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Healthy breakfast popsicles: 2 ways

One thing I’ve learned about pregnancy is that regardless of the weather, you’re hot all the time. I’m a bit embarrassed to admit just how much gelato I’ve consumed in the last few months. Enough to build a slip ‘n slide for a penguin, probably.

After rolling out of the hot bed in the morning, taking a hot shower, putting on hot clothes, and drying my hair with my portable hot-blasting device, I want nothing less than a hot breakfast to top it all off. I caught myself one morning, over an already cool enough bowl of fruit and yogurt, wishing that I could have the same thing for breakfast only frozen. My eyes nearly popped out of my head as I realized that this was a wish I could easily grant myself. And so, I sought to make myself a batch of healthy breakfast popsicles…

Healthy Breakfast Popsicles: 2 Ways - Apple Cinnamon Oat Pops and Almond Nectarine Yogurt Pops

This is stuff I already eat for breakfast regularly, just in frozen form. A bowl of oatmeal with mashed banana and applesauce or fruit and nuts in creamy yogurt. Entirely healthy and so, so soothing in the summer heat.

Almond Nectarine Yogurt Pops

I chose almonds and nectarines for these yogurt-based popsicles because that’s what I had on hand (and because I’m having a bit of an almond obsession right now.) Feel free to substitute any fruit, nuts, or flavored yogurt that you wish, but this combination really was stellar and I found myself making another batch immediately after I inevitably ate all of these in just a few days.

Almond nectarine yogurt pops

Yogurt, fruit, and nuts makes a healthy breakfast that is refreshing when frozen.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Makes 6


  • 2 containers (12 oz.) lemon Chobani yogurt
  • 2 small nectarines (diced small)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. almond extract

Cooking Directions

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Spoon mixture evenly into popsicle molds and insert handles.
  3. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. To eat: Run mold under warm water until popsicle slides out easily.

Another favorite of mine is oatmeal bulked up with a mashed banana and sweetened with applesauce. I was worried that the texture of the oatmeal wouldn’t work very well frozen, but they came out just delightful. They’re a bit chunkier than the yogurt pops, but still break apart easily and dissolve in your mouth.

Apple Cinnamon Oat Pops

Again, chose your own adventure here. If there’s a flavored oatmeal you’d like to use, go for it. If you’d like to substitute jam or nut butter for the apple sauce, be my guest. You could even use canned pumpkin in place of the mashed banana… mmmmm.

Apple cinnamon oat pops

Just like a hearty bowl of hot apple cinnamon oatmeal, but in frozen form.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: Makes 6


  • 2 individual packets plain instant oatmeal
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. honey

Cooking Directions

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, cook oatmeal with water according to package directions.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash banana with a fork. Add oatmeal and all other ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Spoon mixture evenly into popsicle molds and insert handles.
  4. Freeze for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  5. To eat: Run molds under warm water until popsicle slides out easily.

I’ve loved being able to grab one of these in the morning to cool off with. They’re pretty low-calorie, so I usually follow them up with a muffin or something. I already have so many ideas for how to freeze more of my breakfasts now. Blueberries and waffle bits in maple yogurt? YES.

Apple Cinnamon Oat PopsAlmond Nectarine Yogurt Pops

How would you translate your favorite breakfast into a frozen treat?



Apple butter cake with cinnamon cider buttercream

All that’s left to share from last weekend is this incredible apple butter cake!

Apple cake frosting

I love to bake, but ever since I started paying attention to eating mostly healthy foods I’ve tried to put aside that urge to make a batch of cookies every week. I have a huge folder full of bookmarked recipes for when I need a “fancy” dessert, if only I had enough occasions to make them all!

This is a cake that I heavily modified from another recipe. It’s so far changed from that “inspiration cake” though that I feel totally cool with posting it as my own recipe.

Apple cake edge

Apple butter cake

A damp and delicious cake with the warm winter flavors of cinnamon and rich apple butter.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 1 9-inch cake layer


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup apple butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 small eggs
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp. ground clove
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Cooking Directions

  1. In a stand mixer, mix together oil and brown sugar followed by the vanilla, apple butter, and eggs one at a time.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients and spices and slowly add to the wet mixture in three installments, allowing the dry to fully incorporate with the wet each time.
  3. Slowly drizzle in almond milk while the mixer is at it's lowest speed until it is fully combined.
  4. Pour batter into a non-stick tart pan or regular 9-inch cake pan sprayed with a non-stick spray.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool completely before frosting.

Apple cake ridges

I love how damp the texture of this cake is. It reminds me of a really good banana bread. The frosting is a sweet contrast to the subtle cake flavor but it isn’t too crazy sweet either. The flavor of the cider is barely noticeable in it, it just adds a kind of fresh fruity crispness.

Side of apple cake

Cinnamon cider buttercream

Sweet buttercream with a hint of fresh fall apple and warming cinnamon.

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 3/4 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • up to 4 cups powdered sugar

Cooking Directions

  1. Beat room-temperature butter in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.
  2. Add in a cup of the sugar and all the other ingredients and beat until combined.
  3. Keep adding sugar a bit at a time and mixing until the desired thickness is achieved.
  4. Spread over a completely cooled cake.

Slice of apple cake

I ended up pawning the rest of the cake off on my mom and brother-in-law. If it had sat in my house any longer I would have undoubtedly eaten it all myself. I love sweets.

Speaking of sweets, today I’m baking up a carrot cake to take to Christmas Eve dinner with Jeff’s family. I’m adding some special signature touches to it, so I’ll be sure to share the recipe with you after the holidays. Hope yours are wonderful!


Whiskey and waffles

This past weekend our friends, John and Emily, threw a whiskey and waffles party in an effort to use up some of the many opened bottles they had of both whiskey and maple syrup. Genius!

This here was our little contribution, a bottle of Old Pogue bourbon whiskey.

Old Pogue bourbon

It’s extremely mellow and sippable with the sweet flavor of caramel and very little burn. Definitely my new favorite bourbon!

And because I can’t go to a party and not cook something, I decided to use some of the bourbon to make bourbon baked apples to pair with the waffles we’d be enjoying.

I peeled and cored 5 large fuji apples and generously sprinkled them with cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and ginger. Then I topped them with a spoonful of brown sugar and 2 spoonfuls of the bourbon. Those got all stirred up.

Peeled apples tossed in spicesSpiced apples close up

I broke up a tablespoon of butter and dotted it all over the top, then baked them at 375 degrees for about an hour, stirring every 20 minutes.

Bits of butter over the apples

And this is what came out:

Bourbon baked apples

I spooned two more spoonfuls of bourbon over the warm apples and stirred it up to let them soak up all the delicious bourbon sauce. I wanted them to be very soft, almost falling apart, so that they’d make a luscious topping for the waffles.

I was having fun in the kitchen so I decided to make some maple cinnamon whipped cream too. Just a half pint of heavy whipping cream, sprinkle of sugar and cinnamon, and maple syrup until it tasted maple-y enough. I whipped it with a stand mixer using the beater attachment and it was fluffy and delicious in about 5 minutes.

When we got to John’s house, he made us a few signature cocktails to go with our brunch. I had a maple Old Fashioned using the Old Pogue bourbon and some maple syrup that was matured in bourbon barrels.

Maple old fashioned


And here’s the delicious brunch we all feasted on:

Waffle with maple cinnamon whipped cream

Crunchy bacon and buttery waffles that were crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. Absolutely amazing paired with the maple cinnamon whipped cream, soft baked apples, and one of the many maple syrups we had to choose from.

After everyone got to eat, we moved the party outside for a whiskey tasting hour!

Outdoor whiskey tasting

That’s about half of what was actually available.

We all compared a newly opened bottle of Glenfiddich with one that had been open for about 3 months to try to guess which was which in a blind taste test. I think I was the only person to get it wrong. :( Doesn’t matter, still got to try lots of new whiskeys.

I think we managed to polish off at least two of the opened bottles we were trying to get rid of, so I’d say the party was a success. And, I didn’t feel like death the next morning either. Double win!

Below is the recipe for those amazing bourbon baked apples. If you’re not into booze with breakfast you could absolutely leave out the bourbon, but I’d try replacing it with juice or cider to maintain the same moisture levels.

Bourbon baked apples

These meltingly soft baked apples are baked in a sweet bourbon sauce and make a delicious topping for pancakes and waffles.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes


  • 5 large fuji apples
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • a big pinch each of nutmeg, clove, and ginger
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. bourbon
  • 1 tbsp. butter

Cooking Directions

  1. Peel, core, and chop apples. Place in a small baking dish.
  2. Sprinkle on spices, sugar, and bourbon. Toss to combine.
  3. Break up the butter with your fingers and dot all over the top.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.
  5. When apples are cooked, you can spoon over extra bourbon if you want the flavor to stand out more or serve as is.

Favorite waffle topping?