Almond Coconut Granola

A few days ago, I made a new granola recipe.  I was going to go with one of my tried and true favorites, but I wanted to try out a few things.  I threw them together, crossed my fingers, and waited to see what happened.  What followed was a little bit of granola heaven.

Almond Coconut Granola

  • 2 cups oatmeal (old fashioned)
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 3 tbsp almond butter
  • 3 tbsp coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp (or 3/8 cup if you have that measure) maple syrup
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Mix the dry ingredients (oats, quinoa, walnuts, coconut, and salt) together in a large mixing bowl.  It is okay that the quinoa is still wet from rinsing.

Add the remaining wet ingredients along with the cinnamon in a small mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth (it may help to heat the almond butter and coconut butter on the stove top or in the microwave first).

Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and mix well until everything is coated.

Spread out on a foil lined baking sheet (or two).  Place in oven, and after 10 minutes, stir the mixture around.  Bake for another 10 minutes.

Allow the granola to fully cool before transferring to storage jars.  Remember, the granola with dry out and get more crunchy as it cools.

I will not lie to you, this granola tastes a bit different because of the quinoa.  After my husband tasted it, he said that you can definitely taste the quinoa.  At first, I thought “hmm…this is okay.”  Then I tried another bite.  And another bite.  And a few more bites.  And I slowly (okay, not that slowly…about 3 bites in) became addicted.  The quinoa does give it a different taste, but it also gives it a good crunch.  You can play around with the almond butter/coconut butter amount.  This granola does not taste overwhelming of coconut, which left me a tad disappointed.  If you don’t have coconut butter, you could always use coconut oil, though I’d probably do 4 tbsp (or 1/4 cup) almond butter and only 2 tbsp coconut oil then.

Anyways, my little rugrat just woke up and is demanding some attention in the cutest possible way, so I’m off.  Hope you try and enjoy the granola as much as I did!

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Rest Day

So far, I have completed 4 days of the elliptical.  I’m going back to season 1 of the Gilmore Girls to get me through.  I greatly dislike the elliptical otherwise.  I can run or walk on the treadmill for as long as I’d like, but when it comes to the elliptical, if I’m only listening to music, I usually only last about 20 minutes, tops.  So Gilmore Girls it is!  I was going to try Felicity, but it’s too quiet.  

Today will be my first rest day.  I wasn’t really planning on it necessarily, but yesterday along with completing my 40 minutes of cardio on the elliptical, I shoveled.  Twice.  And guess what?!?  This morning, you can barely even tell!  But I’m sure the hubs will appreciate it when he’s shoveling because there are definitely several inches LESS on the driveway now than there would be otherwise.  And my shoulders are sore from all that work.  

I forgot to weigh myself today, but that’s okay.  I think I’m going to aim for once a week to give myself some accountability.  That way I can also see if what I’m doing is working for me.  If it’s not, I’ll adjust as I go.

Okay, in the last post (yesterday!  how’s that for you?!?), I promised granola. They aren’t my own recipes.  Most of my recipes are not my own, actually…I just find ones that I think look tasty and adapt to my own tastes.  But really, what recipe isn’t like that?  I think at this point, there are very few original and new recipes.  But I digress.  I have two favorites that I have been making a lot lately, and actually some family and friends got for Christmas.  The runner up: Chocolate Granola.  Chocolate.  Mmmm…..Ahem.  Where was I?  Oh yeah, chocolate granola.  Here’s the link to the recipe: 

http://www.yummymummykitchen.com/2013/08/healthy-chocolate-granola-recipe.htmlcrlt.pid=camp.hPrPD6wfZDEM 

from yummy mummy kitchen.  And boy is it yummy!  I used walnuts because I have a lot of them, but anything would be good.  I also used chia seeds rather than flax since that is what I had, but the chia seeds add a nice crunch to the granola, though you will be fishing them out of your teeth for a bit afterwards.  Totally worth it, though, in my opinion.  I have made this with maple syrup rather than honey, and I made it with brown rice syrup, too.  Brown rice syrup is thicker and stickier than maple syrup, more like honey, and it makes for wonderfully “chunky” granola.  It actually gets a bit hard to break up.  I like sometimes doing half and half with the two syrups.

But my favorite granola is almond butter granola.  Everyone in our house agrees this is our favorite.  I like to combine it with the chocolate granola, cut up a banana, add a few blueberries, and pour almond milk (I do unsweetened vanilla most of the time) over it all.  YUUUUUM. Very few breakfasts can top that!  But here’s the scoop on this one:

http://myhealthyhappyhome.com/2012/11/14/what-i-ate-wednesday-two-tasty-recipes/

Again with this, I use whatever nuts I have.  I think I only had sliced almonds the first time I made it, so I used chopped walnuts afterwards.  Still ridiculously good.  And again, I did not use honey.  I used maple syrup and/or brown rice syrup.  LIke I said before, I like a combo of the two to get better chunks, but not too chunky.  I’ve also cut a bit of the oatmeal in this one and added chia seeds.  This recipe doesn’t make as much as the chocolate one, so whenever I make this one, I most definitely double it.  It’s just too good.  Trust me.  And I bet it would be equally good with peanut butter if that’s all you have on hand.

One note, though.  When first making this granola, I thought that it seemed like a lot of salt to add. You can very easily put less salt in.  However, I found that I kind of liked the saltiness of it (the almond butter I used had nothing more than almonds in it, so no salt or sugar there).  Use your best judgement.  I still use a tad less than what it calls for, but more than half of the original amount.  

I also have found from making granola recipes a lot that my baking times are often different than those listed.  Just watch.  Flip at least half way through, and go from there.  Remember that granola dries out and hardens up as it cools, so don’t expect it to be super crunchy right out of the oven.  If you get to that point, chances are it’s burnt, and nobody likes burned granola.

Either way, make one of these!  They are way too good to pass up!

Long Time, No Nothing…

Well, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’ve been more than lazy when it has come to this blog.  I started all into it, but then all of a sudden stopped.  The reason?  I’m lazy, like I already said.  Updating a status on Facebook is soo much easier 🙂

Anyways, since I’ve been trying out new recipes and ideas more often now that I’ve been making frequent trips to the farmers’ markets around town, I thought I’d get back to this blog rather than litter Facebook with all my pictures and posts of food.  When I was working at the high school, I would often get teased by certain teachers about my cooking.  It got to the point that it didn’t matter what I was talking about and they would start teasing and hinge on one thing or another.  It eventually got very frustrating for me.  It was okay for other teachers to have different interests outside of work (mainly sports, of course) and they could talk about them all the time.  But when I talked about a good dinner we had, forget it.  Anyways, it’s nice that when I post pictures on Facebook, I get a positive response from my friends.  

In some of those responses, I got requests for the rumchata pudding pops that I made.  Ask and ye shall receive!

Rumchata Pudding Pops

1 package instant coconut cream pudding
1 cup milk
1 cup Rumchata
1 8oz cool whip

Whisk pudding, milk, and Rumchata together.  Let it sit for a few minutes until it thickens a bit.  Fold in the cool whip.  Freeze.  Enjoy!

I’ve made this mixture and froze it all together in one container and scooped it out like ice cream, and the most recent time I made it, I ladled it into 5 oz dixie cups before freezing. 

Another option: whisking or mixing in with an electric mixer an 8 oz brick of cream cheese.  The pops are really good either way!

First of Many..?

So I am very new to the whole world of blogging.  The idea of me writing almost journal-like entries with the intention that anyone would actually want to read it kind of baffles me.  But….I get kind of tired of posting pictures and comments on Facebook and I think that some people would probably appreciate that I find a different outlet for those things!

The whole concept of “clean eating” is something I’ve played around with for a while.  One website slowly permeated my thoughts: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com.  As my daughter got to the stage where I began feeding her real foods and not just bottles, I became increasingly aware of what I was putting in her growing body.  That, in turn, made me more aware of what my husband and I were putting in our bodies.  And so began the start of our journey into eating more and more whole foods and my love affair with the above mentioned site.

One thing you’ll note about my blog: I am no professional.  My pictures will be kind of crappy.  I won’t be consistent with new posts.  I’ll vent and and complain about what frustrates me and brag and wax on about how smart and wonderful my baby is, so much more smart and more wonderful than any other baby, of course.  Did I mention I’ll use quite a bit of sarcasm, too?

I don’t expect much of a following, and heck, I may do this for a bit and eventually forget about it.  Who knows when I’ll even tell anyone about this?  As I sit here trying to finish this post, I am continually being interrupted Audrey who decided to wake up a bit early from her morning nap in a very bad mood, which is highly unusual for her.  But, for now, this blog will serve as a sort of therapy for me: an outlet where I can voice my frustrations without being overly judged (and if I am, I’ll just delete your comment…so there!).

SOOO…with that, enjoy.