Make Ahead Snack – Granola Bars

I initially wanted to make granola but stumbled upon this recipe this morning. Copy-cat Nature Valley Oat & Honey Bars!

This is a super simple recipe and only 5 ingredients…

Ingredients

• 2 1/2 cups of Quick or Rolled Oats

• 1/4 tsp Baking Soda

• 1/8 tsp Salt

• 1/4 cup Coconut Oil

• 1/3 cup Honey

• splash Vanilla (optional)

Directions

1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line 8-inch square pan with cooking parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on 2 sides.

2. Place 2 cups of the oats in large bowl. Add remaining 1/2 cup oats to blender or food processor; pulse into a rough flour. Add oat flour to bowl of oats. Add baking soda and salt to bowl of oats; stir.

3. In a saucepan heat coconut oil until just melted. Stir in honey (and vanilla). Add to bowl of oats. Stir well to coat oats completely. Spread mixture evenly in pan; press down firmly and evenly.

4. Bake for 20 minutes. Oats should be golden and smell of honey. Cool on rack 10 minutes.

5. Remove from pan using parchment overhangs. Cut into 8 rectangles while still warm. Cool completely before wrapping. The bars will firm and crisp up as they cool.

That’s it! Super simple right? Thanks to Betty Crocker for this recipe. I modified it a bit – cutting out the white sugar. You can also throw in some additions such as nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, dried fruit… the list goes on!

Two batches of these covers us for about one week. 16 bars at a fraction of the price of the originals 🙂

Enjoy!

Your,

Natural Groove Gal

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Spring is Here! Time for some Fresh Homemade Dressings

Spring is upon us and I have quite a few recipes lined up for the new season! Very excited! This will be the first of the fresh, healthy and delicious foods I will be sharing over the next few weeks 🙂

But first here’s a few little reminders for the mind and soul…break out of that hibernation mode and enjoy what spring has to offer!

🌳 Take a walk
🌞 Soak in that sunshine
🍃 Enjoy the fresh air
And wake up those senses!⚘

It’s that time of year to rejuvenate. Salads and Lunch Bowls are a great way to clean out the system. *The combination of oils and acids are essential to aid digestion of all the raw veggies in your salads!!* So to help you out I’ve got some fresh dressings to incorporate into your meals 🙂 Never buy store bought again!

Fresh Dressings

1. Avocado Dream

• 2 Avocados, chopped
• 1 cup Cashews, pre-soaked
• 1 Lime, juiced
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1 cup Water, (or more depending on desired thickness)

*Try my Shrimp Fajitas recipe with this*

2. Berry Blast

• 1 cup Berries (I used strawberries and blueberries)
• 1/4 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
• 1/4 cup Maple Syrup
• Fresh Cracked Pepper

3. Creamy Sesame 

• 1/2 cup Plain Yogurt (Vanilla works too, gives it a little sweetness)
• 1/2 cup Mayo
         *or use 1 cup of either*
• 1/4 cup Soy Sauce
• 1/4 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
• 1 tsp Sesame Oil
• Furikake (a Japanese rice seasoning with sesame seeds and seaweed) *optional
• Hot Sauce (I used Sriracha) *optional

*Try my Chicken Lettuce Wraps recipe with this*

4. Basic Delight

• 1/4 cup Honey
• 1/4 cup Dijon Mustard
• 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
• 1/2 cup Olive Oil
• Salt and Pepper to taste 

For each one, put all the ingredients together and blend!

Hope you enjoy these 🙂 What are your favourite dressing recipes?

Your,
Natural Groove Gal

Homemade Almond Milk

I LOVE almond milk. Any nut milk really. So my boyfriend Bill pointed out a recipe in Bon Appetit magazine and we decided to make our own. So here it is:

1 cup Raw Almonds (no skin – sometimes labeled “blanched”)
4 cups Hot Water
4 tbsp. Natural Sweetner (we used maple syrup)
1/2 tsp. Salt
(This recipe yields about 1L of nut milk)

1) Soak in room temperature water for at least 12 hours
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2) Drain nuts and toss soaking liquid out

3) Put nuts in a blender along with your natural sweetner, salt and hot water (NOT boiling – this will make your milk creamier) and start at a low speed and slowly build up to the fasted speed – about 2 minutes

4) Using a fine mesh strainer (or if you have nut milk bag lying around that will work too) strain out as much liquid as possible by pressing with a spatula
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5) Et Voila! You’ve got yourself fresh natural nut milk. If you find it too thick for your liking, you can thin it out with some water. Keep chilled and give it a good shake before pouring. Will last for 3-4 days.

Enjoy!

Bonus: if you add a 1/4 tsp of xanthum gum and emulsify with a hand blender; it will keep it from separating!

And what do you do with that leftover almond pulp?? Stay tuned! 🙂

Your,
Natural Groove Gal