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

 

Oatmeal Banana Waffles

oatmeal banana waffles

“We need to remember what’s important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.”

-Leslie Knope

Such wise words to live by. Sometimes you just need to take a break from work, school (thank goodness midterms are done!), and the crazy schedules that we all have, and put waffles first. During the week I usually am awake pretty early, try to squeeze in a run if I have had enough sleep (a few months ago I would have thought this was a crazy idea, but Elle has been sleeping through the night much better lately), and folllow up with a bowl of oatmeal. This is pretty standard. There are soooooooo many different oatmeal concoctions that I can’t wait to try. I think next I will try carrot cake oatmeal. Because cake. For breakfast. Yes. Anyway, this weekend, I needed waffles. I just did. So I thought, why not combine my love of oatmeal and waffles? The result: healthy and delicious oatmeal banana waffles!

So simple. I love simple. Here is what you’ll need:

-2 packages of regular instant oatmeal (you could experiment and use any flavour )
-one banana (ripe)
-3/4 cups almond milk (I use Silk Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk, but I imagine regular milk would work just fine, too)
-1 egg
-1 tsp baking soda
-2 tsp cinnamon (can ommit, or add more)
-1 tablespoon coconut oil (melted)

Just put all ingredients into a blender (I used a magic bullet) and blend, baby, blend! When you’ve achieved a nice smooth mixture, your waffle batter is ready. Just use the same amount of batter in a waffle iron as you would for normal waffles. The only thing I would do differently is cook them about 1-2 minutes longer than normal waffles because of their kind of “gooey” consistency. I’d say they taste like banana bread in waffle formation…does it get better than that?!? While the waffles were still hot, I spread a bit of Nutella on them, added some sliced bananas, sliced almonds, and a sprinkling of flax seeds. Perfection.

There is so much you could do with these. Peanut butter or almond butter on top would be amazing! Or…have you ever mixed vanilla Greek yougurt with honey and cinnamon? Get some pecans mixed in there, too, and BAM! Of course, you can always go with classic maple syrup. I like to cut back on the sugar, though, and use E.D. Smith’s No Sugar Added Syrup made from grape juice. Once you go Smith, you’ll always eat breakfast with! (Yes, I made that up.) Scrumptious combinations are endless. You can even make an extra batch and freeze them for later.

Nutritional Information per waffle (my waffle maker made 5 waffles with this recipe)

Calories: 109
Carbohydrates: 15g (THAT”S AMAZING!)
Fat: 5g
Protein: 14g
Sugar: 3g

Hope you enjoy!

-Rianna

Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad

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Hi everyone! I hope that you’ve all had a fun-filled weekend. Today I am sharing with you a recipe that I decided to try during the week. Since we had one day of 50 degree weather (Hey, this is warm when a few days ago we were hit with more snow!), I was thinking of making something light and spring-y. The recipe? Ginger Sesame Chicken Salad, adapted from the recipe that Curtis Stone shared in Redbook.  I loved it and so did Elle! Well, she liked the chicken and the carrots, but wasn’t such a fan of the cabbage (she is just getting her molars now, so she still has trouble with grinding foods that are hard to chew). Here’s what you’ll need to get started cooking:

Dressing:

¼  cup soy sauce

3 Tbsp finely chopped (and peeled) fresh ginger

3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil

2 Tbsp hoisin sauce

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1-2 tsp sriracha (I used 2…i like the kick it gives!)

1 tsp sea salt

¼ cup white vinegar

Salad

2 cooked chicken breasts, marinated in Hoisin sauce, and cut into bite-sized chunks

1 lb napa cabbage (I only used half of my cabbage), cut into thin slices

1 large carrot, shredded

3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced

½ cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 tsp black sesame seeds

STEP 1.

Get that chicken cooked! I used 2 chicken breasts with the bone in. Once marinated, I popped it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes. Once it had cooled, I cut it into (bite-able) pieces. You could also grill your chicken, or try cutting it into pieces before you cook it and then pan fry it.

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Step 2.

As your chicken is cooking, you can work on the next steps. It is also a good time to put your toddler in her highchair for snack time while she helps you measure ingredients. Now is the time to mix together all the ingredients for the dressing, and set aside.
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Step 3.

Chop up that cabbage! Slice those scallions! Shred that carrot!
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Step 4.

Toast your almonds. I dry toasted mine on a small frying pan on medium heat. They were very thin sliced almonds and only took about 4 minute to get nice and toasted. We ended up having to make more than 1/2 a cup because Elle and I ended up incorporating  them into snack time!
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Step 5.

Mix together all the salad ingredients, including the chicken, into a large bowl. (Those cabbages are quite compact and seem to really expand when chopped up!) Drizzle your sauce over the salad and mix together until all ingredients are coated. Grab a fork and dig in!
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Hope you all enjoy! I know I did…I may have had it for lunch 3 days in a row.  You might even be lucky enough to have some little hands help clean the dishes when you’re done!
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Nutritional Information:

(I divided this into six servings, so that turned out to be about 1-1/4 cups per serving)

205 calories
10g carbohydrates
15g fat
10g protein

I’d love to know if you have any comments, questions, or suggestions!
-Rianna