Honey Wheat Oat Bread

Honey Wheat Oat Bread Header

When I was a kid, my grandma gave me a recipe for “Basic Bread.”  I remember us baking it together while I carefully wrote down the ingredients along with each detail of every step on a recipe note card.  I took the idea of “practice makes perfect” to heart and I made that exact same bread almost every weekend, always running to the phone to call my grandma any time I had a question about any of the very simple steps.  I wanted it to be perfect.

Like most kids, I loved to play outside with friends on my days off of school.  Unlike my elementary posse, I took frequent play breaks to run inside and check that my bread was rising properly.  Normal 8 year old problems…

While I don’t make homemade bread weekly anymore, I still absolutely melt at the thought of warm, fresh, bread in the oven.  Not to mention, when you bake your own bread, you know exactly what’s going into it.  Total bonus.  While many grocery store bread brands are working to improve their products, there are still tons of shelves stocked with breads that are super processed and contain chemicals like azodicarbonamide (if you can’t say it, don’t eat it), high fructose corn syrup, and more.  Some tips of what to look for when you’re buying bread: make sure the ingredients list whole grains (sprouted grains are even better!), try to find breads with at least 3 grams of fiber and look for products with at least 4 grams of protein per serving.

Or, you can just bake your own bread….

Honey Oat Wheat Bread 1 Honey Wheat Oat Bread 3

Honey Wheat Oat Bread 5

Honey Wheat Oat Bread
Serves 16
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
4 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
4 hr
  1. 1 cup warm water
  2. 1/2 tbsp active dry yeast
  3. 1/4 cup honey
  4. 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  7. 1/2 cup quick oats
  8. 1 cup all purpose flour
  1. 1. Dissolve yeast in warm water. Add honey, stir well, and pour into large bowl.
  2. 2. Mix in whole wheat flour, salt, vegetable oil, and quick oats. Work all-purpose flour in gradually. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead for at least 10 to 15 minutes. When dough is smooth and elastic, place it in bowl sprayed with cooking spray. Turn it several times in the bowl to coat the surface of the dough, and cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 and 1/2 hours.
  3. 3. Punch down the dough. Shape into a loaf, and place into a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan prepared with cooking spray. Allow to rise for about another 1 and 1/2 hours.
  4. 4. Bake at 375 degrees F for 25 to 30 minutes.
  1. Enjoy!
  2. www.playingforeats.com
Playing For Eats http://playingforeats.com/

nutrition per slice:

130 kcals
25 g carbs
4 g protein
3 g fat
3 g fiber

Chewy Cinnamon Pumpkin Bites

Chewy Cinnamon Pumpkin Bites HeaderI didn’t want to make these.  I really, really, didn’t.  But I’m adding to the menu for my sister’s baby shower in a couple of weeks and I just felt it was my moral responsibility to try them at least once before offering them to a rowdy group of ladies and one very pregnant special guest.  So here I am, taking one for the team.  I’ll test out these sugary mini pumpkiny bites of joy.  But only because I have to…

Averie Cooks is one of my favorite baking blogs, so I knew she wouldn’t disappoint with this one.  Mine came out super chewy and less muffiny, probably because I substituted applesauce for oil.  Just FYI if you’re watching your calories – 1/3 cup coconut oil is about 620 kcals, 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce is about 40 kcals.  Also, if you’re not a collector of every baking spice every created, like myself, the allspice and cloves can be eliminated.  However….I would keep the cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and nutmeg if I were you.

Chewy Cinnamon Pumpkin Bites 4{I get pretty pumped anytime I see these ingredients in baked goods…}

Chewy Cinnamon Pumpkin Bites 3

Chewy Cinnamon Pumpkin Bites 2

Chewy Cinnamon Pumpkin Bites"
Yields 24
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
25 min
  1. 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  2. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  3. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  4. 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  5. 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  6. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  8. pinch salt, optional and to taste
  9. 3/4 cup organic coconut sugar
  10. 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  11. 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  12. 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  13. 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  14. 2 tablespoons molasses
  15. 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Cinnamon Sugar Coating
  1. 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  2. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray one 24 count mini muffin pan very well with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, and optional salt; set aside.
  3. 3. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the sugars, pumpkin, applesauce, milk, molasses, and vanilla until combined.
  4. 4. Pour the wet pumpkin mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir until just combined; don't over mix.
  5. 5. Divide batter equally among the cavities of the prepared pans. Each cavity will be just under 3/4 full (don't exceed 3/4 full or they could overflow).
  6. 6. Bake for about 10 to 11 minutes (start checking at 8 minutes and keep a very close eye on them because they cook quickly and all pan sizes and ovens vary), or until tops are set, springy to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, or with a few moist crumbs dangling but no batter. Allow bites to cool in pans for about 5 minutes before removing and dipping in the cinnamon-sugar coating. Note - They cool very quickly and the hotter the bites are, the more the coating will stick.
  7. 7. Cinnamon Sugar Coating - In a medium bowl, add the sugar, cinnamon, and stir to combine.
  8. 8. Gently roll each bite through cinnamon-sugar until evenly coated. Serve immediately. Bites are best warm and fresh, but will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Note the cinnamon sugar coating could liquefy and 'melt' as the days pass because the bites attract moisture, get softer as time passes, and the coating melts. Simply re-roll through additional cinnamon-sugar if desired.
  1. Enjoy!
  2. www.playingforeats.com
Playing For Eats http://playingforeats.com/

The Dirt on Nature’s Powerhouse Seeds: Chia, Flax, and Hemp

Powerhouse Seeds Header

A few days ago I was chatting with some friends about the differences between chia seeds, flax seeds, and hemp seeds…I know…I’m a dietitian, I geek out on nutrition.

These three kick butt seeds are popping up everywhere lately, so I figured it would be helpful to break down the basics, similarities, and differences of these rock stars in the nutrition world.


Powerhouse Seeds Nutrition Facts Powerhouse Seeds Nitty GrittyIncorporate In Your Diet

Butternut Squash + Apple Soup


Butternut Squash Soup HeaderA few weeks ago I ate at Harvest Seasonal Grill with my dad and we had the most amazing butternut squash soup. We were going back and forth playing “Guess the Ingredients” when our server finally took pity on us and brought us a list of everything included in the heavenly soup. However, the list of ingredients didn’t include ingredient amounts, and with that, a new challenge arose.

Earlier this week my dad put together his guess of the exact recipe, and I must say, he was pretty dang close.  I took the liberty of eliminating the heavy cream because honestly, it’s mighty fine (and healthier) without it.
Butternut Squash Soup 2This soup is jam packed with veggies, yet it tastes like dessert.
Butternut Squash Soup 4
Butternut Squash Soup 5

Butternut Squash + Apple Soup

  • Servings: makes about 8-10 cups
  • Time: prep time 30 minutes, cook time 30 minutes
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3 large carrots (cut into 1” slices)
2 celery stalks (cut into 1” slices)
1 medium yellow onion (chopped into large chunks)
1 medium butternut squash
2 medium apples (cored and cut into cubes)
1 cup apple cider
2 tbs brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp allspice
¼ tsp ginger
¼ tsp cardamom
½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ cup olive oil
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth

Cooking Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2.Peel the butternut squash, cut in half and scoop out the seeds.  Cut the squash into cubes.
3. Put the olive oil in a large mixing bowl and add the cubed butternut squash, sliced carrots, sliced celery, chopped onion, chopped apples and mix by hand to coat all of the vegetables with oil.
4. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, cardamom, pumpkin pie spice and sage to the vegetables and mix by hand until the vegetables are coated with the spices.
5. Place all of the vegetables on a large broiler pan and roast the vegetables until the squash and carrots can be easily pierced with a fork (about 45 minutes).
6. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and let cool about 5 minutes.
7. Puree half of the vegetables at a time in a blender with about 1 cup of broth each time.
8. Pour the pureed vegetables into a large pot on the stove on medium low heat and add the remaining vegetable broth and apple cider.
9. If the soup is too thick, add additional broth or cider to thin the soup to your desired consistency.
10. Once the soup starts to slowly boil (about 15 minutes) it’s ready.



A Fail-Proof Treadmill Workout

As much as I love to run outside, some days that’s just not feasible.  It’s been raining here in Dallas for over 24 hours straight, so me and my running shoes are about to hang out with one of the most dreaded machines in the gym – the treadmill.

I don’t want to sound like a treadmill hater.  I actually really count on the treadmill as a tool for improving my mileage pace.  BUT, when I’m on a treadmill, I often get bored and antsy within the first couple minutes.  Usually I try to give myself small challenges (e.g. lap time goals, running to the beat, incline intervals, etc.)  to keep me focused on something other than the fact that no matter how far I run, I’ll be staring at the same wall the entire time….

Lately I’ve found myself relying on a pyramid style run to get through the monotony of the machine. I love it because:

  1. It’s 30 minutes flat. Done and done.
  2. It can be adjusted for any type of fitness level.
  3. It’s challenging, but very doable because of the short intervals.

Each version follows the same pyramid pattern:

Here are 4 varieties of the Pyramid Run, so choose the one that works best for you.

Level 1Level 2Level 3Level 4

*Note – you know what works best for your body, so if you don’t love any of my versions, make it personalized for yourself.

I’m also a HUGE fan of the Rock My Run app.  It lets you choose from tons of genres and provides seamless music mixes to keep your energy high.
Oh, and ps…it’s free!


Funfetti Celebration Cookies

Funfetti Cookies Header

I’ve been dying for an excuse to make these cookies ever since Joy the Baker posted them last month. Luckily, one of my favorite ladies turns the big 3-0 today, which means….

party time!!!

I slightly modified the recipe (replacing half the butter with unsweetened applesauce, and adding almond extract) but let me remind you, these are celebration cookies, not everyday cookies.  Get it?  Heads up – the sprinkles are a tad out of control. But in a good way!

Funfetti Cookies 2

So my question to you is this.  Is it possible to have too many sprinkles in one cookie?

Funfetti Cookies 3

I think no….

Funfetti Cookies 6

Soft. Chewy. Full of sprinkles. Yeah, they rock.

Funfetti Celebration Cookies

  • Servings: makes 10 large cookies
  • Time: 20 minutes prep, 2 hours to chill, 10 minutes to bake
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  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond exract
  • 1/2 – 1 cup sprinkles


  1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the butter and sugar. Split the vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until thoroughly combined.
  3. Slowly add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Fold in 1/4 cup of the sprinkles.
  4. Place the remaining 1/4 cup sprinkles in a bowl. Scoop up 3 tablespoons of dough and roll into a ball. Dip the ball in the bowl of sprinkles to cover lightly. Put the balls on a plate. Repeat with the remaining sprinkles and dough. Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
  5. Place racks in the center and upper third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Transfer the chilled dough balls to the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space in between each ball.
  7. Bake until the cookies have spread and are just beginning to brown around the edges, but are mostly pale and soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. The cookies will keep in an airtight container for up to 4 days.



Gingerbread (cue spooky music)….to DIE For

Gingerbread header

Happy Halloween y’all!

I made this recipe for the first time last year and immediately fell in love.  Like the “I want to be around you all day every day” kind of love.  This gingerbread rocks my world.  I didn’t even think that I liked gingerbread before I tried this.  Turns out, I don’t. I freaking love it! But you get my point…

Like usual, I’ve made a couple adjustments to the recipe in order to “healthy” it up a bit.  While it took some will power to stray from the original masterpiece, my updated recipe does this classic justice.  Don’t worry, I didn’t mess with the two integral ingredients: stout beer and molasses.

Gingerbread 3I make these in mini-bread pans vs. a bundt pan so that 1) I can try to impress people I really really like, and 2) so I don’t eat entire gingerbread cake/loaf/batch by myself.  But feel free to do whatever butters your biscuit.

I guarantee that today won’t be the only time this gingerbread is baking in my kitchen this season.  I feel fairly confident that once you try it for yourself, you won’t touch another piece of Halloween candy for errr….at least a week.

Note: Just like most magical things, this is better the next day.
….okay maybe most magical things aren’t better the next day.  But this one is.  Done and done.

Gingerbread 4

ps…you can totally save the money you were going to spend on fancy autumn scented candles – real gingerbread in the oven totally trumps “roasted marshmallow” or “pumpkin spice”!

Mini Gingerbread Loaves

  • Servings: makes 8 mini loaves
  • Time: 30 minutes prep, 25 minutes baking
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  • 1 cup oatmeal stout or Guinness Stout
  • 1 cup dark molasses (not a scary dark, but dark)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups white wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cardamom
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • a little powdered sugar for sprinkling on top (optional)


Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously spray the mini bread pans (or pan of choice) with cooking spray and dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Bring stout and molasses to a boil in a large saucepan and remove from heat. Whisk in baking soda, then cool to room temperature.

In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and spices. Whisk together eggs and sugars. Whisk in applesauce, then molasses mixture. Add to flour mixture and whisk until just combined.

Pour batter into each mini bread pan. Bake in middle of oven until a tester comes out with just a few moist crumbs adhering, about 25 minutes. Cool cake in pan on a rack 5 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely.  Dust on powdered sugar if you’re feeling crazy.



26 Tips to Fuel Your Marathon (Or Any Endurance Sports)

Your Body is a Machine

About a year ago Luke’s Locker asked me to speak to their marathon training group about nutrition tips to fuel runners all the way through race day and recovery.  Seeing as autumn is marathon season, I thought I’d share these tips with you.

pssst…even if you’re not training for a marathon, these tips are helpful for any type of endurance exercise.

Tips Part 1Tips Part 2Tips Part 3Tips Part 4Tips Part 5













PB&J Green + Protein Smoothie

PB&J Green Protein Smoothie

Not to toot my own horn, but this morning I made the most legit smoothie I’ve ever tasted.  If you are a fan of peanut butter & jelly, listen up!  I stumbled upon this smoothie recipe from one of my favorite bloggers and decided to give it a try, with my own twist.  I usually prefer chewing my food instead of drinking it, but this drink takes liquid nutrition to a whole other level.

Quick nutrition intermission:
This recipe contains hemp hearts, which are hulled hemp seeds.  They are a complete source of protein (meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids), packed with vitamins and minerals, full of heart healthy fatty acids, a good source of omegas 3 and 6, plus they have fiber!! What does that mean for you? Improved digestion, increased energy, weight management, better blood circulation, lowered risk of heart disease…and more.

You can buy hemp hearts in bulk, or pre-packaged from tons of brands, but I’m a fan of Happy Hemp because it’s a local company (Austin, TX) and…they have super cute packaging…

Happy Hemp

Now back to the goods.

For anyone that struggles to get their greens in during the day, my challenge to you is to drink them in the morning.  This is a simple trick that makes getting your daily dose veggies completely painless.  And when your veggies taste like pb&J….c’mon now….

Smoothie Components

PB&J Green + Protein Smoothie


  • 1 cup frozen red or purple grapes
  • 2 tbsp hemp hearts (I use Happy Hemp)
  • 2 tbsp PB2
  • 2 large handfuls of spinach
  • 1/2 cup nonfat milk (or vanilla unsweetened almond milk)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. Put all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth.

Nutrition: 285 kcals, 10 g fat, 30 g carbs, 18 g protein

I hope y’all enjoy this as much as I did!

Chicken Verde Enchiladas

Chicken Verde Enchiladas Header

I used to think I was quite the pro when it came to making enchiladas.  That was until the day my boy made me his enchiladas.  His version kicked my little recipe’s butt…

And let me tell you, there aren’t many things hotter than a guy who knows how to dominate in the kitchen.  Am I right?

Anyways, back to the enchiladas.  These guys are the perfect combination of crunch on the outside, chewy on the inside, and they are stuffed with protein (chicken and black beans), and nutrition packed peppers.  Surely I’m not alone here when I say that normally after a meal of Tex Mex, I’m feeling sluggish and overly full.  Not today.  These bad boys are light and full of flavor.  Plus, if you’re not a fan of meat, no problemo. Take out the chicken and top two enchiladas with an over medium egg, OR double up on the black beans.

Chicken Verde Enchiladas 1{fresh peppers are packed with vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber}

Chicken Verde Enchiladas 3{filling them up with all of the goodies}

Chicken Verde Enchiladas 4{broiling the enchiladas first gives them a magical crunch}

Chicken Verde Enchiladas 6{drizzling the verde sauce}

Chicken Verde Enchiladas 8{they are even more delicious than they are sloppy}

Chicken Verde Enchiladas

  • Servings: makes 12 enchiladas, serves 6
  • Time: 30 minutes of prep, 30 minutes to bake
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  • 15 oz can Green Hatch Chile Enchilada sauce
  • 7 oz can salsa verde
  • 1/2 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow sweet onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 3/4 cup black beans
  • 3/4 cup corn
  • 1 Anaheim pepper diced
  • 4 sweet mini peppers diced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 to 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Blend the enchilada sauce, salsa verde, jalapeno, onion, cilantro, and garlic in a blender until smooth.  Then pour into a saucepan and simmer.
  2. Preheat the oven to broil.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the chicken, black beans, corn, peppers, paprika, salt and pepper until combined.
  4. Spray olive oil on each of the tortillas.
  5. Divide the chicken mixture evenly between the 12 tortillas, roll each one, and put it seam side down in a 9×13 glass baking dish.
  6. Broil the enchiladas for about 12 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until they start to brown.
  7. Remove the enchiladas from the oven, and preheat it to 350 degrees.
  8. While the oven is preheating, pour the sauce over the enchiladas and then top with the cheese.
  9. Bake the enchiladas for about 15 minutes until the cheese melts and starts to bubble and slightly brown.