Homemade Crunchy Granola

Yogurt for dinner. This is the kind of dinner I have when my husband is gone. I make random dishes that he doesn’t enjoy: lentil soup, rice and beans, vegan chili, and many plant based recipes on my mind. Now, to be fair: my husbands loves his veggies, but he also loves his meat. So, when he’s gone, we pretty much go plant based because that’s my jam. Plus, I finally found a dairy free yogurt that I love: So Delicious. It’s a coconut milk based yogurt. I like to buy plain and then sweeten it myself.

So, one evening we wanted yogurt for dinner. The kids thought it was a fun idea, and I always think of the movie Julie + Julia when I eat this. However, if you’re gonna have yogurt for dinner, you need all the toppings to go with it. (If you give a mouse a cookie…).  We had plenty of berries, honey, chia seeds… but we didn’t have any granola. Now, I’ve made homemade granola in the past, but I’ve never been able to get it “clumpy,” and all clumpy granola recipes I was finding was using egg as the binder. Now, I’m not 100% vegan, but I like to limit the amount of animal products I eat (except honey, there are so many health benefits, I still use it often).

I finally stumbled upon a recipe by COOKIE + kate that promised clumpy granola without using eggs. I tweaked it a little, and my kids and I love it. Today, I’m sharing my version of this recipe with you… but first, look at the “clumpiness!”

 (Then just break it into the size you want!)

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 liquid sweetener (I used half honey and half maple syrup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup coconut flakes

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
  3. Combine the wet ingredients in a small bowl, and add to the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix really well to ensure it’s well incorporated.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and pour granola onto the sheet. Make sure to pack it really tight together to help it clump together.
  6. Bake for a total time of 22 minutes, and stir halfway through.
  7. Allow it to cool completely before breaking it up. This will ensure it clumps.
  8. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

  • I know honey isn’t vegan, but I still use it regularly as it has many health benefits. Feel free to use all maple syrup or agave to make this recipe 100% vegan. You do you.
  • Technically, this is a gluten free recipe, but some oats still contain gluten, so make sure your oats are safe if you have a gluten allergy.
  • Pretty much anything can be substituted or added to this recipe, you may just need to make a few adjustments! Some optional add ins are: dried fruit, seeds, and additional spices.

Enjoy this granola over your yogurt, in your bowl of almond milk (check out my easy homemade recipe), or just on its own as a snack!

Check out the poll I did on Instagram. The amount of people that find it acceptable to eat yogurt for dinner is pretty even, so how about you: Yogurt for dinner?

 

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Cilantro Lime Yogurt Sauce

The other day I asked my husband what he wanted for dinner. Now what this really means is: pick a side and a starch. In our house we hardly ever have a traditional salad. I found that with my boys they eat tons of vegetables if I just chop them up in toddler sized pieces, put them on a plate, and serve it with Ranch dressing. Anyho, so I asked Nathan what he wanted for dinner. He asked for grilled chicken and my cilantro-lime rice.

While I am making dinner, I remember that a few weeks ago when I made this dish we really wanted a sauce to go with it. Actually, it was when I was making the cilantro lime rice with some grilled fish. I remembered that the dish was good, but almost begging for a sauce … A nice cool and creamy element to the dish. Obviously, I had a lot of cilantro and lime on hand so I pulled out the food processor and got to work. I came up with a cilantro and lime yogurt sauce. This sauce is ridiculous. I wanted to eat it by the spoonful. Ok, I did once. Are you ready for the recipe? I actually measured this time so I could out the recipe. It’s quick and easy too! I made it while my chicken and rice were cooking, and still had time to chop up all our veggies before it got done.

cilantrolimesauce

Ingredients:
• 1 cup plain yogurt
• ¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro
• 1-2 cloves of garlic
• ¼ teaspoon black pepper
• ½ teaspoon salt
• Zest of one lime

Directions:
1. Place all the ingredients in the food processor.
2. Pulse until the cilantro is well blended in the sauce.
3. Pour into a bowl and serve over chicken, fish, or protein of your choice.
4. Stop licking the spoon and go eat your dinner!

Notes:
• The yogurt I used was just plain (full fat, baby) yogurt. If you use Greek yogurt, you may need to thin it out with a splash of milk if the sauce isn’t the consistency you want.
• When I made this I used 2 cloves of garlic and it was just a tad strong for me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the sauce, but the garlic lingered long after dinner. So, if you like a light garlic taste then just start with 1 clove.
• I normally skip a dressing with my veggies, but I ended up using this not just on my chicken, but as my dressing for the vegetables too!

What other ways can you see yourself using this sauce? Any other variations you want to try?

Cold Oatmeal: Sounds gross, Tastes good!

Cold oatmeal: It sounds gross, doesn’t it? When I first read about cold oatmeal it did not sound appealing. I think it’s because I think of the cold oatmeal I am usually eating: you know, the oatmeal that gets left at the bottom of the pot after my kids are all done eating… That kinda cold oatmeal. BUT this is not just someone’s lifeless leftover oatmeal. It’s a whole new way to eat oatmeal and it tastes so stinkin’ good. The best part is that you make it the night before so when you’re ready to eat breakfast the next morning, it’s all done! Did I mention you can totally make this dairy free if you wish? I got a recipe from theyummylife.com and just catered it to my preferences. So, here’s my first cold oatmeal recipe that I tried and adore! Let’s get started.

oatmeal

Ingredients:
• ¼ cup old fashion oats (stay away from instant, it’s way processed)
• ¼ cup vanilla yogurt
• ¼ cup milk
• ¼ cup berries
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• Dash of nutmeg

Directions:
1. Combine all ingredients in a glass 8 oz. jar with a lid.
2. Secure tightly with a lid and place in the refrigerator to let it sit overnight.
3. In the morning, top with fresh berries and one more dash of cinnamon. (Optional).
4. Eat and enjoy your healthy, ready-to-go breakfast. Share with your toddlers, which really means you should triple the recipe because everyone loves it!

Notes:
• To make this dairy free, simply substitute the milk and yogurt for a quality soy, almond, or coconut option. I used organic soy milk and it turned out great.
• You can use whatever yogurt you have on hand. If you want to avoid the added sugars of the vanilla yogurt, just use plain yogurt and you can add a splash of vanilla extract and honey to taste.
• When you mix all the ingredients together, it will be a thinner mixture and thicken overnight.
• This recipe makes one serving, so if you’re wanting to make it for your family just double or triple the recipe and place in separate jars so there’s no fighting over it in the morning.
• Get creative with the flavors and add-ins: try it with chia seeds or sliced almonds, bananas or peaches would be yummy too!

Have you tried cold oatmeal before?  What are your favorite add-ins?