Cardamon Tahini Granola

Part V: On-The-Go Breakfast Series 

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Hi guys!  Here it is.  The last part of this Breakfast-on-The-Go Series is granola.  Cardamom-Tahini Granola at that!  Granola is always part of my breakfast rotation and I love making it homemade. I can customize it however I like, utilizing what exists in my pantry at the time.  As a matter of fact, I haven’t purchased granola in stores for quite some time, as the ones I purchased contained a lot of sugar.  I am aware that there are healthier brands on the market that are like unto what you’d make at home, but they come at a price. 

The star ingredient in this granola is the tahini.  It adds a nice savory depth of flavor, so your taste buds will immediately know something’s up. It’s different but good different.  And, the sweetness of the maple syrup along with the cardamom (sprinkle additional on once the granola has cooled down) adds such a wonderful complexity to it.

The best thing about this granola is that my kids adored it and that’s saying something. They love when I make granola but it’s usually their way.  Either they didn’t notice the change in flavor or the chocolate morsels I added to it masked the tahini flavor.  They’re my biggest fans anyway!

For the assembly, I added persimmons because they’re in season, they’re beautiful and deliciously sweet.  Pomegranate seeds were also added for an extra pop of color and antioxidants along with flaked coconut.  This was truly a fun and exciting breakfast and super healthy.

Thanks for spending time this week on the breakfast series.  Let me know if there are other series that you’d like to see.

Enjoy!

Cardamon-Tahini Granola//makes 6 cups
Loosely Adapted from The Kitchn

3 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup raw hazelnuts
½ cup raw sunflower seeds
¼ cup flax seeds
1 ½ teaspoons cardamom
1 ½ teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup tahini
½ cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, cardamom, and salt together. Add the maple syrup, coconut oil, and tahini paste. Toss to coat.

Spread the granola mixture evenly onto a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. The granola is done when deeply golden and toasted. Sprinkle additional cardamom on top for extra flavor.  Cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for about a week or in the refrigerator for several weeks.

 

 

Apple Spice Oatmeal

On-The-Go BREAKFAST Series

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Hello everyone!  I’m excited to share with you this week my On-The-Go Breakfast series, featuring my go-to recipes during the week.  As a busy, working mom of two, I can’t tell you enough how important routines are for me.  Especially weekday morning routines.  From the moment I wake, it’s go time.  Packing lunches, preparing breakfast, getting dressed (I’m so happy I lay their clothes out at night), brushing teeth, etc.  It’s non-stop.  But, then the clock stops. They’re completely ready and now it’s me time.  Believe me, it’s not a lot of time but it’s enough to beautify myself, pack lunch and ah, make breakfast.

As breakfast is touted as the most important meal of the day, I realize that there are people that can’t eat early in the morning. They’re either not hungry or the thought of breakfast turns their stomach.  If this is you, here are some tips to get those digestive juices flowing and to perk up your appetite.

1.       Drink water when you wake up- Water is everything! Drinking water first thing in the morning wakes up your metabolism, hydrates you, and flushes out toxins.  Drink at least 16-oz.

2.       Eat a lighter meal before bed – It is a good practice to eat less at night to avoid sleeping on a full stomach, which can lead to indigestion for some and increase weight gain as our bodies’ metabolism slows down at night.  I try to have a hard and fast rule, that the “kitchen is closed” after 8pm.  Granted, I’ve veered if I’m out watching a late-night movie (caramel popcorn, yum!) or at an event and the cheese and cracker plate and I have locked eyes.  I’m human, but overall if I’m still hungry and at home, I’ll grab a piece of fruit.

3.       Switch it up-Go with a Savory breakfast instead of a sweet one.  Try Eggs and Avocado Toast, Smoked Salmon, Cucumber and Cream cheese on a bagel, or have a Smoothie.  The key is to eat something to get your day going.

The first recipe of this series is an Apple Spice Oatmeal w/ Crunchy Almond Butter & Coconut.  It’s a hearty, comforting, fall inspired oatmeal that will keep you full until lunch.  Of course, it is super easy and quick to make and the only prep needed is to slice your apples.  If you have time to enjoy breakfast before you leave the house, go for it.  You’ll have peace of mind before you take on the energy of your day. If you don’t have time, the meal is easily transportable, and all your co-workers will Ooh and Ah at how yummy and healthy your food looks, and how good it smells.  And at that moment, you may start a healthy breakfast office movement.

Enjoy!

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Apple Spice Oatmeal//serves 4

oatmeal
1 cup oatmeal
3 cups water
Pinch of salt
1 tsp apple pie spice
1 medium apple, sliced

topping
Almond Butter (I used Trader Joe’s Crunchy Almond Butter, which is awesome)
Shredded coconut, unsweetened
Maple syrup
Non-dairy milk (optional)

In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine the oats and salt.  Cover with 3 cups water.  Bring to a boil and cook, for 3-5 minutes (rolled oats) or 10-20 minutes (steel cut oats), stirring occasionally.  Cook until thickened.

Once complete, spoon oatmeal into bowls or container if you’re on the go.  Arrange apple slices on top along with shredded coconut.  Drizzle with almond butter and maple syrup.
Sprinkle apple pie spice atop of oatmeal.  Additionally, you can pour non-dairy milk atop for extra creaminess.

Party Time! Glam Popcorn Two Ways

Orange, Rosemary, & Balsamic Vinegar Caramel Popcorn AND

Kaffir Lime, Coconut, & Banana Sugar Popcorn

Hello! I’ve got two popcorn recipes for your next movie night, TV show night, award show night …. pick one.  These popcorn recipes taste as amazing as they sound.  I love popcorn especially zhuzh’ed up popcorn or as I like to say, Glam popcorn.  They are very easy to make and will definitely be conversation starters with your guests. 

The first is an Orange, Rosemary, Balsamic Caramel Popcorn with fresh rosemary and orange zest.  I couldn’t stop eating this one.  I told myself just one more bite, but the woodsy floral essence of the rosemary, the tanginess of the balsamic and the sweet citrus flavor of the orange zest had me entranced. 

Next, is the Kaffir Lime, Coconut, & Banana Sugar popcorn.  Your taste buds won’t know what hit them.  The Banana sugar concept comes from one of my favorite bloggers, Gabriel Cabrera of The Artful Desperado.  Gabriel concocted these wonderful cookies called Crumbly Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Ganache and Banana Sugar (I am so making these).  FYI, it’s right here. I thought why not add banana sugar to popcorn.  Done!  If you don’t have Kaffir Lime in your area, you can substitute lime zest or you can buy it here.  The remaining ingredients will most likely be in your pantry.  Have fun with these popcorn recipes and by all means, play with the ingredients.  Food is art and our minds are the canvas!

Ciao!

 

Party Time! Glam Popcorn Two Ways//makes 10-12 cups

Orange, Rosemary, Balsamic Caramel Popcorn

popcorn
½ cup unpopped corn kernels
1 tablespoon oil

basic caramel sauce – adapted from The Kitchn
1 ½ sticks unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons orange zest

Preheat oven to 350’.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  In a medium saucepan, add oil and popcorn kernels.  Pop the corn and shake the pan occasionally until popping slows.  Pour popped popcorn into a large heatproof bowl.  Set aside.

For the caramel, melt the butter over medium heat in a saucepan.  Mix in the sugar until completely moistened.  Increase the heat to medium high and bring the mixture to a boil.  Boil for 3-4 minutes while stirring and scraping the bottom continuously.  Remove caramel mixture from heat, then add rosemary sprigs, orange zest, and balsamic vinegar.  Continue stirring until you form a thick glossy sauce.  Slowly pour the caramel sauce over the popcorn and stir to ensure every kernel is coated with the caramel.  Divide the popcorn between the baking sheets, spreading evenly.  Bake in the oven for 8 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Remove the rosemary sprigs.  It’s perfectly okay if the popcorn clumps together.  That’s actually the best part!  Once cooled, break up the popcorn with the back of a wooden spoon.  Serve immediately.

Kaffir Lime, Coconut, & Banana Sugar Popcorn//makes 10-12 cups

popcorn
½ cup unpopped corn kernels
1 tablespoon coconut oil (highly recommended for that extra coconut flavor)
2 kaffir lime leaves, finely minced, plus more for garnish
½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut
½ cup can sugar

In a medium saucepan, add coconut oil, a generous pinch of the kaffir lime leaves and popcorn kernels.  Pop the corn and shake the pan occasionally until popping slows.  Pour popped popcorn into a large heatproof bowl.  Set aside.

To make the banana sugar, add banana chips to a spice grinder and grind until ground.  It’s okay if there are bits of banana chunks lingering. You want crunch in this popcorn.  Once ground, pour into a small bowl and add sugar.  Mix well.

To bring it all together, sprinkle the shredded coconut and banana sugar on top.  Add remaining kaffir lime leaves on top.  Serve immediately.