Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

French Toast Casserole reminds me of Christmas morning or a celebration brunch, but it’s easy enough to have any time.  I love that it can serve a crowd without having to stand over a hot griddle cooking a few slices of bread at a time.  The pumpkin flavor and pecan butterscotch topping, makes this dish especially festive.

You can bake it in a 9×13 casserole dish, muffin tins, a Bundt pan, or even a slow cooker.  It makes a great freezer meal, or a prep the night before dish. I’ll give instructions for each variation at the end.

Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

1 loaf, 20 oz of bread.  We like Saralee Artisan Golden Wheat Bread

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Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts, No Special Pan Needed

These sweet and tender Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts are as easy to make as biscuits.  Brandon helped make our first batch at 2 years old.  He’s 10 now–eeek!  When I look back on these old pictures I wish I had taken a lot more.

We like this recipe because it doesn’t take any special pans or a donut maker which makes it accessible to every kitchen.  It’s easily made dairy free. Just sub coconut oil for the butter and almond milk for the dairy milk.  And dust with powdered sugar instead of yogurt glaze. We’re still perfecting a gluten free recipe so you have that to look forward to that later.

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Pumpkin Muffin or Cookies Jar Mix

This mix contains the epitome of autumn flavors with the butterscotch chips, pumpkin spice and pecans.  It has has been a family favorite for years and fits prettily in a quart jar and makes a nice appreciation gift or a welcome to the neighborhood gift.  This is another original recipe you won’t find anywhere else.

Pumpkin Jar Mix

1 1/2 cups All-purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

1/2 tsp Salt

1 1/2 tsp Pumpkin Spice

1/2 cup Rolled Oats

3/4 cup Sugar*

1/2 cup Butterscotch Chips

1/2 cup Chopped Pecans

Layer in a quart jar

*If you are baking right away, brown sugar tastes better.  If it is a mix for storage then white sugar is best.  Brown sugar will dry out next to the flour and get hard and impossible to mix into the recipe.  Sucanat or coconut sugar would work in either situation.

For cookies: Mix 1/2 cup softened butter, 1/2 t maple flavoring, 1 cup of pumpkin puree and 1 egg. Add pumpkin mix, and mix just until combined. Drop by spoonful onto greased cookie sheets.  Optional, decorate before baking by pressing a pecan half into the top. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

For muffins:

Mix together 1/4 C butter or yogurt, 2 eggs, 1/2 t maple flavoring, and 1 cup of pumpkin puree. Add pumpkin mix alternating with 1 C milk. Fill greased muffin cups nearly full and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Makes 15-18 muffins.

P.S.  Did you know that parmesan jar lids fit quart jars?

This is day 12 of 31 Days of Pumpkin Recipes

1 Pumpkin spice mix

2 Homemade pumpkin puree

3 Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

4 Pumpkin Dinner Rolls

5 Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

6 Pumpkin Bagels

7 Butternut Chicken Stew

8 Healthy Pumpkin Pecan Scones

9 Pumpkin Waffles

10 Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

11 Butternut Squash Chili

12 Pumpkin Jar Mix

13 Pumpkin French Toast Casserole

14 Easy Pumpkin Cake

15 Pumpkin Dump Cake

16 Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

17 Pumpkin Mousse

18 Pumpkin Cheesecake

19 Pumpkin Latte

20 Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

21 Pumpkin Breakfast Cookies

22 Pumpkin Biscuits

23 Maple Pumpkin Butter

24 Stuffed Sugar Baby Pumpkins

25 Pumpkin Pancakes

26 Pumpkin English Muffins

27 Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

28 Baked Pumpkin Doughnuts

29 Pumpkin Biscotti

30 Pumpkin Caramel Monkey Bread

31 Impossible Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Spice Waffles, Two Ways

Most of you know that I coach a private weight loss group and provide detailed meal plans to help the girls reach their goals.  I’m following the meal plans closely myself and am on my way to a completing a 40lb weight loss.  Not everything is predictable but I’m on track to finish by the end of the year. These scones are part of our plan this week and they are such a treat!  My kids were jealous, so I made a fresh ground whole wheat version for them.

The Fit Mama recipes won’t hurt a young person if they want to eat them once in awhile but the ingredients are more expensive than traditional ingredients and they are too low carb/low calorie for a steady diet for a growing child.  It doesn’t take long for me to make a version for me and one for them and I’m excited to share both the recipes.

Fit Mama Protein Pumpkin Spice Waffles

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Healthy Pumpkin Pecan Scones

Scones and hot tea are one of my favorite autumn breakfasts. I made the first batch of pumpkin scones for the Fit Mama meal plans. They were delicious and just happen to be both gluten free and dairy free.  Then I made a second bath with fresh ground whole wheat flour for the rest of the family and they got thumbs up too.  I’m pleased to share the recipes for both.

Fit Mama Pumpkin Pecan Scones

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Caramel Filled Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

These cinnamon rolls start with a pumpkin based yeast dough, filled with cream cheese caramel, for an ooey gooey breakfast treat that triples as a perfect dessert or after school snack.

The dough is the same as our Pumpkin Dinner Roll Dough, but halved so it will fit in your bread machine.  Of course you can mix it up in your mixer if you prefer, or even make the larger batch like I did so there are plenty to share.

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Simplifying Breakfast

When I was a new mom I had dreams of sitting around the table every morning, with Daddy leading devotions to smiling children memorizing Bible verses set on a backdrop of a hearty home cooked breakfast. I had no idea at the time that we would welcome one baby after another and that I’d have 12 years of rough mornings. We’d be up all night taking turns with a colicky baby and Darren would peel out of bed barely rested, just in time to throw on clothes and dash to work where he had a loaf of bread stashed for breakfast toast.

Read the rest at http://www.kansascitymom.com/simplifying-breakfast/  and get the make ahead Always Ready Bran Muffin recipe that my family loves.

Zucchini Chocolate Cupcakes

At 3 pm everyone at my house gets the munchies.  I’ve taught my kids to be self-reliant when it comes to food.  It’s a habit of years of dealing with chronic illness. Now that I’m doing a bit better, I want to take back some of the kitchen control.  I like my kids learning to cook and make do, but I’m not loving the mess they leave behind.  It’s going to take some steady supervision to change the bad “clean up after yourself” habits I’ve allowed.  In the meantime, I’m being proactive by preparing after school snacks.  Rename these “muffins” and you can serve them for breakfast too :).

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Zucchini Chocolate Cupcakes are loaded with veggies, fiber and protein.  You can choose how you want to sweeten them.  I used a mixture of xylitol and sucanant.  To get the right texture, you should include real sugar for at least 1/3 of the sweetener.

You can also be creative with the flour you use.  I used fresh ground whole wheat flour, unbleached flour or a gluten free flour blend (if it has xanthan gum in it) will also work.  If you are using an alternate flour option, add it gradually and stop when the consistency is cake batter right.   Some flours (like coconut flour) absorb a ton more water than wheat flour and you will need quite a bit less.

Zucchini Chocolate Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt

1 3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 Tbs vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp cloves

1/4 cup cocoa powder

2 1/2 cups flour

1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a stand mixer, beat Greek yogurt with sugar, eggs and vanilla.  Stir in Zucchini.
  3. Add baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, cocoa powder, stirring well after each addition.
  4. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, stirring just until incorporated. Do not add chocolate chips at this time.
  5. Fill greased or lined muffin cups 2/3 full.  (I like to use an ice cream scoop to measure it.)
  6. Sprinkle the top of each cupcake with 1/2 tsp of mini chocolate chips.
  7. Bake for 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  8. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes before removing cupcakes to finish cooling.

Nutrition Information for Zucchini Muffins

Homemade Granola

This video first appeard May 7th, 2009.  It’s so easy to make granola that I thought it is worth bringing to the front. It is a great topper for oatmeal, yogurt, or other cereals.

Watch the video to see how easy it is to make homemade granola.  With the choice of the right ingredients, it’s inexpensive and nutritious.  I added mine to an inexpensive box of cornflakes for a multigrain “honey bunches of oats” type cereal.

 

Here’s the ingredient list:  Syrup:  3 T oil, 1/3 C honey, 1 T water, 1 t real maple extract

 

Grain:  2 C oats, 1 C rice crispies, 1/2 C cracked wheat, 1/2 C wheat germ, 2 T brown sugar, 1/4 t salt

(Next time I’d replace the cracked wheat with sunflower seeds.)

Here’s the video. I apologize it is so dark at the beginning, it gets better.

Do you have a favorite granola recipe?

Blueberry Oat Custard

I’m not a fan of plain oatmeal, but add a few eggs and cook it in milk instead of water and I’ll change my tune.  It’s also weight loss friendly and will fill you up.

blueberry oat custard

1 Cup rolled oats

2 Cups skim milk

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 teaspoon salt

2-4 packets truvia

1 cup blueberries (I used frozen wild blueberries from Costco)

Combine all but the blueberries in a sauce pan and mix with a large wisk.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbling.  Remove from heat and stir in blueberries.  Serve with a dallop of whipped topping or vanilla yogurt.

Yields 3 cups of custard.  3 servings @ 223 calories, 43 g net carbs, 5 g fat, and 21 g protein.

If you have a dairy allergy, this recipe works well with almond milk.  Each serving would have 180 calories, 35 net carbs, 5 g fat, and 15g protein