Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date Almond

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Here’s a new Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date Almond (Oil-Free and Only 6 Ingredients). Since I started making granola without oil, I haven’t felt strongly compelled to start adding the oil back in. Why bother when it’s not needed, right? This recipe gives you the flavor and crunch of a great granola using fruit instead. This recipe makes for a wonderful breakfast or snack you can keep in your pantry or office desk.

I made a batch of this healthy granola recipe on a Sunday thinking I may have it for a day or two of the coming week. But, this stuff was so good, I found myself craving it. I had it for both breakfasts and snacks. It was good straight up, but I especially liked it over yogurt. It didn’t take long at all before I made my way through the whole batch. I’m not even sure it lasted a whole week.

Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date Almond (Oil-Free and Only 6 Ingredients) #recipe #granola #healthy

This healthy granola recipe is made with maple syrup, cinnamon, dates, and almonds. Did I mention it’s not only oil-free but uses just 6 ingredients? It’s tasty, easy, and won’t be a pain to shop for at the grocery store.

Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date Almond (Oil-Free and Only 6 Ingredients)

Though it’s not the fastest in bake time, spending some time upfront will save you lots of time later in the week when you can enjoy this no-cook breakfast. The portability was a big saver for me, too. I took about half of it with me to the office and kept in my desk drawer. On the days I didn’t eat before work, I knew I could easily bring a yogurt with me and crack open that jar of yummy granola waiting for me.

Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date Almond (Oil-Free and Only 6 Ingredients)

Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date Almond (Oil-Free and Only 6 Ingredients)
 
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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:
Serves: 4
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
Multiply the recipe to serve more. This made enough granola for me to eat for most breakfasts and some snacks for a work week.

This is a great one to keep at work!

 

I really enjoyed this Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date Almond over Greek yogurt and this So Delicious vanilla coconut milk yogurt.

Here are some more healthy granola recipes to try:

Hope you enjoy this Healthy Granola Recipe: Maple Cinnamon Date Almond. Happy baking! Thanks for stopping by!

Vegetarian Barley Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe

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Go ahead and book this one for your post-Easter meal – a Vegetarian Barley Blacked Eyed Pea Soup recipe. After indulging in the traditions – ham, mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and what not – you’re going to want something a little on the lighter side afterwards.

But this Vegetarian Barley Black Eyed Pea Soup recipe isn’t just great for a post-feast recovery meal. You can use it for a light entrée any time. In fact, I made a big batch of this one Sunday and saved off individual servings to store in the freezer for later. I’ve had them after post-work workouts and just-plain lazy days, and they’ve been a relief to have on hand. Served with saltines or (my preference) toasted whole grain bread with a light smear of butter, this is easy eats perfection.

Vegetarian Barley Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe

If you’ve been reading The Chic Life for long, you know I’m a big fan of homemade soup.

Vegetarian Barley Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe

There aren’t many things I think re-heat better, and I’m so over canned soup. I haven’t had any in years since the canned versions usually have so many extra, unnecessary ingredients and entirely too much salt. With each passing year, I’m turning more and more into that stubborn old woman who knows exactly what she wants and demands nothing less, and I’m okay with that.

Vegetarian Barley Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe

Did I mention there’s kale in this Vegetarian Barley Black Eyed Pea Soup recipe? Yep. As you know, I’m a fan of this dark green superfood. And hey, it’s one of the most hipster foods, apparently.

Vegetarian Barley Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe

Guess I’d better stock up on craft beer and PBR to make this a complete meal.

Vegetarian Barley Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe

Vegetarian Barley Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe
 
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Vegetarian Barley Black Eyed Pea Soup Recipe makes for a great, light meal for lunch or dinner or even a nice, cozy snack. Enjoy with toasted whole grain bread or saltines.
*Vegetarian, vegan*
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium-large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 32-ounce boxes broth of choice
  • 2 cans black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 package (8.8 ounces) 10 minute barley from Trader Joe’s, rinsed (or sub any type of barley, but adjust cooking time, as needed)
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • ½ teaspoon dried rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ salt, plus more to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 6 sprays Bragg’s Amino Acids, optional
  • fresh parsley, chopped, optional
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and carrots and cook until onions are translucent, about 5-6 minutes.
  3. Add broth, black eyed peas, barley, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until barley is done, 12-15 minutes (or until cooked according to package directions if you’re using another type of barley). Add more water if you want the soup more brothy.
  4. If using, spray in Bragg’s Amino Acids. Taste test and season with additional salt and/or pepper (or Bragg’s), as needed.
  5. Serve. Garnish with fresh parsley, if using, and enjoy.
Notes
Note: I used 10 minute barley from Trader Joe’s, which I recently discovered. This saves a lot of cooking time since most barley cooks for more like 45-50 minutes, but you can use any type of barley you wish. Just be sure to cook the soup long enough so the barley is the texture you want.


Note: If you store the leftovers for later, you may notice the barley soaks up more of the liquid. When you go to re-heat it, you may wish to add some more broth or water to make it more liquidy.


Ingredient Note: I really like the canned black eyed peas from Eden Organic. Not only are the beans organic, the can is BPA free. The ingredients are simply organic black eyed peas, water, and kombu seaweed. Eden Organic uses the kombu instead of salt when cooking their beans since it offers many benefits, including adding flavor and working as a tenderizer for dried beans.

 

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Happy cooking!

10 Easy Kale Recipes

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Kale is still king in the land of vegetables and healthy eating, and if you haven’t tried it yet or don’t cook with it often, I wanted to share 10 simple ways to use this superfood. Here are 10 Easy Kale Recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks!

10 Easy Kale Recipes

 

10 Easy Kale Recipes

So why is kale so great? According to whfoods.com:

The beautiful leaves of the kale plant provide an earthy flavor and more nutritional value for fewer calories than almost any other food around.

Kale’s nutrient richness stands out in three particular areas: (1) antioxidant nutrients, (2) anti-inflammatory nutrients, and (3) anti-cancer nutrients in the form of glucosinolates.

Click here for the source information and to read more about the health benefits of kale on whfoods.com.

Let’s jump into the 10 easy kale recipes…

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10 Easy Kale Recipes

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1 – Piña Colada Green Monster Smoothie Recipe – just in time for the warm weather and not just for happy hour!

Put kale in a smoothie: This is my favorite way to eat kale because it’s so fast, easy, and tastes great. This is the fastest of the 10 easy kale recipes. You can add kale to your favorite smoothie to give it a pretty green color and boost the nutrition. Usually taking only 5-10 minutes to prep and blend, you can enjoy your kale for breakfast or a snack (or a dessert – see next recipe).

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2 – Cookies ‘N Cream Green Monster Smoothie Recipe – and since I like smoothies so much, here’s another one to whip up sometime soon. Try it for breakfast or switch things up and make it for a light dessert.

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3 – Green Monster Muffin Recipe – for the baking lover.

Bake your smoothie? And since we’re talking about green monsters, here’s a play on the famous smoothie that I adapted into a muffin recipe! The recipe calls for spinach, but you can sub kale. I should know…I have a new green monster muffin recipe variation just waiting to be blogged.

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4 – Easy Kale Chips Recipe – a recipe along with helpful photos and my other tips to ensure successful chips.

Bake Your Kale: And if you’re looking for a baking recipe that isn’t sweet, have you heard of kale chips yet? Of all of the 10 easy kale recipes, this one may be the most well-known. I’m thinking most of you have, but if you haven’t, then click the link above for more details. I wouldn’t say they’re a fair substitution for my beloved salt and vinegar potato chips, but these are delicious in their own right.

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5 – Marinated Kale Recipe – This goes great as a side for any meal, but it holds especially well for a pack lunch to take to the office or on a trip.

Marinate Your Kale: If you don’t feel like cooking your kale, besides putting it into a smoothie, you can also eat it raw as a salad. My favorite is massaged with soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh garlic, and fresh ginger for an Asian-inspired taste.

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6 – Southwest Quinoa Breakfast Bowl – a new kind of breakfast.

Steam Your Kale: You can eat steamed kale straight up for a simple side, but I really like this recipe for a unique breakfast recipe. If you’re looking to eat more vegetables, don’t forget about breakfast! This would also make a great light meal. Bonus – according to whfoods.com, steaming kale increases its cholesterol-lowering ability.

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7 – Tangy Greens – mixed with other greens and apple cider vinegar, these only take a couple minutes to sauté up.

Sauté Your Kale: Many recipes recommend braising kale for a long time, but I like it sautéed, which takes less time. Braised is great, but go sautéed when you’re short on time.

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8 – Vegetarian Italian Farro Soup – simple, delicious and perfect for a light meal any time of year.

Put Kale in Soup: Since kale wilts down so easily, I love to take a bunch, rip it into bite-sized pieces, and toss it into soup. Just a couple minutes of prep work adds extra vegetables and nutrition to your favorite soup recipe. Though 2 of the 10 easy kale recipes are for soup, you could use this method to upgrade almost any soup recipe.

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9 – Spiced Red Lentil and Kale Soup – zesty and flavorful. I had to add a second soup since this is such an easy way to eat kale.

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10 – Healthified Beef Stew – slow cooker beef stew gets an easy addition.

Healthify Comfort Foods: When I was making this beef stew recipe, I decided to throw kale in at the end because…why not? I can’t decide if this is me being really into eating my greens or being a lazy healthy eater looking for shortcuts. Hmm…I’m thinking of adding some kale to chicken and dumplings next!

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Happy cooking! Hope you enjoyed this recipe round-up of 10 easy kale recipes. Enjoy your greens! And remember to share this post for 10 easy kale recipes if you found it helpful!

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe

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Quiche. It’s what for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving for busy people like us. Make it once and enjoy the leftovers for whichever type of meal you prefer later. Not to mention the combinations are endless. I recently whipped up a delicious quiche that I’m sharing here for a Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche recipe. The brussels sprouts added a nice, sweet taste to the overall flavor. Yum!

Though it’s one of few things I think re-heats okay in the microwave, I think the best way to re-heat quiche is in the oven. I like to cut a slice up and bake it until it’s heated through for that fresh-baked taste.

The next step is to figure out what you want to serve the quiche with. I like my quiche with toast and coffee for breakfast and with a salad for dinner. All the sides are simple, making this overall meal experience tasty and easy.

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe

 

Brussels sprouts are easy to shred (check out my recipe for easy sautéed brussels sprouts), but if you’re extra short on time, try the pre-saved ones available at Trader Joe’s. You’ll get enough to eat as a side vegetable for a different meal and the leftovers will already be cool to save you even more time.

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe

I recently found these frozen pie crusts at my local health food store. They come in a variety of flavors, including spelt and gluten-free. My favorite is the Organic Whole Wheat 9″ Pie Shell by Wholly Wholesome.

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe

Hello, delicious Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe!

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe

Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe
 
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Easy Brussels Sprouts and Cheddar Cheese Quiche Recipe is super simple to make. Enjoy it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. This is a great use for eggs that are about to expire or if you need to do meal prep for the week and need easy eats. Serve with toast, a salad, and/or fresh fruit to complete the meal.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • ½ tablespoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 cup shaved brussels sprouts
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 frozen pie crust (see photos for the clean eats version I found at my local health food store)
Instructions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat a large pan over medium heat. When it’s ready, add the butter, oil, and brussels sprouts and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes, until the brussels sprouts have softened nicely. Set aside to cool. Wait until the brussels sprouts have cooled before proceeding so they don’t cook the eggs when you add them in the next steps.
  3. In a large bowl, combine eggs and milk and whisk till evenly combined.
  4. Stir in brussels sprouts, cheddar cheese, garlic salt, and black pepper.
  5. Pour egg mixture into frozen pie crust and bake for 45-55 minutes, until the center is set.
Notes
NOTE: This recipe would be a great use for leftover cooked brussels sprouts (click here for a recipe for sautéed brussels sprouts). Simply skip the brussels sprouts cooking step and if yours aren’t already shaved, chop them pretty small.



NOTE: Keep a frozen crust in the freezer for convenience.



Cooking tip: If when you check the quiche to see if it’s done the center is sunken, then you need to cook longer. The center should be puffed up a bit.

What’s your favorite quiche ingredient combo?

Amped Up Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe

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You’ve already seen my recipe for a simple, 3-ingredient almond butter smoothie. This time, I’m bringing you an Amped Up Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe! I just made a couple simple additions to my basic recipe to make the smoothie extra healthy.

Amped Up Almond Butter Smoothie

My simple almond butter smoothie has three ingredients:

  1. banana
  2. milk
  3. almond butter

Amped Up Almond Butter Smoothie

I added a couple health-boosting ingredients to the basic recipe to turn it into an Amped Up Almond Butter Smoothie.

Dates

Dates add a little extra sweetness to the flavor of this smoothie, but they’re good for you, too! According to The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth, a “single date has calcium and magnesium in an almost perfect 1:1 ratio (15 mg to 14 mg), 1 1/2 g of fiber, and more than 160 mg of heart-healthy potassium. There’s even a smidgen of vitamin A, plus trace amounts of a half dozen of other vitamins and minerals.”

Ground Flaxseed

An article about flaxseeds on whfoods.com says, “The seeds of most plants are rich in nutrients and can provide us with health benefits. Yet flaxseeds are also nutritionally unique and offer us health benefits not found across the board within the seeds food group. The nutritional uniqueness of flaxseeds features three nutrient aspects.” You can read about those three aspects (omega 3 fatty acid content, lignans, and mucilage (gum) content by clicking here.

Cinnamon

According to Dr. Oz, “As we age, many of us may experience muscle and joint pain due to arthritis. Cinnamon contains anti-inflammatory compounds that can help relieve that pain. Furthermore, cinnamon’s antibiotic properties help prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay and gum disease, and have been shown to kill the harmful bacteria, E.coli.”

Healthy and delicious!

Amped Up Almond Butter Smoothie

Amped Up Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe
 
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This Amped Up Almond Butter Smoothie takes a classic recipe up a notch with a couple simple, healthful additions. Read more about why these ingredients are healthy above in the blog post.
Author:
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened rice milk)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
  • 1 date, pitted
  • dash of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Place milk, banana, almond butter, flaxseed, and date in the blender.
  2. Cover and blend until ingredients are processed and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Taste test and if desired, blend in sweetener of choice to taste.
  3. Pour into a glass and add a dash of cinnamon on top. Enjoy!
Notes
This single serving recipe multiplies easily to server more

 

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What are your favorite ingredients to amp up smoothies?

Healthy Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe

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I think some of my friends think that I always maintain healthy eating habits. But, sometimes I have a tendency to get caught up with things and start skipping out on some of those habits. Work gets crazy, and my schedule becomes overwhelming. Once in awhile, I find myself missing out on sleep and making poor food choices. And sometimes those choices are less about picking unhealthy things than remembering to incorporate good, nutritious ones into my daily eats/drinks.

I was in one of those slumps recently. One thing that helped me out was buying some locally made vegetable juices (from Viva Raw) and having a smoothie every day or so. I really think the vegetable and fruit nutrition helped me get back in gear. It also gave me an excuse to play around with smoothie recipes. I decided to try a simple Healthy Almond Butter Smoothie first. Next, I tried an extra-healthified Almond Butter Smoothie. The recipe for the simple version is at the end of this post. I’ll be sharing the other one soon.

Healthy Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe

I love creative ingredients and all, but sometimes it’s nice to make something with just a handful of staples. This healthy Almond Butter Smoothie is made with only three ingredients. And, none of those ingredients is a sweetener! Yup, this smoothie uses the natural sweetness of a banana.

Healthy Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe

The key ingredient is a good almond butter. You’ll get almost all of your flavor from this ingredient, so pick one you enjoy eating. This Once Again Raw Creamy Almond Butter was on sale recently, so I decided to check it out. I’m not gonna lie, I prefer an almond butter made with roasted almonds and salt for a deeper flavor. This one is quite light.

Healthy Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe

However, for a non-homemade almond butter, the ingredient list is impressive.

Ingredients: raw pasteurized almonds

Yup, just one ingredient. No chemicals or additives. Just straight up almonds.

Healthy Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe

This smoothie is a great everyday smoothie, but there are also a ton of ways to jazz it up. More on that on my next post for the Amped Up Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe.

Healthy Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe

Healthy Almond Butter Smoothie Recipe
 
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This Healthy Almond Butter Smoothie recipe is a cinch to whip up. It only uses three staple ingredients, too, and you can easily add in others to your liking. Remember to choose an almond butter you really love since it will be the main flavor of this smoothie. Did I mention there are no added sugars in this smoothie? Woohoo!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 1 cup milk of choice (I used unsweetened rice milk)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
Instructions
  1. Place milk, banana, and almond butter in the blender.
  2. Cover and blend until ingredients are processed and smooth, about 1-2 minutes. Taste test and if desired, blend in sweetener of choice to taste.
  3. Enjoy!
Notes
This recipe uses the sweetness of bananas for natural sugar. If it’s not sweet enough for you, you can blend in some more sweetener of choice.

A frozen banana is recommended for a nice, frosty texture. But, you can sub a non-frozen banana. I’d just recommend adding a couple cubes of ice to the mix.

 

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Ready to take your smoothie to the next level? Try this Amped-Up Almond Butter Smoothie:
Amped Up Almond Butter Smoothie
(Click image or link above to check out this recipe)

Go Green with this healthy Piña Colada Green Monster Smoothie Recipe:
Healthy Piña Colada Green Monster Smoothie Recipe #healthy #smoothie #breakfast #greenmonster
(Click image or link above to check out this recipe)
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Have a great week! And, remember to eat your fruits and veggies!

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