Baking with Quinoa!!

So, I’m just going to say it. I think I might be a genius. A modest one, obviously.

The evidence:

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I was looking around in the pantry the other night and noticed I had two boxes of unopened, unloved Quinoa sitting in there.

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I had just eaten the last of my Baked Apple Cinnamon Oat Bars, so I decided it was time to get creative and bake myself a new snack!

Cranberry Quinoa Peanut Butter Power Bars

Not only are these tasty, they are healthy! Quinoa, masquerading as a grain but actually a seed, is a complete protein, and it’s high in magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants. Combined with the healthy fat from the peanut butter and the vitamin E, zinc, selenium, copper, iron, and fiber in the oats, these make for a great power breakfast or afternoon snack. Yum!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 C cooked quinoa
  • 2 C raw oats
  • 1/2 C dried cranberries
  • 1/2 C smooth peanut butter (or nut butter of choice)
  • 1/2 C skim milk (or non-dairy substitute)
  • 1/3 C brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 C ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Instructions:

You’ll need to either have some leftover cooked quinoa on hand, or cook some up before you start this recipe. Two cups cooked quinoa is equal to roughly 1/2 cup uncooked, so prepare that amount according to the instructions on the box. Be sure to let the quinoa cool a bit afterwards.

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Preheat your oven to 350.

Toss all the ingredients in a bowl together and stir until everything is well mixed. Use some muscle!! 🙂

Scoop it all into a baking pan – I used my 7×11 pan, but you can use whatever size you have.

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Pop it in the oven and bake about 12-15 minutes. ENJOY!!

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Once you’ve tasted them 😉 and they’ve cooled a bit, I’d recommend storing the bars in the fridge covered in tin foil – it will help them to harden and stick together better. You can even cut them into bar-sized snacks and store them separately for easy grabbing and going!

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TGIF! It’s rainy and cold here in DC, but the tree outside my bedroom window is looking quite lovely and fall-esque:

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Plus, I went in to the office this morning, so instead of working at home in sweatpants, I got to put on a cute work outfit 🙂 I don’t miss sitting in an office all day, but I do sometimes miss getting to dress up cute! Isn’t the day just better when you like your outfit?

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Have a great weekend everyone!

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Want something to bake this weekend??

Ahhhhhh!!!!! These are amazing!! They taste like a healthy apple crisp 🙂 I heart baked apples and cinnamon!

I bought a ton of apples the other day and knew I wanted to do something apple-cinnamon-baked ish, and this is what I randomly threw together! It’s definitely a keeper.

Baked Apple Cinnamon Oat Bars

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Ingredients:

Dry:

  • 1.5 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 and 1/3 C oats
  • 1/3 C walnuts
  • 1/4 C ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 C raisins
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon

Wet:

  • 2 apples, chopped
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 C skim milk (or non-dairy substitute)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. In two separate bowls, mix dry and wet ingredients.

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Add wet ingredients to dry, stirring until mixed. Add mixture to a non-stick or sprayed baking pan (mine was 7×11, but use whatever you like).

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Don’t forget to add a sprinkle of raw oats on top to make it look pretty! (Clearly I forgot and threw them on last minute!)

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Bake about 30 minutes, but fork check it once you get close to see when it’s ready! Mmmmmmmmm…

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My mom is in town for a couple weeks for work, and she came over the other night just as these were coming out of the oven! We dove in immediately… mmm… warm baked apple pieces…

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She was a big fan 🙂 We couldn’t stop eating it!

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The aftermath 😉 These are going to make an awesome breakfast or afternoon power snack!

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Enjoy 🙂

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p.s. Don’t forget to enter my Chobani yogurt giveaway!! You have until Monday morning at 9 a.m. to enter.

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Tops (that won’t give you a muffin top!)

Annnnnd I’m back! Here’s the last fabulous appetizer that I served on Thursday night at my party 🙂 Whole wheat tastiness!

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffin Tops (that won’t give you a muffin top!)

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Ingredients (makes 2 dozen):

Dry:

  • 2 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Wet:

  • 1 C canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 C real maple syrup
  • 1/3 C dried cranberries
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. In two separate bowls, mix dry, then wet…

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…and then combine, adding wet to dry.

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Spoon the batter onto a non-stick or sprayed cookie sheet (this makes 2 sheets worth – about 24 muffin tops).

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Bake for about 15 minutes – fork check to see if they are done.

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Mmmm this might be my new favorite pumpkin muffin recipe! They came out sooo delicious, very soft and moist (this is one of my most hated words… along with chunks and flesh. yick!!! what words gross you out?)

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ENJOY!!

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I think I’m going to make more of these to have as snacks 😉

Sigh, time to get back to studying – big Organic Chem test today! Doesn’t this look like fun!?

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Kath, I know you feel my pain! 🙂

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Have a good one everyone! Stay tuned for my Chobani yogurt giveaway later this week, and of course more fun recipes!

Sweet Potato Banana Oat Muffins

Mmmm… the house smells so good right now! I just created an awesome new healthy whole wheat muffin recipe that includes pureed sweet potatoes! Pumpkin has been getting so much love on the blogosphere recently I decided that sweet potatoes needed some, too 🙂

I love baking, especially healthy muffins and oatmeal bar type snacks, so if you like these, there’s more where this came from! These don’t have any oil or butter, but are still moist and delicious and packed with nutrition thanks to the whole wheat pastry flour, oats, sweet potato, and ground flaxseed. The banana and tiny bit of maple syrup and brown sugar add just enough sweetness without overdoing it. These make a perfect breakfast or afternoon snack while on the go. Enjoy!!

Sweet Potato Banana Oat Muffins

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Ingredients:

(makes 12 muffins)

Dry:

  • 1.5 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 C oats
  • 1/3 C ground flaxseed
  • 1/3 C walnuts (optional)
  • 1/3 C raisins (optional)
  • 1/8 C brown sugar
  • 2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Wet:

  • 1 C canned pureed sweet potato
  • 2 large overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 C (overflowing) skim milk (or dairy substitute)
  • 1/4 C pure maple syrup

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. In two separate bowls, mix dry, then wet, and then combine, adding wet to dry and stirring gently until the mixture is uniform-ish.

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Spoon the mixture into a non-stick muffin pan (or use muffin cups). Sprinkle a couple raw oats on the top of each muffin to make them look pretty when they’re done 🙂

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Pop them in the oven for about 25-30 minutes and do a fork check near the end to test done-ness. When the fork comes out (mostly) clean, they are ready!

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Mmmm…

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Once they’re out of the oven, transfer them over to a cooling rack.

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And them promptly eat one when it’s all hot and steamy, burning your mouth in the process. Totally worth it 😉 These are so quick and easy and satisfying!

I had a great weekend – my friends Kristen and Brian had a gorgeous wedding last night. Here’s me bonding with their cake. 😉

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Group picture with the ladies…

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The new Mr. and Mrs.:

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Their reeeeally good menu – hello, seafood bar!!

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And of course clearly most of the night went like this:

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Hope you all had a nice weekend! I ran this morning for the first time since last weekend’s 10 miler! It felt great to get back out there, and it’s a GORGEOUS day here in D.C. My knee wasn’t hurting at all this week, so I figured I was good to go! I did a lovely 5 miles 🙂 It was nice to not have any sort of time/distance training pressure!

See ya’ll tomorrow for more good eats! What’s your favorite kind of muffin? Any ingredients you want me to experiment with next?