Green Oatmeal Muffins — breakfast olé

I love oats. At least five of seven mornings, my breakfast consists of oatmeal with fruits, berries and (preferably) roasted nuts. Who doesn’t like a healthy, fruity, energy boosting breakfast to kick-start the day? That’s right.

For the past months and years, smoothies — especially green smoothies — have been the thing in the healthy living department. So I must make a little confession: I am not into smoothies. I like my fruits to eat bite by bite, not to drink sip by sip. And as for the “green” part in smoothies: Same here — I like my broccoli al dente.

When I found this recipe that I am about to share with you on Our Body Book — one of the best resources for delicious, nutritious recipes — it sounded so good, that I gave it a try, although it said “smoothie” in its title. And folks: I am so glad I did! It not only a nice variation of a tasty oatmeal breakfast, it is also such a great source of energy through the bananas, oats and spinach as main ingredients. The muffins are not only a smart option for breakfast but also as an afternoon snack before working out!

Green Oatmeat Muffins
Green Oatmeal Muffins
Green Oatmeal Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas (the riper, the sweeter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • a pinch sea salt
  • 2 cups uncooked oats
  • 2 1/2 cups spinach
  • buckwheat

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix all ingredients (f. ex. in a food processor) until fully blended.
  3. Portion out in between ten to twelve muffin holes.
  4. Sprinkle as much buckwheat on top of the muffins as desired.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes.
Green Oatmeal Muffins
Green Oatmeal Muffins

You might see that my muffins did not exactly turn out to be green — that is because I mixed the ingredients by hand, not through the help of a food processor. If you do use a food processor, your muffins will turn out perfectly green in color!

Enjoy (with a cup of coffee)! 🙂

Do you have an ultimately healthy and yummy breakfast recipe that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

 

This recipe is an adaption of Taesha’s recipe on Our Body Book.

We Heart Cookies: Double Chocolate Chip Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies

3If there is a sweet treat, barely someone can resist, it’s chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Crunchy or chewy, does not matter. The combination of rustic oats and sweet chocolate is mouth-watering and can only be topped with a fruity component: cranberries that is. When I discovered this recipe a few years ago, I did not know these cookies would become not only my but everybody’s all-time favorite cookies. Literally everyone who knows the true promise of these cookies, becomes a huge fan: family, friends, boyfriend, collegues, gym buddies, friends at acting class — all ages, all kinds of different people.

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Great thing about the recipe is that you can vary the ingredients as you like: maybe you prefer nuts over cranberries or only milk chocolate chips? Feel free to try out new variations! They turn out to be delicious either way. To tell you a little secret: every time someone (besides my mother) asked me for the recipe, I kept it a secret. But today is the day I will no longer hold back on giving out the best chocolate chip oatmeal cookies ever.

This is why I happily share my recipe with you.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (soft) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tsps vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • about 1 tsp salt
  • 3 cups oats
  • about 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
  • about 3/4 cup white chocolate chips
  • about 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C).
  2. Cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and stir until well combined.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, salt and oats, chocolate chips and cranberries to the creamy mixture and mix until well combined.
  4. Forming balls with an ice-cream scroop, place the cookies on a baking sheet. You do not need to flatten them.
  5. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  6. When you take the cookies out to cool on a wire rack, be careful: they might be soft, but they will become firm once cooled off.

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Enjoy pure deliciousness with a cup of jo and tell me how you like them. x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

 

P. S.: This recipe is an adaption of Panthera’s recipe on allrecipes.com.

spotlight on morning routines — take 2

This following notion is take 2 (the beauty of seasonal morning routines) on morning routines. Also see take 1 (the impact of morning routines on us).

The beauty of mornings is one of a kind. The seasons define our morning routines. Seasons decide what we’ll have for breakfast and where we’ll sit having breakfast. They make for our level of motivation when looking out the window. Seasons influence our choice of music. And seasons very much determine our perception of our environment. In strong nostalgia of past summers, I’d like to share with you one of my last year’s summer morning routines.

My alarm does not have to go off — the beautiful rays of sunlight that shine through my window into my room, warming my face, wake me up gently. The pleasant anticipation of a bright and sunshiny day get me out of bed and clear the need of pushing “snooze”. My thoughts are filled with beachy memories and happy ideas. Tiptoe-ing to the window, opening it and taking in — with all my senses — everything summer offers on this beautiful morning:

I hear the birds tweeting to one another, sharing their laughter.
I feel the mild air and sunshine on my skin, making me feel alive.
I smell the flowers, growing my longing to finally step outside.
I see the green leaves that dance in the light wind, gratitude pulsing inside me.
Is there a thing more perfect than this very moment?

Is there? The conscious gratitude of the “here and now” fills me with great contentment. I get dressed (a light shirt and jeans shorts are all I need today), get ready, smile into the bathroom mirror and dance my way downstairs. Before I head to the kitchen, I take a moment and get on the patio, take a deep breath, stretch, smell the flowers.

The kitchen is my go-to-place on sunny mornings like this. The kitchen window is where the sun goes up. I prepare my breakfast: I slice a watermelon and goat cheese into pieces and place them on a plate and pour over a little honey. The colors on the plate speak for themselves: pink, gold and white. Nature’s treasure. The combination of the freshness of the waterlemon, the creaminess of the goat cheese and the sweetness of the honey creates a culinary delight. With the bitterness of my cup of black coffee on top, it is the best light breakfast to have. Sitting by the kitchen table on the chair, crossed-legged, I enjoy the peace with nothing but the birds singing in the background.

With my spare half an hour left before I need to leave for work, I hop on my bike and cruise around the neighborhood. Enjoying the wind blowing through my hair as I gain momentum, and the sights of colorful gardens that make me smile, I breathe freely.

Grabbing my tote bag with all the necessities for the day ahead as well as my workout bag, I head to my car and head off to the first destination. Driving with my windows down on the country road, I sing along the Mamma Mia! soundtrack, dancing and loving the day.

What does a summer morning routine of yours look like?

-your tiny woman in a giant world

spotlight on morning routines — take 1

This following notion is take 1 (the impact of morning routines on us) of 2 (the beauty of seasonal morning routines).

Recently, I have been philosophizing about how different the unique ways are through which we all view tiny aspects of life — these tiny aspects ultimately sum up to define our world view. I find that we have to mix up actions and activities within certain areas of our lives from time to time in order to freshen up this world view and reconsider opinions we have to ultimately have a wiser and more educated, experienced and most of all relaxed perspective on everything. This said, there is a special impact morning routines have on us, don’t you think?

Morning routines: a repetitive scheme of actions and thoughts

6.30 am. The alarm goes off. In my head the actions after my getting out of bed are playing precisely. Before we make our ways out of bed in the morning, we instantly go over the next steps. The way we start into the day, the things we do morning in morning out, we do through a repetitive scheme. A repetitive scheme not only of actions but also thoughts. Special drinks we insist on in the morning — like coffee, smoothies or green tea. Our preferences regarding breakfast: oatmeal, pancakes or no breakfast at all (I do not recommend that, it’s healthier to have breakfast — a nutrient-rich breakfast fuels your body with energy)? Turning on the news while having breakfast or watching your favorite YouTube videos (my current morning obsession: Late Night with Seth Meyers’ “A Closer Look” — this format is so incredibly funny and intelligent!)?

The impact of morning routines on us

Everyone takes different input through different actions in the morning. This input through actions makes us think specific thoughts. Surely, our thoughts do not exclusively develop through the activities and extrinsic content that we take in. But thoughts do not only derive from ourselves either. So switching up our morning routines from time to time is a great way to break through a creative blockages or just overcoming a phase in which you feel unchallenged or feel the need of freshness in your mind.

Alternative morning routines

One method to gaining a new perspective is by following new routines, like doing things differently in the morning. Here is a collection of ideas for your new morning routine from me for you.

  • The Mindful Routine: Om your way into the day.
    • Yoga/meditation/stretching on a mat in the biggest room available in your apartment/house upon awaking, with instrumental meditation music in the background
    • get ready
    • breakfast: Matcha tea and rice cakes with cashew cream and superfood toppings (honey, goji berries, chia seeds, nuts, cinnamon), fruit bowl
    • breakfast location: whatever room looks at the sunrise, create a cozy corner
    • read a book alongside your breakfast or write something down, whatever crosses your mind or whatever thought you are involved with that very moment
  • The Wild Routine: Dance your way into the day.
    • turn funky music on
    • get ready dancing (contemporary, ballet moves, jazz, hip hop or whatever moves you feel like doing) your way through every day of your home
    • prepare breakfast, still dancing
    • breakfast: healthy oatmeal cookies with nuts, dried fruits and a smoothie
    • breakfast location:  whatever room looks at the streets or the sunrise
    • watch funny videos or read funny lines alongside having breakfast
  • The Intellectual Routine: Inform your way into the day.
    • stretch upon awaking
    • turn on a documentary channel or news (TV or radio)
    • get ready listening
    • breakfast: brown bread with almond butter or cream cheese and superfood toppings (honey, goji berries, chia seeds, nuts, cinnamon), or jelly, cappuccino with coconut milk
    • breakfast location: kitchen
    • read the paper alongside having breakfast

Switch up your morning routines and have a new look at the world from a different angle, it will brighten up your worldview. Do not miss my upcoming notion on the beauty of seasonal morning routines next week.

Have a weekend full of fresh & fun perceptions x

-your tiny woman in a giant world

We Heart Cookies: Valentine’s Day Edition

As you’ve been following the V-Day countdown, Valentine’s Day is only 5 days away. Time get the love-themed baking on!

Searching for a yummy recipe on Pinterest, I stumbled upon a Raspberry Oatmeal Cookies recipe by Amy’s Healthy Baking. I do love oatmeal cookies (and so does everyone I know), and this recipe sounded particularly healthy which — only a month after the Christmas Holiday Indulgence season — was a plus. So I took the recipe and pimped it up for Valentine’s Day gift making purposes. Beware that these cookies really are healthy (besides the glaze), so they do not taste like your average crunchy sweet cookies. I added a white chocolate vanilla glaze and a little citrus that freshens the taste. They turned out to be delicious and look totally cute — a great gift for your health-conscious gal pals.

Here is how you make the Raspberry Oatmeal Cookies with White Chocolate Vanilla Glaze:

vday-cookies-enchanting-notions
Raspberry Oatmeal Cookies /w White Chocolate Vanilla Glaze, or: A V-Day Treat

Ingredients

  • 1 cup instant oats
  • 3/4 cups spelt whole wheat flour
  • 1,5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp melted coconut oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • lemon juice, optional
  • 3/4 cup frozen raspberries
  • white chocolate
  • vanilla

Instructions

  • Mix the melted coconut oil, egg, vanilla extract and honey and a little lemon juice thoroughly until blended.
  • Stir in the flour, oats, salt, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • Put the frozen raspberries under warm water for a few seconds. Slice them in halves and stir in the dough.
  • Chill the dough for half an hour.
  • Preheat the oven 330 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • This step is quite sticky: Form the cookies into heart-shapes and bake for about 18 minutes. I did not flaten them enough, so make sure you do.
  • Cool the cookies on a wire rack. In the meantime: melt the white chocolate and stir in vanilla.
  • Once cookies cooled off, glaze with the chocolate-vanilla mixture. Before eating, wait until glaze is completely firm.
  • Enjoy over a cup of coffee! / Or wrap in red napkins, put in a nice little cookies’ box and make them a present for your loved one(s) 🙂

Let me know how you like them! xo

-your tiny woman in a giant world

a berry dream of a summer cake

Is it really already July?

Summer is in full swing (although here in Cologne, Germany, we have only got the pleasure of a little taste yet, but we will get there – … hopefully). The flowers are blooming, the nights are shorter, the days sunnier and longer. These beautiful days, all I can think about is to be outside: from meeting up with friends in beer gardens and parks to shifting my workouts outside so that I can enjoy the birds’ twitter, the wind blowing in my hair and the sun kissing my skin.

On a sunny Sunday like this, nothing comes close to the deliberating effect of singing and dancing to Miranda Lambert while baking a fruity berry summer cake. I got inspired by the Swedish Midsummer berry cake recipe by Nourish Atelier – a wonderful food blog with lots of healthy and delicious recipes. It looked so tasty that I had to give it a shot and the result is: it is a fruity citrus dream of a cake! Perfect to indulge in on a coffee-and-cake kind of Sunday in the garden. In my version, I did some minor changes, here is how I did it:

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 125g coconut oil
  • 125g honey
  • 2/3 cup almond milk
  • zest of 1 orange
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 banana, mashed
  • 2tbsp vanilla extract
  • 250g spelt flour
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 75g cacao powder
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cardamom

Berry mascarpone icing:

  • 200g mascarpone
  • raspberries, one handful, halved
  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 2tbsp honey
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1tbsp cinnamon
  • 1tsp honey
  • 1/4 cup almonds, halved

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Grease a 25cm spring form with coconut oil.
  3. Melt the coconut oil slowly in a pan.
  4. In a bowl, mix together the mashed banana, almond milk, vanilla extract, orange and lemon zest and honey. When the oil is melted, all to the bowl and mix well.
  5. In another bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, cacao powder, salt and cardamom.
  6. Whisk in the wet ingredients to blend.
  7. Bake until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes..
  8. In the meantime, mix all the ingredients – except for the 1tsp honey and the almonds – for the icing and put in the refrigerator to cool.
  9. Put the almonds on a plate and sprinkle honey over them. Put in the oven for 10  minutes.
  10. When the cake is ready, let it rest to cool.
  11. When the cake is cooled down, add the icing on top and spinkle the caramelised almonds over the cake.
  12. Et voilà, enjoy with a cup of coffee and lots of sunshine in the garden. 🙂

Tell me, if you try the cake and let me know, how it turns out! Would love to see your pictures of your cakes on Pinterest or via e-mail!

Have a lovely Sunday,

-your tiny woman in a giant world

happy places or a description of an island’s (cottage’s) charm

Have you had a moment of complete mind peacefulness and zen in the past weeks? Moments where you can sort out things that you need time thinking about and solving in your mind for? Moments that you spend at an individual happy place without any disturbing external influences? Where you can spend your time doing whatever you please to do?

Every once in a while, that is what we all need – to spoil ourselves.

Imagine a charming cottage on a beautiful island. A garden that was created with so much love and patience, it spreads pure joyfulness if one just observes the details.

We need to visit a place to treat our tummy with delicious sunrise morning coffees, juicy fruits, exotic food and good wine in the evenings, our eyes with views of nature’s beauty and walks through lovely streets, our ears with nothing but bird twitters and the sound of palm leaves that blow in the wind, our bodies and souls with early morning meditation and yoga sessions and sunny swims.

Have you experienced that much inspiration at a place that you could do all those things being exactly who you want to be? Thinking only thoughts that you want to think? Sometimes, we need time to remind ourselves of our ideals and of the people we once decided we wanted to be.

For you, it may not be an island – it may be some place completely different. We all have a happy place – often it even changes over time.

If you would like to see impressions of the cottage and the island that I am referring to, you are welcome to visit my Pinterest board to rummage in my pictures.

Do you know your happy place? I would love to find out about it if you do. If not, I wish you have much fun exploring some for yourself!

-your tiny woman in a giant world

A Sunday image

In a little town’s central square on a sunny Sunday at noon, a curly brunette, Amy, begins her day. The one holy day of the week, when everybody is resting and energizing for the week coming up, Amy is well aware of the importance of organizing her thoughts and plans in order to be starting off a week teeming with creativity. Sipping her cappuccino in a bakery café, she glances out of the window, observing two ducks sunbathing their way across the square. The habitants’ friendly conversations are passing by her ear. The charm of a little town never seizes to put a smile on her face. Holding a novel in her hands, Amy feels the relief and joy of a wandering mind, in pleasant anticipation of the day’s plans ahead with her happymaker(s).

Let your mind wander and your spirit be free.

-your tiny woman in a giant world

a declaration of love & deep appreciation

Thanksgiving is already over. But let’s just take a second and be thankful for our daily companion.

The one companion that we look forward to the most when going to bed. It is the first thing that we think of in the morning. The only companion that keeps us walking out of bed when it is still dark outside. The companion that – with its marvellous smell – puts a sunshiny smile on our faces even when the weather is frightful.

The one companion that catches our midday low and fills us up with energy to make it through busy days. The only companion that we indulge in during long working hours. The companion that warms our tummy and that we reward ourselves with every now and then.

It is the one companion that we allow when we spend long hours talking to our friends about life. The only companion that is our favorite excuse to meet with special someones at late hours… The companion to snuggle up with on cozy Sunday mornings.

It is there for us whenever we need it, it pleases and enriches us emotionally, physically and mentally and gives the badest days a positive touch. Thank you, Coffee, for everything you do for us!

-your tiny woman in a giant world