Posts Tagged ‘granola’

Unrecipe of the Week: Homemade Granola

August 15, 2012

I have never been keen on granola, but once I tried this homemade version, I am hooked!

Since discovering the high iron content of dried fruits and nuts, I was inspired to whip up another batch tonight.  It is quick and easy, and has none of the additives found in the store bought versions.  It does pack some calories, so use it as I do: as a topping for plain Greek yogurt and fruit.

Here is the ultimate “unrecipe”. Use this as a guideline and tailor it to suit your taste.

Homemade Granola:

Mix together 2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats (dry oatmeal), 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut, 1 cup of slivered almonds, ¼ cup vegetable oil, and about ¼ cup of honey. Stir to coat and pour onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees, stirring often until golden brown. This should take about 30 minutes. Watch it carefully: it goes from brown to burnt quickly!

Remove the granola from the oven and allow it to cool slightly. Add diced dried fruit to taste. I used a combination of figs, apricots and cranberries. Dried cherries could be a nice addition too. You can also add some additional nuts, such as cashews or pecans. Sprinkle with a little brown sugar to sweeten, and mix well.

Store the cooled granola in an airtight container and enjoy!

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Shower Power

August 8, 2012

 

Last weekend, we hosted a baby shower for two very special people.

Of course, everything had to be homemade. And of course we had WAY too much food!

It’s hard to approximate how much to prepare for 50 people. Now we know it’s nearly half of the quantity we thought we needed. ( more on this to follow!)

The guests knew they had arrived at the right place, when they saw our chalk art on the sidewalk outside:

The decorations were simple:

We stretched a clothesline on a big, blank wall behind the dining room table. Using mini clothespins, we hung a variety of baby clothes on the line. It was festive and useful, and the parents-to-be took home all of the items for their newborn.

On the coffee table, wooden blocks spelled out the baby’s name, surrounded with vases of daisies.

A good time was had by all, and the new parents got lots of great things for their little boy! ( the pillow was handmade by B!)

Mostly, it was all about the food…tons and tons of food!

There were two serving areas, each with a variety of items. On the dining room table, was a continental breakfast, featuring muffins, coffee cakes, and bagels, as well as fruit, yogurt and homemade granola.

The buffet was set with luncheon salads.

Later, we put out dessert.

A great time was had by all, and the happy couple went home with lots of wonderful things for their baby boy. We can’t wait to meet him in early October!

Here are some of the dishes we served:

Blueberry and Raspberry Muffins and Pumpkin Pecan Mini Muffins

Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cinnamon Crumble

Lemon Yogurt Loaf Cake

Homemade granola

Luncheon Salads:

Chinese Chicken Salad with Soy Peanut Dressing (recipe here)

Kale Salad with Mint, Edamame and Cranberries in Lemon Herb Vinaigrette ( note to self: don’t do this one for a crowd ever again! recipe here)

Wild Rice Salad with Cranberries, Oranges, Grapes and Pecans.

Just of few of the desserts:

Lemon Shortbread Bars

Marbled Cheesecake Brownies

Pecan Pie Bars

A good time was had by all! We can’t wait to meet you Landon!

Photos: Spencer Jones / Glasshouse Images shot exclusively for indigo jones

Not So Healthy “Health” Foods

June 27, 2012

Do you ever wonder why you aren’t losing weight, when you feel like you are making healthy meal choices? Chances are, despite their healthy reputation, many of the foods you are eating are packed with hidden sources of sugar, fat and calories!
Our friends at Everyday Health shared the inside scoop on 11 not so healthy “health” foods with us:

Protein bars, or “power bars” are touted as healthy snacks with deceiving labels such as “gluten free”, “low fat” and “natural”, but most of them are just fancy candy bars. Watch out for high sugar content and artificial ingredients. Many protein bars have 300-400 calories, and aren’t as satisfying as whole foods with a similar calorie count.

Granola, the organic, whole grain cereal, dried fruit and nut mix, is actually extremely high in calories, fat and sugar. Consider it a topping to sprinkle on yogurt and not as a meal.

Dried fruits are high in fiber and vitamins, but are also high in calories and sugar, and lack the water content of fresh fruit.  Just one cup of prunes packs over 400 calories, while the same amount of fresh plums has only 76.

Sushi is a great source of lean protein, vegetables and seaweed. However, many of the modern rolls have fried foods, mayo or cream cheese in them. Soy sauce is high in sodium, which can cause hypertension and bloating.

Stick to simple rolls made of fish, fresh raw vegetables and brown rice, and leave off the sauce.

Most Caesar Salads have more calories than a cheeseburger! While the lettuce is a great low-cal base, the croutons, cheese and fatty dressing make it a hidden calorie bomb! Go for a salad with lots of fresh vegetables and some grilled chicken, with a drizzle of balsamic dressing instead.

Opting for the filet of fish sandwich sounds good, but once the fish is breaded, fried and slathered in tartar sauce, it is no longer a healthy choice. Putting it on buttered white bread just adds insult to injury. Next time, try a grilled fish sandwich (open faced on whole wheat) or a simple fish taco with salsa and vegetables instead. Hold the sour cream and cheese please!

Margarine can be a good choice for those watching their cholesterol. Many margarines use trans fats, which is worse for your health than butter. Make sure your margarine is plant fortified, which can help reduce bad cholesterol levels.

Fruit juices often have tons of added sugar to enhance their taste. Even the pure fruit juices miss the fiber and nutrients that are found in the whole food, especially those with edible peels. They can also add up to lots of calories without even realizing it.

Bran muffins sound healthy, but in reality, the sugar, sodium and fat added to the whole grains make them a diet trap. The supersizing of baked goods, adds to the problem.

Flavored waters and sports drinks are either high in calories, or filled with artificial flavorings.  Those touted as vitamin and mineral enhanced often don’t have enough to substantially contribute to your daily requirement. Unless you are really sustaining long, tough workouts, opt for good ‘ole H2O.

Turkey burgers are thought of as a low fat alternative to red meat, but depending on the cut and preparation, they can have more fat than a lean cut of beef. Look for lean ground turkey at the store, and go easy on the trimmings!

Want to know more? Check out the full article and video at Everyday Health!

Photos and information courtesy of Everyday Health


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