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Nova Scotia Blueberry Pie

It’s hard to be easy on yourself.

Like most, I’ve long been aware of the fact that I truly am my worst critic. No one obsesses over my mistakes and translates them into failures quite as harshly as myself.

Case in point:

I’ve been having a hard time with school lately. Working full time and then rushing to class two nights a week is draining, and to be honest, I haven’t been enjoying chef school as much as I thought I would. It’s hard – really, really hard – in a way that I’m not used to. As it turns out, a liberal arts degree doesn’t really make you cut out for a hard-ass chef’s kitchen.

But this week was different. Despite my usual fretting and mad scrambling to get everything done on time for the chef, I received a really good compliment from him. Like really good.

After I got over my initial shock, I was elated. I danced in my car on the drive home from class. I cried a little. I actually believed that maybe going to chef school wasn’t just some frivolous pipe dream, but could actually lead to something I never thought myself capable of. I was, as I announced to my boyfriend that night, proud of myself.

And then something stupid happened. I’m not 100 per cent sure where it came from, but suddenly the idea popped in my head that maybe I hadn’t turned the gas oven off at school.

At this point, a normal person would probably brush the worry aside and go back to basking in their temporary glory.

But not me. I neurotically fixated on this minute detail, going through all of the nightmarish possibilities over and over until well past 1 am. Visions of the George Brown campus bursting into flames danced over my eyelids, but most of all, I pictured the chef peering down at me next class, taking back what he’d said that had made me feel so good.

It’s almost like a perverse denial of self-respect, like my mind couldn’t allow myself to be proud, so it desperately sought out some way to cloud my happiness. It’s frustrating, but sadly not something that’s by any means foreign to my psyche.

My mom is no stranger to this self-deprecating behavior. Despite being a successful overachiever, over the years I’ve watched her struggle with her own doubts and fears. So naturally, I knew who to call when I couldn’t shake this nagging feeling.

As expected, she knew exactly what I was going through, and had had a similar situation just last week. But what she said really stuck with me. Probably because it was true.

We don’t let ourselves accept compliments when we don’t think we deserve them, she said. We find some way to negate the positive, some justification for our own feelings of self-doubt.

Most of the successful people I know suffer from this, so I guess in a way I shouldn’t be too hard on myself for being hard on myself. But nonetheless, if you have any pointers for getting over this – or at the very least, pushing them aside in order to sleep at night – I’d love to hear them.

This recipe comes from my mom, who’s aptly from Nova Scotia. Every fall, she hauls out her classic old Nova Scotia recipe book and automatically thumbs her way to the blueberry-spattered page. It’s a favourite of mine too, especially since it’s such a simple dessert to throw together when you’re busy trying to get dinner on the table.


Nova Scotia Blueberry Pie
Serves 8 to 10.

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup white sugar
4 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 9-inch unbaked deep dish pie shell

Topping
1/2 cup flour
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup butter, cold, cubed

Whipped Cream (optional)
1 cup heavy whipping cream (35%)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp white sugar, or to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.

2. In a large bowl, add 1/4 cup flour, white sugar and blueberries, stirring to coat berries. Stir in lemon juice and transfer to pie shell.

3. Prepare topping: In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar and cinnamon. With a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs, rubbing between your fingers if needed. Pack over berry mixture.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce heat to 350˚F and bake for 45 to 50 more minutes. (NOTE: If using fresh blueberries, bake for 10 to 15 minutes less.)

5. Prepare whipped cream: In a medium bowl, use an electric hand mixer to whip cream, vanilla and sugar until stiff peaks form. Taste for sweetness and adjust as desired. Serve over pie.

Enjoy!

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Orange Cranberry Bread

I’m easily overwhelmed.

I don’t always hold up under pressure.

I only assert myself when pushed, and even then, it’s not nearly enough.

And I have this nasty habit of not believing in myself.

That’s all to say that I really don’t have what it takes to be a good chef.

At least that’s what I kept telling myself as I rushed back and forth between my stovetop and workstation at school the other night, all under the critical eye of the chef who would eventually be judging my performance on a scale of one to 100.

“It’ll be fun,” I kept telling friends and family about my starting chef school this fall.

Fun isn’t exactly the word I’d use to describe that first night. Terrifying is a bit more apt.

I was yelled at for using the wrong sink. I chopped too much onion and not enough leek. I spilled water on the gas burner and burned my finger on the oven rack. I stuttered when talking to the chef. And I got a $40 parking ticket at the end of it.

I couldn’t sleep later that night – just kept tossing and turning as I ran though every single screw-up, obsessing over how I could have done things better or whether or not the chef thinks I’m just another spastic 20-something going to chef school to “discover herself.”

It wasn’t a total flop, though. I made my chicken stock, then my soup, cleaned up my station and went home at the end of it. I learned what sink to use and where not to park. I learned that yelling “hot behind” when you’re carrying a hot pot isn’t nearly as embarrassing as it sounds, and that as much as I may want to pack it up and go home halfway through, I can stick it out and do just fine.

This experience is testing me, and will continue to test me over the next two years. It’s exposing my weaknesses, questioning my talents and thrusting me out of my comfort zone, into a competitive arena of people who are faster and better than me.

I’m not okay with it, but I’m going to have to adapt. I’ll always be the person who falls behind for stopping to help another student out, and I’ll probably never achieve the perfect brunoise. But I will learn to trust myself, and to keep my cool under pressure.

And at the very least, I’ll learn to cook with confidence.

Here’s one of my grandmother’s recipes that I’ve adapted, inspired by this amazing orange cranberry scone I had when I was in Ottawa last month with my mom and dad. And if you’d like to check out another of my grandmother’s recipes, check out my most recent post on Clean Eating magazine’s new blog!

Orange Cranberry Bread

My grandmother’s original recipe called for raisins instead of cranberries, so feel free to experiment with a variety of dried fruit, or try swapping out the orange for a large lemon.

INGREDIENTS:

1 medium orange, zested and juiced
1 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups white all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan and dust with flour.

2. In a 1-cup measure, add orange zest and juice. Add enough boiling water to fill cup. Transfer to a small bowl and add cranberries.

3. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar. Stir in egg and vanilla.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and stir until just combined; do not over-mix. Fold in orange-cranberry mixture.

5. Transfer to prepared loaf pan, smoothing top with back of spoon. Bake in centre of oven for 1 hour, until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in centre.

Enjoy!

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Vanilla Peach Scones

I can’t remember exactly what was going through my mind when I clicked the “register” button on my computer’s screen.

Some combination of excitement, nervousness and sheer, unadulterated fear, no doubt.

I felt that same frenzied conglomeration of emotion welling up in my throat yesterday afternoon, as I carefully fastened the last button on my newly acquired chef’s jacket, my fingers trembling with trepidation.

I didn’t know what to expect when my eyes met in the mirror – to be honest, I thought I’d look like a phony playing dress-up.

Except as I stepped back and took a full stare at myself, from the crisp white jacket to my carefully tied-back mop of hair, I felt something a little different. I felt like me.

In two weeks, I start my chef training certificate, a two-year program I’ll take on evenings and weekends between work. It’s expensive, time-consuming and in a terribly inconvenient location, but I don’t care. Because at the end of it, I get to be a chef.

It’s been two years since the idea first popped into my head – in fact, just as I’d filled out my application to Prince Edward Island’s Culinary Institute of Canada, I was offered my job here in Toronto. Needless to say, my application was tossed in the garbage bin as I packed for the move.

I thought that working for a food magazine would settle my desire to go to chef school, but if anything, it made it stronger. My passion for food developed into full-on obsession, and I’ve been rolling up my sleeves to develop recipes in my own kitchen ever since.

I wish I could say that I have some sort of plan – that after graduating, I want to work for a bakeshop and bake cupcakes all day, but there’s no such thing. Maybe I will decide that cooking is what I’m meant to do, maybe I’ll hate it. Maybe I’ll just be a better home cook, or maybe I’ll turn out to be a real culinary genius. Either way, I owe it to myself to give this a shot, to open myself up to failure and accept that I have a whole lot left to learn.

This recipe is the result of some over-zealous grocery shopping – I spotted a sale on fresh Ontario peaches and stocked up, not realizing that my boyfriend hates the stone-fruit, leaving me to devour all four pounds of peaches before they start to get mushy. So, armed with a basket of the yellow fruit and a pantry full of baking goodies, I set out to make the best peach scone I’ve ever had. With speckles of vanilla bean, flaky pastry and chunks of juicy peaches, these scones are just that. And with whole-wheat flour, a sprinkling of flaxseeds and very little sugar, they’re a perfect healthy start to my day.



Vanilla Peach Scones
Makes 6 scones.

The trick to baking with peaches is to blanche them first – this allows you to peel away the skin, revealing supple, juicy flesh ready to stir into your favorite pancakes, muffins or scones!

INGREDIENTS:

1 large peach (or 2 small peaches)
1 cup white flour
1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground flaxseeds
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled
3/4 cup half-n-half
1 tsp almond extract
1 vanilla bean pod (or 1 tsp pure vanilla extract)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Slivered almonds, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

1. Bring a medium pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with cold water and ice and arrange near stovetop.

2. Turn peach upside-down and cut a shallow ‘x’ mark into bottom of skin; do not puncture flesh. Add peach to pot and boil for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Carefully remove from pot and immediately transfer to ice water. When cool enough to handle, peel peach by lifting skin by the ‘x’ mark. Dice peach and set aside.

3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large bowl, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, flaxseeds and salt. With the large holes of a box grater, grate butter into flour mixture, occasionally tossing flour over shards of butter. With your fingers, work butter into flour mixture by rubbing together until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add peach and toss gently to coat.

4. Split vanilla bean and run the tip of your knife through center to extract beans. In a small bowl, whisk half-n-half, almond extract and vanilla beans. Form a well in center of flour mixture and add half-n-half mixture to well. With a rubber spatula, gently mix until just combined.

5. Lightly dust a cutting board with flour. Turn dough out onto flour and gently form into a ball. (TIP: Do not knead or overmix; the key to flaky scones is to work the dough as little as possible). Flatten ball into a 1 to 1 1/2 inch thick circle. Cut into six equal pieces.

6. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush each with egg. Top with almonds and bake in center of oven for 16 to 18 minutes, until golden. Let cool on sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

Enjoy!

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Raspberry Lemonade Ice Pops

I once joked with a friend of mine who’s also from the Maritimes that if we eventually move back East, we’ll be so desperate to shake our hardened Toronto ways that we’ll drastically overcompensate by harassing poor bedraggled homeless people, begging to hear their stories and thrusting unsolicited toonies in their fists.

It’s a constant struggle, every time someone in scraggly clothes begs for spare change or even just an ear to hear their troubles. One of the first things I learned when I moved here was to avoid eye contact, but nine out of ten times I slip up. More often than not, it ends with me emptying the contents of my change purse into their hands or winding down my car window to hand them a five dollar bill.

Except for today. Today I was all Toronto.

I was walking home from the bookstore this afternoon when a girl stopped me to ask for some change. She said she lost her bus pass and needed money to get back to Mississauga.

I took one look at her slightly grubby t-shirt and baggy pants and made a mental assessment that she was probably lying. I said I had no cash on me and walked away.

But as I started to walk up the steps to my apartment, my mind started racing with all of the possibilities. What if she wasn’t lying? What if she really was stuck in Toronto for the night with no place to go?

I was still wrestling with myself as I switched the lock on my apartment door and slipped my shoes off, arguing that I can’t give into every person who bums, that I’ll just be taken advantage of. But no more than five minutes later, I found myself rummaging through my wallet for change and running out the door.

I ran back to the spot where she approached me, but she was gone. I walked up and down the street, scoured the nearby subway station in case she’d gone in there, but she wasn’t anywhere to be seen.

Maybe she was trying to take advantage of me. Maybe they can sniff me out as vulnerable.

But that won’t stop me from opening my wallet the next time someone asks for change. Because I’d rather end my day a few bucks poorer than lose sight of who I am, and most of all, where I’m from.

Raspberry Lemonade Ice Pops
Makes 4 to 6 pops.

For a minty twist, boil one sprig fresh mint with the lemon mixture, or chop three or four sprigs and stir them into the lemon-yogurt mixture before you freeze the pops.

Tools

measuring cups and spoons
2 small saucepans
wooden spoon
small bowls
4- to 6-pop ice pop molds
wooden popsicle sticks

Ingredients

1 pint fresh raspberries
2 1/2 tbsp sugar, divided
Juice 2 lemons
1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt, divided

Instructions

1. In a small saucepan, combine raspberries, 3/4 cup water and 1 1/2 tbsp sugar. Heat on medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. In a separate small saucepan, combine lemon juice, 3/4 cup water and 1 tbsp sugar. Heat on medium-high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced by half, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Remove raspberry and lemon mixtures from heat and let cool to room temperature. Transfer to separate small bowls and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

4. To raspberry mixture, add 1/2 cup yogurt and stir to combine. To lemon mixture, add remaining 1/2 cup yogurt and stir to combine. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.

5. Layer raspberry and lemon mixture in pop molds. Insert sticks 3/4 way into pops. Freeze until hardened, about 5 hours.

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Coffee-Spiced Sirloin with Sweet Bell Peppers

I recently tried to sign up for a cooking class called ‘Beef and Butter.’

By now, half of you are either salivating over your keyboards or scratching your heads in bewilderment. It all comes down to your cooking style, I guess.

I like to describe my style as simple. You won’t find extensive spices and foreign pastes lurking in my cupboards. If by some odd chance you do happen to come across one or two, I can almost guarantee you they’ve never been opened.

I like to eat simple things, so in turn, my most treasured culinary brainchilds consist of pretty basic ingredients. I like sea salt and sweet paprika, good quality canola oil and, most of all, butter.

There’s nothing quite like cooking with butter. The way it dances around your skillet with the slightest touch of heat, or how it morphs into this alluringly fragrant foam just seconds before melting into a rich and flavorful sauce.

Now imagine lifting a thick, juicy strip of sirloin out of its paper wrapping, and ever so gently resting it in that oozing buttery melt. The satisfying sizzle as the flesh immediately starts to form an unforgettably irresistible crust, the savory aroma infusing your kitchen with the smells of home.

That, for those of you who questioned the desirability of a class dedicated to “just” beef and butter, is why I was so sorely disappointed when the class was later cancelled.

I won’t lie – I moped pretty hard at the thought of missing out on my chance to spend an entire Saturday browning beef in butter. But after a while, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Class or no class, I was going to sear.

I’d been toying in my head the powerful combination of a good quality sirloin and the warm, rich notes of coffee for quite some time. When a recipe developer I work with pitched a steak dish with a coffee marinade a while ago, I stupidly questioned her judgement. Coffee and steak? Sounded like a grisly combo. And then I tried it.

It’s hard to describe exactly how this works, but it’s like every ambrosial grind of coffee just soaks into the tender, grainy flesh of beef, accenting its earthy composure in a way that no spice or seasoning can. The coffee is subtle, yet it makes its presence well known to your greedy little taste buds with every melt-in-your-mouth bite.

I really like the idea of a coffee rub. There’s something about the rough graininess of coffee that makes you want to slather it over a porous length of steak, working it into the flesh with your fingers.

I wanted to add a nice mix of classic spices to balance the strength of the coffee, so I opted for a blend of sweet paprika, chile powder and a touch of cayenne for heat, and just a dash of cinnamon for warmth. You can always play around with the amounts according to your own taste, and try adding in some new spices for a twist.


Coffee–Spiced Sirloin With Sweet Bell Peppers
Serves 4.

Sautéed bell peppers bring out the sweetness in this tender, juicy meat. I like to serve it with a fresh strawberry salad and some roasted baby potatoes.

Tools

Small bowl
Measuring spoons
Grill pan or skillet
Baking sheet
Small nonstick skillet
Wooden spoon

Ingredients

1 tbsp fine-ground coffee grinds
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 – 1 1/2 tsp chile powder (depending on taste)
1 tsp sea salt
3 – 4 grinds of fresh ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
Dash cinnamon
2 tbsp butter, divided
1 lb sirloin steak
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 each red, orange and yellow bell peppers, sliced

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a small bowl, combine coffee, paprika, chile powder, salt, black pepper, cayenne and cinnamon.

3. Melt 2 tsp butter and rub all over steak. Rub spice mixture onto all sides of steak.

4. Heat a large grill pan or skillet on medium-high. Add butter and heat until melted. Add steak and sear, turning once, until a deep crust forms, 3 to 4 minutes per side.

5. Transfer steak to a foil-lined baking sheet and bake until steak is cooked to desired doneness, 15 to 20 minutes for medium-well.

6. Meanwhile, in a small nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add bell peppers and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and skins are slightly blackened, 10 to 12 minutes.

7. Remove steak from oven. Let rest for 5 minutes. To serve, top steak with bell peppers.

Enjoy!
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Blue Cheese–Stuffed Pork Chops

I’ve been told more than once that moving is among one of the most stressful events of your lifetime, right up there with death, disease and divorce. And after having moved five times in as many years, I can tell you with confidence this is true.

Aside from all of the technical stresses – as if stuffing all your belongings in boxes isn’t enough – you’ve still got to come to terms with the fact that you are uprooting. It doesn’t matter if you’re only moving from one apartment to another in the same city. You’re still going against instinct, taking yourself from the place you can trust to a new place, a place where you don’t know how many steps it takes to reach the bathroom or exactly where the light switch is on the wall.

It was amongst this chaos not long ago that I realized I was beginning to crack. My belongings, all of the physical stuff I associate with who I am, were out of sight, rendered insignificant under layers of cardboard and bubble wrap. I hadn’t really slept in weeks, and my pots and pans had been packed up long ago, making it impossible to sauté my troubles away.

The move happened, and here I am, settled into my nice new apartment. But I still feel off-kilter, out of sorts, and a little bit depressed.

Because I think it’s during these periods in life, when everything you thought was stable is shaking, that you start to feel disembodied from yourself.

The simplest things, like bending to tie your shoes or making a pot of coffee, seem foreign and complicated. You look at yourself in the mirror and see someone you only sort of recognize. You’ve been stirred out of your comfort zone, and once that happens, it takes a long, long time to find it again. And even then, it can’t be the same as it was.

But sometimes, even with all of this madness swirling around you, beautiful things happen. You start to learn a little more about yourself. You learn to gauge your strengths and weaknesses. You figure out who you can really trust. Things that seemed significant in your life are no longer so. Your priorities change, and so do you.

And sometimes, you learn to take the old and turn it into something new. You learn that, say, if you happen to have an inexplicable surplus of both pork chops and blue cheese in your fridge just three days before you move, all you have to do is put them together, and a powerful union is formed.

Blue Cheese–Stuffed Pork Chops
Serves 4.

The rich, elegant taste of salty blue cheese champions anything you put on the table, so try and pair your pork chops with simple, mild sides, such as boiled new potatoes and fresh green beans.

Tools

Small bowl
Wooden spoon
Sharp paring knife
Large oven-proof skillet
Metal tongs

Ingredients

1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, plus additional for garnish
4 thick boneless pork chops
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, as desired
1 tbsp canola oil

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In a small bowl, combine butter and blue cheese.

3. With a sharp knife, carefully cut a lengthwise incision in each pork chop to form a deep pocket.

4. Spoon blue cheese mixture into each pocket, dividing evenly. Gently press pocket together to seal. Season both sides of pork with salt and pepper.

5. Heat a large oven-proof skillet on medium-high. Add oil, swirling to coat. Add pork chops and cook, turning once, until golden brown and a nice crust forms, 6 to 8 minutes.

6. Transfer skillet to oven and bake until pork is cooked through and juices run clear, 15 to 20 minutes. If desired, garnish with additional blue cheese and drizzle with any pan juices.

Enjoy!

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Peach & Blueberry Baked Oatmeal


I’m in the process of moving right now, which means every spare moment I get between work and sleep is spent enveloping my belongings in bubble wrap and stuffing them into various boxes strewn across my apartment.

It also means purging – something that a lot of people embrace when it comes time to move. I’ll admit decluttering can be a bit freeing. By getting rid of the crap you carry around, you’re admitting that you’ve moved on. You’re accepting that you’re no longer the person you were when you kept these things. It’s almost like a physical reminder that you’ve changed.

But for the most part, I find this emotionally tiring. I attach emotions to these obscure objects – a fleeting memory or feeling is associated with every receipt or grubby pair of shoes found lurking in my closet.

This shouldn’t be difficult for me by now: this will be my sixth move in as many years. But it doesn’t get any easier, the act of dismantling my home, stuffing it in a truck and transporting it somewhere new.

This is an exciting move, though, one of new beginnings. For the past year, I’ve been holed up in a tiny basement apartment in a dreary suburb outside of Toronto. If you’ve ever had the displeasure of living in a basement before, then you know what I mean when I say I’ve been suffering from the “basement effect.” Quite simply it’s the result of living two feet from the furnace, underground, with two prison-size windows providing the only measly bit of natural light available.

So obviously I am extremely excited that in less than three weeks, I will be above ground, within the actual city limits, in a beautiful apartment with real windows in a real Toronto neighborhood.

But at the moment, that doesn’t make packing any easier.

I go in bouts, where one of my different packing styles (hoarder or purger) takes over, and I’m either saving every little do-dad and dust bunny, or I’m considering chucking my passport because I haven’t used it in two years.

All of this packing and purging is taking a toll on my eating habits, as I haven’t had a whole lot of time to prepare balanced meals, and, quite frankly, most of my pots and pans are in boxes right now. As a result, I’ve been eating a whole lot of oatmeal. First it was straight-up oats and milk, then I quickly tired of that and added some cinnamon and chopped apple. That was a hit for week or two, and now I’ve moved on to this beautiful and oh-so-sweet baked version.

It’s extremely easy to make, and will keep in the fridge for a week, so you’ll always have it on hand when you need an energy boost (or, in my case, dinner).

Peach & Blueberry Baked Oatmeal
Makes 12 servings.

Tools

Large rectangle baking dish
Medium mixing bowl
Measuring cup and spoons
Whisk

Ingredients

Olive oil cooking spray
3 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup chopped fresh, jarred/canned or frozen (thawed) peach slices, drained
1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp pure maple syrup, plus additional for garnish
1 tsp vanilla yogurt for garnish

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Mist a large rectangle baking dish with cooking spray.

2. In a medium bowl, combine oats, brown sugar, flaxseeds, cinnamon, baking powder and salt. Transfer to dish and shake to distribute evenly. Top with peaches and blueberries. In bowl, whisk milk, eggs, vanilla and maple syrup until combined. Pour over top of oatmeal mixture, gently hitting bottom of dish on your counter a few times so milk distributes into oats.

3. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden and edges begin to brown. Let cool. To serve, cut into squares and top with additional maple syrup and yogurt, or serve in a bowl with milk and sugar.

Enjoy!