Totally Addictive Homemade Granola

Store bought Granola is NOT “healthy!”

Well, not always anyway! Many times, granola (or granola bars) you buy from a package are LOADED with added sugars. I mean LOADED. They add sugar to the fruit, sugar to the oats, and I am sure sugar to the freaking sugar. In 2017, I started making my own granola. It’s a little guilty pleasure I enjoy my yogurt with granola or let’s be honest, to just snack on by the handfuls!

I make my own granola for two reasons:

#1 – It’s cheaper to make a large batch that lasts awhile than to buy it in a package or from the bulk section.

#2 – I can control what goes in it and ensure there are no added sugars.

Warning! Even though I do not ADD extra sugar, there is still a large amount of natural sugar in all of these ingredients. Plus, a lot of carbs and fat. Therefore, granola is always better in moderation. I was only half kidding about eating it by the handfuls. Seriously, try to limit doing that! We need natural sugars, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in our diet, but again, all in balance.

Each time I make a batch, I play around with the recipe and add things I like based on what I am in the mood for. Here is a simple DIY recipe for amazing, totally additive, healthier granola:

INGREDIENTS:

2 1/2 cups of quinoa flakes, old fashioned rolled oats, or gluten free old fashioned rolled oats

1/2 cup sliced raw almonds (or nuts of choice)

1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts (or nuts of choice)

1/2 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut

1/4 cup chopped unsweetened dried apricots, cherries, or blueberries

1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries

1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)

1/4 cup pure maple syrup

3 tbsp extra-virgin organic coconut oil

1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

Preheat the oven to 300° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl and mix well. Or toss it in a bowl with a lid and shake the hell out of it! It’s more fun that way.

Make sure your coconut oil is melted and mix it with the maple syrup and applesauce. You can do this in a bowl if you feel like stirring like crazy, or quickly heat them all up in a small saucepan to really get them friendly with each other. Just make sure the oil is completely melted.

Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and shake the hell our of them again until everything is coated well.

Dump it all onto the cookie sheet in a thin layer.

Bake the granola mixture for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring it around about every 15 minutes so it cooks evenly. Make it until it’s a golden brown and crisp.

Allow to cool, or risk burning off all your taste buds in anticipation of pure heavenly granola joy.

Store in an air-tight container.

A serving size is 2 TABLESPOONS.

PORTION CONTROL, PEOPLE! You can do it!

Comment below and let me know how yours turns out or if you came up with any other creative ingredients!

The Girls’ Weekend that Changed My Life: Part 1 – Self-Discovery

Last week in my 10 Ways to Practice Self-Love post, I mentioned that I was participating in a yoga retreat. This was a big deal for me because I have always encouraged and coached other women to invest in themselves, however, I never made a large investment in myself. I always invested in myself through nourishing my body with nutrient-dense, delicious food. But, I was afraid of making the larger investment. Why? I am not sure why. Maybe I was afraid of investing in  myself and coming across something I did not want to face? Who knows. But, I took a leap of faith and invested more money than I’ve ever spent in one weekend on a life-changing yoga retreat lead by the beautiful, Cortney Ostrosky.

I went into the weekend with an open mind. On the first night, we participated in a sister-circle. I am not going to lie, this is the one thing I was most afraid of. I did not know what type of hippie-dippie sh*t we were going to do and I did not know what to expect. I’ll tell you more about that experience next time, but for now, I’ll just say that I went into new experiences with a completely open mind, regardless of what my pre-judgments were.

sister circle

By the end of the first day, I was in awe of how much I discovered about myself! I could not believe how fast I opened up my heart and learned to feel what was really going on. I felt  my insecurities, I felt my creativity, I felt my loneliness, and I felt how my body was reacting to all of my emotions.

In addition to the sister-circle, Cortney lead us through workshops and yoga classes to align our Chakra’s , allow our body to flow in sync with our emotions, and relax into a state of mind that was comparable to an out of body experience. Through each activity, I learned that I was shutting off my emotions. I was shutting of my creativity. I was hiding my femininity and sexuality. I was allowing my fears to take over my dreams and I was shutting people out of my life in fear of getting hurt.

I learned that I CAN dream big. Like change careers and have a job I love. I learned that I CAN have emotions. I CAN cry. I CAN dance. I CAN love other women and create incredible bonds without drama or gossip. I CAN align my body with my emotions in a healthy way through the food I eat and the yoga I practice.

By the last day, Cortney lead us through a pop yoga class. In this class, we danced to Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off and literally shook it off! We shook our arms, did high kicks, and laughed at the people down on the beach who were clearly wondering what the hell these women were doing at 9 am out on a deck! I’ve listened and danced to that song 100x and this time I seriously got very emotional! I have NEVER felt so free! For the first time in my life, I felt like myself! I mean that!

For the first time in my life!

Isn’t that terrifying?? For 29 years I have been walking around as who? A lesser version of myself? Maybe! But now I know what makes me feel alive. It’s not one thing. It’s a combination of things like delicious vegan food that nourishes my body, gorgeous, soulful sisters who encourage me to be me, the ocean and the sound of the waves reminding me of how beautiful nature is, exercise to get my blood flowing, and fun music to dance to.

I am so happy and proud of myself for trying something new and investing in my own well-being. Whenever I get caught up in the stresses of life, work, loneliness, depression, and heartache, I try to take myself back to that weekend and remember that life really is fabulous when you make it fabulous.

 

XO – J

Totally Addictive Homemade Granola

Store bought Granola is NOT “healthy!”
Well, not always anyways! Many times, granola (or granola bars) you buy from a package are LOADED with added sugars. I mean LOADED. They add sugar to the fruit, sugar to the oats, and I am sure sugar to the freaking sugar. In 2017, I started making my own granola. It’s a little guilty pleasure I enjoy with my yogurt or let’s be honest, to just snack on by the handfuls!

I make my own granola for two reasons:

#1 – It’s cheaper to make a large batch that lasts awhile than to buy it in a package or from the bulk section.

#2 – I can control what goes in it and ensure there are no added sugars.

Warning! Even though I do not ADD extra sugar, there is still a large amount of natural sugar in all of these ingredients. Plus, a lot of carbs and fat. Therefore, granola is always better in moderation. I was only half kidding about eating it by the handfuls. Seriously, try to limit doing that! We need natural sugars, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in our diet, but again, all in balance.

Each time I make a batch, I play around with the recipe and add things I like based on what I am in the mood for. Here is a simple DIY recipe for amazing, totally additive, healthier granola:

INGREDIENTS:
2 1/2 cups of quinoa flakes, old fashioned rolled oats, or gluten free old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced raw almonds (or nuts of choice)
1/2 cup chopped raw walnuts (or nuts of choice)
1/2 cup shredded unsweetened dried coconut
1/4 cup chopped unsweetened dried apricots, cherries, or blueberries
1/3 cup unsweetened dried cranberries
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt (or Himalayan salt)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3 tbsp extra-virgin organic coconut oil
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 300° and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Combine all the dry ingredients together in a mixing bowl and mix well. Or toss it in a bowl with a lid and shake the hell out of it! It’s more fun that way.

Make sure your coconut oil is melted and mix it with the maple syrup and applesauce. You can do this in a bowl if you feel like stirring like crazy, or quickly heat them all up in a small saucepan to really get them friendly with each other. Just make sure the oil is completely melted.

Pour the liquid into the dry ingredients and shake the hell our of them again until everything is coated well.

Dump it all onto the cookie sheet in a thin layer.
Bake the granola mixture for 40 to 45 minutes, stirring it around about every 15 minutes so it cooks evenly. Make it until it’s a golden brown and crisp.

Allow to cool, or risk burning off all your taste buds in anticipation of pure heavenly granola joy.

Store in an air-tight container.

A serving sizes is 2 TABLESPOONS. PORTION CONTROL, PEOPLE! You can do it!

Comment below and let me know how yours turns out or if you came up with any other creative ingredients!