make your mornings better — with this simple paleo granola recipe

best simple paleo granola recipe

Most people I know, love granola. When it’s done right, it’s crunchy, savory, sweet, and satisfying. The problem with most granolas is that they are usually pretty carbohydrate and sugar heavy. As more people are adopting elements of a paleo diet (gluten and grain-free), so I set out to create a granola recipe to compliment the lifestyle.

The problem that I’ve found with many of the store bought paleo granolas is that they are too clustery – great for snacking, but not really as a topping. They’re often pretty dried out and tough to chew. I used my beloved best ever granola recipe as a guide, but swapped out the grains with nuts, seeds, and coconut. The result may be even better than the original — and easier to make (no popping amaranth).

I love using sunflower seeds in this recipe, because their shape naturally mimics that of an oat. By cooking them low and slow, they get golden, crunchy and delicious. I also pulse the nuts in the food processor so they have a smaller, more uniform shape. I like using almonds and pecans (I think it was what I had on hand), but feel free to swap in any of your favorites. Hazelnuts or cashews would both be good options.

I shared this recipe with my ‘Paleo 101’ cooking class last month and it was a clear winner. Hope you enjoy it the same.

Cinnamon Spiced Almond-Coconut Granola
 
Ingredients:
 
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil (liquefied)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup sunflower seeds
½ cup almonds
½ cup pecans
1 cup large coconut flakes
 
Procedure:
 
Preheat oven to 275 and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. 
 
Mix maple syrup, coconut oil, chia seeds, salt and cinnamon.  Set aside. 
 
Add sunflower seeds to a large bowl.  Add almonds and pecans to a food processor.  Pulse to rough chop.  Add coconut flakes and pulse again until broken down.  Add to sunflower seeds.
 
Pour chia seed mixture over seeds and nuts, mix well to coat.  Spread in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. 
 
Bake for 20 minutes.  Use a wooden spoon to stir on baking sheet.  Bake an additional 10-15 minutes.  Let cool for at least 20 minutes, as the granola will get crispy as it sits.

meet your new favorite dessert — hello, berry clafoutis

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I saw the apricot rhubarb clafoutis when I first flipped through the My New Roots Cookbook earlier this spring, and couldn’t wait to try this simple, yet ‘fancy’ sounding dessert.

Clafoutis (cla – foo – tee), is a custard-like treat with fruit as the star. The best part is you can adapt it to whatever is seasonal and abundant. This summer, I’ve tried versions with plums, peaches, and berries. While all were delicious, I particularly enjoyed the combination of blackberries and blueberries that I’m sharing with you.

Add all ingredients to the blender, pour over fruit, bake – and you’re all set.

It’s wonderful served with a coconut whipped cream for a mildly sweet, seasonal dessert. I am also partial to serving this clafoutis cold for breakfast with plain yogurt. Would be a welcome addition to a brunch spread, too.

I’m already looking forward to fall versions with figs and pears…

 

 


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Berry Clafoutis

Ingredients:
3 eggs
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla
1/3 cup almond flour
1/3 cup oat flour
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 cup berries (I like using blackberries + blueberries)
coconut oil or ghee (for greasing pan)

Procedure: Preheat oven to 350. Grease a tart or pie pan (or a shallow, oven-proof baking dish) and set aside.

Add eggs, maple syrup, coconut milk and vanilla to blender. Add oat flour, almond flour, coconut sugar, and salt to a small bowl, whisk to combine. Add flour mx to blender and puree until smooth Spread fruit in an even layer on bottom of tart pan, and pour batter over.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until clafoutis is golden.

coconut hot cocoa mix — for your DIY healthy holiday giving

diy hot cocoa mix

There’s nothing quite like coming home on a cold day and curling up with a cup of hot cocoa. It hits all the right creamy, warm, and chocolatey notes to satisfy and savor all winter long. I’ve tried making non-dairy cocoa mixes before, and stirred them into warm almond or coconut milk — but they always turned out a little powdery and underwhelming. When I saw coconut milk powder in the baking section of Whole Foods, I knew it was the secret ingredient needed to make a perfect dairy free cocoa mix.

Luckily, I was right. The resulting cup of hot cocoa, is creamy, rich, decadent and just sweet enough. If you make a big batch ahead of time, it eliminates the need for processed store-bought cocoa mixes that are full of refined sugar, chemicals, and stabilizers.

Feel free to customize the mix to your liking. Add a little more coconut sugar if you prefer a sweet cup of cocoa. I love using coconut sugar in this mix as it’s mineral rich, low-glycemic, and subtly sweet. You can also spice things up a bit by adding in ground cinnamon, cardamom, ginger – or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for a twist on a Mexican hot chocolate.

Make a cup for yourself, or better yet, whip up a big batch to share with your nearest and dearest. Tis the season!

Coconut Hot Cocoa Mix – Single Serving

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tablespoon coconut milk powder
1 tablespoon coconut sugar

Procedure:

Add all ingredients to a mug and add 1 cup boiling water. Stir to dissolve.

+ To make in large quantities, whisk together equal parts cocoa powder, coconut milk powder, and coconut sugar. Store in an airtight container.

+ Customize your cocoa by adding cinnamon, cardamom and/or a pinch of cayenne pepper for a kick.

cookies so wholesome – you can have them for breakfast

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Everyone needs an emergency cookie recipe to whip up in dire situations: this is mine. I’ll admit it’s far from the most ‘amazing’ or ‘indulgent’ treat, but it’s super simple, satisfying, and full of wholesome ingredients that make it an acceptable breakfast on-the-go. Cookies for breakfast? Need I say more?

I’ve made these cookies for the past year or so, and have created more varieties than I can keep track of. If chocolate is your thing, whisk in a tablespoon of cocoa powder into the applesauce mixture and add a bit more sweetener. You can also swap out the chocolate chips for dried fruit or nuts — or add them into the mix without penalty. I’ve also spiked the ‘dough’ with cinnamon or cardamom for a spiced treat, and added in super foods like chia or hemp seeds if I was in the mood – or attempting to make use of extras lurking in my pantry.

Try these treats out for a solo snack or to share with your favorites. Once you get the hang of this recipe, you can quickly mix it up without measuring. My advice is to taste a little of the raw ‘dough’ first to make sure it’s to your liking.

Hopefully my emergency cookie recipe serves you well! Please share any creative adaptations you make that are a hit in your kitchen.

Oat + Chocolate Chip ‘Breakfast Bite’ Cookies

Ingredients:

½ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tablespoons nut or seed butter
3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar (or 3-4 drops liquid stevia)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup quick cooking oats
2 tablespoons ground flax
¼ cup mini chocolate chips

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together applesauce, nut/seed butter, sugar (or stevia), vanilla and sea salt.

Stir in oats and flax until combined. Then stir in chocolate chips.

Use a mini school to portion cookies onto baking sheet. Can lightly press for a more ‘cookie’ appearance. Bake for 13-15 minutes.

chocolate chip cookies – to cure your cravings

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When I created this ‘chewy chocolate cookie‘ recipe – I received a lot of fan fare. I’ve heard that it’s been the winner in cookie contests (that featured traditional sweets) – and kids (of all ages) love them. One such fan requested a more basic chocolate chip cookie recipe that would satisfy cravings for the classic, all-time favorite treat. There’s nothing like warm chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven, right?

So, I got to experimenting and came out with this winning recipe on the first try (which NEVER happens!) – and I’m so excited to share it with you.

Like most of my treats, these cookies feature whole-grain oat flour and high-protein almond flour. They’re naturally sweetened with low-glycemic coconut sugar, and get richness from coconut oil . But most importantly, they taste pretty amazing.

They will make a great addition to your holiday baking line up and will appeal to your friends and family with special diets and/or healthy lifestyles.

Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

1 cup almond flour, packed
1 cup oat flour
¾ cup coconut palm sugar
2 tablespoons ground flax
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup liquid coconut oil*
1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ cup chocolate chips

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 350. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk almond flour, oat flour palm sugar, flax, baking powder, soda, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk coconut oil, applesauce, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry, and stir until evenly mixed. Add in chocolate chips and stir to combine.

Using a scant tablespoon, form dough into balls on baking sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes.

NOTE: If your coconut oil is solid, place it on the stove in a saucepan filled a few inches with simmering water until it liquifies. If you (or your tasters) don’t love the taste of coconut oil – substitute grapeseed oil.

Want more holiday baking inspiration? Try some of my other favorites perfect for sharing:

Jam Dot Cookies
Granola
Sesame Seed Brittle
Maple-Pecan Cookies

almond butter brownies

AB.BROWNIES

This recipe was inspired by a post I saw on Elana’s Pantry for blondies made with almond butter. Elana’s website is a fantastic resource for people with wheat allergies looking for simple, satisfying, sweet (and some savory) recipes.

While I don’t have allergies, I love that these brownies are protein packed, natrally sweet, and require only a few ingredients – that i always have in my pantry – so I can quickly whip them up when a chocolate craving strikes.

I used cacao powder and nibs in this recipe, but unsweetened cocoa powder works well and so do chocolate chips.

Try them out and let me know what you think!

Almond Butter Brownies with Cacao + Sea Salt Flakes

Ingredients:

16-oz jar of almond butter (I prefer Trader Joes creamy raw variety)
2 eggs
1 cup pure maple syrup
¼ cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon vanilla
¼ cup + 2 tablespoons cacao powder
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup cacao + extra for sprinkling on top
Sea salt flakes (optional)

Procedure:

Preheat oven to 325. Grease an 8 x 8 cake pan.

Using a hand mixer, blend almond butter until creamy. Add eggs, maple syrup, agave, vanilla, cacao, salt and baking powder; mix until fully combined. Stir in 1/4 cup cacao nibs.

Pour into prepared pan. You have the option to sprinkle extra cacao nibs and sea salt flakes for a crunch and enhanced flavor. Bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before cutting and serving.

easy, homemade hot cocoa

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Winter is here; the bitter cold has already made its debut, and the snow is just around the corner. Nothing melts away frozen feet and fingers like a good cup of hot chocolate. I have found myself craving this creamy treat, and wanted to share my oh-so-easy recipe. Throw away your sugar-laden and chemicalized packaged mixes! Instead, opt for a cup of this naturally sweet, yet decadent, delight.

Hot Cocoa

Ingredients:

1 cup milk or non-dairy milk (I prefer So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk)
1-2 tablespoons maple syrup or agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1-2 tablespoons cocoa or cacao powder

Procedure:

Heat milk, maple syrup, and vanilla in a small sauce pan. Whisk in cocoa powder until all lumps are removed. Serve in your favorite mug.