Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl - Sarah J. Hauser

Happy Tuesday! My kids had their first real day of preschool today. They seemed to have a great time and looked wonderfully worn out when I picked them up a few hours later. It’s a new stage for us, one that makes us all a little nervous but mostly excited. Having twins before our third baby means I’ve never consistently been home with just one kiddo, so that will (hopefully) bring a much needed break!

It's been a while since I've posted here, but I'm excited to get back in the kitchen again. I recently worked with Kizingo Kids, a company that makes products to promote health and independence in kids. I created this recipe for a Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl. I’ve been looking for new breakfast ideas, especially for the mornings we have to get out the door for school. We eat a ton of eggs as well as oatmeal, but adding quinoa in the mix gives us a little more variety and nutrition. You can definitely play around with the recipe to include whatever fruit you like, or sub out the coconut milk for other options like whole milk or almond milk.

To get the recipe, head over to the Kizingo blog! What are your breakfast go-tos? I’m always looking for new ideas, so let me know in the comments below!

Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl - Sarah J. Hauser
Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl - Sarah J. Hauser
Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl - Sarah J. Hauser
Tropical Quinoa Breakfast Bowl - Sarah J. Hauser.jpg

This post was created in partnership with Kizingo. Head over to their blog for the recipe!


Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins, Seeds + Cinnamon

Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins, Seeds + Cinnamon

“One of the greatest barriers to connection is the cultural importance we place on 'going it alone.' Somehow we've come to equate success with not needing anyone. Many of us are willing to extend a helping hand, but we're very reluctant to reach out for help when we need it ourselves. It's as if we've divided the world into 'those who offer help' and 'those who need help.' The truth is that we are both.”
-Brene Brown

You know those memes and prints that say phrases like, “You’ve got this!” and other motivational words? I think those are great, and can truly be motivating sometimes. Some days, I really do need a kick in the butt and someone to say, “You’ve got this!”

But other days, it is so abundantly clear that I don’t “got this.” I need a hand-lettered print that says, “You are completely falling apart today…and that’s OK.” Or “Maybe today you should ask for help – and not feel guilty about it.” Or “You’re not the only one who has massive meltdowns.”

I’m appreciative of the emphasis I’ve seen lately in social media and other places on encouraging others, embracing the messy, and not always trying to be perfect. Even so, those ideals seem nearly impossible for me to live out! I feel like I have to “handle it,” and in my head, asking for help is a signal of failure. Mama, it’s not. There’s a great deal of good in the idea of independence, but let’s remember that we were never actually created to be entirely independent.

I’m currently reading Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman, and one section stood out to me like a blinking neon sign. She writes, “Things that are part of our design – our need for others in community, our physical limitations, being embodied in an ‘earthly tent,’ and our lack of knowledge – are not failures…this is the way God designed us.”

That was a breath of fresh air to me. While I do fail in so many ways every day, my dependence is not one of them. Asking for help is a part of life – a beautiful part of life that so often I shove to the side for the sake of my independence. If I am created to be dependent, I don’t need to feel guilty or ashamed when I admit my need. (Can I get an “Amen?”) And to take it one step further, when we accept help freely, I think we're more likely to give it freely. As Brene Brown says, “Until we can receive with an open heart, we're never really giving with an open heart. When we attach judgment to receiving help, we knowingly or unknowingly attach judgment to giving help.”

We were not meant to do life alone. We were meant to depend on Christ and lift each other up in the good times and hard times. There is no more reward for the one who secludes herself from her community and attempts to “handle it” than the one who works hard and asks for the help and the guidance of others.

Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins, Seeds + Cinnamon
Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins, Seeds + Cinnamon
Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins, Seeds + Cinnamon
Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins, Seeds + Cinnamon
Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins, Seeds + Cinnamon
Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins, Seeds + Cinnamon
Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins, Seeds + Cinnamon

Over the last few months as I've been extra tired during this pregnancy and we were sick a good portion of the winter, we've been the recipients of extra hands to help and lots of meals from friends and family. We've been nourished in body and soul, and for that I am learning to not feel guilty, but be truly thankful.

If you're in a place to give to someone else right now, these baked oatmeal cups make a perfect quick breakfast or grab-and-go snack for someone who could use a break. (And since Mother's Day is around the corner, pair a batch with a copy of The Magic of Motherhood to encourage a mama's heart!)


Baked Oatmeal Cups with Raisins, Seeds + Cinnamon
Yields 12 oatmeal cups
Adapted from The Kitchn

3 cups old fashioned rolled oats (use gluten-free oats if needed)
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ cup flax seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
2 Tablespoons unsalted almond butter
2 Tablespoons honey
1 cup raisins
Yogurt, honey, or fresh fruit for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a regular-sized muffin tin or line with paper baking cups. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the oats, baking powder, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut flakes, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, almond milk, almond butter, and honey.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until fully incorporated. Fold in the raisins. Divide the oatmeal mixture evenly into the prepared muffin tin. Bake for 22-25 minutes.

Serve with yogurt, additional honey, or fresh fruit. These oatmeal cups can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days, or you can freeze them.


7-Minute Blackberry Crisp

7-Minute Blackberry Crisp

Once I had kids, the idea of “resting” quickly became an elusive concept. Before motherhood, I felt like I could gauge my physical and emotional energy levels and do what was needed to fill up. Even in challenging seasons of life, there would eventually be a break, a weekend or a night off to spend time recharging. Now? Resting takes much more planning and intentionality. 

There are times when we set up a babysitter and arrange an evening out, but then by the end of the day all I want to do is crawl into my favorite gray sweatpants and huddle up in the corner of my couch. Other days, I need time alone to process whatever life has thrown at me. I’ll get my journal, make a cup of coffee and plan to spend a few moments thinking and writing during the kids’ nap. Then they’ll decide it’s a good day to revolt against sleep, and my agenda quickly flies out the window. 

Rest is challenging. It’s countercultural, and I’ve found it incredibly hard to do as a mom. But it’s essential, because the alternative to rest isn’t necessarily productivity. Often, the alternative is burnout. 

Head over to Coffee + Crumbs to keep reading and get the recipe!

7-Minute Blackberry Crisp
7-Minute Blackberry Crisp
7-Minute Blackberry Crisp

Full recipe and instructions can be found over at Coffee + Crumbs!

Citrus Baked Oatmeal [that you can eat all week!]

Dairy-Free Citrus Baked Oatmeal | Sarah J. Hauser
Dairy-Free Citrus Baked Oatmeal | Sarah J. Hauser

My kiddos turned a year old this past week. It's been a whole year already. Then again, it feels like it's been about 20 years. I'll admit, the last few months have flown by. But the first eight? They seemed like an eternity.

(Mamas, if you find yourself wondering if your kid will ever leave your womb, hold their head up, sleep through the night or whatever other milestone you're waiting for, and you just can't listen to one. more. person. talk about how fast time if flying because for you time is plodding along at a glacial pace, know that I feel your pain. Feel free to skip reading the rest of this post and vent in the comments. Some days...and months...just drag.) 

Dairy-Free Citrus Baked Oatmeal | Sarah J. Hauser

That being said, the last few months have sped by. Every day, my kiddos are starting to do something knew. They're almost walking (scary!) and mimicking us a lot more (even scarier!). They're wreaking havoc throughout the house, and you can't walk more than a few feet without stepping on a toy, squishy banana or highly crustified piece of mystery food. Please don't be scared away, though. If you want to come over, just give me a heads up so I have ample time to clean/remove/hide/decrustify the aforementioned hazards.

Dairy-Free Citrus Baked Oatmeal | Sarah J. Hauser

As the kids grow and the mess grows, I'm trying to keep up as best I can. I'm also trying to let some things go. My house is not as clean as it used to be, and that's OK (although I do have a limit to how many rotten bananas I can step on before I go completely bonkers). We have times on our calendar blocked off and denoted "do not plan anything" to allow margin in our schedule. I use my slow-cooker more, Google "make ahead recipes" regularly and always make sure to cook enough to have leftovers - especially when it comes to breakfast. 

Dairy-Free Citrus Baked Oatmeal | Sarah J. Hauser
Dairy-Free Citrus Baked Oatmeal | Sarah J. Hauser

I've learned that for me, having breakfast leftovers is essential. A couple weeks ago, I made this Citrus Baked Oatmeal and ended up eating it all week long. I normally like variety in my meals, but sometimes, convenience wins the day. And convenience can still taste good...really good. 

Dairy-Free Citrus Baked Oatmeal | Sarah J. Hauser

I used a mix or oranges for this recipe, mostly because I get inordinately excited whenever blood oranges are in season. You can use whatever fruit you like. You can also swap out the almond butter for another nut butter, change up the cinnamon for your favorite spice or add a splash of vanilla extract and a handful of chopped nuts. It's my favorite kind of recipe - one that's easily adaptable to fit your preferences or pantry stock and good enough to enjoy all week long. 


Citrus Baked Oatmeal
Inspired by The Faux Martha
Yields about 6 servings

Cooking spray or butter for greasing the pan
3 cups rolled oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 ½ cups milk
½ cup almond butter (or other nut butter) 
½ cup honey
1 ½ cups peeled, chopped fresh citrus* (remove any seeds as you chop)
1-2 oranges for topping, peeled, seeds removed and sliced
Coarse sugar for sprinkling (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 3 quart (or similar capacity) baking dish and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, add the rolled oats, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs slightly. Then whisk in the milk, almond butter and honey. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. 

Gently stir in the chopped citrus. Pour the batter into the prepared dish. Top with orange slices, and sprinkle everything with a bit of coarse sugar. 

Bake for 35-45 minutes, or until batter is set and the top is slightly browned. Serve warm with cream, yogurt or your other favorite oatmeal toppings. 

*I stuck to using a variety of oranges (such as naval and blood oranges) for this recipe. You can also try mixing in a little grapefruit, but you may want to serve with additional honey or coarse sugar to balance out the tartness.

Quick Tip: This is also a great meal to bring to a new mama, a sick family member or a friend who could use encouragement. Double the recipe and make two dishes - one for your family and one for someone else!