IMG_6878I’ve been enchanted by the idea of “breakfast cookies” for awhile now. I’ve seen them floating around Pinterest and have tried a few recipes over the past year or so.  Breakfast cookies are genius for so many reasons! I love that they are a quick, nutritious snack I can give to my 4-year-old as we’re running out the door. I also love that I can make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge or freezer. And let’s not forget the fact that these are a socially acceptable cookie to eat for breakfast!

These cookies are full of oats, dried cherries, and pecans. You can really add anything you like to them. I think coconut flakes would be delicious too. I added dark chocolate chips to mine because I couldn’t resist. The combination of dried tart cherries and chocolate is irresistible. A little chocolate for breakfast in pancakes, quick breads, or these cookies every once and awhile is a-ok in my book! Chocolate aside these cookies really are quite nutritious. They are refined-sugar-free and full of fiber and protein from ingredients like almond butter, buckwheat, and rolled oats. You can easily make these cookies egg-free, so they are great for many allergy needs.

I am currently 39 weeks pregnant! We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of baby boy #2. I can’t wait to meet him! I remember when I was nursing our first son, I was often ravenously hungry during late-night feedings. I never got overly hungry during pregnancy, but nursing was a different story! Back then I would reach for not-so-healthy packaged granola bars. These cookies (maybe without the chocolate for nursing/nighttime) are full of great ingredients for a nursing mama and would make an easy thing to grab when hunger hits. I’ll have to make a variation to keep in my freezer to have for those nights. I guess I better do that sooner rather than later because this baby could come anytime!

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IMG_20150225_091725Today I posted this picture of my homemade coconut milk yogurt on instagram and got a lot of questions about how I make it. I love yogurt! One of my favorite breakfasts is a fruit and yogurt parfait, but unfortunately I can’t tolerate dairy yogurt. Store-bought coconut milk yogurt has so many additives and tons of sugar, so I like making homemade yogurt when I have time. I thought I’d share my tips here as I’ve experimented with coconut milk yogurt a lot and finally found a method I like most. I have a yogurt maker, but you could make this yogurt using glass jars and the oven light overnight. It just needs a warm place to culture.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • 2 cans full-fat coconut milk (I highly recommend Native Forest brand. This brand has guar gum, and no other additives. I think the guar gum helps the yogurt turn out creamy.)
  • 1 tablespoon organic sugar
  • 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
  • 2 teaspoons gelatin (I use grassfed gelatin powder, but any gelatin will work)
  • 1 -2 teaspoons probiotic powder (You can empty the powder out of any probiotic capsule you like. Preferably use a brand that has lots of different probiotic stains vs. a probiotic with just acidophilus.)

Directions:

Place all the ingredients except the probiotic powder in the blender. Blend until smooth then pour into a saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook, whisking constantly for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let it cool to 98F – this will take 45 minutes or so. Whisk in the probiotic powder then pour into very clean individual jars for a yogurt maker, or 1 large, clean quart-sized mason jar. Place the jars in the yogurt maker and let it culture for 8-15 hours. How sour it gets depends on how much probiotic powder you use and how long you let it sit. Alternatively you can place a large mason jar in the oven with the oven light on and the door shut. Wrap the jar in a clean kitchen towel for extra insulation. You basically want the yogurt to culture at a temperature around 105-115F. Taste it after 8 hours or so to see if it is sour enough to your liking. The yogurt will get thicker after it is refrigerated, so don’t worry if it seems thin at this point.

When the yogurt is done, I like to add these flavorings:

  • 1/4 cup organic sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

If I’m using small jars I just combine all the yogurt and stir in the flavorings, then redistribute the yogurt back into the small jars before refrigerating. Chill until totally cool. Enjoy! It will keep in the refrigerator for a up to a week.

My favorite thing to do with this yogurt is to combine it with frozen blueberries (especially the mini wild blueberries from Trader Joe’s), bananas, and granola. Let me know if you have any questions!

 

This method is adapted from the coconut milk yogurt in The Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.

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