The title of this post sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.
A smoothie, a loaf of bread, and a latte walk into a bar…
Ha ha ha.
Joking aside, I’ve basically been living on smoothies, baked goods from the freezer, and warm drinks.
I don’t know what it is about this time of year, but I lose my ambition in the kitchen and my motivation to work out. I’ve kept up on my work outs (can’t. give. up.), but my cooking has all but disappeared. A string of bad dishes hasn’t helped the decline. Sure, I’ve made a couple of things here and there, including, thank goodness, a giant pot of soup, but for the most part, I’ve been cleaning out the freezer.
Mr. M regularly complains there’s no room for his stuff in the freezer (his “stuff” equates frozen pot-pies and random pieces of animal carcass), so besides working through my cooking slump, I’m also slowly eating my way through the freezer and making some room for what I’m guessing will be meatballs. (Seriously. Why does one man need 50 meatballs?!)
The smoothie that’s been getting me through early, rainy mornings is VERY filling. It’s full of fiber and natural sugars, so it perks you up quickly, but then sustains your energy for quite a while. And it’s superbly delicious.
1 c non-dairy milk*
1/3 – 1/2 c oats (one serving according to product)
1 frozen banana, chunked (peel and chunk bananas before freezing)
1 serving protein powder (I use unflavored)
1 TBSP chia seeds (flax would work too)
1+ tsp vanilla
1+ TBSP cinnamon (or to taste)
1-2 TBSP raisins (1 mini box)
In a high-powered blender, add loose ingredients first: protein powder, chia seeds, oats, cinnamon. Then add remaining ingredients: raisins, non-dairy milk, and banana. Blend until smooth.
*I like to use unsweetened vanilla almond milk, but I think either sweetened or unsweetened hemp milk would be amazing in this smoothie. It’s rich and thick and delicious – all on its own.
If you don’t like chewy chunks in your smoothie, let it sit for a few minutes so the oats and chia seeds can absorb some of the non-dairy milk and make it a little smoother. If you’re fond of eating your smoothies in a bowl, this will also make the smoothie more bowl-worthy.
Like I said, this smoothie keeps me full for quite a while (it’s fairly caloric), but sometimes I eat breakfast so early, I must have a second breakfast because I’m hungry again before lunch. I know. I know. I can eat whatever I want whenever I want, but I love breakfast and am more than happy to extend it :-)
Lately, when I’ve
gotten had to eat Second Breakfast, I’ve been reaching for a slice of Cinnamon Raisin Bread.
I got the original recipe for this sweet, yeast bread from Happy Herbivore (click here for the original recipe). It sounded too good to pass up, but I didn’t want to use any refined sugars, and Mr. M had just bought a lifetime supply of grape juice (thank you, Sam’s Club), so I used it to replace the water in the recipe, which made it VERY sweet. I also mixed up the flour a little, reducing the wheat flour and adding oat bran (yup, still on my oat bran kick) and psyllium (not the laxative powder, the thicker, less processed whole grain). The result was amazing!
3 c whole wheat flour
1/4 c oat bran
1/4 c psyllium
1 pkt dry yeast
2 TBSP maple syrup
1 tsp salt
4 TBSP cinnamon
1 c applesauce
1/2 c grape juice
1 c raisins
First, plump the raisins in warm water, warm juice (grape or apple), or a little warm liquor. (Did someone say Rum Raisin Bread?!)
Next, combine the applesauce and juice and heat until warm. Don’t overheat, or you’ll kill the yeast when adding to the dry ingredients.
Then, combine half of the whole wheat flour, yeast, salt, cinnamon, and raisins. Stir to combine. (I use a fork to combine and aerate.)
Slowly combine the warm liquid to the dry ingredients. Add the remaining flours (the rest of the whole wheat and the oat bran and ). Mix to combine. A heavy, wet dough should result.
Cover the wet dough with a towel and allow to rise. (If you have a gas oven, place the covered bowl in there to rise. Even turning the oven light on in an electric oven will provide a nice, warm environment for your dough.)
Remove your dough from the oven, if you put it in there, and pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
Remove the dough from the bowl and spread it into a loaf pan. Flatten it with your hands to create an even loaf.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Let the loaf rest until it’s cool enough to remove from the pan, and allow to rest a total of 1 – 1.5 hours before slicing. And eating. If you can.
This recipe is a keeper. Even Mr. M eats it, and he usually thinks my treats are too healthy tasting.
Aside from living out the freezer, I’ve been preparing for the beginning of fall all week by enjoying Pumpkin Spice Lattes. (I need warmed up after all that frozen food!)
A couple of weeks ago, I started pursuing the net for Pumpkin Spice Latte recipes. I found a bunch of really good ones and tried a couple. After a little trial and error, I came up with one that works for me. Enjoy!
2 c. really strong coffee (use espresso if you can)
2 TBSP pumpkin puree
1/2 c non-dairy milk
1 TBSP liquid sweetener (I use maple syrup)
1 TBSP cinnamon (or to taste)
1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice (or to taste)
Add non-dairy milk, pumpkin puree, sweetener, and spices to blender. Blend well. Add mixture to large cup. Add coffee. Stir.
I prefer my coffee a little less than hot, so I don’t heat the mixture, but you may want to. The most important part of the whole process, at least to me, is blending the pumpkin mixture. Without blending, the drink is grainy.
Feel free to add more sweetener, dairy free whipped topping, or anything else you’d like to your latte. I like mine kind of plain (I even use decaf coffee) and not too sweet, so no extras for me ;-) And if you have little ones in the house who want to share your welcoming fall spirit, try doubling the pumpkin mixture and warming it up for a coffee free fall drink. Yummy!
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