Archives for snack

Granola Goodness

Are you a label reader? I am. I read every label before I put an item in my shopping cart. Years ago I spent 20 minutes in the cereal aisle, trying to find a “healthy” cereal to keep at the office for an emergency snack. EVERYTHING had SO MUCH SUGAR. And most of the them listed multiple types of sweeteners in one cereal… high fructose corn syrup, sugar, brown rice syrup, pure evaporated cane juice. Do we really need more than one kind in a single box of cereal?

A N Y W A Y.

homemade granola with almond milk

Homemade granola with homemade almond milk.

It was at this point that I decided to make homemade granola, so I could control what goes into it and how it tastes. Granola is still something we try to eat in moderation, because nutritionally it is not really an “A student”… more like a B-/C+ 🙂 Sometimes I try to add things that will boost its grade, and the beauty of homemade granola is you can do the same! Use this recipe as a guide and get creative with your favorite flavors. (Please note, this is an updated version of an existing recipe I’ve had on the blog since 2013. I’m trying to update as many of my old recipes as I can, to reflect my new tastes, experience in the kitchen and ingredients.)

Granola Goodness
Rate this recipe
Average: 5/5
1 ratings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 8 cups

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Granola Goodness

Ingredients

4 c. old fashioned oats (look for gluten-free oats if you are celiac)

3/4 c. almonds, chopped

1/2 c. raisins

1/2 c. dried cranberries

1/2 c. dried papaya or pineapple, unsulphured, unsweetened is best

1/2 c. coconut flakes, unsweetened

1/4 c. sunflower seeds, raw

1/2 c. maple syrup and or coconut nectar (I used half and half)

1/2 tsp. Real salt

Instructions

    Preheat oven to 325°F

    1. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl in the order they are listed.

    2. Stir to combine and evenly distribute ingredients.

    3. Line 2-13"x18" baking sheets (or similar size) with parchment paper and divide the granola mixture among the two sheets, spread out into an even layer.

    4. Bake 1 sheet at a time for 10 minutes.

    5. Remove pan from oven and use a spatula to flip and rotate mixture to ensure even baking.

    6. Place back into oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes. NOTE: Trust your nose, if the smell of the granola baking changes from delicious to something slightly different, it's ready to come out. You don't want to burn the almonds.

    7. Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack.

    8. Repeat with second sheet.

    9. This made ~8 cups of granola. I filled up two, 4 cup mason jars and put one in the freezer and one in the fridge.

Recipe Management Powered by Zip Recipes Plugin
http://zucchinirunner.com/2017/04/05/granola-goodness/

Homemade Granola Goodness {Slideshow}

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Homemade Almond Milk

One of the first changes I made in my kitchen, was back in early 2013, when I started making my homemade almond milk. We enjoyed it so much, I raved about it all the time to anyone who would listen. The common complaint was that it would be quicker to run to the store and buy some off the shelf. I would always assure people it was NOT the same.

Then I took it a step further and made this video to show people you could do it from start to finish in 10 minutes. I even went so far as to get my blender out of the pantry during the video! Every step counts, right? If you haven’t tried making homemade almond milk, I highly recommend you give it a shot while the homemade granola is baking in the oven. The two pair together perfectly!

homemade granola

Delicious with homemade almond milk

Have you ever made homemade granola or homemade almond milk?

Training Update + Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Happy Friday! Ok, so I know back in June I originally said I would post EVERY Wednesday… well today is clearly Friday. 🙂 I’ve been pretty consistent however up to this point. So this week I want to focus on my current fitness, talk a bit more about heart rate training and then toss in a quick recipe. I think my heart rate training update a few weeks ago, may have gotten a little lost in the shuffle, since I mentioned our infertility struggles. (What has become a normal, every day part of my life… and didn’t seem like a huge deal to mention. However, I absolutely appreciated the outpouring of love.)

So as I mentioned previously, I didn’t really feel like running, after our boy Rocco went to the rainbow bridge in March. That, combined with the horrible all body skin rash I got a year ago, left me wanting to sideline running for a bit. Throughout this summer, I jogged a few miles here and there with the Mr. and made sure to stay in some level of fitness through other workouts. It wasn’t until the beginning of September that I felt the pull on my heart and legs to go pound the pavement again. Around that time I remembered I had registered for the 2017 Mesa-Phx Half Marathon (formerly Phoenix Marathon/Half Marathon), so slowly getting back into running-shape seemed like a good idea.

screen-shot-2016-10-14-at-9-49-46-am

As you can see above, my mileage has been sloooooowly creeping it’s way back up. I do not want to get an injury, so I am taking an extremely conservative approach to my running. I think a common mistake runners make is doing too much, too soon. Running — after all — is so “easy” anyone with the desire to run, can… which commonly creates a recipe for injury very quickly. Anyway, I’ll hop off that soapbox.

When I trained for my very first half marathon in 2010, I used Hal Higdon’s training plan. Judging by where my running fitness currently is/was, I thought it would be a good idea to head back to the drawing board. So this time I modified the Novice 2 half marathon training plan and stretched it out over the course of 6 months, versus 3 months. So I just doubled each week.

img_9805

Above you can see the calendar I created for my scheduled runs. This isn’t the bible, it’s just a guideline to keep me on track. If I’m not feeling good or need to change something up, I will. But I always work better with a written/visual plan. You can see week 2 and 3 of November are identical, giving me an additional week to adapt to that mileage before increasing or doing a race.

Now, how does heart rate training fit into all of this? (This is for you Shane… I know you are wondering!) Well, heart rate training in and of itself WAS a very good thing for me to do for my heart. I realize that now; after MUCH thought and analyzing. It took getting back into running; and really getting OUT of running, to recognize this. I think the key turning point was when I would do light work around the house, and notice I would get out of BREATH from something super basic. It took about a week of that happening for me to appreciate how much running WAS helping me previously. I also noticed my asthma was starting to pick up again. I would wake up in the morning a bit wheezy and feel mild chest tightness here and there. Running strengthened my heart and my lungs, and I took that for granted when it was a normal part of my routine. It’s that old saying, ‘you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone’.

I also started thinking of the child we don’t yet have… and thinking of MY personal fears I struggled with as a child of two older parents. I was fearful my time with them was numbered, because they were “so old”. My mom had me when she was 40, which at the time was “quite old”. I don’t want our child to have that same fear, I want him/her to see strength and youth in us despite our age. I want to have enough energy to chase them around and not get winded. Previously, I was thinking I needed to STOP running to be able to have a child. Now I believe I need to maintain running to HAVE our child – to set an example of health and wellness and strength. I want my body to be strong and to handle pregnancy without being winded when I bend over to pick up a sock.

I still stand by my original assessment that heart rate training is NOT going to make you a faster runner, definitely not at first, but it WILL make you a smarter runner. I make sure 80-85% of my runs are under 160 bpm average, ensuring I don’t overdue it. I don’t care about pace anymore. Now it’s just about logging some miles, feeling the air fill my lungs and getting the blood flowing; running to stay healthy. PR’s are a thing of the past and don’t interest me. It is an incredible feeling of release.

Currently, I am feeling stronger and stronger each day in my running, and learning to manage my stress induced heart palpitations through yoga, daily meditation, emotional healing and acupuncture. Running definitely helps with stress management, especially when I keep my runs slow. It’s funny, because the fast, hard runs seem to make it worse, because I get so amped up! I have a high energy personality by nature, so slower runs benefit me more.

You do you; do what is best for YOU! <3

img_9703-2_txt

Easy Toasted Pumpkin Seed Recipe

After you scoop all your seeds out of the pumpkin, separate them out from the pumpkin goo and rinse them well. I laid mine out on a paper towel to dry (quite honestly, for days until I could get back to them). So once you are ready to bake them, follow the instructions below.

Ingredients

Pumpkin seeds, dried out
Coconut oil
Real salt

  1. Dump seeds onto a baking sheet.
  2. Coat with a little coconut oil and stir around to combine. I did this on the pan, to get a little oil ON the pan as well.
  3. Sprinkle with as much salt as you like, feel free to get creative with other seasonings. Cinnamon and sugar might be sort of fun!
  4. Bake at 350°F for 3 minutes. Remove, shake around a bit and place back in the oven for an additional 3 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and give them a taste test. It’s important to remember they will continue to bake a little after they are out, so you don’t want to overdue it.
  6. Leave out on the counter in a little bowl for snacking. 🙂img_9784

Have you tried heart rate training? What are your thoughts?