Category Archives: Breakfast

Beet Pancakes

Recipe from: yummy kitchen



  •  1/2 medium beet, shredded with food processor
  •  2/3 cup milk
  •  1 large egg
  •  1 tablespoon melted butter or coconut oil
  •  1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  •  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  •  2/3 cup all purpose
  •  1/3 cup quick oats
  •  1 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1 tablespoon white sugar
  •  pinch of salt


  1. Preheat a griddle to medium-low heat. Coat lightly with cooking spray or butter.
  2. In a blender, puree beet with milk until no lumps remain. Add egg, oil, yogurt, and vanilla and blend just to combine.
  3. Add flour, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt on top. Pulse a few times or stir in with a spatula taking care not to over blend. Some lumps are good.
  4. Spoon or pipe using a squeeze bottle onto griddle. When bubbles pop on the surface, flip and continue to cook until cooked through. Serve with butter, syrup, and berries. I like to eat my pancakes slathered with almond butter.

Banana Oat Muffins

photo (3)These muffins are  so d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. and only contain a few simple ingredients. Plus they are low-fat and flour-free, so they are a great snack or breakfast for people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and well, anyone!

I should call they lazy day muffins, because they are so easy to make. You don’t have to mix anything yourself and you only have to clean 2 things when you are done – a food processor and a muffin tin. I am pretty sure they took 10 minutes from start to oven.

The recipe is a modification from “Keeping up with the Joneses” blog. I made their original recipe last week – it turned out ok but I knew it needed some tweaking. This version turned out perfect, so give it a try!

Simple Banana Oat Muffins

photo (1)


  • 2 1/2 cups of old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1 cup of fat-free plain yogurt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas


  1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.
  2. Place oats in a food processor and pulse until they are very fine chunks – not quite flour, but very small pieces.
  3. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and sugar. Pulse a few times to mix.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and then let the food processor do the rest of the work! Process until well blended.
  5. Fill the muffin tins nearly full with batter.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the top and edges are lightly browned (I did 25 minutes).

EASY Homemade Yogurt

This is probably the coolest thing I have ever done with my slow cooker! Yes, that is right, I made yogurt in my slow cooker. I am so excited to tell everyone about this!

I found the recipe at A Year of Slow Cooking. It is a blog documenting a woman’s challenge to use her slow cooker everyday for a year. I think this is the coolest thing ever, since we are all so busy and rarely ever have time to cook good family meals. Plus, the slow cooker is much cheaper to run than an over – it only costs about 2 cents per hour!

Now, on the yogurt, The recipe is for whole milk (AKA vitamin D milk, which by the way has no more vitamin D in it than regular milk) but anyone who knows me knows that I would probably never even consider of purchasing whole milk. At the end of the recipe, Stephanie (the author of the blog mentioned above) mentions you can use unflavored gelatin with a lower fat milk. She also mentions you can strain runny yogurt with a cheesecloth or coffee filters. We had skim milk in the house (of course) so despite all of the warnings on her website about using whole milk for your first time, I decided I try the recipe with skim milk and unflavored gelatin.

The result was a little runny, so I let it sit overnight in a colander lined with coffee filters that I put into a big bowl. If you do this you want to make sure that the colander is not touching the bottom of the bowl – if it is, the liquid won’t be able to go anywhere! If the colander is too big for the bowl, your yogurt may strain into your refrigerator; you could place the colander on a smaller bowl and then place all of this into a larger bowl to catch any extra liquid.

I did loose about 1-2 cups of liquid, so the skim milk version does not make all 8 cups. If you really wanted to stick to skim milk, you could add some powdered milk and/or more gelatin to the recipe. This should help thicken the liquid up.Regardless, this is WAY cheaper than purchasing yogurt at the store. We buy 32oz plain yogurt tubs at Aldi’s for $1.60, which is an amazing deal (it would be $3 or so at Jewel Osco). We buy 1 gallon of milk for $1.89 at Aldis and the gelatin was about 25 cents a packet. Basically, we got about 2 tubs of yogurt for $1.15. I am going to try this with 2% milk next time; I think it will get a much higher yield.


  • 4-6 qt crock pot
  • 8 cups (half-gallon) of milk
  • 1 packet unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 bath towels

  1. Turn your crockpot on low and add the milk. Cover and cook on low for 2 1/2 hours.
  2. Unplug the crockpot after the 2 1/2 hours and let sit for 3 hours.
  3. Remove 2 cups of milk from the crockpot and replace the lid. Pour the milk into a bowl and add 1 packet of unflavored gelatin (if using low-fat milk) and 1/2 cup yogurt. Whisk well and pour back into crock pot. Whisk everything in the crockpot well and replace the lid.
  4. Cover the crockpot with towels. Let stand 8-9 hours.
  5. If the yogurt is runny, line a colander with coffee filters or a cheesecloth. Place this into a bowl or pot so that the calendar is not touching the bottom. Scoop the yogurt onto the filters. Let stand in the refrigerator until it reaches the desired consistency. The yogurt closest to the filters will be thicker than the yogurt on top, so you can mix it together for an intermediate consistency.
  6. Scoop into containers and store in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Reserve 1/4 cup for your next batch.

Whole Wheat Cinnamon Rolls

I found a fabulous recipe in the Oct issue of Cooking Light – a healthy version of a cinnamon roll. I had never made real cinnamon rolls before. Sure, I’ve made the Pillsbury rolls that come out of that cardboard carton that pops when you open it, but I had never made the real thing.
I tweaked the recipe just a bit by adding whole wheat flour to make the roll even healthier. They are especially delicious warmed up with hot glaze on top.
Be sure you have about 3 hours set aside to make these. I started them at 6:30pm thinking I had tons of time, but at 9pm I was just putting them into the oven! The final product is well worth the work, just be sure you know what you are getting into before you get started.

Cinnamon Rolls
Cooking Light, Oct 2009

  • 1 cup warm, fat-free milk (100-110F)
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 package quick-rise yeast (I used my bread machine rapid rise yeast. There is a conversion on the jar)
  • 1 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • Cooking spray
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp very soft butter (you can melt it, but don’t need to)


  1. Combine milk, 3 tbsp melted butter, 1 tbsp granulated sugar, and yeast. Let stand 5 minutes.
  2. Add egg and remaining sugar to the bowl. Mix well.
  3. Mix the two types of flour together in a separate, small bowl. Stir 1 cup of the flour mixture into the yeast-milk bowl. Let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Add 2 1/2 cups of flour and salt to the yeast-milk mixture. Stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Add some of the flour mixture to the dough (only a tbsp or two to coat the dough) and begin kneading. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.  Continue to add flour as needed.
  5. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray. Turn the dough to coat and cover with a towel. Let stand in a warm place that is draft free for 35 minutes (an oven, off of course, works well).
  6. Gently press the dough with 2 fingers. If the indentation remains, the dough has doubled in size. Punch down the dough, cover, and let rise again for 35 minutes.
  7. Punch down dough and let rest for 5 minutes.
  8. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon.
  9. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and roll into an 11″ x 8″ rectangle.Spread the softened butter over the dough and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon mixture. Be sure to use a lot!
  10. Beginning at the long side, roll the dough tightly like a jelly roll. Pinch the seam to seal.
  11. Cut dough into 18 – 20 1″ slices. Arrange 9-10 rolls on a greased cookie sheet or baking dish.
  12. Cover and let rise 35 minutes, or until doubled in size.
  13. Preheat oven to 350F (be sure the rolls aren’t rising in here…)
  14. Uncover rolls and bake for 22 minutes or until lightly browned (I did mine for 22 minutes and 1 pan was quite brown, so I think 15-20 minutes is a good point to check them).
  15. Let cool on a wire rack. Store in a sealed container.
Serve with vanilla icing. I used a quick method from good old Betty Crocker. Here is what I did:
  • Mix 5 tbsp powdered sugar and 1 tsp vanilla together. Stirring with a fork, slowly add milk 1 tbsp at a time, until a thin liquid forms. Refrigerate until use. Microwave before using.

Here is their icing recipe:

  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Combine butter and cream. Stir with a whisk. Add vanilla and gradually add powdered sugar. Stir until blended. Serve warm.

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Posted by on September 28, 2009 in Bread, Breakfast, Favorites


Chewy Granola Bars

Last year around this time in August Jason and I went camping at Perrot State Park in Trempealeau, Wisconsin (near La Crosse). Just behind our campsite was the Great River State Trail which is part of the Bike 4 Trails that spans for 101 miles across western Wisconsin. We bike about 75 miles during our trip but I would like to go back and do the entire trail (202 miles from bottom to top and back). Jason’s mom came prepared with homemade granola bars which were perfect for our days out biking.

This year we are camping at Kettle Moraine State Forest with our friends Kathryn and Brandon. The trip is this weekend already! I plan to take some pictures and will likely post some here.

Homemade Granola Bars
Recipe from Nora Stiff

– ½ cup rice syrup (you could substitute honey, corn syrup, or maple syrup if you don’t have rice syrup)
– ½ cup sugar
– ¼ cup molasses
– ¼ cup honey
– ½ cup peanut butter
– 1 tsp vanilla
– Dash of cinnamon
– ¼ flax seed
– 2 ½ cup oatmeal
– 2 ½ cup rice kipsies (I used a mixture of rice krispies, cherrios, and corn flakes)
– 1 cup raisins

1. Heat first 7 ingredients until melted and boil for 1 minute
2. Mix cereals and raisins together. Pour hot mixture over the top and stir.
3. Press into a 13×9 pan and cool. I lined the pan with wax paper and then used wax paper to press the bars down. This seemed to work well, but is not necessary.
4. Cut into bars. Store in an air-tight container.

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Posted by on August 12, 2009 in Breakfast, Grains, Snack


Banana Bread

Strangely, I have never liked banana bread. It seems everyone in nutrition LOVES banana bread, so I set out to find a recipe that I could attempt to enjoy. I got lucky this past spring when I stumbled across the recipe at The Kitchen Sink Recipes. This recipe is so good that I didn’t even have to try to make myself like it – I loved every last bite of it and then made some more! It is sweet, but not overally sweet and is extremely moist. I don’t have a picture of the bread, but once I make another loaf I will update this post with a picture. You can also refer to the link above for a peak.

– 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup sugar
– 3 ripe bananas
– 2 egg whites
– 1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
– 1/4 cup plain, non-fat yogurt
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 2 cup whole wheat pastry flour*
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon

*If you can’t find this, you can do half white, half wheat, or all wheat. If you do all whole wheat, you may need to cover the pan with tin foil and cook for any extra 15-30 minutes.

1. Preheat oven to 350F and spray loaf pan.
2. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl together until light and fluffy.
3. Whist together mashed bananas, egg whites, buttermilk, yogurt, and vanilla in a small bowl.
4. Whisk the remaining dry ingredients into a small bowl.
4. Alternating between bowls, add the contents of the banana bowl and flour bowl into the sugar. Be sure to mix between additions on low.
5. Mix until just combined…do not over mix.
6. Pour into the loaf pan and bake 50-60 minutes.


Pankcakes with Fruit Topping

This tells you how far behind I am – this is a recipe from Valentine’s Day, which now seems like it was a decade ago. I have been cooking up a storm, but never think to take pictures anymore. I think I may post some recipes I have made just to get them on here and then if I make them again I will post the picture. Or, if anyone reads this and makes them, they could send me a picture 🙂

Fruit Pancakes
Pancake Ingredients
from Better Homes and Gardens NEW COOK BOOK
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp alt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  1. Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, oil, an egg. 
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir with a whisk just until blending. If you over mix the ingredients they will not give you a fluffy pancake. 
  4. Pour 1/4 cup of batter onto a preheated griddle or skillet. I find the griddle works much better for pancakes because you can make more at once and they don’t get crowded.
  5. Cook until lightly browned on each side.
Fruit Topping Ingredients
  • 1 cup of frozen mixed berries
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 egg yolk
  • sugar 


Whisk the egg yolk, milk, and 1 tbsp of sugar together in a small sauce pan. Place over medium heat and continually whisk to prevent curdling. Cook for 3 minutes. Add Fruit and continue to mix until the desired consistency is formed. Add more sugar to taste, if needed.