Chocolate Chia Almond Granola – SRC August

granola

Can you believe this is my second chocolate recipe in a row?!  This treat comes to you today as this month’s Secret Recipe Club pick.  The Secret Recipe Club is the awesome blogging group I’m in, let me tell you all about it!  Each month, a group of bloggers is assigned another blogger to try out one of their recipes.  We can pick whatever we want too!  On the same day, we all post about our recipes and get to see and try a ton of new things.

Secret Recipe Club

This month, I was paired with My Hobbie Lobbie, who is a wonderful blogger who bakes, cooks yummy food, and even does crafts.  I don’t know how she has time to do everything!  After going through a ton of her recipes, I found myself CRAVING her Nutty Chocolate Granola.  I just had to have it.  I changed it around to match what I already had in our pantry, and it was delish.  I can’t wait to share with my friends from my new job! (YES, I got a new job!!!  AHHHHH!  I am so super excited, had to throw that in there)

Chocolate Chia Almond Granola

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Cocoa Powder

2 1/2 cups Old-Fashioned Oats

1 cup Raw Slivered Almonds

1/2 cup Raw Sunflower Seeds

1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds

1/3 cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce

1 teaspoon Cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon Cardamom

1 Tablespoon Honey

1/4 cup Light Brown Sugar

1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt

2 teaspoons Vegetable Oil

Directions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 200 degrees. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, until completely combined.

2. Spread the mix onto a foil lined, cooking-spray coated baking sheet.

3. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, stirring/flipping the granola every 15.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Recipe Adapted from:  Nutty Chocolate Granola

Ready to stir!

Ready to stir!

Granola is stirred and ready to bake

Granola is stirred and ready to bake

Halfway done

Halfway done

The finished product... yum!

The finished product… yum!

This granola was a fabulous snack for after dinner, but it would be amazing as a topping to cereal, yogurt, ice cream, or berries and whipped cream!  I could not believe how easy it was to make my own granola, I am excited to do it again and try new varieties too.

Click below to see all of the other recipes that were made this month in the SRC!

Spiced Pumpkin Seed & Cashew Crunch : BA Cleanse 2014

The Bon Appetit Food Lover’s Cleanse is all about cooking healthy, whole foods, and trying new recipes to keep you excited about cooking.  For Dave and I, this has been the “reset” button we needed to hit after eating not so well during the holidays and to gear up for a year of lookin’ good for our wedding!

Before the first day of the cleanse, we had to make a few recipes that we used throughout the days to have on hand like salad dressing, herby tahini sauce, and this amazing Seed&Nut Crunch.  It was a lot of work the first day, but I loved having my own homemade ingredients throughout the week.

Bon Appetit's Crunch... wow!

Bon Appetit’s Crunch… wow!

This crunch has become my new guilty pleasure.  I guess if it’s part of the cleanse, I don’t even have to be that guilty!

The crunch is delightfully spiced with just a hint of sweetness and adds some really nice texture to so many of the recipes.  We even had to make a second batch because we liked it so much!

I really wanted to share this recipe with you because it’s so versatile.  We put the crunch on salads, on hot cereals, yogurt, and even on some of our side dishes.  The spices can be modified to fit your personal tastes too.  I think this is one recipe we’ll totally be taking with us as we finish the cleanse and continue on with our healthy living.  Love it!

Spiced Pumpkin Seed & Cashew Crunch

Ingredients:

Nonstick Spray
1 Large Egg White
1 teaspoon Light Agave Nectar 
½ teaspoon Garam Masala 
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
⅛ teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
¼ cup Raw Cashews, coarsely chopped
¼ cup shelled Raw Pumpkin Seeds (pepitas)
¼ cup shelled Raw Sunflower Seeds 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300°.

Coat a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. Whisk egg white, agave, garam masala, salt, and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add nuts and seeds and toss to coat.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer mixture to baking sheet, letting excess egg drip back into bowl. Bake, tossing once, until mixture is golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet.

Recipe adapted from:  Bon Appetit

The crunch was the perfect texture to top this salad of roasted carrots and beets

The crunch was the perfect texture to top this salad of roasted carrots and beets

I also used the crunch in so many breakfasts.  This one I will share the recipe with you soon- SO GOOD!  Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Pom and Crunch!

I also used the crunch in so many breakfasts. This one I will share the recipe with you soon- SO GOOD! Hot Multigrain Cereal w/ Pom and Crunch!

 

I totally recommend making double this batch right from the start.  If you’re going to even think about snacking on this… just do it.  It’s so good.

Keep an eye on the crunch while it’s baking, my oven tends to burn nuts and seeds when I try to “toast” them, so I like to have the light on and check every couple minutes or so.  The mixture might be a little soft when you take it out, so wait until it cools completely to try it for the best taste.

Check out these other recipes from the #BACleanse…

White Bean Salad w/ Parsley & Pom

White Bean Salad w/ Parsley & Pom

Also, follow me on Instagram (@GoodtobetheCook) to see other pics from our cleanse experience!  Many more recipes to come.

Avocado Sriracha Toast

I found myself with an extra Avocado the other day, and there was no way I was going to waste it!

One of my favorite little healthy snacks is this:

Avocado Sriracha Toast:

Supplies:  Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat British Muffin (or other bread), Fat Free (again, or regular) Cream Cheese, 1/2 Avocado, Sriracha Hot Sauce, and Sea Salt

Take a Whole Wheat English Muffin, toast it, and then spread on some Fat Free Cream Cheese (about 1 Tablespoon for both sides, you don’t need much).

Next, halve your avocado, take out the nut, and slice it into chunks.  Put the chunks evenly on both sides of the English Muffin and smush away with a fork.  

Add a few drops of Sriracha Hot Sauce, a sprinkle of Sea Salt, and enjoy!

 

What’s your favorite thing to do with leftover Avocados?  I’d love to hear!

Avocado!

Nom nom nom

 

Mint Chocolate Cake Batter Buddies

Green Hummus just wasn’t enough GREEN for this year’s St. Patty’s Day Celebration at Donny’s in Baltimore.  I had to make something sweet and have been dying to try out this Six Sisters’ Stuff recipe since I saw it in Pinterest!  My Mom and Melissa actually tried it out this weekend while I was away 😦

I wanted to do a Mint-Chocolate Chip version of the recipe.  It turned out awesome.  The mint-chocolate flavor is perfect and although I wish it were a little more green, it still looks pretty cool.

Mint Chocolate Cake Batter Buddies

Adapted from:  Six Sisters’ Stuff Funfetti Cake Batter Buddies

Ingredients:

6 cups Assorted Chex Cereal (Rice, Corn, and Wheat)

1 lb (or less) Mint flavored chocolate

Green Food Dye

3/4 cup Chocolate Cake Mix

1/2 cup Confectioners Sugar

 

Directions:

1.  Melt the chocolate using the microwave on MEDIUM/LOW, stopping after every minute to stir.  You don’t want to burn it!

2.  Once the chocolate is melted, stir in a few drops of color at a time until it reaches the desired green.

3.  Measure out the cake mix and sugar because you’ll want to do this fast as the chocolate will begin to harden.

4.  Pour the melted chocolate over the chex in a giant bowl.  Stir carefully to combine until it is well incorporated.

5.  Once the chocolate almost covers all of the chex, dump the sugar/cake mix and stir.

6.  Refrigerate for best results!

 

We tried to use mini chocolate chips but they didn’t stick well.  They tasted amazing without it though.  Yay!!

I liked using all 3 types, they all have different textures and flavors.

Just a few drops of green will do the trick.

Mix well so all of the chex are coated.

Mint Chocolate Muddy Buddies!  Voila!