How to make your own granola
It’s so easy, quick and fun to make your own home made granola.
It’s not only better for you (has less sugar) but also cheaper, fresher and tastier.
I’ll show you how I make mine, step by step.
2 Cups of Oats
1/2 Cup of crushed or blanched almonds
2 Tb.Spoons of seeds (I use Sunflower)
1/4-1/3 Cup of Dry cranberries or raisins
2 TbS of Maple Syrup, Agave or liquid Honey
1 TbS of Brown Sugar
2 TbS of Sunflower Oil
1 Tsp of Vanila Extract
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl, until the oils and sugars have coated the oats and the other dry elements well.
- Granola before adding liquid parts (oil, maple syrup/honey &vanila)
Then place on a baking sheet and bake at 300F for 5-7 min, stir it up and broil for another 3-5 min until oats are golden and crunchy.
- Granola before baking
- Granola after baking
Then transfer to a nice sealed container and eat later with milk or yogurt, topped with fruit, berries or chocolate chips!
Natasha’s Carrot Walnut & Raisin Muffins
My lovely friend Natasha sent me this great muffin recipe based on leftover carrot pulp after juicing carrots! what a great idea, that truly is a green recipe
(If you don’t have a juicer then use grated carrots!)
2 Cups whole wheat flour
¼ Cups sugar
1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ Cups vanilla soymilk
3 TBS vegan margarine
Carrot pulp- as much as you like (1.25 cups)
Raisins- as many as you like (2 TBS)
Walnuts- as many as you like (2 TBS)
Mix all dry ingredients together. In separate bowl blend wet ingredients together. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients making sure not to mix too much- just until blended. Fold in carrot pulp, raisins, and walnuts
Preheat oven to 400 deg F. Spray muffin tin with non stick spray. Scoop a couple of tablespoons of batter into tins.
Bake about 20 minutes or until golden brown on the outside and cooked through the inside. Makes 12 muffins. Enjoy!!!
Spring has brought life back!
Flowers and leaves are coming back from a long winter and the sunshine is bringing a large selection of new seasonal ingredients which are ideal for salads and fresh and tasty sandwiches:
Beet, Apple and Walnut Salad
Sliced raw beet and apple salad with mozzarella balls and avocado chunks layered on top of a bed of mixed greens and drizzled with an olive oil, lime, balsamic vinegar, chopped walnuts and oregano dressing.
Lemon Chickpea and Bulgur Salad
Inspired by Heidi’slemon scented quinoa salad.
The dressing has tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic and olive oil and the salad is made up by baby spinach, garbanzo beans, chopped tomatoes and boiled bulgur, and it’s topped with lemon zest.
Bulguris also the main ingredient in the famous tabbouleh salad and can be substituted by quinoa or cous cous in this recipe.
Spinach Salad with Creamy Basil and Almond Dressing
This recipe is from ED&BV and the dressing is absolutely fantastic, it’s sweet, creamy and delicious!
The main ingredients of the dressing (although it has more) are almonds, fresh basil, soy milk, maple syrup and oil it’s sooo good!
Pair with some red onions and cubed tomatoes (and avocado goes also pretty well).
On whole wheat seeded bread. Beats a BLT!
One yolk 2 white omelet, soy bacon, sprouts, tomato, greens and guac.
Spring Asian Noodles
Soba rice and buck wheat noodles with sauteed broccoli, tons of chopped ginger, tons of chopped garlic, a splash of low sodium tamari and topped with chopped cashews and a sprinkle of sesame oil.
Homemade hummus: 1 can of cooked chickpeas, 2Tsp Tahini, olive oil, 1 garlic clove, 1tbs lemon, paprika, salt and pepper with tomatoe, pea sprouts, soy bacon and avocado on whole wheat bread.
Spring Whole Wheat Pasta Salad
Whole wheat fusilli with grilled veggies (zucchini, broccoli,carrot, red pepper) fresh tomatoes, red onions and ricotta cheese, with a light olive oil, oregano and thyme dressing topped with fresh basil.
Creamy, healthy, fresh and delicious.
The last of the Winter
Winter is coming to an end, and what better way to celebrate than with healthy, tasty vegetarian recipes.
Here is some of the things that I’ve been cookin’ this last few weeks:
Split Pea Soup
Simple, easy and delicious, this protein filled soup will keep you warm and satisfied in the chilliest winter night. The lemon zest and toasted almonds give it the special touch that make this soup so unique.
Saute two chopped onions with olive oil, then add 1 Cup (or 1.5) of dry split peas, add some paprika, salt, black pepper, and add water (cover by two fingers). Let it boil, then lower to simmer, and stir occasionally. If it needs more water add a little, then when the peas are cooked (30 min approx.) and with the help of an immersion blender or blender blend to a cream 60% of the soup and mix with the rest so its creamy but with chunky bits. Top with lemon zest, more paprika and toasted almonds. Pair with a crunchy artisan wheat bread.
Cauliflower & Green Bean Curry with Crushed Peanuts
One chopped cauliflower head,1 onion, 2 carrots, a cup of fresh or frozen green beans, 1/2 cup of peas, cooked with curry powder or mix of curry spices, 1/2 Cup of Coconut milk. Top with crushed peanuts and paired with brown rice.
Veggie and Rice Patties with Potato Squashers and Swiss Chard
This recipe is from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan, one of my favorite cook books.
The Pattie is crispy in the outside and moist and delicious on the inside, just like the potato squashers!
Vegan Sweet Potato Chili
This recipe is inspired by one in ED&BV but with my own twist. It has 1.5 C Red lentils, 1 can black beans, 3 sweet potatoes, 1 onion, cumin, paprika and some mushrooms stirred in at the end (cut in 4). Topped with guacamole or just nicely ripped avocado is lovely served in a bowl as chili, or in a wrap as a tasty burrito. This is one of my favorites and make it all the time, it’s SO good!
Carrot, Butternut Squash and Potatoe Soup
This is a super easy, vitamin filled soup. It’s so tasty that you will for sure have more than one bowl!
Saute 1 big onion or 2 small ones in olive oil, then add chopped carrots (6 medium), one chopped squash (you can split it, bake it and then scoup it out) and 4-5 small-medium potatoes. Add salt, pepper and cover with water, bring to boil and let it simmer for 30 min in medium/low heat. When the carrots and tators are tender set aside and blend. Top with a sprinkle of olive oil and nice home made croutons and a bit of thyme.
And there is always room for dessert or merienda (afternoon snack) in my house, specially if the treats are healthy! Most of this are based on EDBV.
Double Chocolate Chip Cookies
Chocolate Banana Nut Muffins
Almond Spiced Cookies
Pumpkin Oat & Chocolate Chip Muffins
Winter is not popular among most people. It’s wet, cold and dark, and doesn’t invite to exploration or street life.
But one of the best ways to experience a happy and warm winter is with delicious, nutritious and flavorful meals that will keep you healthy and smiling during the hard winter months.
These foods are…
30% Local (One of the worst things about New England Winters, I can’t wait for Spring and the Mass Farmer’s Market)
100% Easy and Delicious
(If you have any questions contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Soups are mostly enjoyed in cold winter days. Now is the time to get yourself a warm bowl of this rich, super nutritious and tasty soup! (Disclaimer: This will be one of the best soups you’ve ever had) -Vegan
Ingredients (4-6 Bowls)
-6 Leeks (chopped)
-1 Broccoli Head (chopped into florets)
-5 Potatoes (chopped into chunks)
-1 Cup Frozen Peas
-Artisan Bread (it will soak the soup without getting soggy if its crunchy or one day old)
-Soy Bacon (topping)
-Salt, pepper, 1tsp Cumin, 1tsp Thyme and 1tsp Paprika (or more if needed)
Saute leeks, potatoes and spices in olive oil for a few minutes, then add broccoli and peas, cover with water, bring to a boil and let simmer for about 30-40 min, until potatoes are very tender. Let it cool, blend 1/2 of the soup and then mix with unblended half to create a creamy base with a few chunks, or if you don’t like it chunky then blend 3/4 of the soup. Then top the soup with fried and sliced soy “bacon” bits and croutons, and add an extra sprinkle of thyme.
I call this Belgian pasta because it combines whole wheat pasta with one of my favorite winter veggies, Brussels Sprouts! There’s a lot of people that don’t like or appreciate this lovely and nutritious vegetable, but I assure you that if you eat it like this you will become a new fan!
Ingredients (2 servings): 10 (or more) Brussels Sprouts cut into quarters, 3 fresh diced tomatoes (1 can of diced tomatoes), 4 cloves of garlic (chopped),1.5 Cups of whole wheat Pasta (rombi, penne, farfale, etc), oregano, basil, salt, pepper and grated Parmesan. Stir fry BS with very little olive oil, when they’re crispy and tender add tomatoes, salt and herbs, saute and add to cooked (al dente) pasta, top with cheese (or not if vegan).
Quinoa Stuffed Roasted Peppers
Quinoa is a wonderful ancient protein-filled grain which I love to use for stuffing or side dishes. Combined with earthy mushrooms and sweet red peppers makes a flavorful, low fat and nutritious meal that is filled with color and vibrancy. I like to pair these stuffed peppers with sweet potato fries and a green veggie.
Ingredients (2 servings): 2 red peppers,1 chopped onion, 1 cup quinoa, 1 cup chopped mushrooms, 2 chopped carrots, 1/2 cup pf chopped spinach, rosemary, oregano, salt, pepper and mozzarella cheese for topping if desired. Rinse the quinoa, boil it, and when it’s done set it aside. Cut 2 peppers in half and roast for only 10-15 min.Saute herbs, onion, carrots, mushrooms and spinach, then mix with cooked quinoa. Stuff the peppers with quinoa+veggies and roast in oven for another 20 min at 350 F, top with cheese and broil at the end, and top with more rosemary.
Banana Date Walnut Bread (Vegan)
I’ve mastered this recipe after many trials and I hope you like it as much as I do. It’s so moist and decadent that you’ll forget that it’s vegan and healthy! The natural sweetness of the bananas and dates allow for the use of very little sugar, and the whole wheat and spelt flours are a great source of fiber.
-3 Ripe Bananas (the riper the sweeter the bread will be)
-1 Cup of Whole Wheat Unbleached Flour
-1/2 Cup of Spelt Flour
-1tsp of Baking Powder
-1/2 Cup of Apple Sauce
-1/3 Cup Sunflower Oil
– 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
-2 TbS of Maple Syrup
-Pinch of Salt
-1/2 Cup of Walnuts (whole)
-1/2 Cup of Chopped Dates
-1 tsp Cinnamon
Mix flours, baking powder, salt,spices,sugar, walnuts and dates in a bowl. In a separate bowl mash the bananas or can pure in a blender, then add apple sauce,oil and maple syrup and mix well. Add wet mixture to dry bowl, place in a greased mold and bake for 1 hour at 350 F. (you can also add a few chocolate chips if feeling it).
We ARE what we EAT
What we choose to eat can change the world.
Do you know where your food comes from? Do you know how it affects the earth?
It’s very difficult to control the negative effects of our individual actions, but our food is something that we can easily control. Being an Eco-eater is an easy way to move towards a greener world.
Vegan and vegetarian diets have less of an impact on the earth, since they are produced with less land, water, energy and pollution.
But almost as important is to eat local, seasonal and organic products when possible (to see why organic is so important go here).
If you can’t go by without beef, pork or chicken, it helps to find out where it comes from (was forest destroyed to raise this beef?), how it was produced (using growth hormones, antibiotics?) or how the animals were treated, fed and killed.
Eating fish also contributes to the destruction of the sea floor, pollution of the oceans, extinction of many species and by-catch (accidental killings of other sea animals, such as dolphins, turtles, sharks, etc.). There are “sustainably managed” fisheries that tend to not over-exploit or damage the oceans as badly, or use less destructive fishing methods (will describe these in future posts). Also take into account mercury content on fish, which is greater in predators such as tuna, swordfish, etc.
You don’t have to become a vegetarian to have a positive impact, just choose wisely and consciously!
It’s always better to buy eggs that come from hens that have been raised cage-free in the open, without the use of hormones or other synthetic chemicals, and that have been fed with organic grain. Buying eggs from “happy” hens will ultimately make you happier in many ways!
Yes, environmentally friendly food is more expensive (for now), but we truly are what we eat and we shouldn’t compromise our food sources.
It’s very easy and fun to eat local, organic and vegetarian food. You’ll be helping yourself and the environment!
These are some examples of natural foods with low environmental impact (relatively), I hope you enjoy them!
I’ll start with the most important meal of the day: breakfast (or brunch!):
–Banana Oats with Flax Meal, Crushed Walnuts, Brown Sugar and a table spoon of creamy Almond Butter! – made with soy milk.
This is one of my favorite ways to start the day, it’s filled with fiber, protein, omega-3 (flax seed) and good sugar and carbs. It’s so yummy and good for you! It will also keep you going for hours!
–Whole Wheat Banana Pancakes with Maple Strawberry & Blueberry Sauce:
These are fluffy, healthy and delicious! (and vegan too!)
–Banana Cranberry Chocolate Walnut Bread :
A healthy version of banana bread, with very little sugar, no butter, no eggs (apple sauce instead!) and whole wheat & spelt flours! Moist and delicious with a cup of tea or coffee.
–Veggie Egg Scramble & Carrot, Apple and Ginger Juicewith Multi-grain toast drizzled with olive oil.
I use one egg + 1 egg white per person (to have the protein without the cholesterol) . And this is one of my favorite juices, it’s so tasty! And I always feel great after drinking it.
Some lunch and Dinner options:
Garlic Brocoli (winter veggie) Bean Burrito with Chunky Guacamole
(avocados are not local, but at least organic)
Zucchini & Eggplant Chickpea Stew with Rosemary, Walnut and Raisin Cous-Cous
Salmon Sandwich (from “Sustainable Fishery” in Alaska)
on local whole wheat bread (using unbleached flour)
–Quesadillas with Maple glazed Roasted Brusel Sprouts with Apple (Winter Vegetable)
–Pineapple Soy “Chicken” & Vegetable Fried Brown Rice (with egg and crushed cashews)
– Arugula and Romaine Lettuce Salad
with dried Apricots, grilled Soy “Chicken”,tomato, walnuts with Herb Dressing (olive oil, oregano, basil,thyme, rosemary, salt, lemon juice and vinegar)
And there’s always room for a few vegan treats!!
Most of my baking is vegan (It’s healthier, more eco-friendly, tastes better and you feel good after eating it!), some of the best vegan cookie recipes are found in Eat Drink & Be Vegan, where most of my cookies come from (or are inspired by), these are just a few….
–Double Chocolate Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
–Spiced Almond Cookies and Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cranberry Cookies:
–Chocolate Spelt Cookies with Chocolate Chips and Peanut Butter Swirls:
(much healthier than they look!)
Next time I’ll show you some of my favorite vegan soups and Protein filled grains like Quinoa and Bulgur!