Pumpkin Baked Oatmeal Muffins. Whole Grains Give-a-way!


I’m not a fan of baked oatmeal, I’m not sure why… just never a favorite.  I am however a huge fan of oatmeal that’s been cooked, used in overnight oats, baked in in cookies or raw in smoothies- count me in!  I wanted to make a muffin that was healthy and perfect for on-the-go breakfast for a busy week ahead.  I wanted to appeal to everyone – kids included.  One daughter loves dried fruit, the other despises it.  Hubby is allergic to chocolate.  Okay…. so I made two batches.  One without chocolate and one with vegan chocolate chips (mini, so they weren’t loaded but still tempting).  It worked!  Every morning, I saw one or two of these walking out the door in someone’s hands and I was happy.  Whole grains – gluten free makes for a happy mom!

It is National Whole Grain Sampling Day today… so this is the perfect recipe to share.  This year I’m a Whole Grain Ambassador.  I partnered with this council because whole grains have numerous benefits.  Did you know?

Brown rice isn’t the only whole grain rice?  It also comes in black (which you’ve seen me cook with), red and purple.  What a great way to get your kids interested in eating rice.

3 servings a day of whole grains cuts blood pressure, reducing stroke by 5-20% according to a 2010 study by Scotland doctors.

Sprouting grains increases many of the grains key nutrients including B, C, folate and fiber.

Whole grains are not only fabulous for your health, they provide key nutrients you need to keep moving and stay healthy.  They also taste incredible!  I have hundreds of whole grain recipes on my site for recipe ideas.  Here are just a few for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dinner and snacking.

They Whole Grain Council is also generously sharing (as they did with me) a box of whole grain goodies for one of my KTC friends.  Please leave a comment below to be entered or on this post in my Instagram feed.  US residents only.  A winner will be announced tonight at 8 pm EST.  The winner must email me their mailing address within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck!

Lark Johnson from Texas was the winner.  She entered via Instagram and has already submitted her information.  This giveaway is now over.  

Disclosure: I received a selection of whole grain products to sample but was not compensated for this post.  All opinions are my own.  

[Read more…]

— Knead to Cook

Crispy Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies.


Oh I’ve been enjoying my new vegan cookbooks my husband got for me.  They’ve been the highlight of this incredibly long, difficult week.  I’m not sure what its been this week but everyone I’ve spoken to has felt the same way.  Weird, right?  Definitely a cookie because I survived the day kinda week.  Ha ha. Altho a super long dragging week it has been productive.  Kids passports photos/applications/processing done. My oldest is officially a trained and certified lifeguard!  Myriad of doc appointment completed.  We’ve decided that we need to buy a new car.  Oh how I loathe this process.  Not my car, but my husband’s.  This probably means a bit of changing around.  He will take mine, he drives an hour each way to work and I have the hybrid and I will get said “new” vehicle.  As much as I love cars… I do not like shopping, researching and doing all of the due diligence to acquire a new one.  Anyone who would like to share what they drive and their opinion with me, please feel free!  Looking for something a bit more rugged.  Something we can throw our bikes on and go.  Hiking.  Trails. Oh I miss my Hummer.  Okay back to reality at hand… cookies.  Happy place.

I’ve been testing out so many awesome recipes and I have really enjoyed sharing them with my family as well.  These were a huge hit!!!  One batch I divided up – half with vegan chocolate chips and half without because my husband is allergic to cocoa.  I made them and they were gone in 2 days!  They are super crunchy yet chewy.  Packed with flaxseed, oats, almonds… great vitamins, minerals and protein.  Gluten-free too!  Great snack for school lunches or for after-school.  

Face it, who doesn’t want to have a cookie once in a while (or more often)?  So why not make it healthy without losing the flavor, texture or yumminess.  These fit the bill… hook, line and sinker!

Adapted from Oh She Glows cookbook.
[Read more…]

— Knead to Cook

Raw Nutty Seed Cupcakes.


If you’re a fan of my energy balls/bites – these are quite similar and equally as tasty.  Another recipe I’m testing out from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive cookbook- I may be posting each and every recipe shortly.  These bite-sized treats are raw and gluten free. Packed with protein and a great post-workout recovery.  Very filling, which is why I made them in mini cupcake cups.  Literally a bite or two is quite satisfying.  These are also great when you are craving something not-so-healthy to curb your hunger until lunch or dinner is ready.  Also great after-school snack idea or treat for kids.  Fats aren’t bad… bad fats are bad.  Fats from nuts and seeds are heart healthy and quite necessary for the body to operate efficiently.

An adaptation from Thrive cookbook.

[Read more…]

— Knead to Cook

Cookies and Cream Recovery Smoothie. Vegan.


I recently received Brendan Brazier’s second book – Thrive Energy Cookbook.  It’s insane!  I love every single recipe and have been voraciously been working through the book quite systematically.  This, thus far, ranks among the tops for me.  Totally vegan but totally delectable.  It is so indulgent!  I cannot stress this to you enough.  I love it on particularly rough workout days to help boost my protein to help muscles recover quickly – the premise of his books.  Good in, fast recovery, less injuries, better performance.  Even if you aren’t an elite athlete… this smoothie is nutrient dense and will have everyone clambering for it.  I promise!

Adapted from Thrive’s Cookies and Cream Recovery Smoothie.

[Read more…]

— Knead to Cook

Chocolate Mint Matcha Magic Smoothie.


I’m addicted to Thrive Cookbook!  Brendan Brazier is a genius, accomplished triathlete who has focused much of his life on plant-based nutrition and how it can help the body recover, regenerate and operate at an optimum capacity.  I’ve been enjoying so many of his awesome recipes and this one my daughter wanted to try for breakfast yesterday morning.  It was so good, gluten free, raw and protein packed.  Perfect for breakfast, post recovery from a workout or when you need a chocolate pick-me-up without any of the bad!

Recipe modified from the Thrive Cookbook.

[Read more…]

— Knead to Cook

Almond butter chocolate chip oat cookies. Gluten free.


Some days just require a cookie.  Don’t you agree?  Typically the end result would leave you riddled with guilt for imbibing on one, two+++ cookies but not with these.  These little gems are a take-off of my chocolate peanut butter oat cookies.  They are flourless, butter-less and gluten free!  I wanted to make some my husband could enjoy (he’s allergic to cocoa – gasp!).  So I made some of the batch without chocolate chips and some with.  I used mini chips so they weren’t overly chocolatey but you certainly can if you desire.

Grab your coffee, tea or milk and get ready for cookie break!

[Read more…]

— Knead to Cook

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oat Cookies. Gluten Free.


Every once in a while I throw in some chocolate cookies for good measure.  There is just something inherently right about chocolate.  And there are many health benefits to dark chocolate so I count this as a good-for-you food!  It just makes the world right again! Ha.   Well I made these gluten free, flour-less and gluten free.  I bought some Peanut Butter & Co. Dark Chocolate Dreams on sale and thought it would be fun in this recipe.  My kids loved it.  Easy to make, whipping up in minutes.  Bake really quickly and are the perfect match to a glass of cold milk.  Once again, chocolate saves the day!

[Read more…]

— Knead to Cook

Healthy granola bars.


It’s Monday and it’s the start of a brand new month.  I’m excited… why?  Well, we dodged a rather bad snow storm (sorry to my friends south of us who weren’t so lucky).  My training is going very well and I’m feeling stronger and stronger.  And despite life not being perfect, I see glimmers of hope and promise of wonderful things in the future.

As Monday comes, I always start baking or creating snacks for my kids and family to snack on all week.  Fruit and veggies are always at hand but let’s face it… grab a tea or coffee and a baked good or treat, right?  Yes!  Dessert.  After-school snacking?  Of course.  I always try to put the best options forward and this is no different.  We all train hard and need to rebuild and refuel.  This snack does that and it makes a lot so you are covered for a week of snacking.

[Read more…]

— Knead to Cook

Healthy corn bread.


Corn bread is one of those things that just pairs up with chili so perfectly.  Nothing else really fills that void.  Like chocolate and peanut butter – there is no better match.  So on Monday I made a batch of vegan veggie and bean chili and that coincidentally meant that I had to whip up a batch of my healthy corn bread.  I’ve been mixing this recipe up trying to make it healthier v. my standard I’ve always used and this one was good enough to “blog” about.  Plus with the addition of Greek yogurt… it has protein, which as a vegetarian, I really focus hard on getting enough in my diet.  No oils, butters necessary!  

This comes together pretty fast and then you need to bake.  I like it a bit on the toastier side of golden but you can certainly adjust your baking time and once the bread is done (insert a toothpick to check) you can remove it.  Let it cool for a few minutes then serve it up.  My family loves it with honey butter (mix butter with a few teaspoons of raw honey or maple syrup) until blended.  I’ve always loved corn bread muffins… the graininess and texture captured my attention during a college internship many years ago and I’ve remained a devout fan.  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we have and make it the next time you whip up a batch of your favorite chili.

[Read more…]

— Knead to Cook

Whole Wheat Apple Bundt Cake with a vanilla drizzle.


One of my New Year’s resolutions was to host more gatherings, (even small ones) throughout the year.  I had planned on an intimate brunch with a few swim friends and booked/sent invites out early in January.  After much turmoil with my daughter’s health, endless testing down in Philadelphia – tears, uneasiness etc.,  the date finally came around and I looked forward to being surrounded by close swim friends (and many of my oldest daughter’s friends – my youngest was away) who have been an amazing support system for us.

I whipped up this cake, an old favorite recipe from years and years ago, on Saturday so that the dessert portion of the brunch menu was taken care of.  It turned out well and everyone loved it.  There is something about a cake filled with cinnamon and apples that always gets me.  Just feels so homey and comforting.  It was perfect and I whipped up a vanilla bean drizzle for the top.  Great make-ahead dessert for your next get-together or special occasion.

[Read more…]

— Knead to Cook