Homemade Granola + Chia Seed Parfait Recipe

  
Granola is great because it is delicious and you can use it as a topping on so many things or just eat it as a snack. Unfortunately, granola you buy at the store can have high calorie & fat content and can be loaded with unnecessary ingredients that none of us need. Instead of buying granola at the store, opt for this Homemade Granola that is just as tasty but much much healthier! 

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups oats (use gluten free if you are allergic like me) 
  • 1/2 cup nuts/seeds (I used a combination of almonds, hemp seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chopped hazelnuts – use what you have!)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes 
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit or cacao nibs 
  • A dash of salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp organic maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Combine wet ingredients and dry ingredients in separate bowls.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir until well combined
  • Pour granola out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake for about 25-30 minutes. 
  • Enjoy! See below for a new recipe using the granola! 

Chia Seed Pudding Parfait

  
I always see the yogurt parfaits at Starbucks and I have been tempted to get one numerous times. Due to my dairy allergy, I have yet to be able to buy one. So instead, I decided to make my own – a much healthier version too I might add!

Pudding Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions: 

  • Mix together the almond milk and the vanilla.
  • Add in the chia seeds and stir.
  • Place in the fridge for about 4 hours in a tight container or mason jar — You could always make this before bedtime and put it in the fridge so it is ready for the morning or make it right after breakfast so that it is ready by lunch. 
  • Take out and add your toppings such as my Homemade Granola and bananas! You could also use any other type of fruit or really anything you want! 
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Banana Oat Bread

I am going to be up late tonight working on a project, so I thought that I deserved a little treat. Although I was tempted to go to the store and buy some Swedish fish (my favorite candy), I opted for a slice of my gluten/dairy free Banana Oat Bread. Not only is this much healthier than the Swedish fish, but it is more filling too! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup oat flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, softened
  • 1 tbsp raw honey
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Optional: One additional banana for the top of the bread. You could also add some sliced/chopped nuts as well.

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350. Grease loaf pan with baking spray.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking soda. Once combined, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil and coconut sugar until well combined.
  • Add in the egg whites, mashed bananas, almond milk, vanilla, honey, and cinnamon.
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture and blend together.
  • Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the sliced/chopped nuts on top if using. You an also add the banana topping as well.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes or so.
  • Let the bread sit for a few minutes before slicing.

Morning Rituals 

  
Mornings are my favorite part of the day. I haven’t always been a morning person but as I have gotten older, I have developed a few tips and tricks that help me have the best, healthiest, and most productive mornings. 

1) Drink Lemon Water: Every morning right when I wake up I drink a cup of hot lemon water. Lemon water has numerous benefits such as improving digestion, boosting the immune system, increasing energy, reducing inflammation, and several others. Drinking this not only hydrates me but makes me feel more awake. 

2) Exercise: Now I’ll admit, this isn’t something I do every morning but it is something I try to do. We all have something we could work on and this is that area for me. However, I know that the best time for me to workout is in the morning and I also feel great after I do it. Personally, I love running. I just love sleeping as well. I try to sign up for races as much as I can so that I have something to train for and motivate me to get out the door in the mornings. Find a morning exercise routine that works for you! 

3) Eat Breakfast: Every single morning I make myself breakfast. Every morning. Whether it’s eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, or a breakfast burrito, I always make sure I eat something that nourishes my body and keeps me fueled for the day. My #1 tip for doing this is prepare the night before. If I know I don’t have much time in the morning and I want to make an egg and veggie scramble, for example, I will chop up all of the vegetables the night before so that they are ready to go when I need them. I also cut up the lemons for my lemon water the night before as well. 

4) Drink green tea vs. coffee: This is a recent ritual for me but it seems to be working so I thought I would share. After finally coming to the realization (I’ve secretly always known) that coffee does not digest well with me, I have made the switch to green tea. Green tea seems to work great for me and has plenty of additional health benefits which is a plus! Drinking green tea actually makes me feel more energized throughout the day and just makes me feel better in general. 

5) Reading Jesus Calling: This is something that I started doing at the beginning of the year. Every morning I try to read the passage for the day in Jesus Calling. I have mentioned this before, but this is a really good way to set your day off on a good start. Religious or not, I think this book is great for everyone and really helps. Each day there is something said that I can apply to what I am going through and it always seems to help me see a positive spin on things. 

So those are just a few things I do (or at least try to do) each morning, which help me get day day off to a great start. Try incorporating these rituals, or your own, to make your day the best day! 

Pumpkin Bread

  
Tis’ the season for pumpkin flavored everything. Unfortunately, majority of these delicious pumpkin flavored treats have actually very little pumpkin in them (I’ll do a blog post on that later). So instead of indulging in a high calorie and highly processed pumpkin treat, opt for my Pumpkin Bread that is made with real ingredients and will keep you satisfied 🙂 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of 100% pure canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 1/4 cup Brown Rice Flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP coconut oil, softened
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar (I used about 1 tbsp less than this)
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan and set aside. 
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, baking soda, and salt. Once combined, set aside. 
  • In a large bowl, cream together the coconut oil, coconut sugar, and maple syrup. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine well. 
  • Pour batter into the greased loaf pan and bake for about 45 minutes. 
  • Stick a knife down the center and if it comes out clean it is cooked all the way. 
  • Let sit for a few minutes. 
  • Serve!

Morning Buns

  
Do you feel rushed in the mornings leaving little time for breakfast? I have the perfect solution: Morning Buns! These muffins are delicious, filling, and taste great topped with a little honey. Not to mention, these are much lower calorie and are healthier than any pastry you will find at Starbucks.

Ingredients: 

  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup nut butter (Any nut butter will do – I used half almond butter and half peanut butter because that’s what I had on hand.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2-3 tsp organic maple syrup ( or more if you want them sweeter)
  • 1 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts 

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, nut butter, and eggs. Mix well until mixture is creamy (this may take a few minutes). 
  • Add in the remaining ingredients and mix. 
  • Pour mixture into greased muffin tins. Fill up about 3/4 of the way. 
  • Bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked all the way through. 

Makes about 9-10 morning buns.