My Very Easy and Healthy Smoothie and Granola Recipes!

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!

Triple Berry Smoothie 1

[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.)

Blend:

  • 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 after roasting

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. 🙂

Enjoy!

The Next Installment in Bad Food Experiences

Some of you might recall my experience with earwigs inside a peach and mold inside an apple and the bloody, black soul I found inside a banana… My saga continues with the manky, moldy, mildewed, malodorous COCONUT. Yes, those are colonies of mold growing in the shell and on the flesh, which is meant to be white. And, yes, it smells bad ~ my husband wouldn’t let it stay in the house.

coconut

I also want to mention that there is something wrong with some organic foods. Three times I have bought organic avocados which look great on the outside, but are weirdly stringy and discoloured on the inside. And, worse, they are tasteless! I’ve never experienced a “watery”-tasting avocado until I started buying them in the organic store. Also, bananas. I won’t buy organic ones anymore because they are strange inside. Their molecules are different; they don’t hold together the same way  ~ they separate length-wise when you are just trying to peel them. And they brown strangely. We have bought green organic bananas and, a few days later, they are still mostly green but practically liquid inside. Ew. I don’t get it. Is it because our food is so processed and chemicalized that I don’t even recognize the real thing anymore? And why are Red Delicious apples mealy, Granny Smiths give me a stomach ache, Mackintoshes are gorgeous to look at, but have no flavour, and Fujis are consistently crisp, sweat and tart? And where did all the gnarly crab apples go? And cooking apples? Did you know, when I was a kid in Ireland, we got apples, tangerines and nuts in our trick-or-treat bags?

Apple bad3

CookingApples

perfect apple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maybe the business of “organic” and the labeling laws are a bit of a scam… Maybe the bigger issue is loss of diversification in our crops (remember the famine?) and consumers’ changing ideals of what our foods should look like and… Monsanto. I kind of want to launch into a huge diatribe about losing our fruit and vegetable varieties and the importance of seed preservation and how necessary it is for us to spend our money on the unknown, under-appreciated, ugly foods and not be sucked in by the pretty, homogeneous GMO products… But, I’ll spare you.

I’m grateful for vegetable gardens. Assuming we can have access to heirloom seeds. And climate change doesn’t destroy everything. 🙂