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Brunch/ Healthy Eating/ RECIPES

Blender Banana Oat Gluten-Free Pancakes

These Blender Banana Oat Pancakes are hearty, gluten-free and tastes just like the gluten-free pancakes from our favorite breakfast restaurant. They take only minutes to whip up and use those ripe bananas that are always have sitting around.

Gluten Free Blender Oatmeal Pancakes

A Pancake Tradition

I have a tradition with my girls of taking them to breakfast after orthodontist appointments. If your teens have had braces, you know these appointments happen often…about every 3-4 weeks for over a year!

Because of this, and the cost of braces, we staggered it and had our girls in braces just one at a time.

I loved using these ortho appointments as an opportunity to have a breakfast date with my girls, but wanted to send them to school with a belly full of healthy food and I didn’t want to pay too much for it!

Because of this, we found a local breakfast restaurant called The Egg and I, and ordered the same gluten-free oatmeal pancake breakfast every time, and split it.

The pancake was hearty and huge and would fill the entire plate, and it came with fresh berries on top and a side of eggs and sausage. We always asked for a double portion of scrambled eggs instead of the meat, and we would leave full and happy!

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Brunch/ GF, Vegan & Raw/ Healthy Eating/ RECIPES

Crunchy Toasted Quinoa Topping


{“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Pure Via®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #PureViaSweet”}

Crunchy Toasted Quinoa Topping!  You are going to love this. It is an amazing way to add a healthy protein crunch to the top of your daily oatmeal or a berry yogurt snack.  It would even be great on top of ice cream.


I have been thinking about this recipe for about 2 years now. Yep, it is about time I allowed my taste buds the privilege of tasting crunchy, roasted, toasted quinoa again.

The first time I had toasted quinoa, I didn’t even know what it was! We were enjoying an amazing family trip at Disney, and were at Boma, a restaurant in the Animal Kingdom Lodge. Boma is known for their breakfast buffet, and I’m a huge breakfast fan, so I was pretty excited to wake up that morning and EAT!

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Brunch/ Healthy Eating/ HOME/ RECIPES

Baked Banana Chocolate Oatmeal with Triple Berry Puree


Oh how I love my oats.  I never tire of them, especially when they have chocolate in them and are drizzled with a triple berry puree!

This felt very decadent, like eating dessert for breakfast.  It reminded me of eating chocolate chip oatmeal cookie dough, but doing it in a way that is grown up and sophisticated. The berry puree is the perfect accompaniment, and I just might have guzzled the left-overs!

Using berry puree as a topping in place of syrup, is a great way to get those antioxidants in to my kids, and saves money as they are less expensive than 100% maple syrup.  Making berry puree have saved me many times when making pancakes, waffles and oats that I would usually top with syrup.  Perfect for when you have run out of syrup and have a freezer full of berries.

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Baked Banana Chocolate Oatmeal

(inspired by this recipe at The Oatmeal Artist)

  • 2 bananas
  • 3/4 cup of milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup water, or more milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • Berry Puree
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease 8×8 pan or line with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mash bananas, and then mix in milk, water, and vanilla extract.  Add oats, baking powder, and salt.  Stir.
  3. Add chocolate chips.
  4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes.
  5. Top with Berry Puree (recipe below)


Triple Berry Puree

  • 1 12 oz bag frozen mixed berries (I used Trader Joes Frozen Mixed Berry Blend of Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, & Blueberries), thawed
  • 2 medjool dates (or more depending on sweetness desired), pitted
  1. Pour thawed berried into blender.
  2. Add pitted dates.
  3. Puree until smooth.

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A Little Bit About Blenders

My Very Favorite by far–Professional Grade High Speed Blender

Some of the best money I have ever spent!
Vitamix Professional Blender and accessories
This is the model I have.  I drooled over it for a couple of years!
It was a splurge, but worth EVERY penny.  I use it 2-3 times a day.
It makes crushed ice in seconds.  It takes almonds to almond butter in seconds.  It makes the best raspberry fruit puree for pancakes and ice cream–obliterates all those little seeds into smooth puree heaven! We are eating 3 times the amount of fruits and veggies since purchasing this amazing blender, which I know is keeping us out of the doctors’ office and away from those expensive co-pays, so in my mind it has paid itself off.
Ninja Mega Kitchen Blender and accessories.

Runner Up

I’ve never used one, but have heard good things about them.  They are not professional grade like the Vitamix, but the price is much easier to swallow and they are powerful.
Oster and New Vitamix blenders in kitchen.
{my old Oster on the left, my New Vitamix on the right}


I had one of these for years and it does the job.  You can’t beat the price, and for smoothies, it works, although you have to blend much longer. You will still have chia and raspberry seeds in your smoothies, but if you don’t mind the extra texture, this one will do.  If you have had a high-speed blender, you will not be happy with this one.  If you are looking for something to get by until you can get a high-speed blender, and to just get those smoothies in you, this will do just fine.
What about you?  Do you have a high-speed blender?  Do you desire to have one?

Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole

I have 3 girls, 14, 12 & 10.  It seems I am always on the look out for food that all 3 of them will eat, that is healthy and that they enjoy.  Oatmeal has been a frustrating thing in this household.  My oldest likes the instant packets, but I don’t like the amount of sugar in them.  My middle doesn’t like oatmeal, unless it is in cookie form.  My youngest loves raw chia oats but won’t eat oatmeal cooked. I’ve become queen of making oatmeal a thousand different ways. See? FRUSTRATING…until now.  Enter Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole!
All 3 of my girls gobbled it up and had seconds, and I just sat and watched with a silly, satisfied grin.  They felt like they were eating dessert, almost like a blueberry crisp.  Little did they know it was oatmeal full of healthy ingredients.  
I had planned on making it once this week and then reheating leftovers.  The original recipe said this is the best way to eat it–make it once on Sunday and eat it all week!  The problem with that plan?  My girls ate it all in one day.  

It is simple to make.  It starts like most recipes.  Mixing dry ingredients together.

I like that the wet ingredients can be measured & mixed into a glass measure cup.  Less dishes to do!

My earth balance butter re-solidified after stirring into the cold milk and egg.  Oh well, no big whoop-de- do.

Mmmm… I love that this recipe uses maple syrup & fruit to sweeten.  

The bananas give it an amazing sweetness, so don’t skip them!  Don’t worry, they do not turn to mush.  They actually keep their shape quite well! 

Slice banana in to prepared dish.  I used about 2 1/2 bananas–and ate the other half.

Arrange them pretty.

Sprinkle with half the berries.  I love these tiny little wild blueberries from Trader Joes.

Sprinkle evenly with dry ingredients.

Slowly pour over wet ingredients directly from the glass measure cup.  Easy!

Love the reflection of light in the midst of blueberry mess.  Reminds me of life right now.  God shines through in the midst of unknowns, mistakes, drama & mess.  Love it!
35 minutes in the oven and here is what you get.  We added milk but decided it really did not need it.  My girls preferred eating this like you would a blueberry crisp, just plain, no milk.  
It is a wonderful, hearty, chunky, full -of -goodness, filling, delicious breakfast!
Blueberry Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided/optional (I skipped it and just added 1/4 cup more oats)
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup (I use natural)
1 cup milk (I used almond)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, (I use Earth Balance) melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup blueberries or raspberries, fresh or frozen, divided

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, half of the walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the syrup, milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.
3. Spread the sliced bananas in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the berries. Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer. Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats.
4. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and berries over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

{Don’t forget to pin!} 

GF, Vegan & Raw/ RECIPES/ Sweets

No Bake High Raw Oatmeal Banana Balls + Our New Raw Foods Contributor

High raw no bake banana oat balls

We are thrilled to be welcoming Teniel Moore as our new Raw Foods Contributor here at New Nostalgia.  Teniel will be here one Saturday a month sharing her love and knowledge of Raw Foods.

I have been seeking a 4th Saturday Contributor and Teniel is the perfect fit.  I am so intrigued by raw food recipes and have been incorporating them into our diet a couple times a week.  I got to know Teniel through Instagram, her photos of mouth watering raw foods made me a huge fan.  I also love following Addicted To Raw on Facebook, where she posts her recipes.

I recently had a Q&A session with Teniel about her Raw Foods diet.  I sure would have loved to have done it in person, but Teniel is from Australia so that would have been a bit hard!  Maybe someday I will get to visit her in person…how great would that be?

Teniel Moore
{keep on reading for the recipe!}
Q & A with Teniel from Addicted To Raw:
When did you start having an interest in raw foods?
I started looking into raw foods nearly 2 years ago. I knew I needed to change the way I was eating. I exercised all the time but still made bad food choices.
 I first heard about a 14 day green smoothie challenge. Which I completed and I have never looked back since. 
Why do you believe raw is the best way for you to eat?

I chose to eat mainly raw as I have found it to be the best way to nourish my body and feed it a huge amount of living foods.
It has given me an absolute love for fresh fruits and vegetables and has helped me maintain my weight and keep me regular.
I find it simple fast and fresh, and not in anyway as time consuming as cooking for my family can be.

How much of your diet is raw?
I eat a high raw diet. On average about 90% raw. Of course some days are more and some days are less. 
Does your whole family eat raw?

 I have a husband and 3 kids. My kids are twenty two, six and four. My eldest son who is twenty two does not live at home anymore. My family do not eat a raw diet. However our whole families
diet has changed dramatically since I started eating raw. My kids are aware of how healthy I eat and they often like to copy me. Snacks have become based all around whole foods and lots of foods like raw cookies, kale chips and fruit leathers instead of lots of packaged foods. I cook food for them but its based around whole foods. To me being a good example is the best thing I can do. 
Have you always liked fruits and vegetables or was it an acquired taste for you?
 I never had a strong dislike for fruits or vegetables, but I used to find it very hard to get my basic serve of vegetables into my diet every day. It was a real struggle. 
Breakfast was always multi grain toast with honey or jam with a coffee or sometimes oats. Lunch was always on the go and it would be a milk based coffee drink with maybe a fruit bun or some fresh fruit. If I was at home I’d just grab a bowl of cereal. Dinner usually had some vegetables in it along with some meat or fish. 
So as you can see no where near the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables that our bodies need. Raw food has given me a genuine love for fresh fruits and vegetables. I truly love them now and have learned so many ways to make them taste delicious while still keeping them full of goodness.
What are some foods you make sure you eat every day?
Greens greens and more greens. I have to eat greens every day. I believe they are so good for us. I get these greens through a green juice or smoothie and salads.
What is a go to breakfast for you?
A green juice or green smoothie.
What is a go to lunch for you?
A smoothie. This smoothie is often a more indulgent smoothie. Often made from almond milk, frozen fruit and some cacao powder. Or a chia seed cereal with fresh fruits and sometimes a delicious flax cracker with some veggies and sauerkraut.

What is a go to snack for you?

I am big on snacks. I look forward to them. My go to snack is always some type of goodie/energy ball or oat cookie that I have made. Sometimes just a beautiful crisp organic apple with a nut butter. 
Is eating raw hard on the budget?
Eating raw can be expensive. I try to buy about 80% of my food organic. With a family of 4 at home that can be very expensive. I buy most of my fresh vegetables at a local
organic market every Sunday. It’s much cheaper and of course fresher than the supermarkets. Its really about shopping smarter and planning ahead. And of course knowing your prices and buying whats in season.
Do you ever miss cooked foods? 

Yes and No. You see I still eat some cooked food. I am not 100% raw and are not really striving to be 100%. I enjoy some cooked quiona at least once a week. Would be happy to eat some cooked beans or baked vegetables. But for the most part I just make my salad for dinner and find I am very content with it. 
Do you ever do juice fasts? Why?
I do love a little juice fast. I did my first juice fast in October 2012. This was a 7 day juice only fast. I did this fast to see what a juice fast was like and too give my digestion a break. After doing that fast I made a commitment to myself that at the beginning of every month I  would do a 2 day mini juice fast. I love the discipline that comes with fasting and each month it serves as a reminder to me to be more mindful of what food I should be eating and how much food I really only need.
How do you feel during a juice fast? After?

My diet going into a fast is pretty good. Not perfect but certainly not the SAD diet I used to have. So I find I do not have many strong detox symptoms. However I do not
do extended juice fasts. Maybe I would see a different result if I did longer than 7 days. I might get a slight headache and some puffy eyes. But other than that nothing. I also have to cut back on my running for that week and take it a bit easier.
After a juice fast I feel a great sense of accomplishment and feel proud that I disciplined myself to not eat and give my digestion a break. Of course I feel lighter and enjoy the feeling my body has only been feed 100% raw organic juice.


No sugar no bake high raw oatmeal banana bites

banana oat cookies ingredients
No Bake High Raw Oatmeal Banana Bites 
from Teniel @Addicted To Raw
1/4 cup sultans (raisins)
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup-1cup dates
3 cups oats
1 banana
3 tsp honey
Process almonds in food processor until a little texture is still left  Add your dates and raisins and mix well, still leaving some bits visible.  Add one cup of oats and mix, then add banana & process again.  Now add coconut and the rest of the oats along with the honey.  Process.  Add a drizzle of water to help moisten the mix if needed.  You want the mixture to have a consistency that makes it easy to form into balls, so add water if it is too crumbly.  Store in refrigerator.
Oatmeal banana balls mix
For more amazing Raw Food ideas and recipes, follow Addicted to Raw on Facebook & tell her New Nostalgia sent you!  
Brunch/ HOME/ RECIPES/ Simplifying

Oatmeal Freezer Pucks

If you have read New Nostalgia for any length of time, you will know I am a huge oatmeal fan.  I eat oats in some form every morning for breakfast, and usually end up snacking on another form of them during the day.  I eat them raw, cooked, in smoothies, in breads, in cookies and muffins.  I love my oats!

In the summer, my favorite fast breakfast is raw oats, almond milk, and frozen raspberries.  I let it sit a couple minutes for the oats to soak and raspberries to thaw.  It is a great on-the-go breakfast when thrown in a small mason jar.  I sweeten it with date paste or maple syrup.  Yum.

Now that it is getting chilly outside, I want the comfort of a warm porridge in the morning.  I love steel cut oats and their slightly chewy texture, but did not like the amount of time they take to prepare in the mornings.

Enter Trader Joes.

I found already prepared steel cut oats in the freezer section of Trader Joes.  I loved how they came, frozen in pucks and ready to heat.  They had simple ingredients with no preservatives.  I loved everything about them, especially that they spurred on the idea of this post!

The price at TJ’s is good, but I knew I could make them for much less money, and sugar.  So I did!
I bought Bob Mills Steel Cut Oats.  Any brand will do!

 Prepare according to package directions.  Let cool slightly.  Pour into muffin tins.  I did not grease mine, it was not necessary.

It made 6 large pucks and 12 small ones.  I had a couple leftover servings in the pan and ate ’em up!

Here is how I placed them in the freezer.  A simple cookie sheet in between the pans did the trick. 

I froze them solid, then took out of the freezer.  I filled my sink with an inch of warm water, let the bottoms of the pan soak in it for a couple minutes, then used a knife at the edge of each puck to pop them out.  They came out very easily. 

The small muffin pucks were the perfect size for my three lil’ muffin girls.  They love helping themselves to a frozen oatmeal puck in the morning.

The larger size was perfect for me!  

Keep in freezer bags, and pull out when needed.  Microwave 2 minutes for large, 1 minute for small.  Stir.  Heat in additional increments of 30 seconds until heated through.  Serve with maple syrup & cinnamon, and whatever toppings you prefer!

 More Of My Oatmeal Loves:
Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Oatmeal
Cinnamon Maple Pumpkin Oatmeal
2 Minute Steel Cut Oats (another fast way to make them)
Oatmeal Whole Wheat Quick Bread
No Cook, Overnight Chia Oatmeal
Oatmeal Fully Loaded
Chewy Granola Bars/Best Chocolate “Candy Bar”


Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Oatmeal

If you have read many posts here at New Nostalgia, you will know that I have a thing for oatmeal.  I have oats almost every morning.  I love how filling and nutritious they are.  I like ’em cold in the summer (overnight chia oatmeal pudding) and hot in the winter, just like my coffee!

{I miss them already}
My sister, Laurie from Beauty Divine, and her boy came to visit last week and I made them Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Oatmeal.  My sister loved it and called me for the recipe the minute she got home.  I told her I would post it, so here it is!

Cinnamon Apple Cranberry Oatmeal
Serves 2.

1 cup water
1 cup milk or milk substitute (I used almond)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
pinch nutmeg
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup oats
1 apple, sliced thinly, then chopped

Sweetener of choice-I drizzle with real maple syrup
Pat of butter or butter substitute (I use Earth Balance) (optional)

Bring water, milk, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg & cranberries to a boil.  Add oats.  Stir and reduce heat.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and add thinly sliced apples. I use a mandolin, then do a rough chop.  This makes them small enough for the hot oats to soften them just enough.  Drizzle with maple syrup or sprinkle with brown sugar.

What’s your favorite way to eat oats?
Have you checked out my awesome giveaway from KraftyKash??