(The Best) Buttermilk Pancakes

(The Best) Buttermilk Pancakes | Once Upon a Recipe

Well, hello beautiful!

I mean, is that a beautiful stack of pancakes or what?

I have enjoyed these pancakes twice in the last month – once when I was incredibly hung over and another time when I was not even a little bit hung over. They tasted equally fantastic both of those times. However, if there’s one thing I’ve come to learn in my thirties, it’s that having more than a couple of drinks in one evening is just not worth the pain that follows the next day. And tequila shots are never a good idea. Even if they seem like a good idea at the time, they are not a good idea. Put down the tequila!

(The Best) Buttermilk Pancakes | Once Upon a Recipe

Hangovers aside, these buttermilk pancakes really are the way to make your weekend magical. Imagine yourself slowly waking up on a Saturday or Sunday morning, at your own pace, and not to the annoying ring of an alarm. You’re still in your pyjamas. You put on some good tunes, start the coffee. And as it brews, the smell of coffee and magic and rainbows fills the air, and you start to gather the ingredients to make the fluffiest, most tender pancakes you’ve ever made. The recipe is simple – chances are you’ve got everything you need already sitting in your fridge and cupboards. The batter comes together easily, and soon enough you’re spooning it into a hot frying pan, and its sweet aroma is enough to wake the others in the house (furry others included). And before you know it, you’re settling down to enjoy a stack of hot buttermilk pancakes, swimming in butter and maple syrup. Life is good.

(The Best) Buttermilk Pancakes | Once Upon a Recipe

(The Best) Buttermilk Pancakes | Once Upon a Recipe

In case you haven’t been counting down to the weekend like I have, I’m here to let you know that we’ve only got one more day to go before these pancake dreams can become a reality!

(The Best) Buttermilk Pancakes (adapted from The Food Lab by Kenji Lopez-Alt)

The trick to making these pancakes tender and fluffy is to whisk the egg whites separately and then fold into the pancake mixture. It’s a quick and easy step that makes a big difference. These pancakes reheat well – just store in an airtight container in the fridge and enjoy within a couple of days. Makes about 10 large pancakes. 

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 TBSP. sugar

2 eggs, separated

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt

1 tsp. vanilla

4 TBSP. unsalted butter, melted

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk together. In a small bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, buttermilk, Greek yogurt, and vanilla. Slowly add the melted butter while whisking. Gently fold in the egg whites with a rubber spatula. Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and fold until just combined (do not overmix). The batter will be thick and lumpy.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place 1/2 cup of batter into the skillet and gently spread out evenly. Allow to cook until small bubbles start to appear on the top and the bottoms are golden brown (about 2 minutes). Gently flip over and cook the other side until golden brown (about 2 minutes). Serve the pancakes immediately with butter and maple syrup.

(The Best) Buttermilk Pancakes | Once Upon a Recipe

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Oat Muffins

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Oat Muffins | Once Upon a Recipe

Hello Ladies and Gents! Happy Wednesday!

Oh, and happy back to the future day! The Internets tell me that today (Oct. 21, 2015) is the day that Marty McFly and Doc Brown traveled to in Back to the Future Part 2. I may or may not have googled Back to the Future to figure out the names of those two guys. Should I feel ashamed that I’ve never seen Back to the Future (Part 1 or 2)? For some reason I feel like I should.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Oat Muffins | Once Upon a Recipe

Anyways, just a quick little post here today. I feel like I’m neglecting this space again, but sometimes it’s just unavoidable! In the past few weeks I celebrated a birthday (hello 3-1…this number seems so much more daunting to me than 30 did) and Canadian Thanksgiving, went to the mountains for a quick but much needed getaway, and have been planning and preparing for a Halloween cooking class that I will be teaching this weekend. And exactly two weeks from today, I will be hopping on a plane to a beach destination for 10 days of rest and relaxation. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that the whole amazing bikini body that I planned to have for this trip when I booked it a couple of months ago just will not be a reality, but I’m kind of over it. There is just too much good food in this world and I believe too strongly in moderation (heavy on the “indulge” end of the spectrum). Plus my 31-year old metabolism doesn’t cooperate quite as well as my 25-year old metabolism did.

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Oat Muffins | Once Upon a Recipe

However, that does not mean that for the next two weeks I don’t plan on exercising a little more restraint when it comes to stuffing my face with all things delicious. These muffins are the perfect way to enjoy a “treat” without the guilt. They are made with whole wheat flour and oats, pumpkin, and are sweetened only with maple syrup. I’ve made these numerous times over the past several weeks and I’m still not tired of them. They are perfect for stashing in the freezer and grabbing for a quick breakfast or snack. Plus, if you’re like me and still all about the pumpkin, you will love these!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Oat Muffins | Once Upon a Recipe

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Oat Muffins (slightly adapted from Cookie & Kate)

Makes 12 muffins. Feel free to use coconut oil in place of the olive oil, or honey in place of the maple syrup. These muffins freeze beautifully when packed into an airtight container.

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk (any kind will do)
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup oats, plus more for sprinkling on top

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a 12-count muffin tin with paper liners or spray with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the olive oil and maple syrup and whisk to combine. Add the eggs and mix well. Add the pumpkin puree, milk, baking soda, vanilla, salt, and spices, and mix well. Add the whole wheat flour and oats, and stir until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the muffin cups. Sprinkle with additional oats. Bake for 25-27 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Cool completely. Enjoy!

Whole Wheat Pumpkin Oat Muffins | Once Upon a Recipe

Pumpkin Hand Pies

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

Hand pies. Mini pies. Pop tarts. Toaster strudels.

I wasn’t sure what to call these little gems of pastry stuffed with pumpkin and spice. Hand pies seemed most appropriate because they’re mini pies that you can most definitely hold in your hand. They’re flakier than pop tarts, and while they do remind me a little of toaster strudels, I’m not sure I’d feel comfortable putting one in the toaster. However, you most certainly should eat one of these hand pies for breakfast, alongside a strong cup of coffee or tea, because no day that starts with pie is going to be a bad one. It’s just science.

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

You guys, these hand pies are so flaky! Their flakiness is owed to the all-butter crust that has become my go-to crust recipe ever since I first tried it. The dough is so manageable and easy to work with. We have Deb from Smitten Kitchen to thank for that. Don’t fear the dough, it’s friendly and won’t give you a hard time. Oh, and there’s no need to be perfectionists here. I mean, take a peek at the photo below. The perfectionist in me was having a near meltdown, but I just had to tell her shut her face. The good news is that the crust layers will melt into each other and puff up a little during their stint in the oven and no one will be the wiser. Magic!

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

Now that we are really truly into Fall, a pumpkin filling felt like a must. However, I don’t doubt that these hand pies would taste delicious filled with whatever your little heart desires. So if pumpkin isn’t your thing, change it up. Do what you want!

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

I made these pies a couple of weeks ago when my cousin was visiting from Ontario. She’s kind of a pie crust junkie – meaning, she’d gladly eat the pie crust and leave the pie filling on her plate. I figured the crust to filling ratio of these pies would really float her boat and I was definitely right. In fact, everyone loved them. Sharing food that you made with your own two hands with people is super fun and amazing, but when they really love what you share, it’s kind of the best.

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

Pumpkin Hand Pies (crust from Smitten Kitchen, filling and process from Joy the Baker)

This recipe will make 9 pies. However, you may have some dough left over, in which case you can try to make a couple of extra pies, or bake up the pie scraps with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar. (Totally delicious). Feel free to change up the filling if pumpkin isn’t your jam. I think any fruit would work well here, and I’ve kind of been dreaming about a banana/Nutella combination.

For the crust:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 TBSP. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 cup (2 sticks) cold, unsalted butter (cut into cubes)

Cold water

For the filling:

3/4 cup pure pumpkin

1 large egg

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 cup granulated sugar

+1 egg (beaten) for sealing the pies

For the glaze:

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 TBSP. milk

To make the crust: Fill a one-cup liquid measuring cup with cold water and add a few ice cubes. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and salt, and whisk together. Add the butter and start cutting it into the flour mixture using a pastry blender. Once you have a coarse meal, add about 1/2 a cup of cold water. Using a spatula, start to bring the dough together. Add more water as needed – you’ll probably need at least another 1/4 cup, and gently knead the dough to bring it together. The goal here is to minimize the hands-on time on the dough, so as not to melt those lovely little chunks of butter that are dispersed throughout (they are going to make the dough deliciously flaky). Divide the dough in half, press into two discs, and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for at least an hour or two, but preferably overnight.

To make the filling: In a small saucepan, heat the pumpkin and spices over medium heat, just until fragrant. Remove from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. Whisk in the egg, salt and sugar and refrigerate while you roll out the dough.

To assemble the pies: On a well-floured surface, roll each disc of dough into a 9 x 12-inch rectangle. I used a measuring tape to make sure I had a uniform rectangle. Cut each side into thirds, creating 9 (3 x 4-inch) squares. Refrigerate the first set of squares while you roll out the second disc of dough. We gotta keep that dough cold!

Brush the first set of squares with the beaten egg. Spoon about 1 TBSP. of the pumpkin mixture into the centre of each square. Top with another square of dough, and seal the edges with a floured fork. Use the fork to create vent holes in the tops of each pie. Place the pies on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.

Put the pies back in the fridge while you preheat the oven to 350°F. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

Combine the glaze ingredients. Drizzle over the pies once they have cooled. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Hand Pies | Once Upon a Recipe

Homemade Acai Bowls

Acai Bowls | Once Upon a Recipe

Oh friends, I have waited so long to share these açai bowls with you! Sadly a series of unfortunate events sabotaged my plans.

But first, allow me to start at the beginning. I first became obsessed with açai bowls during my trip to Maui this past February. And when I say obsessed, I mean eating-an-açai-bowl-every-day obsessed. Feeling-sad-when-the-açai-bowl-was-gone obsessed. Plotting-the-next-opportunity-to-eat-an-açai-bowl obsessed. You get the idea. My friend K and I searched the island for the best açai bowl available and when searching for the best, one must be committed, you know? Açai bowls run aplenty in Maui. I didn’t taste one that I didn’t enjoy, but if you ever find yourself in Maui and in search of a truly satisfying, delicious, and totally good-for-you breakfast, snack, or even dinner, please make your way to one of the Wow Wow Lemonade locations. They offer several different varieties of açai or pitaya (dragon fruit) bowls, all of which are amazing. Apparently their lemonade is bomb as well, but I was too busy eating açai bowls to drink any lemonade.

Acai Bowls | Once Upon a Recipe

What is an açai bowl you ask? Well, an açai bowl is essentially a refreshing, naturally sweet and energizing smoothie bowl topped with fruit and granola and other delicious things. I like to think of it as the healthy cousin to the ice cream sundae. The base is generally comprised of a combination of açai purée and other frozen fruit. Then comes the granola, fresh fruit, and other toppings – and the possibilities here really are endless. Açai – pronounced “ah-sigh-ee” – berries are harvested from açai palm trees, which are native to the rainforests of South America. Açai berries are considered a superfood, and are full of antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fats. They help to promote cardiovascular, digestive, and immune health. Boom! In North America, you can typically find açai berries in the form of puréed smoothie packs in the frozen section of organic grocery stores and health food stores. My favourite frozen açai smoothie packs, and the ones most available to me, are made by Sambazon, and they seem to be widely available throughout Canada and the US. Here in Edmonton, they can be found at places like Planet Organic and Earth’s General Store. In the US, you can find them at Whole Foods. Açai juice and freeze-dried açai powder are other options, although I have not tried them myself. Açai bowls are not a cheap treat – most of the bowls we enjoyed in Maui were around the $12 mark – but you can make them at home for a fraction of the cost.

Acai Bowls | Once Upon a Recipe

When we returned from Maui, K and I set out to perfect our recipe for homemade açai bowls. We have yet to find a spot in Edmonton that sells these bowls of goodness (if you know otherwise, pleeeeeeease let me know asap) so there was definitely some urgency to figuring out how to make them at home. The cravings were intense! After several trials, we figured out our perfect combination. One evening in March, we crafted our perfect bowl and I snapped some photos of the process. A few weeks later, my house was broken into and my laptop and camera (and all of my photos), among other things, were taken. PS. This is an ideal time to recommend routinely backing up your photos on an external hard drive, or via something like iCloud. Idiot me had not done a thorough back-up of my files for longer than I wish to admit, and many of my photos were lost to those punk criminals. It took me several months to replace my laptop and camera, and by that time, my previously mentioned blogging rut had set in.

But alas, K and I had another açai bowl night last week and now I can finally share this recipe with you. Hooray!

Acai Bowls | Once Upon a Recipe

The possibilities for personalizing your açai bowl are limitless. You can change up the frozen fruit in the smoothie base, the fresh fruit you use, as well as the toppings. Next time I might try adding some greens to the smoothie base, like kale or spinach. A high speed blender works best for creating a nice thick smoothie base (aim for a sorbet consistency), but if you don’t have a blender, I’m sure that a food processor would give you similar results. I added maca powder for an extra superfood boost, but it certainly is not essential to this recipe. Maca is also expensive and can be difficult to find, so don’t sweat it if you can’t get your hands on it. For the granola, use your favourite stuff – whether it be store-bought or homemade. Looking for an excellent granola recipe? Might I suggest coconut oil granola, cherry hazelnut granola, or an old favourite, appropriately called favourite granola?

Acai Bowls | Once Upon a Recipe   Acai Bowls | Once Upon a Recipe

Acai Bowls | Once Upon a Recipe    DSC_0470

Alright, enough talk. Let’s make some açai bowls!

Homemade Açai Bowls

Makes 1 small bowl. Double the ingredients for a large bowl or for 2 servings. Exercise your creativity here, and have fun with different fruit and topping combinations!

1-100g pure unsweetened açai berry superfruit pack
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen berries
1/4 cup almond milk
1 tsp. maca powder (optional)

Toppings:
1/2 cup granola, divided
Sliced strawberries, bananas, and blueberries
1 tsp. shredded coconut
1 tsp. hemp hearts
1 tsp. cacao nibs
A drizzle of honey

While you are assembling your smoothie base, place the serving bowl in the freezer. This will help to keep your smoothie thick and cold, and will prevent it from melting too quickly. In a high-speed blender, combine the açai purée, frozen banana, frozen berries, almond milk, and maca powder. Blend until smooth.

Remove your bowl from the freezer. Sprinkle some of the granola on the bottom of the bowl. Spread your smoothie base into an even layer in the bowl. Top with the remainder of the granola, fresh fruit, and your desired toppings. Enjoy immediately!

Acai Bowls | Once Upon a Recipe

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp (in a Skillet!)

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp | Once Upon a Recipe

Well, hello September!

There is a definite hint of Fall in the air these days. The temperatures have been cooler, at least in the mornings and evenings, and on more than one occasion I have found myself turning on the heat in my car during my drive to work. I’m feeling an eagerness to pull out my boots and scarves and warm sweaters, and to start baking with pumpkin. Coffee shops are welcoming back the ever-popular pumpkin spice latte, and even though I don’t drink the things (fake pumpkin flavour ain’t my thing), the fact that they’re available again excites me. I’m weird, and I know it. Fall is my favourite time of year, and the thought of its imminent arrival gives me a little thrill each time I think about it. I don’t know what it is about this season that makes me feel all the feels – I mean, the beautiful colours of the changing leaves speak for themselves – but there’s something more that I can’t quite put into words.

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp | Once Upon a Recipe

Despite my eagerness to bake everything pumpkin, right now I’m trying to use up the last of my summer favourites. I am lucky to know several people who were able to provide me with a steady supply of rhubarb all season long. At one point, I couldn’t keep up with the supply, and froze a big bag of the stuff for rainy day baking. As I was taking inventory of my freezer’s contents this past weekend, I came across that bag and decided that I’d better put it to good use before it reached the typical freezerburnt fate of many things that find their way into my little icebox of doom.

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp | Once Upon a Recipe

In search of inspiration, I flipped through a few of my cookbooks. With the steady availability of recipes and food inspiration on the Internet these days, I find myself spending less and less time with my cookbook collection – something I hope to change. With a little bit of help from Megan Gordon’s Whole-Grain Mornings, this crisp was born. I managed to use up my entire supply of rhubarb, and threw in a few apples from my neighbour’s tree that had fallen into my backyard for some added sweetness. Full disclosure: I maybe might have possibly jumped up and picked a few apples off of the tree, but only from the branches hanging directly above my backyard.

Consider this crisp as a delightful little merging of two seasons: the rhubarb of summer and the apples of late summer and fall. I find rhubarb a little bit too tart to be used by itself in crisps and crumbles, and I didn’t want to have to add a boatload of sugar, so the apples were the perfect compromise. And while not entirely guilt-free, I do feel that this crisp boasts enough healthful ingredients to justify eating for breakfast, as I have for the past couple of days.

Oh, and I baked this in a cast iron skillet because I just love using my cast iron skillet. I’m a rustic gal, what can I say? You can certainly use a large baking dish (11 by 7-inch), if you prefer. Enjoy!

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp | Once Upon a Recipe

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp (in a skillet!)

Adapted from Whole-Grain Mornings. This recipe can easily be made gluten-free, as long as you make sure to use certified gluten-free oats. The almond meal adds a lovely extra bite to the crisp topping. I think if I make this again, I will add a little bit more cinnamon, so if you’re a fan like me, feel free to add an extra 1/4 teaspoon. Serve warm with ice cream for dessert, or with a splash of milk for breakfast. Serves 6 to 8. 

For the topping:

1 cup sliced raw almonds

2/3 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

2 TBSP. brown sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of salt

4 TBSP. cold unsalted butter

3 TBSP. buttermilk

For the filling:

4 cups chopped rhubarb

2 cups apples, peeled and cubed

1/2 cup coconut (or white) sugar

Juice from half a lemon

2 TBSP. cornstarch

Preheat the oven to 375°F. If using a baking dish, butter or spray with non-stick spray. If using a cast iron skillet, skip that step.

For the topping: Put the almonds in a food processor or high-speed blender, and pulse or blend for about 30 seconds, or until you have a medium-fine almond meal. Add the oats, baking powder, baking soda, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt, and pulse or blend for a few more seconds, until combined. Add the butter and pulse/blend until the mixture resembles a coarse meal, about 30 seconds. Slowly add the buttermilk, and pulse/blend until the dough has come together.

For the filling: Mix together the rhubarb, apples, sugar, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a medium bowl. Scoop the mixture into the baking dish/cast iron skillet.

Pile/spread the topping over the fruit in an even layer. Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the juices are bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool a little before serving. Not too much though – I think this crisp tastes best when it’s still a little bit warm.

Rhubarb Apple Oat Breakfast Crisp | Once Upon a Recipe

My Favourite Green Smoothie

My Favourite Green Smoothie | Once Upon a Recipe

My Favourite Green Smoothie | Once Upon a Recipe

Hold onto your butts folks, I’m about to drop a blog post. Hey-oh!

If you did a double-take when you saw that this gal had published a new post, I don’t blame you. I’ve been rather absent as of late. As usual, I have no good excuses to give you, other than I was feeling a severe lack of inspiration and just needed to take a little break. Blogging had begun to feel like another task on my to-do list and I was no longer enjoying the process. Fellow food bloggers know that publishing a new post is more than just whipping something up, snapping a few photos, and typing out a recipe. There is preparation, and styling, and editing, and putting together something that you feel proud of. I’m still figuring it all out, but as I sit here typing out these words, while drinking the smoothie I’m here to share with you, I feel a renewed sense of energy and excitement. I’m remembering why I love this little space so much and I look forward to finding my blogging groove again. Thanks for sticking around.

My Favourite Green Smoothie | Once Upon a Recipe

My Favourite Green Smoothie | Once Upon a Recipe

About a month ago, I bit the bullet and bought a Vitamix. Holy heck, are those machines fantastic! It truly is one of the most amazing kitchen gadgets, and if you’re a smoothie lover like me, it’s worth the investment. It can do so much more than make a good smoothie, but that’s definitely what I’ve used it for the most so far. Behold my current favourite green concoction. Drink it for breakfast, a post work-out snack, or just ’cause you need a dose of greens. I promise the spinach taste is undetectable!

My Favourite Green Smoothie | Once Upon a Recipe

My Favourite Green Smoothie

This recipe makes one generous serving or two small servings. Feel free to substitute a different milk for the almond milk if you have another preference. The banana is completely optional – this smoothie is still delicious without it. The peanut butter is optional too, but let’s be real – what isn’t made better by the addition of peanut butter? (Answer: nothing.)

1 1/4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

2 cups fresh baby spinach, packed

1 cup frozen mango chunks

1 TBSP. hemp hearts

1/2 frozen banana (optional)

1 TBSP. natural peanut butter (optional)

Add ingredients to a high-speed blender in the order listed (adding liquids first will help get things moving). Blend until super smooth. Enjoy immediately.

Nutritional Info: 340 calories – 33g carbs – 16g fat – 12g protein – 265mg sodium – 21g sugar

My Favourite Green Smoothie | Once Upon a Recipe

Overnight Oats!

Overnight Oats! | Once Upon a Recipe

Hiiiiiiiiiiiii.

It feels strange to be sitting here writing this post. Strange in a good way. Familiar yet new. I’m hoping that blogging is like riding a bike because daaaammmmnnnnn, I’ve been gone a long time. So umm, a belated Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Valentine’s Day to you! I’ll jump in here with an early Happy St. Patrick’s Day, just in case.

I could insert approximately 47 reasons here to explain my two+ month blogging hiatus, but let’s not waste our time with that boring stuff. The important thing is that I’m back here sharing a recipe and my ramblings with you. My hope is that this post will kick-start a much more reliable and frequent schedule of recipe-sharing, so…fingers crossed! Let’s just jump right in.

Overnight Oats! | Once Upon a Recipe

Overnight oats.

I realize that I’m a little late to the overnight oats party. They’ve kind of been a thing now for a while. And being the oatmeal lover that I am, when recipes for overnight oats started popping up a couple of years ago, I was eager to give them a try. I mean, throw a few ingredients in a jar, put the jar in the fridge overnight, and wake up to a delicious breakfast? Sign me the heck up!

Sadly, my first experience with overnight oats was not a good one, and it turned me off of the whole idea for a long time. The texture was really off – kind of watery, yet chunky – and I couldn’t get over it.

Overnight Oats! | Once Upon a Recipe

Fast forward to a couple of months ago when I decided to give them another try. The game changer for me was the addition of Greek yogurt and chia seeds – the original recipe that I had tried just called for almond milk, oats, and fruit. But the Greek yogurt and chia seeds give the mixture a much creamier texture, similar to that of traditional hot oats. And with the right toppings, you can turn overnight oats into a downright satisfying, decadent, yet still super healthy breakfast. Seriously, I feel a little nip of sadness after I take the last bite. But the best part is that these overnight oats hold me over all morning until lunch time.

The recipe below lists the base ingredients – I always use oats, Greek yogurt, almond milk, and chia seeds. You can certainly substitute another milk for the almond milk, if you prefer. And then I add whatever fruit I have on hand. The toppings are up to you, but I’ve included some of my favourite additions. Best combo to date: fresh strawberries, crunchy natural peanut butter, hemp hearts, and cacao nibs. It was like breakfast dessert!

Side note: I can’t stop putting cacao nibs on everything. Help.

Overnight Oats! | Once Upon a Recipe

Overnight Oats!

This recipe makes one serving; however, you can multiply to create as many servings as you’d like. These oats keep well in the fridge for a few days, so feel free to make a bunch of servings at the beginning of the week and store in the fridge for quick and satisfying breakfasts all week long. If you’re using plain Greek yogurt, you may wish to add your favourite sweetener, or other flavours like vanilla extract. I tend to use flavoured Greek yogurt (usually vanilla or strawberry). 

1/3 cup oats

1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (flavour of your choice)

1/3 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)

1 TBSP. chia seeds

1/3-1/2 cup fruit (ie. fresh or frozen berries, banana, chopped apple)

Optional mix ins: 1 TBSP. natural peanut butter, 1 tsp. hemp hearts, 1 tsp. cacao nibs, 1 tsp. shredded coconut, nuts, etc.

Combine the oats, Greek yogurt, almond milk, and chia seeds and stir together in a mason jar or sealable container. I usually add my fruit here too, as well as peanut butter if I’m using it. The mixture shouldn’t be too thick at this point – if it is, add a bit more almond milk. Refrigerate overnight. Add your favourite toppings and enjoy!

Nutritional info for base recipe (before fruit and mix-ins): 216 calories, 7.0 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 30.2 g carbohydrates, 11.4 g protein, 7.7 g fibre, 8.7 g sugars.

Overnight Oats! | Once Upon a Recipe

It’s good to be back, friends!

Whole Wheat & Oat Cinnamon Rhubarb Waffles

Whole Wheat & Oat Cinnamon Rhubarb Waffles | Once Upon a Recipe

Haaaaaapppppppppyyyy Friday!

In celebration of being on the verge of one of these glorious things called the weekend, I bring you waffles. Whole wheat and oat cinnamon rhubarb waffles to be exact. I can’t lie. I’ve become a bit waffle-obsessed. I can’t stop thinking about all of the waffle possibilities. Of course we have sweet waffles. We also have savoury waffles. But then we have waffle sandwiches. Waffle donuts. And I bet waffle nachos could totally be a thing.

Whole Wheat & Oat Cinnamon Rhubarb Waffles | Once Upon a Recipe

Whole Wheat & Oat Cinnamon Rhubarb Waffles | Once Upon a Recipe

Today we’re keeping it pretty simple. We’ve got whole wheat flour and oats for some hearty oomph. The rhubarb adds a little tartness (PS. You could totally sub in apples for the rhubarb). And there’s cinnamon and brown sugar for flavour. Think: rhubarb crisp in waffle form. And if you want to go all out, you can top the waffles with butter and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar. Boom. If that doesn’t start your day off right, I don’t know what will.

Whole Wheat & Oat Cinnamon Rhubarb Waffles | Once Upon a Recipe

Whole Wheat & Oat Cinnamon Rhubarb Waffles | Once Upon a Recipe

It’s the weekend, friends! Enjoy, relax, live it up, treat yo’ self, and eat some waffles. In that order.

Whole Wheat & Oat Cinnamon Rhubarb Waffles (adapted from Taste of Home)

These hearty waffles taste delicious with butter and cinnamon sugar (simply combine 1/4 cup sugar with 2 tsp. cinnamon), or fruit and syrup. If you can’t get your hands on any rhubarb or if it’s not your thing, feel free to use apples instead. Makes 6 waffles. 

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 cup oats

3 tsp. baking powder

1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups milk

4 TBSP. butter, melted

2 TBSP. brown sugar

1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped

In a large bowl, combine the flour, oats, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, melted butter, and brown sugar. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, along with the chopped rhubarb. Mix until just combined. Cook according to the instructions of your waffle maker. Refrigerate or freeze leftover waffles, and reheat either in the toaster or the oven.

Whole Wheat & Oat Cinnamon Rhubarb Waffles | Once Upon a Recipe

Cherry Hazelnut Granola + Granola Rhubarb Yogurt Parfaits

Cherry Hazelnut Granola + Granola Rhubarb Yogurt Parfaits | Once Upon a Recipe

Friends, by the time you read this, I will be flying high in the sky en route to Thailand! I can’t believe this day is finally here! It all still feels surreal to me that I get to jet off for a whole month to enjoy sand, sun, and adventure.

But before I bid you adieu for a few weeks, I wanted to share my new favorite granola recipe with you. It comes from Megan Gordon’s Whole Grain Mornings cookbook (aka. my new favorite thing). I love breakfast and brunch recipes, and Megan’s book is packed with exactly that – and they’re all made with whole grains. Holla!

Cherry Hazelnut Granola | Once Upon a Recipe

Granola might just be my very favorite breakfast. I feel like I could eat it every day and never tire of it. So naturally, Megan’s recipe for making your own “signature granola” was first on my list to try.

This granola is good, friends. Like, really good. Amazing! The dried cherries and hazelnuts work so well together, and the sesame seeds give a little extra crunch that take this granola up a notch. I’ve already made this recipe three times in the past few weeks. A batch doesn’t last long around here, between sprinkling it on top of yogurt, eating it by the handful, and putting it into these yogurt parfaits.

Cherry Hazelnut Granola + Granola Rhubarb Yogurt Parfaits | Once Upon a Recipe

These parfaits were born out of necessity. You see, I had a bit of rhubarb sitting in my fridge just begging to be used before my departure to paradise. I decided to turn the rhubarb into a quick jam, layer it between Greek yogurt and this amazing granola, and baddabing baddaboom. Granola rhubarb yogurt parfaits, yo!

I was tempted to make a batch of this granola to take to Thailand (I love it that much) – however, I’m saving room for ALL THE THAI FOOD. Seriously friends, I am aiming for maximum pad thai/curry consumption. Wish me luck!

Cherry Hazelnut Granola + Granola Rhubarb Yogurt Parfaits | Once Upon a Recipe

Cherry Hazelnut Granola + Granola Rhubarb Yogurt Parfaits

The components of this recipe can be enjoyed together or separately. The granola tastes great as is or sprinkled over yogurt and fruit or with your favorite milk. The “jam” is lovely when spread onto toast or an English muffin, or stirred into plain yogurt. The granola makes about 8 cups. The jam makes about 1 cup. 

For the granola (adapted from Whole Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons by Megan Gordon)

3 1/2 cups oats

1 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup sesame seeds

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ground cardamom

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup maple syrup

3/4 tsp. vanilla

1 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds, salt, and spices. In a separate bowl, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the oil mixture to the oat mixture and stir well.

Turn the granola out onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake until the mixture is lightly browned and fragrant, about 35-40 minutes. Stir the mixture every 15 minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove the granola from the oven and cool completely. Add the dried cherries and mix well. Store in an airtight container. Enjoy!

For the Rhubarb “Jam” (from Gardenista)

1/2 pound rhubarb, chopped

1/2 cup sugar

1 TBSP. cornstarch

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Remove any leaves from the rhubarb and wash the stalks. Slice the rhubarb into 1/2 inch pieces and toss with the sugar and cornstarch. Put the mixture into a skillet and heat until gently boiling over medium heat (about 10 minutes). When the rhubarb has become soft and the mixture has thickened, remove from heat and add the vanilla and salt. Transfer to a small bowl (or mason jar) and put in the fridge to cool.

To assemble the parfaits: In a small glass or serving bowl, layer the granola and “jam” with plain Greek yogurt. You can even make these parfaits ahead of time (and refrigerate them), although the granola will soften up a bit.

Cherry Hazelnut Granola | Once Upon a Recipe

If you’d like to tag along on my Thailand adventures, you can find me on Instagram (@onceuponarecipe). Have a great month, loves!

Rhubarb Crumble Baked Donuts

Rhubarb Crumble Baked Donuts | Once Upon a Recipe

Hello friends!

Spring has sprung! Our Easter weekend started with a snowfall (yes, SNOW), but thankfully Mother Nature smartened up and we were rewarded with a couple of beautiful days of sunshine and warm temperatures. I went out in a t-shirt, soaked up some sun, and all felt right in the world. I ate my way through two Easter dinners and a brunch, swore I would never eat again, and then promptly broke that oath a couple of hours later. It was a glorious weekend, I tell you. How was your weekend? Did you eat all the things too?

These donuts were part of my glorious weekend. When I first spotted glorious red stalks of rhubarb at the grocery store a couple of weeks ago, I internally squealed with delight. I adore the stuff and enjoy baking with it so much. I knew immediately that I wanted to make some type of rhubarb coffee cake (among other things). The tart rhubarb pairs so well with the buttery and sweet crumble that tops most coffee cakes. But then came the idea to create these rhubarb crumble donuts. Quick to bake, and easy to stuff from hand to face – what more do you need in a baked good?

Rhubarb Crumble Baked Donuts | Once Upon a Recipe

Rhubarb Crumble Baked Donuts | Once Upon a Recipe

I played around with the recipe a few times in search of maximum rhubarb flavor. I’ve crammed a whole cup of rhubarb into these donuts, which was no easy feat considering how small the cavities of my donut tin are. And the donut to crumble ratio is pretty ridiculous, in the best way possible. I’m really pleased with the end result.

These little gems are the perfect lazy weekend breakfast, yet also make a great afternoon pick-me-up snack with a hot cup of coffee or tea. I suggest you get your hands on some rhubarb as quickly as possible and then make yourself some rhubarb crumble baked donuts. Cool?

Rhubarb Crumble Baked Donuts | Once Upon a Recipe

Rhubarb Crumble Baked Donuts | Once Upon a Recipe

Rhubarb Crumble Baked Donuts (donut recipe adapted from Offbeat + Inspired, crumble recipe adapted from The Sugar Hit)

These donuts taste best when still warm from the oven, but they will keep just fine for a couple of days in an airtight container. I do recommend sticking them in the fridge though, as I find that rhubarb tends to get a bit dodgy when it sits at room temperature after being baked. Makes 6 donuts. 

For the crumble:

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1 cup cake flour

1/3 cup butter, melted

For the donuts:

3 TBSP. butter, softened

1/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 tsp. vanilla

3 TBSP. plain Greek yogurt

½ cup + 2 TBSP. cake flour

¼ tsp. baking soda

Pinch of salt

1 cup rhubarb, chopped small

Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray a 6-count donut pan with non-stick spray. Combine the crumble ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar and butter and mix with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the egg, yogurt, and vanilla and mix again. Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Gently fold in the rhubarb.

Pipe the batter into the donut tins using a piping bag or Ziploc bag with the end cut off. Very generously top each donut with the crumble topping (like seriously pile that crumble on). Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the donut comes out clean. Allow the donuts to cool in the pan for a good 15 minutes or so before carefully removing them from the pan. Cool completely on a wire rack – or preferably, enjoy while still warm!

Rhubarb Crumble Baked Donuts | Once Upon a Recipe

Enjoy your week! xo

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