Archive | April 2013

Hearty Breakfast Cookies

breakfast cookies 231

My boys are addicted to Kashi bars, as in a nearly 3 box a week habit.  This spells challenge to me, I had to see if I could make something comparable at home.  I wanted a variety of grains and to keep the sugar 8g or lower, similar to the Kashi bars.  I scoured the internet and found this recipe from Once a Month Mom.   I am partial to oat flour and I really loved her idea of using a muffin tin, such a great solution for the fruit filled bars!

We are dairy free, so I switched the butter for coconut oil, mashed banana and chia seed gel.  I wanted to get the fat down closer to the kashi bars the kids we used to, plus adding in some Omega 3’s is always a good thing!  I also reduced the sugar and varied the grains a bit, adding in some quinoa flakes and almond flour – my son has been outgrowing some of his tree nut allergies (YAY!) and his allergist wants us to incorporate these new nuts into his diet.  The almond flour adds, some protein but it also adds a good amount of fat – if you want to reduce the fat you can use another flour of your liking.

The kids really love them!  SCORE! I haven’t worked out if they cost any less with all of the specialty ingredients but I always prefer feeding the kids something from my kitchen rather than from a box.  So here we go….

Ingredients:

1.5 cups oat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup almond flour
1/2 cup quinoa flakes
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/3 cup coconut oil
1 medium banana
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
and for the simple jam:

1 cup mixed berries – fresh or thawed frozen
2 tablespoons chis seeds

 Procedure:

Start by preparing the chia seed gel, Mix 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 1/4 cup of water and let sit for about 10 minutes or until it “gels”.   The chia seed gel is great, it can be used as an egg replacer or an oil replacer – I have read that replacing up to 1/4 of the total oil with chia gel yields no difference in taste or texture.

preparing the chia seed gel

preparing the chia seed gel

Next in a separate bowl combine the dry ingredients (oat flour, whole wheat flour, almond flour,  quinoa flakes and cinnamon.

blend the dry ingredients

blend the dry ingredients

In another bowl, combine the brown sugar, mashed banana, melted coconut oil, vanilla, honey, and chia seed gel.  Stir until combined.

Stir until combined well.

Stir until combined well.

Mix the wet into the dry.  I use a wooden spoon to get it started and then switch to my hands to get that last bit mixed in.

This is about when I switch to using my hands.  At this point I use a motion similar to kneading bread until all of the flours are combined.

This is about when I switch to using my hands. At this point I use a motion similar to kneading bread until all of the flours are combined.

I apologize for a sudden lack of pictures, I got involved in what I was doing and forgot to capture each step!

Continue mixing until you have a large ball of dough, the dough will be a bit sticky.  Place the dough ball in the fridge for about 10 minutes to firm up.

While the dough is firming up, puree the cup of berries and then stir in 2 tablespoons of chia seeds.  Allow this to sit until it resembles the consistency of jam.

Chia Seed Jam

Chia Seed Jam

Remove the dough and divide into 36 balls, again put the dough in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up.  This part is more necessary in a warm kitchen, if the dough feels workable, just keep going 🙂

Take 18 of the balls and smoosh into the bottom of a muffin cup – there is no need to grease the cups, the cookies will pop out of an un-greased pan with ease!   Fill the cups similar to how you would make a crumb pie crust, you want the sides to be higher than the center so there is a place to put the jam.

Place about 1/2 of a tablespoon (1.5 teaspoons) of jam in each depression.

Add jam to the cookie bases

Add jam to the cookie bases

Next, take the remaining 18 balls and flatten into a disc shape. Place this disc on top of the cookie base and gently press around the edges to seal.  Now is also a good time to preheat your oven to 350 degrees

place the disc on top

place the disc on top

press around the edge to seal

press around the edge to seal

When you have completed assembling all of the cookies, bake them at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven when the edges begin to turn golden brown.  Let the cookie cool in the muffin pans for about 10 minutes and then pop out and enjoy!

NI - If you would like to reduce the fat, swap another grain for the almond flour.

NI – If you would like to reduce the fat, swap another grain for the almond flour.

breakfast cookies 231

Following my Bliss

Hexes in a Row - 1930's feedsack repro prints  <3

Hexes in a Row – 1930’s feedsack repro prints ❤

When I was in college, I read a lot of Joseph Campbell.  I was an art major, which really meant I could indulge in whatever I wondered, craved or dreamt of.  My thoughts were fairly evenly split between science and religion, so naturally I loved Joseph Campbell.  One thing he said that has always stayed with me is, “follow your bliss”.  It is such a nice idea, but really did not feel practical.  I graduated from college swimming in student loan debt and holding a shiny new art degree…. sadly it wasn’t quite as marketable as the geo-physics program I started out in.  So I found a job working in engineering and dutifully paid my loans, not really loving my job and missing the days of submerging myself in my own thoughts while working out ideas and questions through art.  A little over a decade later I started having children; my husband and I knew I couldn’t return to work.  I wanted and needed to be home with our son.  I left the office and started an engineering based company out of the house.  It was great, I could be home with my child and help support our family… but again, I didn’t love it.  After about 4 years and another baby boy, this idea of following my bliss was feeling very important.  Putting food on the table is very important, but how can I teach my boys to be all they can be if I don’t give my own dreams a try?  So here I am, nearly 40, taking a leap, breaking myself from the known and comfortable to go after the things which set my mind moving.

Chevrons and Birds - this quilt has been floating around my head for quite a few years, it has changed and evolved but was really begging to be made.

Chevrons and Birds – this quilt has been floating around my head for quite a few years, it has changed and evolved but was really begging to be made.

I have a long history and deep love of fabric and sewing, the traditions, the history, the beauty and skill – I love all of it.  Much of my work in college was fabric based, it really is a part of who I am.  I have been designing quilts for years, most are drawn and never made, now I am giving myself permission to make them.  I have had an ESTY shop for a few years, I used it for invites.  Whenever I made an invite for my own family I would post it for sale on ETSY.  For the past few months I have been working on my quilts and slowly adding them to the ETSY shop.  I am writing out the patterns for sale as well – those years in engineering sure have come in handy in the pattern writing department!  I feel this endeavor can only have a positive outcome!  Of course, there will be work and the monetary gains are not quite are fast as in my former business but I now look forward to working each night and go to sleep dreaming of what I will do next!

I think I am beginning to understand what he meant when he said to “follow your bliss” and I am looking forward to each step!

 

I have started a facebook page for my ETSY shop, stop by and like it if you enjoy what you see! NinaLemon on facebook!

Blue Birds at my Window - This quilt was a turning point for me.  There was a lot of quiet reflection which led to an understanding of what I really love.

Blue Birds at my Window – This quilt was a turning point for me. There was a lot of quiet reflection which led to an understanding of what I really love.


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