I am NUTS for Granola

That’s it, I am done buying overpriced granola!!! I pay an arm and a leg for a small bag of almond granola only to come home and find that it tastes like cardboard…eew. To make matters worse, most of the granolas out there have been sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or have been prepared with partially hydrogenated fats! It’s always a journey to find good granola at an affordable price.  This is why I have decided to stop ranting and make my own granola. Crunchy, subtly sweet then salty, and sprinkled with warm spices that will pair perfectly with a creamy cup of yogurt and berries….oh yes, the breakfast of champions right there!!

It is incredibly easy! Here it goes….

What you need:

  • 2 c instant oats
  • 1/2 c sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c flax seed meal
  • 1/2 c raisins
  • 1/2 whole almonds
  • 1/4 c honey or brown rice syrup
  • 1/4 c coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • pinch of sea salt

How you make it:

Turn on your oven to 300 degrees F

mix all dry ingredients in a large bow, in a separate bowl whisk honey and oil together. If you have a sweet tooth you may want to add a bit more honey as this is not a very sweet granola. You can also add a couple of truvia packages if you wish to have some guilt-free sweetness!

mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and make sure everything is well incorporated!  Pour  everything into a large sheet tray and place inside hot oven. I checked my granola every 10 minutes and gave it a toss here and there until it turned golden brown (about 30 minutes). After its brown and crispy let it cool off a bit and store in an airtight container.

 

Then try your best not to eat it all at once ( because it is very hard to stop eating it) Believe me!!

xoxo,

Marysol

Sweet potato, cranberry oatmeal

I absolutely love this time of the year when the leaves change to a flaming red color and the time to pull out the coats from the depths of the closet arrives. But, since I live in Florida, none of those two things really happen for me, so I have to look for holiday inspiration elsewhere.  Of course that’s food! What better way to remember the warmth of the holidays than by nourishing our bodies with the amazing foods that nature has provided for us during these months, which aside from being nutritious and delicious, they are also extremely flexible in the kitchen!

Since it is only me and the hubby in the house (aside from 3 cats who have absolutely no interest in my culinary endeavours) it does get very difficult to plan and organize meals. Although I would love to have a full pantry/ and fridge at all times, the reality is that we have to buy few ingredients at a time because we can only eat so much. This week the major players were sweet potatoes, cranberries, and walnuts. These had supporting roles in our mini Thanksgiving dinner, and yet, I had an abundance of leftovers. So i decided I would rearrange them and make a sweet potato/cranberry/walnut oatmeal breakfast!

It is a very simple and vibrant way to start your morning. I like making the cranberry sauce because I hate buying canned cranberries that have been processed with high fructose corn syrup. I’m sure my waistline will thank me for that! I add a bit of cranberry sauce once my oats cook.

I use 1/4 cup of dry oats and 1/3 c of diced sweet potatoes. Brown sugar is perfect with oats, as well as nutmeg, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt and some chopped walnuts.

Throw the diced potatoes into a sauce pot and fill with about 1 cup of water. Mix the spices and sugar and throw into the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. When the potatoes are soft, throw in the oats and let them simmer until the oats absorb most of the water. I like my oatmeal very thick, so I usually leave it on the stove top for a long time and pour in the smallest amount of milk before serving. Once I serve in a bowl I mix in my cranberry sauce and walnuts and Walla!! A delicious and vibrant breakfast!!

I like to take advantage of the natural ingredients around me  because I feel truly connected to nature this way. The nourishment that the oats provide not only fill us with endorphins from the serotonin released by the brain when carbs are eaten, but they also help control cholesterol levels. That’s not a bad deal, specially after the 2,250 calorie Thanksgiving dinner that the average American consumed just a couple of weeks ago.( According to good.is the avg American consumes 2,250 calories during this dinner)

The cranberries are loaded with antioxidants that help improve immune function and they also help fight inflamation, urinary tract infections, and cardiovascular disease to mention just a few. While the walnuts are extremely rich in omega-3 fatty acids and crunchiness!

If you’re wrapping up the holiday shopping these last few weeks before Christmas,  this will keep you energized and going all day long!!