I haven’t been cold in over a week, and I never have to see snow again unless I choose to – can I get a HALLlEUJAH. The California girl in me has retuned, and I’m so full of vitamin D and stuffed with fresh, juicy strawberries I could cry. But I won’t, because life is too short to cry when there is a beach to be played on and frisbees to throw. And if it were up to me, I would be rollerblading that smooth boardwalk nonstop – but Scott will never approve, its right up there with whirlybird hats and tandem bikes to him – so we stick to skateboards and bikes. My bike! Her name is Shelby. She is a white beach cruiser by Schwinn. And she has been locked up in a bike closet in our previous Denver apartment basement for a year and a half, afraid to patrol the gnarly city streets. But now she is free! And we go on sunset rides together daily once again. Along with Scott and his cruiser, Scout. He and I have our own “bike gang” we call Butt Sweat And Tears. That’s right. And now we are back patrolling our neighborhood streets again – these people have never felt so safe.
But I have something more exciting for you other than the weird bike games Scott and I play (Or are they games? Real life? Maybe send help.), it’s this chocolate sea salt grain free granola, and it has changed my granola life! It reminds me so much of the cocoa pebbles cereal from my childhood. I have it paired here with a pb&j smoothie bowl, as well as in a banana cream parfait from my show on Nom this past week! That’s right, both of these recipes are below for you today – plus a bonus of this new blanched maple almond butter I’m all jazzed about right now. YAY. I’m also super stoked with the links this week too, so be sure to check those out below and then keep scrolling for all of the recipes! Happy weekend you guys. – xo
Let’s start off with FOOD. If I could have a few of my favorite bloggers feed me this weekend, it would be Sophie’s carrot + sunflower falafel with hemp sauce, a different Sophie’s chocolate ice cream sandwiches, and Renee’s date sweetened brownies. That’s right, I chose two deserts.
I’m really excited about the #FreshFoodMatters initiative I wrote about in my post this past week. Have you checked it out yet? You can see all of the wonderful info over on the site created for it here. Let’s get hash-tagging!
NOM is blowing up! Not only can you view my channel each week, but now you can also catch tons of other awesome hosts, such as Will Frolic For Food and The Faux Martha! Plus I spied Ashley on there too.
I’m constantly debating the role of coffee in my life. I really enjoyed Mckel’s article on it here, I’m just still not sure where I stand. I’d love to try giving it up, but when I do it never lasts. I need more that “do this”. Its more emotional and psychological for me.
Why do I never look this cute in overalls? I put them on and basically try to wipe the image of my reflection from my memory immediately. Maybe I’m too tall? Sigh.
I was cracking up over the “21 Food Words and Phrases That We Should All Probably Quit Using” by The Kitchn. Guilty.
These products are hilarious and amazing. I want the desk hammock for my feet, and the mini desk vacuum? Dying.
CHOCOLATE SEA SALT GRAIN FREE GRANOLA
Makes about 2 cups of granola.
1 cup raw buckwheat groats
1/4 cup brown sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup raw cacao
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon sea salt (or 3 to 4 good pinches)
5 medjool dates, pitted
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
Preheat the oven to 325F.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the groats through the cacao. Pulse to combine. Add the pitted dates. Process until the dates are broken into tiny chunks. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and add the coconut oil and maple syrup. Stir well with a fork until completely combined. Spread evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, shuffling around the granola once halfway through.
Let the granola fully cool before storing in an airtight glass container at room temperature. Use within 1 week when kept on the counter, or 2 weeks if kept in the fridge.
PB&J SMOOTHIE BOWL W/ COCOA PEBBLES
Makes 1 smoothie bowl.
1 banana (medium, fresh)
1 cup frozen strawberries
2 tablespoons maple almond butter (recipe below)
1 cup Califia vanilla almond milk
1/4 cup chocolate sea salt granola (recipe above)
Combine the banana, strawberries, almond butter, and almond milk in a high speed blender and puree until smooth. Occasionally stopping the machine to give the mixture a stir to help it along may be needed, and if you are using a standard blender you may need to add a bit more almond milk.
Pour the smoothie into a bowl and top with the chocolate granola – or as I like to say, cocoa pebbles.
BLANCHED MAPLE ALMOND BUTTER
Makes about 1 – 16 ounce jar of nut butter.
16 ounces whole, blanched almonds
2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons maple sugar
Preheat the oven to 300F.
Spread the almonds on a parchment lined baking sheet, and toast in the oven for 25 minutes. Let cool, then add to the bowl of a food processor. Add the coconut oil and process until silky smooth. If after 5 minutes the butter isn’t smoothing out, trying adding another teaspoon or two of coconut oil. Once smooth, add the sea salt and maple sugar. Process again for an additional 30 seconds. Stop and taste, adjust salt and maple sugar to your liking, and transfer to an airtight glass jar. Will keep smooth at room temperature for a week, or for 2 weeks in the fridge – but in the fridge it will become thicker, such as in the corner of the photo above.
BANANA CREAM PARFAIT W/ CHOCOLATE ‘NOLA
Makes 1 parfait.
1 medium ripe banana
1 cup plain dairy free yogurt (my favorite is this one)
1/4 cup chocolate sea salt granola (from recipe above)
Cut the banana in half after peeling, and place half of the banana in a small bow. Mash with the back of a fork. Slice the other half of banana into small disks and set aside. Add the yogurt to the bowl with the mashed banana and mash/stir well to combine. Scoop half of the banana cream mixture into a glass, top with 2 tablespoons of chocolate granola, then a few slices of banana. Repeat this process once more, and enjoy right away.
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