Protein Breakfast Bites

Protein Breakfast Bites

By the time I get to Friday mornings, I have pretty much run out of inspiration for breakfast.  While I typically eat a protein smoothie, I am always looking for ideas to feed my growing boys, that are loaded with healthy fats and fiber, but eggs get boring quickly and my oldest doesn’t love protein smoothies.

I am fairly adamant that my kids eat a hearty breakfast (not sugar and carbs), like the typical SAD (Standard American Diet) of cereal, toast, bagels etc.  So finding variations can be challenging. One of their current favorite breakfasts are my little protein bites.

They are loaded with gluten free oats, pumpkin seeds, coconut flakes, dried blueberries, flax seed, chia seeds, sliced almonds and coconut oil.  While they look like little muffins, they are actually dense, almost crumbly little bites, that pair wonderfully with coffee.  Because of the fiber and fat, they are incredibly filling and can easily keep you fueled until lunch.

A few benefits are that they are easy to make, freeze well and can travel well as snacks. I almost always have all the ingredients on hand…besides the dried blueberries, but I live super close to our local Earth Fare and they always have them in their bulk food section. You can also easily substitute ingredients: chopped up dried apricots or dates, sunflower seeds, pecans etc. Be creative with them!

 

Protein Breakfast Bites
author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1½ cups gluten-free oat flour
  • ½ cup wild blueberries
  • ⅓ cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • ⅓ cup shredded coconut
  • ¼ cup sliced almonds
  • ¼ cup + 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • ½ cup melted coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. celtic sea salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat Oven to 350º F
  2. Lightly grease a mini muffin pan with coconut oil (mine holds 32 muffins)
  3. Add all the dry ingredients into a food processor and pulse a few times to incorporate them
  4. In a separate bowl mix together remaining wet ingredients (coconut oil, vanilla & maple syrup)
  5. Pour slowly into food processor and pulse until everything is well combined
  6. Fill mini muffin pans and press mixture until it is well compacted and just below the top of the pan
  7. Bake at 350º for 12-15 minutes, until lightly brown
  8. Cool before removing from the pan
  9. *If they are hard to remove, twisting them around in the pan in a circle typically releases them

 

Strawberry Vanilla Chia Smoothie

Strawberry Vanilla Chia Smoothie

My favorite protein powder for smoothies is chocolate…but since we have been doing a lot of smoothies I have been trying to switch it up.  I decided to grab a jar of the Vega Vanilla Protein & Greens the last time it was on sale at our local Earthfare.  While I like to use fresh greens in my smoothies, this is a great options with 2 servings of greens included in the powder. This is my favorite smoothie combination that I have created using this powder.

Strawberrysmoothie

 

Strawberry Vanilla Chia Smoothie
author: 
 
Ingredients
  • handful of fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup of coconut milk (if using canned, use half cup + a half cup of water)
  • 1 heaping scoop of Vega Vanilla Protein & Greens Powder
  • 2 Tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp raw cocoa nibs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. dump all the ingredients into a high speed blender. enjoy!

 

 

Our Favorite Breakfast Smoothie – Blueberry Chocolate Spinach

At the end of October, my husband and I decided to do a 21 day cleanse.  We didn’t follow any mainstream cleanses in which they try to sell product (I am not a fan), but we basically followed the principles set by Dr. Alejandro Junger and his Clean Gut Cleanse & his blog for a bunch of recipes.  Basics of it, were a protein smoothie for breakfast, lunch was main meal of veggies, protein and clean fat and then dinner was an entree salad + plus no eating from dinner until breakfast.  My husband and I loved it, and now we crave our morning smoothies instead of a heavier breakfast.  I thought I would share  my favorite smoothie combination that I would pick over any others.

BlueberrySmoothie1
Key ingredients:

Fiber: Flax seed and Chia Seeds

Vitamins, minerals and protein: pumpkin seeds, roasted cocoa nibs, brazil nuts, spinach, unsweetened almond milk and organic chocolate protein powder

Sweetener: blueberries

Because of all the fiber and protein, this smoothie is incredibly filling and satisfying.

BlueberrySmoothie2

 

BlueberrySmoothie3

 

BlueberrySmoothie4

 

Our Favorite Breakfast Smoothie - Blueberry Chocolate Spinach
author: 
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 cups of almond milk
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • handful of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 3-4 brazil nuts
  • 2 Tbsp - ¼ c. raw pumpkin seeds (I soak and sprout mine first)
  • 1Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 Tbsp. ground flax seed
  • 1Tbsp. roasted cocoa nibs
  • 2 scoops of orgain organic chocolate protein powder
Instructions
  1. dump all ingredients in a high speed blender and blend. enjoy!

 

when fermenting goes bad, literally {coconut milk yogurt, part 2}

i am far from being a germ freak.  i am one that actually believes that our world is far to sanitary, kids don’t play in the dirt enough and our world’s dependence on “anti-bacterial” products is partially responsible for killing the good bacteria our bodies need.

with that said, the thought of fermenting & culturing my own food sort of freaked me out at first.  my first though was something like this: “you want me to sit things out on my counter to spoil and then feed them to my precious children?’” obviously, i have lost that fear, as making yogurt, water kefir and fermented veggies are now regular staples in our household.

but when i first started, one of my big questions was, “how do you know, when fermenting actually, goes bad?”  i read a ton of info on different ways to make yogurt before i began and people would always say it is common sense, obvious signs are really off smell, or visible pink or grey weird surface.  curious what that, pink or grey weird surface looks like?” well, i’ll show you.

 

here is a good yogurt

here is a bad yogurt (with obvious growth on the surface). i know, it’s gross looking.

so what did i do to make this batch go bad?  really it was an “i know better than that” mistake. i typically am pretty careful about always sanitizing my jars/tools etc. before creating any fermented food, but this last time as i got my jars ready, i noticed some, stuck on junk in the bottom of one of the jars.  so i grabbed a dish sponge (so, not germ free) and wiped the residue out.  sure enough, that jar got contaminated with bad bacteria as it cultured. in all of my batches of yogurt, i have only ever had 2 little jars go bad (which is pretty good odds).

happy yogurt making!

 

coconut milk yogurt {part 1}

i first attempted making my own yogurt about 2 years ago, when i was completely dairy free.  though we have now reintroduced some dairy into our home, we have still held onto this recipe as one of our weekly favorites.  at first, i was pretty intimidated at the thought of making yogurt, but honestly it is really easy and takes very few ingredients. we ferment ours typically about 18 hours, which yields a creamy, slightly sweet, slightly tart final product.  if you are used to the sweet store bought yogurts, the tartness of homemade yogurt can be a slight adjustment, but it is so good!

the basic ingredients are coconut milk, honey, vanilla, a probiotic starter and some thickener (i typically use agar-agar).

 thoughts on coconut milk:

we typically use native forest organic canned coconut milk.  mainly because the cans are bpa free.  the downside is that there is guar gum as a stabilizer and i am not a huge fan of it.  this week, i am making my own coconut milk from dried organic coconut flakes and i am going to try that in our next batch of yogurt. i will let you know how that turns out!

thoughts on thickener:

we have found that agar-agar is our favorite thickener for the yogurt.  i have tried tapioca starch, arrowroot &  guar gum and all of them work fine also.  i am planning on trying to use plain gelatin sometime, but haven’t gotten around to trying it yet.

thoughts on yogurt makers:

i have a little yogurt maker by waring, i got it for about $25 at tuesday morning (a random discount store) we have here.  the one thing i did right away was toss all the plastic containers that came with it (i hate bpa) and instead it fits 7 half-pint mason jars perfectly.  the nice thing about using a yogurt maker is that it keeps the temperature perfectly consistent at 105 degrees and i can just set the timer and forget about it.  a lot of people use their crock-pot, or oven with light on, or excalibur dehydrator, so really it is just preference. a yogurt maker is actually not necessary to culture yogurt.

 other hints:

  • make sure you sterilize jars and utensils before beginning. this is important! (i will show in another post, how to know if your yogurt is bad)
  • a good yogurt starter probiotic is gi-prostart , it is dairy free and works well with nut and coconut milks
  • a candy thermometer is perfect for making sure you are at the right temperatures (to high of heat will kill your probiotic culture)

coconut milk yogurt
author: 
recipe type: breakfast
 
slightly tart, slightly sweet coconut milk yogurt
Ingredients
  • 3 cans organic coconut milk (full fat)
  • 3 Tbsp. raw honey
  • 2 tsp. agar- agar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • ⅛ tsp of probiotic starter (I use GI-Prostart)
Instructions
  1. in a saucepan heat coconut milk & honey (stirring constantly)
  2. bring up to 185 degrees and then whisk in agar-agar or thickener of choice
  3. remove from heat and add in vanilla
  4. at this point i pour my mixture into my vita-mix and blend on high to really whip in thickener (but this is not a necessary step)
  5. allow too cool down to 105 degrees (quicker is better, hint is to set pan in ice water bath)
  6. as soon as mixture reaches 105 degrees whisk in culture (probiotic starter)
  7. pour contents into sterilized mason jars (recipe yields 7 half-pint jars)
  8. place in yogurt maker and set for 12-18 hours (depending on desired tartness)
  9. when yogurt is done fermenting, it will still be fairly thin until it cools off in the refrigerator
  10. cap jars and refrigerate (keeps for 7-10 days)
  11. serve with fresh fruit or granola

 

shared on: monday mania, slightly indulgent tuesdaysfat tuesdayallergy-free wednesdays & pennywise platter

chia almond breakfast shortcakes {with strawberries & blackberries}

chia almond breakfast shortcakes {with strawberries & blackberries}

this is how the conversation with my 3 year old went at breakfast the other day:

brady: “mommy, there are bugs in my scone.”

me: “oh, those are just chia seeds.”

(with a look on his face, that showed he clearly didn’t believe me)

brady: it’s okay mommy, i like bugs.”

breakfast is one of the hardest meals for me to find inspiration for.  ever since my youngest son had violent reactions to eggs, our home has been pretty much egg free.  i miss eggs.  i miss how easy they were for breakfast.  so until they return to our house (which i am hopeful that they will) i keep trying new ideas to keep breakfast interesting. these yummy creations were inspired by a recipe from one of my paleo cookbooks {Paleo Comfort Foods: Homestyle Cooking for a Gluten-Free Kitchen}.  i love paleo recipes, but many of them are pretty “egg” heavy, so i try alterations to make them work.  i first made these as a dessert and then altered them again by adding more fiber for a perfectly filling, slightly sweet breakfast treat.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
chia almond breakfast shortcakes {with strawberries & blackberries}
author: 
recipe type: breakfast, dessert
 
honey sweetened shortcakes. makes a perfect breakfast or a wonderful summer dessert.
Ingredients
  • 2 c. strawberries
  • 2 c. blackberries
  • 2 tsps. raw honey
  • 2 c. blanched almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp. chia seeds
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. baking powder
  • pinch of celtic sea salt
  • 3 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 flax seed eggs* (or 2 large free range eggs)
  • 2 Tbsp. raw honey
Instructions
  1. wash, hull & slice strawberries and mix in a bowl with the blackberries and 2 tsps. of honey
  2. set aside
  3. preheat oven to 350
  4. in a bowl, combine the blanched almond flour, chia seeds, cinnamon, sea salt, baking soda & baking powder
  5. in a saucepan make 2 flax seed eggs (heat 6 Tbsp. water & wisk in 2 Tsbp. ground flax seed until mixture becomes gel like)
  6. combine coconut oil, honey, vanilla & flax egg mixture and pour over dry ingredients
  7. mix gently until ingredients are well incorporated
  8. using a ⅓c. measuring cup, scoop out ½ circle dough balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet
  9. this recipe makes six ⅓ c. shortcakes.
  10. bake for 18-20 minutes, until light golden brown
  11. serve warm, topped with honey sweetened strawberry-blackberry mixture
Notes
*if you are making these using eggs, you can omit the baking powder. I have found that using a small amount in egg-free baked items helps them rise. **for baked goods I typically use blanched almond flour, it just cooks better. I have tried almond meal in this recipe and it works well also, the shortcake will just be a little denser.

 

 

this post was shared on: monday mania,  slightly indulgent tuesdaysfat tuesdayreal food wednesdaysallergy-free wednesdays, gluten-free wednesdayswhole food wednesdays & pennywise platter