The other morning my son decided that he wanted to break away from our old tried and true (or shall I say “tired” and true!) banana chocolate chip pancakes. How anyone can become tired of hot griddle cakes sprinkled with melting chocolate chips, spread with almond butter and then drizzled with pure maple syrup is beyond my comprehension but I was thankful for this weekend morning diversion as it gave me a reason to finally whisk together this blueberry syrup recipe from Nourishing Meals that I had been meaning to try. And if there is one thing that can beat out chocolate, it has to be the natural sweetness of field berries. Not only did I discover that this simple little blueberry sauce is super easy and delicious but it also substitutes as a homemade jam! Go figure. My darling friend and homemaker extraordinaire Theresa Peters has been making her own jam for eons but I always just chalked that up to a) her being more inventive and creative than I and b) the fact that she works from home. Now I have no excuse. Thank you Theresa for believing I could get there, even when I did not see it myself, lol. The next time I make this syrup/jam, I want to try a blueberry-peach or blueberry-mango combo. So we had these absolutely delicious whole wheat whole grain blueberry pancakes topped with warm blueberry syrup (and if you have a sweet tooth like my husband, drizzle it with a bit more syrup!) and everyone is in love. I’m not sure when we will return to old faithful but I’m certain I can find other uses for my bananas and chocolate chips (stay tuned for an upcoming post on dark cherry chocolate chip smoothies!).
Then, even more exciting than the new blueberry syrup (yep, hold er up there a minute cause I got another hum dinger comin’!) is my new post workout breakfast idea that incorporates the blueberry syrup: PB&J Oatmeal!! Of course, you do not have to have pounded it out hard on the treadmill or weight rack to enjoy this delicious little brekkie but somehow eating after working out is always just a bit more satisfying! This idea came from the fact that lately my family and I have been enjoying our oatmeal uncooked. Did you know you could eat oatmeal uncooked? I actually surprised someone I know in the grocery store with that little fun fact. She was going to buy the quick cooking oats but I steered her to the less processed large flakes and then dropped that bombshell on her. I love those random good food moments in the supermarket! Anyway, I digress. If you like your oatmeal less chewy, just let it soak in the milk for five minutes or so while you do something else, or while you commute to work. A really fast breakfast or evening snack is just a bowl of large flake oats, unsweetened non-dairy milk and a splash of pure maple syrup. From there you can dress your oatmeal anyway your fancy takes you: slivered almonds or other nuts, seeds, hemp hearts, flaxseeds, chia, berries, peaches, bananas, cashew cream, coconut cream – the only limits are your imagination! So, here is my newest concoction, a twist on an old classic, cause everything old is new again! Shoot me a line and let me know how you dress your oatmeal.
(disclaimer: this tastes better than it looks! lol)
- 1/2 cup large flake oatmeal
- 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
- 2 teaspoons ground flaxseed
- 3/4 cup unsweetened almond or other non-dairy milk
- 1/4 cup homemade blueberry syrup
- 1 tablespoon natural almond or peanut butter or any other natural nut butter
- 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup (optional)
Place the oatmeal, hemp hearts and flax in a cereal bowl and pour in the milk. Let sit for approximately five minutes to soften; if you are having this as a post workout breakfast, you can always prepare this part ahead and let sit until you are ready. Mix in the remaining ingredients and microwave for 1-1/2 minutes on high. Stir and enjoy! Alternatively, you could mix all the ingredients together at once and let sit on your way to work or while you shower and then heat and enjoy. Go ahead, mix it up til it works for you!
Blueberry Syrup or Jam
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (and or any other mix of berries or fruit like peaches or mangoes)
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
Place all ingredients in a blender and process on high until smooth. Pour fruit mix into a small pot and heat over medium heat until it is just about to bubble, then reduce heat slightly and continue to cook, stirring continuously until the mixture has thickened, about five minutes. Serve immediately and/or store in the refrigerator for later. The mixture will thicken more in the refrigerator so you can always re-heat it or use it cold as a jam.