Healthy Homemade Granola

If you’re like most people, mornings can be hectic. Trying to get yourself out the door AND eat a healthy, wholesome breakfast can be a challenge. Store bought cereals or muffins/bagels/croissants can be tempting but nutrient deficient.

One of my favourite go-to easy peasy breakfasts is homemade granola. If you like cereals, give this one a try. You may never go back to store bought! The best part is you know what’s in your food! There are no added refined sugars or other nasty stuff. Oh, and did I mention…it’s so easy to make!

Take 25 minutes to make a big batch of this delicious healthy granola, store it in an airtight container and you’ll have breakfast ready to go for days, if not weeks.

Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola

Prep time: <5 mins, Cook time: 20-22 mins

Serves: 8 cups

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups rolled oats

1 1/2 cups raw nuts and seeds (I like almonds or walnuts and pumpkin seeds)

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt

1/2 cup pure maple syrup or honey

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2/3 cup currants or other dried fruit of choice

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

  1. Mix the oats, nuts and seeds, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir well.

  2. Add maple syrup and/or honey, oil and vanilla. Make sure everything is lightly coated.

  3. Pour the granola onto the prepared baking sheet and spread the granola into an even layer.

  4. Bake for 20-22 minutes. Stir the granola and turn the sheet half way through.

  5. If using coconut flakes, add these in half way through the baking.

  6. Let the granola cool completely before mixing in the dried fruit.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 weeks. Enjoy with berries or fruit of choice, plant-based or dairy milk or yogourt!

Everything Free Carrot Muffins

If you’re like me, I LOVE snacking! Here’s one of my favourite Fall flavour inspired Apple Cinnamon Carrot Ginger muffins. The perfect sweet and spicy snack on a cool Fall day. Oh and yes, these muffins are healthy and grain/gluten/dairy/nut free, paleo and vegan (if using flax egg).

Make these ahead of time and store in an airtight freezer bag or container. Grab and go in the morning and enjoy as a mid-morning or afternoon snack!

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Prep time: 20 mins, Cook time: 35-40 mins

Serves: 12

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup grated peeled carrot (approx 2 carrots)

1 cup grated peeled/cored apple (I used Gala)

1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut

1/2 cup apple sauce or mashed ripe bananas

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

2/3 cup raisins or currants (opt)

1 tbsp grated fresh ginger

3 flax eggs (1 tbsp ground flax + 3 tbsp water = 1 egg)

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 cups almond flour

2 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a muffin tray with muffin liners.

  1. Grate the carrots and apples (either use a food processor or grate by hand).

  2. Grate or mince the ginger with a knife.

  3. Make the flax eggs (mix it and set aside for a few minutes).

  4. Mix the wet ingredients (grated carrots/apple/ginger, apple sauce or mashed bananas, flax eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla).

  5. In a separate large bowl, mix the dry ingredients (almond flour, shredded coconut, raisins or currants, cinnamon, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

  6. Combine the wet and dry ingredients. Mix with a spoon.

  7. Scoop out the batter evenly into each muffin liner.

  8. Bake for 35-40 minutes (depending on your oven). Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy!

Summer Grillin'

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When it's hot out, I love BBQ'd veggies  Something about that grill taste that just sings summertime!  Barbequing is a great way to cook lots of veg for the next few meals.  I'm all about efficiency!  

Make it fun by choosing a variety of vegetables and fruit, then skewer them!  It looks pretty and you can even get the family involved!  Hey, again, it's all about efficiency.

Super Simple Summer Kebabs - serves 4

Ingredients

1 pint cremini or button mushrooms - halved

1 large red or sweet onion - quartered

2 zucchinis - sliced

1/4 pineapple - sliced

2 large bell peppers - cut into chunks

shrimp or chicken (opt)

avocado oil - drizzle

salt and pepper - to taste

Directions

1.  Wash, dry and cut all the ingredients.  Place everything in a large bowl and drizzle with avocado oil, salt, and pepper.  Toss.

2. Skewer the ingredients somewhat tightly.  If using bamboo skewers, soak them in water for at least 30-minutes prior to use.

3. Grill until done.  

Pro tip:  Grill extra for next day's lunches or dinners.  

The Ultimate Salad

It's summertime and I don't know about you, but I try not to heat up my house with the oven or even stovetop cooking.  So when I want to eat light, yet keep me full, I turn to my ultimate salad.  

Making a BIG salad is your solution to saving time and offering you variety.  The trick is to have all the ingredients washed, cut and prepped in containers ready to go.  So when it's time to eat (or pack your lunch), it's simply an assembly line.  This also keeps all the salad components separated and fresh.

This is my go-to ultimate salad recipe.  Switch things up by trying different proteins, greens, and salad dressings.  

Ultimate Salad

Ingredients

4 cups lettuce (green and/or red leafy, romaine), washed, spun and chopped into bite sizes

2 cups of baby spinach, washed and spun

2 carrots, peeled and grated

2 bell peppers, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half

1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained 

1/2 cup cucumber, chopped 

1/2 cup roasted beets, chopped (recipe below)

1/2 cup jarred artichoke hearts, chopped

1/2 cup canned hearts of palm, sliced 

1/2 cup olives, sliced in half

4 radishes, thinly sliced

1/4 cup olives, halved

avocado - sliced or diced

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sprouts (pea, broccoli)

Directions:

  1. Wash, dry, cut and place all ingredients in separate containers.  
  2. When ready to eat, assemble the salad with your choice of ingredients.
  3. Drizzle with dressing of choice (recipes below).

Alternative protein options:  cooked chicken breast, baked salmon, cooked shrimp, thinly sliced sirloin steak, tofu or tempeh,  hard-boiled eggs, lentils

Pro tip:  To keep greens fresher for longer, place a damp paper towel over washed greens.  Seal in a bowl or container and place it in the fridge.  

Roasted Beets

Ingredients

4 fresh beets (golden, red or rainbow)

avocado oil

salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. 
  2. Wash and pat dry beets.  Cut ends off. 
  3. Cut four pieces of foil paper (large enough for each beet).  Place beets on foil paper.
  4. Drizzle beets with avocado oil, salt and pepper.
  5. Wrap in foil paper.
  6. Place beets directly on a baking sheet and bake for 50-60 minutes.  Beets are ready when you can penetrate them easily with a fork.
  7. Allow to cool, then peel using plastic or latex gloves. 
  8. Chop into pieces for the salad.  Store in an airtight glass container.

 

Everyday Dressing

Ingredients:

    •    1 garlic clove, minced

    •    1/4 lemon, juiced

    •    1 tbsp dijon mustard

    •    1/2 tbsp champagne (or white wine) vinegar 

    •    ½ cup olive oil or avocado oil

    •    salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl or food processor, add garlic.
  2. Add mustard, champagne vinegar, lemon juice.  Whisk.
  3. Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking (or processing) quickly until combined.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

 

Avocado Dressing

Ingredients

    •    2 medium avocados

    •    1 lemon, juiced

    •    ½ cup olive oil

    •    ½ cup water

    •    2 cloves garlic

    •    2 tsp honey

    •    2 tsp parsley (I used dried, but could use fresh)

    •    salt & pepper to taste

    •    cayenne to taste

Directions:

    1    Add all dressing ingredients into a food processor, except the olive oil and water

    2    While the food processor is running, drizzle in oil and water and mix well

Notes:  Only dress salad that will be eaten immediately.  Unused salad should be tightly sealed in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.  Store dressing in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.  Making your own dressing is easy, inexpensive and you know what goes in it.  You’ll never buy again!

Do you have your own ultimate salad recipe?  Please share!