Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt Pancakes

Good news everyone, I have another pancake recipe! These are a twist on my Greek Yogurt Pancakes recipe because I added apple and cinnamon. They are also fluffy and have lots of texture from the yogurt, but with more flavor!

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At home, everyone in my family wakes up at different times so we all eat breakfast separately. My dad gets up super early, way before the rest of us. So when I decided to make pancakes for my family, I should have known 9 AM would be considered late to start preparing.

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While I was making the pancakes, my dad was pacing around and looking very hungry. I’ll give him credit though for  contributing by shredding the apple! This recipe only makes 6 pancakes so if you have a large, hungry family, you may need to double the ingredients.

APPLE CINNAMON GREEK YOGURT PANCAKES
(makes 6)

Ingredients
1 egg
3/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup half-and-half
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large apple

Directions

Mix egg, Greek yogurt and half-and-half together in a large bowl until well-blended.

In the same bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla. Whisk until smooth and even.

Peel and core an apple. Using a grater, grate peeled and cored apple into thin shreds. Add shredded apples to the batter and mix together.

Heat a pan to medium heat and spray it with oil. Drop 1/4 cupfuls of pancake batter into the pan and cook until pancakes turn golden brown underneath. Flip the pancakes to the other side and cook until also golden brown.

Serve with maple syrup or other toppings.

Easy Pumpkin Pancakes

I don’t think Autumn gets as much credit as it deserves. Watching all the trees turn colors day by day while walking through campus is incredible. Even though the weather is getting chillier, the scenery is spectacular and for a moment, distracts me from the impending colder, darker days. There’s this one particular tree that I frequently pass by that is bright red; it’s color is so intense it’s hard to look away.

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The Greek Yogurt Pancakes from a couple weeks back were such a big hit that I had to make pancakes again! This time I used up the rest of my can of pumpkin puree for a little bit of fall flavor (and color). These pancakes are fluffy and delicious, while also requiring very little effort.

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Pancakes aren’t exactly the healthiest breakfast, but I made them healthier by substituting some of the flour with whole wheat flour. The texture is a bit rougher but I like it! Feel free to add some chopped nuts like I did.

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EASY PUMPKIN PANCAKES
(makes about 6)

Ingredients

1 3/4 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin spice mix
1/2 teaspoon salt
pecans (optional)

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the milk, pumpkin puree, egg and oil.

In another large bowl, stir the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice mix and salt until well blended.

Slowly add the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture until just blended; try not to over mix the batter.

Heat a pan over low-medium heat. Add about a ¼ cup of batter for one pancake onto the griddle. Brown on both sides and serve hot with maple syrup.

Healthy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

Until this year, I have been completely oblivious to the craze for pumpkin recipes in Autumn. Have I been hiding under a rock or something?! Suddenly this year, I see pumpkin everywhere. The most pumpkin I’ve had was traditional pumpkin pie which was why I was blown away by all the different foods you can put pumpkin in. I wanted to make a pumpkin recipe so what better food to put pumpkin in than…muffins.

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It was a perfect opportunity to test out my brand new toaster oven muffin tin! If you had told me in the beginning of the year that I could make muffins in a toaster oven, I would have laughed and totally dismiss that idea. Toaster ovens have not been known to be the best method for baking since the temperature is very variable. I guess I’m either super lucky or have a magical toaster oven because my muffins came out great!

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These pumpkin chocolate chip muffins were very moist and had a subtle pumpkin flavor. I was more than pleasantly surprised. What’s even better than successful muffins is successful healthy muffins. These were made using whole-wheat flour and Greek yogurt. Pumpkins are awesome because they are rich in fiber, antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins A, C, and E.

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As my suitemates can probably tell you, I was so excited that these muffins came out well and I’ll definitely be making more muffins in the future.

Ingredients 
1 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 large egg
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt (Chobani)
1/2 can pure pumpkin puree
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/3 cup chocolate chips

Topping:
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

Line 6 muffin cups with paper liners and spray with nonstick spray.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

In another bowl, whisk together the eggs and yogurt. Add the pumpkin puree and the oil, whisking to combine.

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Batter will be thick.

Fold in chocolate chips.

For the topping, mix sugar with cinnamon. Spoon batter into muffin tin, filling each cup to the top. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake in toaster oven at 300 degrees F for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in one of the muffins comes out clean. Cool in pan a few minutes, then on a wire rack. If baking in a regular oven, you should bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Greek Yogurt Pancakes

We’ve all heard countless times that breakfast is the most important meal of the day! It allows your metabolism to start up so that it is ready to work throughout the day. I am a firm believer in breakfast and cannot go a day without it. Every morning I make something simple to eat while I go through my daily routine of checking my e-mail and the news.

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In the summer and into the beginning of the school year, I ate plain Greek yogurt with granola and fresh fruit every single morning. The plain yogurt was an excellent source of protein without all the added sugars. After a while, I got bored of this and started eating oatmeal with fresh fruit every morning, which always keeps me full until lunch time.

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On weekends, I sometimes get a little adventurous with breakfast. Once in a while I’ll make an egg in a basket, or avocado and egg on toast. One morning, I even  made…pancakes! Healthy pancakes of course. These are extra fluffy since they’re made of Greek yogurt. These ones are perfectly golden and taste delicious with some maple syrup.

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What do YOU like to eat for breakfast?

GREEK YOGURT PANCAKES
(makes 4)

Ingredients
3/4 cup 0% fat plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
1 egg
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda

Directions

In a small bowl, stir yogurt until smooth. Crack an egg over the yogurt and stir to combine roughly.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda.

Pour yogurt and egg mixture into the bowl with the flour and baking soda. Stir to combine. (The batter will be very thick.)

Spoon the batter onto a non-stick pan heated to low-medium.

Flip the pancakes when they start to bubble a bit on the surface. Cook until golden brown on both sides.

adapted from Everyday Belle

Mini Mushroom and Spinach Quiche with Bacon

When was the first time you had a quiche? I remember my first time so vividly. It was one of those afternoons where I was buried in the library, swamped with never ending homework. A friend and I ventured to the library cafe to grab something to eat. Seeing how I was unable to decide what to get, my friend suggested I try a quiche. I had never even heard of a quiche before and I was skeptical of the odd-looking “egg pie”. For some reason, I trusted him. I took a bite and marveled with wide eyes at how incredible this new food tasted!

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That memory of the quiche has stuck in my mind ever since which is why I was so excited when I found a recipe for mini quiches. My family had never heard of a quiche either so I was more than happy to introduce it to them.

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These mini ones tasted…unbelievable. Biting into the quiche was an experience of its own because of the spongy, juiciness of the quiche. I compared them to muffin-shaped omelettes. After all, they had similar ingredients – egg, cheese, vegetables, and bacon. However, they had a fluffier, airier texture since more egg whites were used than yolks.

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My family seemed to have a positive first experience with the quiche as well. They were impressed by how flavorful they were and said they were even better than omelettes.
The best moments are those when you discover something new and wonderful, making your life just that much better. So go out, be brave, and try something new. You might end up pleasantly surprised. 😀

MINI MUSHROOM AND SPINACH QUICHE WITH BACON
makes 9

Ingredients
6 strips turkey bacon
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper
2 cups baby spinach
Pinch of nutmeg
4 eggs
4 egg whites
1/4 cup skim milk
1/3 cup grated white cheese (I used Queso Blanco)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 12-cup muffin pan with cooking spray or vegetable oil.

Cook the turkey bacon strips in a large skillet on medium heat. Keep turning strips until crispy. Transfer to a cutting board and chop into small bits.

Using the same skillet, heat olive oil. Add mushrooms, shallot, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are dry and browned and shallots are soft (about 10 minutes.) Add baby spinach and nutmeg and stir for about a minute, until spinach is just wilted but still bright green.

Whisk eggs, egg whites, milk, salt and pepper until well blended. Stir in cheese. Pour mixture evenly into muffin tins, filling them halfway. Top with mushroom and spinach mixture. Sprinkle chopped bacon on top.

Bake 20-25 minutes, until quiches have risen and are golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes and serve warm.

Enjoy!

adapted from Food Network

Healthy Berry Crumble

As you may have noticed in my recipe for Arugula Salad with Berries, my undying love for berries is still going strong. What we have here is something even more berriful (this is now a word), indulging, and yet still healthy!

Now that berries are in season, it’s the perfect time to make fruit desserts. I’ve actually never had anything like this before…warm fruit? More like delicious, heavenly warm fruit mixed with chewy oats that has you craving for more.

This recipe is really simple and fast, so you can quickly make it and eat it for breakfast, a snack, or dessert. They are especially convenient if you make them in small dishes for a grab-and-go sort of snack. My brother loves this stuff. I made 3 small bowls of it over the weekend, and he finished 2 of them in one sitting!

The best part of this berry crumble is how it is a healthy option for dessert. The fruit oozes out sweet, gooey berry juice so you don’t need to add much extra sugar. Then, when you mix in the top layer of oats, you get a nice chewy texture.

Simply put, this recipe is way too good to pass up. Definitely a summer treat that I will be making plenty more of!

HEALTHY BERRY CRUMBLE
adapted from Butter Baking

Ingredients
2 cups strawberries, hulled and cut in half
3/4 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter, softened
pinch of salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Take out an 8×8 inch baking dish or several small baking dishes.

Combine hulled and halved strawberries and blueberries in a medium bowl. Mix with sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.

Grind oats in food processor or blender.

For the crumble, combine the ground oats, whole wheat flour, brown sugar, and butter. Mix with hands or food processor until even consistency.

Put berry mixture in baking dish and evenly cover with crumble.

Bake for 30 minutes, until golden.

Nutella Swirled Banana Walnut Bread

After you try this, you’ll never look for another banana bread recipe. Best. Banana bread. Ever. It’s a healthy treat that will also satisfy your sweet tooth (double win!) A light, moist, decadent bread that perfectly blends the wonderful flavors of chocolate and banana together.

If you ever have overripe bananas, put them to good use by making banana bread. They act as a natural sweetener so you can put in less sugar! The browner the banana, the better. The sweetness from the Nutella also allows you to cut back on additional sugar.

I made this one Saturday afternoon and the whole loaf of bread was demolished by my family within 24 hours. Several days later I made another loaf for the my co-workers at my summer internship. It was a huge hit and since they all do nutrition research, it got bonus points for being healthy. (Walnuts=Omega-3s!!!)

Eat it for breakfast, eat it for dessert, a snack, whatever! Just beware that once you make it, it won’t stick around for long :p

NUTELLA SWIRLED BANANA WALNUT BREAD
adapted from Pass the Cocoa

Ingredients
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 medium ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup buttermilk *
1 cup plus 1/2 cup walnuts, divided
3 tablespoons plus 3 tablespoons Nutella, divided
Baking spray

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, beat together canola oil, butter, brown sugar, and bananas until well combined. Add eggs in one at a time, beating well after each addition.

In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Alternately add flour and buttermilk to banana mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Stir after each addition until just combined.

Using your hands, break 1 cup of walnuts into halves. Fold them into the mixture.

Spray a 9×5 inch loaf pan with baking spray. Pour half of the batter into the pan.

Drizzle entire surface with 3 tablespoons of Nutella. Pour in the remaining batter and drizzle the other 3 tablespoons of Nutella on top.

Use a knife or chopstick to lightly swirl the batter.

Sprinkle with chopped walnuts.

Bake bread until deep golden brown, about 50-55 minutes. Check by inserting a toothpick in the center and see whether it is clean. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes in pan. Then remove from pan and cool on a cooling rack.

Enjoy!!!

*If you don’t have buttermilk you can substitute it with a mixture of lemon juice and milk. Pour a tablespoon of lemon juice into a 1 cup measuring cup and fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk. Stir and let sit for 2 minutes. Then use 2/3 of it for the recipe.