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Hearty Oat Breakfasts: fiber rich and good for Fall

The cool night air is spilling over into our mornings; soon it will be hanging on to our daytimes... Fall is here!  Put away your tee-shirts and release those comfy sweaters from their hibernation. While we enjoy gluten free oats year-round because they are a great fiber rich, whole grain gluten free option, we especially enjoy them in Fall and Winter for their warming properties.  I love preparing oatmeal for my children as a nutritious breakfast.  On days like today when our oldest goes straight from school to gymnastics, it gives me great joy to power him up in the morning with one of these oat meals.  Adding quinoa to our oats is a simple way to ensure that we are protein rich and ready to face the day!  Quinoa is a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.  The fiber in these recipes is also impressive... through my personal tally based on the dry weight of our starting ingredients, the Apple Oat Meal contains about 9 grams of fiber per serving(5 from the oats, 3 from the quinoa, 1 from the apple).  9 grams is about 1/3 the RDA for most people.  Not bad for a bowl of oatmeal! The American Heart Association guidelines for daily fiber intake vary by age.  To give you an idea of what you need and what your children need, check out these numbers:  Gender/Age Fiber (grams) 1–3 years (19 grams) 4–8 years (25 grams) 9–13 years: Female: (26 grams); Male: (31 grams) 14–18 years: Female: (29 grams); Male: (38 grams) 19-50 years: Female: (29 grams); Male: (38 grams) 50+: Female: (30 grams); Males: (30 grams)  The recipes I share with your today use seasonal fruits with oats and quinoa.  One recipe starts with leftover, cooked, unseasoned quinoa and the other starts with raw quinoa and cooks the seed along with the oats.  Both take about 15 minutes from start to finish, so you can easily get this nutritious breakfast on the table even on a busy morning! Enjoy! Harvest Apple Oat Meal Harvest Apple Oat Meal (makes 4 servings) 2 cup gluten free oats 4 cups water ½ cup organic raisins 1 cup cooked quinoa maple syrup, optional Apple Cream 1 organic apple, quartered or chopped ½ cup raw cashews, soaked if necessary Place oats, raisins and water into a pot. Cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure that the oats don’t burn and everything cooks evenly. To make the apple cream, place nuts and apple in your Vitamix and blend until smooth and creamy. If you are working with a regular blender, soak the cashews in ½ cup water for an hour before blending and chop the apples before adding them to the blender. You may need to add more water to get a creamy consistency if you use this method, but it is equally yummy (it just takes some prep time.) Stir the cooked quinoa into the oats and spoon into your serving bowls. Drizzle with maple syrup if desired and top with a dollop of the apple cashew cream.   Peaches and Cream Quinoats (makes 3-4 servings) ½ cup quinoa, rinsed 1 cup gluten free oats 3 ripe peaches, diced 3 cups water Cashew Cream 1 cup raw cashews 1 ½ cups water 2 medool dates, pit removed Place grains, water and half of the diced peaches into a pot. Cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to ensure that the grains don’t burn and everything cooks evenly. To make the cream, place nuts, water and dates in your Vitamix and blend until smooth and creamy. If you are working with a regular blender, soak the cashews and dates in the water for an hour before blending. You may need to add more water to get a creamy consistency if you use this method, but it is equally yummy (it just takes some prep time.) Spoon grains into your serving bowls and top with the cashew cream. Enjoy!

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Date, Nut and Oat Pancakes (gluten free vegan)

Pancakes are a favorite in my house.  My boys love them, my husband loves them and I love them.  The rest of my brood can enjoy wheat pancakes... and while I will make them from time to time I really feel left out when everyone else is eating from a sumptious golden stack and I am sipping tea and eating a piece of fruit.  I don't know what it is about pancakes that makes me feel the loss so deeply, but there it is.   The Teff pancakes I've been making for a while now are good pancakes.  They are earthy and a bit more dense than the fluffy wheat and egg versions of my younger days.  The date, nut and oat combination yields a sweet, dense pancake that is a bit like a Scottish Oatcake.  Instead of leaving the oats whole and adding wheat flour and egg to bind, I pulverize the oats and all to create a smooth batter that has tiny bits that are toothsome.  The batter is wet and dense and there is no threat of these guys falling apart.  The dates add plenty of sweetness.  For my taste, I would scale back to 2 or 3 dates, but my kids prefer the sweetness from 4.  The compromise is that they don't need maple syrup or anything on top.  I usually serve these with raw apple slices or a quick raw applesauce made in the Vitamix.  YUM! If you are sensitive to nuts you can omit them.  The sunflower seeds add a lovely bite and you can increase the amount of sunflower seeds to 3/4 or 1 cup if you're not using nuts. If you are not gluten sensitive regular oats will do fine here.  Oats are gluten free but are usually processed in facillities that also process wheat and gluten ingredients.  Bob's Red Mill has a dedicated facility for gluten free processing and packaging of oats, so if you need gluten free you can buy from Bob's with confidence. Enjoy! And as always, post and let me know if you try these.    [caption id="attachment_295" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Date, Nut and Oat Pancakes"]Date, Nut and Oat Pancakes[/caption] Date, Nut and Oat Pancakes (or griddle cookies according to my kids!) 2 cups gluten free oats  4 Medool dates, pitted ½ cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts (optional, but wonderful)  ½ cup raw sunflower seeds (without shells) 4 Tbsp arrowroot powder ¼ tsp salt (I like sea salt)  1 cup almond milk or milk of your choice ½ cup water Preheat your griddle or a large sauté pan.  [caption id="attachment_296" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Dates and Oats"]Dates and Oats[/caption] Place all of the dry ingredients into your food processor and pulse until a coarse meal forms.  Add the almond milk and pulse to mix it with the dry ingredients.  Finally, add the water and pulse to create a wet batter.  The batter will firm up considerably as it sits, so have your griddle or pan hot and ready to go when the batter is done. [caption id="attachment_297" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Date, Nut Oat Pancake on the griddle"]Date, Nut Oat Pancake on the griddle[/caption]   Scoop out 2 Tablespoon portions of batter and drop onto a lightly oiled griddle or pan.  Spread the batter out into a 3 inch circle.  Cook for 4-5 minutes and then flip.  When you flip the pancake take the spatula and tap the pancake down so the bottom is flat and cooks evenly.  After another 4-5 minutes both sides should be a lovely nutty golden color.  The edges will be firm and a bit crisp.  You should get between 16 and 20 4 inch pancakes from a batch. [caption id="attachment_298" align="alignnone" width="225" caption="Stacked"]Stacked[/caption]

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A better bean burger

There are a lot of veggie bean burger recipes floating around the universe.  I haven’t found one that I really love even though I’ve played around with many of them.  Tonight I figured I’d wing it and throw some things together in the food processor.  Luckily I wrote things down as I went along because what came out of the oven was pretty great.  Kids gobbled them and I savored mine.  Actually, my guys liked these so much that they named them “Be-urgers” – bean burgers -- beurgers.  When they say it it sounds just like “burgers” so I didn’t get it until my 8 year old spelled it for me!  LOL!  It’s been a long day, so suffice it to say our dinner was totally yum.  I’m going to cut to the chase and just share it with you so I can head to bed! Adzuki Beurgers 2 cups cooked adzuki beans, al dente 1 cup GF oatmeal, whizzed into flour (Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free oats are great) 1 onion, diced and sautéed 2 organic delicata squash, about 6 inches long (optional) ½ tsp black pepper 2 tsp ground cumin 2 Tbsp tahini 2 Tbsp braggs 2 Tbsp dried hijiki (dried seaweed), pulsed into a powder ¼ cup water or veg broth Adzuki beurger with saladAdzuki beurgers for the kids Adzuki beans are joyful little red beans.  Sometimes I buy them canned.  Eden Foods has a good canned product.  I had time to soak and cook these guys today, which is my preference because I like to control the level of doneness.  For this recipe I figured that al dente beans would work, so that’s what I did.  If you are subbing canned beans you may need to adjust the moisture level when we get to the water/broth step.  Flavor wise, I think we’ll be on the same page either way so do what works for you. Let's get started:  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. delicata squashsquash "fries" Slice your squash in half and scoop out of the seeds.  Delicata squash have edible skin, so don’t peel them.  Cut the squash into long, thin slices.  We’re going for a play on fries here, so that’s the thickness and size you want.      Reserve 6 sticks of squash and put the rest on a parchment lined baking sheet.  You can drizzle them with olive oil if you want.  You can sprinkle them with seasoning of your choice.  I sprinkled my batch with herbs de provence and a bit of sea salt.  Throw the baking sheet into the oven and get back to the cutting board. Okay, dice the squash that you held aside.  Put the squash and minced onion into a sauté pan with a tsp of olive oil.  Add pepper and cumin and stir it all around.  Let the pan go over medium heat so the everything softens. We’re off to the food processor at this point.  First, measure and whiz the oats until they resemble coarse flour.  Add your sautéed veg and pulse until combined.  Add the 2 cups of beans, tahini, braggs and seaweed powder.  Pulse again until things come together into a dry-ish dough.  The beans will not be recognizable.  If things are too dry you can sprinkle a spoonful of water or broth into the work bowl and process it again.  Remember to use a spoon and scrape the bottom of your container so the mixture that is close to the blade doesn’t turn into bean dip! Turn your dough out onto a board and pat it into a 6 inch round.  I cut it into 4 pieces and then cut 2 of those pieces in half again for a total of 6 pieces (4 small, 2 large).  Shape the pieces into rounds and then flatten them.  You can dredge the patties in the crumb of your choice if you’ve got a really moist burger.  I did it to show you, but I didn’t need to with this batch.  bean doughforming beurgers Bake the burgers on a parchment lined sheet for about 8 minutes.  Since everything is cooked, we’re really just heating the burgers. everything on the sheet pan By the time the burgers are warm we should also have cooked squash fries.  Take the pans out of the oven and get plating.  Dress your burgers to suit your fancy.  I put mine down on some greens and topped it with tomato and a really garlicky guacamole.  The kids had their on buns with lettuce, tomato, ketchup and guac. I’ll tell you that my boys didn’t like the squash fries because of the seasoning I used.  I enjoyed them and I think the kids totally could have downed them had the kept dipping them in ketchup.  Right, catch you later.  Try the “beurgers” and let me know what you think!

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