Breakfast. Pie.

Yup. You read that right- breakfast pie.

The merits of pie as a breakfast food has long been a topic of conversation in my nearest and dearest friendship circle. All of us have agreed for years now that pie is definitely a legitimate breakfast food. I mean, think about it for a minute. Toast and jam is pretty much pie. Poptarts and toaster struddles, while a questionable choice for the first meal of the day, are technically considered a breakfast food. So, how come the rest of the world has never seemed to catch on to our obsession (legitimacy) of eating pie for breakfast? Come on, it really makes sense.

Maybe we have all just convinced ourselves that pie was a good breakfast food because it made us feel better about the fact that we ate dessert for breakfast on multiple ocassions (don’t pretend you haven’t done it too).

Now, I am happy to let my friends carry on and eat pie for breakfast. I really am. BUT, I also happen to be somewhat of a sugar policewoman when it comes to my own diet. And, we can’t really argue that eating a whole bunch of sugar first thing in the morning is probably not the best idea. Plus, I’m pretty sure that pie crust isn’t really much of…well, anything that is beneficial to our bodies. So while I don’t condone or question the merits of eating pie for breakfast (I mean, have you seen what is marketed out there as breakfast food…see above mentioned poptarts and the ingredients for my point) I have been thinking for a while now that I could probably come up with a way to make a pie for breakfast that is much more nutritious. Enter, breakfast pie. I’ll say it again. BREAKFAST. PIE.

Summer is so obviously my favourite season here in Southwestern Ontario. It’s sunny, it’s warm, cottage country is lively and fresh locally grown produce is abundant. Oh baby, there is nothing like eating fresh Ontario strawberries in July. Last week hubs and I headed north of the city to pick some strawberries, and besides coming home with a fairly bad sunburn (how come I never learn?) we had a very successful day and ended up with like…4L of strawberries or something ridiculous like that. Immediately, I started thinking about what could be done with all of them. The possibilities are endless really, but with one of my pie-eating-for-breakfast friends’ birthdays coming up I realized now would be the perfect time to try and make a healthy breakfast pie.

After washing and cutting (and eating) up our forage, I got to work. The result, if I do say so, was a success. In fact, I only have a picture of one piece of pie because it was gobbled up at said friend’s cottage before I remembered I didn’t photograph it at all.

I’m not kidding when I say this pie is healthy. The crust is full of protein and hearty oats. The filling is packed with strawberry goodness and chia. AND the whole thing only has a total of 5 tablespoons of maple syrup so it’s low in sugar and refined sugar free. OH, and it’s gluten free. OH, and it’s vegan. And did I mention it is pie that is acceptable to eat for breakfast?

I also heard from a little bird that it tastes really good with some whipped cream (which could be swaped for some whipped up coconut cream to keep it healthy).

This pie is based off of a crust recipe from My New Roots and the filling is adapted from this raspberry chia seed jam from Oh She Glows, so while I would like to take credit for this pie fully, as always, Sarah and Angela were recipe creator geniuses behind the elements of this pie.

With that, here it is. Breakfast. Pie.

 

Ingredients

For the crust:

  • 1/2 cup raw almonds
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup

For the filling:

  • 4 cups strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tbsp. pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp.  water
  • 3 tbsp. chia seeds

Directions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 F
  2. Place oats and almonds in a food processors or dry container of a high-speed blender and process until it is the texture of a corse flour
  3. In a bowl, mix oats and almonds with sea salt, coconut oil and maple syrup. The mixture should be thick but should stick together.
  4. Spread crust ingredients into a pie plate. Place the mixture in the middle and press down and outwards until it is evenly distributed.
  5. Poke the crust with a fork and then bake for about 12-14 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Remove from oven to cool
  7. While crust is baking, combine all filling ingredients into a saucepan.
  8. Bring to a low boil and then reduce heat to medium-low.
  9. Allow the filling to simmer for about 15 minutes.
  10. Stir the filling frequently as the strawberries break down. The mixture should begin to thicken.
  11. Place filling in fridge overnight which will help to thicken.
  12. When ready to serve, pour filling into crust and enjoy. Could be warmed up but is amazing cool as well.

 

 

Raw/Vegan Key Lime Pie Mousse

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Is anyone else still craving holiday treats or is it just me? Maybe it’s because I’m not working right now, or perhaps it is because it’s cold and grey out, but I also suspect that it may be directly correlated to binge-watching “Scandal” for hours every night. What is it about a good netflix binge that makes me just want to pig out?

Luckily, since I’m currently not working I have enough time to experiment with recipes and make delicious yummy treats, which is how I came up with this one!

I originally made this in the food processor but I found it a little too fibrous for me still so I threw it in my blender to make it extra creamy. I’ll leave the process vs. blender choice up to you. I got this idea from various raw key lime pie recipes I saw online as well as from this delicious Avocado Chocolate Mousse from Chocolate Covered Katie. As Katie points out Avocados are quite the super food- they are low in sugar and loaded with fibre, vitamins and minerals. Avocados are a great evening snack in my opinion because they leave me feeling full, and not ravenous for any junk I can get my hands on.

I know, I know, it’s not exactly Key Lime pie season, and I’m definitely not in the Keys. However, I think this is why my mind was thinking about a treat like this. I also can’t technically call this “Key Lime” because it doesn’t have any actual key limes, but forgive me just this once. Once I find some key limes I will definitely try it out with them.

Not only is this mousse good for you and satisfying because it is full of healthy fats, it’s also low in sugar and tastes a little bit like sunshine. Perfect winter couch indulgence. I can almost hear the waves and feel the ocean breeze….

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Ingredients:

2 ripe avocados

1 ripe banana

1/2 cup coconut cream (place a can of full-fat coconut milk in the fridge overnight, the cream will separate and harden making it easier to scoop out)

Juice from 2 limes

1 tsp. lime zest

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

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Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender and process/blend until smooth. Serve immediately. Store any leftovers in fridge (if you have any!) for a maximum of 3 days. It’s that easy I swear!

 

Simply Magic Gluten Free Chocolately “clean” Granola Bars

Greetings Everyone!

Those who know me, know that I am not a big supporter of the packaged food industry. I try and avoid packaged foods as much as possible. Do you read the ingedients list of packaged foods? If so, you know as I do that the majority of packaged foods contain at least 1 of these as the first couple ingredients, if not all; wheat, sugar, soy, and corn. Since I believe no one should be eating refined sugars and I am fairly certain I’m allergic to both wheat and soy, packaged foods are pretty much out of the question for me (both because of what I believe in and also because of my poor stomach).

However, this can definitely be a challenge sometimes. Especially as a student with a job who is constantly on the go. Sometimes I really just wish I had that cheap packaged (insert “food” product here) to grab on my way out the door.

Another thing to point out is that buying packaged health food products are ridiculously expensive- up to 3 or more times the price of the conventional stuff!!

Yesterday a classmate pulled out a granola bar. “That looks so good” I said, “I have another,” she told me, “take it.” I had to decline but every last bit of me wanted to eat it- even knowing that I would pay for it in stomach pains later.

So, when I came home from class I went on a mission to create the perfect wheat free, no refined sugar yet still sweet, “healthy” granola bar. What resulted was the following recipe. I am quite proud of it and I think you’d like to too if you give it a go!

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This recipe can be made with less of the sweet stuff to make a little healthier (and I think next time I’d do this as these bars turned out quite sweet!) by cutting back on the maple syrup, honey and coconut sugar. Each bar has about 150 calories, 6.7g of fat, 4g of belly filling fibre, 9g of sugar, and 5g of protein. I wouldn’t recommend pigging out on these bad boys because of the high-ish sugar content but they are definitely a lot better for you and full of more natural ingredients than the store bought variety, and will satisfy your hunger more as well. They are perfect for a small snack with your afternoon coffee or tea when you just need a bit of a pick me up!

 

Ingredients:

2 cups certified gluten free rolled oats

1/4 cup raw cashews

1/2 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted

1/2 cup slivered almonds

1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/4 cup chia seeds (any variety is fine)

4 tbsp ground flax seed

4 tbsp whole flax seed (I like to do half and half to get the Omega 3’s and the fibre)

1/4 cup ground pecans (you can used chopped as well, I just had ground in the house)

1-2 chopped apples

2 scoops Vega One Chocolate protein powder (you could just use a few tablespoons of cocoa)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

1/4 cup pure honey

1/4 cup butter (or butter substitute like coconut oil or earth balance spread to make this vegan)

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup coconut palm sugar

1 tbsp sea salt

 

Pre-heat oven to 450. Combine first 10 ingredients in bowl then distribute evenly on baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast ingredients at 450 for 20 minutes (I like mine quite crispy so this time could be lessened).

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While mix is roasting, combine honey, maple syrup, butter and coconut sugar in saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add in vanilla. Bring to boil and remove from heat. Stir in protein powder.

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When mix is done roasting combine dry ingredient and wet ingredients in a large bowl. Grease a spatula and a baking sheet and use spatula to press combined mixture into baking sheet, pressing firmly. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.  Use a sharp knife to cut into bar shaped portions. Be careful to press down firmly in order to keep bars from breaking.

I like to freeze them so they keep longer.

feel free to experiment with these and make them your own creation! The possibilities are literally endless!