OATMEAL SMOOTHIES: MY BREAKFAST SOLUTION

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Anyone terrible at remembering to grab breakfast before you rush out the door? Well I seem to have found a great, homemade solution- and you make it the night before!

It seriously tastes delicious, is good for you, and helps tide you over until lunchtime. I got the Oster blender for my birthday and it really works great- I can use the same container I mix my smoothie in and take it with me on the go!

Here’s my new toy:

IMG_3380It came with two bottles, two caps and one blade that fits on both containers. I was hoping the blade lid would fit on a mason jar, but it’s just BARELY too big. Oh well. You can order more bottles online in different colors, which I might do just so I can make smoothies for the week ahead and store them in the fridge.

First thing you’ll want to do is blend up the oat/chia/flax mixture until it’s very similar texture to flour. Then add the liquids: I opted for 1/2 cup of almond milk and 1/2 cup of cranberry juice. After this step I think it’s best to put a lid on the container and hand shake the liquid so it starts mixing with the oat mixture, that way it doesn’t get stuck to the bottom of the container. Then add your yogurt, fruits, and anything else you want and blend away! The smoothie I made this time around has 1/2 cup blueberries and 1/2 cup of raspberries but any fruits amounting to 1 cup would work.

PicMonkey Collage

And here’s the recipe! It’s very flexible, so feel free to add/subtract/substitute anything to your liking:

  • 1/4 cup uncooked oats (old fashioned rolled oats recommended; do not use steel cut oats)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried chia seeds/flax seeds
  •  1 cup liquid (mixture of milk, almond milk, and juice- whatever you have/prefer)
  • 1/4 cup yogurt (greek or lowfat)
  • 1 cup of any combination of fruit/berries (frozen or fresh)

Make sure and refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 4 hours, so oats & chias can soften. It wiill keep in refrigerator 2-3 days. Shake before drinking.

IMG_3389And here’s the rough nutritional facts: super good for you, and a great start to your day!

CaptureHave a wonderful Monday!

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HOMEMADE GRANOLA & MINT NAILS

There are some things that I love making myself- and some things I would much rather buy. I used to be a granola-buyer and had no idea how easy and personalized you can make it to your likes- you can add in anything you want! Now, whenever I have a free day, I replenish my stash of granola to use throughout the week on yogurts and even straight from the batch.

dry
Dry ingredients
Liquid ingredients
Liquid ingredients
Mix it up and what do you got? Deliciousness in a bowl.
Mix it up and what do you got? Deliciousness in a bowl.
Golden-brown goodness.
Golden-brown goodness.

MAKE-IT-YOURSELF GRANOLA

IN A LARGE BOWL

3 1/2 c oats

1 c whole wheat flour

SOME MIX-INS I LOVE (usually adding up to about 1 cup of toppings)

craisins, sliced almonds, flaked coconut, sunflower seeds, raisins or whatever else you have in the cupboard

THE LIQUIDS (mix together well before pouring over dry ingredients)

1/2 c brown sugar

1/2 c oil

1/4 c honey

1/4 c water

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Pour liquids over other ingredients in large mixing bowl and stir to coat everything. Flatten mixture out into a thin layer on a large baking sheet.  Bake at 250 degrees for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. When you take it out of the oven, stir again and allow to cool- it will harden once cooled.  Store in an airtight container.

 

And what better thing to do while it finishes in the oven than paint your nails! Color I chose this time around:

Jade Jump by Sally Hansen

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I hope you enjoy your weekend!

IOWA WEATHER, SOUP WEATHER

Let’s just say it’s cold today.

Gotta love Iowa weather.

So, to keep warm, I had a huge craving for soup. Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup to be exact. But, as you can imagine, I didn’t feel like leaving my apartment and venturing out in the cold abyss to get a hot cup of soup. So, thanks to the internet, I searched for a copycat recipe. Since Food Network is legit, I decided to try their recipe. And (surprisingly) I had all of the ingredients on hand except for two things- bay leaves and nutmeg. But, at this point, I wanted it so bad I just forged ahead and left those ingredients out. I had a bag of frozen broccoli and some baby carrots, and used vegetable stock instead of chicken stock. The end result was pretty fantastic and just what I needed.

Here’s the recipe (with my changes):

Almost-Famous Vegetarian Broccoli-Cheddar Soup
Ingredients6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups half-and-half
3 cups vegetable stock
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups broccoli florets (about 1 head)
1 large carrot, diced
2 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated sharp white and yellow cheddar cheese, plus more for garnish

Directions
Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the flour and cook until golden, 3 to 4 minutes, then gradually whisk in the half-and-half until smooth. Add the vegetable stock then season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli and carrot to the broth mixture and simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Puree half of the soup in batches in a blender until smooth; you’ll still have flecks of carrot and broccoli. Return to the pot. (Or puree the soup in the pot with an immersion blender.)

Add the cheese to the soup and whisk over medium heat until melted. Add up to 3/4 cup water if the soup is too thick.