Long Weekend Eats | VeganMoFo 2019 Day Thirty-One

And here we are: the final day of MoFo! If my goal with this return to diary-style blogging was to (1) make MoFo enjoyable again, and (2) evoke the simple pleasures of simple blogging (i.e., what I experienced in Days of Yore), I’m glad to say I’ve succeeded on both fronts. Are these posts particularly memorable? Nah. Did I produce ~*~solid content~*~ that will ~*~drive traffic~*~ to my blog? LOL, no. Did I enjoy myself? I sure did!

So, what did I get up to on this final day of August — and the first day of a long weekend? Well, I started off with my new favorite breakfast. I often rely on oatmeal or overnight oats, but earlier this week, I made something different before heading to work. I mixed up oats, oat milk, a little agave nectar, and some coconut flakes, and ate it all as-is. No heating; no overnight soaking. “Wow,” I thought. “This is good! Lightly soaked oats with fun add-ins, how novel!” And then I realized… oh yeah. I’m eating muesli. Haaaa. I returned to this newly discovered — yet well-known — brekkie this morning, right before I headed off to a volunteer assignment with two hospice patients. I used oats, oat milk, peach slices, coconut flakes, and a little sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. Perfection!

Post-volunteer assignment, I took a quick trip to the farmers market for the weekly shop. (My assignment happened to be at an assisted living facility right next to the market.) My favorite stall wasn’t there, though — one of the owners had passed away. :( They had a chair set up in their usual spot with a sign informing patrons what had happened, along with details about the funeral. Super sad.

A little later, Steven and I decided to spend some time outside at Paladar, a rum bar and self-described “Latin kitchen.” I had a gift card I wanted to use up, so we figured we’d take advantage of the mild weather (well, low 80s…) and sit outside on their dog-friendly patio. Naturally we brought Rosie, who did not seem to enjoy it quite as much as we did. She was cute, though! I had a couple drinks (a meh mojito and a very tasty mango mule), Steven had a terrible beer, and we split a cauldron of guac, which is served with tortilla, plantain, and malanga (!) chips. (The plantain chips were my favorite.) I snapped a photo of the guacamole, but said photo was boring, so here’s a pic of Rosie staring up at us and wishing she were snoozing away back home instead.

Invigorated by the lovely late summer weather, I headed to the pool after our Paladar excursion. It was surprisingly quiet for a Saturday, and I spent the time when I wasn’t swimming listening to an audiobook and indulging in a decidedly un-summery activity: knitting! I got the urge to pick up my knitting last week, when I started a hat on our drive to Asheville. Now I’m going full-steam ahead and getting a head start on my winter projects.

When I came home from the pool, Steven was just wrapping up a very tasty dinner: BBQ heart of palm sandwiches, served with a carrot-y, lime-y guacamole! Guac twice in one day; how indulgent.

(I apologize for that awful photo, I was quite hungry and could barely wait to snap a picture before diving into my sandwich!)

And here we are, at the end of the day(ish) and the end of the month. What a great start to the long weekend, though — I hope the next two days are as enjoyable! Gotta savor these warm, late-summer moments while we still have ’em.

Vegan Scottish Oatcakes | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Twelve

Week Two: Dietary & Lifestyle Restrictions
We love eating all the vegan food we can, but it’s good to learn how to cook for those who may have allergies or intolerances — and challenge ourselves in the process.

Sometimes simplicity is where it’s at. Take these oatcakes, for example. Made with oat bran, quick oats, boiling water, vegan butter, and a little salt, they require no hard-to-find ingredients. Oat bran is one of my favorite alternatives to straight oatmeal, offering a more Cream of Wheat-like, porridge-y experience, but I hadn’t thought to bake with it until I found this recipe. Unfortunately, when I set out to actually make the oatcakes, I realized I didn’t have nearly enough oat bran! I could’ve made some impromptu oat flour, but I was feeling lazy and didn’t want to drag out the food processer or the Vitamix. So instead I just added in some quick oats like this recipe does.

Even with this hodge-podge of a recipe, halved on the fly and cobbled together, I still managed to produce a small batch of crisp, gluten-free, fiber-rich crackers. Minimally flavored, they’re the perfect vessel for any topping:  fruit jam, a smear of your favorite spreadable vegan cheese… you name it.

Next time I make these, I’ll make sure I have ample oat bran on hand; these were a little bit crumbly, and I think the quick oats are to blame. Using 100% oat bran would probably help.

What’s your favorite super-simple cracker?

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Chickpea Nuggets made with Oat Flour | VeganMoFo 2018 Day Eleven

Week Two: Dietary & Lifestyle Restrictions
We love eating all the vegan food we can, but it’s good to learn how to cook for those who may have allergies or intolerances — and challenge ourselves in the process.

Another day, another way to use oats. This one is a more novel usage than yesterday’s rather predictable oatmeal cookies: nuggets! More specifically, chickpea nuggets made with oat flour.

This super-simple recipe from the Kitchn relies on aquafaba to bind chickpeas and oat flour together,  then incorporates a simple toasted panko coating for a little crunch. I was wary at first; I’ve had plenty of nugget-making experiences where the coating just won’t stick or involves a complicated milk-bath-plus-flour-plus-roll-in-the-coating technique that leaves you with crummy fingers and soggy nuggets. But this method worked out great! Everything came together quickly and with no hassle at all. Plus, because they’re baked, the nuggets won’t fall apart in the frying pan.

A few reviewers remarked that the nuggets were a bit bland (presumably because this is a kid-focused recipe), so I opted to season mine with a big scoop of Italian seasoning that I’ve probably had for seven years. *insert embarrassed-face emoji here* If anything, my nuggets were a little over seasoned! But not in a bad way. I served them with some homemade baked sweet potato fries and a big pile of sautéed kale. An easy, healthy dinner.

This is a great recipe — there’s no vital wheat gluten involved, so if you use gluten-free oats and gluten-free panko or breadcrumbs, you can easily make these gluten-free. Of course, there’s a bit of a trade-off in texture compared to a more traditional seitan-based nugget — the insides are a little soft, though not unpleasantly so — but for a quick, kid-friendly recipe that uses minimal ingredients, I’d say it’s worth it. And if you’re thinking, “But I don’t have oat flour in my pantry,” don’t worry! You simply grind up rolled oats in your food processor or the dry attachment of a Vitamix. (Both I and my grocery store were out of rolled oats, so I used ground quick oats instead and they worked a treat.)

So, oat flour-based chickpea nuggets? A total win. What’s your most unexpected use of oats?

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Sweet Iced Oat Milk

VeganMoFo 2015 banner

Day 7: Make/eat something inspired by a book or film.

Today’s prompt is terrifyingly broad! On this hot Labor Day Monday, when I’m still tired out from last night’s fundraiser and post-fundraiser friend times, all I want is to drink ice-cold water and snack on healthy foods. As I perused the internet looking for inspiration, I came across this quote from A Game of Thrones:

“…Wine no longer agrees with my digestion, I fear, but I can offer you a cup of iced milk, sweetened with honey. I find it most refreshing in this heat.” (Grand Maester Pycelle to Ned Stark, p. 250)

As a fan of the book series, the idea of making something super-simple yet inspired by a King’s Landing drink appealed to me. Ned describes the milk as “oversweet to his taste,” so I made sure not to go overboard with the sweetener in my version. I think this one would be Eddard-approved!

Sweet Iced Oat Milk

Sweet Iced Oat Milk
Serves 2-3

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 3 cups filtered water
  • 2 1/2 T pure maple syrup
  • Dash cinnamon

Add the dry oats to the blender and pulse for 20-30 seconds, or until they’re in small pieces. Add the water and let soak for about 10 minutes, giving the oats a stir now and then if you think of it. Blend for 2-3 minutes, or until you don’t see any pieces. (Give your blender a little rest in between minutes if it’s not particularly strong.)

Place a nut milk bag over a large measuring bowl or mason jar and pour the oat milk through the bag. Use your hands to gently squeeze out the milk, but most of it should strain very quickly. Set the bag aside. Pour the milk back into the blender and add the maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon. Blend for 10-15 seconds, then return to a jar for storing.

If you have time, freeze a few ice cubes made of the oat milk. To serve, add 2-3 cubes to a frosty glass, then pour in the milk. If you’re short on time, you can place the entire container of milk in the freezer for about 15 minutes so it gets very cold, and forgo the ice cubes. No matter which way you serve it, be sure to give it a quick whisk or stir to recombine any separated ingredients.

Oat milk should last for about a week in your fridge.

Sweet Iced Oat Milk

VeganMoFo 2015: PB&J Overnight Oats for Breakfast

VeganMoFo 2015 bannerIf you’re a regular reader, you know that every year I get very into the Vegan Month of Food (aka VeganMoFo). Themes are my JAM, and I love coming up with a new one every year. But not this year. This year, the powers-that-be at MoFo HQ are doing something a little different by offering up daily prompts that participants are highly encouraged to follow. And I’m happy to join! No more MoFo stress for me; this year, I’m going to revel in the simple deliciousness of vegan food. And what better way to start than with breakfast?!

That’s right, today’s prompt is: Rise and Shine! It’s MoFo time! Tell us about your breakfast.

Now, I’m no stranger to breakfast recipes — I’ve shared lots of ’em here. For a work-day morning, I generally keep things simple: oatmeal, a baked good, a piece of fruit… I usually don’t get much more complex than that. So for today’s breakfast, I opted for an easy, make-ahead breakfast: overnight oats. This time, I adapted a classic lunch flavor pairing (PB&J!) for breakfast. The addition of peanut butter adds a little extra hit of protein, helping keep you full for longer. You can use any jam, jelly, or preserve in this recipe; I opted for a homemade blueberry-lavender jam I whipped up a few weeks ago. It’s unsweetened and a little tart, so I added some brown sugar to my oats. Feel free to omit the added sweetener if your jam is sweet enough!

PB and J Overnight Oats

PB&J Overnight Oats
Serves two

  • 1 cup rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • Heaping 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1 T brown sugar, agave nectar, or maple syrup (omit if your jam is sweetened)
  • Dash salt
  • ~1/4 cup jam of choice

Add the almond milk, peanut butter, sweetener, and salt to an airtight container and whisk until the peanut butter is emulsified and fully incorporated in the mixture. Add the oats, cover the container, and shake for about 10-15 seconds. Refrigerate overnight.

To serve, layer oatmeal and jam in a serving jar or bowl. Top with chopped peanuts if desired. Enjoy!

Trying a new jam flavor? Let me know how your vegan PB&J overnight oats turn out!

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Simple Vanilla Oat Milk

As someone who’s slouching towards minimalism, the holidays pose a unique stress in my life. What to do with so many gifts? As much as I might want to request only experiences or (dare I say it?) cash as gifts, there’s a certain joy in the giving and receiving of tangible things, carefully chosen by a loved one. So I try to pre-empt the discomfort of bringing less-than-necessary new objects into my life by making my needs and occasional wants known. Case in point: last Christmas, I asked for nut milk bags and/or cheesecloths (#stereotypicalvegan) for my vegan cheese-making adventures.

Ask and ye shall receive. Receive I did — not just one, not two, but three varieties of cheesecloth and nut milk bags. Happily, they were all different, serving unique purposes in my kitchen. Did you know that you can use cheesecloth to strain cold-brew coffee? You can! We did! But while the cheesecloth was in regular kitchen rotation, my poor nut milk bag remained neglected. Honestly, I was a little apprehensive about making my own milks. I don’t have a fancy Vitamix or Blendtec; my run-of-the-mill blender has been known to require gentle coaching to perform the simplest of tasks. Even making smoothies with frozen bananas is an adventure! I expected the worst if I tried to blend something more resistant.

Vanilla Oat Milk

But then a friend mentioned how much she loves being able to whip up a batch of cashew milk whenever she’s running low. Sure, she has a Vitamix, but still! And then Steven received Miyoko Schinner’s The Homemade Vegan Pantry for his birthday, and my desire to start making my own staples finally transformed into action.

So, today, I’m sharing the easiest of easy homemade non-dairy milk recipes. To make oat milk, the only equipment you need is a blender and a nut milk bag. Unlike nuts, oats require very little soaking, so you can make a batch in nearly no time. And if you, like me, lack a fancy-pants blender, you’ll still be able to have creamy, delicious non-dairy milk without a trip to the grocery store.

Vanilla Oat Milk

Vanilla Oat Milk
Makes two cups

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • Seeds scraped from 1/2 a vanilla bean

Add the dry oats to the blender and pulse for 20-30 seconds, or until they’re in small pieces. Add the water and let soak for about 10 minutes, giving the oats a stir now and then if you think of it. Blend for 2-3 minutes, or until you don’t see any pieces. (Give your blender a little rest in between minutes if it’s not particularly strong.)

Place a nut milk bag over a large measuring bowl or mason jar and pour the oat milk through the bag. Use your hands to gently squeeze out the milk, but most of it should strain very quickly. Set the bag aside. Pour the milk back into the blender and add the maple syrup and vanilla. Blend for 10-15 seconds, pour back into jar, and refrigerate.

Oat milk will last about a week in your fridge.

Note: You can use vanilla extract instead of vanilla beans if you don’t have them or don’t want the visual effect of the seeds in your milk; I just didn’t want to add alcohol to mine.

Vanilla Oat Milk

Strawberry-Coconut Granola

I’ve got a pretty robust travel tag going, and for good reason: I love, love, love to travel. And I love talking about traveling! Besides daydreaming about my next trip, planning a detailed itinerary, and overthinking my suitcase strategy, every trip I take involves lots of pre-departure food research. This New Zealand trip has been no exception! And one very important part of my food planning is deciding what travel snacks to bring.

My strategy hasn’t deviated much from the one I employed when I went to Italy a few years ago. It’s all about nutritious, protein-rich snacks to keep my tummy full. I made a Wegmans and Trader Joe’s run to stock up on pre-made snacks, and I also whipped up a batch of granola for munching. Since I knew I’d mostly be eating this by the handful (not in yogurt or with plant milk), I needed to make sure this granola had lots and lots of big ol’ clumps. I’ve seen oil-free granola recipes that use applesauce for moisture, so I decided to try something similar. But I wanted to experiment with a different, bolder pureed fruit, one that would add flavor as well as moisture. Strawberries seemed like the perfect choice, and they worked wonderfully, especially when paired with coconut. Mmm.

Strawberry-Coconut Granola

Strawberry-Coconut Granola

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup mix-ins of choice (I used chopped almonds and chocolate chips)

Preheat oven to 350˚ and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spread liberally with coconut oil.

In a food processor, blend the strawberries until they’re nearly pureed. (If you’re using frozen strawberries, they should be the texture of a slushie.) Set aside.

In a small saucepan, add the coconut oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Stir to combine, heating over low so that the oil melts. Once all three ingredients are well mixed, stir in the dried coconut. Let sit for a minute, then turn off the heat. Add the pureed strawberries and stir to combine, then set aside.

In a large bowl, mix the oats, ground flax, and salt together, then pour in the wet ingredients. Stir to combine, then fold in any mix-ins you’re using.

Pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and spread into a thin layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, then remove from oven and let cool completely before eating.

Pineapple-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

During a season where pumpkin unquestionably reigns as the queen of all flavors, I’m bucking the trend and turning my attention to another p-fruit: pineapple! Not because of any contrarian desire, however; I just happened to have an open can of crushed pineapple I needed to use. I contemplated pancakes, muffins, quick bread… but they all seemed too predictable. (Well, I suppose pineapple pancakes aren’t predictable… I was just too lazy to make them!) Instead: cookies! Soft, subtly sweet pineapple-coconut oatmeal cookies.

I’m sure I’ve had pineapple cookies at some point, but I couldn’t tell you when. My most recent pineapple memories are of the summer before this past one, when my sister had a small (I believe the word is “intimate” in wedding parlance) wedding on Maui. Her husband’s family vacations at a resort there every summer, and her grandfather-in-law was incredibly gracious and generous, booking rooms for my immediate family to stay so we could make it to the wedding. Every morning, the hotel staff had Pineapple Time, where they’d chop up fresh, sweet pineapple and teach eager tourists something about Hawaiian culture. I can’t think of a better way to start a warm summer day than on the beach with freshly cut pineapple—I feel so relaxed just thinking about it! That was a magical week, easily the most laid-back vacation I’ve ever taken. My travels are usually much more action-packed, but I wholly enjoyed the chance to lay back, relax, and take in the scenery.

I wholly enjoyed these cookies, too. Pineapple and coconut are always a winning pair, and in tandem they offer a refreshing spin on the traditional oatmeal cookie. Like most of my baked goods, these are relatively low in sugar so that I can delude myself into thinking they’re okay to eat for breakfast. ;) If you prefer a sweeter, more dessert-like cookie, feel free to use all brown sugar instead of coconut sugar.

Pineapple-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

Pineapple-Coconut Oatmeal Cookies
Makes 15 cookies

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, solid
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 1 cup canned crushed pineapple, with most of the juice strained out (measure after straining)
  • 1 cup + 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (optional but recommended)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened flaked dried coconut

Using a stand mixer, hand mixer, or good ol’ fashioned elbow grease, cream together the coconut oil, sugar(s), and vanilla extract. (If you’re mixing by hand, you might want to heat the coconut oil just a little bit to soften it—solid coconut oil can be stubborn to work with!) Once the mixture is creamed and a bit fluffy, add the flax and pineapple and continue mixing.

Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom. Mix until well combined, then fold in the rolled oats and dried coconut.

Place the dough in the refrigerator and set the oven to 350˚. Prepare a baking pan by lining it with parchment paper or spraying it with non-stick cooking spray (coconut oil works great here!).

Once the oven is heated, remove the dough from the refrigerator and use your hands to scoop it into balls; they should have about two tablespoons of dough. Flatten slightly in your hands and placed on the baking pan about 3/4″ apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until they begin to turn golden. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes before eating.

~~~

What’s your favorite pineapple recipe?

Pumpkin Overnight Oats (and a brief disquisition on calcium needs)

LVV MoFo 2014 mainMany of us think of essential nutrients in relatively simple terms: protein is for your muscles, iron is for your blood, and calcium is for your bones. Though the full story is obviously more complex, it’s not a bad summary in the case of calcium. 99% of the calcium in your body is stored in and used by your teeth and bones, and this is the calcium that’s affected by your diet. The other 1%, called serum calcium, is stored in your blood and isn’t affected by diet. (1) So for our purposes, we won’t concern ourselves with the 1% (insert your favorite wealthy-person joke here).

The other 99% of our bodily calcium takes on the crucial job of keeping our bones and teeth firm and strong. Throughout our lives, our bones actually remodel themselves frequently, taking up calcium and using it to form new bone-bits. (1) That’s why we can’t just stop worrying about our calcium when we “stop” growing—our bones actually don’t stop changing. They need constant sources of dietary calcium to perform that vital work. When we don’t get enough calcium, we’re at risk for osteopenia—a thinning of bone density. (2) Left unaddressed, osteopenia can lead to full-blown osteoporosis (“porous bone”). Folks with osteoporosis have significantly less bone density than they should, and they’re at an increased risk of bone fractures. (3)

As most of us know, postmenopausal women are one of the most at-risk groups for this disease. That’s because decreases in estrogen production during menopause reduce calcium absorption and increase bone resorption (the actual process by which your body breaks down calcium stored in bone and releases it into the blood). (1) But just being female puts you at an increased risk for osteoporosis, as does being caucasian, having a small body size, and being physically inactive. It’s important for children—especially girls—to reach their peak bone mass before adulthood, because having a high bone mass as a young adult is a solid indicator that you’ll retain that bone mass throughout your life. (3)

So, now to the million-dollar question(s): What should one eat to obtain maximum calcium? And how much calcium do we need, exactly? The NIH’s recommendations are a great place to start. As a non-pregnant, non-lactating female between 19 and 50, I need 1,000 mg a day. Where can I find those milligrams? Well, I can get 400 mg in just two tablespoons of my BFF blackstrap molasses. A cup of collard greens has 357 mg. Four ounces of tofu processed with calcium sulfate can offer anywhere between 200 and 400 mg. Various beans, greens, and calcium-fortified non-dairy products are also great places to start. There are a few factors that affect calcium absorption, however:

  • Vitamin D (whether food- or sun-derived) improves calcium absorption. (1)
  • Phytic acid and oxalic acid, which occur naturally in some plants (e.g. spinach) can inhibit calcium absorption. (1)
  • A high-protein diet can increase calcium excretion, but recent research indicates that simultaneous processes actually improve absorption, so the effects could cancel one another out. (1)

Whew! That’s a lot to think about. Let’s get to some food now.

Horizontal view of a small mason jar filled with a thick dark orange oat mixture.

Pumpkin Overnight Oats
Serves one

1/2 C + 1 T nondairy milk
1/3 C pumpkin puree
1 T blackstrap molasses (you can add more if you’re a fan like I am)
1 T pure maple syrup
1/2 tsp cinnamon (I actually prefer closer to 1 tsp, but again, that’s just me!)
Dash nutmeg
1/2 C rolled oats

In a mason jar or other container with a tight lid, combine all ingredients except the oats. Shake vigorously until well-combined. Add the oats and shake again. Place in fridge and cool overnight.

Diehard readers might recognize this recipe from last year’s MoFo. I have to share it again, though, because it’s a great source of calcium! One jar gives you at least 30% of your daily value (more if you load up on the blackstrap molasses). That’s a great way to start your day.

Sources cited:

(1) http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Calcium-HealthProfessional/
(2) http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/osteoporosis/osteopenia-osteoporosis-there-difference
(3) http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyone/basics/vitamins/calcium.html

Note:

I’m neither a doctor nor a dietitian; please don’t treat my posts as medical advice! Consult a medical practitioner for specific medical or nutritional recommendations.

Banana-Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

S and I share many traits. We both prefer staying in to going out and partying. We have ambitious Goodreads goals. We appreciate a solid pun. But one point of difference is our tolerance for meal repetition. Although I have no problem with leftovers in general, I need diversity in my meals. Eating the same thing for lunch or dinner every day bores me. S, on the other hand, has been known to make a giant pot of his favorite cold noodle dish on a Sunday and eat it every. single. day. for lunch throughout the week. Me? I’m bored by Tuesday. When a series of events led to him having Chipotle for lunch three days in a row a few months ago, he could’ve kept going for the next week. Me? I’m good with a monthly Chipotle fix.

When it comes to breakfasts, I have marginally more tolerance for repetition. But lately I’ve become bored with overnight oats, my typical summer staple. Well… “bored” is too weak a word for my feelings. “Repulsed by” is too strong, but it’s somewhere between the two poles. The finer distinctions of my current dislike aside, I wanted to make myself a substantial breakfast that would fill me up like oats do but would not require me to eat from a jar. (I’m so over that for now.) Determined to use the quickly browning bananas on my kitchen island, I gathered inspiration from my Blueberry-Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies and my Banana Bread Baked Oatmeal.

Banana-Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

The result? Banana-Oatmeal Breakfast Bars, a satisfying breakfast you can eat with your hands—no jar required! My poor reviled oats take on new life in a dense, satisfying square sweetened ever so lightly with brown rice syrup. A few tablespoons of almond butter add filling protein and fat, but the nut-free among you could switch to soy butter with no major flavor changes. I left mine bare, but you could dress up your bars with chocolate chips, chopped nuts, or dried fruit. (And if you have a sweet tooth, consider adding a tablespoon or two of dark brown sugar to the wet ingredients—I prefer less-sweet breakfasts, but I know not everyone does!)

Banana-Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Makes 9 servings

  • 1 C whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 2 C old-fashioned rolled oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Rolled Oats)
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1/2 t nutmeg
  • 2 medium-large very ripe bananas
  • 1 C unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
  • 1/4 C brown rice syrup
  • 2 T almond butter
  • 2 T ground flax
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • Optional add-ins: chocolate chips, chopped nuts, dried fruit

Preheat the oven to 375˚ and prepare an 8″ x 8″ baking pan. I typically use coconut oil, but any oil or spray will do.

In a large bowl, mix the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas very thoroughly—they should be very liquid-y. Add the almond milk, brown rice syrup, almond butter, and vanilla extract and whisk to incorporate fully. Add the ground flax and give the liquid mixture a last stir.

Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stir to combine using a wooden spoon or plastic spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and place in the oven. Bake for 20-25  minutes, or until a toothpick or metal testing tool comes out clean. Cool for at least 10 minutes and then cut into squares… and enjoy your jar-less breakfast.

Banana-Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

P.S. Ya dig that cute fabric napkin? There’s a set of six for sale in my Etsy shop!

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