generous amount and refrigerate the rest up to a week and pull them out throughout the week without putting in much effort.  The best part is most of these items may already be in your pantry.
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Completely vegetarian and easily modified to be a vegan recipe if you replace the butter with vegan butter.  You can also substitute frozen berries instead of fresh or any other fruit you have on hand without compromising the integrity of the bars.  Try it out and tell me how you like it.
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From my kitchen to yours, I hope you enjoy!  Be safe, Be healthy!

Ingredients:
1 c almond milk
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 ½ Tbsp butter, melted
1 ½ c Old Fashioned Oats
½ tsp cinnamon powder
1 Tbsp Flaxseed
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp salt
1 c mixed berries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF
2. Spray a 10×7 cake pan with nonstick cooking spray
3. Mix all the ingredients and transfer to the pan
4. Bake for 25 minutes, a few minutes longer if you prefer a crunchier bar
5. Cool for 5 minutes and cut into 1″x2″ bars
6. Wrap leftover bars individually in saran wrap and refrigerate up to 1 week.

Enjoy!

Almond Coconut Porridge

Breakfast is my favorite meal. There are so many fun foods to eat and start your day. Sweet or savory, light or hearty, healthy or greasy!

A couple of months ago, a friend recommended a local restaurant, Homegrown. The moment I walked in and saw their menu, I fell in love. They’re a casual place that serves food which is organic and from local farmers. Talk about tasting the freshness in my food!

I ordered their Coconut Chia Porridge. Was I blown away! The creamy porridge paired with the crunchy toasted coconut and almonds, topped with sweet banana slices. I was in breakfast heaven!

Since then, I’ve been obsessed. Especially over the last week. I just can’t get it out of my mind so I decided to try my hand at it and make my own version.

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In addition to chia seeds, I added flax seeds. A double dose of fiber and omega 3’s (which is a win-win when you’re feeding two toddlers)!

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If you don’t have time in the morning because you need to rush out of the house, then this is a very easy prepare the night before recipe. Just mix all the ingredients for the oats, cover and keep in the refrigerator. Heat it up the next morning and add your toppings.

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Here is what I added to mine: toasted coconut, walnuts, craisins, sesame seeds and fresh blueberries. Not the same as Homegrown obviously but still delicious!

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Try it out!

Ingredients:
1c Steel Cut Oats
2c Unsweeteened Coconut Almond Milk (or any milk of your choice)
1c Water
1tsp Salt
1Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
1Tbsp Chia Seeds

For Toppings:
1Tbsp shredded coconut, toasted
Handful of toasted walnuts
2tsp Craisins
Handful of fresh blueberries
½tsp sesame seeds
1Tbsp Almond milk (or more for your desired consistency)

In a medium saucepan, combine the almond milk and water and boil. Once it reaches a boil, reduce heat and add in the oatmeal and salt. Stir occasionally as the oats cook, approximately 20 minutes. As the oats start to thicken, about 10 minutes into cooking them, add in the chia and flax seeds. Mix well and continue to cook until the oats are done.

Spoon into a bowl and add the toppings.

I hope you and your family enjoy this bowl of porridge as much as me and mine did!