The Easiest Oatmeal Bowl

Oatmeal used to be boring to me and would never satisfy me for long, until I realized that the oatmeal is really only the base for a delicious bowl! It took me until college to realize this, when I was living in a dorm and sorority house with only a microwave to use for cooking. Not ideal, I know, but it led me to create the easiest, quickest and most college friendly oatmeal bowl ever, so here it is…

All you need is oatmeal (a packet or 1/2 cup oats with your desired spices), yogurt (of choice) and frozen mixed fruit! I’m weird and don’t like the texture of thick/microwaved oatmeal, so I heat the water first, then pour that into my bowl of oats until I reach my desired consistency. If you’re okay with microwaved oatmeal though, go for it! I then heat the frozen fruit and while that is heating up, I add two spoonfuls of yogurt into my oatmeal. Finally, I pour out the excess liquid from the fruit, scoop it into the oatmeal, stir it all up and enjoy!

You can get as creative as you want to with this oatmeal, adding spices, different fruit, protein powder, collagen peptides or a nut butter of your choice. Whether you choose to get creative with your bowl or keep it simple, it’s an easy breakfast that can be both filling and satisfying, so you can start your day off good!

The Easiest Oatmeal Bowl

The easiest breakfast (and snack) that got me through my first two years of college without a kitchen!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats with spices of choice or 1 packet oatmeal
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup water, heated
  • 1/3 cup mixed berries, frozen
  • 1/4 cup yogurt

Directions

  1. Pour oats into your desired bowl and season with spices if desired. I add 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon salt to my oats.
  2. Heat water in the microwave for 1 minute or use a Keurig to heat it. Pour hot water into oats while stirring, until you meet your desired consistency.
  3. Place your frozen mixed fruit of choice into the same mug/bowl you used for water and fill with more water (if necessary) until fruit is nearly covered. Microwave for 30-45 seconds, pour out excess liquid and scoop heated fruit into the oatmeal.
  4. Add yogurt to your bowl, stir it all together and enjoy your easy oatmeal bowl!

This super easy recipe (if you can even call it that) was seriously my go-to in the dorms and sorority house. I even started using the same heated frozen fruit trick to make yogurt parfaits with greek yogurt, mixed fruit, granola, nut butter and honey. So if you need a simple snack that’s easy to make and uses lasting ingredients, give that idea a try too!

Brit


Dark Chocolate Fall Bark

This may be the easiest recipe I’ve ever posted on here and really doesn’t even need a recipe to follow, but I still wanted to share it because of how great of a treat it is! This fall bark uses dark chocolate, nuts, seeds and dried fruit to create a healthier treat that is easy to store and grab a bite of when you’re in the mood for a little something sweet. For this recipe, you can easily get creative and make a bark that fits with your preferences and what you might already have in your pantry. The possibilities are endless, but I’m sharing what I used to make mine below.

Health Benefits:

  • Dark chocolate is the healthiest option when it comes to choosing your chocolate, as it is full of antioxidants and other nutrients that have benefits. I started using Enjoy Life chocolate chips because they are made from sustainably harvested cocoa beans, are free from 14 allergens, including dairy, and are certified vegan and FODMAP friendly.
  • Nuts like pecans and walnuts are healthy fats that support hormone balance and regulation, while also offering nutrients like vitamin E, magnesium and selenium.
  • Pumpkin and sunflower seeds are a great source of protein, phosphorous, monounsaturated fats, omega-6 fats, vitamin E and more.
  • Cranberries are high in antioxidants and also provide fiber. Raisins are similarly packed with energy, fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Dark Chocolate Fall Bark

  • Servings: 2 cups bark, broken
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This fall bark uses dark chocolate, nuts, seeds and dried fruit to create a healthier treat that is easy to store and grab a bite of when you're in the mood for a little something sweet.

Ingredients

  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1/8 cup cranberries
  • 1/8 cup golden raisins
  • 1/8 cup pecans
  • 1/8 cup walnuts
  • 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/8 cup sunflower seeds

Directions

  1. Melt chocolate with coconut oil in 30 second intervals, stirring together each time. I only had to heat it for 1 minute total, then stirred until all melted together.
  2. Pour onto a greased pan or piece of parchment paper and tilt pan to let spread out evenly.
  3. Sprinkle topping of your choice on top of chocolate. I only estimated the amounts of these toppings to give you an idea, so do what you think fits and looks good!
  4. Refrigerate or freeze until solid, then break into pieces. Enjoy at room temperature, or store in the refrigerator or freezer and eat pieces whenever you want. I like to keep them in the freezer, but that’s just me!

This is such a simple idea for a tasty treat that is on the healthier side and I’d love to hear what you think of the idea, especially if you give it a try! A final tip, mix together the toppings to make your own trail mix for an easy snack!!

Brit


Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

Another fall recipe with pumpkin and I’m not even sorry or waiting to post this because these are THAT good! I used my Triple Berry Overnight Oats recipe as a base and added in pumpkin and lots of spices. These are super easy to make, taste soo good and makes for the quickest and most convenient breakfast ever! Like I said with my first overnight oats recipe, I was a little skeptical of overnight oats at first because I was worried I wouldn’t like the texture, but these are perfect for me and I think it tastes great whether it’s straight out of the fridge or heated in the microwave.

Health Benefits:

  • Oats and flax seed are a good source of fiber, which is important for our digestive health.
  • Yogurt and milk both provide calcium and protein, essential for our skeletal and muscular systems. You can use whatever types work best for you, whether that’s dairy-free, lactose-free or regular!
  • Pumpkin puree is very high in vitamin A and is a good source of other antioxidants and minerals, as well.
  • Protein powder is an extra boost of protein, but a lot depends on the brand and type you use, so do your research.

Pumpkin Pie Overnight Oats

  • Servings: 1 1/2 cups
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The perfect recipe for a healthy, easy and delicious breakfast or snack that can be prepped in advance and tastes like pumpkin pie!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup walnuts and/or pecans
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions

  1. In a mason jar or tupperware with a sealable lid, combine all ingredients. I like to add dry ingredients first, shake well, then add wet ingredients and shake or mix together.
  2. Seal lid and place in refrigerator for 4 or more hours (I recommend overnight).
  3. Enjoy cold or warm. Heat by simply microwaving in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second intervals until heated through.

Whatever the season may be, I hope you find these oats to be a convenient and delicious breakfast or snack, whether you are pressed for time or not. Thanks for checking this post out, and if you try them, let me know what you thought in the comments!

Brit


Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

Have you ever found yourself with an opened can of pumpkin puree sitting in your fridge after making pumpkin bread, but you don’t want to repeat that recipe already? Enter, these pumpkin protein pancakes, which are both easy and delicious. They make for a great breakfast whether it’s fall or not and are also healthy and filling!

I based these off of the pancake recipe that my mom has been making my whole life, but then tweaked it to make it a little more healthy and a lot more pumpkin. I also topped it with a scoop of almond butter and a drizzle of pure maple syrup, which was the perfect combo!

Health Benefits

  • Pumpkin puree is extremely high in vitamin A content and is a good source of other antioxidants and minerals, as well.
  • Oat flour is packed with fiber, minerals and even protein, making it a healthier and more beneficial option than refined AP flours.
  • Protein powder or collagen peptides are optional in these pancakes, but if you are using these to refuel or are looking for an easy way to increase your protein, this is a great addition.
  • Almond butter is an optional topping, but is a great source of healthy fat and protein. I recommend using an almond butter without sugar or palm oil, only almonds.

Tips & Substitutions

  • If you don’t have oat flour, you can substitute it with whole wheat flour in order to still get the nutrients or you can make your own. This can be accomplished by blending dry oats in a food processor or blender until they reach a fine, flour-like consistency.
  • Pumpkin can be replaced by cooked and mashed sweet potato. This will change the taste of the pancakes, but it is a nutritious alternative and would be a good way to mix things up.
  • You can use any milk of your choice, whether that is a regular dairy option, lactose free or plant-based. Use what you have and what works with your dietary needs.
  • Almond butter is a delicious topping, but any nut butter of choice works great, or you could choose to top your pancakes with chopped nuts and even some greek yogurt!

Pumpkin Protein Pancakes

  • Servings: 6 pancakes using 1/4 cup batter each
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A healthier and nutrient packed seasonal pancake that will warm you right up!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup oat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 scoop protein powder

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together. Grease a pan or griddle and heat on medium.
  2. Using 1/4 cup, pour batter onto hot surface. Flip once bubbles appear all over the surface.
  3. Check to make sure reverse side of pancakes are cooked through, then plate and serve! I like to eat these with almond butter and maple syrup, but choose what toppings sound best to you!

I hope you all enjoy this recipe and found it to be as easy and yummy as I did! Thanks for being here and following along!!

-Brit


Bacon & Cranberry Brussel Sprouts

This is the perfect side dish for all of your fall and winter festivities and gatherings (COVID safe, of course)!! The bacon and cranberries bring the perfect flavor combo to the brussel sprouts, especially with the balsamic vinegar. It’s also a pretty simple and easy recipe to make and doesn’t take that long either.

Health Benefits:

  • Brussel sprouts are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, especially vitamins K and C.
  • Cranberries are packed with antioxidants. Often times they are sweetened though, so I recommend looking for an unsweetened kind that has no added sugar or other unnecessary ingredients.

Bacon & Cranberry Brussel Sprouts

  • Servings: 4 - 5 cups
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This brussel sprouts recipe is the perfect side dish for fall and winter meals and has a great combination of flavors!

Ingredients

  • 16 oz brussel sprouts, or 4 cups sliced
  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2 cup broth of choice
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Dice uncooked bacon and cook in a pan on medium heat until edges are crisp. Remove excess grease from pan and place bacon in a small bowl.
  2. Slice washed brussel sprouts in half and place in the same, lightly greased pan that the bacon was in. Season with salt and pepper and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add broth of your choice and cover to cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar, cooked bacon and dried cranberries and cook uncovered for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl, dish up and dig in!

If you try this recipe out, let me know what you think of it or if you have any other brussel sprout ideas! Thanks for checking this out and being here!!

Brit


Healthier Apple Berry Crisp

I have always loved this dessert and think that it is great during any season and is super easy to make and full lots of healthy fruit, however when I made it last time I realized that it has a lot more added sugar than it really needs. So, I challenged myself to make a healthier version of this recipe by limiting the added sugar, making some easy substitutes and adding in some healthy nuts for flavor, texture and nutrients!

Health Benefits:

  • Apples are a healthy source of carbohydrates, providing you with energy. They also provide fiber, vitamin C, potassium, polyphenols and more.
  • Mixed berries are packed with antioxidants, which can help protect your cells, and also contain fiber, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin K and are anti-inflammatory in nature.
  • Whole wheat flour contains the bran (providing fiber, minerals and antioxidants), endosperm (mostly carbohydrates) and the germ (containing vitamins, minerals, protein and more). Refined grains like white flour only has the endosperm, so does not provide near as many health benefits as whole wheat flour does.
  • Nuts are a great source of a variety of nutrients and are considered a healthy fat. Healthy fats are important in maintaining a proper hormone balance and they also help to absorb nutrients and are a source of energy.

Remember that not all desserts that you make or eat have to be “healthier” versions. It’s ok to eat normal cookies, brownies, cakes, etc and trust me, I eat them too without guilt. However, when you have a sweet tooth and love baking (like me) it is nice to be able to create desserts that taste delicious, give you some added nutrients and don’t make you feel sick from too much sugar.

Healthier Apple Berry Crisp

  • Servings: 6-8 pieces (may vary on dishes used and serving size)
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This recipe is full of delicious fruit and topped with crispy, crumbly topping that is made healthier by using less sugar, swapping a few simple ingredients and adding nuts for healthy fats and nutrients!

Ingredients

  • 3 apples, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups frozen berries
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cups oats
  • 1/2 cup, walnuts and/or pecans
  • 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cold and diced
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Lightly toss apples and berries with lemon juice and maple syrup. Add in flour and cinnamon and toss together again. Pour into an 8 x 8 or similar sized pan or dish.
  3. Add remaining ingredients to a medium bowl and cut in the butter using a pastry cutter or fork until mixture is crumbly. Pour topping onto fruit mixture and spread evenly.
  4. Bake for 45 minutes at 350° F. Let cool slightly, as fruit will be very hot, then serve warm and enjoy!

This is a recipe I’ve been wanting to make and post for a while now, so I hope that you enjoy it if you choose to make it or it inspires you to get creative in the kitchen as well! Thanks for checking this out!!

-Brit


Veggie Packed Chili

This chili recipe is perfect for fall and packed with tons of vegetables that taste and smell amazing. Plus it’s a crock pot/ slow cooker recipe so all you really need to do it dump the ingredients in, give it a stir and walk away! There’s nothing better than coming back into the kitchen and being welcomed by the warm aromas of a delicious meal that is waiting for you.

I topped my veggie chili with some plain greek yogurt, diced avocado and some more cilantro. You can also add cheese, tortilla chips or any other of your favorite chili toppings to make it complete. I also paired it with some of my favorite beer bread and the combo was perfect! I’m planning on sharing a recipe for that soon too, so be on the lookout!

Health Benefits:

  • Carrots are good source of beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, vitamin K1 and antioxidants.
  • Red bell peppers contain lots of vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate and antioxidants.
  • Tomatoes are a source of lycopene, vitamin C, potassium, folate and vitamin K.
  • Black beans and kidney beans both provide plant-based protein, as well as fiber, minerals and more. Choosing plant-based proteins when you can also helps to keep the earth healthier by reducing your carbon footprint.
  • Corn provides B vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  • More fiber can be found in sweet potatoes, along with vitamins A and C, manganese, vitamin B6 and more.

Veggie Chili

A delicious, easy and comforting fall chili recipe that packed full of nutrients and sure to please a crowd!

Ingredients

  • 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz can black beans
  • 15 oz can kidney beans
  • 15 oz can corn
  • 1.5 – 2 cups sweet potato, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup broth of choice (or water)
  • 1/2 cup green onions, diced
  • 4 oz can green chiles
  • 2 teaspoons garlic
  • 2 – 3 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cut sweet potatoes, carrots, bell pepper and green onions.
  2. Add all ingredients to a crock pot/ slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 7 hours.
  3. Serve with your favorite chili toppings and enjoy!!

Thanks for checking out this recipe and let me know what you think when you give it a try!!

Brit


Healthy & Delicious Enchiladas

I love enchiladas and had really been craving some, so I had my mom send me the recipe that she’s used my whole childhood and looked it over to make some healthy swaps and additions for a more nutritious meal that would keep my tummy happy. For example, I swapped sour cream for plain greek yogurt, used whole wheat tortillas, and added some extra veggies.

This recipe does have quite a few steps but thats because you are cooking the chicken, making the sauce and assembling the enchiladas. Trust me, it’s worth the time spent in the kitchen once you dig into this meal!

Health Benefits:

  • Whole wheat tortillas provide fiber and contain more nutrients than white flour tortillas, making them an easy switch for a healthier option.
  • Subbing out sour cream with plain greek yogurt provides you with more protein and less fat, without sacrificing any flavor.
  • This recipe is also packed with spinach, tomatoes, olives, green onion, and green chiles that all provide lots of their own nutrients (and flavor) to this meal.

Healthy & Delicious Enchiladas

  • Servings: 5 enchiladas
  • Print

Creamy, chicken and veggie packed enchiladas that are super delicious while still being a slightly healthier option with a few easy swaps and additions!.

Ingredients

  • 5 whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup green onion
  • 1 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 can (4 oz.) green chiles
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 can (4 oz.) sliced olives
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes, diced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and shred cooked chicken.
  2. In a saucepan on medium heat, melt butter and add garlic and green onions.
  3. In a bowl combine plain greek yogurt and flour, then add it to the saucepan and stir together.
  4. Add chicken broth, green chiles and spinach to the mixture and continue to cook on medium heat until mixture thickens and simmers. Then, remove from heat and add shredded cheese, stirring until combined.
  5. Warm tortillas in the microwave or oven so that they can be easily rolled.
  6. Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of the sauce into a bowl with shredded chicken and stir together. Divide the chicken evenly between the tortillas, approximately 1/4 cup each, and roll them up. Place them in an 8 x 8 pan with the seam down and top with the remainder of the sauce. Cover the pan and cook for 20 minutes, or until heated through.
  7. Remove from the oven, top with olives, diced tomatoes and a light covering of cheese if desired, then cook for another 5 minutes, uncovered. Once finished, serve with your favorite chips and salsa and dig in!!

I highly encourage you to try this recipe if you’re ever craving some enchiladas like I was because I don’t think they’ll disappoint. If you try them, let me know wha you think!

Brit


Chocolate Peanut Butter Pumpkin Shake

Though it’s only the very beginning of fall, pumpkin spice and everything nice is already popping up everywhere! Though I’m not sure if I’m fully ready to embrace all of this until the weather cools off a little more and the leaves start to change, I still decided to stock up on pumpkin and get creative with this recipe. Also, I know pumpkin puree is sold out everywhere right now, so pro tip: check the health market section of your local Hy-Vee and you might find some hiding out from the masses there!

This is a “recipe” that I started making the other week as only a chocolate peanut butter shake, but then when I thought about posting it on here, I got the idea to add a little bit of pumpkin in for some added nutrients and fall flare! The pumpkin is subtle (you can always add more if you want more flavor), but I think it goes great with peanut butter and chocolate.

Health Benefits:

  • fairlife chocolate milk is a great refueling option, as it has 50% less sugar than regular chocolate milk, provides 13 g protein per 8 oz (1 cup), 350 mg of calcium and is also lactose free.
  • Peanut butter is another source of protein and healthy fat. I suggest using a natural peanut butter that does not have added sugar or palm oil.
  • Pumpkin is rich in vitamin A, minerals and beta-carotene, which your body is able to turn into vitamin A.
  • Oats are good source of carbohydrates that provide you with energy.
  • Protein powder is an optional addition to this shake, but adds protein. Make sure you know what is in your protein powder and how much you are getting per scoop/serving.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pumpkin Shake

  • Servings: 2 1/2 - 3 cups
  • Print

A great breakfast or refueling option for fall that tastes as good as it sounds and is quick and easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups ice
  • 1 cup fairlife chocolate milk
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1 scoop protein powder

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add ice as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Pour out and enjoy!

Brit


Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

This dinner recipe is not one that I would normally think to try, but I was inspired by a similar Hy-Vee recipe that I made while at work. It smelled too good while making it not to give it a little twist and a try! I’m very happy with how it turned out and how easy it was, so it will definitely get added to my meal rotation now.

I made this recipe as a single chicken breast, but it was a large breast so I actually only ate half of it for dinner and saved the rest for left overs. However, this recipe can easily be multiplied to feed many more and would also be a great recipe to throw into a crockpot if that’s your style! I have a hard time adding serving sizes to recipes because what I might consider to be a serving, might not be the same for you or someone else. So, always take servings with grain of salt and understand that it’s okay if you eat more than that and it’s also okay if you eat less than that. Remember that nutrition is individual!

Health Benefits:

  • Chicken breasts are a popular source of protein, as one breast provides an average of 55 grams of protein.
  • Pineapples are very rich in vitamin C and manganese, but also contain antioxidants, digestive enzymes (“bromelain”) and more!
  • Mozzarella cheese is relatively low in sodium compared to other cheeses and provides both calcium and protein.

Hawaiian BBQ Chicken

  • Servings: 1 chicken breast
  • Print

An easy and delicious dinner recipe that is full of flavor and is sure to become a new dinner staple!

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce (I used Primal Kitchen)
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 tablespoon green onions, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Place thawed chicken in an oven-safe pan, top with BBQ sauce and rub in slightly. Add green onions, and pineapple on top of chicken, then top with mozzarella. 
  3. Bake in oven for 25-30° F (chicken should reach an internal temperature of 165° F).
  4. Remove from oven, serve and enjoy!

Brit