Warm, chocolatey, just sweet enough, high fiber, and with little pockets of gooey melted chocolate chips!   My sister-in-law posted a similar recipe on Facebook.  It sounded delicious and had very little added sugar.  The original recipe called for applesauce instead of oil, but I'm a fan using healthy fats alongside carbohydrates so that my kids and I aren't hungry again an hour after breakfast!  It helps you process the fiber in these, too.

Chocolate Fudge Banana Muffins - makes 12
(can be gluten-free and dairy-free)

3 medium bananas, very ripe, mashed (about 1 cup)
2 eggs
1/4 brown sugar
1/4 c. oil or melted butter (I like coconut oil in these)
1/3 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/3 c. oat flour (or you can use all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
chocolate chips, optional (1/4- 1/2 cup)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 12-cup muffin tin.  
Whisk together eggs and brown sugar.  Mix in the oil, cocoa powder, and vanilla.  Mix the dry ingredients and add to the wet.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Divide between the muffin cups; bake about 17-23 minutes, or until the top of a muffin springs back lightly when gently pressed.
 
 
This is a great fresh jam to eat fresh. It also freezes well, so is a good freezer jam.  Since the berries are not cooked and there's not enough sugar to help preserve it, its fridge life is fairly short.  If you're keeping it in the fridge, try to use it within about a week.  If left too long, it will get moldy (you'll know if it does!)   But it's SO GOOD fresh!  My eight-year-old made a batch two nights ago; we ran out yesterday.  I made another batch this morning, and between spreading it on our pancakes at breakfast, and using it on warm bread this afternoon, it's gone again!

Pectin-free Strawberry Freezer Jam
1 pound strawberries, washed and hulled (green parts pulled off)
2 Tbsp. honey (or to taste; use any sweetener you prefer)
2 Tbsp. chia seeds, OR 1 Tbsp. ground flax seeds

Mash the berries with a fork, or chop in a blender until they're the consistency you want.  Stir in the honey (or other sweetener) and the chia.
 After this sits for about half an hour, the chia (or flax) will gel as they absorb the extra liquid.  Keep refrigerated or frozen.

Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

Come to think of it, a drop or two of orange essential oil would be really, really goo
 
 
Today I read a research article about how having breakfast as your biggest meal of the day  rather than dinner can lead to both better insulin sensitivity and increased fertility.  In the study, they had women consume about 980 calories at breakfast, which was just over half the amount for the whole day.  If you use two slices of homemade or other good-quality whole-wheat bread (about 120 calories apiece), one large egg  (80 cal), and a one-ounce slice of real cheese (about 100 cal), you're almost halfway there.  I love to eat this with a fresh apple (a medium-large apple is about 100 calories).  

OK, so that's still not up to the numbers in the study.  But it's a great breakfast anyway.  Maybe make two?  

In less time than it takes to go through the drive-through, you can have a breakfast sandwich you made yourself.  At the bargain-hunting prices I pay for food (including making the bread), a two-slice sandwich costs just under $ .30.  (The bread costs me about $ .50 for a 1 1/2 pound loaf.  See the recipe here.)  
Dress it up with anything you want on it, or leave it simple.  I don't add salt to the egg because the cheese and bread are salty enough for me. For more flavor, add a sprinkle of oregano or other seasoning.  You can make it as healthy as you like; I use homemade whole-wheat bread for a breakfast that sticks with me for more than an hour.

Here are the quick instructions:  microwave one beaten egg for about 45 seconds, top it with a slice of cheese, put this on top of a slice of toast.
If you want a sausage-and-egg sandwich, before cooking your egg, put one precooked sausage link into the cereal bowl, chop it up with the fork, then add the egg and beat it. 

The photos below have more detailed instructions.
 
 
 Today I have a free e-book offer for you, a cookbook, “The Egg and I.” It has tons of recipes for making omelets and frittatas, along with great tips on mastering eggs in the kitchen.

It's just over 40 pages of recipes for all kinds of omelets plus pages of frittatas

You can get it here, and you'll get to choose from four formats: PDF, Microsoft Word, HTML, or Kindle

Here's what Dennis Weaver, the cookbook's author, says:

The difference between a frittata and an omelet is that the ingredients in the frittata are mixed into the eggs instead of folded into an omelet. Usually a frittata is started on the stovetop and then baked in the skillet in the oven. They are sometimes called flat omelets or farmers’ omelets. They are larger and cut into slices to serve.

This is not your ordinary e-Book!  It has 31 different scrumptious omelet recipes. Omelets you won’t find anywhere else plus more than $30 in recipe books. Plus it tells you how to make them and gives video instructions.  Start making omelets like a pro. You can 
eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  

The last time we visited my son and his family in Minnesota, we stopped at Keys Café in Saint Paul where I had “The Loon Omelet” which personifies how versatile an omelet can be. The Loon Omelet is made with wild rice, mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, turkey, and topped with a hot mushroom sauce.

You can even make a party out of omelets, or host the next family gathering with an omelet bar. You’ll learn how here.

Omelets are easy, you can make one in as little as five minutes. You can make American omelets, Italian omelets, puffy omelets, and Irish omelets; even an omelet casserole.

Breakfast at your house will never be the same.
 
 
Everyone knows you can make bread with zucchini- but what if you have a giant yellow summer squash hiding in the garden?

Both zucchini and yellow squash-- either straightneck or crookneck-- are summer squash, with a similar flavor and texture, and CAN be interchanged in recipes.

My family's favorite quickbread is Lemon Zucchini Bread- so today we got Lemon-SummerSquash Bread.  I no longer shred zucchini -or this squash- for recipes, but puree it instead.  No more strings.  As a bonus, if I'm freezing some for later use, the texture does not change when thawed, unlike shredded squash.  

AND, if you're pureeing the squash, you can have the blender (or food processor) mix all the wet ingredients for you.

This bread is great for breakfast.

The recipe is found over here, though the blender method is below. 
 
 
Do you love German Pancake but don't have enough time in the morning to bake one?

Try the microwave!   The five minutes, above, includes the time to mix the batter; it takes under one minute to cook.

It won't get brown and crispy on the edges, but it tastes pretty close to the same, especially if you happen to have some browned butter or ghee to use at the bottom of the cup.

This version makes 4 individual servings, or cut everything to 1/3 and have one little bit larger serving.

Five-Minute German Pancake

1 cup milk
1 cup flour
3 eggs
4 tsp. melted butter, ghee, or browned butter

Whisk together milk, flour, and eggs until smooth.

Pull out 4 (6 oz.) microwave-safe cups/bowls/mugs.  Place 1 tsp. melted butter in bottom of each.  Pour 1/2 cup batter in each; microwave until puffy and almost dry on the center top, about 45 seconds.  Drizzle with lemon juice and sprinkle with powdered sugar, or use whatever toppings you prefer.
 
 
Start with regular bread dough- and turn it into a treat!

I love the flavor combination here- the bright flavor of candied orange peel, the sweet-tartness of snipped dried apricots, and the hearty depth from pecans. This bread is at its best after a day so the orange has a chance to permeate the whole loafwhen toasted: great with butter, but heavenly with cream cheese.  Yum.  I like it for breakfast.

This batch was made using 100% whole wheat dough, but use whatever you're making anyway.

Mix up a batch of dough (like this one).  Set aside one loaf's worth of dough.  Stretch or roll it to about 8x16 inches.  Sprinkle evenly with 1/3 cup diced candied orange peel, 1/3 cup (2 oz) dried apricots, snipped, and 1/3 c. pecan pieces.  Roll up starting with the narrow end.  Place in a greased 8x4 loaf pan, seam side down.  Let rise and bake as usual, adding 1-2 extra minutes to the baking time.  Cool and slice.



 
 
A few years ago, I opened up the Foods section of my local newspaper and spotted a recipe called "Just-the-Best Cookies".  The version there was intended to be a healthier one, having reduced the nuts, coconut, and switching to oil instead of butter.  Well, I've reduced the sugar and changed it to use honey, then added back the bigger amount of coconut and nuts, since we know now that healthy fats are, well, healthy!  In moderation. And I love the crunch and flavor of coconut and nuts.

We have two breakfast times at my house- one for my highschoolers and husband, who have to be out the door by 6:45, and one for the rest of us, because some of them leave at 8:00 for the elementary school and Jr-High.  These cookies make a fantastic, no-work breakfast for that earlier group- I make a batch, put them in a big ziplock bag after cooling, and pop them into the freezer. Then my early group can even grab and go, when needed.

These cookies are high in fiber as well, and lower in sugar than most.  Two cookies are about the same nutritionally as one homemade, normal-sized muffin, and much better for you than commercially-made muffins!  Two made without raisins contain 16 grams of sugar, which is less than you'd get in a bowl of cereal with milk. Especially if you count the size bowl my teenagers think is a serving.  (I keep hiding the bigger bowls...)

Enjoy!

Just-the-Best Breakfast Cookies
1/2 c. coconut oil or butter
1/2 c. honey
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. water
2 c. whole wheat flour
2 c. quick-cooking oats
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. shredded sweetened coconut
1/2 c. chopped pecans or other nuts, optional
1/2 c. chopped raisins, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease or spray two cookie sheets.  In a large bowl, beat together coconut oil and honey, then mix in egg, vanilla, and water.  Add the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt and mix well.  Stir in coconut, nuts, and raisins.
Roll into 1 1/2" balls, a little larger than a ping-pong ball.  Place on cookie sheet, flatten slightly, and bake for about 12 minutes.  Let the cookies cool 2 minutes on the cookie sheet before removing to a cooling rack. Makes about 36.

To make breakfast bars instead, spread all the dough onto one well-greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for probably 25 minutes.  I don't know for sure because the idea popped into my head just now...    Cool and cut into whatever size bars you like.                                

 


 
 
This makes for a very special breakfast, one of my husband's very favorites.  It's fun to serve these when I have overnight guests, or sometimes just to surprise my family. 
I love the flavor of fresh-ground wheat, so I usually make these using 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup all-purpose flour.
If you prefer a fruit filling, use 1-2 Tbsp. jam, jelly, or pie filling instead of (or in addition to!) the cream cheese.
You'll need to plan ahead- mix these up in the evening (10 minutes), stick the dough in the fridge overnight, then shape, quick-rise, and bake in the morning (45-60 minutes). 

Easy Danish Pastry
Makes 1 dozen

1 Tbsp. or 1 pkg. instant yeast
½ c. warm water (110-120 degrees F)
2 c. flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp. salt
½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
½ c. milk, buttermilk, or kefir
1 egg yolk

Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz. cream cheese
2 Tbsp. sugar or 1 Tbsp. honey
½ tsp. vanilla

Glaze
1 c. powdered sugar
1-2 Tbsp. milk

Combine yeast and warm water, let sit 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, combine the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl.  Mix the butter in, mashing as needed!  Beat the egg yolk with the milk, then add them to the dry mixture.  Pour the yeast mixture on top.  Mix well.  Cover and refrigerate dough at least 3 hours, but not more than 24.

Combine the ingredients for the filling- stir cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla until smooth.

Divide dough into two logs about 8” long; keep one  in the fridge to stay cold.  Sprinkle counter with flour, then put one of the logs on the flour.  Sprinkle it with flour, as well.  Roll to a rectangle about 8x14”, then cut into 6 strips, each 14” long.   Roll each strip into a rope, then shape into a coil on a greased baking sheet.   Put about 1 ½ Tbsp. of the cream cheese filling on the center of each coil.  Turn the oven on to 350 F.   Cover the rolls and let rise while the oven heats and you roll out the next half.    After the rolls have risen for about 20 minutes, bake for 15-20 minutes or until set and golden brown on the bottoms.  Mix together powdered sugar and milk for glaze, then drizzle over rolls. 

Leftover pastries can be frozen on the baking sheet, then transferred to ziptop baggies for longer storage.  Best frozen within 3 months (but OK after that).

 
 
Have you ever looked at the gourmet syrups on the store shelf?  Have they sounded delicious, but cost more than you're willing- or able- to spend?


Start with one jar-- any size-- of jam, jelly, or preserves.  Scoop into a bowl, then fill the now-empty jar about halfway full with water; use a little less if the jam was runny, a little more if it's very thick.  Add about 1 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice for each 1-2 cups you now have, to perk up the flavor (optional but good).  Whisk together until evenly mixed.  Serve warm.

18 ounces of jam will yield 26-28 ounces of syrup.

You can use any kind, homemade or storebought, including the ones made with no added sugar.  It's a handy way to use up jam or jelly when you've made/bought way more than y

We've tried blackberry, rhubarb, apricot, elderberry, black currant, blueberry, cherry... 
next maybe I'll pull out a jar of lemon-honey marmalade.  That should be fantastic with blueberry pancakes!