Hello, all! Happy Friday! As you move into the weekend and are planning for the week ahead (which I know, I know, you don’t even want to think about right now as you are sipping your TGIF glass of vino – sorry!), consider making this Cinnamon, Honey, and Walnut Granola. It’s processed-sugar-free (yay!), using honey and dates as natural sweeteners, and i’ts super easy to make. And the best part is, you can then use it to assemble these scrumptious Mason jar yogurt breakfast parfaits to make your week ahead a little easier. Convenience + deliciousness? Yes, please!
Happy Monday, all! OK, I know Mondays are not the happiest days for those of us who have day jobs that don’t line up with the jobs in our head. In my head, I am an independent boss-lady creative phenom, holed up in my home office donned in jammies and leopard-print slippers, lovingly toiling over this blog and my other one, 100 Places in the D – and perhaps writing a novel or two while I’m at it (because why not?). So I totally get it. We all have our true passions, and being a cubicle rat working for The Man isn’t one of them! But we might as well make the best of where we are now, because gratitude is one of the prime ingredients that will shift us into being our truest, most authentic selves.
Happy Leap Day, all! We’ve got a little bonus day here, a last chance to cram some amazing goodness into February.
Lovely February! Confession: February has historically been my most hated month of the year, for reasons that are pretty obvious if you, like me, live in a northern part of the Northern Hemisphere. It is cold. It is gray. It is icy and snow-slushy and yucky. It’s the tail-end of winter, stillllll hanging on, with no feeling of the end in sight most winters (this winter has been pretty darn easy for those of us in the Detroit area, but still. It’s winter).
I was supposed to go out to brunch Sunday, but a little bully of a snowstorm derailed that. It wasn’t a blizzard, but it was enough slick roads and nastiness to keep me from getting on to the freeway and sliding around like a bumper car. After a high of about 50 degrees and walking around outside without a coat on Saturday, we are now sporting average highs around 20 degrees, blasting gales with wind chills in the single digits, and this lovely, freeze-y, arctic tundra landscape. Winter is finally upon us in Detroit! We’d been pretty spoiled so far this season with only one big snow prior to this last week. Reality check! Wah wah. But the one positive thing about inclement weather cancelling my plans on Sunday was that I got to stay home and make coconut chocolate banana granola.
Peanut butter is SUCH an obsession of mine. It makes everything better! Even yogurt, which is a delightfully worthy breakfast companion in itself – but add to it some yummy natural peanut butter and and raw organic honey and shredded unsweetened coconut and crunchy cacao nibs and it’s an I’ll-never-leave-you! breakfast companion. The fact that this bad-boy is totally processed-sugar-free just sweetens the pot . . . er, I mean Mason Jar.
Peaaaanut – peanut butter – and jelly!
I’m sitting here singing the above in a lilting, off-tune voice in my head (yes, my internal singing voice is as off-key as the one associated with my vocal box!). I seem to remember hearing this little ditty about peanut butter and jelly at some time somewhere when I was a kid – probably in some beloved cartoon or on a show like Sesame Street. I think most of us grown-ups can probably still identify with that childhood love of PB&J. I suspect it’s why the idea of making a granola based around this combo stuck in my head for months and wouldn’t go away until I did.
I love, love, love making homemade granola. It’s such a lovely breakfast treat that makes getting up at the crack of dawn for my ol’ day job a little more bearable. The granola flavor I’ve been enjoying this week? Pumpkin-raisin.
Peanut butter – how I missed thee! I was without it for about the past week, until my planned trip to the grocery store last night, and it would not be exaggerating to say that my life felt a little emptier during that time. My workday was not the same without my mid-morning snack of apple slices and peanut butter, and while tahini paste makes an excellent ingredient in hummus and dressings, it was not the greatest substitute for my favorite nut butter in my oatmeal. Now I’m three-cans flush with the stuff, so life is good. And in homage to one of my favorite foods ever being back in my life, I’ve created this granola.
With spring finally here and the snow hopefully melted where you are, it’s time again for running/outdoor exercise season. You need snacks that are portable, tasty, and provide some serious fuel – which means energy bars for most people. Those are healthy, right?