Saturday, June 30, 2012

Whole Wheat Bagels

Oh bagels... how I love your crisp and perfectly browned outside, matched with your soft, warm and chewy middle... and the unhealthy fats, bad carbs and high sugar content are great too (pause) NOT! 

Who out there loves bagels? Yeah, that's what I thought- everyone! Bagels are great for breakfast, make a fun sandwich and can be customized to fit even the pickiest of palates. Bagels are extremely popular.. they've been around since the 1700's! 

The most common flavor is plain (umm...boring!) But there is an endless list of how you could flavor your bagels! (Ideas following the recipe)

Ok...enough of me rambling on and on about the fun facts of bagels... let's get down to the important business at hand-a healthy AND delicious recipe for bagels!

These bagels are dense and chewy... they are full of good carbs from the whole wheat flour, low in sugar and can pumped up with nutritional additions (i.e. raisins, nuts, etc.)

So let's get baking!

After two hours...

 After 1 hour...

Let rest and rise another hour... then...

To finish: Place on a cornmeal dusted cookie sheet. (If you add toppings-like cinnamon sugar or seeds, sprinkle those on top of bagels now) Bake in a 500* preheated oven. Bake for five minutes then reduce heat to 450* and bake another 5 minutes

~Let cool at least 15 minutes! Then enjoy :) (how could you not enjoy these amazing snacks eh- breakfast um- amazingly delicious treats that are actually good for you! 

 Here I made peanut butter crunch bagels... Ahhhhhmazing! To the original recipe I added 1/2 cup chopped peanuts and 2 TBSP. chopped peanut butter chips after they had rest and rose in their ball form and before shaping into bagels.

*Tip: Try to make sure all your additions are on the inside of the bagel-not poking out. This will help make sure they don't fall off during the boiling.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Banana Bread Pancakes

Ever been craving some warm, fresh banana bread but didn't want to wait the 45 minutes for it to bake? You just want warm banana bread for breakfast, right NOW! This happened to me so I decided I needed to find a way to crush that craving and fast! 

Viola! Banana Bread Pancakes were born!
...see-sometimes doing whatever you can do to get what you want isn't such a bad thing! So next time you want something-don't settle! Go out there and get it! might just lead to something Banana Bread Pancakes :)

if you're anything like me-like the bowl clean!

I like to top mine with peanut butter and whipped cream! Delicious!

Ingredients (for two servings):
-1 ripe banana
-1/3 cup oats
-1/4 cup cottage cheese (or yogurt)
-1 egg white
-1 tsp. cinnamon

1. Blend all in a blender (I used my amazing Ninja!) until smooth
2. Pour onto hot griddle and cook
3. Lick out batter bowl like you're 5 years old (completely optional, but oh so fun!)
4. Top with deliciousness-i.e. peanut butter, jelly, syrup, more cottage cheese, fresh fruit...need I go on?!

Last bite... :'( Tear!

Let me know: What is something that you get a craving for sometimes that just cannot be stopped? Mine is frozen yogurt! Mmmm Mmm Mmm!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Overnight Oats

Yes, I'm joining the bandwagon! I'm sure many (if not all) of you have seen a recipe or two (or ten THOUSAND) for a little thing called 'overnight oats'. But have you tried it yet? NO!? WHAT!? Are you people crazy! Overnight oats are the easiest, healthiest, fastest and one of the most delicious (a close tie with banana pancakes) breakfasts. This simple breakfast is so crazy good for you-full of protein, healthy carbs, healthy fats, fiber, and a bazillion vitamins and minerals! Talk about kickstarting your day!

It's cool, creamy and sweet-not to mention chock full of nutrients! can also be made warm - all you need to do is throw it in the microwave for a few minutes.

So do I have you convinced you need to try it? No?! Wow, you guys are a tough crowd... well maybe this picture will do the trick:

You're ready to try now? ...ya-I thought whipped cream and sprinkles would change your mind :)

Basic Overnight Oats
-1/3 cup dry oats (or any other dry 'hot' cereal)
-1 TBSP. flax seed
-1 TBSP. chia seeds
-1 TBSP. wheat germ
-1/2 cup milk (any kind will work just fine!)
-1/2 cup Greek yogurt (but if you only have regular that is fine too! I'm very agreeable today!)

1. Throw everything in a small mason jar and shake to stir it all together! OH WAIT! -be sure to add the jar's lid first! :)
2. Clean up the kitchen if you starting shaking your mason jar BEFORE reading the part about adding the jar's lid
3. Let sit overnight (or at least 6 hours) in the refrigerator
...there are so many variations of this-by adding different milks (almond, soy, chocolate!) or different yogurt flavors. You can also add fruit (fresh, frozen, canned), nuts, or any extracts & flavorings you may be feeling 

For this berry version I added to the basic recipe:
-1/4 cup berry blend frozen fruit
-1 tsp. vanilla extract
-1 tsp. almond extract
-1 TBSP. slivered almonds
topped with whipped cream and sprinkles!

Feel free to mess around with the basic recipe and create some new combos all your own! Leave a comment and let me know your favorite recipe for overnight oats! I'd love to try some new varieties out :)

Nutritional Info:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Blueberry Banana Nut Bread

How would you like to be the owner of a fresh baked-soft, moist, dense loaf of bread? No! Make that... banana bread! And if you act RIGHT NOW I'll throw in some blueberries and pecans for no extra charge! (Just pay extra shipping and handling...) But WAIT! Keep reading within the next 5.5 seconds and I'll even make it healthy and easy for no extra charge!

...ok ok, so maybe I wasn't cut out to be an "As Seen on TV" sales(wo)man but I really do have an awesome recipe for all of you! And it does deliver exactly what my 'TV' claims said it did: moist, dense, soft, banana-y/blueberry-y with a touch of pecans, easy AND healthy! -Let me just tell you-you aren't going to find a better deal anywhere else! :)

The riper the better! Let me tell you something... I went to my grocery store to buy some bananas for this exact reason and they gave them to me FOR FREE! Yes-you heard me right-FREE! Just because they were people these days know how many amazing things you can do with ripe bananas?! Oh well... more free 'naners for me! #frugal! :P

(and now back to your regularly programmed recipe...)
Add your dry ingredients... no-I let the ball drop on this one and didn't take a picture of my dry ingredients..but really, it wasn't all that exciting! So moving on...

Bake at 350* for 45 minutes to 1 hour

Mmm Mmm Mmm! 

3 ripe bananas
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/2 cup sweetener of choice 
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/3 cup toasted^ and chopped pecans
1 cup blueberries

1. Mix wet ingredients well
2. Add your ripe bananas and mix
3. Slowly add in your dry ingredients (up to pecans)
4. Fold in pecans, then blueberries
5. Spread in a small loaf pan
6. Bake at 350* for 45 minutes - 1 hour (until it passes toothpick test)

^To easily toast pecans: Simply spread them out on a microwave safe plate and microwave 3 - 1 minute intervals, stirring after each minute

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My First Product Review! -Nuts About Granola

I'm so excited!

Super-Duper excited!!!

Can you guess why?! ...I'll give you a hint (it's in the title of this post!)
See that picture ^ yes... that would be Nuts About Granola "Plain Jane" granola-my first ever food review! I am so very grateful for the people at Nuts About Granola for putting faith in my little blog and letting me sample their product.

*Disclaimer: Nuts About Granola has given me this product to review. I was not given the product in exchange for a positive review. All opinions are my own.
... oh man-I kinda feel important having a disclaimer on my blog :P But anyways, back to the review...

When I found this lovely package in my mailbox yesterday morning it was all I could do to not rip into it right away!
...but it really turned into be 'all I could do' because I could NOT get the granola open for the life of me! After five struggling minutes, I decided it was time to give in and go get some scissors...

As soon as I did, I was not disappointed!
The smell was ahhhhhhmazing! Sweet and peanut buttery :)

I dug right in! Pouring a big handful right into my mouth! It wasn't what I was expecting at all. I base my granola opinions on three key points: texture, taste and nutritional stats.
Texture: I was expecting a crunchy granola, but this had more of a chewy texture to it... almost like oatmeal cookie dough... It wasn't bad-just not expected, so I give it a 3/5 (but only because I am a big sucker for crunchy granola)
Taste: Again-not expected in the slightest! I was expecting full out peanut butter smack-you-in-the-head flavor... This had a sweet, cinnamon-y taste to it. At first I wasn't so sure... but after the first few bites, I realized it was a little addicting! I give it a 4/5 
Nutritional Stats: This is an area I put a LOT of focus on, generally speaking-granola is high in calories and if you don't pick the right ones they can be LOADED with sugar and fat...turning a 'health food' favorite into nothing more than a crumbled up candy bar. Below you will see a picture of the nutritional info for this granola, as well as the ingredients which was found on
As you can see the nutritional stats are AMAZING! Only 130 calories for 1/4 cup, less than a gram of saturated fat, only 7 grams of sugar and 3 grams of protein! Not bad...not bad at all! I definitely gave it the full 5/5 on this part!
Overall-I give Nuts About Granola a 4/5. It had a good flavor and nutritional stats to back it up-the only thing I wasn't a huge fan of was the texture-but that is clearly a personal preference! I would recommend anyone try this granola (especially if you like softer granola).

Nuts About Granola has a bunch of other flavor options to try as well! Be sure to check them all out @ -I'm thinking the PB&J might have to be my next purchase!
Probably my favorite thing about this company is their desire for locally grown produce... this was taken off their site: 

What makes us different?

Nuts About Granola is made locally, sourced locally and traded locally. We believe strongly in the power of a thriving local community, one in which values where their food comes from and who makes it. Therefore, we hand make our granola is small batches using only all-natural and organic ingredients.

I think that is so cool! What a great company that truly delivers a stand up product. I couldn't have asked for a better company to work with on my first ever product review!

So tell me: What is your favorite type/brand of granola? Have you ever tried Nuts About Granola?

Monday, June 18, 2012


This is my first non-recipe post :O Crazy...I know!

But it is about something that brings me a TON of bliss-running! When I was younger I was pushed to join my school's cross country team... and do I mean pushed (in fact-that may be an understatement!) But as the season went on, I found I actually enjoyed running (weird-I know!) But this was just the beginning of a love/hate (mostly love) relationship with running.

I've only done 2 races (other than school cross country and track races) in my life. And both of them left me wanting to do MORE! My first race was a 10k - the Bolder Boulder... amazing! I've never had so much fun running. But I wasn't sure 6 miles was enough... I decided I wanted to try a half marathon. I told my family and for graduation I was given a certificate that told me I was registered for my first half-marathon. All I could think was "What did I get myself into?!" ...I mean saying I wanted to do a half-marathon was one thing, but actually be registered to run one in less than 6 weeks-Eeeek!

I came up with a training regimen and got to work! For the next six weeks my schedule looked like this:
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 2-3 miles-hills!
Wednesday: 4-5 miles
Thursday: 2-3 miles-farlek style
Friday: 2-3 miles + some other workout (Zumba, strength training, etc.)
Saturday: easy 2-3 miles
Sunday: Long run

My long runs started at 6 miles and gained 2 miles every week. I also did 2 sets of 20 pushups and 3 minutes worth of planks after my weekly runs.

I was so nervous starting out-Never in my wildest dream did I think I could run 13.1 miles :S But low-and-behold, six weeks later this was me:
pretending to be all tough and ready to kick some butt!

And around 2:13 later this was me:

It was one of the best things I have ever done in my life! I will never forget the feeling of accomplishment I felt that day, for not only finishing-but beating my person goal of 2:15. 

So tell me: Have you ever done a 1/2 marathon? Or dreamed about it?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

English Muffin Bread for those of you that desire warm, fresh baked bread that is healthy, fool-proof and delicious! You have come to the right place! This 3 step bread recipe is the kidding one little bit! 
It is probably easier than an Easy Bake Oven... those things were not all they were cracked up to be... just saying-a light bulb for a heat source?! I mean COME ON! That is why at the ripe ole' age of 7 I started using the 'big girl' oven... which may or may not have been a good idea on my mom's part, since I have more burns from our oven than I can count... but that's a whole 'nother story! And lucky for you I'm gonna skip it and head straight for the recipe :)

-3 3/4 cup flour (perfectly fine-in fact recommended- to use all whole wheat!)
-2 tsp. vital wheat gluten (if using all whole wheat flour)
-1 pkg. Rapid Rise Yeast
-1 3/4 cup warm water
-1 TBSP brown sugar
-1 TBSP salt

(I said it was only three steps and it really is!)
1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl until everything is wet
2. Add to a greased & cornmeal-ed loaf pan
3. Let rise 1 hour and then transport to oven for 45 minutes of baking on 350*
You're done! You now have fresh, healthy, amazingly delectable bread and you didn't even have to break a sweat... or get out that stupid little pink oven with the lightbulb!*

I should warn you tempting as it may be to dig in right away-I have found it is best to wait around 15 minutes after you remove the bread from the loaf pan before you slice. The slices won't crumble as easily if you do this.

*Disclaimer: I really have nothing against the EasyBake industry nor did any anti-EasyBake groups pay me to make fun of their product.

This is sooooo good when you first take it out of the oven (and let cool of course) but almost better the next few days when you toast it up, all crispy on the outside and warm and soft middle, Mmm!

 Nutritional Info: (1/12 of recipe-which is a pretty good sized slice!)