Clean Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries

Although my new work schedule is awesome, I hate having to go grocery shopping on Sundays.  The place is soooo crowded!  And I have trouble motivating myself to meal plan, get to the store, shove through the crowds, and then make some food.  Despite feeling exhausted and sick on Sunday, I was able to pull together some food for the week.  And even shove through the crowds at the store.

 

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With all of my momentum, I wanted to make something for breakfast ahead of time and discovered a new blog and an awesome looking recipe for baked oatmeal on Eat Clean, Climb Higher.

 

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Since they were on sale, I had picked up a bunch of berries at the grocery store, but decided to use just blueberries in the recipe.

 

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I love warm berries, fresh out of the oven, so I must admit, I grabbed one or two off the top.

 

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And then sliced it into 4 sections for breakfast this week.

 

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Sadly, the BOY and I both woke up sick this morning.  Sad for him because it is his first day of his 3rd year of law school.  Sad for both of us because we have busy days ahead.   Cooper, on the other hand, woke up with enough energy for a kindergarten classroom and as I tried to make tea and catch up on work emails, he got himself into trouble in the kitchen.

 

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With the help of the laser pointer, I finally managed to wear him out some…at least enough to retreat back to the couch.  Although I was slightly distracted during breakfast, I managed to appreciate this awesome and hearty breakfast.  It is so easy to make and satisfying on a busy morning like this one!

 

 

Clean Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries

Adapted from Eat Clean, Climb Higher

 

Ingredients

2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 egg, whisked
1 tbsp agave
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups old fashion oats
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 pint of blueberries, rinsed and dried

 

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine and mix the oats, berries, baking powder and cinnamon.

Pour the oat mixture into a greased 8x8in baking pan and spread evenly.  In a separate bowl, combine and mix the milk, egg, honey and vanilla thoroughly.

Pour the milk mixture over the oats and slowly shimmy the pan to ensure that everything is evenly distributed and coated.

Bake at 350F for 30-35min.

Serve warm or store in air tight tuperware for later in the week.

Muffin Monday: Banana and Blueberry

Shh!  Don’t tell the BOY that there is banana in these muffins!

 

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He has been eating the ‘blueberry muffins’ all weekend, telling me how good they are with NO IDEA that they are banana and blueberry muffins : )

 

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The motivation for these muffins came from some soft bananas and a huge container of fresh blueberries.

 

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I found the recipe on a blog while I was searching online and didn’t realize that they were vegan until I pulled them out of the oven.

 

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I was really just looking for a muffin recipe that didn’t use yogurt (because I don’t have any in the house), and the crumble topping was a huge selling point for me.

 

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You might have guessed that I didn’t mention that these were vegan to the BOY either…he he!

 

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Of course I took my first bite of the muffins warm because, really, who can resist?

 

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I know the hot temps outside aren’t going to encourage you to turn on your oven, but if you find yourself stuck inside in the air conditioning hiding from the heat, whip up a batch of these outstanding muffins!

 

 

Blueberry Banana Streusel Muffins

From Cake Dutchess

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup white sugar

1/2 cup canola oil

3 very ripe bananas, mashed well

2 cups flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 cup almond milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup blueberries

 

for the topping:

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 tablespoon margarine

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a muffin tin with non stick cooking spray, or lightly coat with margarine.

Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.

In a separate bowl, stir together the oil and sugar. Add bananas, milk and vanilla. Gently fold in the blueberries

Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well. Spoon batter into the muffin tin. For topping, in a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon; with your fingers, incorporate the margarine to the flour mixture until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over the muffins.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Serve warm.

Suddenly Summer BBQ

It’s summer! 

And with the thick, muggy weather, it finally feels like it!

I kept this weekend pretty low key on purpose and Saturday was saved for packing and a BBQ!

Around 1:30pm, I felt like I had a good handle on the packing portion of things and decided to go for a walk along the path.  I haven’t done much of anything in terms of exercise this week, so it was nice to get out and moving.

 

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Meanwhile, the BOY was hard at work seasoning and smoking ribs.

 

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My BFF and her adorable family were coming over for a BBQ.  She brought some delicious appetizers (including grilled salami).  I threw together a summer salad inspired by this mouth watering post on Pinch of Yum.

 

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I cheated and went with the store bought salad dressing, but maybe next time I will make my own!

 

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The toughest part of making this salad was searching the fruit section at the grocery store for the ripest nectarines in the bin.

 

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Luckily, I choose well and they sliced up perfectly for the salad.

 

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The gang was excited about their flavorful, smoky ribs, and the BOY threw some chicken on the grill for me.  We had a side of roasted broccoli, and everyone dug into dinner.

 

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I almost didn’t have room for dessert, but I never say ‘No’ to angel food cake, cool whip, and berries.  It’s the perfect finish to a summer evening spent with friends!

 

What are you most excited for this summer?

 

 

Blueberry Nectarine Summer Salad

Inspired by Pinch of Yum

 

Ingredients

6 cups baby spinach

1/3 cup slivered almonds

1 cup blueberries

2 ripe nectarines, sliced

Grilled chicken (optional)

Poppyseed dressing

 

Directions

Place spinach in large salad bowl.  Sprinkle with almonds, blueberries, and then top with nectarines.

Serve with salad dressing and chicken.

Five for Friday VII (On Saturday)

1. This mess of a breakfast was an attempt to add blueberries to my Friday Morning Pancakes.  Although I messed up my berry to pancake batter ratio (hence the look), they tasted wonderful!

 

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2. Even though I wore my workout clothes all day today (including gym shoes), I didn’t exercise.  I’ve been one lazy girl this week.  Maybe I can say that I am still recovering from last weekend’s triathlon?!

 

3. I finally opened the new waterproof, dustproof, dropproof GPS camera that I bought last week.  The BOY immediately started setting it up playing with it and broke a strap.  I’ll have a nice long plane ride to read the manual and figure out how to use it.

 

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4. The BOY and I could not decide what to eat for dinner tonight.  We were both feeling too lazy to cook or grill anything.  We were just about to order a pizza when our neighbor mentioned that he was heading out to Panera to pick up dinner.  So for the second time this week, I am having the Power Hummus Chicken Bowl (from the Hidden menu) for dinner!

 

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5. After dinner, the BOY and I joined our neighbors out back to have a few cocktails.  I didn’t return back home until after midnight postponing this post to Saturday morning : )

Blueberry Muffin Bake {Take Two}

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Happy EASY Saturday morning!

I’m sure I could replace the word easy with lazy but easy just sounds better : )  In all honesty, it’s a pretty lazy morning.  I didn’t sleep well this week, and was bummed to find myself awake before 8am this morning.  I wasn’t ready to actually start my day, so instead I moved downstairs to the couch where I had some DVRed TV to catch up on.

 

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I know that there will be many summer and fall Saturdays that I will be up at the crack of dawn marathon training where I will miss EASY mornings like this one.

 

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And by summer, I hope to have mastered the Blueberry Muffin Bake.  I made my first attempt earlier in the week and although this baked oatmeal was warm and filling, it wasn’t quite right.

 

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So I gave it another try this morning with a few changes.

 

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And boy did this one turn out better!

 

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The blueberries were warm and gooey and although the center wasn’t quite set (perhaps I need more flour and less flax for Take Three), this breakfast hit the spot!

 

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I covered the blueberry bake with tons of fresh berries.

 

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And this breakfast disappeared quickly!

 

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I hope you are having an EASY morning!

Looking for a reason to stay on your couch, go check out this hilarious video of ‘Mom Dancing’ posted on my friend Michelle’s blog!

 

What are your plans for the weekend?

 

 

 

Blueberry Flax Muffin Bake

Adapted from FitCupcaker and Running with Spoons

 

Ingredients

1/4 cup flax seed

2 tbsp almond flour

1/4 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1/4 cup almond milk

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 tbsp agave

1/2 cup fresh blueberries

 

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Stir together flax seed, almond flour, baking powder, and salt.  Add in almond milk, vanilla, and agave.

Fold in blueberries.

Bake for 22-24 minutes.

Let cool for for a few minutes.  Then cover with berries, nuts, coconut, and all of your other favorite toppings.

Enjoy warm!

Blueberry Muffin Bake {Take One}

I truly appreciate you guys!  When I put myself out there with a post like this one, you are always there with support, suggestions, and encouragement.  I couldn’t ask for anything more!  Sunday was a much better day of eating, and I am starting Monday off with this fun and energizing breakfast.

 

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The sun wasn’t cooperating with my photos this morning, but hooray for sunshine!  I spotted this recipe on Fit Cupcaker last month, but didn’t have blueberries until Saturday.  I was all set to make this for breakfast yesterday when I realized that I needed my oven, not my microwave and didn’t have enough time before yoga.

 

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So the first thing I did when I woke up today was preheat my oven.  I was determined to have a Blueberry Muffin Bake for breakfast!

 

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I stirred together the dry ingredients, adding in some flax seed, and then the wet ingredients.  I was a little skeptical that my oat concoction would bake up into the beautiful cake I saw on the blog, but I poured everything into a Pyrex and baked it up for 20 minute.

 

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20 minutes later, I had a beautiful looking baked oatmeal but definitely NOT a muffin.

 

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Hmmm…..I’m not really sure where I went wrong.  I checked a few other blog sites and everyone else ended up with a muffin…maybe I was supposed to grind my oats?!  Yikes, I definitely forgot the salt.  Thankfully, my baked oatmeal tasted great, so I topped it with banana and was able to eat it on my way out the door to CrossFit.

 

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One thing I can tell you is that I will recheck the recipe and try making this again because I definitely see potential here!

 

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I also should tell you that this breakfast was so filling that I made it all the way to lunch without hunger pain and that includes a challenging workout at CrossFit called Put It Up.

 

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I obviously didn’t do the workout as prescribed.  Me lifting 155 pounds over my head???  Not gonna happen!  But I was proud of my accomplishments cleaning 65, 45, and 30 pounds for 9, 15, and 21 reps respectively.  And then doing a 2 minute shuttle run finale.  I haven’t lifted that much weight in a long time, and I must admit that I kind of liked it.  After my workout, the BOY and I went out for lunch and then ran a few errands.  I didn’t get much done yesterday because I spent Sunday Funday downtown!

 

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I met some friends down at Millennium Park yesterday for ice skating.  I can’t even tell you the last time I went skating and it was a really fun way to spend an afternoon!

 

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My friends (these awesome girls from my snow shoeing adventure) are moving to Australia next week, so we decided to celebrate Chicago before they leave.

 

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And the weather was actually on our side.  Afterwards, we chowed down on Chicago style hotdogs, Garrett’s popcorn, chili, and cornbread.  Yum!  We will definitely miss our friends, but who doesn’t love an excuse to visit Australia!

 

Ok, so back to the Blueberry Muffin Bake…you can see the full recipe at Fit CupcakerYou should give it a try!

Blueberry Muffin Bread French Toast

So….I probably shoulda, coulda, woulda gone to yoga this morning.  EXCEPT…that I needed to meet my mom at 10AM for a ride into the city, and the BOY and I were super excited about turning yesterday’s Blueberry Muffin Bread into French toast.  And when I say super excited, I mean skip 8AM yoga excited!!! 

 

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It was hard to keep my fingers away from this bread before I went out for my morning run.  I needed to get in some exercise before this busy day, so I threw on my Will Run for Blueberry Bread blue RUN shirt and laced up my shoes making my way to the hills along the path.

 

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I didn’t realize how hot and humid it was.  By the time I dragged my jello legs (thanks to yesterday’s 28 mile bike ride) up to the top of the first hill, I was covered in sweat.  I ran just under 40 minutes before finding my way back home with French toast on the brain. 

 

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The BOY was awake and ready for the breakfast we’ve been talking about all weekend! 

 

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I made a fairly typical French toast…nothing fancy here.  I stated by combining the eggs, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a deep bowl.  I pulled out my hand mixer in order to create a light and fluffy egg mixture.

 

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I dunked thick slices of Blueberry Muffin Bread into the egg, letting it sit, and soak up all the flavors!

 

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And then placed the dripping bread on a heated skillet.

 

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The thick slices of bread made the perfect base for this warm, rich, breakfast favorite!

 

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The BOY dug right in, enjoying every sweet bite.

 

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By the time I sat down to eat my breakfast, we were all out of forks.  Luckily, I was able to find a plastic one in pantry or I would have been eating my breakfast with my fingers.  This French toast is just THAT good!

 

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Either that or I would have just licked this restaurant worthy breakfast straight off of my plate!

 

 

Thank you to DD&D and of course Chaps Restaurant for inspiring this spectacular meal!

Is your mouth watering yet???  You have to check out this Blueberry Muffin Bread recipe!

 

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Biking vs Blueberry Bread

I’ll let you guess who won this debate.  But here’s a clue, if I had gone biking, I would be out pedaling through town and not sitting at home posting for you the recipe that I guarantee will be your breakfast for tomorrow!

 

As of yesterday, the plan for this morning was a BRICK.

 

However, when I woke up this morning, a bike ride was the last thing that I wanted to do.  I find this odd because I always love to bike, but between the rain and the humid temps, I just wasn’t in the mood to head out.  I was actually in the mood to sleep some more, but for some reason, the BOY and I couldn’t fall back asleep.  Instead, we began the discussion of breakfast, which I am always thinking about the moment I wake up.  A few months ago, while watching Diners, Drive Ins, & Dives, I saw the most scrumptious looking Blueberry Muffin French Toast.  The thick slices of moist bread were smothered in a sweet egg mixture to make one of the best breakfasts that I have ever seen.  I declared on that day soon I would make us Blueberry Muffin French Toast!  Further investigation revealed that this breakfast delight is made at a restaurant called Chap’s in Spokane, WA owned and run by Celeste Shaw.

 

 

I have been thinking and talking about this breakfast since we saw it on TV, and when Jessica posted a recipe for Blueberry Muffin Bread on her website, I knew it would be perfect for French toast.  So instead of hitting the trails this morning, I headed into the kitchen to clean off some blueberries.

 

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In anticipation of a warm Blueberry Muffin Bread.  This recipe uses a whole wheat/white flour mixture which I always like.

 

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I had all the ingredients in the house except instead of milk, I used Almond milk.  I stirred everything together forming a thick, dense dough.

 

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I added in my blueberries.

 

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And the BOY requested some walnuts as well.  Actually he requested candied walnuts covered in sugar, but he settled for some plain walnuts : )

 

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I spread the dough into the pan, and then covered it with some cinnamon sugar topping.  The streusel in the recipe looks unbelievable, but for time sake, I just used some leftover topping from this recipe.

 

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I put my bread into the oven and then used some fresh fruit to create a simple green smoothie to sip on while I waited.

 

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55 Minutes later, I pulled the most beautiful looking bread out of the oven.

 

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It took all of my will power not to dig right in!  But I walked out of the kitchen and let the bread cool for a few minutes.

 

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You could see the steam escaping as I sliced over the first piece of the warm bread.

 

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I love all the warm and gooey blueberries (they are my favorite part), and the walnuts were a smart addition!  The cinnamon sugar topping complimented the bread well.

 

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The BOY decided he wanted to try a slice of the bread immediately.

 

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So we dug right in.  This Blueberry Muffin Bread is an absolute treat!  The BOY loved it, and I have a feeling he will be requesting it again soon! 

And the most exciting part…

Today’s Bread = Tomorrow’s French Toast!

 

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Now I just have to motivate myself to get off the couch and get in a workout.  Does watching the Tour de France riders weave their way up the mountains count as exercise???  Because it is looking like my top choice!  Their views are much more spectacular than my typical biking course.

 

Apparently, I’m not the only one out there drooling over the Chap’s Triple D recipe.  Some other bloggers have been making Blueberry Muffin French Toast too!  And let’s not forget all the great recipes in honor of National Blueberry Muffin Day.  Yummy!

 

 

Blueberry Muffin Bread

From How Sweet It Is

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

2/3 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/3 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, tossed in a spoonful of cornstarch

Walnuts (optional)

 

Streusel

1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

pinch of salt

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon milk

 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a loaf pan liberally with non-stick spray or grease with butter. In a bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and baking powder, then set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk egg and sugar together until smooth. Whisk in vanilla extract, then add in milk and mix until combined. Add in dry ingredients slowing, mixing with a spoon until batter comes together. Add in melted butter and mix until incorporated, then stir in blueberries.

Mix together the streusel ingredients, bring it all together with your hands. Sprinkle over the bread evenly. Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until bread is golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Serve warm with butter!

 

NOTE: Don’t eat the entire bread in one day…save a few slices to make some French Toast!

 

 

Is your Saturday starting with biking or bread?

Feels Like Friday

Does anyone else’s work day end like this???

 

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It would be nice to know that I am not the only one who sits in their car, flipping through radio stations, constantly switching lanes in an attempt to go above 8 miles per hour in their post-work day pursuit of home : )  At least in tonight’s case, it was also the end of the work week!  Hooray Weekend!

 

The good news tonight was that the BOY was not too far behind me when I finally made it home feeling exhausted after a LONG week at work!  I was ready to celebrate the weekend!

 

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The BOY picked out this affordable wine during our last trip to World Market, and we were both looking forward to trying it.  I pulled out our grown up glasses in anticipation of his arrival.

 

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And brought out maybe my best batch of Garlic Hummus EVER for a pre-dinner snack!

 

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Dinner was simple and thrown together based on what we have in the house.  I had some of Dr. Praeger’s newer veggie burgers, the Bombay Veggie Burger, that I found on my most recent trip to Trader Joe’s.  Have you tried them yet???  They are incredible.  All the healthy deliciousness of your California burgers with a hint of curry.  Love it!

 

Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods Curry Veggie Burgers

 

 

But probably not as much as I love this new wine!

 

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I was so busy this week that I didn’t have time to properly celebrate National Blueberry Muffin Day yesterday.  I actually didn’t even know that it was Blueberry Muffin Day until I checked out Renee’s website.  You should definitely pop over to to Bendiful and check out her new and updated website.  Even though I am a day late, I wanted to share one of my favorite Blueberry Muffin recipes with you.  And because it feels like Friday, I feel like I can even stay up past 9pm to finish this post.

 

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These Lemon Blueberry Muffins were an early early addition on the Luv What You Do blog. And although this batch turned out blue (note to self…don’t use frozen berries), this is not the norm!

 

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They are actually quite tasty and the combination of lemon and blueberry is superb!

 

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Perfect for a weekend treat!  Especially since blueberries are now in season!

And if you are a lemon and blueberry fan, you HAVE to try these Blueberry Lemon Cookies from Itty Bitty Bakes!  And these Healthy Banana Blueberry Muffins from Baker on the Rise look divine!  But if you happen to pick up some zucchini at the farmer’s market this weekend, I recommend this Blueberry Zucchini Bread from My Baking Addiction.

 

Happy Friday Feeling!  And Blueberry Muffin Day!

 

 

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

 

Ingredients

Nonstick cooking spray

1/2 c firmly packed light or dark brown sugar

4 T trans fat free soft tub margarine spread, chilled

1 c lowfat lemon yogurt

1 c blueberries

1/2 c yellow squash puree

1 large egg

2 t pure lemon extract

1 t grated lemon zest

2 c all purpose flour (can substitute whole wheat)

1/4 c flaxseed meal

1 t baking powder

1 t baking soda

1/2 t salt

 

Directions

-Preheat oven to 350. Coat a 12 cup muffin tin with cooking spray or line with paper baking cups.

-In large bowl, beat the sugar and the margarine with a wooden spoon. Stir in the yogurt, blueberries, yellow squash puree, egg, lemon extract, and lemon zest.

-Add the flour, flaxseed meal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir just to combine, but do not over mix-batter is supposed to be lumpy.

-Divide the batter amongst the muffin cups. Bake until tops of the muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center, 13 to 16 min. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool.

-Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, or wrap individually and freeze for up to 1 month.

Blue Breakfast

One of my favorite summer fruits is the blueberry!

 

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I have always loved this tiny blue fruit, but became an even bigger fan when I got to go blueberry picking in Mississippi.  I ended up with a huge bucket of blueberries for the most amazing price.  I ate fresh blueberries every day for a week and froze the rest.  There were always blueberries in my freezer to thaw out for recipes and snacks.

 

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These days, I buy my blueberries at the store, and I am always thrilled when Costco offers the HUGE container for a reasonable price.  I always say that I should buy a few and freeze them for the winter, but then I forget, and the prices go up, the berries get smaller, and summer has passed.  Maybe this will be the year that I finally remember!  It will be worthwhile to have breakfasts like this all year long!

 

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It is no secret that I am a BIG fan of the Dough Boy smoothie (which I believe was created over at KERF), but I have never tried a blueberry version before this morning.

 

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My breakfast was not as blue as I would have expected, but none the less it was delish!

 

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I love how easy, tasty, and filling this breakfast is!!!  My blender has been working over time!

 

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I had enough time to catch up on a few games of Words with Friends while I ate breakfast before heading off to meet the trainer at the gym.

 

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Despite waking up super early, I had more than enough energy to power through the challenging intervals and strength work she had me do before heading into work. Although at the end of the day, I am exhausted and beat.  Luckily, it is finally the weekend!  I must say having Fridays off, I think my week flies by quicker, maybe it’s just because the summer is a SUPER CRAZY busy time at work!

 

 

Blueberry Dough Boy Smoothie

 

Place the following ingredients into a blender:

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup oats

2 Tbsp Chia seeds

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 –1 banana, sliced

1 cup fresh blueberries

Dash of cinnamon

 

Cover and place blender in the refrigerator over night. In the morning, BLEND and ENJOY!

Serve topped with fruits or nuts.

 

 

 

Haven’t tried a Dough Boy before?  Start with the basic recipe.  It is refreshing and satisfying…perfect for warm summer mornings and long and active summer days!

 

 

Then get creative with more Dough Boy love!  Or create your own recipes!

 

Cranberry Dough Boy

Sweet Potato Dough Boy

Strawberry Dough Boy

Pumpkin Dough Boy

Peach Dough Boy

 

 

Have you ever made a Dough Boy Smoothie? 

What’s your favorite ingredient to add?

Recipe Links Welcome!