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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Honey Almond Coconut Oil Granola

{My Sunday morning view}


I feel like I am always saying this…. but sorry for my long blogging absence! I always feel so badly when I fall off the face of the blogging world, I really do! I've kept up with my Gratitude Project in the "Notes" app on my iPhone, and I will be continuing that very soon here on my blog. I was craving an acai bowl this morning, and I wanted granola on top of it, so I whipped up this delicious little dime of a recipe! It's good and healthy, too, so don't feel bad grabbing handfuls of this once it has cooled off like I did! I also love this on top of Greek yogurt! Enjoy the recipe, and let me know if you make it! Happy Cooking!






Ingredients
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered or diced almonds
1 cup raw cashews, chopped (Just ran my knife through them for a rough chop)
3/4 cup shredded coconut (I used unsweetened but you can use whatever you like!) 

1-2 tbs chia seeds (optional)1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey 
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons organic maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 teaspoon salt (I used Maldon… it's my favorite!) 
1 cup raisins or dried cranberries or apricots (you can get creative here… I used cranberries) 

Sprinkle of cinnamon 


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Combine the oats, nuts, coconut, chia seeds (if using), and whatever dried fruit you are using.  In a smaller bowl, combine maple syrup, honey, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures, and pour onto 2 baking sheets covered in parchment paper. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color. Remove from oven and let cool.

 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Apple Cinnamon Protein Bars.


In my quest to eat healthy, the thing that always trips me up is what to have for an afternoon snack. I try to stick with something full of protein, for sure. When I found this recipe for Apple Cinnamon Protein Bars, I knew I had to try them! The original recipe was a little dry, so I added almond milk to make it just perfect! I absolutely love these bars for a quick, take-anywhere snack! Here is the recipe:

APPLE CINNAMON PROTEIN BARS

  1. Spray an 8x8 Pyrex dish with non-stick spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine protein powder, almond meal, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Whisk together and set aside.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine egg whites, stevia or honey, almond milk, cottage cheese and vanilla. Whisk until well incorporated and then add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix again.
  3. Fold in grated apple and mix until combined.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 mins, until completely done. Test to see if they are done by sticking a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, they are done! If there is wet batter on the toothpick, stick them back in the oven for a few minutes. It always takes mine 30-35 mins to get completely done. To stop the top from browning as much, cover with foil. There are 64 calories and 8 grams of protein per square!

I have another variation that I will share later! SO GOOD! This is my new favorite afternoon or pre-workout snack! Enjoy!

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Gratitude Project.


{Happy Easter!}


1. My Grandmother's 92nd Birthday -    92. Just stop and think about that number for a second…The number "92" has a lot behind it. In my grandmother's case, she has a lot of life-well-lived behind that number. She has a lot of wonderful, special memories behind that number. And most importantly, she has created a legacy in those 92 years that will live on for generations to come! I'm so thankful for her, and for the immense amount of love she shows me on a daily basis! I'm grateful she taught me how to make biscotti. I'm grateful she taught me how to sew on a button. I'm grateful for all the things she taught my mother because now I'm learning those things, too. I'm grateful that she calls my voicemail and leaves sweet voicemails ending with "Love, Mom." Just like you would when you write a letter. So cute! I'm grateful for many more things regarding her and our relationship, and thank the Lord for blessing her (and us) with 92 years on this earth!

2. Easter - This is a given, of course, but I wanted to mention what a blessed day I had! For starters, it was beautiful outside! Our church service just blew me away. The music was incredibly moving, which is my favorite part of worship, and the message hit me to my core. What an overwhelming amazing gift we were given on that day! Now THAT is something to be grateful for!

3. The color green - As in grass, trees, and all the beautiful things sprouting up from the ground now that Spring is here! This might seem random, but it is indeed something I am grateful to see and experience on a daily basis. In 2012, we spent February - April in Arizona. Spring was in full-force when we arrived, but all I saw was brown. Brown houses, brown rooftops, brown yards (most people have loose rocks in their front yards). I saw very little springtime color that spring…. Until I arrived in Tennessee a week into April. A friend picked me up from the airport, and on the way home I couldn't get over how green everything was! It was EVERYWHERE! I couldn't believe how something I usually take for granted - and something so simple - was that beautiful to see! My friend looked at me like I was crazy, because of course, this beauty had been unfolding around her all month long. She was used to it. You don't remember how beautiful spring can be when you're gone for so long. This year, I look out my car window while driving and see vibrant green everywhere I look. It's the little things in life, but this "little" thing is all around us. And I happen to be very grateful to see and experience it!

4. Opening Day of Baseball - I would not be being true to myself -or this blog- if I did not add this one today. Today, April 6th, is MLB's Opening Day. As you can imagine, the past 24 hours have been emotional ones in our house. One year ago, I would NOT have been able to add this to a "Gratitude Project" list. Truth be told (and where else than my very own blog can I be 100% truthful, bad or good)  I am just now able to be comfortable adding it today…but still have a long way to go until I'm truly THERE. That being said, I am grateful for days like today because of what it gave my husband… and indirectly, what it gave me. My friend posted a "Happy Opening Day" quote on Facebook page, and I will leave that below for you to read. It sums up how my husband felt about playing baseball, and I guess the purpose of adding this to the list today is how grateful I am not for baseball itself but for the opportunities it gives people… mostly importantly, the opportunity it gave my husband to have a lifelong dream come TRUE!