Maple Banana Granola

maple banana granola

Alrighty friends,

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted anything, so I’m going to try to make up for it this week. First, I was busy with horrid exams. Since I’ve been done exams, I feel that I haven’t really done anything productive, and I am ok with that. I caught up on Game of Thrones, started and finished Orange is the New Black, watched a TON of documentaries (mostly about food!), read some books, and enjoyed Easter with my little famjam. I am also planning on heading down South next week with Elle to visit my grandma in Tennessee! I cannot wait for some country nature walks (minus the creepy spiders and other giant insects), visiting the neighbourhood horses and donkeys, and of cousre spending time with my Gramsy Gram (and her delicious cooking!).

I’m not taking any school courses this Spring, so I have a whole lot of time to experiment in the kitchen. That is, if Elle will let me stay inside. That little girl is addicted to the outdoors! She has so much fun being outdoors and gets hysterical whenever I bring her in. I think a camping trip is in order so she can just spend a few days completely with nature! Anyway, prepare for lots of new recipes!

Today’s recipe is something I’ve never tried before: Maple Banana Granola from scratch. This recipe will make your mouth water because of its aroma. Seriously, I was so hungry while it was baking because it filled the kitchen with such a sweet, delicious smell.

Elle and I decided to just munch on it how it was as little snack, but of course, you can eat some with milk for breakfast, sprinkle it on your yogurt, or mix it into trail mix. It definitely got the “MMMMM” of approval from Elle!

Here is what you’ll need:
-3 cups of rolled oats
-1 cup of slivered almonds
-1/4 cup toasted shredded coconut
-3 tablespoons sunflower seed kernals
-3 tablespoons flax seeds
-2 teaspoons cinnamon
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1 tablespoon whole cane sugar
-2 very ripe bananas (Great opportunity to use up any frozen bananas that are in your freezer!)
-1/4 cup pure maple syrup
-1/3 cup coconut oil
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Her is what to do:

Step 1)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 2)
Mash those bananas! You’ll want them to be pretty smooth, so they’ll mix well, so get those chunks outta there!

Step 3)
Mix together all your dry ingredients in a large bowl (oats, almonds, coconut, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, salt, and cane sugar).

Step 4)
In a small saucepan, heat coconut oil until melted. Mix in maple syrup, vanilla, and mashed bananas.

Step 5)
Mix your liquids into the dry ingredients until everything is coated. Spread the mixture evenly onto a baking sheet. Pop it into the oven for 45 minutes and let that sweet aroma fill the air! Make sure you keep an eye on the granola as it is in the oven because the coconut oil is quick to crisp it. Mix it once or twice as it is baking. You’ll know it’s ready when the granola is ready when it changes colour to a nice golden brown. (You don’t want a DARK brown, because that means it is beginning to burn and won’t taste good.) I noticed that the edges get crispier first, so make sure to really mix it when you’re checking on it.

Make sure you let it cool completely when you take it out of the oven so it gets nice and crispy. Store it in an air tight container or jar so it doesn’t get stale. I hope everyone enjoys this!

Happy snacking!

-Rianna

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (Each serving is 1/4 cup)
Calories: 181
Carbohydrates: 14g
Fat: 14g
Protein: 3g
Sugar: 4g

 

Back Bean & Mango Quinoa Salad

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Could it be…SPRING? The sun has been shining and giving me hope that soon I can pack up my witer coats for good! I still have them out because I do not want to take a chance and jinx it. Elle’s favourite new word is “side” (outside). She is constantly bringing me her shoes and asking to go “side, side!” I really don’t know how I am going to get her to come inside at all once summer comes along. I can’t say I blame her, though. It sure is nice not to be stuck indoors anymore. I love how fresh everything feels during spring. Fresh flowers, fresh growth, fresh beginnings. In keeping with the this fresh sensation, I decided that I needed to make something bright, light and fresh to eat. Presenting: Black Bean & Mango Quinoa Salad. The great thing about this salad is that you can really add as many things as you want to it. This is what I put in mine:

Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups cooked quinoa (This just happened to be the amount I had cooked already)
1 can (15.25 oz.) black beans
1 Kiett mango, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
3 green onions, thinly sliced (greens and whites)
1 medium sized lime
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons honey

Step 1)
Rinse and drain the beans to get all the bean goop off.

Step 2)
Once everything is sliced and diced, mix all vegetables with the quinoa in a large bowl.

Step 3)
Squeeze the entire lime onto the quinoa and veggies. Then drizzle the vinegar and honey over the whole mixture. Mix it all up!
And there you have it. Eat the rainbow with this tangy salad. I served mine over long leaves of lettuce. It also goes really well as a side with grilled chicken breast. I love the tropical vibe I get from this salad…so summery!

Nutritional Information Per serving
1 serving = 1 cup salad, for a total of 8 servings
Calories: 299
Carbohydrates: 59g
Fat: 3g
Protein: 11g
Sugar: 11g

Hope you all enjoy this salad and enjoy the sunshine this weekend!
-Rianna

 

Low-Cal Cabbage Soup

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Happy Hump Day!

I have a question for you: It’s Spring, right? There are supposed to be flowers blooming and birds chirping? Not in Windsor, it seems! I woke up yesterday to this:

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Yes, that is snow. No, I do not like it! It is that kind of weather that makes me want to curl up in bed all day with my little snuggle bear and have a Dora the Explorer Marathon. It is also the kind of chilly day that calls for a nice steaming bowl of soup to warm you up!

Today’s recipe is low-cal cabbage soup. My aunt used to make cabbage soup for me all the time when I was younger (I think I was the only person who liked it!), so I decided to try my hand at it.

These are the vegetables that I used, but feel free to add whatever veggies you like.

Ingredients:
1/2 Green cabbage, chopped (about 4-5 cups)
1 large carrot, chopped into rounds
1 medium sized white onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1/4 cup lentils
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons tomato paste
5 cups vegetable stock
1 (generous) tablespoon dried oregano
1 (generous) tablespoon dreid basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder

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Just toss all these ingredients into a slow cooker and cook on high for three hours. Or, you can cook on low for 4-5 hours.  You could also cook this in a large pot on the stove top on meduim/low heat. if you don’t have a slow cooker. Let me tell you, this just hit the spot!

Nutritional Information: (This is per serving, which is 2 cups of soup)
Calories: 92
Carbohydrates: 16g
Fat: 2g
Protein: 1g

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Grab a spoon, a cuddle buddy and keep warm!
-Rianna