Yummy Granola (low-oil & low-sugar)

I’ve been making my own granola for longer than I can remember! I have tweaked the recipe over the years, and this is my favorite version these days. This granola includes lots of nuts and seeds, and therefore good fats and protein. Plus it definitely fills you up! I love to eat it any time of day, especially with fresh fruit and unsweetened almond milk!
Note: You can also add 1 cup raisins or dried fruit near the end of the baking process!

Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees

hcv_granola-1-1In a food processor, pulse until roughly chopped:
1 cup natural unsalted almonds (or any nut combo)
3/4 cup sunflower seeds, unsalted
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, unsalted

Combine the chopped nuts/seeds with the following ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats (you can use gluten-free oats if desired)
1 Tblsp sesame seeds
2 tsp cinnamon

In a small saucepan, heat:
3 Tblsp oil (e.g. canola, coconut, etc)
2 Tblsp maple syrup (or honey or agave nectar)
3 Tblsp brown sugarhcv_granola-1-2
1 tsp vanilla extract

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and combine. That’s it!

Coat 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and spread and pat granola evenly with a spatula.

Bake for 12 min and toss in pan and then pat down again.
hcv_granola-1-3
Bake for another 12 min and repeat. At this point you can also add in any dried fruit (e.g. 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries). Pat down again.

Bake for additional 5 min.
Allow to cool in pan and then store in air-tight container.

 

Enjoy for breakfast or as a snack any time of day!

hcv_granola-1

“Raw” No-bake Brownie Bites

I love making these little “raw”, no-bake brownie bites and keeping them in the fridge for a quick, healthy snack! They’re not overly sweet and are gluten-free, not to mention guilt-free! I’ve made this recipe many times, and it’s very versatile… I’ve tried many variations and they are always yummy! Soaking the nuts first softens them and also makes them healthier by re-activating the enzymes in them. If you don’t have time to soak the nuts, you can also boil them for 10 min. After you make the dough, you can get creative with the toppings! (In this batch, I used almond/cashew nut combo and chopped, salted almonds as a topping!)

1 cup unsalted nuts (almonds,cashews,walnuts or combo), soaked for a few hours
2 Tblsp coconut oil/peanut butter/sunflower butter (any creamy-type component)
2 Tbslp unsweetened cocoa powder (or cacao powder)
2 Tblsp coconut flour (you can usually find this in the health aisle of the supermarket)
3 Tblsp agave nectar or maple syrup
1/4 tsp sea salt

Toppings (optional):
Some examples are salted chopped nuts/peanuts, shredded coconut, chopped dried fruit and coarse sea salt

HCV_RawBrownieBites - 1

Drain and rinse nuts and add to bowl of food processor.
Grind nuts for about a minute on high setting.
Add rest of ingredients, except for agave nectar or maple syrup.
Continue to process for a few minutes until ingredients are well-mixed (should be fine crumbles at this point).
Through feeder tube, add agave nectar or maple syrup until dough becomes a ball.

HCV_RawBrownieBites - 1 (2)

Line loaf pan with waxed paper.
Press dough in even layer in loaf pan.
Press in any toppings at this point.
Freeze for at least an hour.

 

Remove from loaf pan and peel off waxed paper.
Place slab on cutting board and cut into small bite-size squares.HCV_RawBrownieBites - 1 (3)
Place in container with tight lid and store in refrigerator.
(These will keep a week or two in the fridge)

 

 

Enjoy these guilt-free treats!

HCV_RawBrownieBites - 1 (1)