Finally I have done it! My first post, and I am just getting started! One of my favorite things to whip up is granola. I don’t think there has ever been a time where I have made the same recipe twice! I love to switch things up and play with spices depending on seasons. Lately I have been craving everything with a dash of lime. The intense heat of LA (literally sweating from my knees) is a major factor. One of my favorites is chili lime sweet potato fries. Sweet potato fries are dangerous, the day where I turn them down just does not exist. If you are ever in New York and get a real hankering for sweet potato fries head to the Grey Dog near Chelsea and ask for extra crispy… You will not be disappointed! And if you are extra daring, try it with mustard… spicy mustard with sweet potato fries are my favorite. People think I am crazy but I think it was a match made in heaven and one that resembles a corn dog with out all of the bad processed meat!
Back to my Summer-Nola…
This is so fun and easy to make and a perfect topping for my pre-workout morning acai bowl. (Also great smoothie topping of amazing with fruit and coconut milk). I like to use a combination of sprouted oats, buckwheat groats, quinoa, coconut flakes, and other nuts. As a former Seattle girl it seems that LA has skipped spring and went straight to summer, so I have been craving the flavors of summer lately. I decided to make and add unsweetened chilli lime infused mango pieces to accompany the coconut flakes and lime zest. I was so happy with the result I felt like my 10 year old self picking out the m&ms from trail mix… If you like spicy sweet combos then definitely give it a try. If Mango’s or spicy mango’s isn’t your sort of thing then I definitely recommend buying freeze dried fruit like pineapple (summer flavor) or strawberries and crunch it over the granola after the granola has baked and cooled! This adds extra crunch and reminds me a bit of fruit loops cereal. I tend not to sweeten my granola recipes very much because I think the addition of fruit and coconut milk is enough. When eating out for breakfast I am always drawn to the acai bowl thinking I am making a healthy choice by skipping the fried eggs and bacon but am usually disappointed by how sugary the granola is (Makes my teeth ache just thinking about it). However if you prefer a sweeter granola feel free to stir in organic raw maple syrup or raw honey while the granola is cooling. Heating up raw honey and maple depletes the nutrients so I try to add extra sweetener to my granola when it is still warm yet not hot enough to cook the goods from my honey jar. Cant be killing my nutrients ya know? 😉
**If you do not have Chili powder on hand, use cayenne, it works just as nicely!
Mmmm Sweet and Salty. I do a lot of singing in my head when preparing food, I usually change up the words to some catchy song and narrate what I am doing… In my defense it helps keep me calm and avoid getting excited and jumping ahead a few steps. For some reason the song “I wanna sex you up” by Color Me Badd pops in my head (sorry mom) while adding spices I had to stop myself and laugh because I am not even sure where my head goes at times. The words changed to “I wanna spice you up.” Like how my grandfather talks to his roses to make them grow to be the size of human heads and beautiful, I sing to my dishes hoping it helps please the mouths they enter into.
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- 1 cup Spouted Wheat Oats
- ¾ cup Buckwheat Groats
- ½ cup Sprouted Quinoa (can have intense flavor- so you can also replace with more oats or nuts)
- ½ cup Coconut Flakes
- 3 Tbs Coconut Oil
- ¼ Cup Raw Coconut Sugar
- 2 Tsp Vanilla *or more depending on preference (I like alot)
- ¼ cup Egg Whites (Optional-used for binding or making chunkier granola)
- 1 tsp Cardamom (Optional- But I love it)
- 3 Tsp Cinnamon (or more if you like spice)
- Chili Lime Infused Dried Mango
- 1 cup Trader Joes or other Unsweetened Organic Dried Mango slices
- Coconut Oil Spray or ½ Tbs of Coconut Oil to toss Mango Slices with
- Juice of one lime
- ½ Tsp Chili Powder or Cayenne
- *While cooling feel free to add extra sweetener such as
- - Raw organic honey
- - Organic Maple Syrup
- - Raw Organic Coconut nectar
- ***For the Chili Lime infused Mango***
- Cut up dried pieces of Mango enough to fill up a ½+ cup (depending on preference).
- I used Trader Joe's Unsweetened Mango slices and cooking scissors to do the job.
- Place in a bowl and toss with a small amount of Coconut oil, just enough to coat each piece.
- Then zest half a lime and give the lime a good squeeze over the now coconut oil, lime zest coated mango slices.
- Sprinkle ½ tsp of Chli powder or cayenne on top and toss the mango slices
- let this sit and marinate while you prepare the granola.
- ****For the Granola***
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line baking sheet with parchment paper or spray baking sheet with Coconut oil. In a medium mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients except for the raw coconut sugar, add salt, spices and lime zest and mix.
- In a small bowl, melt coconut oil in the microwave and add coconut sugar and vanilla extract. Stir to combine and pour into the bowl with the mixed dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly.
- If you would like your granola to be a bit chunkier, add the egg whites for binding purposes at this time.
- Mix thoroughly and spread an even layer on prepared baking sheet. I try to bake mine on the middle rack to achieve a more even roasting.
- Bake the granola for 30 minutes, check and mix granola around on the baking sheet using a wooden spoon or spatula.
- After the granola has baked for 30 minutes add the pre-prepared mango chili lime pieces and bake for another 5-10 (Depending on how toasty you like your granola, I prefer mine pretty well done and golden!)
- Remove granola from the oven and let cool.
- If you have tried the granola (I know I go in for a handful every time I am checking the oven for the last 5 minutes-- as is my duty to check for doneness) and realize your would prefer it to be a little sweeter, this is where you add your chosen sweetener. Start with a small drizzle, stir it up, (it should melt while the granola is still a little warm)... keep adding depending on sweet preference... You can also add more spices like cinnamon, cardamom, or ginger!
- If you chose not to add any mango's or dried fruit and purchased freeze dried pineapple or other fruit ( I also recommend Trader Joes freeze dried mandarin slices) Make sure the granola is cool and crunch the freeze dried fruit over the granola and mix around!
- Now top, smoothies, acai bowls, fruit and coconut milk or make little apple snack packs with Greek yogurt and dip in the granola mixture! Have fun with storage as well! I keep mine in giant mason jars and also mini jars to give away to friends or take with me on the plane or to work for on the go nutrition!