Pumpkin cranberry oatmeal squares

Ah, December… It’s OFFICIALLY Christmas time (in my mind, at least!)

And Christmas time = baked goods.

From decadent breakfasts to Christmas cookies… December has it all.

*sings* It’s the most yummiest time… of the year 😉

Today’s recipe was inspired by my love of Nature Valley’s soft-baked oatmeal squares. I love eating these as I run out the door on my way to work. In my variation, there is no added fat or eggs. All of the moisture and chewiness comes from the use of canned pumpkin and dried fruit. And the best part of this recipe is the ease of it – it’s only 4 ingredients!

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Semi-homemade apple cake

Fall is the ideal time for apple recipes.

With Thanksgiving being tomorrow, this recipe certainly comes in handy. From start to finish, this super-simple apple cake only takes around 35 minutes to prepare and tastes REALLY good.

It also makes a perfect day-after-Thanksgiving breakfast  😉

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A double feature – Pumpkin “pie” fudge loaf AND Pumpkin spice walnut muffins

If you like pumpkin pie, pumpkin bread, and healthy desserts – these are for you.

The first recipe is for a very moist and fudgey pumpkin bread. It has a consistency similar to pumpkin pie, with a bit of a cakey texture. It’s absolutely delicious while managing to also be low in sugar, dairy free, and egg free. Toast some up at breakfast or serve it with a dollop of cool whip at dessert – either way, you win.

The second recipe is for the EASIEST pumpkin spice muffins you could ever make. It’s literally 3 ingredients, including the walnuts I added (which are completely optional by the way).

This Basic B knows what’s up.

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Sweet & chewy oat bars

I LOVE these oat bars. They’re ideal for a grab-and-go breakfast, a quick snack, or a healthier dessert.

The sweetness from the bananas and honey perfectly balance out the bitterness from the dark chocolate (or the tartness from the Craisins if you would like to go that route) and wonderfully complement the taste of peanut butter.

This recipe is already egg and dairy free, so if you wanted to make it completely vegan you can just substitute the honey with some maple syrup.

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Loaded protein pancakes

My husband and I LOVE breakfast foods, especially pancakes and waffles. On the down side, they have little to no nutritional value – especially protein.

For me this is a big no-no. Since I work out regularly and lift weights, I need to eat enough protein to remain full, fueled, and ready to build muscle. This pancake recipe uses hemp, a plant-based protein. Though I prefer the taste of standard whey protein, it often gives me an upset stomach where hemp does not. The vanilla flavored hemp has a pleasant taste, and it blends in seamlessly with the Bisquick powder to create a mildly sweet pancake with great texture.

With a mix-in of chocolate chips, blueberries, or whatever else you want to toss in there – these pancakes will keep you full & energized and are super tasty.

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Low-sugar BREAD MACHINE banana bread

Well… LOWER sugar, at least. This recipe makes about 16 servings, and each one is around 9.5 grams of sugar… which is pretty damn low for a fruit-based bread. This is still as yummy and sweet as ever, and super simple to make because the bread machine does everything for you – from mixing to baking!

This bread makes a killer french toast for breakfast, or warmed up with butter and jam. It’s also perfect if you want it for dessert with a dollop of fresh whipped cream and some berries.

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