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Granola Two Ways

So we have had this check-list going of things we have to do, and it was growing and growing but none of it was actually getting accomplished! It looked a little like this:

Book hair appointments (neither of us has gotten a trim since…. Decemeber :S )

Book massage appointments (and we don’t mean nice, relaxing massages, we mean the painful, physio kind that was loooong over due!)

Book a spa day/movie night with our cousin – our Mom bought the 3 of us one of those deal-find things for manicures, pedicures, facials and eye-brow waxes for our cousin Ali’s grade 8 grad back in June, and we still hadn’t done it yet!

Buy new running shoes (3 months overdue!)

Get our G licence (for those of you who aren’t from Ontario, that means our full licence. We now don’t have to take another driving test until we’re 80!)

Buy a new watch for Julie and sunglasses for Brittany (ya… that’s still on there!)

Make granola.

Well, we checked off the first 5 items, so other than the watch and sunglasses, the only other item left was the granola!

Our last batch of granola ran out months ago, and we honestly don’t know why it took us so long to get around to replenishing it! It turned into one of those “We should make granola soon!” “Ya, we really should!” but it never moves anywhere beyond that. Procrastination station!

Everytime we thought about it, we were “too tired” or “didn’t feel like it” or the sun was shining and we simply wanted to be outside, not waiting around for granola to bake. But FINALLY we can check this item off the list!

We’ve been wanting to make chocolate granola for a long time now, but we also love a good ol’ fruit-and-nut type thing, so instead of choosing between the two, naturally we just made both!

Chocolate Granola.

And Spiced Fruit and Nut Granola!

Both of these granolas have a few different grains in them to give a more interesting texture (think puffed amaranth and buckwheat groats!) and quinoa flakes for a little added protein.

Double the flavours, double the fun. 🙂

Chocolate Granola

Prep time: 10 min

Bake Time: 25 min

Ingredients

1.5 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. puffed amaranth (for directions on popping amaranth, go here.)
1/4 c. quinoa flakes
2 tbsp buckwheat groats
2 tbsp unsweetened flaked coconut
pinch of coffee grounds
pinch sea salt
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tbsp whole flax seeds
2 tbsp walnut pieces
1/4 c. almonds, roughly chopped
2.5 tbsp cocoa powder

1/2 tbsp almond butter
1/2 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil)
2 tbsp water
1/4 c. honey
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract (optional)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325C

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.  Ina separate bowl combine wet ingredients.  Add wet to dry and stir until dry mixture is evenly coated.  Spread evenly on a large baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, or until slightly crispy (it’ll get crispier as it cools).

Spiced Fruit-and-Nut Granola

Prep time: 10 min

Bake time: 25-30 min

Ingredients:

1.5 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. puffed amaranth (for directions on popping amaranth, go here.)
1/4 c. quinoa flakes
2 tbsp buckwheat groats
2 tbsp unsweetened flaked coconut
pinch of coffee grounds
pinch sea salt
1 tbsp ground flax seeds
1 tbsp whole flax seeds
2 tbsp walnut pieces
1/4 c. almonds, roughly chopped
1/2-1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp cinnamon

2 tbsp orange juice
1/4 c. honey
1 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

Same as above! 🙂

~twosaucysisters

Do you like granola?  Do you ever find yourself with a huge list of things to do, and then finally one day you just champ it out and get them all done?

A New Breakfast

Don’t you just love it when you stumble upon a new idea without trying to? It’s like when your parents surprised you with a trip to the water park on a hot day, when your paycheck is higher than you expected, or when the item you went to the store to buy is on sale. In fact, some of the best things in life are discovered by accident (hello cheese!).

This is the case with the breakfast that we had this morning: Amaranth Pudding.

Banana Amaranth Breakfast Pudding to be exact.

Mmmm… yes, it IS as delicious as it looks. Actually, no. It’s better! 🙂

The story behind this surprise breakfast took place a couple of days ago when we were making our Carrot and Broccoli Grain Salad. We wanted to use some more interesting grains for it, and thought perhaps amaranth would be cool.  We’ve popped amaranth several times before, but never actually cooked it.  As it turns out, when cooked, amaranth has the consistency of oatmeal rather than separate grains like rice. Mixed with cottage cheese it would be a delicious hot breakfast, but it’s not good for a grain salad or pilaf.  We also discovered that when cooked amaranth is left in the fridge, it thickens up- A LOT. You can actually cut through it with a butter knife, and it won’t collapse!  We didn’t want to heat it up (too hot out!) but it was way to thick to eat cold the way it was. So we blended it with banana, cottage cheese and yogurt to make a super healthy breakfast pudding!

Amaranth is awesome because it’s a great source of fiber, protein and iron, with absolutely no saturated or trans fat! A great way to start the day.

Throw some banana slices and a blob of almond butter (or any nut butter!) on top and you’ve got yourself a great summer time breakfast treat.

Banana Amaranth Breakfast Pudding

Cook time: 20min

Prep time: Overnight + 5 min

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c. uncooked amaranth

1 1/4 c. water

1/2 c. cottage cheese

1/2 c. plain yogurt

1/2 banana

1 Tbsp date paste

1/2 tsp almond extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon

Toppings:

Nut butter

Walnuts

Raisins

Cinnamon

Banana slices

Maple syrup

Directions:

Put amaranth and water into a pot, bring to a boil then reduce to low and simmer for 20min, until thickened. Put in a container and place in the fridge overnight.

In the morning, put amaranth and all other ingredients into food processor or blender and blend until smooth.  Pour into two bowls and top with desired toppings.

– twosaucysisters

Have you ever made an accidental discovery (in the kitchen or otherwise)?