Crumbly Gingerbread Oat Bars

Crumbly Gingerbread Oat Bars | ourfourforks.com

While I was living in London, I discovered British flapjacks, often individually wrapped by the checkout counter in grocery stores.  They’re easy to grab and seemingly healthy – like a soft granola bar. I assumed they were a relatively smart snacking choice until, while eating my second (or third or fourth), I realized that they’re no different from American granola bars; sugar with some oats.

 

Isabel visited Boston this past weekend, so we got to do some healthy holiday baking. Inspired by flapjacks and the date and oat slices in one of my favorite cookbooks, Breakfast, Lunch and Tea: The Many Little Meals of the Rose Bakery, we decided to bake our own, healthier oat gingerbread bars.

 

These gingerbread bars have a soft base and topping made from gluten free oats, coconut oil and fresh ginger. Between the oat layers is a ginger spiced chewy date layer, which provides most of the sweetness. Cut these bars into any size (the smaller you cut them, the more crumbly they get) and enjoy for breakfast or an afternoon snack with tea. Or drizzle with a little melted white chocolate and serve for dessert.

 

Crumbly Gingerbread Oat Bars | ourfourforks.com

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Vegan Eggnog French Toast

Vegan Eggnog French Toast | ourfourforks.com

French toast isn’t something I make often for a couple of reasons. It seems complicated – more so than pancakes or waffles, though I can’t figure out my logic here – and too heavy for just an ordinary breakfast.

 

This vegan eggnog french toast debunks those beliefs, especially if you have some extra vegan eggnog smoothie on hand. Simply dredge some gluten free bread in healthy eggnog, lightly brown on both sides in a skillet and – done: vegan eggnog french toast.

 

I made my vegan eggnog french toast using the master bread recipe from Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (if you’re gluten free, get this book!), substituting the four egg whites with two flax eggs. To make the loaf, I used the gluten free flour blend demonstrated on the Gluten Free Girl blog. Any gluten free bread should work, but I’d suggest a heartier bread rather than something pre-sliced.

 

For this recipe, I used some extra vegan eggnog smoothie (which I made with Vega’s new protein powder), but other eggnog recipes should also work.

 

Vegan Eggnog French Toast | ourfourforks.com

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Vegan Eggnog Smoothie

Vegan Eggnog Smoothie | ourfourforks.com

Breakfast decisions are difficult for me because I want it all. My go-to is oatmeal or granola, but when I’m trying to pack in some more nutrition (or eat light before workout), I make smoothies. Usually, they’re pretty boring: frozen bananas, frozen berries, flax, protein powder, cinnamon and kale (of course).

 

But when Vega sent me their new Vega One All-In-One Nutritional Shake, I decided it was time to change it up. I’ve made vegan eggnog before, but I had never thought to add protein powder to it and make it a full meal. I’ve been a longtime fan of Vega, but their new Vega One vanilla shake is amazing; not only does it taste better (think more of a smooth flavor, less of the typical protein powder grittiness), but it has more protein, greens, vitamins and minerals. It is still 100% made from real, whole foods without anything artificial. Eggnog for breakfast? Yes.
 

Vegan Eggnog Smoothie | ourfourforks.com

Coconut Brown Rice Porridge + Apple Sage Granola + LA!

Coconut Brown Rice Porridge + Apple Sage Granola | ourfourforks.com

Coconut brown rice porridge with apple sage granola is my take on a breakfast porridge I had at Sqirl LA, a hyped (for good reason) café in Los Angeles’s Silver Lake neighborhood. Sqirl LA’s brown rice porridge is topped with hazelnuts and blackberry jam; here, I made a seasonal New England version by topping it with a simple apple sage granola. The coconut brown rice porridge can be enjoyed with or without the apple sage granola – I like the extra flavor and crunch this granola provides, but any toppings would work; fruit, jam, nuts, seeds, yogurt, almond butter… anything you’d top a warm breakfast cereal with.

 

Coconut Brown Rice Porridge + Apple Sage Granola | ourfourforks.com

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Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes + Pecan Crunch

Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts with Pecan Crunch | ourfourforks.com

A pumpkin spice post is predictable, but also obligatory. The other night, inspired by the weather (and Pinterest), I set out to make some paleo, gluten free pumpkin donuts. I attempted to fry them in coconut oil and while the flavor and texture were spot on, the frying part didn’t work out so well (burned outside, gooey inside). Since I don’t have a donut pan, I was hesitant to try baked donuts until I remembered donut holes.

 

These gluten free pumpkin donuts taste like real, old-fashioned “apple cider style” donuts. They are baked, but lightly coated in coconut oil first to get that classic donut flavor (without being quite so heavy). They are also sweetened only with dates, but you’d never know.

 

The glaze and pecan crunch are completely optional. For a nut-free version, simply make the gluten free pumpkin donuts, lightly coat in coconut oil again after baking and roll in cinnamon sugar. If you have a donut pan, I assume you could shape the dough into the molds and bake. Let me know if you try this out!

 

Gluten Free Pumpkin Donuts with Pecan Crunch | ourfourforks.com

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