Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

This year has already gotten off to a great start. I’m much busier than I was last year, but since I’m no longer a freshman, I have a year under my belt and have a general idea of what to expect for this year. Probably the biggest differences are in the living situations. I’m living in a single in a suite on campus, and some of my friends have an apartment about 15 minutes away. I don’t see them quite as frequently as when they lived literally in the dorm next to mine, but that’s also because we just all have more homework. So far, it’s been a great balance, and I’m hoping that will continue even in the chilly winter bound to come sooner rather than later.

I’m not the only person who likes to cook but lives in a dorm, so there’s a lot of recipes out there that I can make in my cozy dorm room. I have a mini fridge/freezer in my room, but the lounge has a microwave and a toaster. My friends in the apartment do have an oven, so I’ll try to make some stuff over there, but for the most part these are going to be my quickie recipes that I make for myself in my cozy single.

Breakfast is hands down my favorite meal of the day, and always has been. Aside from the food being undeniably the best out of any meal, I’ve realized that by sitting down and eating ~real food~ (not energy bars) for just gets my day started on the right foot. Overnight oats are not a new thing in the blogosphere, so I think I’m a little late jumping on the bandwagon. I don’t really measure what I put in (I just eyeball it based upon how hungry I think I’m going to be), but I’ll give you guys estimates. I made this batch with banana kefir, which was really delicious. It’s creamier than almond milk, but gives you the tang of the yogurt without getting too thick. Topped with fresh strawberries (which are quite a delicacy here), it’s the perfect way to start the week on the right track!

Strawberry Banana Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup banana kefir
  • 1-2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Fresh strawberries

Directions

  1. In a jar or mug, mix together the oats, kefir, chia seeds, agave, and cinnamon until well combined. Let sit in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Top with fresh berries.

They’re oat-a this world! (If you can think of better oatmeal puns, please let me know!)

-Rayna 🙂

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Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

Hey there! I hope everyone in the northeast made out okay in Nemo! We got hit pretty hard, with around 30 inches of snow, but thankfully our power was on, so we could entertain ourselves with daytime television, and of course, lots and lots of baking! After doing quickbreads and muffins and cookies since July 2011 (it’s really been that long?), I officially decided that it was time for me to try something new. So get prepared for an entire world of yeast!

I have to admit, I was scared of yeast. I was afraid of kneading too long, kneading for not long enough, killing the yeast, have the yeast not bloom, and a variety of other issues that could go on when you’re dealing with yeast. But, after gaining some experience and learning a lot when my mom was learning about it in culinary school, I finally used the dreaded yeast. And guess what? It was fantastic- both the taste of the bread and the satisfaction that I got from making such a fantastic loaf (well, 2 loaves). This bread was a wonderfully hearty whole wheat bread, with just a smidgen of sweetness from the honey. It’s a wonderful sandwich bread, and I practically died of happiness when I got to use this bread to make my beloved almond butter sandwich for lunch. So don’t be like me and be terrified of this glorious little creature, because this recipe is simple enough to just get your toes wet in the vast world of breads and yeasts.

Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey Bread

Ingredients

  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup maple sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Saigon-type cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon instant yeast*
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur 100% White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the water, oats, maple sugar, honey, butter, salt and cinnamon. Let cool to lukewarm.
  2. Add the yeast and flours, stirring to form a rough dough. Knead (about 10 minutes by hand, 5 to 7 minutes by machine) until the dough is smooth and satiny. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for 1 hour.
  3. Divide the dough in half, and shape each half into a loaf. Place the loaves in two greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch bread pans. Cover the pans with lightly greased plastic wrap and allow the loaves to rise till they’ve crowned about 1 inch over the rim of the pan, about 1 hour.
  4. Bake the loaves in a preheated 360°F oven for 33 minutes.** Remove them from the oven when they’re golden brown, and the interior registers 190°F on an instant-read thermometer. Yield: 2 sandwich loaves.

*You can use active dry yeast interchangeably with instant yeast. I used that, and it worked out perfectly.

***If your oven can’t be set at 360°F, set it at 350°F and bake the bread for 35 to 40 minutes.

Source: King Arthur Flour

 

 

Oatmeal Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

That’s right…healthy cookies. What? Well when your entire family is trying to lose a few pounds, buttery delicious baked desserts are not exactly encouraged. Which is why I am so tremendously grateful for Carrots ‘n’ Cake and her not-s0-terrible-for-you recipes. Healthy recipes plus my undeniable love for almond butter lead to

Oatmeal Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies 🙂

What you’ll need: (Makes 15 )

  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup almond butter
  • 1/2 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 35o degrees.
  2. Put all of the ingredients in a bowl and mix. (Yay for easy!)
  3. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges start to brown.
  4. Let cool and devour.

Healthy+Cookie=A very happy Rayna 🙂