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A Tropical Breakfast: Pineapple Banana Baked Oatmeal

2 Aug
Tropical baked oatmeal delicious! Photo by Jess B.

Tropical baked oatmeal delicious! Photo by Jess B.

Over the winter I got really into baked oatmeal for breakfast. To American readers it may seem like I’m coming to the party a bit late. But baked oatmeal is not as well known here in the little old UK, tho I intend to change that! We have been missing out! Prepared in advanced, baked oatmeal is just so easy to reheat a portion each morning. It provides a near instant warm and filling breakfast. So much quicker and easier than faffing with making porridge in my beffudled achy ME/CFS morning state. And it’s so versatile. Banana and blueberry, apple and cinnamon, chocolate chip, the possibilities are endless!

Baked oatmeal recipes commonly contain eggs. As you will all know by now, and are probably sick of hearing, I can no longer tolerate eggs. They were one of the (many) foods I reacted strongly to in a recent food IgG intolerance test. No more baked oatmeal for me, or so I thought.

Ingredients. Photo by Jess B.

Wet Ingredients and Tropical Fruit. Photo by Jess B.

I stumbled upon the amazing vegan and allergy friendly food blog Oh She Glows and several recipes for baked oatmeal sans oeuf – baked oatmeal without even a trace of egg – yay!

It may seem strange to be touting a baked oatmeal in the middle of the summer. But remember I live in the UK where gorgeous sunny summer weather is anything but guaranteed. Tho so as not to slander British weather entirely I will say we have recently had several weeks of very hot weather. It’s basically been too hot, we’re never happy!

British weather eccentricity aside, the pineapple and banana gives this oatmeal a tropical note and a firm nod to summer and hot weather whilst the oats and bananas give the dish a nice filling soluble fibre base. So make this recipe and let the tropical fruity flavours take you off to your own little slice of tropical paradise, think gorgeous white sand beach, lush palm trees, turquoise sea waters lapping at the shore and warm sun basking in a clear blue sky….ummm heaven.

My dad saw the dish of baked oatmeal, still warm fresh from the oven filling the kitchen with a gorgeous aroma and dived straight in! He enjoyed a piece as his afternoon power snack, and why not, it’s a perfectly healthy alternative to cake! Breakfast or snack, you have to try this recipe!

Using the ingredients listed here this baked oatmeal is gluten, wheat, dairy, yeast, egg, almond, brazil, soya, oil and coconut free.

Dry Ingredients. Photo by Jess B.

Dry Ingredients. Photo by Jess B.

Wet Ingredients. Photo by Jess B.

Wet Ingredients added to dry. Photo by Jess B. Don’t be alarmed, hazelnut milk is pale brown in colour!

Makes 6 – 8 portions.

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups gluten free oats
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour (or other gluten free flour)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger

Wet Ingredients

  • 2.5 cups of hazelnut milk (or other dairy free milk)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup

Fruit options

  • 1 banana chopped
  • 1/2 a fresh pineapple chopped

Sprinkle of brown sugar

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F / 180°C / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Lightly grease a 10 x 10 inch baking dish.
  3. Place all dry ingredients in a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir well.
  5. Fold in the chopped pineapple and banana.
  6. Pour your oatmeal batter into the prepared baking dish.
  7. Sprinkle the top with a little brown sugar.
  8. Bake in your preheated oven for 55 – 65 minutes until golden and slightly firm to touch.
  9. Allow to cool in the dish. Once completely cool cover with cling film (plastic wrap to non Brits!) and store in the fridge. Come breakfast time, place your portion in a bowl, cover and reheat in the microwave until piping hot (approx 1 minute). Serve with a splash of your preferred non-dairy milk. Enjoy.

This baked oatmeal recipe is the perfect non-egg oatmeal recipe that as I say at the top can be jazzed up any way you choose. Any fresh or frozen fruit combo would work. It is definitely going to give me endless possibilities for non-egg breakfasts 🙂

Recipe adapted from Oh She Glows.

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A Crunchy Nutty Gorgeous Granola

20 Jul
My perfect breakfast granola. Photo by Jess B.

My perfect breakfast granola. Photo by Jess B.

As a teenager I hated breakfast. I didn’t think it was ‘cool’ to eat it and so didn’t want to. But my Mum, thankfully, refused to give in to my teenage grump and wouldn’t let me leave the house without something in my tummy.

How times change. Now I LOVE breakfast!

And one reason I love breakfast so much is that you get to eat delicious oaty nutty healthy things like this homemade granola. This recipe is quick and easy to throw together and tastes amazing. Using the ingredients I list below, this granola  is free from gluten, dairy, egg, almond & brazil, coconut, wheat, and soya so complies with my recently acquired long list of food intolerances! With sweetness coming from the dates and honey, this granola is also refined sugar free. The oats form the perfect high soluble fibre base for any unhappy IBS tummies.

Serve your cunchy nutty wholesome granola with milk and fruit of choice. My preference is rice milk with bananas (added soluble fibre) and strawberries which brighten up the bowl beautifully. Doesn’t that just sound like the perfect way to start the day?

Ingredients (makes 8 – 10 servings) 

  • 100g dried dates
  • 200g gluten free oats
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 80g cashews
  • 80g walnuts
  • 30g pumpkin seeds
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
Blended dates. Photo by Jess B.

Blended dates. Photo by Jess B.

Cashews and walnuts. Photo by Jess B.

Cashews and walnuts. Photo by Jess B.

The 'too small' sauce pan full of raw granola! Photo by Jess B.

The ‘too small’ sauce pan full of raw granola! Photo by Jess B.

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160ºC / 325ºF / Gas Mark 3 (if fan assisted reduce by 20 degrees)
  2. Spread baking parchment on two baking sheets
  3. Place the dates in a large saucepan (not a small one like I used in the pics unless you want oats all over the place in step 5!) in about 1 inch of boiling water until they are nice and soft (about 20 – 25 mins but depends on size & softness of your dates to start with)
  4. Once the dates are nice and soft, blend them until smooth.
  5. Add all the remaining ingredients to the saucepan along with the dates and mix thoroughly (if you’re an ME/CFSer like me, you may need to borrow someone’s arms for this bit).
  6. Once well combined spread the mixture onto your baking sheets and bake in the oven for 15 minutes until golden.
  7. After 15 minutes, reduce the oven temperature to 110ºC / 225ºF / Gas Mark 1/4 (again 20 degrees less for fan assisted) and bake for a further 30 minutes until the granola is dry and crisp.
  8. Leave to cool completely on the baking sheets and then store in an airtight container. It will keep for a good few weeks, if you don’t eat it all way before then!

Recipe adapted from Honestly Healthy.

Light and Delicious Quinoa Porridge

2 Feb
Quinoa porridge with almonds and agave syrup

Quinoa porridge with almonds and agave syrup

I love porridge. It’s just so comforting to sit with a big bowl of creamy, steaming porridge on a cold winter’s morning. It’s cheap, quick to make and so versatile too. You can add whatever you like to the milky grain base to cater for your own personal taste. I really like berries and chopped almonds on mine. My sister loves bananas and maple syrup on hers whilst my Dad, when my mum isn’t looking, sticks with the classic British favourite of lashings of Golden Syrup. I’m making myself hungry just thinking about it!

Quinoa porridge with berries, my favourite.

Quinoa porridge with berries, almonds & hint of sweetness with a little agave syrup.

Now with the recent development of gluten free oats, those of us eating gluten free no longer have to miss out on traditional oat based porridge. However on one particularly cold snowy morning recently, when I went to the cupboard to get my gluten free oats I discovered the box was practically empty. So in desperate need of a warm and filling breakfast I decided I’d give porridge made from quinoa flakes a try. And you know what, it was delicious and I haven’t gone back to oats since!

Quinoa flakes make a lighter porridge than oats meaning you don’t get that heavy bloated feeling that can arise after eating traditional porridge, which for those of us with ME/CFS is a huge bonus as we need no extra help at feeling sluggish and tired! What’s more, quinoa is a high protein grain and low GI and is frequently dubbed a ‘superfood’.

As you’ll see from this recipe, using quinoa flakes is just as quick and easy as making porridge with oats. It’s just as filling and satisfying and no more expensive than gluten free oats. Try it, you won’t regret it!

Quinoa Porridge

To serve 1 you will need:

  • 1/4 cup of quinoa flakes
  • 3/4 cup of Koko (formerly known as Kara) coconut milk alternative (or non-dairy/ dairy milk of your choice)
  • 1 handful of sultanas
  • 1 tbsp of blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 tbsp of chopped almonds
  • 1 tsp of agave syrup
  • 1 sprinkle of ground cinnamon to taste
Quinoa soaking in milk.

At the beginning of cooking,

Cooking quinoa porridge

the individual quinoa flakes are visible.

  1. Place the quinoa flakes, the sultanas and 1/4 cup of the milk in a small saucepan. Leave to soak for 10-15 minutes minutes. (Note: the soaking is not essential but if you have time I recommend it as it produces a creamier porridge).
  2. Add another 1/4 cup of the milk to the saucepan and heat on a low-medium heat and allow it to boil.
  3. Once boiling reduce the heat and stirring constantly, gradually add the remaining milk to the saucepan and allow the mixture to come to the boil again.
  4. Total cooking time is approx 6-8 minutes (time will vary depending on level of heat and type of milk) until the porridge has thickened and the consistency is smooth and creamy.
  5. Once cooked, pour into a bowl and place the blackberries and chopped almonds on top of your porridge. Drizzle over the agave syrup and sprinkle on the cinnamon. Serve immediately.
Cooked consistency - individual flakes no longer visible.

Cooked consistency – individual flakes no longer visible.

As I said at the top, the toppings for porridge are endless. So if you’re not a fan of blackberries then just sub in a different fruit (or chocolate chips!).

A little note on cinnamon: I always sprinkle a little cinnamon on my breakfast as it helps to lower blood sugar and can ease inflammation which contributes to chronic pain. Read more about the health benefits of cinnamon at Care2.com.

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