My last visit to Whole Foods was Friday, 9/2/11. I am really hoping that I’m able to last a full month, without visiting the store, and so far I’m winning that challenge.
The most difficult part has been finding organic USA-grown nuts for snacks. I ended up buying some River Queen brand unsalted peanuts at the local grocery, but I really miss Whole Foods bulk isle.
So far, I’m doing alright for grains, but getting very low. I’ll definitely need to stock up in the bulk isle my next visit for sure!
I have been trying to stick to eating out of my freezer, and it’s been going well. Although I did buy some local meats yesterday at the farmer’s market, but for the most part, I’ve been trying to use up the food in my freezer. I’ve even been defrosting some soup and chili for lunches for DH and myself.
Anyway, it feels great to be free of Whole Foods, if only for a little while. Who would have thought a few months ago I’d be saying that?! Ha!
I made a batch of homemade lower sugar granola for my dad for Father’s Day, based on a recipe I found for “Sugar Free Granola” on allRecipes.com – it’s not necessarily “sugar free” but her recipe contains no added refined sugars. The granola did get sweetness from dates and apple juice. I do not drink juice anymore, so I decided to improvise and substitute 1 Tbsp agave nectar.
So, anyway, it was delicious, and I’ve been wanting to make a batch for us, so this afternoon, I did! I am looking forward to adding it to plain yogurt!
Keep in mind, this granola is not very sweet at all. (see below for approximate nutritional data) If you are used to highly sweetened foods, then it might not be for you! LOL.
Ingredients for Homemade Lower Sugar Granola with Oats, Pecans, Coconut
1 cup chopped pitted dates (about 20 deglet dates) – 150 grams
1 cup water
1/4 cup coconut butter – I use the Artisana brand
1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
1-1/2 cups rolled oats – 150 grams
1/2 cup shredded coconut – 50 grams
3/4 (approx) cup chopped pecans – 100 grams
1/2 cup ground flax seed – 50 grams – I use Bob’s Red Mill Flaxseed Meal
1/2 cup sunflower seeds – 75 grams
1 tsp cinnamon
- if you do not have coconut butter, you might follow the original recipe and add the 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice, or you can also add oil. A nut oil or fruity olive oil would be nice.
- When I made it for my dad, I also added raisins and unsweetened dried cherries. I left them out of this version, but they can easily be added after the granola cools. It’s probably not a great idea to include them before baking, as they can dry out and harden.
- Preheat oven for 350F
- In small saucepan, over medium-low heat, combine the dates and water, and cook until they become pasty and thick, about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir often so they don’t burn. If the dates get too hot, lower the heat.
- Once the mixture is just finished, stir in the coconut butter and agave nectar. Keep on very low heat (or turn off the stove) and stir until well melted and blended.
- Then add the tsp of almond extract (optional) to the date mixture
- While dates are cooking, mix up the rest of the dry ingredients in a large bowl
- Spread the oat nut mixture onto a large baking sheet and bake for about 7-10 minutes or until lightly toasted.
- Once toasted, pour the oat nut mixture back into the large bowl and gently blend in the date glaze. Mix until it’s well combined. If there are dry patches, add a teenie bit of water.
- Return the granola back to the baking pan and bake for another 20 minutes or so. Make sure to keep turning/stirring the granola so it browns evenly, and watch it closely so it doesn’t burn.
- Remove from oven and allow the pan to cool on a rack. Stir occasionally to cool. Once cooled, the granola will harden slightly.
- Store in airtight container. I am not sure if this granola with it’s lower sugar content will keep as long as conventional granola, so if long term storage is needed, then freezing might be a better option.
Based on 23 servings of 1 oz each – approx 1/3 cup
(Use the nutritional data as a guide; the info is not absolute, your results might vary considerably depending on the total weight of the finished product)
Total Fat: 9g
Saturated: 3g (from healthy coconut fat)
Vit A: 0
Vit C: 0
I just made this quinoa salad for a reunion dinner tonight.
Quinoa is a very small grain, actually it’s technically not even a grain, it’s a seed, but it’s always lumped into the hearty whole grain category. It’s gluten free and fairly quick to make. It smells earthy when cooking.
I found excellent cooking instructions for quinoa in the Lorna Sass book “Whole Grains Every Day Every Way“. Cook quinoa similar to how you cook pasta: use a large portion of boiling water and then drain.
Continue reading “Quinoa Salad with Tomatoes, Feta, Apples & Almonds”