POTASSIUM-FILLED BREAKFAST #RIPE BANANA PANCAKES

It’s that time of the year. A time when dark clouds gather and the temperatures plummet and fewer life-forms in sight. I needed to perk my spirits and start my day just right. It didn’t take me long to grasp a little control.

First, I did a few much-needed  pivotal moves to garner some happy hormones within.

A DOWNWARD DOG MOVE WITH LEG UP
A DOWNWARD DOG MOVE WITH LEG UP
ATTEMPTING A PLANK
ATTEMPTING A PLANK

Then, it was time to seek out something comforting to warm my spirits and my stomach. I reached for a couple wilted/speckled ripe bananas. Pancakes came to mind. So, I used my fork to smash those potassium-filled foods and transformed them into a batter.

All a needed were a beaten egg, a splash of vanilla, a generous sprinkle of cinnamon and powdered ginger, a pinch of salt, a pat of melted butter, a drizzle of oil, and a sprinkle of  whole-wheat flour. And I could help myself; it was breakfast, so I added a little old-fashioned oats for added fiber.

With a splash of milk I combined all ingredients in a bowl in a lumpy and imperfect batter. Lumpy is good because I didn’t wish to over-mix my batter.

BATTER FOR RIPE BANANA PANCAKES
BATTER FOR RIPE BANANA PANCAKES

In a hot and sturdy skillet, I made my cakes. I served them with fresh strawberries I had on hand. I devoured my pancakes and watched the sun peaked out just in time. I was on cloud-nine.

A SIDE I COULDN’T RESIST #ROASTED PUMPKIN/SWEET POTATOES

For the fall, this dish has become one of my absolute favorites. I’ve traveled this fork of the road before and I liked same. Maybe, it’s the sweet/tart tastes along with the warm spices of ginger and cinnamon and the contrasting salty flavor of the bits of feta cheese.

Guys, I’m harping about my roasted pumpkin and sweet potatoes. I’ve always roasted sweet potatoes and pumpkin; however, I’ve never executed both simultaneously. I really don’t know how I’ve not done so before. However, the ‘mad-cap’ in me decided to do so during the fall. And I can’t seem to cease.

So once again, I retrieved my chopping board and knife and went to work with my specimens on hand. Both root vegetables were thoroughly rinsed with cold tap water. With skin-on, I chopped veggies in large wedges and placed on foil-covered baking sheet.

PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATOES READY FOR ROASTING
PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATOES READY FOR ROASTING

Wedges were drizzled with olive oil, sprinkle of salt, powdered ginger and cinnamon. These were roasted in a preheated oven at 420 degrees fahrenheit  for approximately 40 minutes. My abode was permeated  with all the warm and aromatic flavors and spices of fall. I was super-happy.

As warm golden wedges of sweet potatoes and pumpkin hit the plate, bits of crumbled feta cheese were strewn on. Each bite  (skin edible) tasted like a piece of ‘heaven’. Nature is amazing!

PUTTING IT BACK! #CORNMEAL PORRIDGE

Woke up to a long overdue autumn air (Florida-style).  With that cool and refreshing air banging on my doors, I decided to fling open the windows and doors.  I did a  few stretches and a jog.

PUTTING A LEG UP WITH A DOWNWARD DOG POSE
PUTTING A LEG UP WITH A DOWNWARD DOG POSE

After I completed my work out, something comforting was on my mind. Decided on an old favorite from my childhood (cornmeal porridge. It didn’t take me long to whip up same. In a stock pot, I added:

  • medium grain cornmeal, whole milk, water, cinnamon, nut meg, pinch of salt and vanilla.

I stirred all ingredients and simmered same on low to medium heat for approximately  20 to thirty minutes. After porridge thickened to the right consistency and grains cooked, this was sweetened with condensed milk. Porridge was sprinkled with additional cinnamon on top.

Each spoonful was warm, creamy, not overly sweet and satisfying. I felt that I had replenished what I had lost during my work out. I was super happy.

 

APPLE-FILLED CREPES

Every chance I get, I try to incorporate as much fiber in a meal. This morning was no exception. During the autumn, the market is loaded with apples. As a result,  the prices become somewhat competitive. And, yours truly took advantage and stock up on a few extras.

Decided to make myself a few crepes filled with home-made apple sauce. But first, I used by my box grater and shredded a couple of gala apples. In a stockpot, I placed same and added a teaspoon of sugar, honey, cinnamon, ground ginger and a splash of water. This was simmered for a few minutes on low heat until it arrived at a sauce-like consistency.

In a bowl, I placed a combination of a half cup of whole-wheat and all-purpose flour, cinnamon, ground ginger, pinch of salt, and sugar. Combined dried ingredients were added to wet ingredients consisting of milk, beaten egg, vanilla and a little melted unsalted butter.

HOME-MADE APPLE SAUCE AND CREPE BATTER
HOME-MADE APPLE SAUCE AND CREPE BATTER

In a hot skillet under low heat, I sprayed a little Pam and allowed each crepe to cook and set for approximately two to three minutes per side. And these were the results:

CREPES READY FOR APPLE-SAUCE FILLING AND WRAPPING
CREPES READY FOR APPLE-SAUCE FILLING AND WRAPPING

I filled my fluffy crepes with apple sauce and wrapped my way to a fiber-filled breakfast.

APPLE-FILLED CREPES
APPLE-FILLED CREPES

ROASTED PUMPKIN/SWEET POTATO WITH FETA CHEESE

Roasted pumpkin and sweet potato are staples and huge  favorites on the table on Thanksgiving. Decided to pair both. On a baking sheet, sliced pumpkin and sweet potato were drizzled with olive oil and then sprinkled with a pinch of salt, and cinnamon.

PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATO FOR OVEN
PUMPKIN AND SWEET POTATO FOR OVEN

Root vegetables were roasted in a preheated 420 degree oven for approximately 40 minutes turning once. Roasted pumpkin and sweet potatoes were then topped with feta cheese for a sweet and salty finish.

OATMEAL WITH ADDED FIBER #SLICED APPLES

It was a happy revisit for breakfast. In a stock pot, old-fashioned oats, a generous sprinkle of cinnamon along with almond milk and tap water were combined and simmered to a thick consistency on low heat. This was sweetened with brown sugar and garnished with flax seeds.

To complete my warm and heart-healthy breakfast, I decided to add a topping of sliced apples. They provided quite a crispy and satisfying finish to the dish.

NATURE’S BOUNTY #ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES

I can’t complain. The autumn (Fall) season has emerged in my kitchen in a huge way. It has doled out  some of earth’s finest in the form of root vegetables. Thus, I treated them one of the favorite ways I like. I decided to roast them. Roasting is perfect for these veggies as it brings out the nutty and natural sugar within. Moreover, I know that these vegetables are filled with nutrients that are beneficial for the body.

So, it was with glee that I grabbed my baking sheet  and embarked on a culinary process. Some of the veggies that were included were:

  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Garlic
ROOT VEGETABLES FOR ROASTING
ROOT VEGETABLES FOR ROASTING

Vegetables were drizzled with canola oil and seasoned with salt and black pepper. Then, for extra flavor of spices, I added a sprinkle of paprika and cinnamon to carrots and sweet potatoes. These were placed in a heated oven of 400 degrees for 30 minutes. Then then were given an additional 10 minutes at 420 degrees.

I couldn’t help myself; had a serving of summer’s favorites (loose grilled corn). I made extra during the summer and stored same in freezer. I did a rapid defrost in the microwave oven and added same to a quick pan-roast of small bell peppers and onions.

SMALL SWEET BELL PEPPERS IN SKILLET
SMALL SWEET BELL PEPPERS IN SKILLET
BELL PEPPERS, ONIONS AND LEFT-OVER GRILLED CORN
BELL PEPPERS, ONIONS AND LEFT-OVER GRILLED CORN

These were added to the oven roasted root vegetables. Each bite of the carrots, onions, and sweet potatoes was smooth and sweet. The corn still kept the sweet/crispness and the fennel had a beautiful licorice taste that went very well with all the other veggies.

OVEN AND PAN-ROASTED VEGETABLES
OVEN AND PAN-ROASTED VEGETABLES

All these roasted vegetables will be used a side dish for upcoming entrees.

A JOYFUL MORNING JOLT! #OATMEAL AND FRUITS

You may call me a repeat ‘offender’ if you wish. But, it was with a merry heart that I chose to revisit one of my favorite morning cereals. One of the great things about oatmeal is that it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other cereals. Most importantly, it’s loaded with heart-healthy whole grain properties that will provide sustenance for an extended period of time.

So, it was without hesitation that I grabbed my stockpot and added the following:

  • oatmeal – 1/4 cup
  • cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
  • raisins – 10
  • vanilla – 1/2 tsp
  • milk – 1 cup
  • dark sugar – 1 tsp

All ingredients were slowly simmered on low heat and brought to a thick consistency. Oatmeal was sweetened with a teaspoon of dark sugar. Cereal was paired and topped with fresh strawberries and a potassium-filled serving of ripe bananas. A generous amount of cinnamon was sprinkled on same.

Cheers to my heart!

WEDGES OF SWEET GOODNESS #CARROT/SWEET POTATO WEDGES

It was like Christmas in September. My kitchen emitted a bouquet of warm and aromatic flavors that enveloped my entire abode. Guys, I’m talking about the co-mingling of paprika and cinnamon sprinkled on  wedges of carrot and sweet potatoes. With a drizzle of canola oil and a pinch of sea salt along with the earthy spices of cinnamon and paprika, my root vegetables were ready for a piping hot 400 degree oven.

WEDGES OF CARROT AND SWEET POTATOES FOR ROASTING
WEDGES OF CARROT AND SWEET POTATOES FOR ROASTING

Roasting helps to bring out the  natural sugars within these root vegetables which are loaded with beta carotene and other great nutrients.  As I watched the golden wedges did their thing, my taste-buds became super-excited as they awaited the final dish. I gave the entire roasting approximately 40 minutes and turned them half-way through the cooking process.

Wedges of carrots and sweet potatoes were crispy on the exterior and smooth on the interior. They were like candy to my palate. I was happy.

TRYING TO KEEP THE DOCS AWAY!! ##CRISPY APPLE FRITTERS

You know what they say, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Well, generally, I try my utmost best to incorporate a few of them in my weekly dietary intake. I store the fiber-filled fruits on my counter top or in eye-sight so that I can grab and go. I can’t say that I’m always overjoyed with all the buys that I garner.

I generally go for Gala types because of their heartiness. However, lately, I’ve been testing other types. For instance, at my last shopping trip I purchased some green delicious. They too are crispy and tartier than their Gala counterparts.

GREEN DELICIOUS APPLES
GREEN DELICIOUS APPLES

I guess that was why I decided to shred a couple and make apple fritters for breakfast. The other ingredients were:

  • Cinnamon (generous sprinkle)
  • Flour (1/2 cup) {whole-wheat/all-purpose]
  • Vanilla (splash)
  • Sour cream (1/2 teaspoon)
  • Salt (pinch)
  • Dark sugar (2 table-spoon)
  • Beaten egg
  • Squeeze of lime/lemon (to prevent browning) and for added flavor
  • Water (1/3 cup)
  • Oil for frying

Method:

  1. Apples were thoroughly rinsed and then shredded on box grater.
  2. Wet and dry ingredients were combined and made into a batter.Then, shredded apples were added and folded in batter.
  3. In hot skillet, a drizzle of canola oil was added.
  4. Fritters were fried until they were cooked on the internal and brown/crispy on the exterior.

Crispy apple fritters were served warm with a garnish of thinly sliced apple with a sprinkle of cinnamon and sprig of fresh mint.