Tag Archives: oatmeal

Zucchini Bread Steel Cut Oatmeal

20 Apr

Zucchini bread is one of those desserts in disguise. Sure, its main ingredient is a vegetable, and yes, it’s baked in a loaf pan to make it look like a bread. But we all know a slice of this sweet treat is nothing more than cake you can eat with your hands.

I’ll maintain that my Oma makes the best ever zucchini bread. With zucchini grown from Opa’s garden, and a LOT of practice, Oma has the recipe perfected. She’s played with the ingredients over the years and has come to add cinnamon and a touch of cocoa powder, and uses mini chocolate chips instead of normal sized morsels to prevent the chocolate from sinking to the bottom of the loaf. And it’s moist beyond belief! I’d happily eat a slice of her zucchini bread every day for the rest of my life.

Zucchini Bread Steel Cut Oatmeal | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

But alas, I treat her bread just like that – a treat. And sometimes even a comfort food. To fill in the spaces, I came up with an oatmeal version of zucchini bread! Let this cook in the crockpot overnight, and wake up to a warm bowl of desserty oatmeal that will keep you full and satisfied until lunch. This oatmeal is packed with flavor, fiber, healthy fat, and two whole cups of shredded zucchini.

Top your bowl of oats with any combination of goodies, but don’t leave out the chocolate! Also delicious would be any variety of nut butter, fresh or dried berries, sliced bananas, or chia seeds.

Enjoy this super simple & healthy breakfast!

Zucchini Bread Steel Cut Oatmeal

Serves 4

  • 2 c shredded zucchini
  • 1 c steel cut oats
  • ½ c shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 4 tbsp flaxseed meal
  • 2 tsp cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¼ c honey or maple syrup
  • Toppings: mini chocolate chips, cacao nibs, nut butter, fresh berries, sliced banana, chia seeds, dried fruit

Combine all the oatmeal ingredients in your slow cooker. Mix to combine well. Cover and let cook on high for 4-6 hours, or low for 6-8 hours.

Alternatively, make this on the stove and bring the water to bowl in a medium pot. Stir in the oats, zucchini and coconut and simmer for 50 minutes. Stir in the rest of the ingredients and let cook another 10 minutes.

Serve into bowls to enjoy hot, and top with any variety of chocolate chips, nut butter, fresh berries, sliced banana, more shredded coconut, you name it!

If you have leftovers, store in the fridge, up to 4 days. To eat, stir in a bit of nondairy milk and reheat in the microwave for a few minutes.

Chocolate Coconut Steel Cut Oats

5 Apr

The calendar says it’s officially spring, but I think Wisconsin doesn’t understand quite what that means. One morning it’s 28 degrees out, 5 hours later it’s pushing 70, and that same night it drops back below freezing. I mean, come on! Makes quite the challenge when dressing for the day, or worse yet: dressing for a run outdoors. What it does allow, though, is a hot, comforting breakfast, no matter what the temps will be like at noon!

Chocolate Coconut Steel Cut Oats | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Steel cut oats are obviously the best choice when it comes to oats. They’re the least processed, contain the most amount of nutrients, and are incredibly cost-effective. ¼ cup of dried oats is one serving, and you know how big those canisters are! The downside: they DO take longer to cook. Which makes them a difficult choice on busy mornings. That’s where the weekend, or the crockpot, come into play. Make a pot of oats on Sunday to enjoy, and another pot to see you through that week’s breakfasts! Portion out the cooked oats into single-serving bowls, and all you need to do is add a dash of milk, microwave for a few minutes, and you’re good to head out the door with a hot meal to start your day off right.

Even better: this oatmeal is vegan (if you use maple syrup), gluten free (check that your oats are certified gluten-free) and soy free. They’re naturally sweetened with applesauce and just a bit of honey or syrup to round it out. Cocoa powder, cinnamon, flax and coconut all lend amazing nutrition that pair together so nicely. And anything topped with cacao nibs and coconut butter is bound to make you smile, especially at 8am! Whether you need this to fuel before or after a workout, or to get a balanced meal on a hectic day, these oats are calling your name 🙂 

Chocolate Coconut Steel Cut Oats

Serves 4

  • 4 C water
  • 1 C steel cut oats
  • 1 C unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ C cocoa powder
  • ¼ C shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup (if strictly vegan)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp flaxseed meal or chia seeds
  • ½ tsp coconut extract
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • Cacao nibs and coconut butter, to top

In a medium saucepan, bring water to boil with the steel cut oats, with the lid on. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 30 minutes, covered.

In the last five minutes, stir in the applesauce, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, honey or maple syrup, cinnamon, salt, flaxseed and extracts. Stir well and finish cooking until oatmeal reaches the consistency and thickness you prefer. Taste and add additional sweetener as needed.

Serve into four bowls and garnish with cacao nibs and coconut butter, as desired. If you have leftovers, let cool completely before storing in the fridge, up to 5 days. These oats reheat wonderfully with a bit of added milk in the microwave. Just stir in milk and zap for 3 minutes.

Chocolate Coconut Steel Cut Oats | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Virtual Runs and Curried Oatmeal with Scrambled Eggs

20 Mar

Sometimes, a race is all about the bling. The training runs in all forms of weather, the sore legs and tired feet, the long weekend runs, and the early morning rises. All for an amazing experience and a cool medal.

While training for the half marathon coming up in May, a few smaller milestones and shiny medal motivators help keep me going. Which is why virtual runs are so neat! If you haven’t heard about this, a virtual run is organized by a running company. You have the luxury of running where, how, when and with whomever you want, be that on a treadmill at 9pm or on a Tuesday before work.

How it works:

  1. You sign up for virtual run that fits your schedule – each one has a designated timeframe in which to complete the run & submit your time (usually around 2-4 weeks).
  2. You pick your desired distance: anywhere from a 5k up to a full marathon.
  3. You run the distance and submit your time to their website.
  4. They mail you the medal once the timeframe is over.

Level Up Virtual Runs gave me the opportunity to do their “Runner Awakens” virtual 5k recently with a really sweet Star Wars themed medal! Certainly made that day’s run a bit better.

My new bling! The Rebels' logo with a cute BB8 inside.

If you need that extra push, or want to run a race with friends, or just on your own, this is the perfect solution. It’s much cheaper than an organized race, too! The next Level Up Virtual Run theme is The Incredibles. Hope to (virtually) see you on race day!

Besides running, here’s a recipe for a super flavorful and high protein breakfast. And it’s FAST. Less than 10 minutes and you can have a healthy bowl in front of you, whether to refuel after a run, or a breakfast you can slink back into bed with to enjoy 🙂

The perfect breakfast bowl

Curried Oatmeal with Scrambled Eggs

Serves 2

  • 2 C water
  • 1 C old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tbsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 C milk
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste

Bring water to a boil in a pot. Stir in the oats, reduce heat to medium, and let cook 5 minutes.

Stir in the spices and milk, cooking another minute or two, to absorb all the liquid. Spoon into two bowls.

In that same pot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Crack eggs directly into the pot and start stirring to scramble. Cook to your desired doneness, and split them up into the two bowls, atop the oatmeal.

Season with sea salt & black pepper and enjoy this ultra-flavorful and protein-packed breakfast!

I was not compensated for my time; opinions are my own.

Chocolate Avocado Breakfast Bundt Cakes

12 Feb

What’s better than cake for breakfast? I have wonderful memories of various family celebrations that included cake, which always had leftovers. Rather than waiting for an “appropriate” time to enjoy those leftovers, my family would often dig into that birthday or graduation cake for breakfast the next morning. It’s naughty, delicious, and so horribly unhealthy! But oh so amazing.

Chocolate Avocado Breakfast Bundt Cakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com


These breakfast bundt cakes still feel naughty and are certainly delicious, but definitely not unhealthy. When the mood struck for chocolate recently, I started thinking of what I could bake into a cake that would make it wholesome, tasty, and packed with nutrients.

Chocolate Avocado Breakfast Bundt Cakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Oats were an obvious choice, and these cakes use both soaked and ground oats. Cocoa powder is so wonderful, it was a given that’s what I’d use to impart the chocolate flavor. Instead of butter or oils, I opted for avocado as the fat source, a healthy fat that we should all be eating more of. Sweetener is always tricky – cake isn’t cake without sugar, but I can’t justify a breakfast that’s loaded with the stuff, so I pureed some dates with Madagascar vanilla for a less-sweet but still satisfying flavor. And finally, to add a chocolaty protein punch, I stirred in a serving of my favorite chocolate protein powder, Vega Protein & Greens Chocolate.

Chocolate Avocado Breakfast Bundt Cakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com


The result? A decadent, dainty, delightful breakfast that looks and taste indulgent, but will leave you feeling ready to take on the day. No added sugars. No hydrogenated fats. No complex flour blends. And no chemicals.

Shock your loved ones when you serve them cake for breakfast! Just don’t tell them what’s inside 😉

Chocolate Avocado Breakfast Bundt Cakes
Makes 6 mini bundt cakes

    • 1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 1/2 cup dates
    • 1 tsp vanilla
    • 1 ripe avocado
    • 2 eggs (or 2 tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 5 tbsp water, set to thicken)
    • 4 tbsp cocoa powder
    • 1 C oat flour (measure after grinding oats in a food processor)
    • 1 scoop (33g) chocolate protein powder
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Preheat oven to 325°. Grease a mini bundt cake pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the 1/2 cup oats with the boiling water. Set aside to cool, so the oats can soak up the water.

In the meantime, puree the dates, vanilla extract and avocado in a food processor. Ideally, it’ll be completely smooth, but don’t worry if the dates don’t break down completely.

In a small bowl, whisk together the rest of the dry ingredients.

Add the date-avocado puree to the soaked oats and whisk together. Next, whisk in the eggs (either real or flax). Finally, whisk in the dry ingredients until combined well.

Scoop the thick batter into the greased mini bundt pans. Alternatively, you can use mini loaf pans, or just a muffin tin. Smooth the batter down so it’s as even as possible.

Bake at 325° for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a cooling rack.

Serve warm if eating immediately, or let cool completely to enjoy for breakfast in the morning. If desired, drizzle with your favorite nut butter, some maple syrup, or even a few sprinkles for fun 🙂

Store in an airtight container in the fridge, up to 5 days.

Chocolate Avocado Breakfast Bundt Cakes | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Orange Juice Blackberry Muffins

28 May

I think yoga has helped me become a better baker. No, not because I’m more flexible and can reach the top shelf of our pantry. Sure, physically it’s insanely beneficial: I’m stronger, leaner and indeed more flexible than I ever was before I began my yoga practice.

But I mean mentally. Yoga is amazing for clearing out the mind, letting go of stress and harmful thoughts, and really embracing yourself – essence, soul, whatever you prefer to call it – and nothing else. In the same hour-long class, I can sweat bullets, stretch through downward dog, and feel completely serene and “at one with myself.” It’s a detoxification of the mind, body and spirit.

So how has that affected my baking? Well, I used to stress over exact measurements, perfect baking temps and even division of batter among cupcake tins. Do I still care about these things? Of course. I DO want to produce a lovely product in the kitchen. But does it define my baking? Not anymore! In fact, I am now more able to improvise when I feel like throwing in random ingredients, substitute items when I don’t have what’s called for, and even go it alone – without a recipe, that is. I’ve gained confidence in my abilities – the same way yoga has helped me gain confidence in my body.

Today’s recipe is a reflection of this newfound confidence. Desiring muffins, I went in search of ingredients that would please both myself and my boyfriend, and make for a good flavor combination without being loaded of sugar and white flour. The result? An improvised muffin loaded with oats and whole wheat, sweetened mostly with orange juice, made moist by protein-rich Greek yogurt, and topped with juicy berries. These are perfect as breakfast, post-yoga or just because 🙂

Orange Juice Blackberry Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Orange Juice Blackberry Muffins

Makes 12 muffins

  • 1/2 C old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 C orange juice
  • 1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 6 packets stevia powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 C plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 24 blackberries

Preheat oven to 400. Line a muffin pan with paper lines and spray lightly with PAM.

In a small bowl, mix together the oats and orange juice. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients. Use a spatula to mix in the yogurt and egg. Then mix in the oat-juice mixture. Scoop batter into prepared muffin tin, filling each cup nearly full.

Press two blackberries into each muffin. Bake at 400 for 15-17 minutes. Remove and let cool a few minutes before eating. Let any leftovers cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the fridge, up to 3 days.

Orange Juice Blackberry Muffins | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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