I love breakfast so much but I often need to prep it in advance so I am not rushing around the kitchen in the morning. Below are some of my favorite recipes for quick work day mornings and lazy Saturdays. Overnight Oats Overnight oats are […]
I have always loved making homemade granola. We know that the ones we buy at stores are often full of added sugar and ingredients we can’t pronounce. I find that homemade granola is often much more delicious and nutritious than store-bought. I have tried a ton of different granola recipes with different sweeteners, add-ins and flavors. Hubs thinks that this is the best granola I have ever made… so I think it is definitely worth a share.
I love that it called for ingredients that I already had and I didn’t have to spend a ton of money on special, fancy ingredients. Plus, I love the flavor of coconut oil and the way it clumps up. Plus, you can add in whatever you want to add an exciting twist.
- 1 cup almonds, divided
- 3 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Use a food processor to pulse half the almonds until they are very fine. Put the other half in a bag and use a meat tenderizer to coarsely chop the almonds (you could also use a knife but I think the tenderizer is more fun and less dangerous).
Put them both in to a large bowl and then pour the oats, salt and brown sugar in to the bowl and stir it up.
Combine the honey and coconut oil in to a microwaveable bowl and heat for 40 seconds. Stir it up and add the vanilla extract.
Pour this mixture over the oats and stir to coat.
Find a cookie sheet or pan with sides and line with parchments paper. Pour the oats on the sheet in one even layer.
Bake for 6-8 minutes, stir and bake for another 6-8 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool and break in to clusters. Store in an air tight container or ziploc bag (I think Tupperware is better as sometimes hubs sneaks a handful and doesn’t quite close the bag all the way).
I put this granola on yogurt, with fruit, on cottage cheese or anything you want to add a sweet crunch to. You can also add in other nuts, cranberries, coconut flakes, chocolate pieces, depending on what you are looking for. This is a relatively simple base granola that is delicious on its own or with add ins!
So I love to have a snack before I work out but have a hard time figuring out what works for my body. I also really want some sort of energy kick but hate to spend money on 2 coffees per day… whoops. So I set out to look for an energy bar I could make at home without using the oven because it is hot hot hot here in LA.
In my research, I found out one huge thing- a food processor is very necessary for DIY energy bars. The good news for me is that my mom got me a food processor when I moved in to my own apartment because she was tired of me always using hers… and it is still one of the best gifts I have ever gotten.
I stumbled upon Nutritionist in the Kitch and her Apricot and Cashew Energy Bars through Pinterest and decided to give it a try! I love apricots and this recipe meet my qualifications of easy, quick and no heat! Hubs loved them too!
Here is what you will need the following ingredients (I bought all of mine at Trader Joe’s)
- 1 cup dried Turkish Apricots
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 3/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut (I already had sweetened so I used that… whoops)
- 1/3 cup of rolled oats
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted (I took my coconut oil out of the cabinet and it was already melted.. I am telling you, it has been HOT)
- 2 tablespoons hemp seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt (I didnt have this and just used a tiny bit of regular salt)
Line an 8 inch baking pan with parchment paper or saran wrap to prevent sticking. Pulse cashews in the food processor until crumbly and put aside in a separate bowl.
Pulse apricots in food processor until finely chopped.
Add all other ingredients
Processed until combined.
Add cashews back in and pulse until combined.
Firmly press the entire mixture in to the baking pan and use a flat surface to make sure it is all one layer.
Place pan in the freezer for one hour and remove and cut in to whatever size you would like.
Take with you and enjoy healthy energy on the go! These store in the fridge for up to a month!
This week is another beginning to a Fit Girls Guide Group Challenge- 28 days of clean eating, good work outs and a whole lot of inspiration and lady love. Fit Girls Guide has 2 different 28 day programs: the 28Day Jumpstart and the Fitkini Body Challenge. They also have a Fit Girls Detox book and a FGG Cookbook to get even more tips and recipes. I started my own first Fit Girls Guide 28 Day Jumpstart in February and saw results within those 28 days. This is how it goes:
- Buy the FGG ebook (I highly recommend starting with 28 Day Jumpstart or buying a Bundle on their website)
- Follow FitGirlsGuide on Instagram and look for their post on how to officially enter the challenge (usually a before picture with a copy of your FGG ebook)
- Search all the FGG hashtags to meet amazing, supportive and fun girls all over the world. #fitgirlsguide #28dayjumpstart #fitgirlvaristy #fitkinibodychallenge and post your own photos with these hashtags.
- Follow the meal prep, recipes and work outs in the book. (I did my own work outs since I do not love working out at home but all of the work outs in the book can be done at home.)
- See results, make friends and feel great!
The program is easy to follow and the recipes are amazing. Even though I have not participated in a challenge for awhile, we still make many of the recipes at home. See my post on Overnight Oats if you need any further convincing that you can eat amazing foods while participating in FGG. Here are some recipe examples:
Looks pretty delicious right? FGG gives you exact instructions on how and when to meal prep so you are always prepared and are less likely to give in to tempting take out or fast lunch at work.
Amazing recipes are great (really great) but the really unique and special part of FGG are the people. There are over 3 million Fit Girls on Instagram who are all going through a similar experience. These girls share encouragement, recipe tips, work outs and stories. Some girls post several times a day, some only a few times a week. No matter what your health goals are, I recommend following a few Fit Girls for inspiration. Some of my favorites? @fitgirlkmfd @fitgirl_colesim @fitgirllindsayb @fitgirllaitlyn88
There are a few parts of the FGG plans that I did not follow when I was participating in challenges. They recommend 2 “free drinks” per week… I like to enjoy a beer or wine or cocktail especially on the weekends and I focused on making smarter choices when I did choose to drink rather than limiting myself to 2 drinks per week.
I also did my own work outs through ClassPass. I know that I prefer to try new studios and work out outside my house. Plus, I knew this would be sustainable over the long run for me.
I went out to eat. FGG doesnt say you “can’t” go out to eat… in fact, they don’t really say that you “can’t” do anything. But, I love to go out to eat. I just made healthier choices at restaurants, split dishes with my husband and really enjoyed the meals that I ate out.
Overall, FGG helps to create a healthier lifestyle instead of a diet plan. Even though I do not participate in every challenge, I have created healthy habits for every day and learned how to have a healthy balance in my life. FGG doesn’t say no eating out, no carbs, no fun. They do say no negativity, no self hate and no diet. The girls at FGG want to make fit as fun and do-able as possible and to create a positive environment for girls to become their best selves.