Nutty Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Sometimes I get stuck in a breakfast rut. As the seasons change I find myself craving new flavors and textures. Oatmeal is the perfect vehicle to test out my newest ideas whether I add fresh fruit and berries or dried fruit with seed and nuts.

This morning my thoughts drifted back to my childhood and the single serving packets of Apple Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal I remember eating. I’m sure that oatmeal was better than the Count Chocula I ate regularly, but they were both full of sugar and devoid of nutrients.

Nutty Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal (An Unrecipe)

Ingredients (amounts will vary depending on your number of servings)

  • Rolled Oats
  • water
  • 1-2 apples, diced
  • cinnamon
  • sweetener (I used maple syrup)
  • walnuts (optional)
  • ground flax (optional)
  • almond slivers (optional)

Do

  1. Bring water and diced apples to boil. Two cups of water for every 1 cup of oats is a general rule.
  2. Add oats and stir regularly.
  3. Once oatmeal is done, add cinnamon and sweetener of your choice.

Serve

I like wait until the oatmeal is put in bowls to add the optional add-ins.Ā Add a side of fruit to round out the meal is always a good idea. šŸ™‚ My kids loved this by the way and I’m willing to bet yours will too. You can also try this with quinoa or brown rice to mix things up a bit.

On a side note, Vegan Month of Food, Vegan MoFoĀ is still under way. I am a few post behind but I’m cutting my self some slack because I’ve been super busy. I had hoped to catch up over the weekend but made the executive decision that my sanity is more important than catching up. šŸ™‚

 

Chocolate Mousse…How I Love Thee

When I first posted this recipe for Chocolate Mousse it just happened to be on Food Waste Friday and it was right before Valentine’s Day. It really deserved its own post but I tried to do two things at once and always kind of regretted it. With the holidays right around the corner I thought it was only fair to give this delectable recipe it’s very own post. šŸ™‚

Let me tell you, everyone who has ever tried this has LOVED it! Even people who aren’t normally chocolate lovers LOVE this.

Before you attempt toĀ prepareĀ it make sure your avocados are nice and soft.

Chocolate Mousse

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

  • 4 ripe avocados
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup agave (you could maple syrup or date paste instead)
  • pinch of salt
  • a few drops of vanilla

Do

  1. Open avocados and empty them (minus the pit) into a blender/mixer/food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add half of the cocoa powder and half of the agave along with the salt and vanilla.
  4. Blend until well mixed, taste and add more cocoa powder and agave until it is the flavor you like. You will not taste the avocado.
  5. Refrigerate until cold.

Serve

This could be served with almost any fruit, strawberries make a wonderful accompaniment. Iā€™ve even frosted cupcakes too. I could eat it with a spoon but Iā€™m wild like that. You will not believe something this creamy is dairy-free. For a frozen treat, freeze it by the spoonful (on a plastic spoon). You can also freeze it in a small bowl or cup, just let it defrost for a few minutes before enjoying.

This has a really long shelf life (when refrigerated) probably due to all of the sugar. I have done experiments but it’s safe to say it usually lasts well over a week. If it’s frozen I’d use it within a month. It seems to work best for me when I use my food processor but I have used my Magic Bullet with good results, it just takes longer.

 

Eating Well

Last weekend I hopped in the car and drove 1 1/2 hours north through the mountains and arrived in a considerably cooler Payson, AZ for a women’s retreat. I don’t know about you but anytime I travel I get a little nervous about what I’m going to eat.

A few months before the retreat the organizerĀ sent an email asking if anyone had any dietary requirements. I did my best to explain mine but told them I could bring my own food so they wouldn’t have to worry about it. I admit I was a bit nervous at that point. As the weeks went on I’d get emails asking if I could eat this or that. They even sent me a copy of the regular menu and asked about adapting it. I didn’t know it at the time but one of my friends who is also plant-based (and gluten-free) had a meeting to discuss our menu.

The food was awesome. I couldn’t finish my meal regularly because there was so much good food for me to eat. Those who follow me on Facebook got a sneak peek at what I was eating.

Dessert was so good that I never got a picture because those amazing little truffles just kind of hopped in my mouth and into my tummy. I didn’t take my camera so I was doing my best to try to take pictures with my phone. Most of the time I’d start eating then remember to take a picture. Oh well.

When I arrived there was an amazing vegan chili waiting for me. It tasted a lot like my chili. That made me happy! šŸ™‚ We were off to a good start.

The next morning I had brown rice with peanut butter, raisins, maple syrup, and I think almonds. Lunch was a deluxe salad bar with everything you can imagine plus an incredible vegan pear vinaigrette (pictured at the top). Dinner that evening was gluten-free pasta and broccoli.

The last morning there was oatmeal but it was almost gone when I went to breakfast. I didn’t want them to have to cook more but then I heard the words “special granola” they had made it just for the vegans and gluten-free ladies. It was delicious! I want the recipe! They also made us special smoothies that we could barely finish. We were so full from everything else but they tastes so good. I didn’t get any pictures this last day but I have a lot of great memories.

I really enjoyed the non-food elements of the retreat also. I met a bunch of incredible and inspiring women who I feel incredibly blessed to know. There was insightful teaching and activities and dynamic worship times. When I arrived on Friday I only knew a few of the women there and when I left on Sunday I wished I had more time to nurture those new friendships. It was really hard for me to leave my family to get away for a weekend but I’m so glad I did. I only wish I could attend an event like that with my husband.

I was definitely challenged to make Jesus preeminent in my life, to rest and rest in Him. To trust God, exercise faithĀ in Him, and strive to live a life of obedience.

Have you ever gone somewhere and been so well taken care of?

October Healthy Cravings Recap

Last week I had a great time at my Healthy Cravings group. I kept it much simpler than in September but it worked out well.

I made ChiliĀ and Taco Soup. My friend Cara brought over her Vitamix demonstrated making a soup for everyone.

is always a crowd pleaser so I made a batch with chocolate chips and a loaf without. I also made the Pumpkin Cupcakes I shared yesterday.Ā I frosted some with Chocolate Mousse and they disappeared!Ā I always send leftovers home with the ladies who attend. One of the ladies told me when she woke up the next morning all of the banana bread and pumpkin cupcakes she took home were gone and no one would admit to eating them! She also mentioned that her husband really like theĀ Taco Soup.

November’s Healthy Cravings is on the 8th!

 

Pumpkin Cake/Cupcakes

Need some help figuring out what to do with all of that pumpkin you bought? Look no further!

pumpkin cake

Pumpkin Cake

Ingredients

  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin (or 1 can)
  • 1 cup maple syrup (I’ve also used agave OR 1/2 cup maple syrupĀ  with 1/2 cup turbinado sugar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • vegan chocolate chips (optional)

Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350Ā° F.
  2. In a large bowl mix the first 5 ingredients.
  3. I medium bowl mix the remaining ingredients, except chocolate chips if using.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
  5. Grease pan or use cupcake liners.
  6. Pour into pan and bake until done. 30-40 minutes for a 9 inch cake pan and 15-20 for cupcakes

Serve

This first time I made this I cake I ate all but 2 pieces by myself. I just could not resist it. I mixed up a little glaze but wasn’t crazy about it. The next time I made thisĀ I went withĀ cupcakes and added chocolate chips and made this Chocolate Mousse to use as frosting.

I made these for my last Healthy Cravings group, which I’ll write about tomorrow. Let’s just say they were a big hit. I cooked the cupcakes a little long and they stuck to the liners šŸ™ so next time I’ll watch them a little more closely.

There is a little over a week left of the Vegan Month of Food, a.k.a. Vegan MoFo. I hope you’ve been enjoying all of the recipes. The Vegan MoFoĀ ends October 31st. I’m excited to participate in the Virtual Vegan Potluck on November 1st. There are 105 participants this time so get ready for a ton of mouth-watering recipes.

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