Vanilla Seed High-Protein Granola (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

So, as I've mentioned I'm basically outdoors all summer for my job on the river, and I have had a protein shake most mornings since. Since cutting back on animal products— this Bob's Red Mill protein powder is vegan—I've been careful to diversify where I get my protein from, sometimes chickpeas, sometimes nuts and seeds, and a lot of the time it's shakes. 

I was a little worried to bake with this powder because it has probiotics in it and I worry that the heat is damaging to them, and I love that they're included in here, because I think health begins in the gut. That's not an original idea, it was Hippocrates who said, "all disease begins in the gut." At any rate, I love drinking this is as just a plain shake with some almond milk because of the high probiotic content, and the pre-biotic fiber, because keeping my digestion healthy has been no small feat running around eating anything and everything that is available to me. No joke, I'm hungry all of the time. I need all the snacks, which is how I decided to make granola because eating plain pumpkin and sunflower seeds all day can get old. This protein powder is pretty sweet on it's own, on account of the monk fruit. I still decided to add the agave nectar to get the pieces to stick together nicely in this grain-free granola, just keep in mind it'll come out very sweet and vanilla-y, not that that's a bad thing, but just an FYI. 

Here's what you'll need:

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup agave nectar - you can sub honey, or maple syrup as well

1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill Vanilla Protein Powder (there's even a coupon)

2 Tablespoons of flax seeds

1 Tablespoon of hot water 

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon lemon extract - you can sub lemon zest also

Directions: 

Pre-heat oven to 350°

In a large bowl mix together agave nectar, protein powder, and salt until well blended 

In a separate, small container mix in hot water with flax seed, let sit for 1-2 minutes (this helps it to gel) 

Add all remaining ingredients including flax seed and mix until thoroughly combined, it should be pretty sticky at this point

Place mix directly on a baking sheet, spreading carefully to keep larger pieces together. 

Bake for 15 minutes stirring very well half way through

Bake until golden brown adding on in 5 minutes intervals until it's reached the desired crunchiness for your taste.  

 

I really wish I had more edited mountain shots for you but for right now I just have these flowers. They'll have to do. Enjoy your summer, and here's $3 off of Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Boosters

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Beet Green Chips

I have so many greens to use from the other day when I went out to Underwood Farms to pick my own produce. So, I've been trying to think of creative uses for them. I usually just stir-fry them with some coconut oil and sea salt — which I love, by the way. I was never a huge fan of them before that, but something about the coconut oil really softens the flavor of the greens. But since I have so many I've been hitting the Pinterest feed to see what kinds of new recipes I can find to make these even more interesting so I don't spend all week eating stir-fry. This easy, healthy recipe for beet green chips I found on White on Rice Couple is the perfect thing. They're super simple and even better than I thought they would be. 

Historically, I haven't done great in the chip making category. I've burnt all different kinds of leaves and root veggies, maybe the recipes are developed in different climates or altitudes that need a higher heat to get the moisture out, but baking these at 350° turned out to be perfect for me, here all the way down at sea level with moderate humidity. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • A few tablespoons of olive oil or grapeseed oil 
  • Beet greens
  • salt and pepper to taste
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Directions: 

  • Pre-heat the over to 350°
  • Rinse your beet greens well and pat dry.
  • Toss you beet greens in 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Make sure they're not over saturated, but you want them to be coated evenly on both sides.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and arrange your leaves so they're not touching. 
  • Bake for 15 minutes on one side.
  • Flip the leaves over and bake for another 10 minutes. 

I took my less perfect leaves and made that stir fry I mentioned earlier. It takes about 4 minutes and all you do is add some coconut oil and cook until the greens turn soft. 

Roasted Carrot Hummus

Roasted Carrot Hummus sweetdisasters.com

Hey there, it's super rainy here in Los Angeles. When you live someplace sunny, rain, is just one of the best things. It's the closest thing we get to winter weather. I'll take it, listening to Wilco with my old fashioned gas furnace ablaze (another one of my favorite things). I also got a bunch of pre-spring cleaning done, which always makes me feel extra peaceful. I hope you're enjoying the weather where ever you're at too. :)

Roasted Carrot Hummus sweetdisasters.com

Roasted carrot hummus, huh? Not only is the color awesome, but the carrots add a bit of unexpected hummus sweetness. Plus the fact that they're roasted adds kind of a hearty flavor. Hearty, sweet, wintery hummus. 

Here's what you'll need:

  • 1 can of chickpeas
  • 7-8 roasted carrots - I made mine with thyme, butter, and garlic, here's the recipe, or just keep scrolling down. :)
  • Half a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of grape seed or olive oil - Plus more for topping
  • Salt and pepper to taste - I'm still using up my Aussie Flake. It's amazing but I'm excited to try other kinds. :)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • For garnish (optional): Roasted garlic, raw pumpkin seeds, grape seed oil, and parsley
Roasted Carrot Hummus sweetdisasters.com

Directions:

  • In a food processor add in chickpeas, carrots, oil, garlic, and the juice from half a lemon.
  • Mix on low, until all ingredients blend together perfectly.
  • If you're garnishing, take the back of a spoon a make a little dent in the center of the hummus and add in your roasted garlic. I used mine from the oven roasted carrots. Pretty convenient, it's already pre-chopped and roasted. Then sprinkle with pumpkin seed and add a 2 springs of parsley. Finally drizzle with oil, especially in the center.