Chunky Monkey Oatmeal: A Healthy Breakfast on a Budget

Chunky monkey oatmeal: A healthy breakfast on a budget

Start Your Day on the Right Track

We all know, as we’ve been told so many times, that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The reason for this is pretty simple: In short, your body hasn’t been fed for several hours and is craving for essential nutrients.

It is recommended, for the average person, to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night. For this period of time, your body isn’t absorbing any nutrients and is considered to be fasting. Needless to say, if your body hasn’t been fed for so many hours, then it is even more important to feed it with the best possible ingredients first thing in the morning.

Unfortunately, breakfast is often the most neglected meal. Most people end up having a pair of toast and a cup of coffee to get it done as quickly as possible, either because of a busy schedule or simply because of the lack of inspiration (or both, maybe?).

A Healthier, Tastier Alternative

Well, today I am going to show a quick and healthy recipe that will rock your socks off: Chunky Monkey Oatmeal. I promise it will change your mind about oatmeal, forever!

What exactly is chunky monkey you ask me? Well, it’s a Ben & Jerry’s flavor consisting of banana, walnuts, and fudge… and it is delicious!

So I decided that I would try this particular combination for oatmeal, and it turned out to be DELISH. As a bonus, this recipe is very budget friendly!

I swapped walnuts for peanuts in my version, as they are much cheaper. You could also use your favorite chocolate syrup instead of cacao powder to make this recipe a bit cheaper, or if you don’t have this particular ingredient on hand. Cacao powder is among the healthiest foods on earth though, so I really think you would be missing out, your choice!

So Let’s Have a Look at What’s in There:

• Pure Oatmeal is an excellent source of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats. This high-quality body fuel contains roughly 6 grams of protein per portion and a plethora of essential vitamins and minerals. It is also very budget-friendly, one of the cheapest breakfast options out there, period. Instant oatmeal is NOT pure oatmeal though, it will not provide the same health benefits. There is a big difference between the two.
• Cacao Powder is, like I said above, among the healthiest foods on the planet. It is full of antioxidants (40 times more than blueberries, can you believe that?!). It is anti-inflammatory, will balance your mood, make you happy, combat fatigue, lower your blood pressure, prevent cardiovascular diseases, and much more! Cheaper alternative: Chocolate syrup. Although, far less healthy.
• Honey Is one of the healthiest sweeteners out there. Full of antioxidants, essential vitamins and minerals, it will never spoil. It will crystallize over time, but will still be perfectly edible: simply heat it back to its liquid form. Cheaper alternative: Brown sugar. Again, less healthy.
• Peanuts are an excellent source of protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats which are often overlooked for being calorie-dense. But don’t be fooled by their high-calorie count per portion, as studies have shown that peanuts actually promote weight-loss. They are super healthy and very budget-friendly.
• Bananas are an impressive fruit. They will boost your energy levels, boost your mood, help with digestion and improve your skin, bones and brain health. Bananas are also one of the cheapest (fresh) fruits at the store (if not the cheapest).

Chunky Monkey Oatmeal: A Healthy Breakfast on a Budget

Serves Two (2)

INGREDIENTS

Oatmeal:

1 cup milk of choice
1/3 cup pure oatmeal
1 tsp cacao powder
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp peanut butter

Toppings:

1 banana, sliced
1 tbsp ground peanuts

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat the liquids (milk, honey, vanilla extract) over medium heat in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts to bubble. About 7-10 minutes.

Add in the oatmeal and cacao powder, mix well. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Remove from heat and add in the peanut butter, mix well. Serve in a bowl, top with banana slices and ground peanuts.

Toppings on the picture: Banana slices, ground peanuts, a pinch of cacao powder and melted dark chocolate (optional).

Chunky Monkey Oatmeal
 
Ingredients
Oatmeal:
  • 1 cup milk of choice
  • ⅓ cup pure oatmeal
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
Toppings:
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 tbsp ground peanuts
Instructions
  1. Heat the liquids (milk, honey, vanilla extract) over medium heat in a small saucepan, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts to bubble. About 7-10 minutes.
  2. Add in the oatmeal and cacao powder, mix well. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat and add in the peanut butter, mix well. Serve in a bowl, top with banana slices and ground peanuts.

Cost per serving: $0.63

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 303
Carbohydrate: 40g
Fat: 12g
Fibers: 7g
Protein: 13g

(Nutrition information is calculated with the ingredients listed in the “Ingredients” section only.)

This blog post is a courtesy of Gabriel from One Clever Chef , a blog where you will find various healthy and simple recipes made with real food.

Healthy No Bake Energy Bites

These Healthy No Bake Energy Bites come together really easily and are sure to satisfy your snack craving!

These Healthy No Bake Energy Bites come together really easily and are sure to satisfy your snack craving!

I have a friend that is expecting a new baby any day now, so I wanted to help her fill her freezer a little bit! 🙂  When I was in the hospital with my daughter, a friend brought by these delicious healthy no-bake energy bites. They were the perfect gift for a new mom!  I was so happy to not have to think about what to snack on when I was trying to get everything with a new baby sorted out.

These were so good I requested the recipe so I could enjoy them again. (And gift them to others.) They also freeze really well and take no time at all to thaw. I think they would be great for school snacks if you replaced the peanut butter with an alternative like Sunbutter, Wowbutteror something along that line.

Healthy No Bake Energy Bites

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (raw)
  • 2/3 cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted and cooled (optional)
  • 1/2 cup ground golden flaxseed meal
  • 6 Tbsp chocolate chip minis

In Process 2DIRECTIONS

  1. In a medium-mixing bowl stir together peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and stir until evenly coated.
  3. Transfer mixture to refrigerator and chill until set.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and shape into 1-inch balls.
  5. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container. Enjoy!

I sure hope you enjoy these as much as we do!

Healthy No Bake Energy Bites
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats (raw)
  • ⅔ cup sweetened shredded coconut, toasted and cooled (optional)
  • ½ cup ground golden flaxseed meal
  • 6 Tbsp chocolate chip minis
Instructions
  1. In a medium-mixing bowl stir together peanut butter, honey and vanilla extract.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and stir until evenly coated.
  3. Transfer mixture to refrigerator and chill until set.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and shape into 1-inch balls.
  5. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container. Enjoy!

 

Easy Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Now here’s a Christmas fudge recipe that will be great for gift giving!  I think it would pair nicely with this Homemade Peppermint Bark!

I’m afraid I’m getting a reputation for only making easy things, but really, if you have to add extra things to your already full calendar, why spend a lot of time creating?  It’s the thought that counts, right?  Anyways, this recipe is so easy, it only calls for four ingredients. That, my friends, is how you impress on a budget and use minimal effort and time. 🙂

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge
 
Ingredients
  • 2 packages of 12 oz. Wilton dark chocolate candy melts
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  • 1 ½ Cans of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz cans)
  • 6 candy canes, crushed
Instructions
  1. Spray an 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Pour the candy melts and the sweetened condensed milk into a large microwave safe dish. Add in the 1 tsp of peppermint extract.
  3. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute and stir. Heat for another minute and stir again, heat again in 20 second increments stirring if not completely melted.
  4. Immediately pour the melted mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the crushed candy canes (see photo).
  5. Allow the chocolate to cool at room temperature. Once it is cool, place the baking dish in the fridge (covered) to allow the fudge to completely set.
  6. Cut into 12 large squares or 24 mini squares.

Chocolate Peppermint Fudge 2I sure hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

A Homemade Christmas Gift: Peppermint Bark

Simple and quick homemade peppermint bark! Makes a great gift!

One of my favourite things to give as gifts is homemade edible goods.  In my mind, it’s the perfect little something.  It’s a treat as well as a gift that won’t take up room in the recipient’s home!

Today’ I’d like to share this recipe for Peppermint Bark.  Not only do I love it because it’s tasty, it’s really simple to make!

Peppermint Bark
 
Ingredients
  • 270g bag Milk Chocolate Baking Chips
  • 225g bag White Baking Chips
  • ½ tsp Peppermint Extract
  • 12 Candy Canes
Instructions
  1. Place the Candy Canes in a Food Processor and crush or place them in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin.
  2. Line a pan with parchment paper.
  3. Melt milk chocolate chips in the microwave by heating at 50% for 1 minute and stirring until smooth.
  4. Pour melted milk chocolate chips into the pan and level.
  5. Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  6. Melt White Chocolate chips in microwave by heating at 50% for 1 minute and stirring until smooth.
  7. Add peppermint extract to the white chocolate chips, stir.
  8. Pour melted white chocolate chips into the pan on top of the milk chocolate and level.
  9. Sprinkle crushed peppermint over the white chocolate.
  10. Place in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
  11. Break apart into pieces and put the pieces into gift bags for gift giving!

What is your favourite edible gift to give?

Turn Jar Pasta Sauce into Homemade Sauce

Expecting company for dinner? Impress your guests and be a kitchen superstar by turning bought jar sauce into homemade sauce in 5 easy steps!
Expecting company for dinner? Impress your guests and be a kitchen superstar by turning bought jar sauce into homemade sauce in 5 easy steps!
Making homemade pasta sauce does not have to be difficult. Especially if you “cheat” a little by using store bought jar sauce along with some other fabulous ingredients. That’s how my dad does it and it’s always delicious! I’m here today to give away his secrets so that you can turn a jar of store bought pasta sauce into a mouthwatering “homemade” pasta sauce.

Here’s how to turn jar sauce into homemade sauce in 5 easy steps:

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 jars pasta sauce – I like the “plain” ones with only basil added best.
  • 1 lb cooked ground beef
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini – optional, but I like to add because it adds some veggies in “disguise”
  • 1 large carrot – shredded
  • 1 can mushrooms – optional
  • 1/2 an onion – chopped
  • 1/4 cup Italian Dressing
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp basil

Expecting company for dinner? Impress your guests and be a kitchen superstar by turning bought jar sauce into homemade sauce in 5 easy steps!

DIRECTIONS:
  1. Cook ground beef and chopped onion together in a large pot until meat is cooked through.
  2. Shred zucchini and carrots while beef is cooking.
  3. Add the zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, sauce, dressing and spices to the cooked ground beef.
  4. Stir together.
  5. Simmer over low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
Serve over spaghetti noodles (or any pasta you like) or use in other dishes like lasagna. I usually like to freeze half of this batch for later use as a quick and easy meal. Bonus!
Expecting company for dinner? Impress your guests and be a kitchen superstar by turning bought jar sauce into homemade sauce in 5 easy steps!
Homemade Pasta Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • 2 jars pasta sauce - I like the "plain" ones with only basil added best
  • 1 lb cooked ground beef
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini - optional, but I like to add because it adds some veggies in "disguise"
  • 1 large carrot - shredded
  • 1 can mushrooms - optional
  • ½ an onion - chopped
  • ¼ cup Italian Dressing
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp basil
Instructions
  1. Cook ground beef and chopped onion together in a large pot until meat is cooked through.
  2. Shred zucchini and carrots while beef is cooking.
  3. Add the zucchini, carrots, mushrooms, sauce, dressing and spices to the cooked ground beef.
  4. Stir together.
  5. Simmer over low heat for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce

Smooth, velvety, and lick your lips delicious, this Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce is the perfect topping for ice cream. You’ll never buy store bought hot fudge again! 

Smooth, velvety, and lick your lips delicious, this Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce is the perfect topping for ice cream. You'll never buy store bought hot fudge again!

This recipe is my husband’s personal favorite. He loves hot fudge sauce!  He’s even convinced me on several occasions to get hot fudge instead of my usual caramel when we stop at Dairy Queen or McDonald’s for an ice cream treat.

This hot fudge sauce is so easy to whip together and once you make, you will never go back to store bought!  You can use it immediately or store it in the fridge until you are ready to use it. (Heat it in the microwave before serving).

Here’s how to make homemade hot fudge sauce:

Homemade Hot Fudge Sauce
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • ¾ cup Sugar
  • ⅛ tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1 cup Heavy Cream
  • ½ tsp Vanilla
Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate chips by heating them in the microwave for 30 seconds then stirring and microwaving again until chocolate is melted.
  2. Transfer to a sauce pan over low heat and add butter, salt and sugar.
  3. Add cream in small amounts until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Stir frequently until heated, but not boiling.
  5. Remove from heat and add vanilla.

Prefer Caramel Sauce? Check out my two ingredient Slow Cooker Caramel Sauce recipe here!

I’ad love to know what flavor of ice cream is your favourite? How about your favourite Sundae topping?