Tag Archives: gluten free

Weekend Update & Granola Recipe

I hope everyone had a great weekend! The weekends just seem to go by faster and faster every week. This weekend was really calm and relaxing for me. In true introvert fashion, I spent the entire weekend by myself (other than the workout classes I took at the gym). It was so refreshing!

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On Saturday morning I went to Body Pump. I’m loving the new releases! The tricep track is really hard, but it’s exactly what I need since I feel like the triceps are the weakest part of my arms. Saturday afternoon, I took myself to see ‘The Way Way Back’ in theaters (another very introvert-y thing to do). The movie was excellent! I’m a huge Sam Rockwell fan and the movie was very charming. There’s just no other word for it. Saturday night dinner was one of my favorites – tandoori chicken, naan bread, tabbouleh and hummus. Yum.

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Sunday was one of those productive days where I got a bunch of little things done that I’ve been meaning to do for a while. A few months ago, I got an old drawing of mine from art class framed and I’ve been meaning to hang it up but I discovered that Michael’s had put the bracket on the back on upside-down. I finally took the picture back to Michael’s to have the hanger fixed and ‘ta-da!’, hung it on the wall.

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This literally took me 5 minutes. I can’t believe I put it off for so long. I also hung up a hook from West Elm that I’ve also been meaning to hang up for like 6 months. I’m using it to hold my gym/yoga bags by the door. Isn’t it cute? It’s an elephant!

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While I was grocery shopping on Saturday (it was a very small, quick trip in accordance with my August goal of eating the food that’s already in my house) I spotted some granola that looked absolutely delicious! But I know that store-bought granola can be really high in sugar (plus I’m not supposed to be buying extra grocery items) so I resisted the urge. Later that night, I did some Google-ing/Pinterest-ing and discovered that granola is super easy to make! So I decided to make my own.

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Turns out it’s as easy as mixing together some oats,

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Some nuts,

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Cinnamon (optional), vanilla, salt (gotta love salty-sweet!), coconut oil, and maple syrup.

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Spread the whole mixture on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

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Let it cool and store in an airtight container. I stored mine in this awesome glass jar I picked up at IKEA (really cheap!). It’s delicious, so easy, and along with some Greek yogurt will definitely be my go-to snack this week!

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This recipe is super easy to customize with your favorite nuts/seeds/flavors. Change out the walnuts for any nuts you like (if you want to use seeds add them in for the last few minutes of roasting or they could burn). You can also use honey instead of the maple syrup but I wanted that maple-y flavor! 🙂

Maple Walnut Granola
Makes 5 cups.

    – 4 cups oats
    – 1 cup walnuts, chopped
    – 1 tablespoon cinnamon
    – 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    – 1 teaspoon salt
    – ½ cup coconut oil, melted
    – ½ cup maple syrup

Combine all ingredients and spread on a sheet pan. Roast in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Keep an eye on the granola during the last 5 minutes or so – it browns quickly! I ended up pulling mine after about 17 minutes.

I hope everyone’s week is off to a great start!

Raw, Vegan, Gluten-Free Brownies

A while back, a friend of mine who follows the Paleo diet let me try a bite of her Larabar that she was snacking on. Delicious! But when I checked it out at the store, those little bars are anywhere from $1.00-$2.50 each. Holy cow! I thought to myself – “I’m not paying that!” So I decided to figure out how to make them instead.

After searching through various Pinterest recipes, I noticed a basic trend to the recipe for making these bars. Then I found this post with a recipe for ‘Raw, Vegan Brownies’ which is basically the same recipe formula as the larabars. You’re just making a chocolatey, nutty, Larabar! The concept of these raw brownies appealed to me the most, so that’s what I decided to try first. When I embarked on this recipe, I did not, I repeat – did not expect these to taste like brownies. I was fully prepared for them to taste good, like chocolate snack bars – but not like brownies. But I was shocked to find that they actually do taste like brownies! Moist, delicious, chewy brownies! Yum! 🙂

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Raw, Vegan (Gluten-Free!) Brownies


    – 1 cup dates, pitted
    – 1 cup nuts (I used pecans because it’s what I had, but walnuts would also be delicious!)
    – ¼ cup cocoa powder

Place all ingredients in the food processor and process until combined (it will be a pretty sticky ball – I had to push it back down near the blades at least twice with a spoon – with the processor off of course!). This was yet another project I undertook during my Sunday food processor extravaganza! When finished, push the ball into a small glass container and spread into a smooth layer. Freeze for 1 hour and then cut into squares or bars. I wrapped my finished squares in little squares of wax paper and then stored them all together in a ziplock bag.

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Tips for this Recipe
The date mixture is super sticky and (I’ll be honest) not a lot of fun to try to manipulate! But I did pick a few tips for working with it. Get whatever you’re working with wet with a little water (i.e. hands, spatula, knife when you’re cutting) and the dates mixture won’t stick to your hands as much. Also, I didn’t line my glass pan and then it took quite a bit of effort to cut/lift out the brownies so in the future I’ll probably line the pan with parchment paper or wax paper so they are easier to remove. And when cutting the “brownies”, I dipped the knife in a little hot water and it definitely helped cut the squares!

I hope you’ll give this recipe a try – it really is super delicious! 🙂