Chocolate Chunk Banana Baked Oatmeal Bites

Healthy? Check. Delicious? Check. Portable? Check.

All the makings for an awesome breakfast-on-the-go that keeps the waistline slim and trim. 🙂 And OF COURSE! It’s food storage! 🙂

Okay. Honestly you guys… you have GOT to try these. These little gals are so tasty and so good for you, that it would almost be a crime NOT to try them. I eat these as a breakfast, a snack, and even as a dessert (if I’ve been naughty the rest of the day). 🙂 It’s baked oatmeal, yes, but don’t let that deter you. I am actually not a fan of traditional baked oatmeal. And neither is Hubby. But when he tried these, he LOVED them. Now he even requests them!

They’re gluten free (in case that’s an issue for you), chock full of good-for-you ingredients, and have just enough sweetness to keep you coming back for more… and more… and more. 🙂

So give ’em a try! I promise you’ll be happy that you did!

Chocolate Chunk Banana Baked Oatmeal Bites

Download Printable Version
Ingredients:

  • 3 cups rolled oats (old-fashioned or quick oats)
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs (or reconstituted egg powder)
  • 1¼ cups milk (or reconstituted powdered milk)
  • 1 cup mashed bananas* (about 3 medium)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 to 1½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks (or chips)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Lightly grease roughly 18 muffin cups with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine the oats (note: if using old-fashioned oats, I like to lightly grind mine in a food processor for a bit), brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a large mixing bowl and stir together.
  3. In a separate bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, eggs, milk, and vanilla.
  4. Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and give it a good stir until fully combined. Add the chocolate chunks and stir again. {Note: Use 1 cup of chocolate chunks for a regular amount of chocolate, or up to 1½ cups if you like it really chocolatey.} 🙂
  5. Spoon the oatmeal mixture into the prepared muffin tins. (Note: These will not rise a lot–if at all–so go ahead and fill each cup at least ¾ full.)
  6. Bake uncovered for about 18-20 minutes, or until oatmeal is lightly browned and starting to turn dark at the edges (and/or a toothpick inserted near the middle comes out clean).
  7. Allow to cool for about 5 minutes and then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for a few days, or these are great to throw in the freezer (in a freezer baggie) and have on hand for a quick breakfast/snack/dessert. Just toss one in the microwave (on the defrost setting) for about 1 minute (or about 20 seconds on HIGH) and it’s ready to go! 🙂

Yields 16 – 18 oatmeal bites.

*Store bananas in the freezer for food storage. See tips HERE.

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What’s To Eat? Bread For A Year!

As I was writing yesterday’s post, I realized it might be a good idea to start showing some recipes based on a year’s calculations… thereby making it a whole lot easier to figure out how much of each ingredient you need to have on hand for a year supply. So let’s start with bread, since it is a basic food storage staple.

{Note: I will base this off of my favorite bread recipe, found HERE.}

One Loaf For Every Day

To have one loaf of bread every day (which means you would actually make it every other day– or 183 times in a year– seeing as the recipe makes two loaves of bread) you would need the following quantities of ingredients:

  • 503¼ cups of water (32 gallons)
  • 61 cups of olive oil (4 gallons)
  • 61 cups of honey (4 gallons)
  • 366 Tablespoons brown sugar (1,098 teaspoons, or 5 (2 lb) bags)
  • 183 Tablespoons sea salt (549 teaspoons, or 4.5 (26 oz) containers of salt)
  • 549 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten (34.5 cups, or 7 of Bob’s Red Mill (22 oz) pkgs)
  • 366 Tablespoons dough enhancer (optional ingredient) (23 cups, or 12 (1 lb) cans)
  • 1281 cups of whole wheat flour (9 (45 lb) buckets of wheat berries, or 72 (#10) cans)*
  • 366 Tablespoons active dry yeast (30 (4 oz) jars, or 8 (1 lb) pkgs instant yeast, i.e. SAF or Fleischmann’s)

4 Loaves Per Week

If one loaf a day is a bit much for your household, four loaves per week may be a better fit. (This is the amount I shoot for with my family of four.) This would mean you are making the above mentioned recipe twice each week, or 104 times in a year. Here are the amounts of ingredients to have on hand for that…

  • 286 cups water (18 gallons)
  • 35 cups of olive oil (2.2 gallons)
  • 35 cups of honey (2.2 gallons)
  • 208 Tablespoons brown sugar (624 teaspoons, or 3 (2 lb) bags)
  • 104 Tablespoons sea salt (312 teaspoons, or 3 (26 oz) containers of salt)
  • 312 Tablespoons vital wheat gluten (19.5 cups, or 4 of Bob’s Red Mill (22 oz) pkgs)
  • 208 Tablespoons dough enhancer (optional ingredient) (13 cups, or 7 (1 lb) cans)
  • 728 cups of whole wheat flour (5 (45 lb) buckets of wheat berries, or 40 (#10) cans)*
  • 208 Tablespoons active dry yeast (17.5 (4 oz) jars, or 4.5 (1 lb) pkgs instant yeast, i.e. SAF or Fleischmann’s)

2 Loaves Per Week

Okay, and if you’ve got just yourself or you and a spouse at home, 2 loaves of bread each week is probably plenty. Just remember… we’re not talking about how much you eat right now because right now you still have access to all sorts of food from the store. But when this is all we’ve got, you’ll be happy to have those 2 loaves to get you through your lunch time meals. 🙂 So here are the ingredients for that (it’s just half of the 4 loaves per week)…

  • 143 cups of water (9 gallons)
  • 17.5 cups of olive oil (1 gallon)
  • 17.5 cups of honey (1 gallon)
  • 104 Tablespoons of brown sugar (312 teaspoons, or 3 lbs)
  • 52 Tablespoons of sea salt (156 teaspoons, or 1.5 (26 oz) containers of salt)
  • 156 Tablespoons of vital wheat gluten (10 cups, or 2 of Bob’s Red Mill (22 oz) pkgs)
  • 104 Tablespoons of dough enhancer (optional ingredient) (6.5 cups, or 3.5 (1 lb) cans)
  • 364 cups of whole wheat flour (2.5 (45 lb) buckets of wheat berries, or 20 (#10) cans)*
  • 104 Tablespoons active dry yeast (9 (4 oz) jars, or 2.5 (1 lb) pkgs instant yeast, i.e. SAF or Fleischmann’s)

{*Important Note: The original wheat amounts listed for the (45 lb) buckets of wheat berries and #10 cans was incorrect. As of 7/28/11 the amounts have been corrected. Also remember, this is the wheat BERRIES, not wheat FLOUR… so make sure you have a way to grind your wheat into flour!}

Now, one last thing to remember. Not all of these ingredients have an ultra long shelf life like our wheat does. Some of them need to be used up within a decent time frame. The ones that will last super long are the wheat, honey, salt, sugar (depending on how you store it), and yeast even has a pretty long shelf life (especially if you keep it in the freezer… it will pretty much last decades). However, your olive oil, wheat gluten and dough enhancer will not keep forever. They should last several years without a problem, but just remember to keep an eye on them while they’re sitting on your shelf because unless you’re actually making this much bread right now, you might start to have ingredients going bad. So don’t forget to use and rotate!

And on that note, if you haven’t already tried making homemade bread… do it! Not that you have to ONLY eat homemade bread (I’m trying to do about half and half right now), but you don’t want to wait until you HAVE to make it and stress yourself out even further in an emergency situation by trying to figure out the intricacies of dough. You want to be well acquainted and comfortable with the bread making process by the time any NEED rolls around.

Alright! Well! I hope that was helpful to someone or anyone! Good luck, and I’ll be sure to do this again sometime with another food storage staple. 🙂

What’s To Eat? Homemade Whole Wheat Bread!

Well, I guess it’s about time to share my all-time favorite 100% Whole Wheat Bread Recipe. (I can’t believe I haven’t shared this before now!) But with the chilly winter weather, now is the perfect time to enjoy some hearty homemade bread with a delicious bowl of soup.
This bread is wonderfully light and fluffy (especially considering it only uses whole wheat flour) and tastes amazing.  One of the tricks to getting a good whole wheat bread is to use freshly ground wheat. I also use white wheat to get it just that much lighter and fluffier. 🙂
I make mine in a KitchenAid, so these directions are adjusted to that. But I’m sure it wouldn’t be hard to figure it out for making it by hand or in a Bosch (or any mixer you’ve got).

100% Whole Wheat Bread

Download Printable Version
Ingredients:

  • 2 ¾ cups hot water
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar (or molasses)
  • 1 Tbsp sea salt (or regular salt will work)
  • 3 Tbsp vital wheat gluten
  • 2 Tbsp dough enhancer (optional, but I definitely recommend it)
  • 6 – 7½ cups of whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbsp active dry yeast

Directions:

  1. Place the first five ingredients (hot water, oil, honey, sugar, and salt) in the mixing bowl and give it a quick mix with a whisk.
  2. Add 2 cups of the whole wheat flour and give it another stir with the whisk (this cools the water enough to end up with a warm dough). Then add the yeast.
  3. With the mixer now fitted with the dough hook, add 4 more cups of the whole wheat flour, the vital wheat gluten, and the dough enhancer. Mix until the consistency is fairly even.
  4. Now continue to slowly add flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough starts balling up around the dough hook (it will probably be pulling away from the sides of the bowl as well). It should be tacky to the touch. The trick is to have enough consistency to stand up with the least amount of flour so the bread will be fluffy. It will most likely be around 6½ cups, but in any case do not exceed 7½ cups of wheat flour. (You can trade one cup of wheat flour for one cup of AP flour if you wish). Don’t overmix the dough or it will be tough.
  5. When your dough is finished, leave it in the mixer, cover the bowl with your favorite kitchen towel :), and let it rise for about 30-45 minutes. (The dough will be larger but doesn’t need to double.)
  6. Lightly grease two bread pans.
  7. Mix the dough again just enough to knock it down close to the original size.
  8. Spray a work surface with non-stick spray (I do this instead of flouring it). Turn the dough out of the bowl onto your greased surface. Spray your hands with the non-stick spray as well and start shaping it into a nice ball. Divide the ball in half using a sharp knife (sprayed with non-stick spray as well) and shape each half into a nice oblong ball again with all sides tucked under to make a nice smooth top.
  9. Drop the shaped loaves into your bread pans and let them rise until almost doubled. Bake in a 350º F preheated oven for 36 minutes (increase the time to 41 minutes if you forgot to preheat).
  10. Remove the bread from the oven and turn it out of the pan onto a rack to cool and cover with your bread towel. Don’t wrap the bread in a bag until completely cooled. Store bread at room temperature for up to 1-2 weeks (if it can manage to last that long!) 🙂 Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from 100% Whole Wheat Grain Bread.

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What’s To Eat? Easy Dinner Rolls!

*Don’t forget this weeks’ GIVEAWAY {GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED} for food storage BROWNIES! Check out last Friday’s post to enter.*

Okay… No joking… These are the BEST dinner rolls ever. I made them this past week and my husband could NOT believe they were from scratch. And not only are they soft, moist, delicious and succulent, but they are 100% shelf stable friendly ingredients! Food Storage never tasted so good! Mmm-Mm! You may want to go ahead and just commit this recipe to memory… you’re gonna want it there! 🙂 Anyway, these would be great at any family gathering during this holiday season, so eat up and ENJOY!!

{P.S. I can’t believe no one ever complained about an error I found in this recipe! I originally typed it in as 1 Tbsp of salt, but it’s only supposed to be 1 teaspoon!! So if you have tried these and thought they were way too salty… that would be why! 🙂 It is now corrected. Sorry for any salt-attacks I may have caused anyone. :)}

Easy Dinner Rolls

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup, plus 3 Tbsp warm water (almost hot)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp yeast
  • 3½ cups all-purpose flour (can use half whole wheat flour)
  • 1 egg (2 Tbsp egg powder + 3½ Tbsp water)
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the water, oil, sugar, and yeast until well combined. Cover and let it rest and rise for 15 minutes. (Side note: If using a KitchenAid/stand mixer to make these, you’ll want to use your dough hook. However, for this first step just give it a good stir with a whisk instead.)
  2. Add about two cups of the flour, the egg and the salt. Mix it up. Start adding the rest of the flour, half a cup at a time and continue to mix well. The trick to getting light, fluffy rolls (as always with bread dough) is to get the dough just to the tacky point. If you don’t use the full amount of flour, that’s okay. You just want to be able to touch the dough with your finger and have it stick a little, but not too much. (I don’t like to use the guideline of ‘when the bread starts pulling away from the side of the bowl’ because usually by that point I’ve added too much flour.) So let the stickiness be your guide.
  3. Leave the dough in your bowl/mixer, cover and let it rise for about 30 minutes. (You can shorten this to about 10 minutes if you’re in a rush, but 30 minutes is better.)
  4. Spray two 8×8 square pans with non-stick cooking spray. (And go ahead and get your oven preheating to 375 ºF now too.)
  5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured or lightly greased surface (I like to spray my surface with non-stick spray) and knead it a few times. (Remember, if it’s a little sticky, that’s okay! It may make it a little harder to work with, but you’ll appreciate the end results!) Just add a little extra flour to your kneading if desperately needed.
  6. Using a sharp knife (which I also spray with non-stick spray), cut the dough into approximately 18 equal pieces. (Cut the dough in half, then cut each half into three pieces, and cut each of those into three pieces.) Shape each segment into a little ball by tucking the end pieces under (they don’t have to look super pretty or anything, but just try to get the top smooth) and place into your prepared baking pans (9 rolls to a pan). Cover each pan and let the dough rise again for roughly another 30 minutes until about doubled in size.
  7. Bake at 375 ºF for 15-18 minutes, until golden brown on top. Serve with butter and/or honey! De-lish!


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What’s To Eat? Banana Bread!

I just LOVE banana bread. It’s a deliciously moist mix between a dessert and a snack. This recipe is one that I’ve tweaked until it’s just the way I like it. The sprinkled cinnamon-sugar topping is optional, but adds a sweet, fun addition without too many extra calories. 😉 Hope you enjoy it!

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups flour (I use half white and half whole wheat)
  • 1½ tsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • dash of salt
  • 1 egg (2 Tbsp egg powder + 4 Tbsp water)
  • 3 medium to large overly ripe bananas*, mashed
  • ¾ cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spray or grease an 8x4x2 bread loaf pan (or three mini loaf pans).
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Push the flour mixture toward the edges of the bowl to create a well in the center; set aside.
  3. In a small mixing bowl, combine the egg, mashed bananas, sugar, and oil.
  4. Add the banana mixture all at once to the middle of the flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter will be lumpy).
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s). Sprinkle a little bit of sugar (anywhere from ½ to 1 Tbsp) evenly over the top and a little bit of cinnamon as well (about 1 tsp).
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out nearly clean. (If you are using mini loaf pans, reduce the baking time to 35-40 minutes.)
  7. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove the loaf from the pan and continue to cool on the wire rack. (I like to place a clean kitchen towel over it to help prevent it from losing too much of its moisture while cooling.)
  8. Once the bread is completely cooled, you can wrap it with plastic wrap or store it in a plastic bag. (Note: do not wrap until completely cooled or your bread can get soggy.)
  9. Enjoy your delicious banana bread or give it away as a gift!

*A tip for being able to make banana bread with your food storage is to freeze your bananas when they get to that ‘overly ripe’ stage. This is especially helpful if you don’t have the time to make banana bread right away when your bananas are going bad. Frozen bananas are also great for smoothies! Of course, this means that you have to have electricity in order to keep your bananas frozen, so this recipe is for ‘With Electricity’ (unless you happen to know someone who grows bananas and have access to them fresh :)).
How I Freeze Bananas: 1) peel the bananas, 2) divide into segments, 3) give them a flash freeze by laying them on a cutting board and popping them in the freezer for about an hour (this helps to keep them from sticking to each other when stored in the bags), and 4) place them in freezer strength plastic baggies and store in the freezer. Then, when you want to make your banana bread, simply pull out the bananas and let them thaw prior to use, or just use them frozen in your smoothies. Ta-da! Food Storage bananas! 🙂

Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

What’s For Breakfast? Blueberry Muffins!

These blueberry muffins are yum-yum-yummy! They’re a bit heavy on the sugar side (although they don’t taste overly sweet) to be a ‘healthy’ breakfast, so you’d likely want to pair this with some fresh fruit, a healthy smoothie, or perhaps some bacon. 🙂 There’s also a crumb topping that you can omit if you’re trying to watch the sugar (I’d just use the topping for special occasions).

Delicious Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (I use white wheat)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg (or reconstituted egg powder)
  • 1/2 cup milk (or reconstituted powdered milk)
  • 1 can blueberries, drained (or 1 cup fresh)

Optional Crumb Topping:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Generously grease muffin cups or line with muffin liners. (Spray the top of the muffin tray as well as in the cups to prevent the muffin tops from sticking).
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder. In a 1 cup measuring cup, place the vegetable oil, add the egg, and then add enough milk to fill the rest of the cup (should be about 1/2 cup of milk). Add this with the flour mixture and mix until fully combined. Fold in the blueberries.
  3. Fill muffin cups (fill right to the top for large muffins, or about 2/3 full for average size). Sprinkle with crumb topping mixture (if using).
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until done.
  5. To make the crumb topping: mix together the sugar, flour, butter and cinnamon. Using a fork, cut through the butter until is starts making a crumbly mixture. Add to the muffins before baking.

Adapted from ‘To Die For Blueberry Muffins’ at Allrecipes.com

What’s For Dessert? Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls!

Oh heaven help me. I just made these for the first time yesterday, and they are de-li-cious! Light, fluffy, and tasty!! Even better… they’re super easy! I wish I could give proper credit to whoever came up with this recipe, but alas, the author is unknown. I used to be totally intimidated by cinnamon rolls, but after seeing how easy this recipe looked, I knew I had to give it a try. And now I’m passing the goodness on to you. Enjoy! 😀

Cake Mix Cinnamon Rolls

Download Printable Version
Ingredients:

  • 1 pkg. white or yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Super Moist White)
  • 2 Tbsp yeast
  • 6-7 cups flour, divided
  • 2 3/4 cups hot tap water
  • Melted butter, as needed (may use water or milk if making without electricity)
  • Cinnamon, as needed
  • Brown sugar, as needed

Directions:

  1. Stir together the cake mix, yeast, and 2 cups of the flour.
  2. Add the hot tap water. Stir, then add 3 more cups of the flour. Knead until mixed. (If you have a stand mixer, it is much easier to use that.) Then continue adding flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing after each addition, until the dough is tacky to the touch. (It should be sticky, but should not actually stick to your finger.) A good sign is that the dough will be pulling away from the edge of the bowl. (Tip: Do not add too much flour. It will result in a drier dough and cinnamon roll. Add just enough to be tacky and then stop.)
  3. Cover and let the dough rise until double in size. (I just leave it in my mixing bowl on the stand mixer. If you’re not using a stand mixer, then lightly grease a bowl and let the dough rise in it.)
  4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it out to a rectangle shape. (You want it to be about 1/2-inch thick or less.)
  5. Spread the melted butter over the whole surface (I used roughly 1/4 cup… maybe more :)).  Then sprinkle cinnamon and brown sugar as desired over the entire surface. (Note: If you’re using water or milk, just mist it onto the dough. You just want enough to make the cinnamon and sugar stick to the surface.)
  6. Roll the dough up like a jelly roll and cut into approximately 1-inch sections (Tip: dental floss works great to cut the rolls from the main log. Just slide the floss under the log and then cross the end pieces over the top and pull through. It makes a clean cut without squishing the dough.) Place cut rolls on greased pans. (I used glass pyrex casserole pans.)
  7. Let rise in pans until double in bulk. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until golden on top. Frost while warm.
  8. Makes anywhere from 12-24 cinnamon rolls, depending on your size. Mine made 18 decently large cinnamon rolls.

(Fun tip: try other flavors of cake mixes!)

Frosting:
Pour a desired amount of powdered sugar into a bowl (anywhere from a 1/2 box to 1 whole box of powdered sugar should cover these… depending upon how thick you like your frosting to be), and add either milk or water a teaspoonful at a time (you can obviously start with a lot more than a teaspoon, but be cautious as it starts to thin out. A little liquid goes a long way.) Beat after each liquid addition until desired consistency is reached. Thicker icing should be spread on rolls with a table knife or small spatula. Thinner icing may be drizzled generously over the top of each roll. (A cream cheese frosting would be awesome with these as well!)

EAT AND ENJOY!

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