Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies 1

My dear friend Donna is here with me this week learning the ropes of my job, as she will be covering my maternity leave.

The in-patient.

The out-patient.

The kitchen.

The chaos.

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies 2

“I really understand why you love your job, Nicole.” she said to me on our way home last night.

I feel blessed to have a job that is incredibly challenging, rewarding, diverse, fulfilling, creative, robust, and active. No two days are alike and if anyone were to ever be bored in my job…well, then, they’re not really working.

A lot of people have shared with me that they don’t think I’ll want to go back to work after Shea’s birth, and that could be true…but we’ll see. I do have every intention of going back to work and that’s because I truly do love what I do. Plus it has been a hugely successful year for me professionally, and for that I am very proud.

I am finally Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management. I also passed the Certified Dietary Manager exam. My department satisfaction scores are excellent. The diabetes education program has grown leaps and bounds in the past year. And all along the way, it’s been FUN.

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies 3

In the kitchen we continue to serve up new and old healthy favorites, encouraging healthy eating one lunch meal at a time. Yesterday was one of my personal favorites with the Strawberry Avocado Spinach Salad with Creamy Poppyseed Dressing. Mmmm! It’s always fun to try new things…and to run a kitchen that has the ability and priority to truly drive change in an organization. It’s beyond rewarding to see.

We’ve also turned employees on to healthy breakfasts, particularly breakfasts of the grab-and-go variety. Among the favorites are breakfast cookies and we continue to alter the recipes to create breakfast cookies that are more loved than the last. Seeing as we live in the middle of the blueberry capital, these blueberry breakfast cookies became quite the hit this summer. As we slowly ease into fall, we’ll begin whipping out the apples again, however…no doubt about that.

And the pumpkin. Duh.

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies 4

Blueberry, Cranberry, and Walnut Breakfast Cookies
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour
  • 3 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1½ tsp salt
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1½ cups unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the yogurt, applesauce, oil, and eggs.
  3. Mix wet ingredients into the dry; stir to combine. Fold in the walnuts, blueberries, and dried cranberries. Scoop approximately ⅓ cup of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press dough of each cookie down slightly with the palm of the hand to create approx. 4-inch diameter cookies.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until slightly golden. Let set on baking sheet a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Giant Whole Wheat Apple-Oat Breakfast Cookies, originally by Food.com
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 breakfast cookie Calories: 230 Fat: 9.3 Carbohydrates: 33.1 Sugar: 12.6 Sodium: 234 Fiber: 4.3 Protein: 5.1 Cholesterol: 23

 I am whipped after only Monday. Baaaah!!! No rest to be had before motherhood begins :)

Be well,

 sig4

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet 1

Hi! Welcome to an upgraded PreventionRD.com site!

It took some time and major help, but Prevention RD got a make-over and a huge upgrade in efficiency. The site loads, like, 20 times faster than it did yesterday. Literally. It’s a huge difference and I hope you find it helpful in quickly and effortlessly locating your favorite recipes and posts.

Quick and easy – who isn’t on board with that?

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet 2

Speaking of which, quick and easy is the name of the game when it comes to this Creamy Pineapple Sorbet. I saw the recipe on Pinterest with the sorbet so cutely piled into a pineapple half. ALMOST too pretty to eat. So picturesque.

And impressive.

My sorbet nearly didn’t make it from the blender to the ice cream maker, much less to the freezer before I was going at it with my spoon, anxious to taste. Piling it into a pineapple? It’s highly unlikely that I could exert such self restraint.

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet 3

I debated on whether or not to use the heavy whipping cream in the recipe, but decided to stick to the recipe. Heavy whipping cream is sinfully delicious at a whopping 50 calories per TABLESPOON…but it really does take this sorbet to new places with its creaminess (as well as keeping it from freezing rock solid). Thank goodness a little bit goes a long way. Besides, it’s the only source of fat in this fairly sinless dessert.

As the temperature and humidity remain at uncomfortable heights here in southwest Michigan, especially for this almost-8-month-pregnant Nicole, it’s a task to keep my evening sorbet portions in check. Regardless, I’ll be making more this weekend ;)

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet 4

Creamy Pineapple Sorbet
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 (1/2 cup per serving)
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups fresh pineapple chunks
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ½ cup whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Freeze ice cream maker according to directions before beginning.
  2. Combine pineapple, sugar, and water in a blender and puree until smooth or nearly smooth. Add whipping cream and pulse 10-20 times to combine; transfer to the fridge for 1 hour to chill completely.
  3. Pour chilled mixture into the frozen ice cream maker and process according to manufacturer's directions. Transfer sorbet to a freezer safe bowl and freeze for 2+ hours before serving. Sorbet may require 5-10 minutes to soften before serving.
Notes
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ cup Calories: 104 Fat: 4.1 Carbohydrates: 17.7 Sugar: 14.7 Sodium: 5 Fiber: 0.8 Protein: 0.4 Cholesterol: 16

 Busy day ahead and already looking forward to the 3 day holiday weekend!

P.S. If you notice anything weird going on with the site, please let me know! Oh, and be sure to update your RSS feed – http://www.preventionrd.com/feed/

Be well,

sig4

It’s published! Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour! + Coconut-Oat Cranberry Breakfast Cookies {gluten-free}

Coconut-Oat Cranberry Breakfast Cookies 1

That’s right, a gluten-free cookbook by yours truly is published and out! I think the actual release date is tomorrow, August 5th, but Amazon and Barnes & Noble have had it in stock for at least a week now, I’ve been gushing over my copies, and I’ve received lots of reader emails saying copies are arriving on doorsteps and have been for several weeks.

How. Freaking. Exciting.

Last August when my first cookbook, Prevention RD’s Everyday Healthy Cooking, came out it was one of those pinch me moments. Like, “Yeeeaah…it doesn’t feel real.” And I think I’m still there, quite honestly. To see book #2 hit shelves is just, well, surreal.

If you’re curious, “Why gluten-free, Nicole? You’re not gluten-free,” I wondered the same thing for quite some time. But the simple fact is: I’m a dietitian and the issues surrounding gluten are no dying issue. It’s my job to help people and it was time I rolled up my sleeves and learned all that I could about living gluten-free so that I could do just that. That said, I’m not an expert at gluten-free anything, but I can confidently say that 1. I love almond flour 2. its health benefits are abundant, and 3. I can sure whip up some mean dishes (both sweet and savory!) using almond flour.

Mission…accomplished.

Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour 1

In short, I couldn’t be more proud of this cookbook and the impact I can only hope it will have on not only the gluten-free community, but those looking to eat healthful, delicious food. This time last year, I was spending every weekend experimenting with gluten-free flours and recipes and failing at each attempt an embarrassing number of times before creating a winning recipe. And then I would aim to perfect the recipe until it was…perfect, of course. I did that over and over again, through 75 recipes that, in the end, were published in Prevention RD’s Cooking and Baking with Almond Flour. All new recipes in one precious little cookbook.

If you’re familiar with my first cookbook, you’ll likely appreciate that each recipe offers up the nutrition information, as well as various comments, suggestions, and tips for each and every recipe. There is a color photo to accompany every recipe, as well as an index to help you navigate to recipes that suit you best. There’s even icons to help easily show which recipes are Paleo, vegetarian, dairy-free, vegan, and so on.

You could all pinch me right now, simultaneously, and I promise you this still wouldn’t feel real.

Thank you for your loyal following and support. Thank you for reading, cooking, and for all of your feedback on all things Prevention RD — from blog to book. This would have never, ever in a million years been possible without the best readers in the world. FACT!

On that note, I’m beyoooond excited to share with you one of my most favorite recipes from my new cookbook — Coconut-Oat Cranberry Breakfast Cookies. After making this recipe last summer I felt a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I felt like I had broken ground with almond flour and we were finally understanding one another – no easy task. I bit into these cookies and sighed with enjoyment as I tried to shove one down Mr. Prevention’s coconut-hating throat to confirm my success. Even with coconut, he praised the recipe and I knew this book would be a success. So, while not only a monumental turning point in my gluten-free “career”, but also a recipe that is through and through Nicole, I just know you’ll enjoy these, too.

Coconut-Oat Cranberry Breakfast Cookies 2

4.0 from 1 reviews
Coconut-Oat Cranberry Breakfast Cookies {gluten-free}
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 22 breakfast cookies
 
Ingredients
  • 3 cups almond flour
  • 3 cups gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
  • ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 3 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the almond flour, oats, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and sugar; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs. To the eggs, whisk in the oil and applesauce.
  4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry. The almond flour will slowly absorb the liquid and will become cookie batter-like. Fold in the cranberries and coconut.
  5. Using a ¼-cup portion, scoop batter onto cookie sheets, allowing 2 inches between cookies. Slightly flatten the cookies into a ¾-inch thick, round cookie. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until golden. Allow to cool on baking sheet for several moments before transferring to a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Serve warm or at room temperature. Leftover cookies can be frozen up to 6 months.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 cookie Calories: 209 Fat: 12.6 Carbohydrates: 21.6 Sugar: 9.4 Sodium: 280 Fiber: 3.6 Protein: 5.2 Cholesterol: 17

 Please share my book release with all of those you know who are gluten-free. I hear there’s a lot of them on Pinterest? ;) If you’d love a copy (which I so hope you do!), they are available in select stores tomorrow (B&N has a great little zip code search option so you can find the nearest store retailing the book!), as well as online at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

THANK YOUUUUUUUUUU for…EVERYTHING!

Tons of love,

sig4

 

No Bake S’mores Bars + 5th Annual Chili Contest Details!!

No Bake S’mores Bars 1

Mr. Prevention has a designated shelf in the pantry for all of his goodies. I try not to even glance in the general direction of the shelf as it contains nothing healthy and nothing remotely low in calories.

Poptarts, Reeses Pieces, Twizzlers, frosted animal crackers, and the list goes on and on. I mean, the man easily eats 3,000 calories between 7pm and 10pm every night and yet I’m the only always battling the scale. #lifeaintfair

No Bake S’mores Bars 2

Speaking of which, the scale and pregnancy can be a tough. At just about 30 weeks, I’m up 20 pounds and while I realize many women have gained more than that at this point in their pregnancy, my pre-pregnancy weight didn’t warrant more than 15 pounds of weight gain. That said, I’ve changed very little about my diet over the past 30 weeks and so it’s just tough to lack that control over what my body’s up to.

Luckily, I never battled nausea and I’ve continues to eat healthy 80% of the time and splurge the rest of the time ;) Since my splurges are no longer on craft beer or an aged glass of Chianti, desserts have been my go-to splurge. In moderation, of course…despite all of the prods of, “Baby Shea wants it!” or “You can eat whatever you want, you’re pregnant!”

BONK. Very much so BONK.

No Bake S’mores Bars 3

I’ve tried to keep the sweets to not-so-sinful sweets, like Lime Creamsicles and Strawberry Frozen Yogurt. It’s easier to keep things on the lighter side when summer’s here and fruit is not only delicious, but affordable.

But then, there’s other times where summer’s sweets include no fruit but are just a perfect take on the ever-loved s’more. I mean, unless you’re living under a rock, s’more everything is everywhere this time of year…and, I love it. Give me s’mores in any form and I’m one happy girl. The no-bake and 139 calories per serving are certainly added perks to this recipe, however!

No Bake S’mores Bars 4

No Bake S’mores Bars
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Ingredients
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows
  • 6 cups Golden Grahams cereal
Instructions
  1. Line a 9x13-inch dish with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. In a large microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and coconut oil. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds or until melted. If additional time is needed, microwave in 15-20 second increments, stirring between. To the chocolate, stir in 1 cup of marshmallow and mix until melted and incorporated into the chocolate.
  3. Stir the remaining 2 cups of marshmallows and the cereal into the bowl, mixing to coat in the chocolate completely. Transfer mixture to the 9x13 and flatten over the entire bottom of the dish, using the back of a spatula coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate for 2-4 hours or until chocolate has set. Cut into bars; store in the refrigerator.
Notes
Recipe adapted from Crazy for Crust
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 139 Fat: 5.5 Carbohydrates: 23.4 Sugar: 15.1 Sodium: 95 Fiber: 0.3 Protein: 0.9 Cholesterol: 0

 As s’more season transitions into football season, I’ll be anxious to have a baby. And maybe drink a pumpkin ale. But most certainly, I’ll also be pumped up and ready for my 5th ANNUAL CHILI CONTEST!! How has it been 5 years already!?

So, here’s the very simple deal. If you have a GREAT chili recipe you’d love to submit, email it to me at nicole@preventionrd.com. I will accept the first EIGHT chili entries and will email you either way to let you know if you were one of the first 8 :)

The 1st place winner will win a $100 Visa gift card and the 2nd place winner, a $50 Visa gift card.

SEND ME YOUR DELICIOUS CHILI RECIPE NOW! Illini football season kicks off on August 30th and my chili posts will begin in early September and will wrap up by the close of the college football season, when the winners will be announced. :-D

Be well,

sig4

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins 1

One of the more carefree, fun, and creative parts of my job includes making the weekly menu in our hospital cafeteria. The sky is the limit — we make anything and everything in our hospital cafeteria and not to boast too much, but people do love our food!

We make Crab-Stuffed Zucchini Boats, Ratatouille, Pepperoni Pizza Quesadillas, Chicken Gyros, Crispy Tilapia Fish Tacos, and Black Bean and Rice-Stuffed Bell Peppers.

It’s…fun :) But serving 100+ is a bit different than serving the 2 mouths I have to feed at home.

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins 2

In my little hospital kitchen we have one cook and one assistant cook…and neither were there yesterday due to illness.

My morning started with a conversation with the head cook over the phone. “Teresa, what ratio do I use for biscuits?”

Her help? “Oh, I just go based on consistency.” Ha. I’m glad I trained once upon a time with the cook because one of the few things I remember is the consistency of biscuit batter. So, I made biscuits. Good biscuits, too. ;)

Of course it was the day that we had made-to-order egg scrambles on the menu and lunch was packed. Breakfast for lunch is always a hit, but the made-to-order option when you’re short staffed is…stressful.

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins 3

We made it through. I was running around the kitchen with my hair in a knot on top of my head, periodically cooling off in the freezer (thank goodness for walk-in freezers!), and cursing myself for wearing heels. At least I wasn’t wearing white?

Silver lining.

It’s good that people go ga-ga for breakfast, similar to myself. It is, by far, my favorite meal of the day, no matter what time of day its eaten. I love the sweet and savory options, as well as all the baked goods. And as much as I’d love to throw together made-to-order egg scrambles every day, a grab-and-go muffin is much more practical. Besides, doesn’t everyone love a good muffin?

Healthy Banana Oat Muffins 4

5.0 from 1 reviews
Healthy Banana Oat Muffins
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Mildly sweet, nutty, and with the perfect crumble!
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups white wheat or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (from about 3 small bananas)
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ⅔ cup fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (or flavor of choice)
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 1½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a muffin tin with liners and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and oats; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas against the side of the bowl using a fork. Measure out 1 cup and discard any excess banana. Whisk into the banana the egg, brown sugar, yogurt, almond milk, applesauce, honey, and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry until well-combined. Fold in walnuts. Distribute batter amongst muffin wells, filling about ¾ths full.
  5. Bake at 400 F for 5 minutes and then reduce oven temperature to 350 F; bake an additional 13-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before serving.
Notes
Recipe slightly adapted from Chelsea's Messy Apron
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 muffin Calories: 167 Fat: 3.5 Carbohydrates: 31.3 Sugar: 6.3 Sodium: 240 Fiber: 3.1 Protein: 4.1 Cholesterol: 12

 It feels like Friday…why isn’t it Friday yet? ;)

Be well,

sig4