Saturday, September 27, 2014

Cinnamon Vanilla Granola

Making granola from scratch is so much healthier than store bought kinds.  And as an added bonus this will make your house smell amazing while this is baking!  If you like your granola to clump together you can add more maple syrup to get the desired consistency.  This makes a great tasting cereal or sprinkled over yogurt and parfaits. 

5 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or a little more if you desire a clumpier granola)
1/4 cup applesauce
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup dried cranberries or raisins 
1.  Combine oats, pecans and wheat germ in a large bowl. Combine maple syrup, applesauce, vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg in a small bowl. Pour over oat mixture, stirring to coat. Spread mixture evenly on greased baking sheet. 
2.  Bake at 300 degrees F for 50 to 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until oats are toasted.
3.  Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit. Cool in pan on wire rack. Store in airtight container.

Nutrition Facts
 12 Servings

Amount Per Serving
  Calories     251.5
  Total Fat     9.9 g
  Cholesterol     0.0 mg
  Sodium     2.0 mg
  Total Carbohydrate     37.2 g
          Dietary Fiber     5.1 g
          Sugars     11.3 g
  Protein     5.9 g


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Chia Seed Pudding

Here is a healthy delicious recipe that incorporates chia seeds and fresh strawberries together.  Lots of healthy fiber and protein in a creamy vanilla flavored pudding.  This is slightly sweetened with pure maple syrup but that could be reduced or left out completely to lower glucose levels.  

Here are some interesting facts about the nutritional value of chia seeds:
  • have more Omega 3 fatty acids than flax seed (important for heart health)
  • are the richest non-marine whole food source of Omega-3 (better than salmon)
  • absorb 10 times their weight in water and transform into a gel-like substance--great for athletes for maintaining hydration and helps with weight loss by making you feel full longer
  • are as high in protein as quinoa
  • are loaded with calcium, potassium, Vitamin B, and anti-oxidants
  • help balance blood sugar via the gelling action of the seed and it’s unique combination of soluble and insoluble fiber that slow down your body’s conversion of starches into sugars 
  • have a neutral taste so they will take on the other flavors in a recipe
  • can be eaten whole (unlike flax seed); they don't have to be ground before adding them to food in order to digest them and benefit from their nutrients
  • have a two year shelf life, stored at room temperature (flax seeds quickly become rancid and lose their nutritional value)


1 cup vanilla flavored almond milk
1 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chia seeds
1 pint strawberries, hulled and sliced
4 teaspoons pure maple syrup
1/4 cup almond slivers

1. Whisk almond milk, yogurt, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, vanilla and salt together in a bowl until blended; add chia seeds and mix together.  Let this mixture set for 30 minutes.
2.  Stir the chia seed mixture to redistribute seeds that have settled throughout the mixture. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate 8 hours to overnight.
3.   Drizzle 4 teaspoons maple syrup over strawberries in a bowl; stir to coat. Add almonds to strawberries; stir.
4.  Spoon chia seed mixture into 4 bowls; top each with a portion of the strawberry mixture.

Calories    243k                                                       
Carbohydrates    38.2                                           
Fat   7.9g
Protein   7.1g
Cholesterol   <1mg
Fiber   5.9g
Sodium   159mg