Saturday, May 31, 2014

Chocolate Quinoa Granola

Stone Soup published my recipe a few months back but I realized that I never shared it with you all on the blog! It combines two of my favorite things...chocolate AND quinoa.

As you know I prefer simple recipes that yield delightful results and this is definitely one of those recipes. Feel free to make modifications and make it your own. Either way I am sure you will be happy with the product.

Makes 5 cups

- 2 cups rolled oats
- ½ cup quinoa
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- ⅓ cup dried cherries
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- 3 tablespoons 100% maple syrup (add one more tbsp if your mixture seems dry)
- ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips (added after baking)

1. Preheat the oven to 350°
2. Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients. Slowly pour the wet ingredients (while stirring) over the dry ingredients until everything is evenly covered and combined.
3. Spread the mixture onto a baking sheet covered with a piece of parchment paper. Put the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes (check at 15 minutes to make sure the granola is browning evenly on the sheet).
4.  With oven mitts, remove the baking sheet from the oven. Evenly sprinkle the chocolate chips over the cooling granola. Let the pan cool on a heat resistant surface. Once cooled, pick up the edges of the parchment paper and the granola will break into oat clusters.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Macadamia Nut Pancakes & Tropical Green Smoothies

About 3 years ago, my mom came home from a ski trip out in Colorado with this magical recipe for pancakes. They were perfectly dense, buttery and by far some of the best pancakes I had ever had. Unfortunately, the recipe called for lots and lots of butter, white flour and buttermilk.
I think it is absolutely fine to have them in their original form on occasion, but since I have such a serious pancake habit, I needed to figure out a healthier way to enjoy them.

- 1/4 cup macadamia nuts (crushed)
- 3/4 cup oats
- 3/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup water
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
- 3/4 cup oats
- 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1 egg (lightly beaten)
- 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted)
- 1 tbsp maple syrup

1. In a bowl whisk together the Greek yogurt and water until smooth and evenly combined (sort of like a thin buttermilk).
2. Measure out 3/4 cup of the yogurt mixture and soak the oats in a separate bowl for 5-10 minutes.
3. In a larger bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.
4. Now gently stir in the oat mixture, remaining yogurt mixture, egg, coconut oil and maple syrup into the dry ingredients. Mix just until combined and let sit for 5 minutes.
5. Lightly grease (I used coconut oil) a skillet over medium to medium-high heat. For each pancake  pour 1/4 - 1/3 cup batter (depending on how big you want your pancake) onto the skillet and wait until air bubbles start to develop on the surface before you flip it.
6. Plate pancakes and garnish with some whole macadamia nuts and whipped cream if you're feeling fancy!

Looking for something a little lighter...possibly a tad greener? Well I think my Tropical Green Smoothie should do the trick!

- 2 handfuls fresh spinach
- 1 cup water (you can use ice or a plant-based milk instead)
- 3/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
- 1 banana
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup rolled oats

1. If your blender is anything like mine, you're better off blending the spinach and water first (on high) and then adding in the remaining ingredients. Blend until completely smooth.
2. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate for later!