Posts tagged ‘honey’

August 16, 2011

granola for friends

I love granola much more than I should.  Yes, it is healthy, but not eaten by the handful like it so commonly is (in this household anyways).  After the gluten episode this past weekend we were forced to re-evaluate our oat consumption.  I was going on a nice streak there for a while where I had oats every breakfast – and I mean each and every breakfast.  Sure, there were a couple of other things thrown in their occasionally, but usually it was oats.  Regular oats, steel-cut oats, oat bran, overnight oats, dough-boy smoothies…  Because of the sheer consumption of oats and a new employee budget, gluten-free oats was not something that I even wanted to think about.  Yes, I will pay $2 for more oats and avoid paying $6 for just making sure they’re not cross-contaminated with wheat.  Well, as I now know – gluten-free oats should be the star of the show here.  Unfortunately we had over half of a big tub of good ol’ quaker oats to use up and I was not going to throw away any more food.  And there’s no better place to use up food you can no longer can eat than on your friends!  I surprised one of my good friends with a big ol’ bag of this granola.  And I will definitely be making it again for myself and sister with gluten-free oats.

Cinnamon-Vanilla Granola adapted from Coffee & Tea Warehouse 

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2c light brown sugar
  • 1/4c oat flour (or whole-wheat)
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/3c grapeseed oil
  • 1/4c honey
  • 1t vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 300′ and get out a rimmed baking sheet.

2. Place rolled oats into a large bowl and add in the brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon.  Mix to distribute.

3. In a small sauce pan, heat up the oil and honey until they just come to a simmer.  Take off heat and add vanilla.

4. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.

5. Put on the baking sheet and bake for around 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes.

This recipe is incredibly versatile.  You can add nuts, seeds, dried fruits, cacao nibs… anything your heart fancies.  This was always my go-to granola recipe a few years back and I am not quite sure why I ever gave up using it!  I always added 1c of sunflower seeds in with the oats and it was awesome.

I highly recommend making this and having a bowl full of granola with the milk of your choice.  Just doesn’t get much better than that.

Want a more natural and gluten-free version?  Here’s what changes I will make next time for us!

  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
  • 2T sucanat
  • 1/4c oat flour
  • 1/2t salt
  • 2t cinnamon
  • 1/3c grapeseed oil
  • 1/4c honey
  • 1t vanilla

I would consider decreasing the oil a bit as well… but it is just so darn good I don’t think I want to mess with it too much!  But I think decreasing the amount of sweetness and using sucanat instead of brown sugar will be the perfect alteration for our taste buds.

Now where are those gluten-free oats…

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July 11, 2011

my water obsession

My favorite Camelbak water bottle!

I’m not sure about you, but I have a little bit of a water addiction.  I know the word out there is to “drink more water!”, but seriously, sometimes I have to tell myself to stop drinking so much water.  In fact, there were a couple of weeks lately where I kept feeling slightly off with nothing to attribute it to until I realized how many ounces of water I was taking in versus my naturally low sodium intake.  I was definitely lacking in electrolytes, bordering on hyponatremia.  It’s a really good thing I figured that out before anything bad actually happened to me.

It’s a difficult balance between dehydration and hydration on hot summer days, especially when exercising.  How much is enough water?  How much is too much?  Is drinking while running going to cause a cramp?  Is not drinking enough while running going to cause a cramp?  Yikes.

I am still trying to get used to running with a water bottle.  On shorter runs, I might not bother bringing one along because I know I’ll be home soon and I hydrated earlier in the day, but on longer runs I have to remember to bring something and to continue to drink it steadily throughout the run to stay in balance.  One other tricky thing is that water alone is not enough, it needs to be balanced with some sort of electrolyte to make it effective.

On my journey to clean eating, I gave up so many processed, convenience foods that naturally my sodium intake level dropped significantly, without even trying.  I now have to consciously salt foods throughout the day to keep up with my water intake and how much I exercised that day.  After my 10k, I even just ate a packet of salt to replace what I had lost.  I know you may be thinking, just drink gatorade or any other sports beverage and you’ll be fine, but I am not a fan of some of the ingredients they use and would rather get my electrolytes in a more natural form.  A good measurement to go by is 1/4t of salt for every 16oz of water you drink.

Awhile back, Kinley found a recipe by Daily Garnish for a Homemade Sports Drink which I now like to take out with me as my mileage is getting higher and the sun is getting hotter.  Instead of sticking right to that recipe, we typically just use salt, a squirt of lime or lemon juice and some agave nectar to make it even more natural but just as effective.  I have to admit however that I have not been successful at making it Kinley’s way (she is much more the eyeball measurements type of mixer and her guesses on the amounts have not turned out for me – so I ask her to put it together for me!).  But as long as there is some salt and sugar/agave in the mix, your body will thank you and be able to recover faster than just drinking water.  Make it as sweet or salty as you like by tweaking the ingredients.

Naturally Clean Sports Drink

  • Salt (1/4t for 16oz water)
  • Lime or Lemon Juice
  • Agave or Honey
  • Water

Moral of the story, drink water, but not too much.  However, I am not a nutritionist by any means so if you have serious concerns with your electrolyte balance during long runs, please seek out a professional for advice.  Happy Summer Running!

June 28, 2011

it’s fall… somewhere?

I was looking for something to bake.  I was in the mood for some type of coffee cake, but came up short in the recipe department.  I was also in the mood for something made with pumpkin… yes, it’s currently June but pumpkin is not a seasonal ingredient for me :).  I found this recipe for gluten free pumpkin muffins, and thinned out the base to make it in a 9×13 pan and topped with some cinnamon oat pecan topping – yum!

*I used the measurement for honey listed below as I prefer my baked goods less sweet.  If you are looking for something a bit sweeter and more dessert like, you can add up to 1/3 cup honey in the base recipe and adjust the amount of honey (or possibly add some brown sugar) in the topping as you desire as well.  Even with the 1T listed below, these bars got a lot sweeter the next day and really turned out delicious!

Cinnamon Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Base

  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1/2c millet flour
  • 1/2 cup (2T garbanzo bean flour + the rest sorghum flour)
  • 1/2 cup ground flax
  • 1t baking soda
  • 1t baking powder
  • 1t nutmeg
  • 1T cinnamon
  • 1/4t salt
  • 1/4 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 15oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • 1T honey
  • ~3/4c water

Topping

  • 1/2c oats
  • 1/2c crushed pecans
  • ~1 1/2 T honey
  • ~1T water

cinnamon to taste (lots for me!)

1. Sift together the flours and add the flax, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, cinnamon and salt.

2. Whisk together the almond milk, pumpkin, applesauce and honey.

3. Create a hole in the center of the dry ingredients.  Add in the wet mixture and mix until combined.  You can add the water at this point to get your desired consistency.  (Since I was baking it as a coffee cake, I wanted it thinner than the original recipe made).  Pour into a 9×13 pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.

4. Mix together the oats and pecans for the topping.  Add in the honey and water to create a crumbly topping.  Sprinkle on top of the base batter.

4.  Bake in at 350* for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Serve with butta!  (aka Earth Balance)