Homemade Gluten-Free Granola Recipe

Byline: Andrea Hood

Homemade Gluten-Free Granola RecipeAre you a fan of that yummy granola you can buy at the store? Don’t get me wrong – most of it is pretty delicious – a perfect combination of crunchy and sweet.

But have you ever taken a good look at the ingredients and nutritional information? More often then not there is one particular ingredient that is first or second on the list – meaning that’s the main ingredient used in the granola.

That ingredient: SUGAR.

Sugar is a hot topic lately and chances are you’ve heard about the harmful effects it has on your body. There’s a lot of great information out there, so I’m going to give you a short summarized list about sugar and why you should avoid it.

  • Sugar increases inflammation in the body. Inflammation causes diseases like heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes.
  • Sugar is highly addictive – some say even more addictive than drugs like cocaine and heroine. Your body literally craves the sweet stuff and if it doesn’t get it you can suffer from serious withdrawal symptoms like headaches, mood swings, and drowsiness.
  • Sugar spikes your blood sugar, which in turn, increases your waist line. If you’re looking to lose or maintain your weight, sugar is your worst enemy.
  • Sugar is found in the vast majority of processed foods – breads, cereals, juice, soda, and those not-so-yummy frozen dinners (yup – even the “diet” brands).

Now if you weren’t aware of this prior to reading this article, do not beat yourself up! I honestly didn’t know until a few years ago myself when I became a health coach, started reading labels, and started researching the effects of sugar on the body.

Fear not – you can still enjoy your favorite foods, like granola, without having to worry about the negative effects of sugar.

I have a delicious Homemade Gluten-Free Granola recipe I’m sharing with you below that is easy to make and contains only a bit of natural sweetener. So skip the store bought stuff that is loaded with sugar, and give this recipe a try!

Homemade Gluten-Free Granola Recipe

Makes approximately 5.5 cups

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups Gluten-Free Oats (not the quick cooking variety as they are overly processed)
  • 1/2 cup raw organic almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw organic cashews
  • 1/2 cup raw organic sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup organic grade B maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup raw organic coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Place the almonds, cashews, and sunflower seeds into a high speed blender or food processor. Give them a rough chop so they are in small pieces. Empty them into a large bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and use your hands to throughly combine.
  4. Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet and place in the oven. Cook for 18-20 minutes, or until the oats are slightly firm. Be careful not to overcook, because the mixture can burn.
  5. Let the granola cool and store it in containers – I love using Mason Jars with reusable lids.

My favorite way to eat this yummy granola: 1 cup of frozen blueberries, topped with 1/2 cup Homemade Gluten-Free Granola, with 1 cup of almond milk poured on top. DELISH!

What’s your favorite way to eat granola? Share below in the comments – I’d love to hear from you :)

Andrea Hood Headshot copyAndrea Hood is a passionate Certified Holistic Health Coach, foodie, and localvore who loves playing in the kitchen. She helps women live healthier, happier, and more energized lives by running online nutrition programs and a business mentorship program for health and wellness professionals. Get free weekly recipes and health coaching tips at www.andreahood.com.

Home Made Coconut Ice Cream Recipes

Homemade coconut ice cream

I remember sitting in front of the screen while holding a bowl of ice cream in my lap, and feeling like the luckiest little girl in the world.

Then there were the outings to get an ice cream cone with my parents, and all the holidays in between.

Ice cream has a special place in this recovering sugar addict’s heart.

When I first discovered raw food, I was encouraged to find out that you can make healthy home made ice cream.

I played around with frozen bananas in the blender, and came up with a few varieties that tasted great… but the texture was never quite “ice cream-like” enough.

So that’s when I decided to invest in getting an ice cream maker.

Quick Ice Cream Maker Review

ice cream maker review

I did a lot of research and narrowed down my options based on Amazon’s list of ice cream maker reviews. I ended up going with this Cuisinart Ice Cream Maker, which turned out to be a super choice.

This automatic Cuisinart Pure Indulgence makes 2 quarts of frozen dessert goodness in as little as 25 minutes. The way it works is that you blend up your favorite ingredients together, and place them in the double-insulated freezer bowl.

From there, you hit the on button and the automatic mixing paddle gets the ice cream churning and freezing. The whole process is quick and clean up is easy, too!

So far, I’ve made a variety of different home made ice cream recipes, and each one has been better than the last. The first time I used the ice cream maker, I hadn’t given the mixing bowl a long enough time to freeze so the mixture didn’t become hard ice cream. It was more like a milkshake instead.

I highly recommend investing in an ice cream maker if you’re a big ice cream fan. I was concerned about adding yet another machine to my counters, but it’s been a total treat and the quality of the healthy ice creams I’v been making is just beyond!

Click here to read all the amazon reviews and see if it’s time to invest in your own ice cream maker.

Home Made Coconut Ice Cream Recipes

Now that we’ve gotten the ice cream maker review out of the way, it’s time to talk about the real food that’s going into your ice cream!

A lot of the commercially available ice creams, even the “healthy” vegan ones, are full of fillers and other “non-food” items.

Coconut milk ice cream

Making your own ice cream means that you can fully control what does into your food, and how much sugar, soy, or gluten (if any!) you’ll allow in there.

In today’s post I’ll be sharing two of my favorite home made ice cream recipes, which are both made from a coconut milk base.

You can make your own coconut milk by buying a mature coconut, breaking it open, and blending the hard coconut meat with some water. Then you just squeeze the pulp, like you would when making almond milk – through a nut milk bag.

Alternatively, you can purchase a can of coconut milk from most asian supermarkets or online.

Both options are totally cool, it’s just up to you and how much work you want to do when making your ice cream.

Blueberry Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

Blend until smooth or chunky:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (I used frozen)
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey

Then add to your ice cream maker and follow directions for yummy blueberry coconut ice cream!

Cinnamon Coconut Ice Cream Recipe

Blend in a blender until smooth:

  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons raw honey
  • 2 tablespoons raw cashew or other nut butter
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Run through your ice cream maker, and once it’s hardened, sprinkle with coconut flakes for added texture. Yum!

Experiment With More Coconut Ice Cream Recipes

Since making these two types of ice cream, I’ve also played around with a cacao / chocolate version, and a banana walnut one, too.

The basics tend to stay the same: start with some coconut milk, add your favorite fixings, blend, and turn into delicious ice cream!

Why You Should Eat a Raw Food Diet

This is a guest post by Ingela Johansson.

Maybe the benefits of raw food diet have you raising your eyebrows… The question is, are you ready to start eating a raw food diet and begin enjoying true raw food health?

You don’t have to eat a 100% raw food diet to reap the health benefits that come with it. The benefits of raw food diet run deep. Listen to your body, and do what feels best.

But do remember that the more natural foods you eat, the better it will be for your body, mind, and soul.

The Benefits of Raw Food Diet

So why should you start eating a raw food diet? You’re probably thinking about how hard it will be to transition and start getting used to a whole new menu. But I am here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that. The benefits of eating more raw foods far outweigh the hassle you have to go through in order to learn a few new tricks and recipes to make it work.

Did you know that most diseases are caused by unhealthy dietary choices?
It’s 100% true.

We don’t think about it when we eat food that isn’t healthy for us, but each time we put something like a candy or ice cream into our body we are hurting it. Our bodies are made for natural foods, because they provide the necessary nutrients for a healthy and vital life. Many who’ve suffered from illnesses and ailments have been cured when they embarked on a healthier diet because they finally allowed their body to start healing.

How to Transition & Enjoy The Benefits of Raw Food Diet

Incorporating raw foods into your diet can feel overwhelming when you don’t know anything about it. In reality, it is simple. Eat the fruits and vegetables that you desire, and eat as much as you want. When you’re new to eating a raw food diet almost anything is allowed, because it is a time of experimentation.

Try new things and see how they work for you. Check out some raw recipes, they are delicious!

Here are 3 simple ways you can get more raw foods into your diet.

1. Add Smoothies – I have always liked smoothies and found them to be an easy way to add more raw foods into my diet. You can start by drinking a smoothie instead of eating your usual snack between meals. Throw some bananas, spinach and berries into your blender and enjoy the ride.

2. Eat Fruit Before Your Meals – Eating fruit before your meals will decrease your appetite for cooked food, so if you’re planning to lose weight, this might be a good option for you. It is also good for reducing cravings. I sometimes get a craving for sweets after I’ve eaten cooked foods. This usually doesn’t happen if I eat fruit before my meal. Try it!

3. Have a Raw Day – One day of the week; immerse yourself into raw foods cuisine. Go to the your local store and buy a huge amount of organic fruits and vegetables. Having one 100% raw day per week can give your body a rest and let it heal and rebuild. Make it a day of relaxation where you take it easy and try new things.

Raw Foods Cuisine and Achieving Raw Food Health

Raw food health is not about following a strict diet, at least not for me. Like I said above, you don’t have to be 100% raw to get the health benefits raw foods give. Again, listen to your own body, and go at your own pace. Start small and make consistent changes. You will be amazed at where you land in a month or two. There are no rules, you can gain the benefits of raw food diet right now. You can make juices, smoothies, delicious raw brownies, or you can eat everything as they are. It’s completely up to you.

Now get out there and start enjoying the foods that will bring you vibrant health, energy, and joy.

Ingela Johansson is in love with natural skin care. If you want more natural anti aging tips, you can visit her blog, where you will find topics ranging from how to find an eczema cure to learning how to start removing age spots.

Ultimate Antioxidant Recipes

This is a guest post by Katrina Robinson.

It can be difficult finding great vegetarian recipes that are not only chocked full with antioxidants but also taste fabulous. What’s so special about antioxidants, you might ask. Antioxidants such as Vitamin C and Vitamin A help to prevent and slow the oxidative damage that is done to your body. When your body uses oxygen, the body’s cells produce free radicals, which can lead to heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Antioxidants help to prevent and repair damage that has been or could be done by these free radicals. So you can see why they’re so important! But now the trick is to find recipes that also taste great…well, I’ve found two fantastic recipes that taste fantastic and are filled with antioxidants! These recipes are for those who aren’t all raw. Not all the ingredients are vegan but they’re a great example of how to pack a lot of nutritional value into a recipe. Check them out below!

Baked Apples with Walnuts and Dried Fruit

You’ll need the following for this recipe:

6 medium Golden Delicious apples
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup of dried cranberries (raisins work, too)
½ cup apricot preserves
1 ½ cup apple cider
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon lemon zest
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a shallow baking dish with cooking spray.
2. Core all of your apples, creating a 1-inch-wide hole. Peel the upper third of the apples. Score the flesh about ¼-inch deep around the circumference where the peeled and unpeeled portions meet. Now cut a shallow crater around the top of the hole. This will help to hold the preserves that will go there. Set apples aside.
3. Put walnuts, dried cranberries, and coconut in a food processor and chop. Add lemon zest, maple syrup, nutmeg, and cinnamon and pulse several times to combine the ingredients.
4. Put the apples in the baking dish and press ¼ cup of the filling into each cavity. Spoon a tablespoon of preserves into the crater you created in each apple.
5. Combine the butter and apple cider in a saucepan and keep over low heat until the butter has melted. Now remove it from the stove and stir in the vanilla. Pour the liquid all over the apples.
6. Cover the apples with aluminum foil and bake on your oven’s center rack for thirty minutes. Remove the foil and baste the apples, then continue to bake (uncovered) for twenty to thirty-five more minutes, basting every ten minutes, until the apples are tender.
7. Serve and enjoy!

Vegan Spicy Beet Soup

You’ll need the following for this recipe:

6 medium beets (with skin; greens and stems removed)
2 cups water
1 ½ cup vegan vegetable bouillon broth
1 cup red wine
1 white onion, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ cup vegan soy sour cream
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups beet greens and stems, chopped
2 medium chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

1. Put the beets, vegetables bouillon broth, and wine into a large soup pot and add water.
2. Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for forty-five minutes to one hour.
3. Remove beets with a slotted spoon. Reserve the cooking liquid in the soup pot.
4. Once beets have cooled, coarsely chop. Set aside ½ cup of ½-inch diced beets for garnish.
5. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat.
6. Add onion and brown sugar.
7. Saute for two minutes until sugar is dissolved.
8. Add the onion and brown sugar mixture, the chopped beets, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, soy sour cream, and chilies to the beet liquid in your soup pot.
9. Stir the mixture together and add to a blender in batches, mixing it until it’s smooth.

These are just two vegetarian recipes that are full of antioxidants and are downright tasty, too! Katrina Robinson is a freelance writer who blogs about a wide array of topics, from health to beauty to colon cleansing.

Top 10 blog posts on Raw Foods Witch

Don’t have the time to go through the whole spellbinding archives? Start by the top 10 blog posts on Raw Foods Witch!

Why It’s Easier to Go Raw Than To Become Vegan

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7 Reasons I have a Love / Hate Relationship with Raw Food

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The Importance of Investing in Yourself & Your Health Without Giving Up

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9 Ways Raw Food Changed My Life

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Set Yourself Up for Raw Success

Changing your diet can definitely bring some joy, but the road can also get rocky too. Avoid the common roadblocks of your journey to raw foods, and gear up for success with raw coaching. The group coaching session here might be already over, but personalized one on one coaching sessions are still offered.

21 Ways to Sneak More Vegetables Into Your Diet

Whether you’re a long-time raw foodist or just starting to take steps towards a healthier lifestyle, this post give you creative ideas to beef-up your daily vegetables intake.

Healthy Desserts: 28 Healthy Dessert Recipes in the Raw

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How to Stay Raw When Dining Out at Restaurants

You don’t have to sacrifice your social life when committing to a raw diet. This post gives you great tips and ideas to eat raw at omnivore’s restaurants.

Why Food Allergies for Nuts, Gluten, and Milk are on the Rise and What to do About It

Food allergies and intolerances can silently sabotage your health. This video post clearly explains how food allergy works and what you can do to spot and prevent it to develop.