Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters

I love eating granola. I could seriously go through a whole bag or container of it in one day. My favorite are the cluster kinds- it’s delicious. On top of that, I am a fan of homemade food so this was my fav.

Recently we just added a sweet new baby to the mix of our family. One of my good friends probably didn’t know this ( I call her my sista from another mista) came over and brought me a delicious jar full of this mix. I needed this recipe stat. Not only did I enjoy it, but my three year old AND my husband enjoyed it. That means, that jar was gone within a day or two…I was so bummed. Thankfully, she let me have this recipe. It is gluten-free, refined sugar free, soy free and has a grain-free option. I was excited because for me, I like to watch my sugar intake and love when there are substitutes that make it just as scrumptious. You can probably add whatever the heck you want, but this is a good start. I may have to add other things into the mix possibly.

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(that picture makes me want to make another batch)

So, I wanted to share this recipe with you all too. Many people I feel are on gluten diets and sometimes it’s hard to find some real good ones. I do have a sister who does need to be on the gluten free diet for a reason and whenever there is something good, I like to share and help others out. It’s really not that difficult to make which makes it even better!!

Ultimate Nutty Granola Clusters

Makes 6 cups (eighteen 1/3 cup/75-mL servings)

Prep time: 15 minutes .   Cook Time: 38-45 minutes 

Ingredients

1 c. whole raw almonds

1/2 c. raw walnut halves or pieces

3/4 c. gluten-free rolled oats

1/2 c. raw buckwheat groats or gluten-free rolled oats

2/3 c. mixed dried fruit (such as cranberries, apricots, cherries, etc).

1/2 c. raw pepita seeds ( I used chia seeds)

1/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

1/3 c. shredded unsweetened coconut

2 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp. fine-grain sea salt

1/4 c. + 2 TBL pure maple syrup or other liquid sweetener ( I use raw honey)

1/4 c. coconut oil, melted

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

 

1. Preheat the oven to 275° F (140° C). Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. Place 1/2 cup of the almonds into a food processor and process for about 10 seconds, until a fine meal forms (similar to texture to sand). Transfer the almond meal to a large bowl.

3. In the food processor, combine the remaining 1/2 cup almonds and all the walnuts and process for about 5 seconds, until finely chopped. You’ll be left with some larger pieces and some powdery meal, which is what you want. Add the mixture to the bowl with the almond meal.

4. Add the oats, buckwheat groats, dried fruit, pepita seeds (or chia), sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, and salt to the large mixing bowl and stir to combine.

5. Add the maple syrup, melted oil, and vanilla to the bowl with the dry ingredients and stir until throughly combined.

6. With a spatula, spread the granola into a 1/2 inch layer on the prepared baking sheet and gently press down to compact it slightly. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate he pan and bake for 18-20 minutes more, or until the granola is lightly golden on the bottom and firm to the touch.

7. Cool the granola on the pan for at least 1 hour before breaking it apart into clusters.

8. Serve the granola in a glass jar in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks or freeze it for 4 to 5 weeks.

Tip: If you’d like to make a completely grain-free granola, simply replace the buckwheat groats and rolled oats with an additional 1 cup finely chopped nuts. 

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BBQ Chicken Salad

Salads are one of my favorites to eat. From green salads, to fruit salads, to pastas, so good. Everyone has some favorite recipe that is a salad…how couldn’t you??
Well, with this BBQ Chicken salad, I did something that I embarrassingly have to admit I’ve never done before. I’m embarrassed…you can laugh. I’ll tell you…I’ve never started a charcoal grill in my life. Until recently. Recently, as in until now for this recipe. (I have my amazing grill master husband to thank for being my teacher). How sad is that? So enough about that, you can think that’s unacceptable….
Anywho, I love salads that involve corn, cherry tomatoes, avocados. My poor family I hope won’t get sick of these ingredients. I hope their eyes don’t roll when they see that on the dinner table…(and if they do, too bad)!

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So if you’re in the mood for a yummy summer BBQ salad, this is where it’s at! This did have a yummy corn recipe for this salad that I didn’t get to make, but next time I will make a point to do so…one more thing, don’t save any leftover dressing…I forget how avocados look like something bad happened when left out too long.

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Ingredients

2 – 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
BBQ sauce (homemade or your favorite store-bought variety)
Canola or vegetable oil
Kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large head of lettuce (any variety will do), rinsed, dried, and torn into bite-sized pieces
Spicy Southwest Corn
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 ripe avocados, diced
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
For the Avocado Dressing
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
1 lime
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Instructions

Preheat grill to medium. Lightly coat chicken breasts with a little drizzle of canola oil and season liberally with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Grill, with the lid closed, approximately 5-7 minutes, then flip and baste cooked side with bbq sauce. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through and a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155°F (it will continue to cook while resting). Remove from grill, baste with a bit more bbq sauce, and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Slice chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.

Layer each bowl with lettuce, a hefty spoonful or two of Spicy Southwest Corn and black beans, anywhere between a half to a whole sliced chicken breast (we normally do half), a 1/2 of avocado diced, and a handful of halved tomatoes. Drizzle generously with the Avocado Dressing.

For the Avocado Dressing
In a food processor, purée the avocado, greek yogurt, juice from 1/2 of the lime, and garlic. Drizzle in olive oil and fully combine. Season with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add the juice from the other 1/2 lime if needed.

Recipe from Shared Appetite

Eyebrows

So you look at yourself in the mirror for the first time after the fun change you decided to do. It could be the change of color, shorter haircut, face framing layers, bangs. Regardless, you look beautiful! Sometimes, those changes can show your gorgeous face off and from that, you may feel like something may be a little off beat. So, there may be  one teensie tiny thing left to check …your EYEBROWS! Sometimes, they can be overlooked but cleaning those puppies up can also change everything as well. Depending, you can do a brow tint which will tint those little hairs to blend the hair color more. Or another thing…have they been waxed? or plucked? Do some checking and if they need a little TLC, book that appointment right up, or even ask your stylists- we all love discussing this!

Work out- Part Deuce.

Yes. I know, I already talked about this but all you smart phone users- have you heard of this app? It is AHHSOME!

Nike training. It motivates me 10x’s more when working out at home. Not only does it give you 15, 30, 60 minute work out plans, it also shows you how to do it! I know, I am a nerd. I always just wonder when I do my workouts, am I doing this right? You’ll see the picture on the right as an example. It times you, tells you when to switch. You can unlock more workouts. Listen to music. Start with beginners and work your up. I am in love with this. It’s probably older to some but I love it. It’s a good sweat. Fast pace workout.