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Grain-Free Granola Bars

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Gluten-Free • Grain-Free • Dairy-Free • No Refined Sugars

After coming up with a delicious grain-free granola recipe last week, I decided to play around with different ways to use it and came up with a few delicious recipe ideas. The first one I’ll share with you are these grain-free granola bars. Of course, you can use any granola of your choice, but if you’re looking for an anti-inflammatory option (because you know that’s what I’m all about about!), the grain-free granola I posted yesterday is a tasty choice. Because it already has the cinnamon and cloves, you don’t have to add any other spices.

Once you decide on the granola you’re going to use, whether it’s store bought or our homemade one, all you need are a few additional ingredients, a food processor and voila! It’s really that simple.

Ingredients:
1 cup *grain free granola
8 pitted Medjool dates
2 tablespoons unsweetened almond butter
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut (optional)
1/4 cup hemp seeds (optional)

Method:
1. Add dates to a food processor, and pulse until coarsely chopped.
2. Next, add the almond butter and granola and process until the mixture begins to form a ball.
3. Transfer to a bowl and add the coconut and hemp seeds, mixing well.
4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and press the mixture firmly into the pan with the back of a spoon. Make the bars at least ½ an inch thick. Cut into bars with a sharp knife before placing in the refrigerator to set. (if you cut it after it sets, the edges tend to crumble). You can also make these into balls if you prefer.
5. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes before serving .
* Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

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Pumpkin Spice Grain-Free Granola

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Why would anyone want grain-free granola, you ask?

As a holistic nutritionist, a lot of people who come to see me have either serious health conditions, food intolerances, or looking for recipe ideas that suit a particular type of diet they are following. And since reducing the grains in my own diet a few years ago in order to minimize inflammation in my body, which helps control my autoimmune condition (for those of you who are newcomers here, I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 15 years ago), one of my favourite pastimes is giving recipes a healthy makeover.

This recipe replaces oats, which is not necessarily an unhealthy food unless you have a sensitivity to grains or carbohydrates, and uses a combination of nuts, seeds and anti-inflammatory spices.

Ingredients:
• 1 cup almonds
• 1 cup walnuts
• 1/2 cup Brazil nuts
• 1/2 cup raw pepitas
• 2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
• 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
• 3 tablespoons coconut oil
• 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
• 1/4 cup dried cranberries

Extras: golden berries, dried blueberries, goji berries, coconut flakes

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. Add the following ingredients to a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped: almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts
3. In a bowl, combine all remaining dry ingredients: nuts, seeds and spices (except the pepitas and cranberries, or any ingredient you wish to remain whole).
4. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
5. When melted, pour the liquid into the bowl with the nut and seed mixture, coating well.
6. Add the pepitas and cranberries, mixing well. This is the stage where you would add any additional ingredients such as dried blueberries, golden berries, or coconut flakes.
7. On a parchment paper lined baking sheet, spread the mixture evenly, and bake for 20 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool before breaking up into pieces.
* Store in an air-tight container for up to 2 weeks.

Since making this last week, I already came up with a bunch of ways to enjoy my new grain-free granola! Perhaps if I get a few minutes tomorrow, I’ll post the recipes of the grain-free granola cereal and energy bars I made.

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