It’s blueberry season on the West Coast, and we can’t get enough of these little berries! Every time we open our fridge, regardless of what we were originally in there for, we usually end up with a handful of them before the door is closed. In the last week or so, the ones at the market have been coming into their prime. Plump, juicy and oh-so sweet!
A few times a week, I usually have overnight oats for breakfast in the morning. Before I go to bed, I mix up a batch and throw it into the fridge. It takes me less than 5 minutes to prepare, and it tastes so good with a cup of coffee. I the winter, I often use dried fruit to add a bit of sweetness, but come summer time, it’s fresh fruit all the way! I’ve been enjoying these Maple-Walnut Blueberry overnight oats for the past few weeks.
When I make overnight oats, I only measure out my oats and liquid. The rest, I eyeball. And the only mainstay in my oats are chia seeds. The rest of the add-ins change with my cravings. Nuts, seeds, coconut flakes – they all make it into the jar at some point. I love using Roger’s Porridge Oat blends, which often include other goodies like flax seeds, quinoa flakes and oat bran. But, there’s nothing wrong with plain old oats, too!
A few ways I like to make these maple-walnut blueberry overnight oats:
The liquid: While milk or water works just fine, I often find myself using coconut water. It’s a great source of potassium and electrolytes, and we find on the heavy training days, the coconut water makes sure we don’t get leg cramps. Bonus!
The protein: Oats already have a nice amount of protein in them, but I’ll often add a dollop of non-fat greek yogurt. It gives another boost of protein as well as a creaminess to the oats.
The fats: Nuts and seeds are a great way to boost the healthy fats in this breakfast, and they also add a great crunch.
The entire combination of these oats keeps me full for quite a few hours and, honestly, I can’t get enough of the blueberries! So if you’re looking for an easy, healthy way to start your day, give these maple-walnut blueberry overnight oats a try.
I feel like we’ve been heavy on the dessert posts over the last few weeks, but as tasty as they are, that’s not all we fill our bellies with – honest! During the week, we aim to have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes, which usually means we fill our plates with a salad and some type of protein, saving our treats and time-consuming meals to enjoy on the weekend. It’s a good thing we love our greens!
Salads are so easy to throw together and rarely require a recipe. Case in point is this apricot and kale salad. With all the great benefits of kale, it’s a no-brainer, adding it to your daily diet. And the last-minute addition of a cumin vinaigrette definitely elevated our salad game this evening 🙂
Our salads are quite formulaic and we generally add ingredients that follow the same basic FASST rule. What’s this rule I speak of? Well, let me tell you 🙂
The FASST rule:
FAT: Use an oil (olive, peanut, sesame) in your dressing, or slice up an avocado. Fats help the body get the most nutrients out of your salad greens.
ACID: A squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice, or vinegar (white wine, red wine, balsamic) will really brighten up the taste of your food.
SALT: Add just a pinch of salt to really bring out the flavours. A splash of tamari, soy sauce or fish sauce will do the same.
SWEET: The sweet balances out the salt. More often than not, we add fruit. Fresh fruit is easy in the summer, but dried fruit (dates, cranberries, raisins) are nice and easy as well. No fruit in your house? Add a drizzle of maple syrup in with the olive oil.
TEXTURE: Adding some crunch or chew to your salads will keep them interesting and filling. We add cooked grains (farro, quinoa, lentils) or nuts and seeds, and usually other raw veggies.
The time-saving weeknight cheat:
We will often buy a roast chicken earlier in the week and add it to our meals over the following few days. It’s a life-saver on those nights when you’re rushing home from work, or when you need to bulk out a meal and time is of the essence. This salad comes together in about 15 minutes and, like all of our weeknight salads, can be filled with whatever you have in the fridge.
Hopefully you’ll take advantage of the last of the late-summer stone fruits! I know that peaches and nectarines would be great in this salad, too.
Finely chop the kale. Whisk up the vinaigrette ingredients in a small bowl or jar and pour over the kale leaves. Quickly massage the vinaigrette into the leaves, to soften. Allow this to sit while you prep the remaining ingredients.
Slice the apricots into medium-sized wedges and roughly chop or shred any roast chicken you have on hand. Add to the salad.
Toss in blueberries, sunflower seeds, toasted almonds and chopped cilantro.
Mix thoroughly and serve.
This salad holds up well in the fridge over a few days. Great for leftover lunches.
Remember the uber-tasty cottage cheese I made last week? Well, there was almost a litre of leftover buttermilk that I saved from that recipe and it only seemed fitting to put it to good use, preferably in the form of a baked good.
These muffins were based off of a recipe I found here, and the result was one of the tallest muffins ever to have come out of our oven!
I reduced the amount of sugar from the original recipe, as I was hoping the sweetness from the bananas would be enough, and sprinkled the top with chopped walnuts. We thought they were perfect!
I think the key to sky-high muffins is to fill the muffin cups right to the top, and to use a higher heat (400°F).
These muffins freeze well, which is great, as the recipe made 15 standard-sized muffins, and are perfect with a mid-morning coffee 🙂
Pre-heat the oven to 400°F and paper-line 15 standard-sized muffin tins.
In a medium bowl: Thoroughly mix the wet ingredients together (bananas, buttermilk, eggs, vanilla, butter).
In a large bowl: Thoroughly sift the dry ingredients together (flours, brown sugar, sea salt, baking soda, baking powder).
Add the frozen blueberries to the flour mixture and toss gently to fully coat the berries. Add the wet ingredients to the flour - blueberry mixture and mix gently, until just combined (it's okay if you still have a few streaks of flour).
Spoon the mixture into the paper-lined muffin tins, filling them right to the top. Sprinkle with walnuts, if desired.
Bake on the centre rack for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown