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Category: Breakfast and Baked Goods

Super Healthy Pumpkin Granola Bars

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Day 7 of the Pumpkins and Pinterest Series features a pin from A Virtual Vegan.


These healthy granola bars are so yum and very easy to make. I love keeping homemade granola bars stocked for crazy busy grab and go days.

I only made a few changes to the original pin, based on what I had in the pantry.

  • I substituted almonds for pecans
  • I substituted honey for the rice syrup


I love that these chewy, no-bake, gluten-free granola bars are packed with fiber, beta-carotene, Omega-3 fatty acids, and healthy fats.  Made with oats, almond, almond butter, pumpkin puree and chocolate chips, these babies are nurti-licious.


Nutri-licious Benefits

  •  Oat/Oatmeal:
    • High in soluble fiber as well as a source of healthy fats.
    • Beneficial in keeping hunger at bay, lowering “bad” cholesterol and managing blood sugar levels.
  • Flaxseed meal:
    • Rich source of dietary fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Dark Chocolate:
    • The cocoa bean contains flavonoids, magnesium and iron for protection from heart disease
    • The chocolate making process provides procyanidins that have an anti-inflammatory action.
    • Contains caffeine and 3 1/2 oz bar of dark chocolate equal to cup of coffee
    • Relatively low-fat, a high source of fiber and minerals.
    • High in antioxidants
  • Almonds
    • Almonds are very high in vitamin E.  This offers protection against cancer, heart disease, heart attacks and strokes, arthritis, infertility, and skin problems.



The entire family loved these chewy pumpkin granola bars, but I think I enjoyed them the most. True confession…I hid a few in the way back of the freezer.  Yes, that sometimes happens in a family of nine.

Super Healthy Pumpkin Granola Bars
Recipe type: Snack
Deliciously soft & chewy, chocolate drizzled pumpkin & pecan granola bars. Vegan, gluten free & perfect for Fall! Read more at
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3 tablespoons ground flax or flax seeds (you could sub these for chia seeds)
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar (any other granulated sugar will also work)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice (see recipe notes)
  • ⅓ cup chopped pecan nuts
  • ¼ cup cashew or almond butter
  • ½ cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup rice syrup (see recipe notes)
  • 1 tablespoon black strap molasses (if you don't have blackstrap molasses add an extra tablespoon of rice syrup instead)
  • For the chocolate drizzle
  • ½ cup dairy free chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons non dairy milk
  • Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Line a 8 x 8 pan with baking parchment so it hangs over the sides.
  3. Add all the dry ingredients except the sugar to a large bowl and stir well.
  4. Add all the wet ingredients and the sugar to a small saucepan.
  5. Heat over medium heat, stirring frequently until everything has melted and is well combined (this takes a couple of minutes).
  6. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and stir really well.
  7. Pour into your prepared tin and press down evenly all over.
  8. Add to the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove and leave to cool in the tray for 30 minutes.
  10. Cut into 10 pieces. A pizza cutter works very well for this.
  11. Add the milk and chocolate chips to a small bowl and melt gently over a pan of simmering water or very carefully in the microwave.
  12. Drizzle over the top of the bars and refrigerate until set.
  13. If you want to make the granola bars nut free, then omit the pecans and add ⅓ cup of extra oats or some pumpkin seeds to compensate.
  14. If you cannot get hold of rice syrup, then agave nectar would be a good substitute or honey if you are not vegan. Also in the UK Golden Syrup would work. If you use any of these substitutions, I will omit the sugar from the recipe as they are all sweeter than rice syrup.
  15. If you cannot get Pumpkin Pie Spice where you are, it is very simple to make yourself and great for adding to all sorts of baked goods like apple pies or cakes. Here is a very simple recipe that uses the same ingredients as my pumpkin pie spice and you probably already have the spices in your store cupboard.
  16. These granola bars are best stored in an air tight container in the fridge. They will keep for a couple of weeks that way.


I hope you try theses out.  Head over to A Virtual Vegan and make these, you won’t regret it.


Coconut Pumpkin Muffins

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Day six of the Pumpkins and Pinterest series features a Pumpkin and Bran Muffin pin from CouponCravings.  Now you may be wondering why the name for the post is different from the pin.  Well, let me just sum it up in this fragmented sentence.

Fall break + seven kids + husband away for business = did not make it to the store.  

Being the determined little engine that I am, I chose to get creative and use what I had on hand rather than miss my post-deadline.

Here is the picture and link to the delicious looking pin that inspired these muffins.


Using the above recipe as my guide this is what I used to come up with the new recipe.


In place of the Raisin Bran cereal, I substituted 2 cups of oatmeal and processed in the processor until it resembled flour.  If you have gluten sensitivities, you can use gluten-free oatmeal.


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In place of the whole wheat flour, I substituted 1/3 cup coconut flour.  I wanted to up the protein content of these muffins, so I opted for coconut instead of whole wheat flour.

  • I reduced the sugar to 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • I added 3 tablespoons of flaxseed meal


  • I used 2 cups of canned pumpkin (to compensate for the moisture absorption of the coconut flour)
  • I used 4 eggs (again to compensate for the coconut flour)
  • I used 1/4 organic grass feed butter
  • I substituted raisins for craisins
  • I added vanilla and nutmeg.




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5.0 from 5 reviews
Coconut Pumpkin Oat Bran Muffins
Recipe type: Great Grains
Serves: 12
With whole grains, pumpkin, and dried fruit these muffins are loaded with fiber and a variety of antioxidants. Flaxseed meal is a good source of fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. Look for ground flaxseed so your body can benefit most from the available nutrients. Thc coconut flour adds protein and helps to keep the fiber-licious muffins moist.
  • 2 cups oatmeal (process oatmeal in processor)
  • ⅓ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 2 cup pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • ¼ cup organic butter
  • ⅔ cup greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. Combine oatmeal flour, coconut flour and next 7 ingredients (through to craisins) in a large bowl, stir with a whisk.
  2. Make a well in the center of mixture.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, eggs, butter, yogurt and vanilla.
  4. Add wet ingredients into the well of the dry ingredients.
  5. Stir just until moist.
  6. Let batter sit for 10-15 minutes
  7. Preheat oven to 400
  8. Use cookie scoop and spoon batter into 12 muffin cups sprayed with oil.
  9. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.
  10. Remove muffins from pans immediately; place on wire rack to cool.


With whole grains, pumpkin, and dried fruit these muffins are loaded with fiber and a variety of antioxidants. Flaxseed meal is a  good source of fiber and Omega-3 fatty acids. Look for ground flaxseed so your body can benefit most from the available nutrients. Thc coconut flour adds protein and helps to keep the fiber-licious muffins moist.


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Crazy Good Carrot Cake Muffins


I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I am obsessed with carrots. I have roasted ’em, mashed ’em, juiced ’em, thrown ‘ in the slow cooker and baked em. They are so versatile and have many nutritious benefits. You will find a lot of carrot recipes on all of my Pinterest boards.
These carrot muffins are hearty and full of fiber. They can be eaten plain for breakfast, snack or packed in school lunches.



These beauties freeze and thaw beautifully so they are perfect for batch cooking. For me, that means doubling this recipe.



Some of the nutri-licious benefits in this recipe:

  • Carrots:
    • Rich in carotenes.
    • Highest of mostly all plant foods.
    • Offer protection from cancers and cardiovascular disease.
    • Beneficial in keeping eyes and lungs healthy.
    • The nutrients in carrots are more available when lightly cooked. Adding oil helps the carotenes to be absorbed. (Note: The darker the carrot, the more carotenes it offers.)
  • Oat/Oatmeal:
    • High in soluble fiber as well as a source of healthy fats.
    • Beneficial in keeping hunger at bay, lowering “bad” cholesterol and managing blood sugar levels.
  • Flaxseed meal:
    • Rich source of dietary fiber and Omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Coconut Oil:
    • Strengthens the immune system and helps improve the function of the digestive system.



I posted a picture of the boys lunch on Instagram and when I picked them up today they happily confessed that they ate all their lunch.  Can you tell this is NOT a regular occurrence.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Crazy Good Carrot Cake Muffins
Recipe type: Bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 30
Carrot muffins full of fiber to keep you satisfied whether you eat it for breakfast, snack or part of lunch
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup butter
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 cup oat flour (or you can process oatmeal in food processor until a fine powder)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 Tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake pan with liners or grease pan
  2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat sugar, butter and coconut oil to blend.
  3. Add in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla mixing after each addition.
  4. Add in the carrots and stir to combine.
  5. In another large bowl, whisk together flour, flaxseed meal, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  6. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture in 2 or 3 additions until just combined.
  7. Use ¼ cup cookie scoop and add one scoop to each liner.
  8. Bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of a loaf comes out clean.
  9. Cool pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove muffins from pans, place on racks and cool completely.
Note: You can have fun and add substitute shredded apples for half of the carrots.
Additional Add-Ins: Craisin, Chocolate chips, Walnuts (or any nut you like), try swirling in a bit of strawberry jam

These muffins may be my new favorite muffin and I will add them to the lunch rotations.  It did not take a long time to prep so I will add this to my batch cooking list and double or triple the recipe so I keep a few batches in the refrigerator.


31 Days of Pumpkin and Pinterest

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Hey, everyone.  Are you ready for Fall?  Are you ready for the beautiful smell of pumpkin transformed into some delectable treat?

For Write 31 days 2015, join me as I feature some of the fantastic pumpkin recipes featured on Pinterest.  I am picking some of the best.

I will be adding the Pinterest links as I choose them. Join me on Periscope (@wholelivinglarg) so we can bake the together. Pumpkin and Pinterest are perfect pairs.

In case you missed any posts this month, be sure to check back here!

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  1. 10/1/2015 – Introduction
  2. 10/2/2015 – Whole Living Large – Apple Pumpkin Pie Butter  Pin
  3. 10/3/2015 – Whole Living Large – Pumpkin Spice Pancakes  Pin
  4. 10/4/2015 – Simple Food 365Pumpkin Mouse  Pin 
  5. 10/5/2015 – Wholly HealthyDark Chocolate Pumpkin Energy BitesPin 
  6. 10/6/2015 – Coupon CravingsPumpkin & Bran Muffins Pin
  7. 10/7/2015 – Virtual VeganPumpkin, Pecan, and Chocolate Granola Bar  Pin
  8. 10/8/2015 – Once A Month MealsChocolate Chip Pumpkin Quinoa Muffins Pin
  9. 10/9/2015 – An Edible MosaicPumpkin & Cheese Spice Bread  Pin 
  10. 10/10/2015 – Whole Living Large Pumpkin Spice Baked Oatmeal MuffinsPin
  11. 10/11/2015 – The Jazzy Sweet Life – No Bake Pumpkin Spice Latte Bites (Paleo, Vegan, Gluten-Free)  Pin
  12. 10/12/2015 –  The Recipe Runner – Sriracha Pumpkin Hummus  Pin
  13. 10/13/2015 – From Cats to CookingGluten Free Pumpkin Waffles Pin
  14. 10/14/2015 – Making Healthy ChoicesPumpkin MuffinsPin
  15. 10/15/2015 – Miss Getaway Massaged Kale & Pumpkin SaladPin
  16. 10/16/2015 – Lightly LivingRaw Paleo Vegan Pumpkin Pie Energy Balls  Pin
  17. 10/17/2015 –  Garlic and ZestCurried Pumpkin SoupPin
  18. 10/18/2015 – Food, Pleasure, and HealthPumpkin Pie Chocolate CupsPin
  19. 10/19/2015 – Whole Living LargeHazelnut Pumpkin Ice Cream (Gluten Free 3 Ingredients) Pin 
  20. 10/20/2015- Whole Living LargePumpkin Pie Date & Nut Bars Pin
  21. 10/21/2015 – The Jazzy Sweet LifeSoft Pumpkin Cookies – Pin
  22. 10/22/2015 – Whole Living Large –  Sriracha Pumpkin Quinoa Sliders- Pin
  23. 10/23/2015 – The Organic KitchenSavory Pumpkin SoupPin
  24. 10/24/2015 – Hungry Enough  To Eat SixPumpkin Spice Simple Syrup – Pin
  25. 10/25/2015 – Whole Living LargePumpkin Cheesecake Bars– Pin
  26. 10/26/2015 –  Whole Living LargePumpkin Nutella Bro-ookies – Pin
  27. 10/27/2015 – Jack and ParkerToasted Pumpkin Seeds – Pin
  28. 10/28/2015 – Jazzy Sweet LifePumpkin Pie Cream Cheese DipPin
  29. 10/29/2015 – Kiwi and CarrotPumpkin Yogurt with Spiced GranolaPin
  30. 10/30/2015 – Whole Living LargeBaked Pumpkin Pie OatmealPin
  31. 10/31/2015 – Whole Living LargePumpkin French Toast with Apple Maple CompotePin