Dk. Choc. Oatmeal Squares Yogurt Berry Glaze - 2

So let’s talk about these oatmeal squares.

After I had Baby N last August, I was all about wanting to try making lactation cookies so that I could theoretically boost my milk supply. I tried a mix I bought of Amazon, and it was disgusting. I tried making some energy bites and they were meh. I did find a couple cookie recipes that were pretty good, but they took way too much effort for the limited free time I had. And then I found some no-bake type recipes that looked promising and that were easily tweaked to be more “lactation-friendly.”

(Oh and by the way, lactation cookies do NOT contain breast milk in them. Gross.  No, they contain ingredients called galactologues that supposedly help you produce more breast milk.  Examples of these ingredients include oatmeal, ground flaxseed, and brewers’ yeast.  I say supposedly because I don’t know how much they help, but I wasn’t about to turn down an excuse to eat cookies!)

Anyway, so the original iteration of these oatmeal squares contained just rolled oats, honey, and peanut butter.  I usually add ground flaxseed and then dump in some chocolate chips for fun.  I’ve also tried them with dried cranberries. They’re pretty versatile and forgiving.  I like these because I can make a batch on Sunday and then have enough to last a little over a week. I just grab one of these in the morning to snack on after the baby wakes up and I’m good to go.

But you know, you can just be normal and make these as a nice alternative to granola bars instead! Omit the ground flaxseed or keep it in — these bars contain natural ingredients and are fairly healthy unless you go crazy with the fun add-ins.

For this month’s Stonyfield Clean Plate Club challenge, we got to pair Stonyfield Organic yogurt with Divine Chocolate for a Valentine’s Day inspired recipe.  (I love the story behind Divine Chocolate, which you can read here.)  Usually for Valentine’s Day I make chocolate-covered strawberries for Mr. Spice and me, but this year I thought that I would dress up my plain Jane oatmeal squares into something a little more special for Valentine’s Day, incorporating the taste of dark chocolate and berries. Instead of using peanut butter, I used almond butter, added some dark cocoa powder, chopped up a bar of Divine Chocolate 70% dark chocolate with raspberries and made a glaze using Greek yogurt, confectioner’s sugar and berry jam. Fancy!

I liked the balance between the almond butter, dark chocolate, and the glaze.  Almond butter to me isn’t very sweet, and dark chocolate has a nice bitterness to it, so the berry yogurt glaze gives the oatmeal squares that little boost of sweetness that you need without it being too overpowering.

Divine Chocolate

*Disclosure: Stonyfield Organic provided me with coupons for their yogurt and compensated me for this post as part of their Clean Plate Club. Divine Chocolate provided me with coupons for their chocolate as part of this month’s campaign. All opinions are my own.

Easy Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Squares with Yogurt Berry Glaze

Ingredients

Oatmeal Squares:

1/2 cup nut butter (I used almond butter)

1/2 cup honey

1 tbsp. ground flaxseed, optional

2 tbsp. dark cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups old-fashioned/rolled oats

1/4-1/2 cup coarsely chopped chocolate or chocolate chips (I used Divine Chocolate 70% dark chocolate with raspberries)

Glaze:

2 tbsp. plain nonfat Greek yogurt (I used Stonyfield Organic)

approximately 3 tbsp. confectioners’ sugar – adjust to your taste

berry jam to taste

 

Preparation

Heat nut butter in a large mixing bowl in microwave for approximately 30 seconds, to soften.  Add honey, ground flaxseed if using, and cocoa powder and stir to combine.

Add rolled oats and chopped chocolate, mixing all ingredients thoroughly.

Line an 8 x 8 pan with parchment paper, then carefully spread mixture evenly in pan.  Cover with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate until slightly firm.

In a bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and confectioner’s sugar until the sugar is incorporated into the yogurt. Add berry jam as desired to your taste.  Drizzle or spread the glaze over the oatmeal squares and refrigerate until firm.

Carefully cut into 9 squares.  Store in fridge.

Enjoy!

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The Best Gift I’ve Ever Received

by spiceaholic on December 30, 2015

Happy holidays to those of you who are still reading here!

I know I’ve pretty much dropped off the radar this past year, but taking care of a baby does tend to take up all of my time!  And let’s be honest, the past couple years I wasn’t posting much anyway due to work. I still keep up with my blog projects list, continuing to add to it and wondering when I’ll get to work on it — always that elusive “some day.”

But what has been keeping me posting every once in a while is the Stonyfield Organic Clean Plate Club – I love the quarterly topics and challenges they come up with and am proud to be part of such a great group of bloggers. One of the topics available to blog about this quarter was “the best gift you’ve ever received,” and it was different enough from the others that I wanted to choose that as my selection.

I know you’re probably thinking I’m going to be all cheesy and say that Baby N is the best gift I ever received. I mean yeah, I am completely obsessed with him and totally in love with him, but I’m trying really hard not to be one of those new moms that ONLY talk about their baby.  So yes, he is one of the best gifts I have received, but that’s not what I’m going to write about today.

I think I will also modify the topic so that it is ONE of the best gifts I have ever received just because I suck at picking the favorite “whatever” whether it’s my most favorite book, favorite food, etc.

What I almost immediately thought of when I saw this topic was something I received for my 30th birthday from one of my aunts, who I’m very close to.  She wrote me the sweetest letter reminiscing about memories from when I was growing up, about how proud of me she was, and how I’m her favorite niece.  (Okay, I made up the last one!)  I’m a huge softie in the first place, so you can imagine how hard I was bawling after reading her letter.  In fact, I’m getting teary-eyed remembering how teary-eyed I was that day.  It meant so much to me that my aunt had taken the time to not only share these memories with me, but to include some childhood pictures as well.

It drove home that it’s not always about physical gifts, it’s about experiences and memories — those are things you will keep forever and that nobody can take from you. This is something that I keep working on for myself and that I want to teach Baby N as he grows up.

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Red Lentil and Potato Cakes with Harissa Yogurt Sauce

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I’m a bit proud of myself for making these.  Sure, making potato cakes isn’t that hard to do, so why am I making a big deal about it? Let’s just say my time has been otherwise occupied recently. Meet Baby N! He made his debut in August. I think he’s a pretty good reason! Somehow […]

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I’ve happily eaten yogurt for many years, but it has only been within the past few that I’ve transitioned from being merely a yogurt consumer to a yogurt user as well.  You see, it took me a while to appreciate how versatile yogurt is and how it can be used in so many different ways. […]

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Fideo con Pollo (Mexican-style Chicken and Noodles)

May 4, 2015

This is one of those recipes that I like more and more every time I make it.  It’s not a coincidence that I first tried it in the fall when the weather began cooling down and warm comfort food was just what we wanted. Plus it’s all made in one pan, so there’s less to […]

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Turkish Apricots Stuffed with Sweet, Thick Yogurt

February 25, 2015

After our little trip to Istanbul a few years ago, my already well-established love for Turkish food went into overdrive.  I collected cookbooks, sought out restaurants, and even found a Turkish grocery store near my old office. I’ve dabbled here and there with a few dishes, but I had never attempted to make a dessert. […]

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*CLOSED* “Skinnier” Lasagna + Red Gold Tomatoes Lasagna Kit Giveaway

February 1, 2015

A hearty but healthier lasagna with lean ground beef, mushrooms, spinach, low-fat cheese, flavorful tomato sauce and whole wheat noodles – doesn’t this sound like the perfect comfort food for all this cold weather we’ve been having recently? I hope everyone’s been keeping safe and warm, especially those of you in the Northeast affected by […]

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Game Day Recipe Round-Up!

January 28, 2015

One of the problems with me not really being into sports is that anything big like say the World Cup, the Olympics, or the Super Bowl always sneaks up on me and then it’s here before I know it.  So it shouldn’t be a surprise that it completely slipped my mind that the Super Bowl […]

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A New Normal

January 13, 2015

A very belated Happy New Year to all of you! I meant to write sooner, but would you believe I threw out my back on New Year’s Eve and spent the next few days resting up?  I even had to cancel my New Year’s lunch party that I’ve done the past few years! Luckily I’m […]

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Don’t Be a Jerk Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Chips + Cooling Yogurt Dip

December 31, 2014

I’ve been going through a potato chip phase lately.  Usually my chips cravings tend towards the nacho cheese tortilla chip spectrum (the store-brand generic ones have MUCH more flavor!), but for the past few months, potato chips have captured my tastebuds. Jalapeno kettle chips, dill pickle flavored chips, Limon (like a spicy tangy lime), cheddar […]

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