Category Archives: Breakfast

Chewy Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies

When I was little, carrots were my favorite vegetable. Now, I can’t really get excited about them. I think it’s because they’re so hit-or-miss – sometimes you get a really good one that makes you think about your vegetable rankings (what, you don’t rank your favorite vegetables? or favorite everything?), but sometimes you get one so foul tasting you have to spit it out and throw the rest away.  Is that just me? Couldn’t be.

I bought a few (3) carrots the other day and cut one up to eat with lunch. I ate it with our new house favorite almond butter – Barney Butter. While the Barney Butter is fantastic, the carrot just wasn’t doing anything for me. I didn’t want to waste the other two carrots, but I know myself and know I would eat them before they went bad, so I grated them and put them in a container to add to salads or sandwiches (it dilutes the carrot-y taste).

The next day as I was about to make some homemade granola bars, I stumbled upon this recipe for Carrot Walnut Cookies from Whole Foods and decided I had to make them instead. It was fate – I already had my 2 carrots grated in the fridge, just waiting for me to add them into this healthy cookie.

Stuffed with only whole grains, and sweetened with only fruit (no added sugar!), this is the perfect way to get some fruit, vegetables, fiber, protein and healthy fats into your breakfast. You could eat these any time of day really, but I think they’d be the perfect Easter breakfast before you spend the rest of the day stuffing yourself with candy.

Carrot Cake Breakfast Cookies
(adapted from Whole Foods)

1 cup raw unsalted walnuts
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 carrots, grated
1 apple, peeled, cored, and grated
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup orange juice

Combine walnuts, oats, and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. Add carrots, apples, banana, and juice and stir until combined. drop by rounded tablespoons an inch apart onto baking sheets lined with parchment. Press down lightly on each cookie with your fingers or the back of the spoon/disher to flatten them slightly. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops and bottoms are lightly browned. Serve warm. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days. They also freeze well.

Yield: 25 cookies

The one classic carrot cake ingredient missing from the recipe is coconut, and while you can easily add it to the dough, I decided to pour some warm, homemade coconut butter into the little bowl I made on top when I flattened them with the cookie disher.

They kinda look like little birds nests!

These are so quick and easy to make, and a wise way to start Easter or any day!


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Filed under Baked Goodies, Breakfast, Recipes, Vegan

Pumpkin Pancakes

I claim pumpkin to be my favorite food. Usually at this point in the year, I would be completely pumpkin-minded, trying to think of a way to fit the orange goop into every meal. Pumpkin oatmeal with pumpkin granola sprinkled on top for breakfast, chicken salad sandwich on pumpkin bread with pumpkin yogurt on the side for lunch, pumpkin & black bean enchiladas with pumpkin soup for dinner, washed down with a pumpkin beer, and pumpkin pie for dessert. It may turn me orange, but that would be a great day.

However, the Libby’s pumpkin shortage in the past year has really put a damper on my pumpkin loving ability. A whole year without the ability to enjoy or create recipes with pumpkin eventually made me forget about my favorite squash, and my go-to fruit addition became bananas in sweet applications, and butternut squash in all others. As soon as I saw other bloggers start to add pumpkin back to their oats, I looked everywhere for a couple cans of my own. And found nothing. Finally, on September 21 (it was a really important day), I found a stock of the precious cans at Trader Joe’s. There was just one problem…

Organic pumpkin. Blech. How is that a problem, you ask? I would guess that you’ve never tried organic pumpkin before if you are asking that question. For one thing, it’s brown. For another, it’s watery. Finally, its consistency is much more grainy/mealy than the smooth and creamy orange stuff from a Libby’s can. I have no idea why this vast difference exists; my only guess is that Libby’s has a superior method of processing and canning their pumpkin that is either proprietary information, or too expensive for smaller (organic) producers to use. Regardless, there is an obvious difference and in this instance, the cheaper, non-organic product is a much better buy.

Organic aside, bad pumpkin is better than no pumpkin, so I bought three cans that I hoped would hold me over until I could find some Libby’s. I made a batch of pumpkin oatmeal and quickly realized that if I wanted to enjoy these first tastes of pumpkin this season, I would need to use these cans in things that would disguise the texture.

Enter: Pumpkin Pancakes

I first made pancakes without a boxed mix during my senior year of college. The thought of plain pancakes makes my stomach turn a bit (I need strong flavor in the morning) so I added a mashed banana and some chocolate chips to the batter. They were a hit. And so much better than a box. And with pronounceable ingredients.

Last weekend we had a house guest and I wanted to make a nice breakfast. I had about half a can of organic pumpkin leftover from my oatmeal, and thought my pancakes would be a great vessel for getting rid of the less-than-ideal-textured pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pancakes

1 egg
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 – 3/4 cup pumpkin
1 cup all purpose flour (or 1/2 cup AP flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (this is an estimate. I just poured it in until it looked/smelled spiced)

Beat egg with a whisk. Slowly add milk and melted butter. Mix in pumpkin. Stir in dry ingredients until incorporated – do not overmix! Cook on a non-stick griddle 1-2 minutes/side. Enjoy hot with plenty of real maple syrup.
Yield 10-15 pancakes, depending on what size you make them. They usually provide a delicious breakfast for 3-4 people.

(Pumpkin can be used as an egg-replacer in this recipe, which along with non-dairy milk and Earth Balance would veganize the recipe. I’ve made these with and without eggs, and haven’t really noticed a difference. I like to add them though – more protein!)

The batter – don’t worry if it’s lumpy. It’s better to have lumps than to have tough, overmixed pancakes.

These are pretty big – I got 11 out of the batch. Usually I get 15. They’re ready to flip when the bubbles on the surface pop.

It’s a feeling thing. You’ll get the hang of it. Don’t worry if you experience the first pancake phenomenon.

Hot & yummy pancakes! Don’t skimp on the maple syrup. Or Brett’s favorite – Biscoff spread.

It’s so simple, and with ingredients you already have. You’ll never want to waste your money on boxed pancake mix again!

This was actually the second batch I made – this one just to freeze for future use. Just take them out of the freezer on a busy morning and pop them in the toaster. You’ll also never buy frozen waffles/pancakes again!


Filed under Breakfast, Recipes, Vegetarian