whole wheat fresh cherry almond muffins.

When faced with more fresh cherries than a girl can consume before they go … sub-optimal, what is there to do? Why, make fresh cherry muffins, of course!

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These are heavenly. I was actually quite pleasantly surprised at how lovely they came out, especially when I made them on such a whim. I had purchased a healthy amount of the cherries at my public market the previous weekend, and realized at the end of the week I needed to figure out how to use them up. So… I first thought about a yogurt cake flecked with cherries, but that quickly morphed into muffins. I was out of vanilla (despite JUST going to the store), so I swapped in almond extract. Luckily for me (and you!) the flavor of almonds go beautifully with cherries. The flavor here is just so complex yet light.

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Now, I used white whole wheat flour — this is my standard flour and it always works out. The flavor is slightly nuttier than bleached white flour; which I consider a plus! I used about 3/4 cup of sliced/pitted cherries and I think anywhere from 1/2 to a full cup would work. I used nondairy milk as per usual, but you could swap in regular milk (I would say anything but skim) with success. Enjoy these, and I dare you to eat just one!

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whole wheat fresh cherry almond muffins.

ingredients
1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
3/4 cups coconut palm or raw turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup non dairy milk (I use unsweetened coconut milk)
3/4 cup fresh cherries, pitted
1 teaspoon sugar

directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray or line with muffin liners. In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and sea salt.

Whisk together the egg, almond extract, milk in a small bowl and add to the mixer on medium low, scraping the sides of the bowl if needed to ensure the dry ingredients are properly incorporated. Add the cherries and mix slowly, until just incorporated. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups until two-third’s of the way full and sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of sugar over each muffin.

Bake for 20 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes in the tin before removing. Makes 12 muffins.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

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whole wheat blood orange yogurt loaf cake.

Whew, that’s a title, eh? But it’s all true! This is a version of a loaf cake that I’ve loved for years; I should post that original recipe sometime soon! However. It is citrus season, specifically blood orange season. I have only one other blood orange recipe on this site, these margaritas, which you should totally make sometime soon. It is a bit of a travesty however, that I’ve only featured blood oranges once! Time to change that, and this cake is the perfect remedy.

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This cake is perfect for February, especially Valentine’s Day! Blood oranges will naturally turn the batter pink, a light, blush pink which is so pretty. Most importantly however, this cake is incredibly delicious and refreshing. The smell while it cooks is intoxicating. Bonus? I made this with white whole wheat flour, organic plain yogurt and coconut oil, so it counts as a healthy dessert! Or breakfast. 🙂

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Like most cakes, this is better the day after it cooks as that allows for the flavors to come together. If you’d like, whip up a quick glaze with one cup of confectioners sugar, one tablespoon of blood orange juice and a half teaspoon of zest. Whisk to combine and drizzle over the cake. Any way you slice it, this is so heavenly, and a perfect breakfast to wake up to on Valentine’s Day!

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blood orange yogurt loaf cake.
adapted slightly from an old issue of Gourmet magazine. 

1.5 cups white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup low fat greek yogurt (2% or full fat)
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup white sugar (I use unrefined)
1/4 cup unrefined white sugar
juice one blood orange (1/4 cup)
zest of one-two blood oranges
1/3 cup unrefined coconut oil, melted (other neutrals oils will work)

directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, vanilla, white sugar, blood orange juice and zest and whisk together to combine. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk together until just combined (a few lumps are ok). Add in the melted coconut oil and whisk together.

In a loaf pan prepared with nonstick cooking spray, scrap the batter into the pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Set aside and let cool. Remove from pan after letting rest for 10 minutes.

If glazing, let cool completely first.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

sausage, egg + biscuit breakfast casserole.

Although I prefer to make everything from scratch, sometimes that is just not realistic. Especially during the busy holiday season! This easy breakfast casserole made the perfect dish to make for my dad and stepmom; the latter of whom is recovering from a head injury, and needs comforting foods that will appeal to her limited appetite. Using pre-shredded cheese and refrigerated biscuit dough makes this a snap to pull together.

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This recipe is incredibly basic, but you can jazz it up in a variety of ways: saute some onion, bell peppers and/or mushrooms with the sausage to add some veggies. Switch up the cheeses, swap bacon or ham for the sausage, or add in some seasoned salt for a flavor boost. I kept it simple: but that’s the beauty of classic recipes such as this. As a bonus, this keeps well for leftovers, and is great at room temperatue for easy entertaining. If you’re having guests for the holidays, I suggest adding this to your menu. You can even prep it all the night before, which will make breakfast a breeze!

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sausage, egg + biscuit breakfast casserole.

ingredients
1 16 ounce can refrigerated biscuit dough
16 ounces ground breakfast sausage (poultry or pork)
1 teaspoon olive oil
8 eggs
1/2 cup nondairy milk
1/2 cup cheddar or jack cheese, one tablespoon reserved
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the sausge. Cook for 5-7 minutes, breaking it up, until it’s cooked through. Drain off all excess oil and set aside.

Open the can of biscuit dough and cut each biscuit round into six pieces. Place them evenly in the baking dish. Top with the cooled sausage and sprinkle on the 1/2 cup cheese.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the biscuit pieces/sausage/cheese and top with the remaining tablespoon of cheese.

Bake for 25-30 mintues or until lightly golden brown and cooked through. Cut into 8 pieces and serve.

Serves 8. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

whole wheat pear cinnamon dutch baby.

Great for breakfast, brunch, or even dessert, you need a Dutch Baby in your life. Especially one topped with warm cinnamon pears!

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A dutch baby is essentially a slightly fluffy pancake that puffs up in the oven while it bakes with crisp, dark edges. The key to achieving the ‘pouf’ in the oven is room temperature eggs and milk, so set them out about 30 minutes before you plan to cook.

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The batter comes together quickly with just a bowl and a whisk, and you can make it while the pears are sizzling away in the skillet. I used pears because I had some in my fridge and I love their slight sweetness, enhanced by the cinnamon and vanilla, but go ahead and use apples if you prefer.

I topped the fruit with some powdered sugar, but that’s completely optional. Dutch babies are great for entertaining, especially for brunch because they actually require less effort than regular pancakes! Who doesn’t love that??

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pear dutch baby.
adapted from cooking light.

ingredients
2 tablespoons grassfed butter
2 medium pears, cored and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sugar, divided
1/2 cup milk/non-dairy milk (room temperature)
2 eggs (room temperature)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white whole wheat flour

directions
Melt the butter in a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and lightly sizzling, add the sliced pears, cinnamon and teaspoon of sugar and stir together, cooking together for 3-4 minutes or until lightly softened and fragrant. Remove to a plate and set aside.

While the pears are cooking, mix together the milk, eggs, vanilla, remaining sugar and flour and whisk well to combine. In the same skillet you cooked the pears in, add the batter and place immediately in the oven and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove skillet from oven, top with pear mixture, cut into four pieces and serve immediately.

Serves 4. *Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

potato crusted kale + bell pepper mini quiches.

I love savory egg dishes. I also love recipes that can serve as the starting point for a wide variety of ingredients. This aptly named stir fry, anyone? As someone who lives alone, I often end up with odds and ends of ingredients, and I always have produce that is hanging out in my crisper. As a die hard vegetable lover, I can sometimes get overzealous and purchase more than I can consume at peak freshness. Quiches and frittatas to the rescue! And in my way, I’m lightening up the quiche by replacing the pastry crust with a potato one. Instantly lighter, healthier, and now it’s gluten free… hooray!

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The potato crust is very simple to make, but it is essential that you squeeze out as much moisture as you can prior to adding to the muffin tins, which have been well-coated with cooking spray. This is also incredibly flexible. Don’t like kale? Use spinach! Have asparagus or broccoli to use up? Toss it in! Prefer goat cheese or cheddar to parmesan? Go for it! The possibilities are endless.

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I love using the muffin tins; automatic portion control and it makes them so portable which is great for grabbing on the way to work or school in the morning. These can be served warm, cold, or at room temperature, making them ideal when you’re on the go!

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mini potato-crusted kale + red pepper quiches.

ingredients
1 large russet/baking potato, shredded/grated
1 teaspoon olive oil
nonstick cooking spray
3 whole eggs plus 2 egg whites
scant one cup of nondairy milk
1 ounce parmesan cheese (or any cheese you prefer)
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cups curly kale, sliced thinly
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2-3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of crushed red pepper* optional

directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Using a food processor or large hole box grater, grate a large russet potato that has been washed but not peeled. Add the potatoes to a clean, dry kitchen towel and squeeze as much water/moisture as possible from them. Season with a pinch of sea salt or pepper. Spray 9 cups of a muffin tin well with nonstick cooking spray and add about two spoonfuls of the potatoes to each tin, making sure to have the bottom and 3/4 of the sides of the tin covered with potatoes. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the bell pepper and saute for a minute or two and then add the kale. Reduce heat to medium and stir occasionally, until kale has wilted slightly, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat.

Make the custard: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg whites, milk, cheese, salt, pepper, garlic powder and red pepper, if using. Once the vegetables have cooled slightly, add them and mix well.

Divide the mixture evenly amongst the muffin tins, being careful to not fill over 3/4 of the way (you may have a touch leftover). Bake for 15 minutes or until eggs are set. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Run a kitchen knife around the edges of the cups to pop them out of the tin. Makes 9 quiches.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

 

carrot + apple smoothie.

I’ve been meaning to bring you this recipe for weeks now! A few months ago, one of my dearest friends had me over for breakfast, and made the most delicious blueberry pancakes. Instead of bringing over a fruit salad or some other brunch-expected side, I decided some freshly made juice was the perfect accompaniment. Although this is technically a smoothie, as we are using whole fruits and vegetables, and not discarding the pulp, I tend to think of this as more of a juice, as it lacks the creamy/binding element of banana/avocado/yogurt. This carrot and apple juice was the ideal fresh accompaniment.

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MC loved it, and so do I! The apple and carrot provide the sweetness, the celery adds a nice vegetal element, and the lemon adds the perfect amount of brightness and punch. The ice will help thicken the smoothie and keep it extra cold. You’ll want a high speed blender to properly break down the skin of the apple and blend everything smooth.

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This is such a nice break from green smoothies, and this smoothie allows you to reap the benefits of the whole fruits and vegetables, namely fiber, which will keep you fuller, longer!

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carrot + apple smoothie.

ingredients
2 small apples/1 large apple, cored and quartered
1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
juice from one lemon
1/2 -3/4 cup water
1/2 cup ice
to sweeten: 1 tablespoon raw honey, maple syrup, or agave (optional, I do not add)
optional: fresh ginger (about 1/2 inch piece) — completely not necessary, but I love ginger with apple and carrot!

directions
Add the ice, apples, carrot, celery, lemon juice and water to a high speed blender. Blend for 60-90 seconds, or until you have a smooth consistency.

Pour into two glasses and serve immediately. If you want to make ahead, this keeps well in the refrigerator for 48 hours in an airtight jar.

Makes 2 servings.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

no-knead english muffin bread.

This is a bread recipe for bread-making phobics. Is that you? It was definitely me for a long while…. for some reason, despite the simplest of ingredient lists, the whole kneading, resting, kneading process for most breads made me nervous. The recipe I have for you today however, is as easy as it is delicious! If you like english muffins, well, I guarantee you’ll be delighted by this recipe. Add a small pat with butter, jam, or my personal favorite, a drizzle of honey. Mm. Just try to not eat the entire loaf in one sitting.

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This bread needs about an hour to rest and rise, and then 35-40 minutes to bake. Check the bread at the 20 minute mark; if it looks golden brown, lightly tent foil over the bread for the remainder of the time.

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I think this will be your bread making gateway recipe. There is nothing like the smell of homemade bread – intoxicating!

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no-knead english muffin bread.
slightly adapted from Kitchen Parade. 

ingredients
2 1/4 cups unbleached white flour, 1 1/4 cups reserved
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4-1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons cornmeal

directions
Fit a stand mixer with the bread hook. In the mixer bowl, add 1 cup of flour, instant yeast, sugar, salt and water together. Turn the mixer onto medium, and let mix for three minutes (set a timer to ensure your are mixing for the entire time). *You may need to stop the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl down to incorporate all the flour*.

After the three minutes, add the additional 1 1/4 cup of flour slowly, allowing to mix together. Meanwhile while the dough is coming together, spray a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and coat the bottom and sides of the pan with cornmeal.

Once dough is done mixing, dust your hands with flour, and remove the dough from the bowl. It should be slightly sticky but pliable. Shape into a loaf in the pan. Cover with a damp paper towel and let rest for 1 hour to rise. Dough should rise just above the sides of the pan.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Bake the bread for 35-40 minutes, covering the bread with tented foil if the bread is becoming too dark.

Let cool completely before slicing.

Makes one loaf.

*Please use organic ingredients wherever possible* 

oatmeal + coconut breakfast muffins.

Hello there! As I’ve mentioned a few times, I am not a sweets person. That’s partly due to the fact that I have a very savory palate, but I think it’s also because I’m not really a baker. Savory recipes? Love. Cooking savory dishes tends to be more forgiving and they allow me to be more creative and ‘of the moment’, while baking requires more precision and attention to detail. Due to the exact nature of baking, I always shied away, until someone told me, “if you can do chemistry, you can bake, and vice versa”. Well, I loved chemistry in college, so I had to be able to translate into my kitchen! With recipes like the one I have today, it’s incredibly simple and the hardest thing about baking is learning how to measure properly!

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I love breakfast food. Especially breakfast pastries. Donuts, croissants, crepes, all are very, very good. I do think a well made muffin might be my favorite. They are basically sweetened, denser bread, all in its own cute little package! Divine. However, they are basically a caloric nightmare, with some bakery style muffins topping 500 calories. That’s insanity. Also totally unnecessary!

These oatmeal coconut muffins are absolutely delicious and unlike many bakery-style muffins, they will keep you full for longer than an hour! Oats are full of good for you fiber and complex carbohydrates, which take longer to digest, saving you from the dreaded blood sugar crash!

The flavor of the coconut really comes through thanks for the oil and the flaked coconut. Make sure to lightly soak the coconut in some milk. I used coconut milk, but any nut or regular dairy milk is fine as well. These are great for a quick breakfast on the go along with some fresh fruit, and you’ll be full until lunchtime!

oatmeal + coconut breakfast muffins. 

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ingredients
2 eggs
1/3 cup honey or agave
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup unrefined coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached flour
2.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup unsweetened coconut, plus 1/4 cup reserved
A few tablespoons of coconut milk
2 cups rolled oats

directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add flaked coconut to a one cup measuring cup, and then add a few tablespoons of milk (coconut or regular) to the cup. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

In the bowl of a mixer with the whisk attached, combine the eggs, honey, buttermilk , vanilla and oil and whisk on medium until well combined. If the coconut oil is at room temperature, you may have a few lumps of solid oil.

In a large bowl combine the flour, baking powder, soda and salt. With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients until just combined. Add in oats and coconut (make sure to strain off the extra liquid) and mix well to combine.

Add to a greased muffin tin, filling 3/4 of each cup. Top with additional flaked coconut and bake for 17-19 minutes, inserting a toothpick to check for doneness.

Notes: These are delicious on their own, but feel free to add chocolate chips, dried cranberries, walnuts… the option are endless!

Makes 12 muffins.

**Please use organic ingredients wherever possible**

kale + pineapple green smoothie (my favorite!).

I’ve been over indulging myself recently. On a recent trip to Boston, I lived on lobster, wine, lobster, bourbon, and lobster. And octopus. Which was AMAZING. I didn’t want to leave. Then when I got home, it was a dreary and rainy day, so I made one of my most favorite comfort foods, homemade marinara sauce and ate that with copious amounts of warm crusty bread. Delicious. Who needs pasta? Not this girl — I am content to dip my bread in red gravy that has simmered all afternoon.

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Despite all of that delicious and wonderful indulgence, I knew I needed to get back on track. My favorite way to do so also happens to be my go-to breakfast every day: my favorite green smoothie. Full of super healthy ingredients? Check. Vegan and gluten free? Check. Filling? Check! Now, I understand green smoothies aren’t for everyone, but I love the bright, intense green color of the finished smoothie. It’s vibrant and I feel great just looking at it! Luckily for me (and you!) it tastes as good as it looks!

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Now, I love love love fresh ginger, so I usually add in about an inch long piece. It does make the finished smoothie have a bit of a spicy bite to it, so scale back according to your preferences. Fresh ginger is so good for you, and has wonderful anti-inflammatory properties. Combine that with the intensely hydrating cucumber, kale that is chock full of vitamin K, and pineapple is an incredible source of vitamin C and manganese, and this is as healthy as it is delicious!

green kale + pineapple smoothie. 

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ingredients
2 cups curly kale
1 frozen banana, sliced
3/4- 1 cup frozen pineapple
1/4 English cucumber, sliced
1/2-1 inch piece ginger
3-5 mint leaves (optional)
1/2 -1 cup water (I err on the side of 1/2 cup, as I like my smoothies thick)
1 tablespoon flax seeds

directions
Combine all ingredients into a high speed blender. Blend on low for 20-30 seconds, and then on high for 1-2 minutes, or until smooth and well combined. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Makes one generous serving, or two regular sized servings.

**Please use all organic ingredients**

 

 

whole wheat oatmeal pancakes.

Happy Memorial Day weekend! I hope you are enjoying warm and cooperative weather, a three day weekend, and of course, remembering the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for you, me, and our wonderful country.

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A long weekend means another day to enjoy a leisurely breakfast! I don’t know about you, but breakfast for me most days consists of a green smoothie I whip together while getting ready in the morning. I always see fun breakfast ideas like individual egg cups, breakfast burritos, and fun toasts, but truth be told, I’m always rushing in the morning, so a smoothie it is during busy weekdays. When I have a chance to slow down and prepare a relaxing breakfast/brunch, pancakes always call my name. They are so elegant in their simplicity, and most importantly, super easy to together together. Although I love the classic cake, I wanted to figure out a way to make them healthier, and to keep you fuller, longer. The downside about regular pancakes is that the white flour most commonly used often causes a blood sugar spike, leaving you tired and hungry again in just a few hours.

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Luckily, it’s easy to bulk these out while adding incredible flavor! You probably already know that oatmeal is a great source of soluble fiber and long lasting energy, and adding it to pancakes results in a hearty, earthy cake that is lightly spiced with vanilla and cinnamon. We’re going to blend half of the oats (make sure to use old fashioned!) with the flours, and add the other half in whole. I really love the texture of the whole oats, but if you prefer a smoother batter, blend all the oats in the first step. I served these simply with pure maple syrup, but they would be perfect with fresh blueberries, strawberries, peaches, apples! Or apple butter. Mm, I think you’ll enjoy these all the way to fall.

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whole wheat oatmeal pancakes.
adapted from marthastewart.com.

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ingredients

1 cup old fashioned oats, divided by the half cup.
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all purpose white flour
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 tablespoons grape seed oil

directions

Place 1/2 cup of oats, flours, sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon in a food processor and pulse 5-8 times until oats are coarsely ground and mixture comes together.

In a large bowl, combine the milk, eggs and oil and whisk together. Add the dry ingredients plus the reserved 1/2 cup of oats and whisk until just moistened and mixed.

Heat a large skillet or griddle (non-stick or cast iron) with non stick cooking spray (preferably coconut). Pour the batter in 3 tablespoon cakes (it will be very thick) and allow to cook for 1-2 minutes on the first side, until a few bubbles burst and cake lifts easily. Flip and cook for another minute. Remove and keep warm, and repeat with remaining batter.

Makes 10 cakes.