Category Archives: Breakfast/Brunch

Strawberry-Kiwi-Banana Smoothie

For me, summer is smoothie weather and I love having them for breakfast! It’s always fun trying out different flavors. Strawberries, kiwifruit, and bananas are a great combination, and this smoothie uses frozen banana slices to help thicken it and make it creamy. This smoothie is good and easy to make. And using a slice of kiwifruit as a garnish adds a nice colorful touch! Try this out for breakfast or for a healthy afternoon snack.

STRAWBERRY-KIWI-BANANA SMOOTHIE by NancyC

Makes about 2 cups

1 medium size banana, sliced and frozen

  • 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
  • 1 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt (or substitute a dairy-free yogurt)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup milk (you can use low-fat, soy, or almond milk)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon ground flaxseed
  • Optional: a slice of kiwifruit for garnish

Add frozen banana slices, fresh strawberry slices, kiwifruit slices, yogurt, honey, milk, and flaxseed, if using, into a blender. Blend mixture for 1 minute or until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass, add a slice of kiwifruit as a garnish, and enjoy!

This smoothie is a real treat and it’s nice that it’s healthy, too! I love making things with fresh fruit–especially strawberries! Are you a fan of strawberries, too?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

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The Easiest Sweet Cornbread

This cornbread is so good, you’d never guess it was so easy! If you’ve ever been to a restaurant called Tippins (as far as I know, there’s one in Kansas City, Tulsa, and Dallas) and had their delicious sweet cornbread, this recipe tastes a lot like that. It’s great with chili or just on its own, warm and served with honey butter.

A friend had told me about this cornbread recipe after I talked about how good the Tippins cornbread was. And when I made this for a potluck, everyone wanted the recipe. They couldn’t believe how easy it was. It’s made with a blend of cornbread mix and cake mix. I typically like to make things from scratch, but I do like to make this every so often. If you’re not crazy about baking with mixes, this recipe may not be for you. But it is really, really good, so you might want to make an exception and try this out!

THE EASIEST SWEET CORNBREAD WITH HONEY BUTTER by NancyC

Makes a 9×13″ pan

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×13″ baking pan or line with parchment paper; set aside.

In large bowl, blend the dry Corn Muffin Mix and Golden Yellow Cake Mix. Add the eggs, milk, and water, blending everything well. Beat mixture for 2 to 3 minutes.

Bake at 350˚F for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Remove from oven, cool for 10 minutes, then cut into squares and serve.

This cornbread tastes really good with honey butter! (see recipe below)

Note: You can make cornbread muffins with this batter if you prefer–baking time will be about 15 minutes.

HONEY BUTTER:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 Tablespoons honey

Mix softened butter and honey until well-blended; spoon into a small serving dish and serve with cornbread.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? If you need something quick and easy to make for a large meal or gathering, keep this cornbread in mind!

Sharing at Inspire Me MondayFiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck

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Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Bread

When you have ripe bananas and are craving something that’s chocolate and a little on the healthy side, this is a great recipe to try! This quick bread has lots of chocolate flavor and some buttermilk, Greek yogurt, and light olive oil to make it moist. It’s also made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with brown sugar and honey.

This Whole Wheat Chocolate Banana Bread bakes up into a nice dense loaf of chocolate goodness, thanks to the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips that are mixed into the batter. It’s great if you like chocolatey things for breakfast or brunch, or it makes a great afternoon snack or even a simple dessert, maybe with some ice cream or frozen yogurt!

WHOLE WHEAT CHOCOLATE BANANA BREAD by NancyC

Makes one 9×5″ loaf

  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 2 small)
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1/3 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

In medium bowl, blend eggs and brown sugar together until smooth. Add in the honey, mashed bananas, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, oil, and vanilla extract. Add this mixture to the flour mixture in the large bowl and stir just until all ingredients are combined. Fold the mini semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter, stirring until they’re evenly distributed, then spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake at 375˚F for 42 to 44 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean or almost clean (if you overbake, the bread will be too dry). Let bread cool in pan for about 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

It’s fun trying different flavors of banana breads–there are so many different ways you can make it! Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday. Inspire Me Monday, Hearth & Soul.

Mocha Banana Pecan Overnight Oats

I’ve noticed lots and lots of recipes for overnight oats in the last few years and have been wanting to try making some. I finally got around to doing that after receiving some complimentary breakfast coffees from Community Coffee. They sent me one of their new products, Amber Sunrise Blend, along with their tried-and-true Breakfast Blend.

Amber Sunrise Blend has a smooth, bright, pleasant flavor and smells wonderful as you’re brewing it. As one of my friends said, “It’s a coffee you want to wake up to.” The light roast Breakfast Blend also has a nice smooth, mild flavor–a great coffee to start your day with.

So what do overnight oats and coffee have in common? Well, I came across an overnight oats recipe on the blog at the Community Coffee site that includes coffee as one of the ingredients–along with oats, cocoa powder, banana slices, and other yummy ingredients. I made a few tweaks to the recipe and added some chopped dark chocolate on top. It’s a special mocha-flavored treat for breakfast–or you can have it later in the day as a healthy snack!

MOCHA BANANA PECAN OVERNIGHT OATS by NancyC, adapted from Community Coffee

Makes 1 serving

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup vanilla Greek yogurt (or substitute the same amount of milk)
  • 1/4 cup strong brewed Community Coffee (I used the Amber Sunrise blend)
  • 1 Tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 banana, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped pecans (toasted or untoasted)
  • 1/2 Tablespoon chopped dark chocolate (72% Cacao works well in this)

In small jar or bowl with tight-fitting lid, combine oats, yogurt or milk, coffee, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla, and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with banana, chopped pecans, and chopped dark chocolate just before serving.

I used 72% Cacao dark chocolate when I made these overnight oats–it gives the oats a good rich cocoa flavor without making it too sweet. I can see now why overnight oats are such a popular breakfast item–they’re so easy and convenient to make! Have you tried making overnight oats yet?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday, Weekend Potluck.

Yogurt with Mixed Berries, Walnuts, and Dark Chocolate

This is such an easy and healthy recipe for breakfast, a snack, or dessert! it’s from a new book called The SirtFood Diet. Before I received my review copy, I had never heart of “Sirtfoods.” In a nutshell, what I read in this book was that polyphenol nutrients from certain plants are good for us. And plants that have “noteworthy amounts” of sirtuin-activating polyphenols are called “Sirtfoods.” I know this sounds pretty technical, but the book gives a good explanation about all this. It also provides information about the top 20 Sirtfoods, along with other foods that are beneficial. I found that I actually like a lot of these foods, which include Arugula, Garlic, Green Tea, and even Cocoa!

This book explains that Sirtfoods, rich in special nutrients that help activate the same “skinny genes” in our bodies that fasting triggers, can help in effective weight loss–and so the Sirtfood Diet was created by nutritionists Aidan Goggins and Glen Matten. I haven’t tried the diet, so I can’t endorse it, but I’m sharing what the book says about it. The diet includes a plan for losing 7 pounds in seven days, along with keeping the weight off. There’s a recipe section that includes a good variety of healthy dishes–some even include chicken and beef. The authors also recommend having a good juicer to get the most benefits from this diet.

After looking through the recipe section, I decided to try this yogurt recipe because I loved all the ingredients and it was so simple to make. Simple as it is though, I actually made this recipe the wrong way! I put the berries over the yogurt instead of the yogurt over the berries! it does work better to put the yogurt over the berries as the recipe says, so be sure to layer the ingredients right! Even though I made this wrong, it does look pretty, doesn’t it? 🙂

YOGURT WITH MIXED BERRIES, CHOPPED WALNUTS, AND DARK CHOCOLATE from the SirtFood Diet

Makes 1 serving

  • 1 1/3 cups mixed berries (I used some organic fresh strawberries and frozen blueberries)
  • 2/3 cup plain Greek yogurt (or vegan alternative, such as soy or coconut yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons dark chocolate (85 percent cocoa solids), grated

Add the mixed berries to a bowl and top with the yogurt. Sprinkle with the walnuts and chocolate.

That’s all there is to it! I’m so glad dark chocolate is good for you, even if it’s the 85% cocoa solid kind; I actually like the really, really dark chocolate better than the sweeter varieties.

Are you a healthy eater and have you heart of Sirtfoods?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday, Full Plate Thursday.

Coconut Date Granola

Coconut Date Granola @NancyC

It was time for me to make some homemade granola–I make it every few months and this Coconut Date Granola is a sweeter granola than I usually make, because in addition to honey and maple syrup (I usually use one or the other, or some of both) this also is sweetened with light brown sugar. It also has the natural sweetness of chopped dates, which are really good for you. Some other healthy ingredients in this recipe include pepitas, sunflower kernels, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans. And some light olive oil, too.

I shared this granola with some friends and co-workers, and they all really liked it. So if you’re a granola-lover, you’ll have to keep this recipe in mind!

COCONUT DATE GRANOLA by NancyC

Makes about 13 cups (halve the recipe to make a smaller amount)

  • 6 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed
  • 1 1/2 cups raw pepitas (hulled pumpkin seeds-you can use roasted pepitas, but add those in after baking)
  • 1 1/2 cups hulled, raw sunflower kernels (you can use roasted kernels, but add those in after baking)
  • 2 cups sweetened or unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 cup light olive oil
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped dates

Preheat oven to 300˚F. Line 2 rimmed baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the oats, wheat germ or ground flaxseed, pepitas, sunflower kernels, coconut flakes, and chopped pecans; set aside.

In a small microwaveable bowl, heat honey for 20 to 30 seconds to make the consistency thinner. Then, in a medium size bowl, blend honey, maple syrup, olive oil, brown sugar, and salt, blending everything well. Pour honey/maple syrup/sugar mixture over oat mixture and toss until the oat mixture is well coated.

Spread granola mixture on prepared baking sheets and bake at 300˚F for 48 to 55 minutes, until mixture is golden, stirring mixture every 15 minutes. Remove from oven, stir in the chopped dates (half of the dates for each baking sheet), and let granola cool completely (the mixture will get crunchier as it cools). Some of the granola may dry in larger clumps, so you may need to break those into smaller pieces. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three weeks.

This granola makes a great breakfast with milk. It also makes a great breakfast parfait with yogurt. And it also makes a yummy snack to munch on later in the day! Do you make homemade granola, and what is your favorite kind?

Sharing this recipe at Weekend Potluck, Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

 

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Whole Wheat Banana Bread @NancyCUsually when I bake things I use unbleached all-purpose flour. But I had purchased some organic whole wheat flour and was wanting to try making something with it. I like baking quick breads and I hadn’t made any banana bread lately, so I decided to try making a loaf of Whole Wheat Banana Bread. I thought it turned out really well! It’s a good, hearty banana bread with lots of chopped nuts and healthy ingredients like honey and light olive oil (although it does have some brown sugar in it). The mashed bananas and plain Greek yogurt make this loaf moist and It doesn’t have a strong wheaty taste, so it should appeal to anyone who likes banana bread.

WHOLE WHEAT BANANA BREAD by NancyC

Makes 1 loaf

  • 1/3 cup light olive oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 1/2 medium)
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 325˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan; set aside.

In large bowl, blend oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla, then add in eggs, mixing well. Stir in yogurt, then add in the mashed bananas, mixing everything together.

In medium bowl, blend flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix just until ingredients are combined–do not overtax! Fold in chopped nuts.

Pour batter into greased loaf pan and bake at 325˚F for 48 to 50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let loaf cool in pan for 5 to 10 minutes, then remove and cool on completely on wire rack.

I baked this loaf on a chilly morning and it was the perfect snack for later in the day! I want to make more things with this organic whole wheat flour that I have. What do you like making with whole wheat flour?

Sharing at Fiesta Friday. Meal Plan Monday, Weekend Potluck, Inspire Me Monday.

Cranberry Sauce Muffins

Cranberry Sauce Muffins @ NancyC

If you happen to have any extra cranberry sauce left over from the holidays, here’s a good recipe you can use it in (if you don’t, keep this in mind for next year 🙂 ). These Cranberry Sauce Muffins are sweetened with brown sugar and whole berry cranberry sauce–you can use your own homemade cranberry sauce, like this Fresh Cranberry Sauce)–or you can use whole berry cranberry sauce from a can. These muffins have some oats in them, too, so they’re both healthy and tasty! Sometimes I add a Cranberry Sauce Glaze on top of these muffins but they are great with or without the glaze, so if you’re watching your calories, just leave the glaze off. They taste great right out of the oven, spread with a little butter or Cranberry–Pecan Cream Cheese Spread. Yum!

CRANBERRY SAUCE MUFFINS by NancyC, adapted from Serious Eats

Makes 16 muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup canola oil or light olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce (I use either my homemade recipe or the Ocean Spray® brand)
  • 1 large egg

Preheat oven to 400˚F. Line 16 muffin tins with paper baking cups.

In large bowl, blend together flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In medium bowl, combine milk, oil, cranberry sauce and egg; blend well.

Fold wet ingredients into dry ingredients all at once and stir until dry ingredients are moistened.

Fill muffin cups about 3/4 (or just a little more) full. Bake 20 minutes at 400˚F, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. You can eat these warm right out of the oven…spread with a little butter or Cranberry-Pecan Cream Cheese Spread. Or, let the muffins cool completely and top them with this glaze…

CRANBERRY SAUCE GLAZE 

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons milk or half and half
  • 1 Tablespoon Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
  • chopped pecans for sprinkling over glaze

In small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk (or half and half) together, blending well. Stir in the cranberry sauce and blend well. Drizzle over cooled muffins, then sprinkle with pecans if desired. Let glaze set and then serve.

This is a great muffin for fall and winter when you’re craving that great cranberry flavor. And it’s always nice to bake muffins and other goodies when it’s cold outside! What have you been baking this winter?

Sharing this recipe at Fiesta Friday, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

Cheesy Cherry Tomato Quiche

cheesy-cherry-tomato-quiche-nancycI have always been a fan of quiche. It’s makes a great breakfast, especially on the weekends when there’s more time to linger at the table and enjoy it with coffee or tea. I like all kinds of quiche and a few years ago I made a tomato quiche–that was one type of quiche I hadn’t tried. It didn’t turn out that great, though–the filling was runny and it wasn’t cheesy enough. I didn’t try making another until now and this time I made one with cherry tomatoes. And more cheese!

I loved the way this tasted! The tomatoes are so good with that touch of dried basil added in, and the chopped yellow onion gives it a subtle savory flavor. It’s easy to make, too, because you can use a frozen pie crust–all you have to do is add the filling ingredients. There’s no meat in this recipe, but it’s brimming with tasty cherry tomatoes. So if you are a tomato-lover, this is the quiche for you!

A little note: when I cut the first piece of quiche, the crust stuck to the bottom of the foil pie plate, so the first piece was kind of messy. But all the other pieces came out fine. Just so you know! 🙂

CHEESY CHERRY TOMATO QUICHE by NancyC

Makes about 6 servings

  • 1 (9-inch) frozen deep dish pie crust (or you can use homemade pie crust)
  • 2 cups shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cups sliced cherry tomatoes (cut in halves or thirds, depending on size)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup Half & Half (light cream)

Thaw the frozen 9″ deep dish pie crust for 5 minutes, then place in oven on a cookie sheet and bake at 400˚F for 8 minutes; remove from oven–let cool for 5 minutes (If your pie crust puffs up a little in some places, just pat it back down). If you’re using homemade pie crust, bake for 6 to 7 minutes. Pricking the dough in the bottom of the pie plate should help the crust from puffing up).

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of the cheese on the bottom of the pie crust. Layer the chopped yellow onion evenly over the cheese, then add the chopped tomatoes over both. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and basil. Then top with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of cheese.

In small bowl, mix flour, eggs, and Half & Half until well-blended. Pour over tomato filling.

Bake at 375˚F for 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (to prevent over-browning, cover quiche with foil the last 10 minutes of baking). Let quiche cool for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting.

If you live in a warmer climate and still happen to have garden cherry tomatoes, this is a great way to use them! We’ve had a pretty warm November so far, but it will be cooler the week of Thanksgiving–how has the weather been where you live?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck, Meal Plan Monday, Inspire Me Monday.

Stovetop Apple Cinnamon Butter

Stovetop Cinnamon Apple Butter @ NancyC

Last fall, I made some homemade applesauce. I thought it was so much better than store-bought. After making that, I decided I needed to try making homemade apple butter sometime. Several friends have given me homemade apple butter the last few years–it makes a wonderful food gift, especially around the holidays. I discovered you can make apple butter with the slow cooker or on the stovetop, and for my first try I decided to make a stovetop version.

This recipe is really easy and it’s weetened with honey and apple juice or apple cider. You basically just put all the ingredients in a large pot and let it cook on low for an hour, until the apples get all tender and mashable. Then you let the mixture cool a little and puree to a smoother consistency in a food processor or blender. I love the cinnamony taste and I think that homemade apple butter, like homemade applesauce, is so much better than any you can buy!

STOVETOP APPLE CINNAMON BUTTER by NancyC

Makes 3 3/4 cups

  • 8 cups peeled, cored, and chopped apples (about 8 medium, or 2 1/2 pounds)–I used Gala apples; if using organic apples, you can leave the skin on if you want
  • 2/3 cup apple juice or apple cider
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

In a large pot or saucepan, combine chopped apples with the rest of the ingredients. Stir well, cover pot, and cook on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Let mixture cool for 15 minutes, then, in several batches, put mixture in blender and puree until smooth (be careful not to overfill your blender or food processor!).

Store in jars with tight-fitting lids or airtight food containers and refrigerate for up to one week.

This apple butter is great on toast, muffins, biscuits, and scones. You can stir it into plain or vanilla yogurt to flavor it up more, or layer it with yogurt and granola for a breakfast parfait.

Have you ever made your own homemade apple butter?

Linked to Fiesta Friday, Weekend Potluck.