Tag Archives: granola

3 Comments

granola week copy

Continuing with our Granola Week, and all it’s crunchiness, I will reveal to you my personal challenge to myself for 2012.  I don’t call them resolutions, I don’t like that word.  One of the bloggers I read calls it Project 2012 and I really like that because that means it’s something I’m going to be working on all year as opposed to something I’m going to force my self into cold-turkey on January 1st.  It’s about adopting good habits, one little change at a time.

.

 

So here it is, my Project 2012… eat my colors!

 

The last 2 years I have made a concentrated effort to eat more pure food, less processed food, fewer chemicals.  And it paid off.  Now that I have a decent grip on that, I want to concentrate on upping my fruits and veggies intake in 2012.  It’s not that I don’t eat any, I think I do a better job than some people I know, but I want to do better.  I think there’s room for improvement. 

Why does it matter?

Number one reason, hands down, is that colorful foods contain essential nutrients, antioxidants, & phytonutrients that help your fuel your body and help it fight disease and inflammation, including DNA breakdown and cancer.  You can take supplements to try to get these disease-fighters into your body but the best way to do it is through the food that you eat.

How do you guarantee you are getting the right combo of nutrients?  Eat your colors.

  image

There are a few exceptions, but in general foods of similar color contain similar nutrients, antioxidants & phytonutrients.  At the end of this post I will include some good articles on which colors will give you which phytonutrients but here a few guidelines to get you started (via Fitness Magazine and American Dietetic Assoc.):

Green-   protects your vision, protects against UV damage, fight depressions, and defends against certain cancers. Try avocados, apples, grapes, honeydew, melons, kiwi, limes, artichokes, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and leafy greens such as spinach

Red- boosts metabolism, whitens your teeth, increases cardio endurance.  Try cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grape fruit, red grapes, watermelon, beets, red onions, red peppers, rhubarb and tomatoes

Yellow- heals wounds, beats bloat, boosts energy and protects skin from free radicals.  Try apricots, grapefruits, pineapples, yellow peppers, yellow corn

Orange- improve memory, prevent breast cancer, boost immune function and improve muscle function.  Try cantaloupe, mangos, papayas, peaches, carrots, and sweet potatoes

Blue/Purple- fight the flu, improves memory, and improves blood flow.  Try blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins, eggplant, purple cabbage and purple-fleshed potatoes

White- lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, promotes heart heath and may reduce the risk of stomach cancers.  Try bananas, cauliflower, turnips, garlic, ginger, jicama, onions, potatoes

All that just from eating more fruits and veggies!

image

I’m going to give it a go, hopefully I can get a little closer to the recommended daily servings!

Here are some great articles if you want to do a little more reading:

In case you missed the announcement yesterday, it’s officially Granola Week around here. 

granola week copy

This week we are giving some attention to the healthier side of life, maybe adopt some good habits for 2012, and who knows what else!

Today, I thought I’d give you some sites or references to help you explore your “granola-side.”  These are some resources that I have enjoyed lately:

image

Joy the Baker and Shutterbean are two food-blogging friends who do a podcast for Homefries.   I wouldn’t exactly call either of them “granola” per se, but like you or me they try to balance it all. So not too long ago they recorded an episode entitled “Embrace Your Inner Hippie” and it was hilarious AND helpful.  They bantered back and forth on subjects like: nut milk, coconut oil and kale chips.  If you are a granola-newbie, this episode is a great place to start.  You can listen to the podcast straight from the website or download it to your media player.

image

I stumbled on to Crunchy Betty’s site a few months ago and have really enjoyed it.  She makes a healthful lifestyle seem less stodgy and boring with her wit and very honest articles.  Her focus is on healthy beauty so there is a ton of information on her site for homemade facials, hair masks and household remedies.  She recently wrote an e-book about healthy skin care for acne prone skin.  Lot’s of fun information on her site, be sure to check it out.

image

Molly Katzen’s book, The Moosewood Cookbook, was revolutionary when it was published in 1977 because it is “credited with moving healthful vegetarian food from the "fringe" to the center of the American dinner plate.”  My mother cooked from this cookbook, and we are die-hard carnivores.  Molly Katzen’s easy style and delicious recipes can help you get some more veggies on your plate.  Even if you can’t afford the book, her website is full of recipes.

image

Some of you may be familiar with simplemom.net, a site all about, well, being a mom.  But you may not know about the offshoot site simpleoranic.net.  It runs tandem with simplemom.net and is all about living an organic lifestyle.  They cover health & nutrition, inspirational stories, living mindfully and more.  It’s a great site for learning how to incorporate organic, chemical living into your lifestyle.  A good place to start would be their 2011 recap.

Hope these resources give you some inspiration!

1 Comment

granola week copy

That’s right, it’s Granola Week!!  That does not mean we are going to be making cereal all week.  Although there will be a granola recipe on Friday, as promised.  So what does “Granola Week” mean?

image

“Granola” is a term often used for folks who embrace things like wheat germ, flax seeds, spirulina, and omega 3 fatty acids.  “Granola” people search out the organic, grass fed, and hormone free foods, make their own laundry soap and weave shoes out of hemp.  There are varying degrees of “going granola” but with the popularity of stores like Trader Joes & Whole Foods, Dr. Oz getting the message out and celebrities touting all sorts of alternative eating lifestyles, “going granola” is very chic these days.

image

But let me tell you something, my mamma was “granola” long before it was cool and I grew up eating some weird stuff.  When I was little, every morning I had to take a big spoonful of cod liver oil (and not the cool flavored kind they have now!), I ate peanut butter that was freshly ground in front of my eyes and you could literally peel it off the bread it was so dense.  That is, when I was allowed to eat bread.  There was a whole era that I was only allowed to eat my peel-off-peanut-butter on rice cakes, no bread.  I ate homemade fruit leather (which was convenient since I lived on a fruit farm), puffed millet cereal, 12 vitamin supplements a day and so much more.

Fortunately, my mom also believed in balance so although we did eat really healthy 90% of the time, she also made desserts made with real sugar and butter and pork sausage was always in our fridge.

When I got older, I found myself craving the healthy foods I had grown up with and at the New Year when people are making all sorts of resolutions to eat better, treat their bodies better, I think it’s a good time to give a little nod to “going granola”.  It’s the best time to purge the junk out of our systems and maybe adopt some healthier habits for 2012.

So for today, I want to issue a really simple challenge:  as you eat this week, be mindful of how much packaged, processed food you are consuming.  This was my New Year’s resolution 2 years ago and it really made a difference in my energy and overall health.  I hadn’t realized how reliant I had become on quick, processed food.  Me, the girl who grew up eating fresh, home cooked meals 3 times a day! 

The problem with most packaged, over-processed foods is that they are usually laden with sugar, sodium, preservatives and some other devious ingredients like partially hydrogenated vegetable oil and corn syrup.  In moderation, just about any food is ok, but when these things become a major part of your food intake it can cause trouble.  No, not canWill. 

So I’m asking you to just pay attention.  You don’t have to go through all your cupboards and throw out all your food, unless you want to, that is.  Just be mindful of what your eating, what you are cooking.  Is it a raw, whole ingredient or is it from a box?  Does it have more than 3 ingredients you cannot pronounce or don’t know what they are?  How much sugar and sodium is in it?  How much fat?  Is it good fat or bad fat?  Are there any vegetables or fruits involved in your daily eating?

When I started looking at what I was consuming, I started to change.  I began relying less on the pre-packaged lunches and started making my own quick lunches using whole foods and veggies.  If I did buy a packaged food, I made sure I recognized every ingredient and I wouldn’t buy anything with partially hydrogenated oil in it.

It made a difference.  I started having a bit more energy.  I started craving good-for-me foods instead of junk.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m no angel.  I don’t consider any food “banned”, just limited.  But my ratio of good to not-so-good food went way up and my body thanked me for it.

Just try it!

2 Comments

Pin It

granola

First of all, notice those tags?  Fabulous, if I do say so myself.  The bags and twine came from Garnish, they are also fabulous.

Now on to the real info, our Friday Recipe and the 3rd installment of My Christmas Projects for this year….. homemade granola inspired by Ina Garten’s recipe. Along with Project #4 (you will see that tomorrow) I passed out a little bag of granola.

Ina’s recipe calls for a lot of dried fruit, something I’m not usually a fan of, so I just left it out.  Also, I prefer walnuts over almonds so I made a little substitution.  It’s your kitchen, your food, do it your way.

granola bowl

That is one big batch of granola.  I made a 2nd big batch, not necessarily because I wanted to, but because I had to.

You all know I love and adore Ina, her recipes are amazing.  This was the first time that one of her recipes kinda let me down BUT only because I did not take into consideration that my oven would cook faster than her recipe called for… as in half the time.  Yikes.  Because Ina’s recipe calls for honey and sweetened coconut, those sugars get all caramelized and brown pretty quick.  Faster than I had planned, faster than Ina said they would.  That first batch was just this side of burnt, but had too much great caramel-ly goodness to toss out…

granola baked

…so… I made a 2nd batch of granola from a different recipe, one that uses unsweetened coconut and slightly less cooking time, and combined the finished products.  Here’s the funny part:  I didn’t tell anyone about my little snafu because… well, why would I do that?  A couple days ago my sister texts me, “Your granola was awesome! I want the recipe.”  Alls well that ends well.

granolayogurt

Because I believe in quality control, I sprinkled some of my granola over Greek Yogurt (Fage of course) and drizzled a little honey on top.  It was sublime.

I will share the 2nd granola recipe with you next week because, well, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out why!

______________________________________________________

Homemade Granola by Ina Garten

Don’t forget, I left out all the fruit and be sure to check it after 15 minutes in the oven!  Oh… and if you have parchment or a silplat, use it because all that sticky sweetness will become cemented to the bottom of your sheet pan.
Pin It