Hemp Heart Granola

It’s been a while since I made a batch of granola. I picked up a bag of hemp hearts the other day at Costco – I read they’re really a great source of protein and are packed full of healthy fats. I have never had them before, but figured it would be a good addition to granola. This recipe is super easy to make – really all granola is easy and I like that I can add whatever nuts and mix-ins that I prefer.

I love the hint of maple, cinnamon and vanilla in this granola. I enjoyed it on top of a container of vanilla Greek yogurt and added in a tablespoon of dried cranberries. It would be really good sprinkled on a baked apple or on a smoothie bowl.

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Gingerbread Granola

Homemade granola makes a wonderful holiday gift! It’s easy to make and doesn’t everyone love something that is homemade? This gingerbread granola is crunchy, not too sweet and smells amazing. I added dried cranberries for another texture and some tartness. It can easily be enjoyed anytime of the day and makes a delicious topping for a bowl of Greek yogurt.

This recipe is a little different from my other recipes. The oats are toasted before mixed in with the rest of the ingredients. Pecans were also called for in the original recipe, but my grocery store was out of them, so I subbed walnuts instead.

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Carrot Cake Granola

I’ve mentioned in before that we’re big fans of granola. I love using it as a topping for yogurt or a smoothie bowl and my daughter eats it like cereal. She was a little hesitant when I said I was making carrot cake granola, but it turned out really good. I love the little bits of sweet carrot mixed in with pecans and crunchy oats. It so reminds me of the flavors of fall – even if it’s still feeling a little like summer!

Carrot Cake Granola | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
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Honey Almond Granola

I love granola and have been wanting to make a batch. I found this quick and easy recipe for honey almond granola. With only a few ingredients, it’s the perfect introduction to try making homemade granola. I’ve been enjoying it as “cereal” in the morning with sliced bananas. I also like to top yogurt with granola and this one makes for big clumps, so it’s perfect for snacking!

Honey Almond Granola | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
1 cup whole almonds, divided
3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
1/3 cup honey
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean up.

Add half of the almonds into a food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl. Chop the other half of the almonds until they are pieces, pour into the same bowl. To the bowl, add the oats, salt, sugar and stir to combine.

In a small microwaveable bowl, heat the coconut oil and honey for 40 seconds and stir until the coconut oil has become a liquid. Add in the vanilla extract. Pour over the oats and stir until the mixture is evenly coated. Transfer to your prepared baking sheet and spread out to thin layer. Bake for 10 minutes and then stir. Repeat cooking and stirring until your granola is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool. Break granola into clusters and store in an airtight container.

Source: Lovely Little Kitchen

Chewy Almond Vanilla Bars – Simple Sesame Blogger Challenge

I’m excited to share a recipe I created for the Simply Sesame Blogger Recipe 118956612Challenge!
As part of the challenge, I received three flavors of Simply Sesame to try: Vanilla with Almond Bits, Pistachio Morsels with a hint of Cardamom and Pure Roasted Sesame. I immediately knew I wanted to make experiment and make a recipe for granola bars. My kids are big fans of snacks and these would make great after school snacks for them.I loved that all three were 100% natural, non GMO and low in calories, sugar and salt – and it makes a great alternative to peanut butter or hazelnut spread. It’s also gluten-free and vegan!

I love the vanilla and almond flavor of the bars and hint of sesame. The bars held up well and can be cut into whatever size you’d like. I did rectangles for my oldest and then smaller bite sized pieces for my youngest. The spread was great to use and I loved the flavor. I can’t wait to try the regular variety to make a batch of hummus! There’s so many possibilities with these products and are great substitute for those of us with food allergies.

Visit Simple Sesame over on their website or follow them on Facebook, Instagram  or Twitter for more delicious recipes and find out where you can get your own Simple Sesame spreads!

Chewy Almond Vanilla Bars | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
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Cranberry Maple Pecan Granola

Last weekend, we had a little taste of fall and it made me want to get into the kitchen and make something. Madeline has been asking for granola and I’ve been waiting to make this recipe once it got cooler. I’m so glad I didn’t have to wait any longer. It is so good and so simple and easy to make. We both have been eating it on top of plain Greek yogurt, but you could totally eat like cereal too! I love the warmth from the spices too…it reminds me so much of fall.

Cranberry Maple Pecan Granola | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

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Chocolate Peanut Granola Bites – The Secret Recipe Club

It’s another edition of the Secret Recipe Club! If you haven’t heard of the SRC, you’re in for a treat. Each month, we receive a monthly assignment and we need to pick a recipe to make from our assignment. It’s a complete secret until reveal day. I love it and it’s been a great way to meet so many other bloggers and be inspired every since week.

This month my assignment was Get Off the Couch and Cook. What a great  blog name, right?!? Sashi shares easy and delicious recipes that anyone can make. As always, I struggled with deciding on a recipe, but settled on her recipe for granola bars. I haven’t make granola bars in months and of course my kids needed something to snack on. These were super easy to make. I’m going to have my daughter make them next time! She’s prepping to submit a recipe into her school’s cooking challenge next month and is so excited to be helping me in the kitchen as often as possible.

I cut the granola into smaller pieces, but then it started to crumble. They taste delicious, but ended up more like chunky granola as I was working my way through the pan. Regardless, my daughter gobbled up a bowl and said it was delicious. I don’t know if it’s because I switched out the canola oil for coconut oil, but it’s still a winner in my book!

Chocolate Peanut Granola Bites | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

3 cups rolled oats
1 1/4 cup unsalted dry roasted peanuts
1 1/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1 cup honey
6 Tbsp peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with aluminium foil and add the oats, coconut and peanuts. Mix to combine. Bake for 15 minutes, stirring halfway. Remove from oven and transfer to a large bowl. Spray a 9×13 pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

In  a small saucepan, combine the honey, peanut butter and coconut oil. Cook over medium heat until the mixture begins to boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for one minute and then remove from the heat. Add in the chocolate chips and let melt before stirring.

Pour the chocolate peanut butter mixture over the oats and stir until completely covered. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press down firmly. Bake for 10 minutes and then allow to completely cool for an hour or more. Cut into bars or bite sized pieces and enjoy!

Check out all the other great recipes in this month’s reveal!

Truly Tropical Shrimp with Sweet & Spicy Dipping Sauce

When you think of granola, I bet you’re thinking it’s a great for breakfast or a snack. Well, how about using it to make a crust for shrimp!?!? I know, as crazy as it sounds but it was oh so good! I’m a participant in the First Annual Golden Girl Granola Blogger Recipe Challenge and came up with this recipe for shrimp using their Truly Tropical granola.

First, the granola is amazing! It’s packed with delicious ingredients like dried mango, coconut and cashews….just the perfect amount of sweetness too. I had a hard time not eating the entire bag when I sampled it before deciding on how I was going to use it in a recipe.

The shrimp came out great and really reminded us all of coconut shrimp but much more crunchy and sweeter. I served it with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce and cole slaw. My eight-year old daughter loved them and keep sneaking a few more after dinner.

Truly Tropical Shrimp Featuring Golden Girl Granola | Join Us, Pull up a Chair
1 lb raw shrimp, cleaned with shells removed
1 cup Truly Tropical granola, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp white whole wheat flour
1 egg, beaten

Dipping sauce:
1/2 cup apricot preserves
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

Prepare your dipping station. Flour in a small bowl, egg in a small bowl and the roughly chopped granola in another bowl. Season the shrimp with the salt. Dip the shrimp in the flour and shake off any excess. Dip into the egg and then into the granola. Evenly coat the shrimp with the granola and place on the prepared baking sheet. Continue the process until all your shrimp are coated. Lightly spray the tops with the non-stick cooking spray. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the granola is crispy and the shrimp are cooked through. I had small shrimp so mine were one in 8 minutes. You’ll need to keep an eye on them so the sugars in the dried fruit don’t burn.

To make the dipping sauce, mix together the apricot preserves, rice wine vinegar and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!

Golden Girl Granola is a family based business in MA that takes pride in their granola by using only the finest ingredients and stirring each batch of granola by hand. Check out all the other flavors of granola!

Disclaimer: “I participated in the Golden Girl Granola Blogger Recipe Challenge. I received a product samples to use in my recipes. The views expressed here are entirely my own.”

Chocolate Energy Bites – The Secret Recipe Club

It’s the third Monday of the month and that means…Secret Recipe Club reveals! This month my assignment was Loving Life. Kirstin is a mom to 2 gorgeous girls that she home schools.  She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her daughter and husband and she blogs about their home renovations to family recipes. I had a hard time picking a recipe this month. I was considering her Blueberry Chia Seed Jam or Hot Crab Dip,  but settled on her recipe for Energy Bites.  I’ve been wanting to make these for a while and thought it was the perfect time especially since my daughter had a lacrosse play day this weekend.

These bites were really good, though I had a hard time getting to them to stick together. I’m not sure if it was because I substituted the almond butter with sunflower seed butter. Regardless, it came out tasty and I’ll just scoop out a bite to eat on a spoon. I’m definitely going to try making them again and sticking to Kirstin’s recipe to see what the difference might have been. My daughter loved them and it was the perfect pick me up between her games.

Chocolate Energy Bites | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

2 cups rolled oats
1 cup ground flax seed
2/3 cup honey
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 cup sunflower seed butter
1/4 cup finely chopped sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp Chia seeds
2 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

In a medium bowl, mix together all the ingredients until well combined. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to allow the mixture to chill and be easier to work with. Using a cookie scoop, scoop out balls and place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Place back in the refrigerator to chill for another 15 minutes and then store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator.

For more great recipes from this week’s SRC bloggers, use the button below!

Dark Chocolate Chia Granola

Who would have thought losing one hour for daylight savings time would totally screw up my entire week? I’ve been trying to play catch up all week and haven’t been very successful. I’m working to catch up over the weekend and with today’s rainy weather, it’s definitely helping. I’m always on the lookout for granola recipes and this one I found through one of the link parties I participate in. I saw dark chocolate and I was sold! I threw it together one night after dinner…it was so easy to make especially since I had all the ingredients on hand. It’s crunchy and I love the added health benefits of using chia seeds. I ate is a cereal one morning for breakfast and my daughter used it to top her vanilla greek yogurt. Regardless of how you like to eat granola, this is definitely one you want to try out!

Dark Chocolate Chia Granola | Join Us, Pull up a Chair

2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
2 Tbsp chia seeds
3 Tbsp cocoa powder
3 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix together the oats, coconut, chia seeds and cocoa powder in a large bowl until well combined. In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla. Pour over the oat mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated.

Spread the granola evenly on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring after 20 minutes to keep the granola from clumping together. Once baked, remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to completely cool. Once the granola is cooled, sprinkle on the chocolate chips and transfer to an airtight container. Enjoy!

Source: Natural Chow