I haven't been able to do this as much as I'd like to lately (because I've either been too busy or too tired or both), but this weekend I finally took the opportunity to do a massive food/menu prep for the week. A lot of people probably think I'm crazy for doing this--namely, my friends--but with dietary restrictions, it's not as easy to just pick up a sandwich or a sugary snack on the go. I need to be prepared with fresh, nutritious food that's going to keep me energized throughout the week.
Finally, this Sunday (and as I try to every weekend, although the past few weekends have been somewhat of a blur) I stepped it up and got back into the swing of things by preparing foods that would take me well into the week. I made a big ol' pot of my Vegetarian Chilli that will serve for a few lunches this week, plus tons extra for freezing. I also baked up some gluten-free banana bread that will be a great addition to breakfast/snacks/dessert (stay tuned for a recipe...it's different than the last). As well, I whipped together a quick nut and fruit mix that will go great on top of low-fat plain yoghurt or even on its own. I call it, the Un-Granola Granola.
I woke up Sunday morning and wanted something to go with my yoghurt. But because I refuse to purchase granola from the store (since it's usually packed full of sugar), I opted to make my own variation. Now, why it's called Un-Granola Granola is because when I think of granola, I think of rolled oats. This recipe, however, doesn't have any oats--in fact, it's grain free (that means that it's gluten-free and paleo-friendly)! So, without any oats,what is in my granola? Well, I really just threw a bunch of stuff in a bowl (no measurements and everything...crazy!), so give it a whirl and tell me what you think.
unsweetened shredded coconut
honey or agave nectar
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. On a large cookie sheet, spread out almonds so that they create a thin, even layer (you want to toast these bad boys!). Once the oven is heated, toast almonds until just golden brown--this doesn't take very long, keep a close watch!
2. Remove almonds from oven and push to one side of the pan. Onto clear side of pan, spread out a thin, even layer of coconut. Return to oven for a couple more minutes until coconut starts to turn golden around the edges. Remove from heat.
3. Transfer almond-coconut mixture to a large bowl. Add raisins, honey (here, just use what you think is appropriate--you don't want it too sweet), cinnamon, vanilla, and a pinch of sea salt (to balance out the bitterness of the cinnamon). Mix it all together and alter any flavours.
Try This: Because I didn't measure anything, add ingredients using your own discretion. Instead of adding a lot of cinnamon at first, maybe only add a little, taste the mixture, and see if you need to add more. Same goes for whichever sweetening agent you choose to use. Depending on what you hope to use this mixture for, you probably don't want to make it too sweet. Also, keep in mind that if you use raisins, these will add a lot of natural sweetness.
Not a raisin fan? I know a few of you. Make this recipe extra decadent and add dark chocolate chips instead!
Have your hump day treat and eat it, too.