Brioche French Toast with Berry Compote

FrenchToastBerryCompote

Surprise your mom this Mother’s Day and make her breakfast in bed. Skip your usual breakfast destination and make it yourself with this Brioche French Toast and Mixed Berry Compote. I love to make breakfast at home and am always in search of ways to make it a little more exciting – and restaurant like.

There are so many variations you can do french toast, it’s a really great vehicle to your favorite toppings or fruit. I love fresh berries so I decided to try and make a compote on the stove top with strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, fresh orange juice, and a pinch of sugar. Berries have a lot of natural sweetness and one way to make this recipe a tiny bit healthier is to use less sugar in your compote. I have seen recipes with a whole cup! That is just way too sweet – agave or honey would be great as well.

For the bread: I decided to make this special and use challah because I could not find brioche in the store. They are similar and made with a lot of eggs. If you wanted to use whole wheat toast you could use that as well. Any white bread, whole wheat, challah or brioche would work. Since this is Mother’s Day you can make it extra special with a nice loaf of brioche.

Some other great toppings could be bananas, shredded coconut, chia seeds, walnuts, or even pure maple syrup! You don’t have to stick to this recipe, be creative!

Brioche French Toast with Berry Compote 

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup of low fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 challah or brioche loaf cut into 1/2-1 inch thick slices – not including end piece (1 piece per person – cut in half when cooked)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cups fresh mixed berries (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
  • a pinch of sugar OR agave OR honey (use what you have)
  • 2 tablespoon fresh orange juice + 1 teaspoon of orange zest
  • Garnish: confectioner’s sugar for dusting

What to do:

  1. Prepare French Toast: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Whisk together eggs, milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Pour into a large baking pan and place bread slices in pan for a few minutes on each side (do not over soak might fall apart).
    BriocheFrenchToast
  2. While bread is soaking preheat your pan with 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat.
  3. Prepare the berry compote: In a small sauce pan place the 3 cups of berries,  orange  juice, zest and sweetener of choice. Over low-medium heat let berries reduce stir every couple minutes. Berries should form a sauce with a little bit of thickness to it.
    BerryCompote
  4. When butter is melted in pan carefully transfer soaked bread into skillet and cook until golden brown (about 4 minutes on each side may take longer). Transfer to a baking pan and move to oven to keep warm while you cook the rest of the bread in batches. Add more butter as needed. May take several batches – do not overcrowd.
    BriocheFrenchToast
  5. Once all batches are done remove french toast from the oven cut in half and stack on top of each other, spoon berry compote over top and garnish with confectioner’s sugar and a few pieces of fresh fruit.BriocheFrenchToast

Serve with fresh squeezes orange juice and enjoy!!!

Happy Mother’s Day! 

~Hunter

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Mini Banana Bread Loafs

Individual walnut banana bread loafs that are perfect to take on the go!

Mini Banana Walnut Loafs
Mini Banana Walnut Loafs

Try this recipe for your breakfast prep next week.

Breakfast. The hardest meal of the day for most people. When you are rushing the last thing you want to think about it what you will eat. If you are skipping breakfast you are doing something seriously wrong… You’ve heard it before but breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You need to fuel your body in order to get it working and get your metabolism going so you can burn fat throughout your day.

Usually in the morning I am eating on the go because I am in a rush. Sometimes I will have a protein bar that’s high in protein like ThinkThin (peanut butter), one of my favorites, or sometimes (when I have ripe bananas) I will make some type of loaf. That’s where these mini banana bread loafs came from.

I love banana bread but so many recipes online have a whole cup of white sugar, which is really unnecessary! Bananas are naturally sweet, especially when they are ripe, so really very little sugar is needed at all. If you do not have mini loaf pans you can also use a regular loaf pan and make one larger bread. I just like the fact that I am able to take one and go!

Here are my Mini Banana Bread Loafs with Walnuts!

What you need:

  • 1 1/4 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 stick of butter + 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of brown sugar + 2 tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts + extra for topping

What to do: 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda, sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl.
  3. Melt butter in microwave for 30 seconds and add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil. Stir in the brown sugar and agave and stir until well combined and light and fluffy. Make sure the mixture is not too warm and add the eggs one at a time.
  4. In a medium bowl mash the bananas. Stir into the wet mixture.
  5. Take your wet mixture and slowly pour it into the dry ingredients. Stirring until combined, do not over mix. Fold in the walnuts.
  6. Prepare your mini loaf pans or regular loaf pan and spray with non-stick spray. Use a cookie scoop or 2 heaping tablespoons and fill mini loaves about half way. (Only made 7 loaves) OR pour batter into a loaf pan. Sprinkle the top with chopped walnuts.
    Mini Banana Walnut Loafs

7. Bake mini loaves for 17-20 minutes until banana bread comes out clean and is cooking through, checking to make sure they don’t over cook! If baking a full loaf then probably more like 55 minutes.

Mini Banana Walnut Loaf

Enjoy!

~Hunter

Banana Crumb Muffins

banana crumb muffins

The crumb topping makes these muffins stand out from the ordinary muffin!

In the mornings I love to stop for coffee and get a muffin to go from Starbucks. However, if I did this every morning though it would be way too unhealthy and expensive. The Starbucks muffins are yummy but they have preservatives and a lot of ingredients which make them taste good as well as high in calories. I decided to make my own banana crumb muffin that I could bring with me on-the-go and grab a coffee.

These Banana Crumb Muffins especially come in handy when I am in a rush to get to work or school. On these days I don’t have time to sit down and eat a full breakfast. Instead I would make the banana crumb muffins the night before, microwave 1 banana crumb muffin for 35 seconds in the morning, wrap it in tinfoil so it stays warm, grab a yogurt, and go on my way. Don’t worry, these banana crumb muffins would be delicious even without heating them before you leave in the morning if you don’t want an extra step.

The crumb topping is an extra treat and the recipe really works when you have a bunch of extra ripe bananas. That’s where the idea for this banana crumb muffin recipe came from. I usually would make a banana bread but this time I was in search of something a little different. Once you bite into the banana crumb muffins you get the banana flavor throughout the whole muffin and it is just delicious!
banana crumb muffins

I also hated the fact that whenever I made muffins in the past they wouldn’t be big like when you buy them from a shop. After some research I learned you need to bake the muffins at a higher temperature, put them in the oven ASAP after mixing, and do not over mix.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3 bananas, mashed

  • 1/4 cup of light agave nectar

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  •  tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter

What to do: 

  1. Preheat oven 400 degrees. Lightly grease 8 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers. (Filling the muffins more will make less muffins but a bigger muffin top)
  2. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Put aside
  3. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, agave, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups filled almost to the top.
    banana crmb muffins
  4. Sprinkle crumb mixture on top of muffins.
    banana crumb muffins
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15-18, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.

Recipe adapted from All Recipes.com

Enjoy for a delicious breakfast with some hot coffee!

~Hunter

Egg Muffins

Spinach, Bacon and Cheese

egg muffins

An easy to make breakfast that is delicious. Egg muffins is a breakfast I have been wanting to try for the longest time! Everyone kept telling me that these are perfect for a weekday breakfast when you need to grab something and go. These egg muffins will last a few days in the refrigerator and then when you want to eat one you can pop it in the microwave for 30-45 seconds until warm.

But, if you don’t want to make these for the week then make them on a weekend. While everyone is sleeping simply combine all the ingredients and then bake them in the oven for 25-30 minutes. They are so delicious when served fresh! Light and fluffy filled with sauteed spinach, crisp bacon, and cheesy goodness.

If you wanted to use egg whites for this recipe that would be perfectly fine. Next time I may try using egg whites to see the difference in texture. Spinach, bacon, cheese and egg muffins would also make a great lunch if you needed to grab something quickly. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult or take a long time, you just need to prepare ahead of time.

What you need:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 small handfuls of spinach, chopped
  • 3 pieces of bacon
  • 1/4 cup plus a splash more of milk
  • 1/3 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • good size pinch of salt, and pepper

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a saute pan cook bacon according to package. Remove from pan and pat dry. Then chop bacon into bits. Drain the excess fat from the pan and put in the spinach cooking quickly. Saute until just cooked and remove from pan.
    egg muffin ingredients
  3. Spray a muffin tin really well with non-stick cooking spray (these have a tendency to stick). This a half batch of egg muffins so it will only make about 5 or 6. Double to make a larger batch.
  4. In a large bowl whisk together 5 eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Add in the bacon, spinach and half the cheese.
  5. Scoop the egg mixture into muffin tins using a 1/3 measuring cup until filled to almost the top. Will probably only make about 5 or 6 egg muffins. Fill the empty muffin spaces with a little bit of water so it cooks evenly.
  6. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper if desired and top with shredded cheese. ( I ran out of shredded cheese so I used cheese cubes)
    egg muffins
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until eggs are set and just cooked through. Tops of egg muffins should be cooked not wet and soggy. Carefully remove from pan while still warm.
  8. Serve immediately for a nice breakfast with a few fresh raspberries or let cool and store covered in fridge until ready to eat.
    egg muffins

Enjoy!!

Homemade French Toast with Strawberries

Healthier French Toast with Strawberries

frenchtoast

Another Snow Day in New York. Whenever we get a snow day I love to take the time to make Breakfast. Last week I made French Toast. I love breakfast. French toast is something I hadn’t made in a long time because I just assumed it was one of those things that was better in restaurants. I was wrong! This is really good. It doesn’t taste heavily fried like some french toast. The wholewheat toast is great and you holds up really well if you do it right.

You can put French Toast with just about anything and it will be good. Serve with sliced strawberries (like I did), bananas, blueberries, walnuts, raspberries, the list goes on! It really is easy to make and layer with you favorite add ins. Make this for your family next time you are looking for something yummy to make for your family.

What you need:
Serves 1 Person (Double to serve 2)

  • 2 slices of whole wheat toast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup of your favorite milk (almond milk works also)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon good vanilla
  • 4 strawberries sliced thin
  • agave nectar in place of maple syrup as topping

What to do:

  1. Preheat a large nonstick pan over medium heat.
  2. In a bowl wide enough to fit a piece of bread mix together: egg, milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla. Whisk until combined.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan to lightly oil. While oil is heating in the pan dip 1 piece of bread into wet mixture (3 seconds on each side). Move bread to the pan (if pan is wide enough for 2 pieces add second pice of bread). Let cook on both sides until golden.
    *Tips: Do not let bread sit in liquid for too long or it will fall apart when you move it to the pan. Watch so it does not burn.
  4. Remove from heat and place on a plate with sliced strawberries on top. Top with agave nectar to replace maple syrup and sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
    french toast

Apple Spiced Muffins

Apple Spiced Muffins!
apple spiced muffins

I am still trying to use up all my apples from apple picking the other day. I am finding new ways to use apples and loving it. I love to grab a muffin but sometimes when you get from a coffee shop you just don’t know what’s in them.

Today, I decided to make my own apple spiced muffins. These apple spiced muffins are sprinkled with extra cinnamon (of course that doesn’t hurt) and you can actually taste the chunks of apples as you eat them- yum!

The apple spiced muffins have ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • a little less then 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup of melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup of chopped apples (I left majority skin on)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 12 cup muffin pan with paper.

Mix together flour, salt, baking powder, and spices

Combine butter and sugar, then add egg and mix well. Add milk and vanilla to wet mixture. Slowly addd the dry ingredients to the liquid mixture until blended.

Spoon batter into muffin pan with tablespoon until almost full bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Sprinkle with cinnamon.

Enjoy!

Recipe from http://www.cooks.com/recipe/mh9uo3c8/apple-spice-muffins.html

Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats

Apple and Cinnamon Overnight Oats with Chia Seeds is a hearty and healthy breakfast that will leave you full all day long. Now that I am back in school I am always looking for the easiest and most convenient meals during the week.

applecinnamonovernightoats

I have seen many overnight oat recipes online but never thought I would like them. But, I was wrong. They are delicious and this literally kept me full for so long, not to mention I was able to grab this out of the refrigerator (already made) in the morning and quickly eat it!

Another good thing about over night oats is that you constantly keep changing the ingredients that you put in so you never get bored! But if you find a recipe you like then it’s great to just keep using it. This is my first time making overnight oats so I decided to go with a classic combination of apples and cinnamon. But next time I think I will try pumpkin for fall.

Incase you’re not sure what overnight oats are all it is an oatmeal, milk of your choice (almond milk) and other ingredients that sit overnight in the fridge so you don’t even need to cook them!

Here’s What You Will Need:

  • half an apple cubed
  • 1/3 cup of uncooked oats
  • 1/2 cup plus 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon or to taste of light agave nectar
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

What to do:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a mason jar or a container. Put the lid on and shake it so all the ingredients are mixed.
    applecinnamonovernightoats
  2. Put in refrigerator over night for the next morning and enjoy!
  3. In the morning you can top with extra chopped apple or chia seeds and this will last 2 days in the refrigerator.

Simple Blueberry and Greek Yogurt Smoothie

Simple Blueberry and Greek Yogurt Smoothie!

blueberrysmoothie

Since my family went blueberry picking and got 3 gallons of blueberries, I have been trying to find ways to put them to use before they go bad. I have made cobbler, muffins, bread, and smoothies! I loved this blueberry and greek yogurt smoothie. I had this on a warm day and it was delicious and healthy!

blueberries

I really do not like soda and I am thankful for that. I try and find drinks that can still satisfy me. I love to try smoothies, juices, and iced teas. This blueberry and greek yogurt smoothie tasted like summer. And I love it!

According to Womens Fitness, blueberries have the highest antioxidant capacity of all fresh fruit: blueberries, being very rich in anti-oxidants like Anthocyanin, vitamin C, B complex, vitamin E, vitamin A, and copper (a very effective immune builder and anti-bacterial). There are even several studies such as one conducted at the University of Michigan Cardiovascular center that suggests blueberries may help reduce belly fat and risk factors for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome.

Whatever the case may be, here is a fun and exciting way to drink your blueberries!

You will need:

  • 1 cup of greek yogurt (I used a Dannon Greek light and fit vanilla greek yogurt)
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • a little less then a tablespoon of agave nectar
  • a splash of unsweetened almond milk
  • 3-4 cubes of ice

What to do:

  1. Put yogurt, blueberries, agave nectar, a splash of almond milk, and about 3 ice cubes.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. I love to leave it a little chunky so I can still feel and see the blueberries!
  4. Enjoy.
    blueberry smothie

Thank you Pioneer Women! I will definitely be making this again!

2 Ingredient Banana Oatmeal Cookies

As you already have probably learned about me I have a major sweet tooth. I love to bake but sometimes baking can be unhealthy and loaded with butter and sugar. Sometimes it’s okay to indulge in a sweet treat as long as you control the amount and also when you can- the ingredients. 2 ingredients couldn’t be any simpler and that’s what I love about these banana oatmeal cookies.
IMG_5627

I always seem to have ripe bananas laying around. I love when that happens because they are a perfect base for a cookie like this or even a banana bread like I’ve previously shared. Check out my first post on No Hassle Banana Bread with Agave and Cinnamon. These banana cookies are my most recent use of ripe bananas. They were so delicious and simple. You could really taste the banana flavors.

This recipe was based off the Food Network.

There are many things you could add in to this basic recipe. It starts with 2 bananas and 1 cup of uncooked oatmeal. From there you can add nothing or other delicious ingredients. I added dark chocolate chips. But peanut butter, raisins, dried fruit, coconut, chia seeds and even vanilla. What’s great about these cookies is that you really do not need to add anymore sugar. They are sweet enough naturally from the bananas and the dark chocolate.

Here are my Oatmeal Banana Cookies with Dark Chocolate Chips:

Ingredients: 

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup of old fashioned uncooked oatmeal
  • *Only if you desire: small handful of chocolate chips or whatever you wish to add to your cookie (peanut butter, raison, chia seeds)

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare cookie sheets
  2. Put 2 bananas in a bowl with 1 cup of oatmeal
    IMG_5619
  3. Mix ingredients with your hands until well combined. Add in whatever else you wish (chocolate chips)
  4. Make 1 1/2 inch balls and evenly space out on cookie sheet. Press down a little.
    IMG_5623
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until done.
  6. Enjoy cookies! A perfect dessert with a little cool whip on top.
    IMG_5628

Healthier Blueberry Muffins

I really love breakfast, however, I rarely have time in the morning to make myself the type of breakfast I would love to eat- eggs, bacon, toast, fresh squeezed orange juice. Whenever I am in a rush and pick up breakfast while I am out, I love to get muffins! I figured why not do my own take on a healthier muffin that I can quickly grab when I am in a rush. This bluebery muffin was delicious and moist!

IMG_5503

I love baking and forcing my family members to eat what I make, usually no force necessary lol. And because I try to live a healthier lifestyle I am always looking for substitutes to make the the recipe healthy and simple. Although sometimes I probably could substitute more, usually when I decide to make something I go off what I have in my pantry and just make that work!

Here are my Healthier BlueBerry Muffins:

Blueberries seem to be in season now and my local food store was having major sales. It’s great to bake with blueberries because you do not have to worry about if they are a little soft.

Streusel Ingredient:

  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoons of melted butter
  • 1 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon light agave nectar (optional)

Muffin Ingredient:

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries (you can use frozen but no need to defrost)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of almond milk (maybe a little more if batter is dry)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup of vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare muffin cups with paper liners. This recipe makes about 12 muffins. I had a little extra so I made a few mini muffins.
  2. Make Streusel topping by combining oats, butter, brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, and agave in a small bowl. Mix well and put to the side.
  3. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. (dry ingredients)
  4. In a smaller separate bowl beat the egg then add milk, vanilla, and oil.
  5. Slowly pour wet ingredients into the dry ones a little at a time and stir for 10 seconds. The batter will have lumps, do not over mix – muffins will be tough.
    IMG_5488
  6. Once batter is mixed add blueberries until evenly mixed through. Carefully spoon batter into muffin tins. I used a tablespoon and put about three heaping spoonfuls in each muffin.
    IMG_5490
  7. Once muffin batter is in tin, take the streusel topping and carefully distribute on top of muffins. I put streusel topping on half of my muffins.
    IMG_5493
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until muffins are cooked through. Stick a toothpick in to see if the center is clean.
    IMG_5495
  9. Enjoy!
    bbmuffin
    Recipe was adapted from http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/bakingdesserts/r/blueberrymuf.htm