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Thursday, November 24, 2011

Fruit & Oatmeal Breakfast Bites

I admit I drink protein shakes for breakfast, pretty much 5 days a week.   There are a few reasons for this.  1) I fear I don't get enough protein in my day and I think it is important to start your day with some.   2) I go into work for 7:30 and I really don't give myself enough time to stop and eat.   3) I have learned to like them, even though they may look thick and chalky.

Some days I wish I had more time to make breakfast and by breakfast I don't mean cereal.   I mean pancakes, waffles and stratas.   I am never worried about my egg intake I eat a lot of those, mostly hard boiled.  Most days there just isn't time or the timing is off.   On the weekend when I would want to make them, my husband is usually up and eating before me because I am working out and I would feel bad making waffles just for me.  I did however decide to make myself a little breakfast bar, which I turned into muffin bites.   These bites also use one of my favorite ingredients - quinoa.   Not the whole grain however, quinoa flour.  If you have never used this before quinoa flour has a very distinct taste and smell so I recommend you never use it as the only flour in the recipe.  If you need to remain gluten free, use a brown rice or gluten free all purpose.  I once made a cake with quinoa flour and threw it out because I thought it was bad.   Lesson learned. 

Fruit & Oatmeal Breakfast Bites

(Adapted from Quinoa 365)
  • 1/3 cup silvered almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp orange juice
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 unsweetened applesauce - used homemade from my sister in law
  • 1/2 quinoa flour
  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups large flake oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried cherries
1) Preheat the oven to 350F.   Toast the almonds on a baking sheet/stoneware for about 10-15 minutes, until fragrant and lightly browned.    Line two muffin tins with silicon muffin cups.
2) In your mixer bowl or a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar.  Add orange juice, vanilla and eggs and mix until fully combined.

3) Stir in the applesauce

4) In a medium bowl, mix together both flours, flax, baking powder, soda, and salt.  Add this mixture to the wet mixture and beat to combine.

5) Add oats, almonds, cherries, coconut and apricots and stir to fully combine.  Make sure everything is well incorporated.   Chill the mixture in the freezer for 30 minutes.

6) Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop , place rounds into the muffins tins and then press down to flatten.  Bake in the center for 16-18 minutes, until edges are lightly golden.   Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then  turn out on a wire rack.  Do not over bake or these will dry out.   I over baked my first batch and they were a bit drier so I just ate those ones first.    Store them for 2 weeks in a sealed container in the fridge (or garage in the winter if you live where it is cold) 

These are a perfect little snack with your morning coffee, a easy breakfast addition to feed your holiday guests or just take two for  breakfast on the run.  They are packed with fiber and fruit to keep you full all morning.  I love dried fruit and oatmeal so these just called my name so easily.   Any dried fruit lovers out there?  Cherries are my favorite, but you could use other dried fruit or nuts if you wanted.  


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