Saturday, January 5, 2013

banana-nut-bread granola

If you take a minute to read the nutrition label on store-bought granola, you might gasp at the amount of added SUGAR and high calories per serving (which is always 1/4 cup by the way.. 1/4 of a cup is a tiny amount of granola). So I decided to make a version of granola that can be sweet with NO ADDED SUGAR!

 The secret: bananas.


-2 ripened bananas (the riper (brown/black spots), the sweeter they will be)
-5 cups rolled oats
-1/2 Tbsp. raw cacao powder (optional, but adds a nice flavor and resembles more of a banana chocolate chip bread if you're into that)
-1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
-1 Tbsp. pumpkin pie spice (a lovely mixture of cinnamon, lemon peel, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom that I found at Trader Joes. If you do not have this, improvise with what you do have--cinnamon especially)
-1/2 cup shredded coconut
-1/2 cup millet (soaked in boiling water for about 15 minutes). Millet looks similar to quinoa and can be found in bulk in health food stores or in packages. I love it because it adds a nice crunch to the granola.
-1 tsp. sea salt

Blend bananas in blender or food processor until almost liquid in texture. Place all dry ingredients in large bowl and slowly pour in banana, while folding into oats. Line baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. Spread mixture evenly onto baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes. If you think it needs a few more minutes, place it back in oven for only a few minutes before rechecking. It can burn easily, which I learned the hard way (but was also reminded that impatience has no place in cooking!)

Let cool and enjoy by itself or with some almond milk (or your milk of choice).


Holy moly. I am excited to share this one. If you happen to eat terra chips and love them the way I do, these are for you! I find myself picking out the taro chips (maybe that will be a future project) and sweet potato chips specifically so these were a real treat for me. I had a bag of small sweet potatoes from Trader Joes for, I believe, less than two dollars (!!!). I used 3 small sweet potatoes for this recipe, which covered two baking sheets beautifully.


-sweet potatoes
-coconut oil (I use a very small amount, just enough to cover the baking sheets. I'm talking less than a tablespoon for the entire batch)
-cayenne pepper
-ground ginger (powder)
-sea salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Slice the sweet potatoes in very thin slices. If you have a mandolin, more power to you. You will make fabulous chips. I don't, so I patiently sliced them with my little ceramic knife. You could probably try a vegetable peeler, especially if you want them extra crispy. Lightly coat baking sheets with coconut oil. Spread cut potatoes on baking sheets without crowding them. Lightly sprinkle with cayenne, ginger, and salt. Again, feel free to get hands dirty and massage all together.

Bake for about 15 minutes. It really depends on your oven and your taste and texture preference. I had some pieces that were thicker than others and found that they weren't as crispy, which I was ok with, but if you like them crispy, keep them in longer. These are irresistibly good. But luckily, there is only a small amount of fat (and its the good kind) and sweet potatoes have plenty of health benefits like slowing your body's absorption of sugar (great for diabetics), fiber, and beta carotene.

You can also have fun with the spices. You can stick to just sea salt, or maybe add black pepper, cumin, or paprika. Explore and have fun.

[dino] kale chips!

a real hit at parties! wooo

I realize that kale chips have been cool for a couple of years already... but to be perfectly honest, I hadn't tried one until a few weeks ago. I don't skimp on good food usually (local, organic, fresh, etc) but something about a $7 price tag on a small box of kale chips doesn't sit well. So for the past few years, I've just passed them by in the grocery stores, thinking I would just make them myself for less than $1 (three years later).

I was inspired this time because I bought two gigantic bunches of kale from Whole Foods because they were on sale and I can't resist kaaale. I ended up bringing these to a party and they were surprisingly a huge hit. One guy had to put them far away from him because he was going to eat the whole bowl! Pretty sweet. Enjoy!


-lacinato (dino) kale (stems removed, ripped into chip-sized pieces--that, my friend, is up to you)
-coconut oil (warmed, so it can be easily spread on baking sheet)
-cayenne pepper
-nutritional yeast
-ground flax seeds
-sea salt (just a sprinkle)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spread coconut oil on baking sheet. Rip kale pieces and place on sheet, making sure that they are not crowded. Use more than one baking sheet or make a few batches. Sprinkle nutritional yeast, cayenne pepper, and flax onto kale. If you are up for it, use your hands (washed) to massage the oil, and toppings into the kale. Separate pieces. Place in oven for 7-10 minutes. (Make sure that they are crispy and pop off the baking sheet easily, if not, leave them in for another few minutes). Transfer to a bowl and enjoy!

Play around with toppings. I used nutritional yeast because it gives it a nice nutty, almost cheesy, flavor and is packed with B vitamins, protein, and fiber. I added cayenne for a little kick, and flax for a little added omega-3 fat and fiber.

crispy (not burned) and pop off baking sheet.  perfection.