real food. real life.
Yummmmm - so glad I finally got around to making homemade granola! It is so sweet and crunchy! And super, super easy. It will be so great as my 'cereal' tomorrow morning!
Since taking a serious look at our unnecessary purchases, a big chunk was from our grocery list. Over the past couple years, I have slowly eliminated buying anything pre-made that I couldn't make at home for cheaper. It has saved us, financially for sure, and also, we have learned so much about making food! Sadly, we have learned how much processing, extra sugars, and additives are included in packaged food that doesn't need to be there. A few items we no longer buy, but make, are bread, tomato sauce, hummus, salad dressings, sweet and spicy sauces, dry pasta, canned beans, and cereal. There's still so many more I could explore - mayonnaise, yogurt, ketchup... So much to learn!
Anyway, sticking with the idea of no longer buying cereal, I was okay with this for a while, enjoying peanut butter toast, pancakes, eggs, oatmeal. But lately, I've been really missing a nice bowl of crunchy cereal and cold milk. (Almond milk) I used to eat it every morning before work. It's been awhile and I miss it! So, insert substitute for crunchy cereal - GRANOLA!
Who doesn't love granola? It's sweet, crunchy, versatile, can be a meal or snack! So good.
Here's the recipe I used to create my first, successful batch of granola. Using natural sweeteners, I eased in with only adding almond and sunflower seeds. There are so many other options though! Dried fruit (watch for added sugars here, though), other seeds and nuts, coconut flakes. Use honey, coconut sugar. Lots of options.
Total time: 5 min prep + 30-45 minute baking
3 cups rolled oats, old fashioned style
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
What to do:
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit. Grease large cookie sheet (with sides).
2) Mix together oats, cinnamon, sea salt, almonds, seeds and any other nuts/seeds you are using.
3) In a small dish, combine maple syrup and oil. Add to the oat mixture. Stir well to combine so that all pieces are coated.
4) Spread evenly on greased baking pan. Bake in oven for 30-45 minutes, until golden brown. Stir once, around the 20 minute mark.
5) Remove from oven but let sit in pan, cooling, for another 15 minutes or so to let it crisp up even more. Then remove from pan, adding in any dried fruit, if any, at this point. Store in an airtight container, in the refrigerator. Yum!
I have known about these tasty little treats for awhile now, but to tell you the truth, I kept ruining them! t know, 2 ingredients, how could I ruin them?! Well, I will warn you - they burn easily! They are thin and I would leave them too long or turn them too soon, and well, I turned up with banana scramble rather then perfect little pancakes.
I felt that this batch was half-decent and could possibly be picture-worthy for the blog so I can finally get this posted, so here ya go!
My advice: , Definitely use non-stick surface with an oil or butter to make them easy to flip!! Without it, you'll regret it for sure! Those 2 ingredients wasted on banana mush! However, once you do cross that hurtle (I'm still working on it as you can tell by the slightly burnt one in the pic that I tried to cover up... haha) You will discover this naturally sweetened, gluten/dairy-free pancake! Great for meals or for snacks. Super quick to make, about 5 minutes or so, and minimal ingredients - a banana and an egg! How simple!
Here's how I made them. If you have any tips for not burning them, please comment below! To be honest, Lee totally makes the pancakes in this house so maybe I'm just out of practice in the pancake flipping business... anyway. Let me know if you have the same troubles or not!
Total time: 5-10 minutes
1 banana (riper the better!)
(makes about 4 small pancakes)
What to do:
1) Mash banana until smooth. Add in egg and mix until combined.
2) Heat oil/butter in a non-stick pan over medium/low heat. Pour a small bit of batter to form a pancake. Let cook until bubbles start to poke through, then flip. (I found putting a cover over the pan for a minute helped cook the top a bit, making it easier to flip). Watch them carefully as they WILL burn. And they don't taste good burnt. Trust me. Haha, but when they aren't burnt, they are delish! Hannah gobbled hers up!
2) Remove from pan once flipped. Let cool on a piece of paper towel to absorb some of the moisture. Enjoy on their own! They should taste rich of banana sweetness, but fluffy from the egg. A great little lunch for a little person!
This winter hasn't let up yet. More snow forecasted for tonight and later this week. BOOOO!!!! And it's cold. It's a hassle to get Hannah all dressed to go outside and dangerous to go out for walks. So much ice, snow banks, yuck. I want spring!
So, when I get bored and angry I turn on some music and cook! I love trying something new in the kitchen and I'm always looking to try something new to post on here. This time, I was in the mood for a snack-type food that Hannah and I both could enjoy - and I wanted to use up a couple carrots from last week's CSA - so I give you 'Maple Carrot Applesauce Muffins'. The only positive of this long, cold, snowy winter is all of the cooking and baking that I've been doing. Lee is loving it!
I found a few recipes for carrot muffins and tweaked them to eliminate the dairy and refined sugar. The result is delicious! So moist and sweet from the applesauce and maple syrup. A great blend of spices that will make your house smell amazing!
Total Time: 10 minutes prep + 22 minutes bake
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or sub other flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 cup grated carrot
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit and prep muffin pan with liners. I tried the parchment paper ones this time and they turned out great! They don't stick to muffin, interesting, it's up to you.
2) In a small bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.
3) In a larger bowl, mix with an electric mixer the coconut oil, maple syrup, egg, and vanilla. Then slowly add in the dry ingredient mixture until blended and sticky. Fold in applesauce and carrots until well combined.
4) Spoon into muffin pan and bake for 22-24 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy!! :)
We really cooked these things. From scratch. On weeknights. And we even had time to do the dishes.
They have real, simple ingredients that you'll find in your cupboards. They're healthy and delicious. No lies.
Thanks for reading. Leave a comment below!
Here's a pic of me and my babies. Just because.
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