Dang Good Granola

I love granola, so much so that I add it to my fruit bowls, my smoothie bowls, halved papayas, parfaits. You get the picture. My kids on the other hand not so much, they do like some of my variations (goji berry is their preferred) but not adding it to everything, haha. Well, I started with  recipes from Minimalist Baker and Cookie and Kate and sort of tweaked it according to my likings and my inventory.

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Gather all your ingredients, I used what I had on hand at that time. Oatmeal, chia seeds, almonds, cashews, walnuts, maple syrup, himalayan pink salt and coconut oil. That powder you see in the first pic, that’s my plant shake mix. I just threw the mix in then gave it all a whirl. I literally threw various amounts of nuts into the food processor and pulsed until they broke up a bit. I then ground the chia seeds and added those while pulsing again. Being careful not to over process so I didn’t end up with nut flour. Next I poured this into a large bowl and added roughly 3 cups of raw uncooked oatmeal, gave it a little stir to mix it all in. Let this sit for a minute. Go over the stove and add 1/4 coconut oil and 1/4 maple syrup to a pot and melt over medium high heat mixing the two together to a liquid.

Now, listen I am all about skipping steps and just throwing it all into the food processor and hoping for the best. I mean come on……..we have about 6 1/2 minutes to whip recipes up on most days so……… you make do. This one however, really does taste a whole lot better when you add the cooking on the stove step.

So, back to the recipe. Once the oil and syrup are thoroughly melted, add this to your bowl and stir by hand really getting all of the oats and nuts fully coated, fave part for the kids. A whole lot of finger licking after this one. hahaha, I was fine with it.

Now once all ingredients are completely covered and mixed in spread the mixture onto a baking sheet as evenly as you can. Bake in the oven at 400 for roughly 8 minutes and take out, stir up the bottom, flatten out again and bake for another 5 minutes.

Walala, Dang Good Granola!! Store in a sealed mason jar in the fridge for about 3 months. However, if it lasts that long I’d be very surprised.

 

For those of you who need some measurements, I’ll do my best. I eyeballed this one but there are a few specifics.

  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • a pinch of pink himalayan salt
  • 1/4 cup ground chia seeds ( I just used my coffee grinder)
  • various nuts added to your own liking
  • Bake at 400 for 8 minutes then take out, stir and bake another 5 minutes

When it turns golden brown, it’s time to take them out.

I had this ready and in bowls in under 30 minutes, whoop whoop!! It’s delicious, vegan, gluten free and simple. Add your own homemade almond milk, your favorite plant based protein shake mix and you’ve got one heck of a nutritious start to your day.

Head on over to the 2 sites above and get some more ideas!!

I’d love to hear your faves in the comments.

Oh, you can add some fun superfoods to it if you want to get a bit creative. Like raisins, chocolate chips, craisins, dried mulberries, goji berries, cut up dried figs………so many options.

Rawsome Rocket, Jackie

Pineapple Not-So-Fried Rice

Ingredients

14ounces non-gmo extra-firm tofu, drained

2tablespoons gluten free soy sauce, I use Tamari

1– pineapple, or 11⁄2 cups diced pineapple

1tablespoon coconut oil

— onion, thinly sliced

— Pink Himalayan Sea salt

3– cloves garlic, minced

2teaspoons curry powder

1teaspoon ground coriander

1teaspoon chili-garlic sauce

3/4cup cashews

— carrot, peeled and shredded

1/2cup frozen peas

1/2cup raisins

3/4cup cooked rice, preferably brown basmati or quinoa

1/4cup vegetable broth

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease a small baking sheet.

Press the tofu to get out as much water as possible. After pressing, cut the tofu into 1⁄2-inch cubes. In a bowl, toss tofu with Tamari sauce until each cube is coated. Place in one layer on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, turning the tofu a couple of times with a spatula. Remove from oven and set aside.

To prepare pineapple, cut in half lengthwise using a sharp knife. Remove the flesh and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside 11⁄2 cups for this recipe, and save the rest for another use (see here for other uses) Reserve the shell for serving.

In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat and sauté onions until soft and lightly browned. Season with pink salt. Add garlic, curry, coriander, and chili-garlic sauce, and let cook a few more minutes. Add cashews, carrots, peas, raisins, rice, broth, pineapple, and tofu. Cook until heated through and adjust salt to taste. Serve the rice or quinoa like they do in Thai- land—in the pineapple shell!

Raw Joy, Jackie

Bakini Bread: Easy on the Hips, Tasty on the Lips!

I’ve been perfecting this banana bread recipe for my cookbook and wanted to share with you right away. This recipe has all the hallmarks of classic banana bread—it’s fluffy, moist, infused with sweet banana flavor, and loved by toddlers and adults alike.

With this healthy banana bread recipe, you’re only a few simple ingredients away from the best banana bread ever! It’s made with whole wheat flour and naturally sweetened with honey or maple syrup. You can easily make this banana bread vegan or gluten free

Recipe yields 1 loaf

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But I always make 2!
  • INGREDIENTS
    ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil or high quality olive oil*
    ½ cup honey or maple syrup
    2 eggs (I used free range)
    5 ripe (with spots) mashed bananas
    ¼ cup almond milk (if you have a nut allergy you can use oat milk)
    1 teaspoon Non-Aluminum baking soda
    1 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla extract
    ½ teaspoon Himalayan Pink salt
    ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
    1¾ cups white whole wheat flour or regular whole wheat flour
    Totally optional: ½ cup mix-ins like chopped walnuts or pecans, chocolate chips, raisins, chopped dried fruit, fresh banana slices…
  • INSTRUCTIONS
    Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
    In a large bowl, beat the oil and honey together together with a whisk.
  • Add the eggs and beat well, then whisk in the mashed bananas and milk. (If your coconut oil solidifies on contact with cold ingredients, simply let the bowl rest in a warm place for a few minutes, like on top of your stove, or warm it for about 10 seconds in the microwave.)
    Add the baking soda, vanilla, salt and cinnamon, and whisk to blend. Lastly, switch to a big spoon and stir in the flour, just until combined. Some lumps are ok! If you’re adding any additional mix-ins, gently fold them in now.
    Pour the batter into your coconut oiled loaf pan and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon. If you’d like a pretty swirled effect, run the tip of a knife across the batter in a zig-zag pattern.
    Bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (typically, if I haven’t added any mix-ins, my bread is done at 55 minutes; if I have added mix-ins, it needs closer to 60 minutes). Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
Let me know how it turns out in the comments below, J

Simple Changes, Make Simple Habits

Looking to build healthier habits? Remember, you don’t have to change everything all at once. Start with small steps that you can feel good about. #onesimplechange 

Add nutrient-rich foods. Instead of thinking about what not to eat, think about the things you can add to your diet. Strive to incorporate more greens and colorful veggies into your meals.


Eat closer to nature. Concentrate on whole foods in their natural forms, such as fruits and vegetables. If it looks like it did when it grew from the earth, that’s your cue that it’s a healthier choice.
Go for whole grains. Instead of reaching for regular pasta or white bread, look for varieties made with 100% whole grain flour. Better yet, fill your belly with whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa or barley.
Find alternatives to oil. Believe it or not, you don’t need added oils to make the foods you love. You can steam fry those onions and replace the oil in those muffins with applesauce.
Reorganize your plate. Think of lean meat and fish as flavor boosters instead of the main event. Put beans, whole grains and veggies in the spotlight, and keep servings of meat and fish at 3 ounces or less (that’s about the size of a deck of playing cards).

Make whole foods your NEW Normal!

To eat the seed? To not eat the seed? What the heck, just eat it!

 

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Ever wondered what to do with the seed once the avocado is eaten? There are some amazing, (and surprising) benefits to this (great little ball of slipperiness) I’m telling ya’ll, that sucker is slippery.

I remember when I let my now 11 year old cut and pit, at 8, his first avocados and that thing flew across the counter, bounced on the floor and we couldn’t find it for weeks. Then, of course, with a couple of little ones crawling around, it was destined for rediscovery.

Funny stories of these little wonders of God’s creation, but we’ll talk about them gems another time!!

Here are, In list form, uses for “THEM GEMS”

  1. Indelible Ink9772730_f260

Crush the avocado pit gently using a hammer or brick.

The milky liquid that comes out will turn red or black when exposed to the air.

Using a matchstick or thin paintbrush, experiment by dipping it into the liquid and writing or painting on a sheet of paper.

photo credit: Calsidyrose via photo pin cc

 

  1. Children’s Lesson about Germination

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Children love getting their hands dirty and learning through practical activities.

Sprouting an avocado pit is a great homeschool or classroom project to learn about germination. The process is simple:

– Fill a small jar with water

– Wash the seed

– Insert four tooth picks into the seed

– Suspend the seed over the jar so it touches the water

– Place in a sunny area and wait around 6 weeks for it to sprout

 

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Once you see how easy it is to sprout avocado pits, you’ll want to try with other kitchen scraps. Pineapple heads, lentils, peanuts, ginger root… your leftovers can be brought back to life. A great frugal way to garden, and an educational activity for kids.

Don’t Throw It, Grow It!: 68 windowsill plants from kitchen scraps

– Features 68 different windowsill plants that are grown from kitchen scraps

– Easy to follow instructions with handy index and illustrations

– Includes Latin & common plant names, method and rate of growth, light requirements and taste notes.

 

3 AND 4 SAUCES AND SMOOTHIES

– Dry and grate an avocado seed to make a traditional North Mexican enchilada sauce taste really authentic.

– If drinks are more your thing, blend the pit into a smoothie or juice to benefit from all the nutrients. Use half a pit for every 2 person serving. My favorite combinations are avocado flesh and pit, cucumber and green apple. I also like mango, pineapple and ginger.

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Pitters, slicers and scoopers for you

As you can imagine from reading this page, I eat plenty of avocados! Up until recently, I relied on a sharp knife and good luck to remove the pit. But getting the pit out of a soft, slippery fruit is dangerous, messy and time consuming.

I found out about these great tools and haven’t looked back. They pit, slice, scoop and mash easily, and leave you without a mess. Best of all, these products are pretty low cost so it’s not like you’re spending a lot of cash on a one-use item. I’ve compiled my favourites for you: 

Best Avocado Slicers, Pitters & Savers 2014images-4images-5Unknown-6images-6

Avocados are one of the tastiest foods ever, but pitting and slicing them can be a messy and slippery process. Not anymore with the modern range of avocado slicers out there.

Avocado seed debate

More on this topic later. But tell me, do you leave the pit in your guacamole, and does it keep it from going brown?

So, what do you think?

Does putting an avocado seed in the guacamole work?

J