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 started writing this post and thought “ugh, anooooother banana bread recipe” and really thought twice about posting it. But then I went and did a quick little search to find out how many banana bread recipes I’ve actually blogged about and to my surprise it was only four! Ok, ok not bad…and they all happen to be quite different. A good mix of naughty (see here and here) and nice (this one and that one). And this particular recipe was different because it had BLUEBERRIES mixed in soooo…totes different. 😀
I can honestly say I’ve never even had banana bread with blueberries mixed in let alone made it but dang I was tired of plain, ‘ole banana bread and needed to mix things up a little and since we’ve got bags upon bags of frozen blueberries I decided those things were going in! And I have to say I’m not only addicted but wish I’d been putting blueberries in my banana bread way sooner! So good! Juicy little bursts of blueberry goodness in super tender, moist banana bread. Yummmm.
I also love that this recipe is egg, oil and refined sugar free and TOTALLY PLANT BASED which we are all about around here. 😀
In the last week we’ve made not one but TWO trips to the apple orchard because they are just SO good right now and there are new varieties every day! Our first trip we picked tons of Jonathan and Grimes and the second time it was all about the Fujis!
So, needless to say we’ve been eating a LOT of apples. And of course I’ve done a little baking…I gave my mom’s German Apple Cake a healthy makeover and it turned out DELISH. But I think our favorite thing so far has been dehydrating apples and making dried apple slices! The kids can’t get enough. And the Jonathan’s are perfect for dehydrating because they’re actually super sweet with a little tartness. Yum!
So with all the dehydrating, I was super excited to stumble upon this recipe for Cinnamon Apple Pie Energy Bites that utilizes dried apples but I knew immediately I wanted to take the recipe a step further and make them into Salted Caramel Apple Pie Bars! And with a little adjusting of ingredients, that’s what I did and the results were DELICIOUS.
All the flavors of apple pie, a touch of salt, tiny chunks of almonds and dried apples, minimal ingredients and no added sugar, make these perfect for snacking or even breakfast! We love them!
1 ½ c. Dried Apples, finely chopped in food processor
1 ½ c. Raw, Toasted Almonds (you don't have to toast the almonds but I prefer the flavor it gives them)
1 ½ c. Medjool Dates, soaked in hot water for at least 30 minutes
5 t. Pure Vanilla Extract
1½ t. Cinnamon
1½ t. Apple Pie Spice
½-¾ t. Sea Salt
Line a 9x9 pan with foil or parchment paper
Blend almonds and dates in a high powered blender or food processor until a thick paste forms. You can get it as smooth as you like..I left a few bits and pieces of almonds in mine because I like the texture.
Transfer the almond/date mixture, along with all other ingredients to an electric mixer. Beat on low speed until everything is well combined and blended. Adjust spices, etc to taste.
Press into your lined pan and place in the refrigerator for a couple of hours to allow mixture to set. Remove from pan and cut.
I’ve been incorporating chickpea (garbanzo) flour into lots of things lately, mainly because it has a fairly neutral flavor once it’s been cooked and adds a good amount of protein and fiber to food. My favorite thing right now is to mix it into my kids oatmeal…they don’t even know it’s there! So when I saw these chia granola bars used it, I HAD to try them.
Aaaaaand…they turned out great! I was expecting a crunchier bar but mine remained soft which is ok because we still loved them. Looking back over the original recipe, I actually missed the step about pressing them down again after they have been baked so that might have been my problem with them not being crunchy!
They are slightly sweet, a tiny bit salty and quite yummy! Love the good fats, protein and fiber from the chickpea flour and chia seeds and the little crunch from the crispy rice cereal is perfect. Great for breakfast or a snack!
⅔ c. Chickpea Flour (also known as garbanzo bean flour)
3 T. Chia Seeds
1 t. Baking Soda
¾ t. Sea Salt
⅔ c. Agave
⅓ c. Melted Coconut Oil
¼ c. Sucanat
1 T. Pure Vanilla Extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk oats, rice cereal, chickpea flour, chia seeds, baking soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together agave, coconut oil, sucanant and vanilla until blended,
Add agave mixture to oat mixture, stirring until completely coated. Transfer mixture to prepared pan. Spray you hands with non-stick spray and press mixture down gently but firmly to compact into pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes (I did 20) or until light golden brown on top. Remove from oven and use the flat bottom of a small pan or dish to press down granola bars again. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, and then use parchment paper sling to carefully lift granola bars out onto a cutting board (you can leave them sitting on top of the parchment paper). Cool for 5 more minutes and then cut into bars. Move to a cooling rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.