Wow I can’t believe it is 2020! I haven’t written in so long because Zemirah and I had the flu over the holidays, and I am just now feeling better after a month of the yuckies. Technical term. Anyways, I certainly hope everyone’s new year is off to a great start! Now that I’m finally feeling better, I am turning my attention to the baby’s room because she will be here in about 2.5 months! *insert shocked face* I hope to give you all a few more new recipes before I take an extended break, but as always, follow along on social media (clickable links on the sidebar or at the bottom of this page) to keep up with the fun/craziness!
Okay, so back to the new year. More often than not, the new year comes with resolutions to declutter, eat healthier, get into the gym more, and all that good stuff. (My resolution/word for this year is to “release” AKA stop being a control freak. Oops.) I want to help people with their eating habits because I truly believe what we put in our bodies is the most important thing for our physical, mental, and emotional health. Breakfast is “the most important meal of the day” yet so often rushed and overlooked. These Hash Brown Cups are the perfect breakfast recipe to make ahead of time, pack up to take to work, or even eat on the road, and you can top them with avocados or veggies for extra nutrients. I think these little breakfast cups (and, of course, coffee!) will get your mornings off to a happy, healthy start!
How does time keep escaping me? I blinked and October is almost over! Halloween is a mere 9 days away, and I still haven’t hemmed Zemirah’s Elsa costume, nor have I blogged in over two weeks. Two weeks with no new recipes is officially my longest, albeit accidental, break from my blog. In case you missed it on my social media (click the links at the bottom of this post to follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook), we are expecting Baby Mills #2 in April! I’m currently four months along, Baby is the size of a large avocado, and giving me sweet little jabs every now and then. After our miscarriage in July, we’ve been concerned with Baby’s health, but so far everything is looking perfect!
Obviously pregnancy along with being the mom of a rambunctious toddler has kept me occupied, in a true Pinch of Crazy way. *insert crazy heart eyes here* Bear with me over these next months; I promise I’ll blog whenever I get the chance! For now, continue relishing your crisply cool fall days while enjoying these delicious, not-too-sweet, healthy Pumpkin Pecan Muffins. Nothing like a homemade pumpkin treat to welcome fall in!
Ding! The toaster sends two pieces of toast bouncing up, ready to be slathered with butter and jelly – a welcome sound to your grumbling tummy. Mornings are usually fairly frantic for people (myself included); trying to get yourself plus a child or two (or three or four) ready to get out the door on time for school/work/morning activities, and breakfast is usually a sad afterthought. It may be quick and easy to grab a yogurt or some toast, but your hunger will return with a vengeance for a nice mid-morning slump, and leave you scourging the office for snacks. I have a great solution for both the harried mornings and the pre-lunch slump: Breakfast Bites!
With just a little before hand prep, you can have a quick, healthy breakfast on hand to grab and go out the door. This is such a versatile recipe – you can use your favorite breakfast meat(s) and vegetables, cheese or no cheese – whatever you have on hand. They reheat great, and are delicious served with Spicy Garlic Salsa or hot sauce. I sent two (with salsa) plus some fruit for my husband’s breakfast, and Zemirah and I each ate one with a small glass of Berries and Greens Smoothie, and we were full until lunch! Do yourself (and your office’s snack supply) a favor, and make a batch or two of these Breakfast Bites!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m a chocoholic, and I am a lover of all desserts. I don’t discriminate, each dessert is delicious in it’s own way (except you, Jell-O, you’re a sick food and can’t pass as dessert), but I have a special spot in my heart for milkshakes. When my husband and I first moved to California, we lived within walking distance of a burger place that sold those really big milkshakes like in a 50’s diner. Of course, after thoroughly enjoying my usual chocolate covered strawberry shake, I would feel sick from all the sugar and dairy and did not enjoy the stomach ache…but would still usually get one whenever we went. Oops.
The first time I made this chia pudding, I was instantly transported to sunny Southern California and reminded of the flavor of my beloved chocolate covered strawberry shake. It’s a huge bonus that this deliciously sweet pudding is refined sugar free and dairy free – so no stomach aches or wacky blood sugar! Chia seeds are small but mighty, containing 11 grams of fiber, 9 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein in just one ounce. Plus they are high in magnesium, which has a calming effect, zinc, B vitamins, and calcium. So when people find out you don’t eat dairy and ask about your calcium intake – tell them you eat chia pudding! This sweet treat is perfect for breakfast meal prep, and is delicious eaten as is, mixed with overnight oats, or on top of smoothies or even nice cream. Let’s grab a spoon and dig in!
Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator overnight
Stir again before eating
Top with desired toppings and enjoy!
For more sweet breakfast treats, check out my Flax and Oat Pancakes or my Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal – both sure to leave your tummy, and your sweet tooth, satisfied. Don’t forget to pin this recipe by clicking the “pinterest” button down below – that way you can come back to it often. Chia pudding may be something new for you, but I dare you to try it! It’s light, sweet, refreshing, and high in fiber, healthy fats, and calcium. Eat your tummy-ache free “milkshake”, get your calcium in…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
Breakfast is important, but hard to make time for, so every Sunday night I do breakfast “prep”, which usually includes boiled eggs, overnight oats, and some form of breakfast casserole. It helps us get our days off on the right start nutritionally, without making us run late! I’ll admit it – I used to hate hard boiled eggs. The chalky texture, the gray ring around the yolk, the smell… yuck! Turns out, that was the wrong way to boil eggs! Well, unless you are trying to boil them to death… then that would be the correct method. So here it is, just in time for Easter, the perfect (in my opinion) way to boil eggs!
Perfect Boiled Eggs
Use as many eggs as desired. I usually do 6-8 for weekly meal prep.
Eggs – as many as you need
Water – enough to cover all your eggs
A bowl of iced water
In a large pot, bring water to a gentle boil
Just as it starts bubbling, gently add your eggs
Cover and let the eggs boil for 8 minutes
After 8 minutes, immediately submerge your eggs in the iced water to prevent them cooking further
Store eggs in fridge until ready to use
There you have it; a simple way to make tasty eggs with jammy yolks, not that chalky gray stuff. These are easy to peel, too! Eat them with a sprinkling of salt and pepper – perfect for breakfast meal prep or a quick snack on-the-go. For more breakfast prep ideas, check out my Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bake, or Fruit and Nut Granola. You can eat your most important meal of the day and still get out the door on time! Drink some coffee, get a nutritious breakfast, slay that morning carpool or meeting…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
You groggily open your eyes one Saturday morning. Spring is here; this fact is made evident by the warm sun streaming through the blinds and the cheerful songs of the birds outside your window. You hear your children and spouse giggling down the hall, you smell the freshly brewed coffee, with a light and happy heart you head to the kitchen and…pour the same tired, old, strangely-reminiscent-of-cardboard cereal for breakfast?! No! Such a perfect spring Saturday morning calls for pancakes! And, believe me, these hearty and healthy pancakes will have everyone around the table full, happy, and ready to enjoy their spring break adventures without a sugar crash.
Flax and Oat Pancakes
Makes about 12 pancakes, depending on size.
1.5 cups of whole wheat flour (could be made gluten free by substituting GF flour)
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When the mornings get chilly and the windows get frosty, that means it’s time for steaming hot bowls of oatmeal for breakfast. Growing up with four sisters, my mom would buy the giant variety packs of instant oatmeal, and I distinctly remember arguing with my big sister over the last packet of strawberries and cream…more than once. I think my mom would have us take turns; she could have the last strawberries and cream this time, and I could have the last one on the next box. When it wasn’t my turn for strawberries and cream, I would always snag cinnamon apple. Yum! Looking back now, cinnamon apple was better because it didn’t turn your oatmeal a strange pepto pink…
Now, I like to make us cinnamon apple oatmeal for those chilly mornings because it’s warm and comforting, with plenty of fiber and healthy carbs; I feel kind of silly for even writing this out as a “recipe”, but it changes up the breakfast routine of cereal, and it takes about 10 minutes tops! I’m sure you have most, if not all, of these ingredients on hand, and could make a pot for your family tomorrow morning. I know everyone will love the sweetness (shh…the kids don’t need to know that it’s refined sugar free), and it will make you feel good to get your family going with a healthy, hearty breakfast.
Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal
Serves four to five, and could easily be doubled or halved if needed.
Two cups of water
One small gala apple, skin on, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
Combine water, apples, chia, raisins, and salt in a medium pot
Place pot on stove and turn burner to high
Once boiling, add remaining ingredients
Let boil, stirring frequently, until all the liquid is absorbed
Serve hot with toppings, if desired
We all know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it also includes the most important beverage of the day: coffee! Use this promo code to get 20% off some delicious cold brew coffees along with 10% off these delicious, dairy free, sugar free creamers. These promotions end soon, so grab them while you can! If you would rather prep your oatmeal the night before, you would probably like my Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats, or my Fruit and Nut Granola for a quick grab-and-go breakfast. If oats aren’t your thing, I also have a Whole30 Breakfast Hash and a Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bake for you. I’m sure you can find something you like! Get a healthy and hearty breakfast…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
If you’ve read my other breakfast posts, you know that mornings are early and slightly chaotic around here. If you haven’t read my other breakfast posts, you should 😉 I’ll even make it easy for you and leave you links here and here for some easy and healthy breakfast prep! But, seriously, it is tough to get in a healthy breakfast when you are trying to rush out the door in the morning. However, it is so important for your blood sugar and your metabolism…there’s a reason why they (whoever “they” is) say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day!
A healthy breakfast is good for your body, but I’ve found, also important for my mind. If I eat a donut for breakfast (and let’s be real, who eats just ONE donut?!), it is so much easier for me to make unhealthy choices the rest of the day. I will have low energy from my donuts so I won’t want to work out, but I will still be hungry because my nutritional needs weren’t met, so I may binge eat for lunch, and so on. But if I start my day out with a satiating, nutritional breakfast, that sets me on a healthy track for the rest of the day. After my healthy breakfast (and of course coffee), I will have the energy for a morning jog, then eat a healthy snack and drink some water when I get home, and it just snowballs in a healthy way.
So here I have refined sugar free Fruit and Nut Granola which you can prep ahead of time and grab and go! I hope you can make a batch to enjoy throughout your week and start your days with a healthy snowball!
Fruit and Nut Granola
Delicious with milk, plain Greek yogurt, or by itself! Makes about three cups.
One cup of old fashioned oats (GF if needed)
1/2 cup of almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of walnuts, coarsely chopped
One tbsp of chia seeds
One cup of dried fruit, chopped (I did half a cup of apricots, half a cup of dates)
1/2 to one tsp of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
One generous tbsp of raw honey, plus more for drizzling
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 375 F
Prepare large baking sheet with baking spray
Combine dry ingredients except sugar on baking sheet
In a separate bowl, whisk together oil, sugar, and honey
Pour over mixture on the baking sheet
Stir until everything is evenly coated
Spread out in a single layer on baking sheet
Bake for five minutes, stir, then bake for another 3-5 minutes until desired toastiness
While still warm, drizzle with additional honey and let cool and harden
I mean no ill will against donuts, but if I start my day with donuts I know my sugar monster will stalk me all day. Who wants a monster stalking them all day?! I hope making this granola gets your monster off your trail and sets your healthy intention for the day. Eat a healthy breakfast…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!
Mornings around here are always “A Pinch of Crazy”. My husband and I wake up around 5:30, and I try and sneak in some Bible reading time and possibly some stretchy yoga before Zemirah wakes up. When she wakes up around 6 (6:30 if I’m lucky, 7 if I’ve won the lottery), she hits the ground running; full of energy and immediately squealing “eeeat eeeat” over and over again, as I’m shuffling around in my slippers, gulping down my coffee, and trying to get us a healthy breakfast pulled together.
Breakfast meal prep helps us make wise choices even on the early, busy mornings. A lot of times I prep mason jars full of Peanut Butter and Chocolate Overnight Oats for David to grab and go…and to eliminate cooking from my morning, as I probably should not be trusted with flames before I finish my coffee. However, if we are craving something more hearty, I like to make a big breakfast bake to last all week. It keeps well in the fridge and reheats in the microwave! You can change it up by topping it with avocado, salsa, or hot sauce.
This can be made with a variety of vegetables, but I always like to include potatoes to help fill us up, and some form of greens. It’s always good to start your day with veggies! If made in an ovenproof skillet, it is a one pan meal, which is definitely a bonus! However, I have also cooked the filling separately, then transferred it all to a 9×9 baking pan. Either way, this healthy, hearty, on-the-go breakfast is fast, easy, and has minimal clean up!
Turkey Sausage Breakfast Bake
Half a pound of turkey breakfast sausage (I like Jennie-O because there is not much sugar in it)
Half an onion, diced
Two cloves of garlic, minced
Three medium/large red potatoes
One cup (packed down) of chopped spinach
1/4 cup full fat coconut milk
1 tsp salt, divided
1 tsp pepper, divided
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp rubbed sage
Preheat oven to 375 F
Grease pan heavily with cooking spray/butter/coconut oil (we all know what a pain baked eggs are to clean)
Cook turkey sausage, crumbling as you cook
When almost cooked through, add potatoes, onion, and garlic
Season with salt, pepper, and dried herbs
Cover and cook on medium-low until potatoes are soft and onions are tender, stirring occasionally
In a separate bowl, combine eggs and coconut milk, whisk until well combined
Whisk in remaining salt and pepper and chopped spinach
Pour over cooked sausage/potato mixture
Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes until the eggs are set
I hope this helps make your mornings run smoother and gets everyone off to a healthy start. Drink that second cup of coffee…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!