Nov 052013

Warm Harvest Apple Breakfast features warm apples, pie spices and lots of healthy seeds over a bed of any grain you choose. In this case I chose my favorite grain – oats – but in their purest form. The oat groat.

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Can you feel it in the air?

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

The cooler weather, scents of sage and thyme, fall leaves and the holidays just around the corner.

Before you (and I) start hyperventilating about all the things we need to get done, let’s stop and take a breath.
Are you the kind of person that can’t wait for the holidays or one that gets so stressed out that you wish they would go away? (Not mentioning any names – my husband Chris.)

I saw this well-timed Jim Rohn quote on facebook and it reminds me to stop and focus on the important people and things in my life. Obviously there needs to be a balance of getting things accomplished and having time; instead of plopping down in front of the TV, this quote motivates me to use that time to be with people that mean something to me or do something nice for myself instead.  I remind myself that I’ll never get that hour back that I watched TV.

Jim Rhone

Instead, maybe I’ll do something like this with my daughter (ironically I also got this off facebook so it looks like I need to put the facbeook down. See, look at how aware I’m becoming. Ha!)

Hand Ornament

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

This breakfast is one of those ways you can slow down and share a warm meal with the people you love.  Oat groats take about 45 minutes to cook but you won’t have to babysit them. Put them on the stove with the other ingredients and know that in just under an hour a very hearty and delicious will be ready for you and your family.  Oat groats are stick-to-your-ribs filling so the serving size is 2/3 cup.

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Cheers to you, my readers and many thanks for all the times you visit me and share in my life. May your holidays be warm and blessed!

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Harvest Apple Breakfast

Warm Harvest Apple Breakfast

Serves 4
Vegan, Gluten Free
Printable Recipe


2/3 cup oat groats (Gluten Free for Celiac)
3 cups water
1 banana, chopped
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup unsweet vanilla almond milk
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp Mila chia, ground
2 Tbsp flax, ground
2 Tbsp unhulled sesame seeds, ground
2 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp dried cranberries


1. Heat oatmeal, water, banana, apple, milk, salt, cinnamon, chia, flax, unhulled sesame seeds, raisins and cranberries in a small saucepan over medium high heat until bubbling; cover, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes; remove cover, stir and simmer an additional 15 minutes.

Nutrition Facts 
4 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 228.4
Total Fat 8.6 g
Saturated Fat 1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.3 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 171.6 mg
Potassium 238.6 mg
Total Carbohydrate 37.6 g
Dietary Fiber 9.4 g
Sugars 9.4 g
Protein 8.0 g

Vitamin A 1.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 8.2 %
Vitamin C 5.5 %
Vitamin D 3.1 %
Vitamin E 7.2 %
Calcium 15.7 %
Copper 11.1 %
Folate 2.1 %
Iron 15.5 %
Magnesium 6.3 %
Manganese 9.0 %
Niacin 1.7 %
Pantothenic Acid 0.7 %
Phosphorus 4.4 %
Riboflavin 2.3 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 3.4 %
Zinc 2.6 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Apr 162012
My very sweet friend Suzanne is back at work from maternity leave and looks amazing – leaner than before she was pregnant! Everyone was amazed.
We all asked, “How did you do it?!!”
I was so happy to hear the weight just fell off after she and her husband watched Engine 2 and Forks Over Knives while she was out on maternity leave. She already ate a natural foods diet and was my “recipe buddy” with who I would share tips and tricks for adding more whole foods to our diet. I was surprised to hear that her husband was actually the one that wanted to make the jump to a plant based diet and she said he has lost 30 pounds. Everyone has been asking her for recipes and she shared one for an apple dessert that her family loved. I decided I had to try it this morning for breakfast; a simple mixture of fruit, nuts and a bit of maple syrup. The apples were just what I expected – warm, lightly sweet, crunchy and nutty. I can’t wait to have it again tomorrow!

To go along with breakfast, I had a small cup of coffee/teeccino in my favorite cup from the Key West Butterfly Conservatory. I love that it reminds me of my trips to the Keys. Growing up in Massachusetts, the Keys sounded like a fancy vacation and now we are close enough to go several times a year. In fact, I promised my daughter when I finished working on my little teardrop trailer that we would head down to go camping. I had extensive water damage and decided to do all the repairs myself to save money. I’ve learned how to use a jigsaw, chop saw and circular saw, repair all sort of things with liquid nails, wield a caulk gun, install flooring, use a power drill and build a bunk bed – I’m so proud of how far I have come! You can check it out at If you visit the website, be sure to go back to the very beginning to see the extent of the damage. She was in rough shape. I’m now building shelves for the closet; I created a cover for the sink for extra counter space and have several other modifications I’m thinking about. HOPEFULLY, next weekend I will be getting the exterior painted. I’m so close to the end of the repairs now that I went ahead and made reservations to go camping in the Keys including visiting our favorite Key West Butterfly Conservatory.
I hope you enjoy this recipe just as much as I did. It’s perfect for a light dessert or, as I had it, a nice breakfast.

Country Apples and Walnuts
Serves 2
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free
2 apples, cored and chopped
2 Tbsp maple syrup

1/4 cup walnut halves, chopped
½ tsp cinnamon (and optional sprinkle of nutmeg/cloves/allspice)
Dash of sea salt

1 Tbsp ground flax
1 tsp MILA or chia seeds


1. Preheat oven to 400F. Mix all ingredients together; and spoon evenly over baking sheet covered with non stick spray. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until apples are soft and nuts are browned.

Nutrition Facts

2 Servings
Amount Per Serving

Calories 253.0
Total Fat 11.0 g
Saturated Fat 1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 7.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1.6 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 79.7 mg
Potassium 286.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 39.2 g
Dietary Fiber 7.4 g
Sugars 26.0 g
Protein 3.9 g

Vitamin A 1.6 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 6.8 %
Vitamin C 13.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 4.0 %
Calcium 5.3 %
Copper 13.6 %
Folate 4.1 %
Iron 8.0 %
Magnesium 7.5 %
Manganese 62.2 %
Niacin 1.9 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 5.4 %
Riboflavin 2.4 %
Selenium 1.6 %
Thiamin 4.5 %
Zinc 8.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Apr 072012
Oatmeal for breakfast is one of my favorite things – but sometimes plain old oats can be a bit boring.  To make it more exciting I turned it into a cupcake with Justin’s Chocolate Almond Butter “frosting”. 
If you have kids, this is a fun way to get them to eat their oatmeal! 
For people with various nut allergies, simply sub any other nut or seed butter.  I use sunflower seed butter for my daughter.
Here is what they look like naked.  More like a muffin.
 Add a little simple peanut butter.
 Mmm gooey right out of the oven.
Add a little fun to your life!
Breakfast Oatmeal Cupcakes
Serves 15
Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free


1 cup AP gluten free flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill
2 cups gluten free rolled oats, I used Bobs Red Mill
1/2 c shredded unsweet coconut
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon

1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup agave, maple syrup (or honey for non vegan)
1/4 apple juice (to sub for extra oil!)
1 tsp vanilla
1 flax egg** (or 1 egg for non vegan)

Optional Mix-ins (change em up how you like!)
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
3 Tbsp Mila seeds (or chia)
3 Tbsp ground flax

15 Tbsp nut or seed butter of choice

**To make a flax egg, mix 1 tbsp ground flax seed with 3 Tbsp water and refrigerate until gooey.


1. Preheat oven to 350F.  Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl; add we ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in mix-ins.  Spoon into 15 muffin cups.  Bake for 30 minutes or until top is browned.

2. Top with 1 Tbsp preferred nut or seed butter.

Nutrition Facts
15 Servings
Amount Per Serving (without nut butter)

Calories 249.8
Total Fat 13.1 g
Saturated Fat 2.9 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat 6.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 41.2 mg
Potassium 90.1 mg
Total Carbohydrate 32.2 g
Dietary Fiber 5.0 g
Sugars 14.2 g
Protein 4.0 g
Vitamin A 0.0 %
Vitamin B-12 0.0 %
Vitamin B-6 1.8 %
Vitamin C 0.7 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 9.9 %
Calcium 2.1 %
Copper 3.1 %
Folate 1.4 %
Iron 7.9 %
Magnesium 1.3 %
Manganese 7.7 %
Niacin 1.2 %
Pantothenic Acid 1.7 %
Phosphorus 3.1 %
Riboflavin 1.4 %
Selenium 2.6 %
Thiamin 3.4 %
Zinc 1.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Feb 172010

Dear Aunt Owney, if you are reading this post this one is for you.

What?  No tahini, agave and flax seed in the pantry?  Sheesh, I thought everyone had this stuff!  ;) 

I will admit I do buy most ingredients at my local natural food store, Native Sun.  However, you can get almost all the ingredients shown here, as well as agave which is not in this particular recipe, at local grocery stores.  Check for an organic/all natural section or talk to the store manager.

I love looking back and seeing how my pantry has evolved.  Finding out about my daughter’s allergies definitely propelled me in the natural food direction and to tell you the truth, not only are her allergies under control, I feel great too!  I have been working to eliminate white sugar from my diet and my cravings have almost ceased (for me this is really amazing as someone with a horrendous sweet tooth).

Pumpkin is a great source of fiber and vitamin A and is very low on the glycemic index. Even though these started out as a dessert truffle, they ended up not quite as sweet.  The pumpkin provides something more like the taste of a very moist granola bar.

I ate so much of the batter when I was making these around 10AM I wasn’t hungry until 4:30! Needless to say these little guys are very filling and tasty.

 Raw Tahini Pumpkin Truffles
Vegan, Gluten Free

1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 Tbsp tahini, I used JoYva
1 cup dates
2 tsp maple extract
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup rolled oats, I used Bob’s Red Mill
2 Tbsp flax seeds, I used Bob’s Red Mill
2 Tbsp apple juice
1/4 cup raisins


1. Add pumpkin puree through apple juice to a food processor; blend well, scraping down the sides of the food processor frequently until mixed to desired consistency.

2. Fold in raisins.

3. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls into balls and place in small muffin cups. Sprinkle with cinnamon and stevia and a few raisins for garnish (optional).

Feb 152010
Weekend visits with my grandmother while I was growing up were magical.  First on our list to do was a trip to Kings Castle Land.  Upon arriving at this small amusement park in Whitman, Mass you would cross a drawbridge over a moat.  As a child I found this sort of thing very entertaining. 
Nothing is better than a drawbridge and moat.  
Ok maybe there are a few things just as good.
Such as a roller coaster, petting zoo with very cute goats, play ground, slides, house of mirrors and the most wonderful gift shop you ever saw filled with all kinds of enchanting trinkets and toys.
Now for the Debbie Downer part.  Very sadly, the park closed in 1994 and became a used car lot and later a Stop and Shop but the memories from there are irreplaceable.  Is that even legal?  To crush childhood dreams for a used car lot and a Stop and Shop?  Well it most definitely should not be.
Back to the point.  Secondly on our list of things to do was to head for the local natural food stores.  My grandmother followed a macrobiotic diet which is grain and plant based and promotes whole, unprocessed foods. I love the smell of the small, local natural food stores.  Don’t you?  They just smell healthier.  Maybe because they don’t use harsh chemicals for cleaning.  While we were there she would buy me dates rolled in coconut flakes.  Have you ever had those?  There is no candy out there that can compare to how sweet and soft they are with just the right hint of coconut. 
Fast forward to 2010.  I came across a charming blog called Chocolate Covered Katie. Here I was reminded of those date rolls my grandmother always bought me because she makes what are called Fudge Babies.  Aside from the memory factor what appeals to me about them is they are raw and contain no butter, white sugar and white flour that severely tamper with my insulin levels.  And no one likes an insulin level that has been tampered with.
Raw Pumpkin Peanut Butter Cup Truffles
Vegan, Gluten Free


1 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup dates
1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp flax seeds
1 tsp cocoa powder, I used Hershey’s Special Dark
1/2 cup rolled oats, I used Bob’s Red Mill
1/4 cup carob or chocolate chips sweetened with natural sweetener such as SunSpire
2 Tbsp PB2 Chocolate (optional)
1. Add the puree through rolled oats to a food processor; blend well, scraping down the sides of the food processor frequently until mixed to desired consistency.
2. Fold in carob or chocolate chips. 
3. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls into balls and place in small muffin cups. Sprinkle with optional PB2 chocolate and a few carob or chocolate chips.