Easy Skillet Granola |

Easy Skillet Granola

This recipe for Easy Skillet Granola is a delicious way to start the day…and takes minutes to make!  It is also vegan and can be nut free and gluten free.

Easy Skillet Granola |

As much as we love granola, it is not something that we buy very often.  It is challenging to find granola made without nuts, and with nut allergies at home…well it just makes sense to find something else.  I actually never realized how easy it is to make granola at home until making this Easy Skillet Granola recipe!…

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Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies | Alida's Kitchen #recipes #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies #SundaySupper #ChooseDreams

Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies are chewy, fruit-filled cookies made without any added sugar or butter.  They are vegan, nut free and can be gluten free.   

Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies |

This recipe for Healthy Coconut Banana Cookies recipe is inspired by one of my favorite healthy cookie recipes – Healthy Banana Cookies.  These cookies are naturally sweetened with dates and bananas, which is always a delicious combination.  I decided to give that recipe a coconut twist by using coconut oil and adding some coconut.  Coconut was such a tasty addition that goes so well with the banana.  …

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Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies | #recipes #vegan #breakfast #cookies #mybloom #spon

Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies

Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies are a healthy breakfast treat made with simple, wholesome ingredients such as bananas, almond butter, and oatmeal. {vegan}

We are always looking for quick and easy breakfasts – something healthy that can be eaten on-the-go. And when that means eating (healthy) cookies for breakfast, even better! When I stumbled upon these vegan breakfast cookies, I could not get to the kitchen fast enough to whip up a batch. Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies are really easy to make, using ingredients commonly found in the pantry. They taste even better the second day (or third, if they last that long). Since they are so moist and chewy, I stored them in the refrigerator. They were really tasty chilled as well! From the bananas to the oatmeal to the almond butter, Almond Butter Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies are like a healthy bowl of oatmeal in cookie form….

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Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes | #BakeWithGhirardelli #CleverGirls #spon

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes are a hearty oatmeal buttermilk pancake studded with chocolate chips!  

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes |

Every Valentine’s Day, I like to make something special for my family, whether it’s a breakfast treat or a special dessert.  These Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes combine the two – they taste like a chewy, oatmeal chocolate chip cookie in pancake form.  This recipe is adapted from my Oatmeal Raisin Pancake recipe, so they are a bit healthier, with a little decadence from the chocolate chips.  For the ultimate indulgence, I used Ghirardelli Bittersweet Chocolate Baking Chips (60% Cacao).  The smooth, rich bites of chocolate studded throughout the oatmeal buttermilk pancakes really made them delicious!  In fact, I used these same baking chips in my Chocolate Malt Bread Pudding recipe, and they really add such a deep, wonderful chocolate flavor.  …

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Grandma’s Caramel Bars

 My grandma was always impressive in the kitchen, especially with her holiday treats.  This recipe she created for Caramel Bars is no exception!  Most caramel bars I’ve had have been underwhelming and have had a relatively stiff caramel layer in the center.  So is not the case with these Caramel Bars.  The caramel layer is gooey, melty and wonderful.   The oat crust and crumbly topping are simple and delicious, and the chocolate chips add some chocolate and texture.  Her recipe also includes 1 cup walnuts, which I do not use.  No holiday treat platter is complete without caramel bars!

Speaking of holiday treats, we are in Week 10 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats!  This recipe makes a generous amount, so is definitely a good treat to have on hand for your holiday celebrations.

Grandma’s Caramel Bars
Yields: 3 to 4 dozen bars, depending on size
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick oats work fine)
  • 1 cup butter, softened (I use light butter)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 14-ounce package caramels
  • ⅓ cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, put the flour, oats, butter, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Using an electric mixer on low (I use a hand mixer), slowly beat in the butter until combined, moist, and pea-sized crumbs form. Press ½ of mixture into prepared baking dish and bake for 12 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, slowly melt caramels and evaporated milk over a double boiler (or a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water), stirring frequently.
  4. Once crust is done, pour caramel mixture over crust. Sprinkle chocolate chips (and walnuts, if using) over caramel. Crumble remaining oat mixture over caramel and chocolate chips. Bake for 12 minutes and move to a wire rack to cool completely.

We are already to week #10 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  Be sure to check out all the other bloggers who are participating this week in the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats blog hop. And if you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us.


Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies from Alida's Kitchen

Every time I drop Adam off at Preschool, he asks what I’m going to do while he’s at school.  Last week I told him laundry and other boring things.  He told me I should make something…I should make something with pumpkin.  Little did he know, I had these Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies on my list of things to do, so easy enough.  I told him I would make some pumpkin cookies, and he just beamed!  That definitely sounds better than laundry 🙂

These Pumpkin White Chocolate Chips cookies are very soft with a little chewy bite from the oats.  I changed up the sugar ratio a bit from the original recipe because I love what brown sugar does to baked goods.  The original recipe calls for 1 egg, but I initially made a half recipe.  How do you cut an egg in half?  I used the full egg in half, and 2 in a full recipe.  The dough is a little gooey, so it helps to refrigerate it a bit before baking.    Otherwise I don’t know exactly how this impacts the recipe, but I do know these cookies are perfection and would not change a thing.

I am sharing these delightful cookies for week 3 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas Treats, hosted by Meal Planning Magic.  While these cookies are perfect for any holiday cookie platter, I do think they would also make an excellent Halloween or Thanksgiving treat, or any time treat for other fellow pumpkin lovers!  

Pumpkin White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Yields: approximately 48 cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1½ cups white chocolate chips
  1. In a large bowl, cram butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, oats, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and cinnamon.
  3. Stir in flour mixture into butter mixture alternately with pumpkin. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  4. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes to overnight.
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet(s) with parchment paper.
  6. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls onto prepared baking sheets and bake for 12 to 13 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Adapted from Taste of Home

If you’re a blogger and want to join in on the fun, check out this post for the form to fill out to start baking along with us!

healthy buttermilk oatmeal peach muffins

Oat Peach Muffins

One of the first cookbooks I purchased was the Better Crocker’s New Choices Cookbook.  I have found several wonderful recipes in that book, including these Oat Peach Muffins.  These muffins are one of my very favorites from the book, and it’s nice knowing they’re made on the healthier side.

What really makes these muffins amazing is the molasses.  Molasses adds such a delicious character to the muffins and really goes well with the peaches and cinnamon.  The oats give a hearty texture, while the buttermilk yields a moist crumb.  These muffins are a great way to put to use all of those fresh peaches this time of year.   I do often use frozen peaches though, so we can enjoy these muffins all year long.

Oat Peach Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins
  • 1¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup chopped peaches (thawed if frozen)
  • Cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 12-cup muffin tin with cooking spray (or line with paper liners).
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, combine oats and buttermilk. Add brown sugar, oil, molasses, vanilla and egg, whisking until blended.
  4. Fold in flour mixture with buttermilk mixture until moistened (batter will be lumpy). Fold in peaches.
  5. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes, and then move to a wire rack to cool completely.


Adapted from Betty Crocker’s New Choices Cookbook

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

Today I am sharing with you my favorite breakfast that I make with peanut butter ~ Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal!  It’s easy, inexpensive and so good for you.  And it can be made in less than 5 minutes!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal is a simple balance of natural, wholesome foods.  The complex carbs from the oats, along with the good fats and protein from the peanut butter, are the perfect combination to power you through your day.  I also use a very ripe banana as a natural sweetener – no added sugar needed.

I normally make this by putting everything in one bowl, but it’s also fun to cook the chocolate and peanut butter portions separately and swirl them together in your serving bowl, as pictured.  It all works.   It’s chocolate; it’s peanut butter; it’s breakfast!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal
Yields: 1 serving
  • ½ cup quick oats
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed meal (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • chocolate chips and peanuts (for garnish, optional)
Directions (one bowl)
  1. Put oats, cocoa, peanut butter, flax seed (if using) and water in microwavable bowl. Microwave on high for 1½ to 2 minutes, or until oats have absorbed the water to desired consistency. Stir in mashed banana and microwave on high for another 20 to 30 seconds. Garnish as desired, and serve.
Directions (for swirl)
  1. Put ¼ cup oats in 2 separate microwavable bowls.
  2. Add cocoa and flax seed (if using) to one bowl.
  3. Add peanut butter to the other bowl.
  4. Pour ½ cup water into each bowl.
  5. Microwave, both bowls, on high for 1 to 1½ minutes, or until water has absorbed to desired consistency.
  6. Stir mashed banana into peanut butter bowl until blended.
  7. Drop dollops of each oat mixture into serving bowl. Use a knife to stir/swirl mixture. Garnish desired and serve.
Microwave times may vary based on your appliance.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars

In the spirit of the Peanut Butter for Breakfast campaign, I thought it would be fun to share some breakfast recipes using peanut butter.  What better place to find inspiration than the National Peanut Board’s website.  I found so many delicious ideas, including these super healthy granola bars.  It is amazing how easy and inexpensive it is to make granola bars right at home.  And they’re good too!

These granola bars have a perfect balance of flavors and a nice texture that is not too chewy, not too crispy.  They are naturally sweetened with dried fruit and a touch of molasses.  The peanut butter is present, but subtle, and acts as a binder with the egg whites.  Add a little spice, some oats and seeds, and you have a healthy, high-protein, high-fiber granola bar that is perfect for an on-the-go breakfast, a mid-morning pick me up, or any time the mood strikes.

Peanut Butter Pumpkin Spice Granola Bars
Yields: 8 bars
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter (chunky or creamy)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 1½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup dried fruit, such as dates, raisins, prunes, chopped (I used dates)
  • 2 tablespoon flaxseed meal
  • 2 tablespoons pepitas (green pumpkin seeds) or sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8-inch square baking pan with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, egg whites and molasses until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together the oats, dried fruit, flaxseed, pepitas, sesame seeds and pumpkin pie spice.
  4. Add the oat mixture to the peanut butter mixture, and stir until combined.
  5. Pour into prepared baking dish and use a silicone spatula (or the back of a spoon sprayed with cooking spray) to spread the mixture into the pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool completely in the pan. Remove from pan by lifting out the foil and then cut into 8 bars.

Adapted from the National Peanut Board

White Chocolate Coconut Cranberry Cookies

Well hello there. Look up, and please update your bookmarks!  That’s right.  Alida’s Kitchen has a new web address. I dropped the ‘blogspot’ from the URL, so it is now I purchased this domain many months ago and was waiting for the right time to pull the trigger. Since my physical kitchen has a new address (we moved!), it seems like a fitting time to make the switch.   I will do whatever I can to make sure this transition is seamless, and as always I welcome your comments and feedback.    

So enough about that, let’s get on with today’s recipe – White Chocolate Coconut Cranberry Cookies.

Who doesn’t love the classic pairing of white chocolate and cranberry.  The sweetness of the white chocolate against the tartness of the cranberries is just delicious.  The coconut adds a little something extra special, and the oats give the cookies a chewy texture.  All together, we have a tasty combination that is a fun and festive addition to your cookie plates this holiday season!

White Chocolate Coconut Cranberry Cookies
Yields approximately 36 cookies

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons skim milk
2 large eggs
1/2 pound (2 sticks) light butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1/2 cup sweetned flaked coconut
1 cup white chocolate chips

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.  Set aside
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vanilla, milk and eggs.  Set aside.
  3. Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer, in a separate bowl, on medium speed, beat butter and both sugar until light and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add in milk mixture – beat well.  Add the flour mixture and beat until just combined.
  4. Stir in the oats, cranberries, coconut and white chocolate chips. 
  5. Place dough in refrigerator until firm (at least 2 hours to overnight).
  6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper, and set aside.
  7. Shape 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with remaining dough, placing 3 inches apart.  Press with the bottom of a glass (covered with parchment or waxed paper) to flatten dough. 
  8. Bake until golden but still soft in the middle, 15-18 minutes.  Remove from oven and move to a wire rack to cool completely.  

Adapted from Martha Stewart

healthy chocolate peanut butter oat coconut bites

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls


Healthy Peanut Butter Balls are an addictive, no-bake snack, made from simple ingredients found in your pantry.  

It is no secret that I love peanut butter.  So you can imagine my excitement when I was selected to participate in the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program with the National Peanut Board.  The task was to create a snack recipe using peanut butter and incorporating other ingredients found in most homes. Easy enough!

I wanted to make something healthy, convenient and easy.  I also wanted to make something with oats.  It was time to roll up my sleeves, grab ingredients from the pantry and experiment.

After adding a little here, a touch there,…voila! I finally got the results I was looking for, using simple wholesome ingredients found in my pantry.

This healthy snack could not be any easier to make. The recipe requires no baking; simply measure, mix, roll and chill. The mixture may seem a little dry at first, but as you continue to mix it comes together (or add a little more honey or peanut butter to moisten the mixture to a consistency that works for you). Rolling the balls in a coating as optional. It makes the balls a little less sticky on the fingers, and also is a fun way to vary the flavors, but it is not necessary.

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls are a healthy and delicious snack, or even a quick breakfast on-the-go, featuring one of my favorite foods of all time…peanut butter!

Healthy Peanut Butter Balls
Yields: 16-18 balls
  • 1 cup peanut butter, natural is preferred (chunky or creamy)
  • 2 tablespoons honey (or agave nectar)
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed or wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut
  • cocoa powder, wheat germ, powdered sugar, chopped peanuts, (optional) – for coating
  1. Heat peanut butter and honey in the microwave until easily mixed, about 15-20 seconds. Stir until blended.
  2. In a separate bowl, mix oats, flaxseed and coconut (if using) until combined.
  3. Add peanut butter mixture to oat mixture and stir until incorporated. (Mixture may seem a little dry at first…just keep mixing).
  4. Form a rounded tablespoonful of the combined mixture into a ball and place on a plate. Repeat until all mixture is used. Now, if you do not want to coat the balls, skip to step 6.
  5. Roll each ball in whatever coating suits your preference. Cocoa powder, powdered sugar, wheat germ, cinnamon sugar and chopped peanuts are some ideas.

Disclaimer: As part of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was provided with 2 jars of Planters peanut butter, from the National Peanut Board, for free.  The details of my experience are exclusively my opinion, and I was not otherwise influenced or compensated.

Blueberry Lemon Muffins

Have I told you lately that I love summer produce? Because I do!  This weekend we are planning a visit to our local farm to pick up several pounds of blueberries.  I am so excited! While we love to eat plain blueberries by the handful, I have a long list of great recipes using blueberries that I can’t wait to share with you!

So in honor, and anticipation, of our future blueberry windfall, I would like to share with you my favorite blueberry muffin recipe.

Years ago, I was flipping through a Bon Apetit magazine, and this recipe for blueberry muffins caught my eye. It just so happened to be an advertisement for Pam Cooking Spray – go figure!

Now I know that I promised you a break from yogurt recipes, and well…I stuck to that for over a week. It would simply not be fair to keep this recipe from you any longer. These muffins rock!

The beauty of using yogurt in baked goods means that you can use less oil/butter, which makes them a healthier option.  These muffins also contain oats, which provide a little texture that goes well with the juicy blueberries. And what more can I say about the blueberry-lemon combination – it just works.

Over the years, I have made these muffins using different types of flours and yogurts.  This time, I made them using whole wheat pastry flour and Greek yogurt.  These muffins are just as delicious using all-purpose flour and/or regular yogurt, so use what you have or go crazy and try something different!

Blueberry Lemon Muffins
Yields: 12 muffins
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt (or regular plain nonfat yogurt)
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • zest of 1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare 12-cup regular muffin pan with cooking spray or liners.
  2. Whisk together flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda in a large bowl. In a small bowl, mix together yogurt, oil, egg and vanilla.
  3. Pour yogurt mixture into center of dry ingredients; stir until just blended. Do not over mix. Fold in blueberries and lemon zest. (Note: batter is thick)
  4. Divide batter evenly between prepared muffin cups. Bake 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan, then remove from muffin pan and cool completely on wire rack.
Adapted from a Pam Cooking Spray Advertisement found in Bon Apetit magazine