One week…

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I did it!!!

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Well, almost. I walked this weekend, which means there is only one more advent calendar baked good between me and me officially having my masters. That and one presentation… as one of my cohort peeps so accurately said “It’s like going back to the Dursleys after spending a year at Hogwarts”. TRUER WORDS NEVER SPOKEN. Sheesh. Nothing like getting hooded and walking in your graduation to go right back to editing your slides for the looming presentation… but whatever. Almost there!

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One more week.

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And in the meantime, I have baked goods. Or rather, a no-bake treat since it’s bloody hot out and I’m not about to turn on the oven. But if I have to work on practicum stuff, you better believe I’m going to have something interesting to eat.

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Fast, easy, and delicious. These kind of remind me of a gourmet PB&J…. except better! And they’re cold. Which is bueno when it’s so hot outside, and you want a treat that feels more like real food (ie. me every day).

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So! Next time I blog I will be DONE DONE DONE DONE.

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Hayley Scott, Master of Public Health. Hmm… that has a nice ring to it :)

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Almond Butter Raspberry Chia Bars

Gluten free, vegan, refined sugar free. Healthy fats, antioxidants, and chocolate. YAY! All the good things. Yield: 1 loaf pan. Recipe lightly adapted from This Rawsome Vegan Life, here!

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  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 1/4 c ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 c almond butter (mine was salted)
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 c frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 4 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/3 c extra dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
  • unsweetened shredded coconut, for garnish

In a smallish bowl, mash together thawed raspberries and chia seeds. Let sit while you make the rest of the bar crust.

Line a bread pan with parchment paper. In a vitamix or food processor, process the oats until they become flour. Toss into a bowl with the flaxseed, almond butter, maple, vanilla, and cinnamon. Stir (or use your hands, it’s more fun) everything together until it all comes together. Press all this goodness into the prepared pan. Set aside for a hot minute.

The raspberry-chia jam should have thickened by this point. Spread it on top of the almond butter-oat mixture in the prepared pan.

In another smallish bowl, melt chocolate chips and coconut oil until melty enough that you can stir it all together sans lumps. Spread this on top of the raspberry layer in the pan, then top with shredded coconut if that’s your thing. Toss it all into the fridge for about an hour before slicing and serving!

Store in the fridge.

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All things legume

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Apparently I’m on a roll with the barz here… this isn’t intentional (and they do get a little redundant to photograph after awhile), but I guess legume-based dessert barz are my jam these days. Who knew.

BECAUSE THEY’RE AMAZING!

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Or maybe because I’m obsessed with all things legume. Whatever, one of my nicknames is Lentil for a reason…

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Also, I inadvertently had ice cream for dinner last Friday night. Sometimes, you just gotta do what you gotta do. See below for photographic evidence. I’ll give you one measly guess which one is mine…

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But back to barz. I’ll address your concern: no, you can’t taste the lentils (much like the time I made red lentil coconut ice cream — you get the earthiness from the lentils but once they’re hangin out with cashew butter and maple, your tastebuds don’t go LENTILS?! WTF?! No no. They’re actually a very neutral flavor. What’s more (because, there’s always more; just like parenthetical asides within a parenthetical aside; redundant much?! Jeez), the lentils add a whambam, no nonsense, whole food protein punch to your dessert, which is just winning in my book). I have other lentil barz on the blog but these are my favorites. They present kind of like an oatmeal cookie, with a similar texture, and I’m all over it.

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ALSO. By virtue of the fact that these are… virtuous… they qualify for breakfast-snack-lunch-snack-dinner-dessert; or some combination to that effect. You know, because LENTILS and OATS and CHOCOLATE. Which also happen to be three of my very fave things. I’m reserving them for dessert, for now… but I may have evened off a sliver to go with my breakfast. I mean, come on… the edge was uneven. You can’t have uneven bar cookies, it’s a crime. Luckily I am very adept (I learned this skill from my similarly-adept mother) at trimming and neatening all baked goods. It’s an essential skill, right up there with smoothing and leveling off the ice cream (though that one, I learned from my gram who was extremely wise in these kinds of things).

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So, barz. Sorry this is pretty much the umpteenth bar recipe on here and about the elevendyith that is made with a legume of some sort, but I’ve just been too lazy for indivudual cookies lately, and big chewy squares of bar cookie with a fork have been very appealing (they’re also fast, excellent when you’ve been out of the house for 12 hours including a workout, you’re famished and a nutrient-dense, satisfying sweet treat is necessary).

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Oaty Cashew Butter Lentil Bars

Vegan, gluten free, refined sugar free, soy free. And delicious! They are lightly sweet and satisfying (both taste testers concurred, and one of them likes really sweet things — I’m looking at you, Vacuum Vati!), so they appeal to a broad range of tastes. Recipe yield is one 8 by 8 pan, and is inspired by Ambitious Kitchen, here.

  • 1/2 c red lentils (dry), rinsed
  • 1/2 c cashew butter
  • 1/3 c pure maple syrup
  • 1 flax egg (1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water; let sit 5 minutes)
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • heaping 1/4 c cashew meal
  • heaping 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips

In a small saucepan, combine red lentils and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15-20 minutes. Lentils are done when soft and all of the water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool. Once they’re cool, puree them with a tablespoon or two of water in the food processor, until smooth. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8 by 8 pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together cashew butter, maple syrup, and vanilla (if your cashew butter is cold, arm strength is necessary… think of it as part of your workout). Once combined, stir in flax egg and pureed lentils. On top of all that, toss in the oats, cashew meal, sea salt, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Stir until combined. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, and smoothy smooth out the top if that’s your thing. Pop them into the oven for 28-35 minutes — 28 will give you gooey bars, and more like 33 will give you dense and chewy ones (I prefer the latter). For the chewy, dense bars at about 33 minutes, the top should be firm to the touch, and a tester should come out nearly clean with a few crumbs.

Store covered in the fridge for extra chewyness (my fave).

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Messy blobs of Jackson Pollock ice cream

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Trashed up desserts are the best kind of desserts.

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I usually find that ice cream and rainbow sprinkles are my preferred trashing-up methods of choice… and once the ice cream starts melting, you can go all Jackson Pollock on your dessert. This method is especially fun when there is drizzly caramel involved, obviously.

Apologies for the lousy photos… Realized this was too good not to share when I was in the process of annihilating it. Let’s just go along with the Jackson Pollock theme, hooookay?! And actually, I’m kind of loving the messy blobs of ice cream…

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And yes, this ice cream does contain eggs and dairy. If you follow me regularly, you’ll know that over a month ago I was told I had an intolerance to a bunch of different foods (after feeling like garbage for three months), so I went cold turkey and stopped eating all of them for a month. And I felt exactly the same (ie, crappy) for that whole month. So, I am a) back to eating those things and b) in the process of being tested for a bunch of other stuff to find out what’s going on. Which means that as it doesn’t make me feel any worse than I already do, ice cream is back on the table. Because it makes me happy, and until I have a better idea of what’s causing this unceasing bout of crappy, I will eat things that make me happy. Le sigh. Ideally answers will be forthcoming, and SOON.

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But enough of that, because I don’t like wallowing, I like dessert. Let’s indulge instead in some messy delicious photos of dessert. Because dessert is way more fun than wallowing, and messy food is sometimes more fun to photograph than perfect food. Even when it’s lacking sprinkles (I know, I don’t know what I was thinking. Obviously I wasn’t).

So here you have some chickpea oatmeal cashew butter bars… because I took all the delicious things and crammed them into one bar. Because I can. I’m definitely a fan of bean-based desserts— it’s a great way to get a little extra protein boost in your dessert, besides the fact that they’re naturally gluten free and delicious. AND THEN you throw ice cream all over the top of it and pat yourself on that back for a job well done.

A word of caution to the super sweet fans out there: these bars are lightly sweet, but definitely not overly so. The maple could be increased, depending on your preference; I like them less sweet though so a 1/4 c was fine for me.

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Cashew Chickpea Oat Bars

Gluten free, dairy free, vegan, refined sugar free, and full of good carbs and healthy fats. Lightly sweet and cakey Quick to make, and minimal clean up (especially if you bung the food processor into the dishwasher as I’ve become fond of doing… more a slightly more drought-friendly option than trying to hand wash the stupid thing). Recipe yields one 8 by 8 pan, or somewhere in the neighborhood of 9-12 bars. Lightly adapted from the Natural Nurturer, here!

  • 1 15 oz can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 c pure maple syrup
  • 1/2 c hemp milk (or other non dairy of choice)
  • 1/4 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 c unsalted cashew butter
  • 1 heaping tsp vanilla
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water, let sit for 5 minutes)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 c rolled oats
  • heaping 1/4 c extra dark chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350, and lightly grease an 8 by 8 pan.

Add garbanzo beans to the food processor, and pulse until they’re mostly broken up but still slightly chunky. Add maple, hemp milk, applesauce, cashew butter, vanilla, flax eggs, baking powder, and sea salt, and process until mostly smooth. It won’t be completely smooth, but a few chunks are okay. Add in oats, and pulse to combine, but leave the oat pieces intact like an oatmeal cookie (in other words, don’t let it go until the oats are completely smooth— you want texture!). Stir in chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top (and eat the extra off your fingers, bonus points for being vegan). Bake for 27- 30 minutes, until a tester comes out clean and the top is lightly browned.

Store any leftovers (ha, you’re funny) in the fridge, either in the pan covered in foil or a sealed container (I usually move them to a tupperware after a day or two).

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Throwback Thursday and the Lentil Life

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AND THEN. I made lentil bars! Because… well, why not?! And then I sort of became the lentil bar fairy and handed out several at work, one of which went to this particular friend who *claims* that she doesn’t like lentils. Uh-huh. Just wait.

Said friend ate lentil bar.

One day later…

Friend commissions an entire batch of lentil bars for eating purposes!!

VICTORY OF THE LENTILS! Muahhahah.

And guess what? I have a new nickname!

I’ll give you one guess…

Lentil!!!

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Naturally. The now lentil-converted friend decided I was henceforth to be dubbed Lentil (always said with some sort of accent, of course), mostly because we have a running joke that she brings meat and I bring rabbit food for lunch…and then when I bring beef it’s like.. WOAH. So yeah. A very apropos nickname, I would say ;)

And one more for your viewing pleasure… Throwback Thursday! I was six. Things haven’t changed much…

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Lentil Bars

Recipe slightly adapted from She Bakes Here! I’ve made this twice—once as a single recipe, once doubled. I used green lentils once and red lentils once, and I think I prefer red, though you can use either. If using green, make sure you cook them just a little bit longer so they’re easily mushable (technical term). I reduced the sweetener a little so these aren’t overly sweet, but perfect for a mid morning or on the go snack. They were a big hit with the work peeps!

As posted, the recipe makes a single batch in an 8 by 8 pan (I used a circular pie dish).

Vegan, refined sugar free.

  • 1/2 c red lentils
  • 1 c water
  • 1.5 c rolled oats
  • 1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/4 c ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • heaping 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/3-1/2 c maple syrup
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips

Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add lentils, reduce to a simmer, and cook for about 15 minutes until very soft. Drain, if needed. Mash lentils a bit with a fork (though they should be pretty much like puree already), and set aside in a large bowl.

Preheat oven to 300, and line your baking pan of choice with parchment paper.

Using the same bowl the lentils are hangin’ out in, add oats, whole wheat flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, salt, almond butter, and maple syrup. Toss in chocolate chips and stir to combine (seriously, could this be any easier?). Once incorporated, spread the dough into your prepared pan—I found it easiest to use my fingers to spread it out, as it’s really thick. Get it mostly even and then pop it into the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the oats on top are slightly crispy.

Let it sit in the pan for a few, then pull the whole thing out by grabbing the parchment. Let cool completely on a rack before slicing! These keep well in tupperware at room temp for a few days.

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Instant Date-ification

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I used to looove fig newtons. Love them. I don’t really think they’re a universally loved-by-kids snack, but whatever. As a kid, I loved them. I used to nibble around the sides and eat off all of the cakey bits (come to think of it, I ate around madelines from Starbucks the same way…) and then eat the figgy bits in the middle.

In college I graduated to organic ones. Oooooh. Organic obviously makes processed things okay… ?! Um no… not really.

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But… I’ve graduated college and am now a real person (um.. no) (immaturity keeps me forever young) (part of being an adult is being a kid at heart, right? Right) now I’ve graduated to making my own! And even better than figgy type newtons… these are DATE newtons! Pshh. Who WOULDN’T love something stuffed with dates?!

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I’m pretty sure I’ve already mentioned this, but juuuust in case you haven’t noticed… I also LOVE dates! As in, I love dates beyond all reason. They are delicious and good for you and I could easily eat them all day long all day every day for the rest of my life. End of story. Stranded on a desert island, can only pick one food? Dates. Well, okay. Dates and almond butter, because clearly I couldn’t survive on dates alone (and okay… maybe some toast to put the dates and almond butter on. Picky, aren’t I?). I would obviously try though.

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So I made these! And they were maybe one of the best things I’ve put in my face all week. Aaaamazing. And raw. Which means no dealing with ovens and all that silliness, just instant date-ification. Yum yum yum. Oh. And they’re fabulous for you, so it’s just a win win win all around. Healthy fats [almonds and flaxseed], omega 3’s [flaxseed], whole grains [oats], protein, fiber, tons of vitamins and minerals and excellent energy [dates, dates dates!].

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Raw Date Newtons

Recipe gratefully borrowed from the Pancake Princess, here!

Makes 16 little guys. Gluten free, could be vegan [non dairy milk bev+maple].

First we rummage for this kind of biz:

  • 1/2 c raw almonds (mine were already partially ground)
  • 1/4 c flaxseed meal
  • 1/4 c rolled oats
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1.5 tbsp milk bev (I used 1% dairy)
  • 1 c dates, pitted and soaked for a few minutes
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla

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Then we:

Lug out the trusty, zillion pound food processor. Open lid, put in blade, yadayada. Toss in almonds, flaxseed, oats, and salt, and pulse until blended. If your almonds are whole and not partially ground like mine, you might want to grind them alone for a bit so that they’re more broken up, but that’s up to you (and the strength of your food processor). Add in honey and pulse until the mixture starts to come together and be clumpier. Add milk, 1/2 tbsp at a time, until it sticks together like a dough (and if you pinch it between your fingers it stays together). Remove the dough from your food processor, and roll it out really thinly between two pieces of wax/parchment paper. Aim for a mostly rectangular shape, just to make your bites even sized. I cut mine in half so that I would have two even-ish rectangles, about 1/8-1/4″ thick.

Without even bothering to wash out your food processor (quite possibly my least favorite part of baking), drain dates, and add them with the vanilla to the bowl. Process until a paste forms—it should be spreadable. Spoon that goodness directly onto each half of your rolled out dough, and then fold it up and around the filling to make a cute little date newton bite! Repeat with the other piece of dough and filling. Slice each log into about 8 bites, for a total yield of 16.

Store them in an airtight container in the fridge… if they last that long…

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you can never have too many dates…

A whoopsa-too-much-milk almost-fail that wasn’t

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YOU. GUYS.

These cookies are… maybe the best thing I’ve eaten all week. And I really have been eating them all week (whatever, I know it’s Tuesday, my weeks are never normal so be nice to me and just assume I mean last week+the beginning of this week, okay good, now we’re straightened out… continuing on!), since I’ve made two batches. TWO. You know something is pretty freakin’ amazing if I make it twice. Not only twice, but IN. A. ROW.

Whaaaat.

Weird.

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Obviously you should trot off to your kitchen and make these immediately. Not only are these crazy delicious, but they also happen to be ridiculously good for you (okay. It’s still a cookie but if you are a fiend for cookies like me, you can be awesome and healthify when you can) and beyond simple to make. Toss some stuff in a food processor, push on. Push off. Toss in some more stuff. Blend. Stop blending. Add the last bit. On. Off. Throw on cookies sheet. Toss sheet in oven. Bip. Done! …Pause for baking. Attempt to let them “cool”. Do a bunch of push ups (okayyy, I suppose that bit is optional) Stuff face. Repeat.

It’s nice if you share. Or you can share with a caveat, like me, and make some slightly-more-massive ones for yourself and clearly separate them on the cooling rack. With a fork. See? Those two over there are on the “do not eat under penalty of mega cookie deprived wrath” side of the fork. The others are obviously fair game, but I never said I wouldn’t eat those too. Oh no.

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And yes… I know this is about my billionth cookie post in pretty much two weeks, *sighhhh*. Sooner rather than later I’ll get around to blogging about something else, but suffice it to say I a) about eat my weight in veggies everyday, b) I eat lots of cookies and c) my dinners have been quick, nutritious, and visually uninspiring these days. Sooo. Savory things. Eventually.

But right now… go make these cookies!! Seriously. I love you, invisible internet friends, would I steer you wrong?! … Correct answer: no. Cue subliminal messaging: coooooookiiiieeeesssss!!!

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Ridiculously Delicious Date Cookies

Recipe from Power Hungry, here! I got around 17-18 cookies each time.

The first time I totally goofed and doubled the milk. I do have to say, they are delicious that way and I think I might actually prefer them. I’ve made them twice, as I said, once with the goof and once as the recipe originally intended. While I love both, I think my vote is with the softer, flatter (for once!) doubled-milk variety. The original amount of milk yields a taller, slightly craggier cookie, with slightly chewier edges. Both are delicious. These cookies contain minimally processed ingredients and no refined sugar! They’re full of healthy fats (almond butter) and whole grains (oats), fiber (oats+flaxseed), omega-3’s (Flax), and antioxidants (dark chocolate!). Winner, winner, I just ate cookies for dinner. Juuuuust kidding… but seriously. It was a close call.

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Just for comparison, the cookies above are made with 1/2 c milk… and the ones in the eggplant bowl and at the end of the post are 1 c. Just in case you needed a visual like I always do.

Firstly, grab this:

  • 1 c rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 c semi-packed, pitted dates, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 c organic almond butter
  • 1/2-1 c milk bev (I used 1% milk)*
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 c dark chocolate chips

*depending on whether you want taller, chewier cookies (1/2 c), or flatter, softer cookies (1 c)

Secondly, do this:

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a cookie sheet (or two) with parchment paper.

Haul out your massively heavy food processor, and process oats until they are finely ground and flourlike. Add in flaxseed meal and pulse to combine. Add the dates, and pulse until they are finely chopped and incorporated. Toss in almond butter, milk and vanilla, and pulse to blend. Pour/spoon dough into a bowl and stir in chocolate chips. If you double the milk, the mixture will be more like batter than dough (It’ll spoon into little puddles). If you use 1/2 c milk, the dough will be much thicker– flatten the cookies out with a fork before baking. Bake for 10-11 minutes, let cool a few minutes on the cookie sheet (a bit more for the doubled-milk cookies, as they’re a little more delicate), then transfer to a cooling rack. I keep mine in the fridge for freshness. I’m sure they keep for a while, but honestly mine have lasted all of about three days… so good luck with that!

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I’m hippie-granola…and apples are pretty freaking awesome.

I told you I was hippie-granola.

I wear leg warmers… and birkenstocks. Sometimes together… possibly more often than I care to admit.

My traveling attire when I went to Oregon was truly something spectacular… the usual leg warmers… and my yoga mat! Wow. People in the airport were REAL jealous, let me tell you.

Not my fault I was raised on tofu and bananas and other sorts of natural-type foods like peanut butter that separates (that no stir stuff has always creeped me out). Born in Berkeley, what can I say. Admit it, it’s part of my charm.

And look… I made granolaaaa!!! Like, real granola. Not like my type of hippie crunchy granola. I figured it would be easy and more cost effective to make my own, not to mention healthier, as I know exactly what goes in it. Not that we eat really sketchy granola, as a rule: Nature’s Path is pretty non sketch and delicious. But still. I wanted to try my hand at making some anyway… and I’m pretty sure it was a success.

Besides, this granola is full o’ the good stuff… like healthy fats from the pepitas and the flaxseed (can you say omegaaaasss!), whole grains (oats), and blood sugar stabilization from cinnamon. Apples are pretty freaking awesome too, since they provide soluble fiber (mostly in the form of pectin) for happy digestion and lower cholesterol levels, AND antioxidants…not to mention vitamin C! I love me some anti-free radial activity. Soooo, basically apples are awesome. You know what they say, about apples and doctors? Yeah. Pretty much true. Or maybe you should just eat some granola instead, nudge nudge wink wink…!

Apple-Cinnamon Granola

The recipe is slightly modified from Sally’s Baking Addiction, here! It made three jars worth of granola (as some of you are aware, I ADORE jars and store nearly everything in them)… which probably amounts to about 3 cups, ish? The recipe comes together quickly, bakes in half an hour, and is great snacking/breakfast/yogurt topping option. Gotta love granola and it’s ridiculous versatility!

  • 2.5 c rolled oats (not quick oats)
  • 3/4 c ground flaxseed
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • heaping 1/4 c raw pepitas
  • 1 c dried apples*, diced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 c maple syrup

*preferably use dried apples that are just that: apples that have been dried! None of those icky sulphites or sugars. Ew. None of that.

Preheat the oven to 300, and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a largish bowl, mix together oats, flaxseed, cinnamon, pepitas, and diced apples. In a smaller bowl, whisk together salt, applesauce, and maple. Pour the wet over the dry and stir to combine, making sure that the wet ingredients are evenly distributed. Spread the mix onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, stirring slightly at the 15 minute mark. Let cool for at least a half an hour on the stove top (you wouldn’t want soggy granola, would you?!). Store in jars!!