I find it amusing and perplexing that bloggers love recipes and anything written about food. I could have 99 posts about ME/CFS that never get read, but the 100th post about my oat bar recipe will have 10 bloggers “liking” it. So, with that in mind, listen up foodie bloggers! (foggers? bloodies?) I -somebody with too little energy to shower most days- make a smoothie every day and granola every week. They’re easy and they cost such an exorbitant amount of money at the shops, that you should start making your own immediately!
[Edit: I have since started doing green juices and not eating so much fruit, but this is still delicious for a yummy treat.]
E.M.’s Basic Smoothie (dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free etc.)
- 1 banana
- a few handfuls of frozen mixed berries
- almond milk (sweetened or unsweetened, vanilla or original)
Now, here are the variations that make it interesting:
- 1 banana (or pear, if bananas are too much sugar or too many carbs. Often I’ll put half the banana in my granola for breakfast and then use the other half in a smoothie for “elevensies”)
- a few handfuls of frozen mixed berries (or fresh berries or mango or…)
- almond milk (or coconut milk or soy milk or hemp milk or cow’s milk or yogurt or ice cream or frozen yogurt or…)
- splash of orange juice (really kicks it up a notch)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- pinch of cinnamon and/or nutmeg
- agave nectar or stevia to taste (but you don’t need it!)
- 1 tbs flax seed meal (I always do this)
- a few walnuts (I always do this, too. You wouldn’t believe how good walnuts are blended up in a smoothie)
Also, you can add water or ice to thicken or thin the smoothie without adding calories, but not affecting the taste too much.
Granola consists of oats, a far and something sweet. So, it can be as simple as oats, oil/fat and honey… and then you get to add any seeds, nuts or different flavours you like. I made up all these measurements, you less or more to your liking.
E.M.’s Healthy Granola (dairy-free, refined sugar-free, gluten-free)
- 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds (can be salted. If not, add 1/4-1/2 tsp salt to recipe)
- 1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup chopped nuts (any kind: I like pecans, cashews and almonds. If I didn’t put walnuts in my smoothies, I’d put them in my granola)
- 1/2 cup coconut (can be sweetened or unsweetened)
- 1/2-1 tbs cinnamon
- 5 tbs fat of choice (butter, high-oliec sunflower or canola oil, heated up coconut oil… lately I’ve been using olive oil and the taste has not overwhelmed the finished product)
- 5 tbs honey (or brown rice syrup or maple syrup or whatever liquid sweetener you like)
- 2 tsps pure vanilla extract (I add much more because I love vanilla)
- 1/4-1/2 cup dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, apples, cherries etc.)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Combine dry ingredients. Heat oil, honey and vanilla over low heat until it is runny but not boiling. Pour over dry ingredients, mix thoroughly and spread over 2 baking trays lined with foil or parchment. Bake for about 30 minutes until golden. When cooled, add dried fruit (otherwise they have a tendency to get a bit crispy and charred in the oven). I love mine in clumps, but I think you’d need more honey to get that effect. The NY Times recently said that if you leave a “donut hole” in the middle of the baking trays and don’t stir the granola while it’s baking, it’ll come out clumpier, however, it didn’t work for me.
Which brings me to the variations: obviously, you can have no seeds or no nuts or no coconut. You can have no vanilla or cinnamon or dried fruit. Tinker with the oil and honey. I only put 2 tbs honey and 2 tbs agave nectar in my last batch, knowing I could always add more to my bowl of granola when I’m eating it … but, I didn’t think it was quite sweet enough. This is not grocery store granola! This way you can make it healthier or not ~ whatever you like. You’re in charge. 🙂