Let’s talk about store-bought granola for a second, shall we?
Yes, it’s delicious.
Yes, it’s crunchy.
And yes, it’s often (totally unnecessarily) loaded with refined sugar.
But here’s the good news! You can make a homemade granola that is just as delicious, crunchy, and clustery as its store-bought counterpart. The best part is, it is sweetened with just one, all-natural ingredient: bananas! That’s right. No refined sugar or even honey is needed for this deliciousness.
I highly recommend baking up a batch of this Banana Coconut Granola at the beginning of the week and dividing it into containers for munching on throughout the week. You can serve it with almond milk, oatmeal, with berries in a yogurt parfait or even on its own.
2 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 300°F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, and sea salt.
Add the mashed banana and coconut oil into the bowl with the oat mixture. Use a spoon to mix ingredients until evenly distributed.
Spread mixture in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Press down slightly and place in oven.
Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, checking and tossing every 15 minutes. Break up large clusters if necessary. Once the granola is evenly browned and no longer feels damp, remove from oven. (Note: As it cools it will crisp up even more, so do not over-bake.)
Once cooled completely, store in an airtight container at room temperature up to one week, or store in the freezer for a few months.
Like everyone else, I’m obsessed with all things avocado. This ice cream recipe is creamy, despite being totally dairy-free, and the avocados provide a hefty dose of heart healthy fats to keep your skin plump and belly full.
3 ripe avocados
1 frozen banana
1 cup coconut cream (the thick cream that forms at the top of a can of full-fat coconut milk)
1/2 cup honey
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
Remove the pits from the avocados (discard the pits), separate the thick cream from the top of the can of full-fat coconut milk (save or discard the water at the bottom) and blend all ingredients together in a high speed blender or food processor.
A tip for the coconut cream: place the can of coconut milk in the fridge upside down for 4-6 hours before using it and the cream will solidify, leaving the water at the top of the can. I always keep a can of coconut milk in my fridge so it’s ready to use when I need it.
Once the ingredients are blended, pour into a container and freeze, covered, for 4-6 hours or until frozen. Once frozen, remove from freezer and let it soften on the counter before trying to scoop it.
If you’ve been following me for a while now, you may have noticed I like to eat my greens. I try to find ways to incorporate different greens into my diet and this chlorella milk is perfect for that.
Chlorella is rich in beta-carotene, the antioxidant form of vitamin A. You may be familiar with beta-carotene as an important nutrient for eye health, but it’s also an important nutrient for the skin because it may help inhibit sun damage and regulates collagen and healthy skin cell production. Low levels of vitamin A have been linked to acne, which suggests beta-carotene from whole food sources, such as chlorella, may be a helpful natural remedy for clear skin.
Chlorella is also one of the only plant foods that offers a highly absorbable form of vitamin B12. B12 is mostly found in animal products such as meat, eggs and poultry. While some plant foods contain small amounts of B12, most aren’t efficiently absorbed. This makes chlorella an amazing green superfood for those who follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, as one serving of chlorella offers 100% of the daily recommended value of B12— and a form your body can actually use!
Another unique benefit of chlorella is that it contains a nutrient that cannot be found in any other food on the planet.
This nutrient is called Chlorella Growth Factor, or CGF. Chlorella Growth Factor allows chlorella to multiply by 4 every 24 hours. Now, that’s a remarkable benefit in the plant kingdom, but how does that benefit your body?
When we ingest CGF, these “growth factor” benefits transfer to our internal health, and help our cells repair and regenerate. Found in Chlorella Growth Factor are the nucleic acids, RNA and DNA, which may help promote healthier cells, increased energy, improved skin health, cognitive function and a stronger immune system.
Give this creamy protein and mineral rich milk a try. It’s vegan, raw, gluten free, dairy free, and paleo.
2 tablespoons chlorella, organic and powdered
2 cups filtered water
½ cup cashews, raw
½ cup almonds, raw
3 dates, pitted
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of sea salt
Soak the cashews and almonds for at least 2 hours in water, discard the water after soaking.
Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth.
Chill before enjoying.
Shake well before serving if it’s been stored or a quick reblend will help.
Keeps for 2-3 days in the fridge.
A couple variations
Try adding 1-2 tablespoons of good quality cocoa or carob powder to create a chocolate milk
Lower in sugar option: use stevia to taste instead of dates
Higher protein option: add a scoop of your favorite protein powder, shake well.
Mineral and protein boost: add double the amount of chlorella, which will also make this richer in color
Update your guacamole recipe by adding protein-packed yogurt to make a healthy dip. Plus I made this one dairy free for those who are sensitive to it or are just trying to avoid dairy but would like a creamy snack. Try it with some raw veggies, pita chips or pretzels or replace the mayo on your sandwich with it.
For an extra kick, add minced jalapeño or your favorite hot sauce for some zing!
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut yogurt (dairy free)
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
2 tbsp chopped onion
1 tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper
Place avocado, yogurt, cilantro, onion, lime, salt and pepper to food processor. Process till smooth. Season with hot sauce if desired.
This would be great to make ahead. Just cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Just stir it a bit before serving.