Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bites

Toddlers have truly stolen my heart. Being that my boys are past the age, I can now observe with an impartial eye. I teach baking classes with parents and their children and am absolutely smitten with these passionate creatures. Watching the pure joy that a child gets from whisking flour and then biting into the final baked product is so rewarding. Being around toddlers reminds me to look for the wonder in the small joys of life, be present in my environment and explore with all my senses.

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Toddlers liked making and eating these oatmeal chocolate chip bites. They are slightly sweet and resemble a cookie more than a bowl of breakfast mush. We had so much fun mashing bananas and stirring in the chocolate chips. By the time the class was over, there wasn’t a crumb left on their plates. Want to try it for yourself? I promise you won’t be disappointed.

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bites

When I say a recipe is toddler approved, please know that I am giving it the highest form of flattery. This recipe is adapted from the cookbook “Home Baked”. They come together in a snap and are the perfect accompaniment to any meal or snack time. I love that these are nut free, which make them an easy choice to bring to the classroom.

Makes 12

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 2/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • ½ cup nuts or choc chips
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 ℉. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Mix oatmeal, salt and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Whisk the egg white until bubbly and frothy. Add egg white to the mashed banana and honey. Mix for a couple strokes to combine. Add banana mixture to the bowl of oats and spices. Use a rubber spatula to mix. It will look dry at first but keep mixing. Once the banana mixture has been fully incorporated, pour in chocolate chips and mix again. Let rest for 5 minutes. This rest time will soften the oats and make it easier for the balls to hold their shape. Using your hands, firmly press the mixture together to form two inch balls and place on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly brown and firm to the touch. Cool and enjoy. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Apple Oatmeal – Day 2 Tastiest Bite

Oatmeal has a special place in my heart. I find it tastes best when made slowly on the stove top, preferably stirred gently with a wooden spoon. I conjure the spirit of Laura Ingalls Wilder as I divide the thickened oats into bowls. I’ve tried desperately to bring my love of oatmeal to my children. One will tolerate oatmeal if offered twice a year. Any more often and it is flatly refused.

I thought we were having a break through a couple of years ago when the littlest was in preschool. His class made the cutest of cookbooks for Mother’s Day. One morning, Kai brought me the cookbook and asked to make the recipe from his friend for oatmeal with apples in it. Elated, I grabbed the pot and we poured in the old-fashioned oats, water and salt. Kai stood on a stool and stirred the oatmeal. I added the chopped apple, spoonful of sugar and dash of cinnamon. We covered the pot and waited expectantly for the apples to soften and become infused with the spices. I spooned the apple oatmeal into each bowl and added a stream of cold milk. The oatmeal was eaten with pride and enjoyment.

I have tried a couple of times to replicate this experience, yet somehow it doesn’t live up to the memory of the first time. Kai will halfheartedly eat a few bites and leave the rest for me to eat the next morning. Yesterday, I bypassed the stove and went straight for the instant Nature Path Apple Spice Oatmeal and was pleasantly surprised by the creamy texture and hint of spice. It was slightly sweet and the apples were minced and dried, which created the illusion of apple flavor without having to bite into chewy chunks that are often a part of packaged mixes. Maybe, tomorrow I’ll make two bowls instead of one.

How do you eat your oatmeal?

Stove top Apple Oatmeal

Serves 2

This recipe is adapted from the cookbook “Good and Cheap” which I highly recommend. I threw in a peeled and diced apple and used water for the liquid instead of apple juice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 small apple, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar (more to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in a small pot on the stove. Stir occasionally. Bring to a boil and then turn heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Spoon into bowls and top with milk if desired.

Friday Reflections – April 21

Happy Friday! It was my husband’s birthday last weekend as well as Spring Break. To celebrate, we headed down to Portland for the weekend. We hadn’t been to the Portland Art Museum and decided to check it out. I love how art connects the past and the present. I have had such interesting conversations with the boys in museums. It makes topics that are sometimes hard to discuss easier when you have to face the topic full on through art.

For the last couple months I have been going to physical therapy for my back, hips, neck – all of it! I wish my past self would’ve paid more attention to the importance of strengthening one’s core. Before PT I literally didn’t even know where my core was but boy do I now. I’m finally moving past PT and am going to start pilates. Finger’s crossed it will be enough to push me over the hump.

Easter baskets with Pokemon, chocolate and legos. Don’t you love that sweatband? He wears it 24/7 in the house and I’m hoping he’ll start wearing it out because it’s so darn cute.

Easter morning, rainbows and a spectacular bowl of ramen round out this week’s favorite moments.

Rhubarb also makes me so happy to see. I used to eat rhubarb raw when I was a child. Can you believe that? So incredibly sour. It’s much better stewed with some sugar and spooned into yogurt or oatmeal. Believe me.

Now onto the weekend. Ease into it with laughter, friendship and hopefully some sunshine.

Cheers!

Rachel

 

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The Portland Art Museum had this beautiful collection of silver from King George II. Why don’t gravy boats still have lids? It makes so much sense.
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This looks like I hit a buy 3 get 1 free sale but alas it is just my stash of physical therapy tools. I’m hoping this is the last of it (and that I look as amazing working the mini ball as the model does!)
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We made it home from Portland in the afternoon, so the Easter bunny was a little late. All smiles though from the kiddos.
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Spring at its best.
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I’ve had my share of ramen by this point but this is by far my favorite place. Thankfully I get Mike’s soy sauce egg because one is just not enough.
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Ruby red rhubarb always brings a smile to my face.