I can't quite put my finger on it. Maybe it's the slight chill in the air early in the morning. Maybe it's that weird desire to bake that overtakes me every time I smell pumpkin spice candles. Maybe it's cause summer's moving out and fall's rolling in, and I'm a little less inclined to turn down culinary indulgences because clothes are oh-so-wonderful at hiding a less-than-toned tummy. Regardless of the reason, autumn never fails at kick-starting my excitement to start baking comforting treats. Since the environment is clearly telling us it's time to create and consume some delicious seasonal food, I've comprised a menu for a day full of yummy goodness.
Ah, oatmeal – so many options: bananas, dates, blueberries, strawberries, cherries, almonds, pecans, maple syrup, blackberries, raspberries, pistachios, walnuts, peaches, peanut butter and jelly. The list of toppings is endless people.
If you've tried oatmeal and believed it was the grossest thing you've put in your mouth, you haven't had my oatmeal. Unfortunately, I cannot reach through your screen and make you a bowl. I can, however, share one of my personal favorite recipes. Any serious oatmeal consumer will tell you the key to soul-warming bowl is what you put on top.
Last year, nearly every one of my mornings consisted of this recipe: 1/2 cup of rolled oats (Trader Joe's is preferred, thank me later), 1 cup of water, 1/2 a sliced banana, 2 dates, handful of blueberries, tons of cinnamon and a sprinkle of coconut sugar (although brown sugar or honey works just as well).
Now, if you make this oatmeal, and you still hate it, there's no hope for you and you might as well submit to eating toast for breakfast.
As someone who likes to eat a lighter lunch (mostly so that I can enjoy a huge dinner), this vegetable soup is a godsend. It's everything that embodies fall, and it makes my heart happy. Also, it will make your house smell like an adorable café you stumble upon walking through Paris on a rainy day. Who doesn't want that?
Side note: You should add more of the spices than the recipe calls for, it freezes well and it makes a ton of soup so you can enjoy it every day of the week if you wanted (no judgment here).
I love snacks. But, do you know which are the best kinds of snacks? Crunchy ones. You can't go wrong with apples with almond butter, grapes, carrots with hummus, celery, popcorn, granola, trail mix, nuts or banana chips (once again, I highly recommend Trader Joe's Plantain Chips). Or, if you'd prefer a bar because you're a busy bee who has things to do, check out rxbars, larabars or KIND snacks.
When I think of a warm, comforting meal, I tend to think of pasta. What could be better than coming home on a cold day to a satisfying, ambrosial bowl of carbs topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese? Nothing. Nothing could be better (that's a lie, but you get the gist). With fresh vegetables and handmade noodles, one bite of this dish will transport you straight to Italy.
One of my absolute favorite things about the weather getting colder is that I can have tea and not feel like I'm melting, especially when the Georgia's heat index stays at 95 degrees Fahrenheit until 7 p.m. While any tea or coffee you choose can be a welcoming source of comfort on a chilly day, I recommend finding a local shop that can supply you with flavors like vanilla caramel or gingerbread to fully encapsulate the season. Pair your cup with some delicious biscotti, cookies or banana bread, and you have yourself a perfect treat to end the day.