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Roasted Garlic-Shallot Potatoes with Creamy Dill Sauce

Garlic-Dill Shallot Potatoes

Ho-hum potatoes are livened up with a thick and creamy dill sauce.  Dill screams spring-time and adds a fresh spark to recipes.

Garlic lovers will rejoice in these crispy and fresh tasting potato cubes.

Garlic-Dill Shallot Potatoes 2

Potatoes have gotten a bad reputation because of how they are typically prepared: doused in butter, deep-fried or topped with bacon and high-fat cheeses. However, skin-on potatoes themselves have an impressive nutritional content. They contain complex carbohydrates and are a rich source of heart-healthy fiber (which keeps you satisfied longer), vitamin C and potassium. In fact, potatoes have almost twice as much potassium as a banana. Potassium is essential for normal function of muscles (such as your heart) and maintaining electrolyte and water balance in your body. Potatoes also contain vitamin B6 and magnesium. Like other vegetables, potatoes are a low-calorie food (about 110 calories per potato) and are free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, potatoes contain phytochemicals, which are nutrients that are being studied for their role in protecting us from diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 Yukon potatoes (with skin on – potato skin has more nutrients than the rest of the potato. The skin contains 2 grams of fiber per ounce as well as vitamins B and C, iron, calcium, potassium and other nutrients.)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • fresh dill (~ 2 tablespoons),
  • seasonings: salt, black pepper, garlic powder

for the creamy dill sauce

  • 3 bunches fresh dill (~ 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini (runny not dry)
  • 2 tablespoons shallot, diced
  • 1 garlic clove

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Dice the potatoes into cubes and toss with oil, shallot, fresh garlic, fresh dill and seasonings.
  3. Roast in oven for 30 minutes until golden brown (toss mid-way through for a more even finish).
  4. While potatoes are roasting, prepare the creamy dill sauce by adding all ingredients for the sauce into a mini-food processor.  Puree until smooth (scrape the sides down if needed).
  5. Once potatoes are roasted, drizzle with the creamy dill sauce and toss until potatoes are fully coated with the sauce.  Garnish with additional fresh dill if desired.

Potato Tips: Potatoes should be clean, firm, dry and smooth (no “eyes,” spots or sprouts). For optimal shelf life, they can be kept in a cool, dry, dark, well-ventilated space for three to five weeks. Do not wash the potatoes before storing or they might decay.

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Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl

A green smoothie bowl with a tropical breeze taste.

Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl resized

raw, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free

This smoothie is loaded with spinach, which according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), should be eaten with vitamin C-rich foods to improve iron absorption.  This recipe pairs spinach with fruits high in vitamin C (kiwi and mango) to help with the iron absorption process.

The frozen mango overpowers the flavor of the spinach so you won’t taste any spinach.  Plus, the tartness of the kiwi and sweetness of the banana make it extra delicious.  This smoothie is a great way to sneak raw spinach into your diet.  It is great in the morning for breakfast or as a post-workout/mid-day snack.  My 23 month old enjoys this for breakfast almost every morning.

Spinach Storage Tip
Fresh spinach should be dried and packed loosely in a cellophane or plastic bag and stored in the refrigerator crisper. If stored properly, it should last 3 or 4 days.
One serving of raw spinach (1/2 cup) has only 5 calories and contains calcium and iron plus 60% of your daily vitamin A and 15% of your daily vitamin C.
Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl
Author: 
Recipe type: breakfast
Cuisine: green smoothie
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk or coconut milk
  • 1.5 cup frozen mango (unsweetened)
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 fresh kiwi
  • 2-3 cups baby spinach (or more if desired)
  • Garnish options: fresh banana slices, freshly diced mango, fresh kiwi slices, hemp seed, coconut flakes
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients to blender and puree until smooth.  Add additional milk to thin out or more frozen mango or frozen banana to thicken to your desired consistency.  I prefer thick smoothies so I tend to do more frozen ingredients.
  2. Pour smoothie into bowl and garnish with your favorite toppings such as fresh banana and kiwi slices and a sprinkle of hemp seeds.  Enjoy immediately with a spoon.
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Smoothie Bowl: Berry Almond Bliss

Smoothie Bowl

I have officially jumped on the smoothie bowl bandwagon!  And I’m loving it!  It really is fun to decorate the smoothie bowl with your favorite boosters and healthy garnishes… It definitely makes for a heartier and more satisfying smoothie by adding a bit of crunch and some different textures to each spoonful.  We all eat with our eyes so have fun garnishing your bowl with your favorite toppings.

This smoothie is more than just your standard “blended fruit and ice in a cup” recipe… it combines tart berries with creamy almond milk and almond butter.  It boasts protein (without protein powder) and healthy fats from the hemp seeds and almonds.  And, it provides even more healthy fats (and fiber) from the flaxseed.  The result is sweet, thick, satisfying and creamy without that chalky aftertaste that often accompanies protein-powder-based smoothies.

This recipe incorporates almond milk, almond butter and whole almonds.  In any form — milk, butter or whole — almonds provide a combination of fiber, protein and fat that provides satiety, making them ideal for weight management. Just remember to pay attention to portion size, because they’re calorie-dense. Almonds are an excellent source of Vitamin E and manganese and a good source of magnesium, copper, phosphorus and fiber. They also contain calcium, folate and potassium.

So toss your straws, grab a spoon (and some creativity) and get started with your healthy smoothie bowl.

Smoothie Bowl: Berry Almond Bliss
Author: 
Recipe type: smoothie
Cuisine: breakfast
 
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup frozen raspberries
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries or blackberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened, almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • Garnishes for smoothie bowl: handful of raw almonds, 1 tablespoon hemp seeds, 1-2 fresh strawberries (sliced), ½ banana (sliced)
Instructions
  1. Add frozen berries, milk, almond butter, hemp seeds and flaxseed to blender.  Puree until smooth adding more milk to thin out the smoothie as needed.  I prefer a thicker smoothie so I tend to use less milk.
  2. Pour smoothie into a cereal bowl and garnish with raw almonds, hemp seeds and fresh strawberry  and banana slices.  Enjoy with a spoon.

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Bunless Sloppy Joes

Sloppy joe frontal resized

Ground meat can be boring and I’m always looking for easy ways to liven up the flavor and wow my family (without having to slave in the kitchen).  This recipe does the trick while staying light and healthy.

It is an easy one-pot meal with ingredients you will likely have on hand.  It is super quick to whip up and is always a crowd pleaser.

I suggest serving over plain quinoa to help soak up the yummy sloppy joe sauce.  Adding quinoa will boost the fiber and protein too.  Also pairs well with avocado slices and diced tomatoes.

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Bunless Sloppy Joes
Author: 
Recipe type: entree
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3
 
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup red onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey meat (lean, white meat)
  • ⅓ cup ketchup (I use Annie's Natural Organic Ketchup which doesn't contain high fructose corn syrup or artificial flavors. It is also vegan, gluten-free, soy-free and dairy-free).
  • 1 tablespoon organic light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (or more to taste)
  • ⅛ teaspoon fine grain sea salt (or more to taste)
Instructions
  1. In a large saute pan heat oil over medium heat and add bell pepper, onion and turkey meat. Saute for about 10 minutes or until meat is browned/cooked, onions are translucent and peppers are tender.
  2. Add remaining ingredients to pan and stir over low heat until well combined.
  3. Serve hot over plain, cooked quinoa
  4. Tip: double the recipe so you can freeze for another meal.

Nutrition (per serving, for 3 servings): 288 calories, 9.3g fat (2g saturated fat), 46.7mg cholesterol, 487.7mg sodium, 12.6g carbs, 1g fiber, 8g sugar, 35.6g protein (nutrition calculation assumes ground white turkey meat)

Note: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting sodium to less than 2,300 mg a day — or 1,500 mg if you’re age 51 or older, or if you are black, or if you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

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Moist & Chewy Oatmeal Almond Butter Cookies (vegan + gluten free)

Almond Butter Oatmeal Cookies resized

I’m always looking for the next best healthy cookie recipe.  This is my new favorite and it is so easy my toddler makes this one with me.  It contains only six ingredients.  I’ve been making them about every other day.

This is definitely one of my more decadent cookie recipes.  It is loaded with creamy almond butter and has that perfect balance of sweetness and saltiness that I love in cookies.  The cookies are moist and chewy.  I’ve just never been a fan of hard or dry cookies.

You can feel good about eating these knowing they are full of whole grains and heart-healthy almond butter.  They contain no butter, dairy or eggs and they are relatively low in sugar compared to most cookie recipes.

Moist & Chewy Oatmeal Almond Butter Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: vegan, gluten-free
Cuisine: healthy dessert
 
Servings: Makes 16-18 cookies
Ingredients
  • 1¼ cup rolled oats (use gluten-free if desired)
  • ¼ cup organic cane sugar (or sugar of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup roasted, unsalted almond butter (room temperature and runny works best)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup mini vegan chocolate chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Process oats into a fine flour using a mini food processor (or just purchase oat flour instead).
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, stir together dry ingredients (oats, sugar, baking soda and salt). Then stir in the wet ingredients (almond butter and applesauce). Add chocolate chips if using.
  4. Form dough into 18 small cookies and place on parchment paper.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to wire cooling rack.
  7. Enjoy after they have cooled.
  8. Store in airtight container for 1-2 days at room temperature or in refrigerator for 3-4 days.

Nutrition: Each cookie contains 128 calories, 8.4g total fat (1.2g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 12g carbs, 2.4g fiber, 5.7g sugar, 2.9g protein (assuming 18 cookies total)

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Cauliflower Tabbouleh

Cauliflower Tabbouleh Resized

This is a raw and gluten-free spin on classic tabbouleh.   In addition to cauliflower, it is loaded with tomatoes and an assortment of green veggies including kale, green pepper and cucumber.  Its refreshing flavor comes from the fresh mint, fresh parsley, lemon juice, olive oil and salt/pepper.  This dish is great for picnics, lunches, BBQs or side dishes.

So why swap cauliflower for the bulgher wheat?
I’m always looking for new and interesting ways to incorporate cauliflower into my diet since it has so many amazing health benefits:

  • Cauliflower is naturally low in calories (just 15 calories per serving).
  • Cauliflower is high in vitamin C, which is important for growth and repair of body tissues, helps heal cuts and wounds and keep teeth and gums healthy.  Vitamin C also aids in iron absorption making this dish an excellent choice before an iron-packed meal.
  • Cauliflower is also a good source of folate (folic acid), which helps the body form red blood cells and may reduce a woman’s risk of having a child with a brain or spinal cord defect.  Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods in addition to supplements.
  • Plus, cauliflower offers up a good amount of dietary fiber which helps reduce cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is also important for proper bowel function and helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-containing foods such as cauliflower help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories – making it great for weight management.
Buying and Storing Cauliflower
  • When purchasing your cauliflower, look for a head that is white or creamy white, firm/compact and heavy for its size.  Stay clear of speckling, brown patches or any discoloration.
  • Proper storage of your cauliflower is key for flavor.  You can keep it in the vegetable drawer of your fridge for 5-7 days and will want to store it with the stem-side up to prevent moisture from collecting on it.

Try more of my cauliflower recipes here.

Cauliflower Tabbouleh
Author: 
Recipe type: raw, gluten-free, vegam, side-dish
 
Servings: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 cup chopped English or Persian cucumber
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 chopped spring onions
  • 1.5 cups chopped curly kale
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley
  • ½ cup finely chopped mint
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed (optional)
Instructions
  1. Cut the cauliflower to remove the stem and then chop into pieces small enough to fit into your food processor.
  2. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until finely chopped into tiny grain-like pieces.
  3. Add to large mixing bowl with all other ingredients listed above.
  4. Mix well and taste.  Add additional seasonings if needed (garlic, salt, pepper or even more lemon, mint or parsley)
  5. Serve immediately or store in airtight container for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.

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Breakfast Cookies (vegan + gluten-free)

Cookies for breakfast!?  Yes.

Breakfast Cookies Overhead resized

I’m always looking for portable snacks that are wholesome and healthful.  These cookies are loaded with oats, almond flour, flaxseed, walnuts, dried fruit and almond butter to make a nutritious on-the-go sweet treat anytime of day.  I usually enjoy them as a mid-morning snack.  But they can also serve as a healthy and filling dessert or late night snack.   My toddler makes them with me so they are super simple and quick.

They are naturally vegan and gluten-free and don’t contain any oil, butter or refined carbs or sugars.  They are lightly sweetened with agave nectar.  Because agave syrup is sweeter than sugar, you can use less of it for the same effect.  The chocolate chips and cranberries also add a bit of sweetness to the cookies.

Breakfast Cookies Side resized

The recipe calls for 1 cup of almond flour which is a popular and healthful option for gluten-free baking that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein (six grams in one serving). Almond meal is a good source of fiber, Vitamin E and magnesium. It also provides iron and calcium (60 milligrams in one serving).

The recipe also calls for 1 cup of oat flour.  According to the Whole Grains Council, oats are higher in protein and healthful fats and lower in carbohydrates than most other whole grains. They help you feel fuller longer, which helps control your weight, and can help lower blood pressure and LDL “bad” cholesterol. Their soluble fiber also helps control blood sugar.

The cookies are soft, moist, chewy and satisfying.  Enjoy :)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup oat flour (ground up oats work fine too) – use gluten-free if desired
  • 1 cup almond flour or meal
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 1/4 cup walnut pieces (small)
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup mini dark chocolate chips (such as Enjoy Life which are vegan and soy free)
  • 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch fine grain sea salt
  • pinch of cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/2 cup almond butter (room temperature works best so it is runny and easier to stir)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or milk of choice)
  • 3 tablespoons agave nectar light
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium sized mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients (oat flour, almond flour, flaxseed, walnuts, cranberries, chocolate chips, hemp seeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt).  Add cinnamon if using.
  3. Add the wet ingredients (almond butter, almond milk, agave and vanilla) and stir to combine until  well incorporated.  The batter will be thick and dry.
  4. Using your hands roll batter into small balls (about 18) and place on baking sheet.  I like to keep them round instead of flat but either works.
  5. Bake for 8 minutes in oven.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before moving to a wire cooling rack.  Enjoy immediately or cool completely and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days.

 

 

 

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Roasted Acorn Squash with Cranberry Pecan Quinoa

Roasted Acorn Squash with Quinoa

I am currently the lucky recipient of a winter Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) and this week received a beautiful acorn squash in my batch of local goodies (along with some mushrooms and green onions).  Acorn squash has a mellow flavor and yet meaty and satisfying texture.  It is considered a good source of the antioxidant vitamin C which is perfect for boosting immunity during cold season.  Without vitamin C in adequate quantities, out body’s best defense against disease (our immune system) is left without fuel.

I wanted to do something special with the squash.  Something that was filling and warming during this cold February we are having.  So, I stuffed it with protein-filled quinoa, dried fruit, nuts and hearty veggies.  The flavor combination of savory from the garlic and shallot and also sweet from the maple syrup, dried cranberries and pecans works well with the mellow acorn squash.

This dish is naturally gluten-free and vegan.  My non-vegan husband raved about this recipe and filled up on just the half I served.

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided in half
  • 1 medium sized shallot, minced
  • 1/2 medium sized bell pepper (any color)
  • 6 mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt
  • 1 cup quinoa, cooked
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon grade B maple syrup
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Cut the acorn squash in half vertically (down the stem) and remove all seeds. Place each half, cut-side down, on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Puncture a few holes in the skin of each squash. Bake in oven for 40 minutes until squash is tender.
  3. While the squash is cooking, prepare the quinoa stuffing.  In a large pan, saute shallot, bell pepper, mushroom and peas in oil and a pinch of salt on medium heat until shallots are translucent and bell pepper is tender (5-10 minutes).  Add cooked quinoa, cranberries, green onions, pecans, maple syrup, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for another minute stirring all ingredients together.
  4. Remove squash from oven. Place 1/2 cup of the quinoa mixture into the bowl of the squash. Serve immediately.  Note: You will have some extra quinoa which you can enjoy on the side or as leftovers for lunch the next day.
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Vegan Chocolate Mousse

But how!?  The answer is…avocado!

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Avocado??  Yes.  I was skeptical at the thought of avocado and chocolate together in one dish.  While I love both independently, I wasn’t sure how they would jive together.  I can honestly say (and my husband wholeheartedly agrees) this mousse is so silky, creamy and velvety… it is hard to believe there is no heavy cream or egg in the ingredients list.  It is full of decadent chocolate flavor and yet it is raw, gluten-free and vegan.  And it isn’t loaded with sugar – only 2 tablespoons of sweetener in the whole batch.

So what is in it exactly?  Heart healthy avocado and unsweetened cocoa powder.  Plus, almond milk, vanilla, a touch of sweetness from agave, organic cane sugar and a pinch of salt.  This decadent dessert is sure to make your sweetheart swoon this Valentine’s Day.

It is the easiest and quickest dessert out there so you can quickly whip it up for your heartthrob without any stress.  No oven, no stove and no fancy kitchen tools.

Garnish the mousse with fresh raspberries for an elegant presentation that is sure to impress.  Or, use it as a dip for fresh fruit such as bananas, strawberries, raspberries or blackberries.  You can feel good knowing the ingredients in this luxurious mousse are truly healthful and beneficial.  Happy early Valentine’s Day!

Health Benefits of Avocado: The amazingly creamy avocado contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and nutrients that actually reduce your cholesterol levels, promote healthy vision and potentially protect against cancer.  They contain folate, vitamins E, C, and B6.  Plus, they are high in dietary fiber – great for overall heart health and digestion.  And, avocados contain 60% more potassium per ounce than bananas!

Serves: 2

Ingredients

  • 1/2 avocado (chilled in the refrigerator prior to using)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or rice milk, hemp milk, soy milk) – chilled in the refrigerator prior to using
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon organic cane sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of fine grain sea salt

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in mini food processor and process until smooth.  You may need to use a mini spatula to scrape down the edges of the food processor to help get everything incorporated.
  2. You can enjoy immediately or store in refrigerator and enjoy for 2-3 days.
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Nutty Granola with Hemp Seed & Flaxseed

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I’m always looking for a healthy and inspiring way to wake up and kickstart my day.  Solution? Granola without the guilt!  This gluten-free, vegan granola is full of heart-healthy fiber from the oats, hemp seeds and flaxseeds.  It contains heart-healthy fats from the hemp seeds, almonds, almond flour and walnuts.  And it doesn’t contain any artificial sugars.  Just a touch of maple syrup and dried cranberries for balanced sweetness.

This homemade granola is easy to prepare and doesn’t require any special granola making secret skills ;)  The warm cinnamon smell will quickly fill up your kitchen as it bakes in the oven.  The granola clusters make a wonderful on-the-go snack or can be enjoyed with almond milk (or any milk of choice) topped with fresh berries.  You can also serve atop oatmeal, parfaits or smoothies.  And I encourage you to have fun trying it out with different nuts, seeds, dried fruit and sweeteners to make it your own.

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Servings: Makes about 6 cups of granola so about twelve 1/2 cup servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw, unsalted walnuts
  • 1 1/4 cup gluten-free rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup almond flour or meal
  • 1/2 cup hemp seeds
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup whole flaxseeds (not ground)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons pure grade B maple syrup (or other liquid sweetener of choice)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 275 degrees and line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper (not wax paper)
  2. In a mini food processor, process the raw almonds and walnuts for 5 seconds until finely chopped.  It is okay to have a combination of larger pieces and powdery meal. Add this mixture to a large mixing bowl.
  3. To the mixing bowl, add the oats, almond flour, hemp seeds, cranberries, raisins, flaxseeds, cinnamon and salt.  Stir to combine.
  4. Add the maple syrup, oil and vanilla extract and stir thoroughly to combine.
  5. Place the granola mixture on the prepared baking sheet.  Using a spatula, gently press down until the granola is about 1/2 inch thick.  Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for 18 minutes until granola is lightly golden around the edges.
  6. Cool the granola on the baking pan for 1 full hour (at least) before breaking it apart into clusters.  This allows the sugars to harden.
  7. Break the granola into pieces and store in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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