Cinnamon Pecan Granola

This past week I finally reunited with the lovely Jen Fields to start training again! I had desperately missed her immobilizing workouts from junior year and with the craziness of my last semester, I knew I needed all the motivation I could get to make me workout – especially since I conveniently forgot I’ll be in the Bahamas for Spring Break in less than 3 weeks. (When I finally acknowledged this exciting/frightening reality last week, I immediately started and successfully completed another 3-day juice cleanse.) 

While we were training, Jen told me she had recently decided to go Paleo and immediately began to gush about all of the amazing grain-free recipes she had perfected. While I’m not a Paleo, I tend to follow a diet that’s fairly similar to what they recommend (meats, veggies, fruits, nuts) so I was excited to try some of her new favorite dishes…… And once I tried this granola, I was already planning my trip to the grocery store to buy the ingredients before I had even left her apartment.

She posted her own recipe on her new food blog, but I substituted a few of the ingredients – so my version is posted below. 

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Grain-Free Cinnamon Pecan Granola

Ingredients:

  1. Handful of Cashews
  2. Handful of Pecans
  3. 2 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  4. 2 Tbsp Honey
  5. 1-2 Tbsp Almond Butter
  6. Cinnamon to taste
  7. Nutmeg to taste
  8. 1 tsp Vanilla

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse cashews and pecans in food processor a few times just to chop them into smaller pieces – don’t blend for TOO long!
  3. Gradually add the rest of the ingredients while slowly massaging the mixture so that it develops an even consistency and begins to stick together.
  4. You may need to adjust the amount of honey/almond butter depending on how many nuts you use and the type of granola you would like.
  5. Spread mixture evenly across baking sheet covered with parchment paper.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes – keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn!
  7. Let cool and harden.

I paired the granola with unsweetened almond milk and sprinkled some shredded coconut on top for a post-dinner snack last night and also for breakfast this morning. But because I seem to have demolished this batch in just two servings, I will definitely double the ingredients next time so that it might last longer than a day…

However, if you have any normal amount of self control, you can probably make it last a little longer than I did.

Enjoy!

The Perfect Paleo Pancakes

This weekend, I finally achieved pancake perfection. Fluffy, heavenly, delightful, pancake perfection.  But before I share the secret recipe with you, I will quickly detail the events leading up to this delicious discovery.

This past week was filled with work, job interviews, school preparation, workouts, and overall stress. But the one thing getting me through it all, was knowing that on Friday night, I could climb into bed and turn off my alarm.  Finally, a morning where I could sleep past 8am – maybe even 9am if I was feeling adventurous. This sleep-in excitement must have gotten the best of me, though, because at 6:45 Saturday morning I found myself lying in bed, wide awake, going over my plans for the rest of the day in my head.  So my hope of a sleep-filled morning was an ultimate fail — but I wasn’t going to allow the rest of the day to be! My early rise quickly led to a beautiful morning hike with my mom at Soldier’s Delight, and a chance to finally prepare the proper breakfast that I had been waiting all summer to make, pancakes. 

I found a pancake recipe in a paleo cookbook that I had checked out from the library (surprise, right?), and decided to give it a try. Although I don’t follow a paleo diet, there are many aspects of the “caveman diet” that I agree with, and I thought that looking over the book would be a great way to find some simple, healthy recipes to cook while at school this semester.  And naturally, the pancake recipe needed to be my first paleo experiment. Since I didn’t have all of the ingredients that the recipe called for, I decided to take a chance and add my own twist to these plain pancakes — and the result was definitely worth it. Also, despite the elaborate alliteration you will discover in the title, this recipe was very simple and only took a total of 15 total minutes in prep and cook-time.

Paleo-Pecan Pancake Perfection

  • 1 cup of almond meal
  • 1/4 cup of flax meal
  • large handful of whole pecans
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

And because my creative juices continued to flow, I added a sauce to drizzle over these awesome cakes…

Peach-Blueberry Sauce

  • 1 peach
  • 1/2 cup of blueberries
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Instructions:

  1. Combine almond meal, flax meal, salt, baking soda, and pecans in food processor and pulse
  2. Add eggs, vinegar, agave, and coconut oil to mixture in food processor and blend until thoroughly combined
  3. Spread spoonful of coconut oil over griddle or stove-top pan on medium heat
  4. Use 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake
  5. Flip ’em
  6. Make Sauce (combine all ingredients in blender)
  7. Plate 2-4 pancakes and drizzle sauce over top!

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I added some shredded coconut, extra blueberries, and peach slices to top off my pancake masterpiece, so feel free to be creative. The recipe makes about 12 good-size pancakes, depending on how big you prefer them. There is also plenty of sauce to save for later that you could drizzle over a parfait or cereal. Or you could just pour it in a glass and drink it like I did this morning.

I am already dubbing this pancake recipe as a staple in my college diet because, for some reason, I feel like pancake brunches on our lazy weekend mornings might be something that my roommates will approve of? Just a guess. I only have one more week until I go back to school, so I need to perfect my cooking skills before then… and I think this was a good start!