Choco-PB-Banana Oatmeal {GF & Vegan}

Creamy oats, with peanut butter, chocolate, and banana.  What better lunch could there be for a snow day?

Creamy oats, with peanut butter, chocolate, and banana. What better lunch could there be for a snow day?

When it’s cold and miserable outside (seriously, WHEN WILL IT END??), all I want to eat is something warm and – usually – full of carbs.  There’s something so happy about them.  My other comfort foods are, of course, chocolate and peanut butter.  But those two things in a bowl of spaghetti just sound nasty.  Oatmeal, though?  Now that’s a different story.

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White Chocolate & Cranberry Cookies {Gluten Free}

Oatmeal cookies with juicy dried cranberries and sweet white chocolate lend themselves to be called "delicious cookies"

Oatmeal cookies with juicy dried cranberries and sweet white chocolate lend themselves to be called “delicious cookies”

Do you have an opinion on oatmeal raisin cookies?  I feel like they are one of those foods like cilantro or olives: you either love them or you hate them.  I could be wrong about that, I suppose, but I grew up in an oatmeal raisin hating household.  My mom’s mindset was that it was a cruel twist on a chocolate chip cookie.  And I can see her point; biting into an oatmeal raisin cookie when you’re expecting chocolate chip has to be the foundation of many a trust issue.  But I digress.

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Brown Sugar & Cinnamon Instant Oatmeal {Gluten Free & Vegetarian}

Who needs those processed packets when instant oatmeal is this simple to make?

Who needs those processed packets when instant oatmeal is this simple to make?

Back in college, I lived off of oatmeal.  I know, I know, the quintessential collegiate meal is Ramen.  But oatmeal is just so much tastier.  Besides, it’s perfect for any time of day.  I wouldn’t eat Ramen for breakfast, but oatmeal for dinner?  That I could do.  It was easy and inexpensive to get those packets of instant oatmeal, and it was simple to make in my dorm room.

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Oatmeal Raisin Muffins: Gluten Free & Vegan

Easy oatmeal raisin muffins for a grab-and-go breakfast

Easy oatmeal raisin muffins for a grab-and-go breakfast

As I’ve discussed in the past, I’m on an on-going quest for quick, simple, and different breakfast foods.  More than any other meal of the day, I’m totally prone to getting into a morning-rut.  It sort of makes sense, I suppose: it’s early, I’m hungry, and I’m on auto-pilot.  Making a decision about what to eat just seems like an unnecessary task.  So what’s a girl to do to avoid scrambled eggs every morning?  Make muffins, of course!

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Pumpkin + Apple Oatmeal Muffins: Gluten Free & Vegan

Handheld bites of pumpkiny, appley, cinnamony goodness!

Handheld bites of pumpkiny, appley, cinnamony goodness!

I am a sucker for the holidays.  Of course, this time of year all of the focus is on Thanksgiving and then Christmas, but any event that calls for tradition and festive gatherings makes me happy.  However, there is one glaring issue with the holidays: what the heck am I going to eat?  My family and friends are all very conscientious and well-meaning, but when they don’t live with a gluten free lifestyle day in and day out, oversights can happen (soy sauce, anyone?).  To me, brunches are always the most challenging type of get together.  Between waffles and french toasts and quiches, what’s a girl to do?  Easy: bring my own food, and plenty to share!

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Pumpkin Spice Oat Bars: Vegan & Gluten Free

Gluten free and vegan, these bars are acceptable for both breakfast and dessert, depending on how you top them!

Gluten free and vegan, these bars are acceptable for both breakfast and dessert, depending on how you top them!

I am well aware that the bulk of the Internet community has been forcing pumpkin spiced everything down the throats of innocent bystanders since the first whisper of autumn.  I, however, have exhibited restraint.  Sure, I’ve bombarded you with apple recipes, but I’ve held off on the pumpkin.  Until now.  With Halloween staring us  down, it was time to break into my pumpkin puree and make something delicious.

The beauty of these bars is their versatility.  Served plain or with a light cinnamon drizzle, they are absolutely acceptable for breakfast.  Honestly, with only half of a cup of added sugar, they are essentially oatmeal bars.  For those who want something a bit more decadent, though, these babies can be topped with cinnamon cream cheese frosting for a perfect fall dessert.  And the candy corn?  Well, they are just an added bonus!

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Banana Oat Breakfast Bars: GF and Vegan

Banana Oat Breakfast Bars: Gluten Free & Vegan

I don’t know about you guys, but I am a creature of habit.  I take my coffee mugs off of my mug tree in the same order every time.  It doesn’t matter that they are identical apart from color; coffee just tastes better from the orange one.  In the evening, I sit in the same spot on the couch, and good luck to anyone who tries to take it from me.  But perhaps the saddest part of my habitual nature is my breakfasts.  For years, I would eat a cup of yogurt with some fruit for breakfast.  Every.  Single.  Morning.  Now, thanks to lactose intolerance, it’s a scrambled egg.  If I really want to get crazy, I’ll throw in some roasted vegetables and call it an omelet.  I know I’m not alone in this.  Kelly Ripa has gone on and on about her avocado toast obsession.  I can’t say I know anyone else who does this, so maybe it’s just the two of us.  But at least it isn’t just me.

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Quick Apple Crisp: Gluten Free & Vegan

Hot apple crisp topped with vanilla fro-yo.

Hot apple crisp topped with vanilla fro-yo.

Last weekend my husband and I went apple picking.  It was a nice day, we had nothing going on, and who doesn’t love a fresh, crisp apple?  It seemed like a great idea at the time.  Let’s go to the farm!  The apples are so cheap!  Look, there’s even a wagon ride out to the orchard!  The guide told us to feel free to eat an apple or two straight from the trees!  So we wandered around the orchard, picking different varieties of apples.  It was great!

Not even half of our apples...

Not even half of our apples…

Then we went to leave.  We put our bags on the scale.  And we had fifteen pounds of apples.  FIFTEEN POUNDS!  THERE ARE TWO OF US!  AND WE LIVE IN A SMALL APARTMENT!  WHERE ARE WE GOING TO PUT ALL OF THESE APPLES?  That farm lured us in with the promise of fall fun and fresh fruit.  And, to their credit, they delivered.  But still…what are we going to do with all of these apples?

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Oatmeal Raisin Blondies: Gluten Free & Vegan

Maple Glazed Oatmeal Raisin Blondies - GF & Vegan

I know I’ve been talking about autumn a good bit lately, but bear with me, okay?  Because these are SUCH a good fall dessert.  Maybe it’s just me, but I always associate cinnamon with the months of September through November.  Come December 1st and we’re into peppermint season.  Now, though, it’s the heart of cinnamon time.  And, yes, I realize I can get this spice any time of the year.  There is just something warming about it.  Cinnamon raisin bread in April?  I’m thinking not.  But in October?  Yes, please!

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