Healthy, delicious recipes (and a cookbook giveaway)

To my delight, a copy of Heidi Swanson’s new cookbook Super Natural Every Day landed on my desk this past Friday. I enjoyed flipping through the pages and looking at her fabulous photos and delicious vegetarian dishes. Swanson’s meals are simple to prepare, most being suitable for weeknight preparation. Plus, she’s committed to using natural foods, featuring easy-to-find, fresh ingredients that come straight from the plant or animal. They’re healthy, too! I also love how she uses so many different flours and grains.

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Recipe I can’t wait to try
Here’s a delicious breakfast recipe from her new book for you to enjoy:

Baked Oatmeal
By Heidi Swanson author of Super Natural Every Day
I’ve enjoyed oats a thousand different ways in my life, and this is my favorite. A layer of fruit lines the base of a well-buttered baking dish. The fruit is then topped with a blend of rolled oats, nuts, and spices. A wet mixture of milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla is drizzled over the dry ingredients before baking to a golden-topped, fruit-scented finish. Be sure to use rolled oats and not instant oats.

2 cups / 7 oz / 200 g rolled oats
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 60 g walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
1/3 cup / 2 oz / 60 g natural cane sugar or maple syrup, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
11/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Scant 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups / 475 ml milk
1 large egg
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, cut into 1/2-inch / 1cm pieces
11/2 cups / 6.5 oz / 185 g huckleberries, blueberries, or mixed berries
Preheat the oven to 375°F / 190°C with a rack in the top third of the oven. Generously butter the inside of an 8-inch / 20cm square baking dish.

In a bowl, mix together the oats, half the walnuts, the sugar, if using, the baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, if using, the milk, egg, half of the butter, and the vanilla.

Arrange the bananas in a single layer in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle two-thirds of the berries over the top. Cover the fruit with the oat mixture. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture over the oats. Gently give the baking dish a couple thwacks on the countertop to make sure the milk moves through the oats. Scatter the remaining berries and remaining walnuts across the top.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, until the top is nicely golden and the oat mixture has set. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Drizzle the remaining melted butter on the top and serve. Sprinkle with a bit more sugar or drizzle with maple syrup if you want it a bit sweeter.

Serves 6 generously, or 12 as part of a larger brunch spread.

Although I love this huckleberry version, feel free to substitute your favorite in-season berries, or any other fruit
for that matter. Another version I love is made with plump, amaretto-soaked golden raisins in place of the berries and sliced almonds in place of the walnuts.

I can’t wait to give the cover recipe (White Beans and Cabbage) and her Millet Muffins a try.

Cookbook giveaway!
For your chance to WIN one of two copies of Super Natural Every Day, simply leave a comment below telling us about your favourite healthy cooking ingredient. I’ll announce the name of the two winners on Friday, April 8.

Check out Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks.