I’ve been juicing a lot lately and more consistently which has led me to have an overabundance of shredded carrot/carrot pulp! I’ve managed to use it in quite a few different ways and this raw carrot cake granola cereal is the latest carrot inspired recipe!
I actually make what we call granola cereal (because we could never decide which one it was!) every week on Sunday mornings. I always let the kids pick which kind they want me to make and when I tell you this may be their favorite food EVER, it is not an exaggeration! They will even ask me every morning when they wake up “are we having cereal today?” in hopes that we will!
We’ve come up with just a few varieties over the past few months….chocolate cherry, peanut butter chocolate chip, blueberry chai, loaded oatmeal raisin cookie, pineapple upside down cake…the possibilities are endless! But their favorite HANDS DOWN in the strawberry version with freeze-dried strawberries. They’ll actually ask for it every time almost! But I’m able to convince them to try something different most of the time–as was the case with this carrot cake variation!
So enough about my kids, let’s get to the granola! For this version I deviated slightly from my original master recipe to make it even more healthy! I usually use quite a bit of Garden of Life Protein Powder (sometimes the plantbased meal replacement one or the Protein & Greens) and a hefty amount of melted coconut oil, but I eliminated the oil completely this time and cut WAY back on the protein powder, which you could definitely omit if you want to!
Even with the changes, what resulted was an absolutely DELICIOUS carrot cake granola cereal that my whole family liked better than the original master recipe. I love the fiber and protein you get from the hemp, chia and flaxseed, good carbs from the oats, bits of sweet from the raisins and a little crunch from the toasted pecans! Not to mention a little veggie from the carrots. It truly reminds me of carrot cake in a bowl! Ok, minus the cream cheese frosting but you get the idea. 🙂
I have so many recipes that I’ve done over the last year or so that were the healthy dessert and breakfast type I made for my family but never got around to blogging and I’m so excited to revisit and remake them in order to share with you all! I was OBSESSED with this granola recipe last fall and actually ended up giving out bags of it for Christmas with other homemade goodies such as handsoap, etc.
It was very well received and I plan on doing something similar this year for gifts! You can package it so pretty and this stuff lasts in an airtight container for a very long time! What I really love is how some of my favorite flavors combine in this…you’ve got fall with the cinnamon and nutmeg, a nice kick from the espresso powder and a hint of chocolate from the coffee beans! It’s just soooooo good! My kids LOVE it but for obvious reasons (hello, caffeine!) I limit their intake. 😀 It’s great over yogurt, with my Pumpkin Spice Dessert Dip or just in a bowl with some nice cold, almond milk!
½ c. Wheat Germ (I use ground flaxseed if I don't have wheat germ)
1 c. Fruit Juice Sweetened Dried Cranberries
1 c. Golden Raisins (or use another cup of dried cranberries)
½ c. Coconut Oil, melted
1 ½ c. Agave
3 T. Instant Espresso Powder (feel free to use more for more of the coffee flavor--I actually like about ⅓ cup!)
2 t. Cinnamon
½ t. Nutmeg
2 t. Sea Salt
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
1-2 c. Dark Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans (I get grain sweetened ones) or Dark Chocolate Chunks (preferably stevia sweetened, etc)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray two large baking sheets with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut flakes, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, cranberries and golden raisins. Toss well.
In another medium bowl, combine melted coconut oil, agave, espresso powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and vanilla. Whisk together until well combined.
Pour the coconut oil mixture over the dry oat mixture and stir to fully combine. I stir for at least 3-5 minutes to ensure everything is well coated.
Divide the granola between the two baking sheets and spread evenly. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes so the granola will get evenly toasted.
Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, spray the bottom of a flat 1 cup measuring cup or a flat bottomed glass with cooking spray. Press the granola into the pan using the bottom of the measure cup so that you have a flat slab of granola.
Let the granola sit for one hour to cool and harden.
After an hour break the granola up into clusters and stir in chocolate covered coffee beans or dark chocolate chunks.
I know there are many holidays right around the corner that I should be blogging about…St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day….on and on and on. But yesterday I had an INSANE craving for banana muffins so I went with it! And I’m SO glad I did. These banana muffins are to. die. for. Seriously some of the most moist, flavorful, yummy banana muffins I have ever had. The original recipe is by Ina Garten so you know you’re off to a good start when you begin with one of her fabulous recipes. I made some minor changes and was so pleased with the results! Treat yourself to these for breakfast tomorrow morning…but make them tonight! They are even better the next day!
1 c. Mashed Ripe Bananas (I used 5 medium bananas)
1 c. Toasted, Chopped Pecans
1½ c. Granola
1 stick Unsalted Butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffins cups with liners.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, whisk together flour, both sugars, baking powder, baking soda and salt. With the mixer on low, beat in the melted butter. Whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla and bananas and add to the flour-butter mixture. Mix until everything is just combined--do NOT overmix.
Scoop ⅓ cup batter into each muffin cup.
In a small bowl, mix together pecans, granola and melted butter. Spoon a couple of tablespoons over each filled muffin cup. Bake for 20-25 minutes (mine were done at 23) until the tops are brown and a tester inserted comes out clean. Cool for a few minutes and then remove from the pan and cool completely.
There was a time in my life when if you had told I could blend peanut butter and beans in a blender and get DESSERT out of the concoction, I’d have said you are CRAZY. But oh my how true it is. From brownies to cupcakes, beans are an absolute awesome way to make sweet stuff with less fat and tons more fiber! And you don’t have to compromise taste and texture to get the health benefits, which is nice.
When I came up with this recipe I was amazed how much it tasted like peanut butter fudge! So addictive and good. The short list of ingredients and simple instructions make it a win-win for a healthy, quick dessert! We love these things and I know you will too. Just trying to help you stick to those New Year’s resolutions!
1 c. Organic Peanut Butter (I used one that is only organic peanuts)
⅔ c. Agave (could also use honey)
Pinch of Sea Salt
½ c. Low-Sugar Granola (I used one that is sweetened only with organic apple juice. Try to find one that does not use refined sugar.)
Lightly spray a 9x9 pan with cooking spray.
In a food processor, process all ingredients except the granola until completely blended and smooth. Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Cover with foil and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
Cut fudge into 1½" squares. Working quickly, shape into balls and roll in granola. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Up until recently I have bought Jeremy granola every week for I don’t even know how long. I buy a very specific organic brand that is healthy and he likes it so even though it’s a little pricey, I don’t mind pay a little extra for the health benefits. I’ve even made my own granola before but he really likes this specific kind so we’ve always stuck with it. Until now.
That’s right, I managed to find a granola recipe that BEATS THE CRAP out of the store-bought granola. Yesssssss. Not only does he LOVE it, it is even healthier than the organic stuff and, oh yeah, cheaper. The original recipe is here and yes, I took a little liberty and changed some things (shocker, I know). The combination of cinnamon and almond flavor totally works in this recipe and it turns so crunchy after it has cooled. It’s honestly hard to stay out of it. I like to mix some Nature’s Path Heritage Flakes into mine just to give it that cereal aspect so feel free to add or not add…totally up to you. You could throw in nuts, dried fruit, chocolate chips, etc. Whatever sounds good at the moment!
1 c. Thick Rolled Oats (if you don't have access to rye or red wheat flakes, just use all thick rolled oats)
1½ c. Rye Flakes
1½ c. Red Wheat Flakes
½ c. 7-Grain Cereal (can be found in bulk section of health food store or substitute uncooked millet)
2 T. Chia Seeds
½ c. Sucanat
1¼ t. Sea Salt (I prefer pink himalayan)
1½ t. Cinnamon
⅓ c. Safflower Oil
¼ c. Light Agave
¼ c. Maple Agave
⅓ c. plus 1 T. Raw Almond Butter
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
1 t. Almond Extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk all dry ingredients together. In a medium bowl, stir together all wet ingredients. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir to combine. It will seem dry at first but keep stirring and it will all get coated.
Divide the mixture between the two pans and spread in an even layer.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring, rotating pans and switching racks (if your oven cooks unevenly, like mine does) halfway through. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack and store in an air-tight container.
Brunch, it’s what every dad wants. Trust me on this. Sure, when you ask him what he wants for Father’s Day he’ll throw out the usual grilling/golfing/fishing ideas, but what do men REALLY want?? Food. Homemade, from scratch, fill-your-belly FOOD.
Now I know that typically the word “brunch” invokes thoughts of girly tea rooms and fine china and quiche and ya know, things that don’t sound too manly. But throw in a couple meats (bacon, sausage, etc) and some kind of breakfast casserole (one with eggs and hashbrowns and loads of cheese and absolutely NO vegetables…unless it’s jalapenos..those are manly) and brunch is no longer just for the ladies.
And I’m sorry, but it just wouldn’t be brunch without something sweet. Luckily, I have a few recipes that would fit the bill for any dad’s mid-morning sweet tooth. Like these Mini Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins.
Or maybe he’s a health nut…this Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola is uber-healthy and most importantly delicious. Great plain, with milk or over greek yogurt with fresh berries. Yum.
As of today I’ve been in Destin, Florida for five days. Surprise! Jealous? You should be, it’s awesome here. Sun, sand, emerald blue water and doing a whole lot of nothing. It’s been glorious. But of course I had to take a little time out of my day and tell you all about a little road trippin’ snack I made.
See Jeremy and I are actually pretty health conscious (despite what I blog about) and have been getting in shape for this vacation for awhile. Knowing that we would be in the car for 12+ hours, I wanted something healthy to snack on should hunger strike. And let’s face it, the healthy options at a 7-Eleven are pretty much limited to the bottled water. We had to be prepared!
So I thought a nice snack would be homemade granola. I’ve seen a few recipes but never attempted it myself, so after doing some research I found one that sounded like it had potential and was super versatile (because no way in heck was I NOT going to change the recipe!). I started with Playgroup Granola Bars from Allrecipes.com. I modified it alot but the bones of the recipe were great…the granola turned out awesome! I could not keep my hands out of it and seriously didn’t know if there would be any left by the time we actually got on the road. And yes, this recipe is healthy. But healthy can taste really, really good. Like, “no way can this be healthy” good. Eat it by the handful or pour some milk over it and enjoy it for breakfast. And DO play with the recipe…experiment with flavors and ingredients!
½ c. 7-Grain Mix (If you can't find it at your local health food store, substitute Wheat Germ or Flax Seed)
2 c. White Whole Wheat Flour (I like King Arthur)
1½ t. Salt
½ c. Sugar in the Raw
¼ c. Cocoa Powder
½ c. Chocolate Protein Powder (I like the All Natural Chocolate Muscle Milk)
2 Large Eggs, lightly beaten
¾ c. Honey
¼ c. Safflower Oil
¼ c. Peanut Oil
2 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
½ c. All-Natural Peanut Butter
½ c. All-Natural Dry-Roasted Peanuts (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large cookie sheet with non-stick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together the oats and the next 7 ingredients.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the eggs and the next 5 ingredients.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Spread evenly into the cookie sheet, pressing down with the back of a spoon or your hands. Sprinkle the dry-roasted peanuts on top and gently press into the mixture. Bake for 22 minutes and let cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes, or until the granola is cool enough to handle.
Get another cookie sheet and break up the granola into small pieces (the peanuts will probably fall off but that's ok), dividing between the two cookie sheets. Bake both cookie sheets of granola for another 10 minutes. Let cool completely and store in an air-tight bag.