Oil-Free Fruit and Nut Granola {Recipe}

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Have you ever read the ingredient list of some granola products out there? I’ve seen some pretty good packaged options, but many are full of not only additives, but excess sugar and oil, too. I’m okay with a little oil and sugar, but dad’s recently thrown a kink in his new vegan diet – he’s avoiding oil, as well. When I was home for the holidays, I decided to whip up a new granola recipe just for him, so that presented a new challenge. The granola dad had been eating was pretty decent, but I think homemade is always better. Since I had plenty of free time, I experimented and came up with this tasty fruit and nut granola.

Oil-Free Fruit and Nut Granola Recipe

Thanks to the mix of dried fruits, this bowl of granola was vibrant and colorful.

Oil-Free Fruit and Nut Granola Recipe

Here’s the granola sans fruit.

Oil-Free Fruit and Nut Granola Recipe

Dad’s a fan of variety, so I put a couple different kinds of nuts and seeds in this mix based on what my parents had at their house. You could easily swap out your favorites…same with the dried fruits.

Oil-Free Fruit and Nut Granola Recipe

5.0 from 1 reviews

Oil-Free Fruit and Nut Granola {Recipe}
 
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Sometimes you just want a simple granola recipe that doesn’t use a ton of ingredients. Here’s an easy recipe that tastes delicious and has less sugar than most granolas and no oil!
*Vegetarian, Vegan*
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 Cups rolled old fashioned oats (quick cooking oats can be used, too)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (or nut of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ cup (or one individual) applesauce
  • ¼ cup maple syrup, plus additional sweetener (honey or maple syrup), if needed
  • 1 cup dried dates, chopped
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or use aluminum foil and brushed lightly with oil).
  2. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients oats, almonds, and salt and stir to mix well.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine wet ingredients apple sauce, maple syrup, and additional sweetener (if using), and stir with a whisk to mix well.
  4. Add wet mixture to dry mixture and stir until wet mixture is evenly distributed.
  5. Pour granola mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread to an even layer.
  6. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes for 45-60 minutes, or until granola is browned to preference. Remove from oven and stir in dried fruit.
  7. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt or milk.
  8. Store in an airtight container.
Notes
Serves 6-8 depending on how large your serving sizes are.

Feel free to sub out your favorite fruits and nuts to customize this recipe to your taste.

 

Oil-Free Fruit and Nut Granola Recipe

A big batch of granola would be great to whip up on a Sunday afternoon for the week ahead. I actually did a ton of food prep today for Eat in Month whilst listening to the Tori Amos station on Pandora. I was happily cooking and baking away, singing to some beautiful music, and enjoying the moment. It was simple, but lovely.

Did anyone watch the US Nationals last night? Seeing all the beautiful skating really made me miss my skating days. So much so, that I decided to go ice skating today shortly after lunch. I’m still able to do some spins but very few jumps. Part of me really wants to go back to skating once or twice a week, but it would be so difficult to fit into my already hectic schedule. Maybe one day? (Click here to view some older videos of me skating a couple years ago)

Have a great week, everyone!

Healthier Baked Cinnamon Spelt Doughnuts Recipe

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When reader Meg wrote in asking if the substitution on the all purpose flour to spelt flour was one-to-one on my baked apple cider doughnuts, I was reminded that I haven’t baked with spelt flour in awhile. I definitely picked up a small bag the next time I was at the health food store for some baking projects. Spelt doughnuts sounded like a pretty good dessert for this past weekend, so I came up with a couple simple changes based on some of the other doughnut recipes here on The Chic Life to make a recipe specifically for spelt flour. I made a Healthier Baked Cinnamon Spelt Doughnuts Recipe.

(By the way, the substitution for all purpose to spelt is one-to-one in the other doughnut recipes – see links below)

Healthier Baked Cinnamon Spelt Doughnuts Recipe

Healthier Baked Cinnamon Spelt Doughnuts Recipe

Healthier Baked Cinnamon Spelt Doughnuts Recipe

 

This Healthier Baked Cinnamon Spelt Doughnuts Recipe is a little heartier than the other doughnut recipes I’ve made with all purpose flour thanks to the spelt flour. I still enjoy the texture and find these doughnuts to be slightly more fluffy and light than whole wheat. But, I love baking with spelt flour!

Healthier Baked Cinnamon Spelt Doughnuts {Recipe}
 
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Spelt flour gives these doughnuts a heartier texture that is somewhere between what all purpose and whole wheat flours would yield. If you’ve never baked with spelt flour, this would be a great introductory recipe. Easy, fast, and satisfying, these doughnuts are a no brainer. You could add a simple glaze on top, but when I’m feeling lazy, a quick dip in cinnamon sugar adds pizzazz without much extra effort.
As with my other recipes, I call this “healthier” instead of “healthy” because I’m not sure what would make a dessert healthy unless it was comprised of fresh sliced fruit. So, let’s just agree this is a “healthier” than traditional fried doughnuts…and even lighter and less sweet than some baked versions!
*Vegetarian, Vegan options listed below*
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup spelt flour (or sub all purpose flour if you’re not feeling the spelt flour)
  • ¼ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons (preferably raw sugar)
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon, plus ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup and 2 tablespoons milk (or sub vegan milk substitute)
  • 1 large egg (or sub flaxseed egg)
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush a 6-count doughnut pan lightly with melted butter (or spray with non-stick spray).
  2. In a medium-large bowl, add spelt flour, ¼ cup sugar, baking powder, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. In another medium-large bowl, whisk together ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk, egg, canola oil, and vanilla extract to combine.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients and gently mix until just combined (careful to not over-mix).
  5. Evenly distribute in doughnut pan. Tap pan on counter to release air bubbles. Bake for 7-9 minutes, until doughnuts are cooked through (when a toothpick inserted into the doughnut comes out clean). (Mine were perfect at 8 minutes, but oven temperatures can vary, so check at 7 minutes)
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together (or stir with fork) ¼ cup granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon cinnamon until cinnamon is evenly mixed in. When doughnuts are safe to touch, but while they’re still warm, dip each side into the cinnamon-sugar mixture, pressing and twisting to get good coverage.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

***

You may also like these other The Chic Life recipes:

And here are more great spelt recipes from around the web:

Healthier Baked Cinnamon Spelt Doughnuts Recipe

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Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy this Healthier Baked Cinnamon Spelt Doughnuts Recipe!

Visit to Kiawah Island Beach

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What better way to spend your birthday weekend than at the beach?

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For this year’s celebration, we rented a villa in Kiawah Island, SC with my parents and sister for the weekend. We arrived late Friday after working during the day and road tripping it in the evening, which is when we visited that yummy German restaurant.

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My sister spoiled us Saturday morning by making breakfast for everyone, including scrambled eggs and a giant stack of pancakes.

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Beach fuel!

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The villas were beautiful and tucked into a lot of green space with swooping trees and bushes everywhere. Even the villas seemed to have a natural feel with muted woods that almost disappeared with the plants all around.

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It seems like most of our beach trips are on popular strips with high rise after high rise overtaking the skyline. I liked feeling more embedded in nature at these villas. It was so quiet and peaceful and just what I needed as an escape from the busy week before.

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We took a short walk to the beach after breakfast.

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I didn’t know what to expect. I’d never been to Kiawah Island before. Whenever we visit Charleston, we typically hit up Isle of Palms in search of beach time. And this may sound stupid, but I’m generally not a fan of beaches north of Miami. That crystal clear water and white sand gets me every time.

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And though this beach had neither white sand nor clear water, it was gorgeous anyway.

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Bailey loved it!

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He had a blast jumping over all the (baby) waves and swimming around.

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The weather was nearly perfect – warm but not terribly hot. The water was cool but comfortable. The skies were full of bubbling clouds and the beach seemed to stretch on forever.

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I wanted to stay here for weeks.

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We enjoyed soaking up the sun and relaxing for awhile before heading back to the villa to get ready for lunch.

Next up – my birthday lunch, complete with locally sourced ingredients – my fave!

Healthier Blueberry Streusel Muffins {Recipe}

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I’m currently at the lake on a family vacation, sitting on a couch with my niece and nephew. My nephew is playing a video game, and my niece is watching Madagascar 2. I’m sort of watching Madagascar 2 in between drafting this blog post and creating the image below. Who knew you could spend so much time moving text around on a photo to see where it best fit? My niece saw me working on the graphic for this post and asked about it. She seemed skeptical when I told her I took the photo of the muffins. “Youuu took that?” she asked. Damn skippy. Oh wait, you don’t say that to children, right? Just kidding. Of course I didn’t say that! Sheesh!

Anywho, I’ve been meaning to share this recipe for Healthier Blueberry Streusel Muffins with you guys for a few weeks now. Nothing like a vacation to use my R&R time to get this together. Blogging is sometimes work, but oftentimes fun for me. The fun, the challenge, and the encouraging words from you guys keep these blog posts coming. Thank you for the kind words (on Facebook, email, and text) about my last blog post on rejection. Those raw posts are a little harder for me to share sometimes, but I’m hoping to do more.

Now, on to those muffins! Blueberry muffins were probably most made (or would tie for second most made) in my house, growing up. I decided to try out the vinegar trick I use in some cake mini and doughnut recipes to make healthier but still moist sweets, and it worked like a charm. I threw the streusel topping together for a little extra texture and sweetness. Yum!

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Healthier Blueberry Streusel Muffins

I used the vinegar trick from my Chocolate Depression Cake Minis to make these muffins light and moist while reducing the oil and butter used in traditional blueberry muffins. The streusel adds a little butter and sugar back in, so if you’re really trying to be healthy, skip the topping. But, even the streusel is a little lighter than normal. Enjoy these muffins on your next lazy morning with coffee or tea and a dose of relaxation.

Yields: 12 muffins

*Vegetarian, Vegan options listed below*

Ingredients:

  • non-stick spray or muffin liners
  • 2 cups flour (I used unbleached all purpose)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sucanat (or sub sugar for a sweeter taste)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 eggs (or flaxseed eggs for a vegan recipe)
  • 1 cup milk (or sub vegan milk substitute) (I used 2%)
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 small container fresh blueberries (or 1 cup fresh or frozen – go with 1 1/2 cups if you want them extra-EXTRA fruity)

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 1/4 old fashioned oats
  • 2 tablespoon butter, melted/softened (or sub vegan substitute, like Earth Balance)
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon flour of choice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare 12 cup muffin tin with either muffin cups or non-stick spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk till evenly combined.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together sucanat and canola oil. One at a time, whisk in eggs. Add milk, vinegar, and vanilla extract. Whisk till evenly combined.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into bowl with dry ingredients. Stir gently to combine, just till all dry ingredients are mixed in (careful to not over-mix – batter will be a little lumpy and pretty liquidy). Gently stir in blueberries.
  5. Evenly distribute batter into each cup of a 12-cup muffin tin (should fill muffins cups pretty full).
  6. Mix streusel ingredients together and evenly distribute on top of the muffins.
  7. Bake muffins for 18-22 minutes, until muffins are cooked through (a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin or loaf comes out clean).
  8. Let muffins cool till they’re safe to touch. Serve warm or wait longer and serve room temperature. Enjoy!

***

You may also like:

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If you liked this post, please consider sharing it with one of the share buttons at the bottom of this post or by using the share link on my Facebook page. Seeing these recipes shared with friends and family makes my day and lets me know what types of recipes and content you like so I know what to focus on in the future.

Happy baking! Thanks for reading!

Eggscellent B&B Breakfast and Amelia River Cruise {Amelia Island, FL}

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Welcome to our new blog friends from Vitamix! I’m currently blogging about my recent vacation to Florida, but I have some new recipes coming soon! In the meantime, here we go…just a couple posts left!

If you came here for more smoothie or Green Monster recipes, check out these:

***

Though we wanted to spend the majority of our time relaxing, we wanted to do a couple touristy things while we were in Amelia Island. The boar tour was high on our list (in addition to the bus tour and carriage ride).

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{This is one of my favorite photos from the trip, and I snapped it on our boat tour. I love the way the old buildings contrast with the new boats and how with the masts reach into the bright blue sky}

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But first, we started the day with another delicious and filling breakfast at our B&B, Hoyt House. Hellooooo, sticky bun!

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I ordered what became my usual – the fried eggs with potatoes (this time with shredded potatoes and Canadian bacon).

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Hubby opted for the breakfast sandwich.

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We headed through downtown to the pier where the boat tours depart. We thought we were running late, but we just made it on time. We took the 10:30am Cumberland Island tour with Amelia River Cruises.

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See the pink birds? They’re not flamingos. They’re Roseate spoonbills, and apparently they aren’t often here on the island, so it was cool we got to see them.

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Dolphin sighting! We saw a few on our trip.

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{Our historian and presenter – she shared lots of interesting facts and stories on our trip}

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{Our captain – had a lot of info to share, too!}

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90′s kids, do you recognize this house? It’s Pippi Longstocking’s house! I was a big fan of her as a kid. I even dressed up as Pippi for Halloween one year!

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The white line in the water is where different bodies of water meet.

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One of the best parts of the boat tour – pets are allowed!

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{The famous wild horses}

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Bailey loved the boat tour.

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Do you see what I see on this boat? It’s a mini garden. Very smart!

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Bailey made friends with a little girl on the boat and showed off some tricks. What a ham!

I took a lot more photos, but there are only so many that fit well in a blog post. I tried to share the best ones! We had a great time on the boat tour and definitely recommend it if you’re ever visiting in Amelia Island. You’ll learn a lot, see some great scenery, and enjoy the fresh air as you cruise down the water.

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There was a restaurant right where our boat returned, so we went ahead and ate there – Brett’s Waterway Café.

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We wanted to enjoy some views of the water a bit longer.

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Hubby got the soup and salad.

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I ordered the grilled salmon, which came with green beans and a rice pilaf. I wanted something light (but not a salad), and this hit the spot. I ordered the sauce on the side and ended up not really needing it. The fish was flavorful enough on its own.

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And with lunch done, we headed back through downtown on the way to the B&B.

***

You can check out some of my other Florida road trip posts here:

***

Thanks for stopping by! Two posts left, and then we get to some new summer-themed recipes! Stay tuned!

Breakfast at Hoyt House, Lunch at Kelly’s Courtyard Café, & Dinner at David’s {Amelia Island, FL}

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We were really starting to settle into the laid-back atmosphere of Amelia Island by mid-trip. It was a welcome change from the fast-paced world we normally live in. We didn’t have to worry about traffic, or work…no phone conferences or Outlook meeting planners…just what shall we eat next? Want to go to the pool? How about the beach? Oh yeaaa…

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{fresh fruit cup}

We were really enjoying our breakfasts at the Hoyt House.

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Hubby tried the frittata of the day – a play on the classic caprese flavors.

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I went with the fried egg with potatoes and an English muffin. Simple but exactly what I wanted. They have a special machine/tool at the B&B to cook the eggs, and I really like the way they use it to cook fried eggs.

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After breakfast, we headed out to the front porch to relax. I worked on a blog posts while hubby did some reading.

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See the lizard?

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For lunch, we visited Kelly’s Courtyard Café.

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We took a seat near the fountain.

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We shared a couple things – the soup of the day…

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…hummus…

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…and the mahi mahi sandwich. Everything was tasty, but that fish sandwich was especially good. I loved the seasoning they put on the fish and the way they grilled it.

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After seeing most of the tables order it around us, we couldn’t resist trying a dessert that caught our eye – Granny Mutt’s blueberry squares – vanilla ice cream & warm blueberry compote. This dessert was sort of like a blueberry blondie, and it was wonderful. I’d love to try to re-create something like this at home since I can’t easily go out and order it.

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And let’s just jump straight to dinner, shall we? We decided to visit David’s Restaurant & Lounge for a special dinner. I guess we had a couple anniversary dinner celebrations on our trip.

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They had a modern menu for their wine list, all on an iPad.

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A small bite from the chef to start.

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The bread and dipping sauces were really good. We especially liked the green one, which appeared to be a mix of fresh herbs and olive oil.

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I’d heard the Stuffed Heirloom Tomato was great, so we decided to start with that.

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“Fresh Tomato stuffed with Marinated Fresh Mozzarella & Basil served with a Balsamic Drizzle”. It was served cold, making it a great summer appetizer. The outside tomato had a great, firm texture, and the mix of cheese and tomato in the center was very good.

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Crab Bisque – “Classic Creamy Bisque with Crab & Herb Oil.” This was mainly hubby’s, but I had a bite, and it was creamy and delicious.

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{Palate-cleansing sorbet}

The menu is creatively broken up by the four senses – Earth, Fire, Wind, and Water with a special fifth sense of some add-ons (scallops, lobster tails, etc.).

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We ordered the Petite Filet – “3oz Twin Medallions of Filet Mignon with a Red Wine Demi Glaze, Wild Mushroom Risotto and Seasonal Vegetables” and added a fifth sense option of scallops. I loved everything on the plate, from the crisp-tender vegetables to the creamy risotto to the tender filet and sweet scallop.

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We tried the Warm Apple and Cranberry Strudel with Vanilla Gelato for dessert, and it was a great decision. The flaky pastry was a nice wrapping for the thinly sliced apples and chewy bites of cranberries.

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And we got complimentary chocolate-covered strawberries for a second dessert, too!

We had a great and romantic dinner at David’s. The service was exceptional, and the food was fabulous. I’d definitely recommend you checking out this restaurant for a wonderful dinner experience.

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More post fun from our Florida trip here:

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Thanks for reading!

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