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Granola, 2 ways!

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My family LOVES granola! I do too! Do you???

I didn’t always like it though…it was made with honey, and I have learned that I like it better made with real maple syrup. Isn’t that the cool thing about cooking? If we understand that it needs a sweetener, we can play around and use one we like!!

Here are 2 granola recipes – a traditional one, and for those with grain sensitivities, a grain-free granola! Happy munching!!

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Granola/Breakfast Bars

Ingredients

  • 4 cups oats
  • optional – 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups of mix-ins: dried cranberries, dried blueberries, shredded coconut, chopped nuts
  • 2/3 cup nut butter (our favorite is almond)
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2  cup coconut oil
  • optional – 2 tsp vanilla

Instructions

Note: If making bars, pack tightly into the pan. Cut them and refrigerate them for a longer shelf life. Granola does not need to be refrigerated.

  1. Mix wet ingredients over low heat in a small saucepan
  2. Throw all dry ingredients in a big bowl.
  3. When coconut oil is melted and all the wet ingredients are well-blended, pour into dry ingredients. Stir well.
  4. Bake at 350 in a 9” by 13” pan, lightly greased with coconut oil. Bake 15-25 minutes til light brown. Do not over bake.

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Grain-free Granola

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Ingredients

  • 4 cups raw nuts (any combination will do – I like almonds, walnuts and pecans)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 and 1/2 Tbs. vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs cinnamon plus extra if you like more.
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded coconut ( I love shredded coconut!)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

Note: On soaking nuts: cover in a glass bowl with an inch of water and 1 tsp. salt. Stir. Let soak for 24 hours. Drain and pat excess water off.

  1. Soak the nuts.
  2. Put nuts in a food processor. Lightly pulse a couple times.
  3. Add all other ingredients, and pulse until they are combined.
  4. Spread on 2 trays covered with parchment paper.
  5. Dehydrate in the oven @ 170 for 3 hours, stirring half-way through. For the 4th hour, turn the oven off and leave the granola in the oven. When cool, store in airtight container.                       Tip: To let the moisture out of the oven, stick a wooden spoon to keep the oven door open a crack.

The 2nd recipe was inspired by the lovely Danielle Walker @http://againstallgrain.com/. She successfully taught me how to soak nuts! Thanks Danielle!

~ Savvy Food Mama

 

*** I am joining Jen @http://www.conversiondiary.com/ for a week’s worth of blog posts! Want to join the fun with your blog??? Click here to find the link-up! http://www.conversiondiary.com/2014/02/7-posts-7-days.html

*How* we eat….

What a funny title for a blog post!!!  Well, I promised y’all that I would share how we avoid the conundrum of an open-house refrigerator. So here it is!

We feed the family 3-4 times a day. Breakfast around 7-7:15am, lunch @ noon-ish, snack about 3:30-4pm and dinner is usually between 5 and 5:30. The adults in the house may or may not have a snack. We use the French word for that, “goûter” pronounced goo-tay.

I usually do not allow any eating between meals. There are occasional exceptions, like a party or a special playdate.  Tough mama? Nope. Think back to traditional cultures where their survival depended on them working very hard for every thing they used – clothes, food, shelter. They didn’t have time to be grazing constantly!!! Do you remember talking about the “satiety switch” that is triggered by the good fats? (https://savvyfoodmama.com/2013/08/13/the-story-of-flavor-part-1/) Eating enough good fats is the key here to being satisfied for several hours. Gradually, one begins to get hungry again. And then it is time to eat. It does take a consistent effort on my part to make sure we are including enough good fats at a meal. I frequently ask myself, “what else can I do to add good fats in?” In America, we actually eat very little good fats. For our good fats, we focus on coconut oil, pastured butter and cod liver oil. I notice my little people do really well on 1 tsp of good fats/meal. An adult needs more like 1 Tbs.

It is so interesting to see what my metabolism is up to right now. I am pregnant with my third baby, and thus far, I have always thought that I was just “one of those” pregnant mamas that needed to eat 6 times a day. You know – breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack. This is the first pregnancy I am not experiencing those cravings. I can tell the difference when I am eating enough of the good fats. Most of the time, I stop eating with dinner. On the occasion where I have forgotten or skipped the good fats, sure enough I end up hungry sooner or more frequently than usual. 

You know, it is no secret that the U.S. is considered unhealthy. The latest I have heard is that 1/3 of the country’s population is obese and another 1/3 is overweight. I don’t know how accurate that is, but it makes me wonder about this predicament we are in. Do you ever wonder if maybe it is because of the way we’ve learned to eat? With all the vending machines available and the habits of eating between meals or on the run, it is just so easy to eat very frequently.  What do you think?

~ Savvy Food Mama

BREAKFAST!

What do you like to eat for breakfast? Do you eat breakfast? Do you stick with coffee and that is it?

I have been fascinated with the idea of getting 3 square meals a day. (This means a good balance of protein, good fats and some carbs.)   You know, when you think about the cultures where the people lived off the land, they didn’t have a ton of time to spend eating.  It sometimes strikes me as funny, how often we eat in the American culture, especially with small kids around.  Breakfast, morning snack, lunch, snack when the kids wake up from naps, the older kids want snack after school (then of course, the little ones do too!), dinner, after dinner is over “I’m hungry!” “Didn’t you just eat?”  Does it ever go this way @ your house?

We’ve come up with a plan to navigate these waters of constant eating. It takes consistency. I will tell you about that plan in a subsequent post. For now, I’d love to share with you what we do for breakfast.

Starting out with a good protein makes a huge difference for us. We usually fix eggs, often cooked in the leftover good fats from dinner the night before (we’ve tried chicken eggs, steak eggs, coconut oil eggs, eggs in butter – all these are delicious)! Sometimes we change up our protein with nut butter on toast with a glass of milk or yummy breakfast sausage from clean pork.*

In addition to our protein, we do at least one other dish. Between the 2 dishes we serve at breakfast, I (as the usual chef) make sure to incorporate some good fat. Our brains need good fats, our nerves need good fats and our guts need good fats.

Our typical 2nd dish at breakfast is a breakfast shake. I make ours with kefir (I looked up kefir to give you a good description and found this: a sour-tasting drink make from cow’s milk fermented with certain bacteria.), frozen fruit (strawberries, cherries, a banana, blueberries, mango, whatever you like) milk (cow or coconut) and sometimes, a little orange juice. You can be as creative as you want.

Other 2nd dish options – gluten-free sourdough toast with lots of pastured butter (we get this kind at our healthfood store: http://samisbakery.com/our-products/breads/millet-sourdough-bread/), soaked oatmeal (made by mixing the oats the night before with some plain yogurt and a little milk, leaving them out overnight and then following the directions in the morning), plain yogurt with granola, and sometimes, for a treat we make pancakes.

My favorite part of breakfast? Feeling like I ate right! I love that feeling!

I would love to hear your favorite part of breakfast!

Happy Eating!

~ Savvy Food Mama

* GREAT source for clean meats! http://www.grasslandbeef.com/StoreFront.bok