• Breakfast,  Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Chocolate Coated Nuts and Seeds Granola Bars (Vegan+GF)

    Well, it has definitely been a busy week so far.

    I’ve been planning, cooking, planning to cook, and even planning to plan. That last one doesn’t always work out with all the different variables that inevitably change whatever I may have attempted to plan but I keep trying anyway. We’ve had some birthdays, some family events, and then this weekend we’re having a gathering with a pretty large group of friends for the evening. Of course you can’t have a good party if it doesn’t involve some good food and you know I love any opportunity to make extra special things so I’m planning for that too.

    All of that and then we also have a long trip that we’ll be taking in the near future. Which, because of the trip, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time looking at the perishable contents in my fridge and pantry to see what I need to use beforehand so it doesn’t spoil while we’re gone. Obviously not everything is necessary to use but I keep finding all sorts of ingredients that I’ve been saving small portions of in case I need them later. You know, I think I have an issue there. Tell me, do you guys do this too? I tend to always save things for that “just in case” occasion in the future rather than enjoying them in the moment. It always comes back to bite me because more often than not the things I’ve saved will wind up unused and wasted. I’ve gotta work on that, which brings me back to enjoying things while you can.

    Anyway, I have some of those pesky food leftovers I was talking about and that’s where I got the inspiration for this recipe. Some of the ingredients were a variety of seeds and a small amount of maple syrup. I know those things last like forever but it really wasn’t enough to save so I decided to make these granola bars and that’s what I’m sharing today. The maple flavor isn’t actually that prominent among all the other flavors going on but I still love the flavor it adds to the bars.

    Believe it or not, I’ve actually made these bars 3 times in the past week so that I could find the perfect ratio of sweetness to all the seeds and nuts. I’m sharing my last recipe, but ironically enough, the first batch I made turned out to be the favorite with the kiddos. There are five different seeds in my final recipe because I wanted to add as many as I could. I just love the flavor of the sesame and then flax seeds are so good for you. However my trusted tasters preferred the less seedy ones that I made without the sesame and flax seeds. So if you aren’t a huge fan of sesame and flax then feel free to leave them out and replace them with a bit more of the seeds you do like. The same goes for any of the seeds in these bars.

    To finish them off I dipped some in chocolate (you know, for good measure) but that part is totally optional. With or without the extra chocolate they are still delicious and they’re a great snack to take on the go or have for a quick energy boost. They’re also super easy to make and hardly take any time at all. I will recommend letting them cool completely before cutting if you don’t want them to crumble apart. Although, if they do crumble or if you prefer your granola in a bowl with some milk or co-yo like I do, then don’t hesitate to break the mixture into clusters instead of cutting it into bars. Ooooh, and you can add chocolate chips in place of dipping the bars in chocolate, it’s so good!

     

    Chocolate Coated Nuts and Seeds Granola Bars (Vegan+GF)

    Need a quick grab-n-go snack or just a healthy pick-me-up in the late afternoon? These simple and easy to make granola bars are just what you're looking for. Stuffed full of healthy seeds, peanuts, and no refined sugar. Bonus points; they're vegan and gluten free too!
    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 45 minutes
    Servings 12 bars

    Ingredients

    • 1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
    • 1/3 cup coconut oil
    • 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon almond milk or any milk
    • 1 cup sugar in the raw turbinado sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 2 tablespoons each of: chia seeds sesame seeds, black sesame seeds, flax seeds
    • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
    • 1/2 cup shelled peanuts roughly chopped
    • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats gluten free if needed
    • Chocolate Coating: optional
    • 200 g dairy free dark chocolate roughly chopped

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 C) and grease a 13x9 inch pan with coconut oil.
    2. Combine the peanut butter, coconut oil, and syrup in a small saucepan and place on the stovetop over medium high heat. Stir together until the coconut oil is completely melted and the mixture in warm. Add the almond milk, sugar, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and salt. Stir well and remove from heat to cool.
    3. Mix together all the dry ingredients (seeds, nuts, and oats) in a large mixing bowl. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl and stir with a large spoon or spatula. Mix until well coated then press the mixture into your prepared pan and use something flat to pack it down, such as the bottom of a cup.
    4. Bake the bars for 22 to 25 mintutes or until the edges are very golden brown. Remove from oven and cool completely. Once cooled cut them into bars and melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler over low heat. Dip, brush, or drizzle the bars with chocolate as desired and allow the chocolate to set an harden.
    5. Now they're ready for munching! Store in an airtight container.
    6. (P.S. This recipe can also be crumbled into clusters and eaten on a bowl with milk or yogurt and fruit.)
  • Breakfast,  Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Kiwi Mango Chia Pudding Parfaits + Stovetop Cashew Granola (Vegan + GF)

    I’ve discovered that it’s pretty hard to mess up any recipe revolving around fruit and granola.

    In the past I’ve made chia pudding a few times but, moment of complete honesty here, the texture isn’t for everyone. Hey, but I’ve got good news if you feel the same way about it, you can blend it up like magic into a super creamy smooth pudding that you’d never guess was dairy free! When I did this I got two thumbs up from everyone, so to blend or not to blend is totally up to you.

    All right, the texture of chia pudding may or may not be your thing, but Stovetop granola you guys, it’s my new favorite thing….in the world……like ever!!!! Fine, so I’ll probably have a new favorite thing in about 5.9 seconds, but still this stuff is life-changing in a big, big way.See, I love making homemade granola and it’s so easy too, but for some reason whenever I think about doing it I never seem to feel like turning on the oven and dirtying dishes just for granola because it’s so simple. I don’t even know why either, isn’t that dumb?

    I mean, we’re talking about me here, a girl who’s been known to heat the whole oven for only one clove of roasted garlic or dirty every dish in the kitchen for a single meal, so why I rarely make granola doesn’t make any sense. Whatever the case though, this stove-top granola solves it all because it’s fast, simple, and only uses one pan! Can I get a round of applause for this? YES!

    These parfaits are a great breakfast to have ready when you’re crunched for time. They also make great snacks for any time you want them or eat them for a healthy dessert that you’ll feel good about afterwards. Bottom line, it doesn’t matter when you want to eat these, you’ve just got to try them!

    Kiwi Mango Chia Pudding Parfaits + Stovetop Cashew Granola (Vegan + GF)

    Just say no to boring breakfasts and try these fun and fruity parfaits!

    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 15 minutes
    Total Time 30 minutes
    Servings 4 servings

    Ingredients

    Chia Pudding:

    • 1/2 cup chia seeds
    • 1/2 cup full-fat coconut milk
    • 1/2 cup raw turbinado sugar
    • 2 cups almond milk or dairy milk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt

    Stovetop Granola:

    • 2 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
    • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
    • 1/4 cup whole cashews
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
    • 2 tablespoons raw turbinado sugar
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
    • 2 large mangos peeled and cubed
    • 4 medium kiwi fruits peeled and sliced

    Instructions

    Chia Pudding:

    1. Stir together the coconut milk, almond milk, and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and mix well, then pour into a container with air-tight lid and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to let it thicken. You should be able to store it for up to 3 days.
    2. If you prefer the texture of a smooth pudding you can blend the it in a food processor or blender until smooth and creamy. This can be done either before or after the chill time, but I find it's creamier when blended after it's been allowed to thicken.

    Stovetop Granola:

    1. Melt the oil in a small to medium skillet over low heat and add the oats, coconut, and cashews. Stir constantly for 3 to 4 minutes until toasted and fragrant. Stir the syrup, sugar, water, vanilla, salt together in a small glass and pour over granola. Sprinkle with cinnamon and ginger and continue stirring until the sugars are starting to candy and the granola is very dry, about 5 minutes (watch carefully at this point not to let the sugar burn.) As soon as it's crisped and brown, remove pan from heat and allow the granola to cool in the pan for at least 30 mintutes.
    2. Once cooled you'll have a skillet shaped granola bar that's stuck to the pan (don't worry though!) Now you're going to place the pan back over the heat for just a moment to loosen the granola and it should come out in one piece. Place your giant round granola bar on a large cutting board and chop into small chunks (Alternatively you can put in a ziplock bag and break it up with a hammer or meat tenderizer).

    Parfaits:

    1. Once the chia pudding is thick and chilled it's time to layer the parfaits. Cut up your fruit and grab 4 large glasses or jars of your choice. Fill the jars with alternating layers of pudding, granola, and fruit in any order you'd like until full. Serve immediately or store in fridge for a quick breakfast or snack for up to 24 hours (I've actually left them as long as 48 and they were still good.)

     

  • Breakfast,  Dairy Free,  Gluten Free,  Holiday,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Edible Gifting Week #4: Dark Chocolate, Cranberry, & Pistachio Granola

    I was right to expect the holiday season to just keep getting busier and busier.

    Part of the rush for me is that it’s turning into summer and our little town is filling up with vacationers and Santiogo…ans, ites? Not sure, but the point is it’s getting packed and hectic. Excitement for both Christmas and summer is running high and I’m scrambling a little to keep up. I’m also dying to start my squirrel-style berry saving but I’ve promised myself I’ll wait until after new years so I don’t get too backed up.

    The weather just decided to switch from rainy back to warming up and now I’m just really confused. You basically have to think like an onion to make it here because layering will save your life. I’m constantly putting on and taking off layers #IFeelLiketheKarateKid.

    Some good friends of ours just bought property and have plans to build on it. So far they had started constructing a small storage structure on it only to find out that there had been a mixup and it was the wrong property. Yeah, Chilean culture is indescribable, frustrating, and sometimes indescribably frustrating. So two days ago we helped them disassemble and move it a few hundred yards to a spot that (I sincerely hope) is on their actual property. It was a hard but fun group job made more fun, I think, by the brownies I brought for everyone. Brownies make everything better….oh, and so does granola!

    That’s why I’m sharing this really easy recipe with you guys for the perfect holiday gift giving and my fourth Edible gift post. Anyone who loves granola is going to go crazy for this stuff and, like I said, it’s really simple. Whether you have one of those health-nut neighbors, a super fit bff, or a gluten-free family member, this is what you need to give them.

    I think this is hands down my favorite of every granola that I’ve ever made. It’s probably the addition of chocolate, or maybe the pistachios (which we just recently found locally, Yay!) but either way it’s delish. Pistachios are my favorite nut, or at least my fave tied with cashews, but still at the top spot of my list. They totally made this granola epic. I also added some holiday touches like dried cranberries, orange zest, and cinnamon to make it really festive.

    You definitely should make this and give it to someone this Christmas. I mean, I can’t make any promises cause there are weirdos in the world, but I can’t imagine anyone not liking it. If you’re not sure though, just play it safe and give it to someone who you know will appreciate it or simply make it for yourself.

    Okay, so I hope you try it and if you do I’d love to know what you think!

    Edible Gifting Week #4: Dark Chocolate, Cranberry, & Pistachio Granola

    Give the gift of delicious, crunchy snacking this holiday season and make this super simple granola!

    Prep Time 15 minutes
    Cook Time 35 minutes
    Total Time 50 minutes

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Combine syrup, oil, salt, and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Stir for about 3 minutes until warm. Remove from heat and add vanilla and zest, then stir until smooth. Add oats and coconut and stir to combine.
    2. Spread out granola on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. then remove from oven and stir in pepitas and pistachios with spatula. Return to oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes longer until crisp. Remove from oven and cool completely.
    3. Once cooled, add craisins and chocolate and pour into a jar or container with lid. Should keep at room temp for at least 2 weeks.

     

  • Breakfast,  Dairy Free,  Dessert,  Gluten Free,  Recipe,  Snacks,  Vegan,  Vegetarian

    Mango & Young Dried Coconut Granola Breakfast Parfaits (Vegan+GF)

    See, I can actually make food that is somewhat healthy……….every once in a while.

    Mango & Young Dried Coconut Granola Breakfast Parfaits (Vegan).

    I thought with it being Monday we should probably start out the week with something good for us, you know? Then maybe we’ll feel less guilty if we decide to indulge in something decadent at the end of it. It’s like saving up good-behavior stickers in kindergarten for a weekend prize. Although, I’m not sure this quite makes the list of perfectly healthy foods because, well look at it. How can you not feel a little indulgent when you’re eating these layers of fruity, crunchy, sweet happiness?

    Mango & Young Dried Coconut Granola Breakfast Parfaits (Vegan) (9)

    I’ve been in the mood for lots of fresh and summery stuff the last few days because we’ve been having these random warm days popping up and it’s been awesome. I can’t speak from much experience since I’ve only lived in this country during one previous August, but from what I remember and what I gather from the locals, the expectations for Augusto are mucho gray and wet. Needless to say, a sunny day is way more than welcomed. Although, I’m pretty sure it’s just a tease because there is still a chunk of winter left to get through and I doubt it will all be sunshine. Hmm, but maybe we’re going to have an early Spring……… Okay fine, wishful thinking probably isn’t going to work in this scenario but it’s worth a try.

    Mango & Young Dried Coconut Granola Breakfast Parfaits (Vegan) (6)

    I am so anxious and excited to break out some of my new summer clothes that still have the tags on (even though I bought them like 2 years ago). I just didn’t get to where that many hot weather outfits last year. In fact, I literally went all of last summer without slipping my feet into a pair flip flops once because it was never that hot. I don’t know why I’m surprised. I do live nearly as close to the south pole as you can get so that’s got to have an effect on the weather. It’s pretty crazy how drastically the day length changes during the year too. Already, I’m noticing the days getting longer and it won’t be long before the sun hangs out until 10:30 at night. 

    I think my brain is finally starting to relate the fact that going into Spring and going into the holiday season are synonymous down here. It’s still strange for me though and I definitely am not okay with it. I want to be able to snuggle up and drink hot cider while looking at the fall colors this time of year, but instead I get chilled apple juice and bright sunny spring flowers to go with. I guess it could be a lot worse.

    Mango & Young Dried Coconut Granola Breakfast Parfaits (Vegan) (12)

    So what I’m getting at is that these parfaits are perfect for the beginning of the warm seasons for those of us down south and equally perfect for the end of the summer if you live up north. Win win! I’ve been wanting to try this idea I had for vegan “yogurt” and I’m happy to say it worked and is amazing!

    Mango & Young Dried Coconut Granola Breakfast Parfaits (Vegan) (11)

    I think my brothers would have eaten 3 or 4 of these if I’d let them, and they are not that big on eating their fruit either, so that’s saying something. Actually, one of them keeps begging me to make more because he loved it so much, and I agree that these are definitely a do-again. You can use store-bought vanilla or fruit flavored cashew, coconut, soy, or almond milk yogurt instead of making my version, but the granola is a must. So much flavor and the young dried coconut is one of my new favorite things. It’s coconut that they have harvested early when it’s still green so that it’s extra sweet and soft. Then they dry it just like other fruits and, uh, yum! It’s basically candy, you’ve gotta try it!

    Mango & Young Dried Coconut Granola Breakfast Parfaits (Vegan+GF)

    Forget about a boring breakfast and try this fresh and fruity parfait recipe that's loaded with flavors!

    Prep Time 30 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Chilling Time 1 hour 30 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour

    Ingredients

    Pineapple Coconut "Yogurt":

    • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
    • 1 cup almond milk or regular if not vegan
    • 1 cup 100% orange juice
    • 2 cups 100% pineapple juice
    • 1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar
    • 6 tablespoons cornstarch
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar or lemon juice
    • pinch of salt

    Coconut Granola:

    • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
    • 3 tablespoons unsweetened dried coconut flakes
    • 2 tablespoons palm maple, or agave syrup
    • 1/4 cup raw turbinado sugar
    • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter if not vegan
    • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
    • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla

    Instructions

    Pineapple Orange "Yogurt":

    1. Whisk all ingredients, except vanilla extract, in a medium saucepan until completely smooth. Place over medium heat and bring to a gentle boil. Stir for 6 to 8 minutes or until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool for about 20 minutes, then pour through a fine mesh strainer into an airtight container and place in fridge for at least 2 hours until completely cooled. (You can whisk in some water if it gets too thick once cooled.)

    Granola:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 C). Combine syrup, sugar, salt, ginger and cinnamon in a medium saucepan and place over low heat. Stir for about 3 minutes until sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla and stir until smooth. Add oats and coconut and stir to combine. Spread out granola on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. then remove from oven and stir with spatula. Return to oven and bake for 10 to 12 minutes longer until crisp. Remove from oven and sprinkle young coconut pieces on top and toss gently to combine. Bake for 1 to 2 minutes then remove and cool completely.

    Assemble:

    1. Layer the "yogurt", granola, and mango in glasses or jars and serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.