How To: Snack Healthy – Granola Crusted Walnuts

DSC04270I don’t have much to say about this recipe, except that as I am typing this blog post, I am wiping away stray granola crumbs that have fallen all over my keyboard as I can not stop munching on this addictive snack.

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And because it is so easy to make, I really don’t need to worry about the fact that my supply is running low. These granola crusted nuts take your traditional nutty granola recipe and turn it on it’s head and ensure you get a satisfying crunchy walnut with every bite.

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Just like our quinoa granola, the use of an egg white to bind everything together eliminates the need for any additional oil. And with just a 1/4 cup of brown sugar, you can feel good about having this with some yogurt and fruit for a healthy breakfast too.

And along with our delicious crostini apps, these nuts can help further eliminate your holiday food stress and serve as a delicious holiday gift or party nibble.

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DSC04271Healthy snack, healthy breakast, party nibble, and host/hostess gift?? What can’t these addictive nuts do??

Dara

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Granola Crusted Walnuts

Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
  • 2 tbsp roasted, unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 cups walnuts

Note

These nuts are great for breakfast mixed in with yogurt or as a snack on the go. Pecans would be a great substitute for walnuts if you have those on hand.

Directions

1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a food processor, combine oats, coconut, pumpkin seeds, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pulse until finely chopped but not too powdery. (ie. it shouldn't look like flour)
3. In a large bowl, whisk egg white and water together until frothy. Add walnuts and toss to coat. Add oat mixture and toss again until evenly coated.
4. Spread nuts on baking sheet. You will have extra oat mixture that doesn't stick - that's ok! Just add it to the baking sheet with the walnuts.
5. Bake for 20 minutes. Stir nuts and bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until brown. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

How To: Homemade Granola Bars – Banana and Cranberry Granola Bars

Banana Cranberry Granola Bars

We are big granola bar eaters in this household. They really are the perfect grab and go snack. And prior to our first homemade batch, I would scout out the grocery stores for when our favourite brands were on sale.

But after seeing just how easy it was to make my own, no sales are needed to have a delicious and healthy on-the-go snack at my fingertips. And these babies are definitely my new favourite brand.

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The best thing about making your own is adding in whatever your heart desires. I love loading them up with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. Bananas and apple sauce serve as the flavour base and the best part? They come together in 10 minutes flat and can also be stored in your freezer.

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I really liked the chewy texture, but if you find them a tad on the dry side, simply add some almond or peanut butter to the wet mixture. Give them a firm press in the pan to help make sure they stay together.

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Out of one batch, you get 16 very good size granola bars. A much better deal than the six that comes in the store bought variety – even with a good sale! A perfect filling and tasty afternoon snack!

Dara

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Banana Cranberry Granola Bars

Serves 16
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Misc Freezable
Website Adapted from Prevention RD

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 2/3 cups unsweetened applesauce
  • 3/4 cups dried cranberries
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter ((optiona)l)

Note

I personally like the granola bars without the peanut butter addition, but if you find them a bit on the dry side (which I like), feel free to add it in to the mix. They are also delicious with some peanut butter slathered on top!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spread oats, chopped pecans, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place in oven and bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes.
2. In a medium bowl, mash bananas. Stir in apple sauce and peanut butter (if using) until combined.
3. Place the toasted oat and nut mixture in a large bowl and add in the dried cranberries, ground flax seed, cinnamon, and salt and stir until combined.
4. Stir the banana mixture into the oat mixture until well combined and starting to form clumps.
5. Meanwhile, prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment paper, letting the parchment paper overlap all sides by about 1 inch.
6. Transfer the oat mixture into the prepared baking dish and press down mixture evenly into pan.
7. Bake until the bars are golden and start to pull away from the sides of the baking dish, about 30 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 minutes.
8. Using the parchment paper, lift bars from pan and let them completely cool to room temperature. Cut into 16 bars and store in airtight container or wrap individually and place in the freezer.

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How To: Make Your Own Granola – Pumpkin Granola

Pumpkin Granola

Sorry if I confused you – no, it is not Thanksgiving. Yes, it still is the month of July. And yet, I’m talking pumpkin today.

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Don’t get me wrong, I so look forward to the first spotting of summer corn and biting into a juicy red tomato – there really is nothing like summer produce! But when it comes to this granola, there is just no way I can wait until the month of October to enjoy.

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Canned pumpkin and apple sauce act to bind together the oats, nuts, and seeds so there is no need for any additional oil in this recipe. Maple syrup and brown sugar add sweetness and cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice give it a delicious warm flavour.

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I think you will love this healthy fall twist on the classic granola. Eat it straight up, with some milk, or build a fruit and yogurt parfait for breakfast or a snack.

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So pretend it’s October, only with beautiful summer weather and crack open a can of pumpkin and enjoy a fall flavoured treat!

Dara

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Pumpkin Granola

Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Ingredients

  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup (scant) brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cups dried cranberries

Note

This granola is perfectly sweet and crunchy without any additional oil. Use whatever nuts or dried fruit you have on hand - chopped almonds or pecans would be great as would diced apricots and raisins.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl mix together oats, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, salt, pumpkin seeds, and chopped walnuts.
3. In a separate bowl, combine pumpkin, apple sauce, vanilla, brown sugar, and maple syrup and whisk until combined. Pour wet ingredients over oats and mix until oats are coated with the wet mixture.
4. Spread oat mixture onto the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, stir, and bake an additional 15 minutes. Add dried cranberries and mix to evenly distribute and bake in oven for an additional 5 minutes.
5. Let cool completely - granola will crisp up some more while it cools.

How To: Make Your Own Granola – Quinoa Granola

DSC03428I’m normally a traditionalist when it comes to granola. Give me some oats, nuts, dried fruit, and maybe a handful or two of coconut, and I’m sold. Like our first homemade granola recipe – It’s just delicious!

But here’s the thing – the 8 day holiday of Passover begins tonight. This means no leavened bread for EIGHT whole days! Think eight days without bread products, pasta, rice, and most grains…except for quinoa!

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You all know we LOVE our quinoa.  And in this granola, it adds an extra protein boost and added crunch to the typical morning cereal.

DSC03426And you don’t need to celebrate passover to enjoy this breakfast treat. Loaded with nuts and dried fruit and sweetened with maple syrup and cinnamon, it is delicious served over yogurt for a snack or in your cereal bowl with milk.

DSC03429Any nut, seed, or dried fruit would be absolutely delicious in this granola. So jazz up your usual breakfast granola with this crunchy and sweet treat!

Dara

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Quinoa Granola

Meal type Breakfast, Snack
Website Adapted From NaturallyElla

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cups quinoa (raw)
  • 1/2 cup cashews (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots (chopped)

Note

You can substitute the nuts and dried fruit for any kind you like. Pumpkin seeds, almonds, walnuts, raisins, and figs would all be great in this recipe. This granola is delicious sprinkled on top of yogurt, eaten with some cold milk, or simply eaten dry by the handful!

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together quinoa, pecans, cashews, coconut, cinnamon, salt, maple syrup, and egg white.
2. Spread out evenly on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove from oven and toss with dried apricots and cranberries.

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How To: Snack Healthy – Apple Slices with A Twist!

An apple a day keeps the doctor away – right?

DSC03398I prefer an apple a day keeps the afternoon hunger at bay! And these apple snacks definitely kick the usual apple slices up a notch! Sure, you could just grab an apple for your afternoon snack, but me, I need something with a little more staying power.

DSC03395This apple snack is  so simple, so delicious, and so filling! And really, no recipe required. Simply slice up your apple, remove the core, and top it with either peanut or almond butter or a shmear of cream cheese. I like a sprinkle of homemade granola or nuts on top for some crunch or some raisins for an extra sweetness and chew. And that’s it! Seriously!

You can totally change up the toppings to suit your taste – try other dried fruit instead of the raisins, use your favourite cereal in place of granola, or add just a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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DSC03397The perfect snack to eat at your desk at work or on a lazy Sunday afternoon at home. Loaded with fiber, protein, and healthy fats, it will be sure to keep you full until dinner time arrives!

Dara

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