Chunky Coconut Granola (Clean)

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How is it already Saturday? I was so looking forward to using this October break productively. I was going to finish all my college essays and come up with a Math IA topic and finish my Extended Essay and study for my upcoming math integration test and my psychology socio-cultural level of analysis test and get started on writing my psych IA and oh god I’ve done nothing. Well, then again, I didn’t do nothing. I mean, I did watch more movies than I’d normally watch in half a year, and I finished a book. Oh – and I ate a lot of food. That counts for something, right?

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I just read my first Lee Child book – Killing Floor. It’s the first book in the Jack Reacher series and I have to admit that I was mildly disappointed. Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe the book just wasn’t as good as it’s hyped up to be. I watched the movie afterwards, which was based on a different book in the series, and I feel like I could pretty much predict aspects of every story in the series. Always has to be a damsel in distress (or any hostage really), a betrayal, a car being tailed, and Reacher shoving his thumbs in someone’s eyes. Has anyone read the whole series? Am I close?

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Oops I haven’t even told you anything about this recipe yet. I’m tired and cold. Forgive me.

Now, I have a lot of granola recipes, but this one is definitely a favourite. I’m not usually the biggest fan of coconut-flavored things, but this is seriously amazing. The granola is suuper chunky. You know granola’s gonna be chunky when the whole sheet of it just sticks together and you can break it into chunks as big as you’d like. Check this out (warning – bad quality phone pictures incoming):

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“Is that what I think it is?” YES. It’s a giant sheet of granola. You could’ve broken it in half and called it reaaally chunky granola.

Point is, this granola gives you the clusters of your dreams, and is infused with such an aromatic and sweet coconut flavour that you will not be able to resist.

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Chunky Coconut Granola

Adapted from Minimalist Baker

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (135g) old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup (40g) toasted and salted coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup (80g) raw almonds, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (25g) raw pecans, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (12g) coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons (45ml) coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celsius or 325 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the oats, coconut flakes, almonds, pecans, coconut sugar, and salt
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the coconut oil and maple syrup over low heat and whisk until fully combined. Add in the vanilla sugar and whisk to combine.
  4. Pour the coconut oil mixture over the dry ingredients and stir together until the dry ingredients are thoroughly coated in the coconut oil mixture
  5. Spread the granola mixture evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet and bake for approximately 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, turn the pan around so that the granola bakes evenly, and bake for another 5-7 minutes. Granola has a tendency to be a little unpredictable in the oven, so keep and eye on it to make sure it doesn’t burn.
  6. When the granola is golden brown, remove from oven and allow it to cool completely before breaking it into chunks. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Banana Spiced Pancakes with Pumpkin Fro-Yo (Clean)

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This one day during September, my inbox began filling up with pumpkin recipes from all the blogs that I follow, and that’s when I realised that I should probably get started on these pumpkin recipes, so today I’m giving you not one, but two pumpkin recipes!

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Here in Beijing, the temperatures are still in the high 20s, so part of this recipe is a Summer-Fall hybrid. Pumpkin Fro-Yo. All the flavours of Fall, but still keeping the temperature cool for Summer. If you’re not really up for cold food, don’t worry! The pancakes are hot and full of cozy spices, and of course, you can (should) top the whole stack off with a warm chocolate drizzle. Chocolate is great. It’s available year-round and it makes everything better.

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Also – did I mention that the frozen yogurt is only 4 ingredients? Yaaay!

Pancakes are my go-to breakfast these days. I like to make a large batch of them over the weekend and keep them in my fridge or freezer. They’re a perfect grab-and-go breakfast, which is essential now that swim training has started. Having breakfast ready everyday is the ultimate time-saver to maximise my much-needed sleep.

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Pumpkin Banana Spiced Pancakes with Pumpkin Fro-Yo 

Ingredients

For the pancakes:

  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup soy milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon melted coconut oil

For the frozen yogurt:

  • 1 cup vanilla greek yogurt
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Melted chocolate, optional but recommended
Method
  1. For the fro-yo, mix everything together in a large mixing bowl until completely combined
  2. *Churn the mixture in an ice cream maker until it is a smooth and has thickened. Store in freezer.
  3. For the pancakes, in a mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon
  4. In another bowl, whisk together the soy milk, vinegar, egg, pumpkin puree, banana, and melted coconut oil
  5. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and fold until just combined
  6. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and scoop on 1/4-1/3 cup of batter
  7. Cook until bubbles appear and the sides start to dry before flipping. Cook another minute or so
  8. Repeat with the remaining batter.
  9. To assemble, stack the pancakes and top with a scoop of the fro-yo and a generous drizzle of melted chocolate. Enjoy!

*If you don’t have an ice cream maker, place the bowl in the freezer and stir the mixture every half hour until it reaches desired consistency

Blueberry Almond Granola (Clean)

YAY FOR MORE BREAKFAST FOODS!

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I know that I recently posted breakfast cookies, but c’mon you can’t get enough of breakfast foods, right? I would totally be up for having breakfast for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but that’s not really likely to happen. Well, it might. Come to think of it, that should be something on my (nonexistent) bucket list – eat breakfast all day. Hell yes. I’ll make a mental note to do that for my birthday. Just kidding, my birthday’s on a Monday. I just googled (or Yahoo-ed, because my VPN is being a b****) National Breakfast Day and apparently that’s sometime in early March. Seriously? Okay, you know what – I’ll add that to my baking bucket list. I know, it doesn’t really count, but shhh…

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Alright – back to the reason you’re here: granola.

Lemme tell you a little story. One day I came home to find this a bunch of packages of food on our dining room table, and I was so excited. Unshelled macadamias – so good! I just sat there for a good half hour or so breaking apart macadamias, feeling especially proud whenever I broke off the shell and was left with a full, gorgeous, sweet, and aromatic macadamia. Sorry jk that’s irrelevant, but as I was saying, there were a bunch of packages of food, including unshelled nuts and nougats and – dried blueberries. There was this pretty big package and inside it were these perfect snack-sized packages of dried blueberries. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of eating dried fruit. If it’s in a salad or in granola, I love it, but by itself? Nah.

So, eventually we (mostly my mom and grandma) finished off the little packages of dried blueberries, and my mom decided to order another package online. Somehow, she managed to order 5 packages – each with like, 20 mini-packages inside. Okay, that’s a lot of dried blueberries. But then, as a baker, I was like, I CAN BAKE THIS INTO STUFF! I usually don’t bake with dried blueberries because they’re slightly costly and we don’t usually have them around, but now we had a good bunch of dried blueberries, so I went hunting on the web before facepalming and thinking – duh, granola.

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And now we’re here.

Here, with this aromatic almond granola that’s studded with sweet, sweet dried blueberries. Cases like these – dried fruit tastes so darn good.

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I don’t know why I haven’t tried this combo before. I’ve done lots of blueberry-white chocolate, but never blueberry-almond. That’s about to change. This is seriously such a good combo. I’ve been throwing handfuls of this granola into all my nana ice creams and onto my smoothies (after I take a photo, of course, because otherwise you wouldn’t be able to see the ice cream/smoothie underneath. Yes, I do put on that much granola).

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Blueberry Almond Granola

Adapted from Recipe Runner

Ingredients

  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup silvered almonds
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, almonds, salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar until fully combined
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, honey, almond extract, and vanilla extract
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir together until well combined
  5. Spread the granola onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper
  6. Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown, making sure to remove the granola from the oven and stirring it to ensure that it bakes evenly
  7. After the granola is done, stir in the dried blueberries and allow to cool. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies (Clean)

Healthy oatmeal cookies are my life right now! My old go-to snack were healthy muffins, but now, cookies have undoubtedly taken first place (sorry, muffins, I still love you).

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Where do I start with these cookies?

They’re gluten-free, and aren’t insanely sweet like your average cookie, which means that you can eat two (or three!) without feeling sickly full. Nevertheless, they’ve definitely got that comforting oatmeal flavor, which pairs beautifully with the subtle, fruity flavor of cranberries and the undeniable richness of the dark chocolate chunks.

Gotta say – the dark chocolate chunks are probably my favorite part. Chocolate chunks in any recipe will be my favorite part.When it comes to chocoholics like me, it’s inevitable, and when I say chocoholic, I mean chocoholic. I can’t (okay, rarely) go a day without eating chocolate. I just indulged in a decent bunch of chocolate truffles, the ones with the crispy little pieces inside. They’re so good, and apparently each one is over 100kcal but that didn’t stop me from eating 5. You see where I’m going with this? If I ever decided to do a calorie-restricting diet (FYI: never happening), I’d insist that chocolate doesn’t count towards my daily calorie count. How could it? Chocolate is a joy in life that must not be denied.

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But moving on from the chocolate, these cookies are seriously the perfect snack. They’re filling, and satisfy your sweet tooth. I actually like to stick them into my nana ice creams, mostly because aesthetics, but I’m always incorporating these cookies into my nana ice creams and it’s become an obsession. I can’t get enough. I’ve been luxuriating in nana ice cream with cookies and the weather’s still hanging around the negatives. See? I’ve been willing to sacrifice my scarce warmth for the sake of nana ice cream with these amazing oatmeal cookies. I hope you’re convinced – these cookies are the s**t.

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Oh, and LEO WON AN OSCAARRR!

Fun fact: He’s a vegetarian

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One last side note – be gentle when chopping up cranberries. They do not go down without a fight. As I was chopping them up, I had to gently squish them with the knife. If I dared to get aggressive, they would too, shooting out streaks of deep red juice, leaving every object within a 2-meter radius (including me) covered in red dots. Lesson learned: cranberries like to die a slow, gentle death.

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(Update Mar 8. 2016:  I made another batch of those cranberry and dark chocolate oatmeal cookies three days ago, and now there’s only one left. They’re that good. That’s like, 5 cookies a day. I have no regrets.)

Cranberry and Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Adapted from Amy’s Healthy Baking

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (100g) quick-cooking/instant oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
  • ¾ cup (90g) whole wheat or gluten-free flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup (120mL) maple syrup or honey
  • ½ cup (55g) cranberries, chopped*
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
*You can also use frozen cranberries that have been thawed
Method
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oats, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, vanilla extract, and maple syrup. Fold in the flour mixture until just combined, before folding in the cranberries and 2 tablespoons of the dark chocolate
  3. Chill the cookie dough in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit or 160 degrees Celsius
  4. Place the cookie dough in 12-15 rounded scoops onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten them into desired thickness and size. The cookies won’t spread much or change shape as they bake. Press on the remaining chocolate pieces on top and bake for 9-12 minutes
  5. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks

Nutella Granola (Cheat)

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Remember what I said in my last post? About my next post being one dedicated to chocolate? Well, here ya go. Granola – covered in chocolate.

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Well, covered in Nutella, but same thing.

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Fine, fine, you get a whole cup of chocolate chips in there too.

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Before I continue rambling on about the beauty of chocolate, I’d like to address a very important issue.

SIMPLE PLAN’S NEW ALBUM IS OUT!!!!

Ok, it came out on Friday, but I’m still in disbelief. This is one solid album.

Preface: I am the biggest Simple Plan fan you’ll ever meet (or just…see online I guess). Did you think that I was crazy about All Time Low the last time I spazzed about an album? Well, I do, but Simple Plan was the first band I ever listened to. They were the ones who led me to discover All Time Low and all my other favourite bands. Not to mention, the only reason I was on YouTube at the time was to watch Simple Plan music videos and interviews, which is how I came across Amasic and danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil and, perhaps most importantly, SORTED Food. That, is what sparked my love for baking. The whole chain of band-love led me to follow Jenna McDougall of Tonight Alive on Instagram, who posted something about Organic Burst, which led me to spend hours reading up on healthy baking, and look where I am today. I owe EVERYTHING to Simple Plan. It’s a far stretch, but it’s true. If I hadn’t become a hardcore SP Astronaut, this blog may not even exist. *Mind blown*

Anyways, back to that album. Some people say that it takes really long for Simple Plan to release new albums, but they do a lot of touring and put a lot of time and effort into each album, but it’s definitely all worth it.

The new album’s called Taking One For The Team, and it’s literally such a perfect album. After straying a little too far into the “pop” genre in their last album, Get Your Heart On!, they’ve really gone full circle and traced back to their roots, while still presenting unique songs that keep us fans on our toes.

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Alright here I go with trying to fit my happily chaotic thoughts into words. Just like in my recipe index, *=golistentothisnowitwillchangeyourlife favourites (at least from this album)

  1. *Opinion Overload – When I first heard Simple Plan say that this was going to be a song inspired by their more punk-rock roots, I was excited! Then I heard the song, and they did not let me down. The music video is similar to I’d Do Anything and the lyrics deal with a similar subject as Shut Up, both from their debut album No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls. The song is upbeat and I’m pretty sure it’s a big f-you to everyone who ever disapproved or doubted Simple Plan’s varying styles. A punk-rock response to those who said they weren’t punk-rock enough. Golden. (I just realised that this is the ONLY Simple Plan song in which the title isn’t a lyric in the chorus. omg what)
  2. Boom! – If you’re a fan of any pop punk band, go check out that video. Right now.
  3. Kiss Me (Like Nobody’s Watching) – You know those sweet lovey-dovey mellow love songs? This isn’t one of them (Perfectly Perfect is, but I’ll talk about that one later). I’m not saying it’s not sweet, it is, but the mood of the song is similar to Singing in the Rain (again, I’ll get to that later). It’s a very…happy song. Man, that’s such a bad adjective. Oh, I’ve found the right word. It’s a playful love song, which is something that you don’t get to hear everyday. SP has aced the playful-love-song song.
  4. *Farewell (Feat. Jordan Pundik) – I LOVE this! All the components come together to make this a real proper pop-punk song. The rhythms and the melody and the lyrics are all spot-on. At the same time, it doesn’t remind me of any other bands. It’s purely Simple Plan, who always experiments with merging genres, but always write songs in which the beats and notes just scream Simple Plan!
  5. Singing in the Rain – There are two different kinds of songs that make you feel better when you’re down. There’s the kind of sad song that sympathises with you, and you feel like you’re not alone. Then, there’s the kind of upbeat song that makes you want to flip off anyone who doesn’t believe in you and dance around feeling invincible. This one falls under the latter category. It’s a song that addresses the fact that you don’t need to let words and unwanted changes affect you and bring you down. The song never fails to make me smile (it’s only been like 2 days since the album came out but so far it’s boosted my mood every time). The mood of this song is so happy with the kind of tunes that you’ll want to whistle along to (if you could whistle, which I can’t).
  6. Everything Sucks (Feat. R. City) – I don’t want to start sounding repetitive, but this is…really upbeat. Ok, I’ll try to stop calling everything upbeat, but like 80% of the album has really amazingly upbeat songs. This one’s a little more pop-y, but it’s definitely still under that Simple-Plan-pop-punk category. All of these songs deal with kinda sad topics, but in a cheerful way. This one’s about heartbreak, but if you couldn’t understand the lyrics, you probably wouldn’t believe that. Oh, by the way, this song’s got a cool bridge. That key change tho.
  7. I Refuse – I’m a sucker for joint-singing. I don’t know if “joint-singing” is a legit term but if you listen to the song you’ll probably get what I’m saying. The “joint-singing” thing just works so well with this song and it’s topic. It just gives the whole song a reinforced vibe. I know, that doesn’t really make sense, but if you hear it I promise you’ll get it.
  8. I Don’t Wanna Go To Bed (Feat. Nelly) – I was blown away at the first line. Not necessarily in a good or bad way, but I was like dayum. It isn’t the typical SP song, but then again, they’re always experimenting, and to be honest, it really isn’t bad. Guaranteed, I wouldn’t want the whole album to be that kind of style, but this one’s pretty good.
  9. Nostalgic – THE LYRICS! They’re so sweet! Ahh! Awh! Simple Plan always writes really simple lyrics, nothing too fancy and poetic, but at the same time, they just work so well, which is definitely the case in this song.
  10. **Perfectly Perfect – GO LISTEN TO THIS. It’s the mellow lovey-dovey song that I mentioned earlier. It’s honestly the sweetest thing. I don’t know what else to say. It’s so sweet. I’m listening to it as I type and I’m just like awh awh awh that’s the sweetest thing to say. If anyone wrote this song for me, I would marry them on the spot.
  11. I Don’t Wanna Be Sad – This is another one of those songs that deals with upsetting moments in a cheerful way. I could totally just jump around to this song and singing it at the top of my lungs. I can also imagine an entire crowd of people singing this at a SP concert. It’s just one of those anthem-y songs.
  12. P.S. I Hate You – Does this remind you of All Time Low? It reminds me of All Time Low. Maybe it’s the “Dear ____” part, but the whole song just has this All Time Low vibe to it, and I’m loving it.
  13. ***Problem Child – The first time I heard this song, I cried. I don’t just mean that I felt like crying, I mean my mouth hung open and I looked down at the floor, shaking slightly as my eyes watered and tears fell when I blinked. All components of the song just fit so perfectly together, from the lyrics to the melody to the emotion that Pierre expresses, especially in the last chorus. He’s seriously amazing. A guy in his thirties who can still belt out lyrics in such a way that struggling teenagers can relate to. He sings with so much emotion. There’s no other way to put it. As for the lyrics – they aren’t cliché. As common as the theme of the song may be, the lyrics just WORK so well. It deals with the struggles of those who want to make their parents proud, yet end up making mistakes and feeling like a burden. As I had the album on “shuffle”, 9/10 times, I had to skip this song, because it instantly puts my heart into a fragile state and I shiver as goosebumps break out on my skin. It’s a throwback to the band’s most iconic song – Perfect (2002).
  14. I Dream About You (Feat. Juliet Simms) – Wow. This one has such a different mood to it. It kind of reminds me of Simple Plan’s self titled album from 2008, where they tried out some seriously different stuff. This one’s not the typical jumpy (I tried to stop using the word upbeat and here I am calling songs “jumpy”…) song. It’s dramatic af. Like, deep and dark and dramatic. I think it’s really cool, but in my opinion, it doesn’t seem like the kind of song to end an album on. They usually have their most emotional song last, or second last, so I think that their should have either had Problem Child be the last song, or end on a happy note with any of the jumpy songs.

I knew I made a good choice by calling these guys my favourite band. Forever and always an Astronaut x

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Alright, as promised, I’ll talk about nutella granola now. I’m giving y’all a five-ingredient nutella granola recipe. How does that sound? Can I get a hell-yess?

So the basis of most granola recipes consists of oats, nuts, oil, and sweetener. This one has got the oats, obviously. Then, the nuts of choice are hazelnuts, obviously. The choice of oil is…Nutella. Ok, that came out wrong. I omitted the oil and used Nutella, because, although they’re not the same thing, they’re similar in consistency. My sweetener of choice was some maple syrup because why not. Lastly, the thing that takes this to a whole ‘nother level is chocolate. A cup of it. Whether you want to use chocolate chips or chopped chocolate is up to you, but seriously do not omit that chocolate. You’ll thank me later.

Can we just take a moment to appreciate Nutella, though?

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*drools*

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Nutella Granola

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup Nutella
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup hazelnuts, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees Celsius
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir the Nutella and maple syrup together. If it’s too sticky, you can microwave it at 10 second intervals until it’s smooth. Stir in the oats and hazelnuts until everything’s completely combined
  3. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for approximately 20 minutes, stirring at 10 minutes. Keep an eye on it, as I’ve found granola’s to be quite unpredictable when it comes to baking (and burning!)
  4. Allow the granola to cool for 10 minutes before sprinkling the chocolate over it, and letting it cool completely before breaking apart. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Salted Chocolate-Covered Caramels (Clean)

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Has anyone noticed that it’s been way too long since I last posted a recipe involving chocolate? Seriously – the last chocolate-focused recipe I’ve posted is the unbelievably healthy beetroot chocolate microwave cake over a month ago (gasp)! That was a damn good recipe, but then again, that’s no excuse for the lack of chocolate on this blog these days.

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So – although not completely chocolate-focused (ok I’ll try to make my next post ridiculously chocolate-y), these are salted chocolate-covered caramel bites, and they are so goodNot to mention refined sugar-free, oil-free, gluten-free, and vegan! Not to mention that you only need 6 main ingredients; 4 if you’re not making chocolate coating from scratch!

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Remember that 2-ingredient date caramel I made a while back? Yeah, this is pretty much a fancied-up version of that. I love the date caramel, but I gotta admit, this recipe kicks it’s ass.

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You know what’s really good? Chocolate. You know what else is really good? Caramel. You know what’s really really good? Salted chocolate AND salted caramel! How could you not be excited about that?? And it’s pretty much naturally sweetened? And like pretty good for you? Are you feeling me here?

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Don’t you even try to tell me that dates aren’t like caramel. Ok, if you just pop a date in your mouth, it doesn’t scream caramel, but when you blend it all up and it gets all sticky – trust me. You’ll be fooling everyone, including yourself.

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Salted Chocolate-Covered Caramels

Ingredients

  • 15 medjool dates (approx. 130g without pits)
  • 1 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoon + 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted*
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder*
  • 2-3 tablespoons maple syrup (or sweetener of choice)*
  • Flaky sea salt

*You can also melt dark chocolate over a double boiler or melt it in the microwave at 15-second intervals

Method

  1. Soak the dates in the boiling water for 20-60 minutes until softened. Remove the dates from the water, but don’t dispose the water
  2. Pit the dates if they haven’t already be pitted, and place them in a food processor with 1/4 cup of water and 1 tbsp of coconut oil and combine until smooth. The mixture should be relatively sticky
  3. Roll the mixture into truffle-sized balls, about a heaped tablespoon at a time. Transfer the caramels onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes while preparing the chocolate coating
  4. Whisk together the 1/2 cup coconut oil, cacao powder, and maple syrup until well-combined
  5. Remove the caramels from the fridge, and use a fork to dip them individually into the chocolate coating mixture. Place them back onto the baking sheet lined with parchment paper for the chocolate coating to set. Before the chocolate coating sets completely, sprinkle a little bit of flaky sea salt over it. Repeat with the rest of the caramels
  6. Allow the chocolate coating to set. Store in fridge or freezer.

Peanut Butter Granola (Clean)

It’s my first post of 2016! And I’ve decided to post….peanut butter granola.

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Okay, I know, it doesn’t sound like the most fancy and impressive thing, but sometimes it’s important to enjoy simple things…like peanut butter granola, which as a matter of fact, is absolutely delicious and awesome. If you follow my Instagram you may notice that it’s in practically every recent photo of nana ice cream or smoothie bowls.

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Now, homemade granola is something that I’ve been making for forever and it’s a staple in my pantry, but I get it if it seems a little intimidating at first. Just trust me on this one. Homemade granola’s are the best. They’re cheaper than store-bought granola, not to mention way healthier and crazily customizable. You could make pineapple-almond-cinnamon-nutmeg-matcha granola at home if you wanted, but you wouldn’t see that on a grocery store shelf! Speaking of customizable granola, you can check out all my other granola recipes here, which include mocha chocolate granola, cinnamon banana nut granola, oat-less granola, 7-ingredient granola chunks, and honey almond “quinola”.

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Peanut Butter Granola

Adapted from Whole and Heavenly Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup peanuts
  • 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 1/4 cup unrefined coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten until foamy
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees Celsius or 300 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the oats, peanuts, shredded coconut, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut sugar, cinnamon, and salt
  3. In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut oil and peanut butter and stir until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and add in the maple syrup, egg white, and vanilla extract
  4. Pour the liquid mixture into the dry mixture and stir until combined
  5. Spread the mixture in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 25-30 minutes*. Allow to cool completely before breaking into clusters. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

*Baking time may vary. I’ve made granola many times and sometimes they’ll take longer than others, so use 25-30 as a general guide to when your granola should be done, but trust your instincts and use common sense as well 🙂