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Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies! – but at least they are made with real ingredients

Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal No Bake Cookies

I shop at a variety of places for our food, the locally-owned natural food store (Native Roots), a regional chain natural grocery store (Natural Grocers), the local farmer’s market, the local regular grocery store (Homeland), and even Wal-Mart.  The bakery at my local Wal-Mart is right next to the produce section and so I end up walking by all the cakes and cookies on my way to get the healthy fruits and veggies.  🙂 

The last few times, the packaged bakery “Peanut butter fudge no bakes” cookies have definitely been tempting me.  But, I know that they put lots of unnecessary and kind of scary things in packaged cookies.  The Wal-mart ingredients are: Granulated Sugar, Oats, Water, Peanut Butter (Roasted Peanuts, Hydrogenated Vegetable Oil, Salt, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean & Cottonseed Oil), Margarine (Vegetable Monodiglycerides, Soy Lecithin, Beta Carotene, Vitamin A Palmitate, Artificial Butter Flavor), Cocoa, Non-Fat Dry Milk Solids, Vanilla.   Actually, not too horrible compared to other packaged cookies, except the peanut butter has hydrogenated oils in it and we don’t use margarine because of all the crap in it.

So, I dug out my recipe for no-bake cookies and decided to make my own.  These cookies are a bit addictive.  This recipe makes about 28-30 cookies.  Luckily, I have 6 people in the house to eat these things so that is only 4 or 5 cookies each and we stretched them out over 3 days.  I did cut the sugar a bit and upped the peanut butter from the original recipe and they were still just great.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter & Oatmeal No-Bake Cookies
makes 2-3 dozen depending on how big you make them

  • 6 Tbsp (that is 3/4 of a stick) real butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Demerara sugar (or other unrefined sugar such as “sugar in the raw”) 
  • 1/2 cup organic milk 
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa powder (not hot cocoa mix, I used Hershey’s)
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups quick cooking oats (I used organic, the only ingredient on the package should be OATS)
  • 3/4 cup creamy natural peanut butter  (made with just peanuts or peanuts and a bit of salt)
  • 1 1/2 tsp real vanilla extract
  1. Add the butter, sugar, milk, and cocoa  to a large saucepan.  Bring to a rolling boil for at least one minute, but two is better.  Note: To make sure cookies set up properly wait until mixture comes to a complete FULL boil and then start the timer for one minute.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in the peanut butter and vanilla and mix well with a whisk until smooth and the peanut butter is fully melted in.  Add the oats and stir well.
  3. Drop by heaping Tablespoonfuls onto waxed paper or parchment paper lined baking sheets (I used my silpats). Let them set up and cool for at least one hour.  If you can’t wait, you can put a few in the freezer to speed thing up. 

Some folks like to add a bit of coconut flakes to the mix, but we like ours traditional.  We managed to ration these out over 3 days, but it was hard.

Note for those with special diets:

  • These are naturally gluten-free as long as you are sure about the source of your oats.  I understand that some oats are grown in the same fields as or near wheat and can become contaminated.
  • If you wanted to make these vegetarian, you could probably substitute coconut oil for the butter since it is also a solid a room temp. 
  • If you have a peanut allergy, I am sure that almond butter or sunflower butter or any other nut butter would work just as well.


– Stacey


Pumpkin Pie Steel-Cut Oatmeal – in less than 10 minutes

As I mentioned in a earlier post, we eat a lot of oatmeal and usually it is the steel-cut kind.  But, that takes too long to cook in the morning, like 40 minutes, right?  Not really, as I base mine on this easy and relatively fast recipe for 7 minute stove top steel-cut oatmeal. That is how I make oatmeal about 75% of the time now.
Of course, you can always make your oatmeal ahead and just heat it up in the morning.  But, it is simple to soak the oats overnight and then they cook in a jiffy.  When I make oatmeal, it is enough to feed four elementary kids plus one adult.  I usually end up with one or two extra servings of oatmeal and Emma and I have it the next morning since she LOVES oatmeal.
You can use the basic recipe and then add dried fruit and spices to your preference, or add nothing and just enjoy the oaty goodness.  I add the flax-seed to boost the Omega-3’s.  Today’s breakfast was:
Pumpkin Pie Steel-cut Oatmeal
  • 1 cup steel cut oats
  • 1 cup milk

    Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Ingredients

    Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Ingredients

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 dash sea salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (a mixture of ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice)
  • 2 Tbsp real maple syrup or honey (not HFCS stuff)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax-seed (optional)
  1. The night before (or at least 6 hours before), soak the oats in about 3-4 cups of plain water with about 2 Tbsp of whey, kefir, buttermilk, or lemon juice added.

    Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal in pot

    Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal in pot

    (Note: the whey, etc. is optional, it would work with just the water, but the whey helps to “pre-digest” the oats and allows your body to get more nutrients out of them).

  2. In the morning, drain oats in a fine-meshed sieve, rinse with water, and then drain again.
  3. Place the drained, soaked oats and all other ingredients in a pot, bring to slight boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.  Serve with cream if desired.
     Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal in bowl with cream

 This morning’s taste test results from the kids were:

Eating Pumpkin Pie OatmealEmma: 5 out of 5 stars

Julia: 4 out of 5 stars (she is not an oatmeal lover, but this was the best she has had)

Leah: 5 out of 5 stars

Sarah: 4.5 out of 5 stars (she didn’t like the pecans, otherwise it would have gotten 5)

– Stacey

Almost all the fat comes from the pecans, so if you omit those, it is low-fat.  Either way, you get lots of Vitamin A from the pumpkin.  Nutritional Analysis (including pecans) assuming 8 servings from

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal Nutrition Analysis

Kevin’s Oatmeal Whole Wheat Pancakes

Kevin's Oatmeal Whole Wheat Pancakes

Kevin's Oatmeal Whole Wheat Pancakes

Back in May when I posted about out breakfasts, I promised you a pancake recipe using oatmeal.  So, here it is.

I got this recipe from Kevin from our church and he got it from his sister.  Not sure where she got it from.  But, he made them at a VBS teacher’s breakfast and they were great, so I got the recipe.  I have made them several times and they are quite easy and all whole grain.  What I like about it is that it has more oats than flour and all the flour used is whole wheat.  I typically use whole wheat pastry flour.

He made the banana variety and that is also the one I have made most.  The natural sweetness of the bananas is enough so you don’t need any other sweetener, but if making plain, you might want to put in a small amount of honey or maple syrup.  Or just serve with honey or maple syrup.  (the real stuff, not HFCS junk).  You could always add any other fruit such as blueberries or perhaps nuts such as pecans, if you so desire.

The kids and I also like the gingerbread variety a lot.  Cut back on the spices if you like your gingerbread less intense.  Another variation that I have not tried yet would be to add about 1-2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice and a 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin.

Kevin’s Oatmeal Whole Wheat Pancakes

2 cups rolled oats (I used old-fashioned oats)
2 & 1/4 cups milk (try just 2 cups first and add more if needed)
4 eggs (slightly scrambled)
1 Tablespoon oil (I use peanut or coconut oil, but use your favorite)
1 cup whole wheat flour (I use whole wheat pastry flour)
1 Tablespoon baking powder (use aluminum-free, like Rumford)

Put oats and milk in a bowl and let soak at least 5 minutes, 10 to 15 minutes is better.  Then, mix in the rest of the ingredients.  Heat a lightly oiled pan and make whatever size pancakes you like.

Kevin's Oatmeal Whole Wheat Pancakes on plate

Kevin's Oatmeal Whole Wheat Pancakes on plate

Variations to basic recipe – add to wet batter with rest of ingredients:

* Add some unsweetened applesauce and cinnamon to taste


* Add 1-2 mashed bananas and some cinnamon to taste (our favorite!)


* Add 1/3 cup molasses and 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1 tsp. ginger and 1/2 tsp. cloves for gingerbread pancakes

This recipe makes about 15-20 small pancakes (approximately 4″-5″ diameter). They freeze well and heat up well in the microwave.  I usually make a lot at one time and we get 2-3 breakfasts off the batch.

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