Cinnamon Sourdough French Toast with Sautéed Cinnamon Apples

What’s on your Fall To-Do List? Things I want to accomplish this season include apple picking, drinking tea, lots of baking, reducing clutter in my home and making warming breakfasts on chilly mornings. You guys know I usually love to have a hot bowl of oatmeal, and I couldn’t tell you the last time I had French toast. It seems to be a bit overshadowed by pancakes and waffles these days! I wanted to give this old-school recipe a grown up, healthy makeover. My only stipulation was that the toast slices had to be THICK.

I used my favorite whole wheat sourdough for the bread in this recipe. I love this bread because 1) it contains whole wheat flour, which is rich in nutrients like magnesium, zinc, B-vitamins and fiber, and 2) the sourdough fermentation process reduces phytic acid levels, which therefore allows these important nutrients to be more easily absorbed. I also replaced regular dairy milk with Elmhurst's new Unsweetened Milked Walnuts™. Elmhurst® has become my favorite milk alternative to use for all my recipes. Their unsweetened varieties have just 2 ingredients – nuts and water! This is hard to find, as a majority of milk alternatives on the shelves these days contain added gums and stabilizers. Elmhurst’s unsweetened varieties are the closest thing to homemade, and I feel good about putting them in my body. If you’d like to try Elmhurst, you can find many of their products at Whole Foods, and here is their store locator. You can also have any of their varieties delivered right to your door when you order off their website!

This French toast was a rich, decadent treat on a chilly fall morning, but I felt good about eating it because of the ingredients I chose! The sautéed cinnamon apples really took this stack to the next level - don’t leave them out!

Ingredients

Apples

  • 1 ½ medium Honeycrisp apples, chopped
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp butter, ghee or cooking oil of choice

French Toast

  • 1 cup Elmhurst Unsweetened Milked Walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 5 slices of whole wheat sourdough bread, sliced about 1 inch thick
  • 2-3 tbsp butter, ghee or cooking oil of choice

Instructions

  1. Heat butter or oil for apples over medium heat in a cast iron skillet. Add apples and cinnamon, stirring occasionally until soft. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat a separate large skillet on medium heat with 1 tbsp butter or oil.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together Milked Walnuts, egg, cinnamon, maple syrup and salt. Transfer to a shallow dish.
  4. Working in batches as not to crowd the skillet, soak both sides of bread slices. Cook each side for 3-5 minutes until nicely browned and tender. Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add more butter/oil as needed between batches.
  5. Serve stack of French toast topped with cinnamon apples, a drizzle of maple syrup and nut butter (optional, but extra delicious).

This recipe serves 2-3 depending on how big the slices of toast are. It kept me full for hours! If you guys try this recipe, tag @Elmhurst1925 and @daisybeet on Instagram 🙂

 

Two Ingredient Berry Chia Jam (No Added Sugar)

Hands up if you’re and peanut butter and jelly fan! I’ve always loved this classic combination. It’s the ideal two minute meal for beach days, hikes and quick breakfasts. It’s the perfect play on that salty/sweet flavor combo paired with a creamy and jammy texture. Let’s be real, though…pretty much anything tastes amazing when paired with peanut butter!

Conventional jams and jellies you find on the shelves have added sugars. This is partially necessary to increase shelf life, as sugar acts as a preservative and inhibits bacterial growth. And while all fruits/fruit products inherently have sugar in them, the naturally occurring sugar in fruit is nothing to shy away from. Fruit is full of nutritional benefits, including important vitamins and fiber. The fiber in fruit slows down the digestion and eventual release of its sugars into the bloodstream, so it won’t cause a speedy spike in blood glucose the way refined sugars do. If you’re trying to limit added sugars in your diet, preparing this homemade jam is an easy place to start!

This jam takes about 10 minutes to make, and will last in the fridge for about a week. You can customize the size of the recipe, too. If you don’t think you’ll use a whole jar in one week, cut the recipe in half! It’s so versatile – I use it on toast, in my oatmeal, and even as a compote on pancakes. Heating up the berries really coaxes out the natural sweetness of the fruit, so you’ll find you won’t even miss the added sugars. You can use any kind of frozen berries in this recipe – I’ve used blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and blackberries.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups frozen mixed berries
  • 1.5 tbsp chia seeds
  • Optional flavorings: lemon zest, cinnamon, vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Heat a large shallow pan over medium heat. Add frozen berries and chia seeds, and stir to combine.
  2. Stir occasionally until berries are broken down and mixture begins to thicken, about 5-10 minutes. You may need to break up larger pieces of fruit with your mixing spoon as they soften for a more even texture.

Note: If using only frozen blueberries, you will need to add about ¼ cup of water to the recipe, as blueberries do not break down and release their liquid as much as other berries.

Have you guys made chia jam before? What is your favorite berry combination? If you try this recipe, make sure to tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂

RD-Approved Costco Finds!

Oh, Costco. How many ways do I love you? The endless rows of giant versions of favorite foods, surprisingly great socks and sports bras, and of course, ALL the samples! I’ve always enjoyed going to Costco with my Mom as long as I can remember. Shopping + food sampling all in one? That’s definitely my idea of an afternoon well spent.

Some of my favorite Costco finds from growing up were the salty, M&M riddled trail mix, Nature Valley granola bars, and Cup-a-Noodles. Times have changed a little since I started paying attention to what I put in my body. Gone are the days of loading up the cart with sodium-laden, sugary foods. This past weekend, I was at my parent’s house helping my mom pack up for their upcoming move. We took a lunch break and went to Costco per my request. Buying in bulk/shopping wholesale can be difficult when shopping for a small household, but knowing your eating habits and purchasing longer lasting, not fresh items can be a really smart financial move. These items here fit seamlessly into mine and Ben’s eating habits,  so I wanted to share some of the best deals I found with you guys! I’ve also noted a range of ways to use each item so you’re able to have some variety in your meals, and make sure nothing goes to waste.

  1. Organic Frozen Berries: 3 pound bag for $8.89
  • This purchase was such a no brainer! Ben and I use frozen fruit regularly, plus frozen foods lasts a long time. I would have spent almost 20 dollars on 3 pounds of organic frozen berries at Whole Foods! I don’t always buy organic produce because of the cost, but strawberries are on the “Dirty Dozen” list, so I try to buy organic berries whenever possible.
  • Ways to use frozen berries: smoothies, berry-chia jam, as a topping for oatmeal or pancakes
  1. Fresh Produce: 1 pound clamshell of organic mixed greens for $3.69, 2 pounds of organic strawberries for $4.99, 6 avocados for $5.69
  • Purchasing produce at Costco can be tricky if you have a small household. This is where knowing your eating habits is essential! For me, I know that I eat a lot of greens each week, as I make big salads for lunch, and often like a bed of greens with my dinner. I also love fresh berries with my breakfast. Once the berries are on their last legs, I’ll make a batch of chia jam, or Ben will throw them into his morning smoothie. We also both love avocado, and will each easily eat half an avocado in a day.
  • Ways to use greens: salads, stir fries, green smoothies, add a few handfuls to homemade pesto, in omelets
  • Ways to use strawberries: smoothies, top oatmeal or yogurt bowls, sliced in pancakes, add to salads, mash onto toast in place of jam, berry-chia jam, muddle or puree and add to a cocktail (or mocktail)!
  • Ways to use avocados: sliced in salads or for sandwiches, avocado toast (duh), avocado egg salad, chocolate avocado mousse, guacamole, creamy garlic avocado pasta sauce, smoothies, a green goddess salad dressing
  1. RX Bars: 12 bars for $16.99 ($1.41 per bar)
  • These are one of my favorite on-the-go snacks to have on hand! I love how simple the ingredient list is, and these bars actually tide my hunger over, as they are a good source of both fiber and protein. Costco only sells a box with their Chocolate Sea Salt and Peanut Butter Chocolate, but those happen to be two of my favorite flavors. Also, this box of 12 is almost 10 dollars less expensive than a box of 12 on RX Bar’s website!
  1. Nuts: Various prices, didn’t see anything over $30 dollars for up to 48 oz
  • Nuts are one of the healthiest, nutrient-dense foods to include in your diet. Costco has a huge variety of different nuts and nut mixes. I usually opt for unsalted varieties to limit sodium consumption. While these bags and containers of nuts aren’t cheap, if you consume them regularly they are a good price compared to typical grocery store prices.
  • Ways to use nuts: on their own as a snack, make your own trail mix, in place of granola on a yogurt bowl, in pesto, blend your own nut butter, crunchy topping for salads and grain bowls, roasted with different spices, added to homemade granola
  1. Almond Flour: $11.99 for 3 pounds
  • This was such an exciting find for me! While I do not follow a gluten free diet, I like to use almond flour in healthier baked goods, because of all the beneficial nutrients it has compared to enriched wheat flour. Almonds and almond flour are high in protein, fiber, monounsaturated fats, magnesium and iron. I had just purchased a 1 pound bag of almond flour at Trader Joe’s for $7.99 the week before, so getting 2 pounds MORE for only 4 extra dollars was a steal!
  • Ways to use almond flour: all those yummy baked goods you have saved on Instagram, pancakes, homemade peanut butter cups, combined with crushed nuts to make a crust on baked fish
  1. Frozen Wild Sockeye Salmon Filets: $32.99 for 3 pounds
  • Last but not least, I found this large bag of wild frozen salmon! I love that the pieces are already pre-portioned and individually vacuum packed. I always choose wild salmon over farmed when it’s affordable, but buying it fresh can be SO expensive. Buying frozen seafood in general is a great way to save money. A 2 pound bag of wild frozen salmon at my Whole Foods was $24.99 for 2 pounds. That’s $12.50 a pound vs. 11 dollars a pound at Costco…great savings!
  • Ways to use frozen salmon: baked or pan fried with lemon juice and herbs, salmon tacos, salmon burgers, salmon egg sandwich, in place of tuna in tuna salad

Buying in bulk is certainly not for everyone, but I love it when I have the option! It definitely takes a little creativity and planning, but can save you money in the long run. I started Daisybeet to show you guys that healthy eating really can be affordable and attainable for all, and I hope I was able to help a little with this guide! I would love to hear your tips and tricks for wholesale shopping for small households, as well as your favorite Costco finds 🙂

Avocado Egg Salad Open Face Sandwich

More often than not, my lunch is a big salad I throw together with some crunchy raw veggies, a protein source, avocado and leftover grains/cooked veggies. It’s a filling, satisfying and quick meal, but sometimes I just crave a good SANDWICH. This craving hit last week after an active morning of a leg workout followed by a hike, and I came home starving. I wanted to refuel my body with some more substantial carbohydrates, and a heartier meal, so this sandwich came to mind.

Even before I was interested in nutrition, I was never a fan of mayonnaise. Potato salad, macaroni salad and egg salad never really appealed to me. I also remember portioning out mayonnaise into single size serving cups when I worked at a restaurant and being completely grossed out! While I don’t count calories, traditional mayonnaise packs a lot with little nutritional value in comparison. I love to swap out more nutritious options for mayonnaise in my cooking. Plain Greek yogurt is a great option for sauces, spreads and dips – like in my Spicy No Mayo Slaw for tacos. Mashed avocado is also an amazing swap when you need something creamy and thick! Avocado is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, as well as other important nutrients like potassium and fiber.

This egg salad recipe has just 5 ingredients: eggs, avocado, lemon juice, garlic salt and Dijon mustard.  You won’t find pro-inflammatory oils, excess added sugars or sodium here! If you have hard boiled eggs already prepped, it takes just 2 minutes to make. This sandwich is an ideal combination of protein, healthy fats, fiber and carbohydrates, so it will keep you full all afternoon! Here’s how to make it, if you’d like to try.

Ingredients

  • ½ of an avocado
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard (I used Sir Kensington’s)
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, chopped
  • ½ cup baby Spinach
  • 1 slice whole wheat sourdough bread, toasted

Instructions

  1. Mash the avocado, lemon juice, mustard and garlic salt together in a small bowl
  2. Add chopped eggs to a medium bowl. Mix well with the mashed avocado sauce
  3. Top slice of toast with spinach then pile on the egg salad

I hope you guys try this easy egg salad sandwich for lunch when the craving hits! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂

 

Shrimp Tacos with Spicy No-Mayo Slaw and Guacamole

Happy Taco Tuesday! Ben and I made these tacos for football Sunday when we had his brother over to watch the Patriot’s game (living with Ben = surrendering the TV every Sunday during football season). We had just come home from grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, where we picked up groceries for the week and a few staples to have on hand. I shared more details on my stories Sunday, but we ended up spending 98 dollars on our entire grocery haul. If we planned correctly, this will last us most of our meals for the week, for less than 50 dollars per person. I’m great at shopping and meal planning for myself, but including another person (who is larger than I am and therefore eats more food) in this weekly task is totally new to me. I’m lucky that Ben is not a picky eater and enjoys healthy and vegetarian meals, but I want to make sure he feels satisfied and fulfilled by what we are cooking each week. I see this as a new challenge to tackle together!

When planning meals for those with varied dietary restrictions and tastes, I find that “build your own” meals are a really good option. Preparing a bunch of different, simple sides is a great way to allow your guests to add ingredients to their meals based off of their preferences. Tacos are a great example, because you can prepare multiple add-ins, such as beans, different protein options, a few veggie options, guacamole, avocado, cheese, salsas and sour cream. Another easily customizable meal is build your own pizzas (provide regular/whole wheat/gluten free crust and a few options for sauces, cheeses, veggie and meat toppings). Your guests have more control over what they would like to eat, and the hands on process of customizing your meal can be really fun!

These tacos took 30 minutes or less to prepare. We made the shrimp, guacamole and slaw from scratch and, included pre-made pico de gallo and canned beans to make for a speedier meal. We enjoyed this meal as tacos for lunch during the game, then had leftovers in the form of taco salads for dinner. Because you can never have too many tacos!

Ingredients:

Slaw

  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt or skyr (I used Siggi’s dairy)
  • ½ - 2 tsp hot sauce (use more if you like spicy food)
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning
  • ½ tsp garlic salt
  • Juice of ½ lime
  • 3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced (we used Trader Joe’s bagged cabbage, which has a mix of red and green cabbage and carrots)
  • ½ tbsp jalapeño, minced

Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados, halved and pits removed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup red onion, diced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 plum tomato, seeds removed and diced

Shrimp

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 bag peeled and deveined frozen shrimp
  • 1 tsp Primal Palate Adobo seasoning
  • 1 tsp garlic salt

Pre-made pico de gallo, canned beans and corn tortillas for serving

Instructions:

  1. Prepare the slaw: In a small bowl, combine yogurt, hot sauce, taco seasoning, garlic salt and lime juice. Stir well to combine. Place cabbage and jalapeño in a mixing bowl, then toss with yogurt sauce. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the guacamole: Place 3 avocado halves in a mixing bowl with garlic, cilantro onion, lime juice and salt. Mash well with a fork. Add in diced tomatoes plus the remaining avocado half, cubed. Stir to combine.
  3. Prepare the shrimp: heat olive oil in frying pan on medium heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté for 2 minutes. Add shrimp, Adobo seasoning and garlic salt. Stir occasionally until shrimp is fully cooked, about 5 minutes.
  4. Heat tortillas in a frying pan or oven (optional). Set all your prepared ingredients on the counter, and have your guests build their own tacos!

 

I hope you guys give this easy taco recipe a try! Tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations 🙂