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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Healthy Homemade Granola Bars










I am always on the look out for easy, wholesome granola bars. They are a staple in my pantry, and between my kids and hubby, I can't seem to keep enough of them in the house.
So, I figured it was time to try and make some from scratch. 
I have been trying to cut out processed foods for a while now, and love making our own granola, and granola bars  for my kids. These are a great quick breakfast, or healthy snack for school or office.
Best of all, when you make them yourself, you know exactly what goes in them and you can customize them to suit your tastes.

These granola bars are easy to make and deliciously chewy and crispy. 

Little tip: If you store them in the freezer or fridge, they stay crispier then stored at room temperature ;)





Granola Bars

Ingredients:

1/2 cup/125 ml Water
2 cups/500g Honey

3 cups rolled Oats 
1/4 cup tablespoons Almonds(coarsely chopped)

2 tablespoon Sunflower Seeds
2 tablespoon Coconut (shredded)
4 tablespoons Flax Seeds
2 cups dried Cranberries,Raisins,Apricots,Dates
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon Salt


Directions:


In a pot heat the Water with the Honey.Let cool.

In separate bowl toss Oatmeal with Almonds, Sunflower Seeds, Flax Seeds, and Coconut. Add Cinnamon and Salt.

Chop Cranberries,Raisins, Apricots, and Dates.  Then add water/honey mixture to oats. Mix well. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pour Oat mixture evenly onto sheet. Place another on top and press firmly down(it works the best with a Dough roller).

Bake at 320°C ca 20-30 minutes.


Cut Bars while still warm to prevent crumbling.


Enjoy,

Diana

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Clean Food Challenge Day 5 - The Power of Chia



Day 5












Banana Mango Smoothie



There is nothing better to start off the day with a healthy smoothie. It's fresh, light and doesn't way you down than with a heavier breakfast.
 It's perfect after a workout.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Mango
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple
  • 1cup Coconut Milk ( in the Supermarket refrigerated area - not the canned kind)
  • 1 teaspoon Chia Seeds
Blend together. Enjoy right away!




Healthy Banana Pancakes



My daughter, Nastassja made them the other day for breakfast. They are so simple and easy to make. (Only 2 ingredients!!) No sugar, yet slightly sweet. They are perfect for this clean food challenge. Healthy and delicious, I had to share them with you!

Ingredients:
  • 1 Banana
  • 2 Eggs
Directions:

Blend banana with eggs. Pour batter into slightly buttered frying pan, when bubbly, flip the pancake over. When the pancakes were done, Nastassja added a sliced apple to pan, slightly roasted them, sprinkled a little cinnamon over. Assemble the plate by alternating pancakes and apple slices. Sprinkle with nuts and sweeten with Agave Syrup if you like.




Carrot Pasta





This Pasta is not only healthy, it is also very yummy, even my most discriminating picky eater, Tristan liked it. 
I could imagine this dish also with shredded zucchini, and freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a light lunch idea. But, the more fresh veggies you can sneak in a dish, even better.
All together, this is a very uncomplicated dish to make, and the possibilities with the toppings are endless.

Ingredients:
  • 2 big Carrots (sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Sesame Seeds
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 Lemon ( Peel & Juice)
  • 300 g Spaghetti
  • Fresh Herbs, Cilantro, Parsley, Basil (optional)
In a Food processor, mix carrots, sesame oil, olive oil, sesame seeds, fresh herbs (if available), salt, pepper, finely grated peel of a Lemon, and the juice. Put in a small bowl, and refrigerate. Minimum 30 minutes.

Cook Pasta al dente. Mix with Carrot sesame mixture. Enjoy.



Friday, January 10, 2014

The Clean Food Challenge - Day 4


Day 4

The Power of Green






1. "Tropical Power Smoothie" Chlorophyll is the magic word! (Chlorophyll gives leaves their green color and absorbs light that is used in photosynthesis.

2. Artichoke Cream Soup: When I was a child, I already loved Artichokes. My Mother used to make them for us with a side of mayonnaise for dipping. OMG, they're that good.  We almost had a competition, of who is finishing first to get to the heart. 
As a healthy version, and nice to have on a cold day, I made this soup. It is yummy!!!

3. Kale Chips: One You've tried these, I promise you will want to make them again and again.
My kids LOVE them... I'm happy.




Tropical Power Smoothie


Ingredients:
  • 1 cup fresh Spinach, kale, arugula, or (mesclun mix)
  • 1/2 Mango
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Orange
  • 1/2 cup Honeydew Melon
  • 1 tablespoons Agave syrup (optional)
  • Water
  • 4-5 Ice cubes

Directions:

In a Blender, mix banana, mango, honeydew melon, orange juice, and spinach with agave syrup, water (for thinner consistency), and ice cubes. Enjoy right away.


Artichoke Cream Soup




  • 6 fresh Artichokes  
  • 3 Onions 
  • 3 gloves Garlic
  • 6 sprigs Thyme
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 3 -4 cups of the Artichoke Water
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup Cream
  • 1/2 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

Boil Artichokes in water. 
Peel and cut Onions. Chop garlic gloves, and thyme finely. Peel and cut Onions. 
Heat Olive oil in a separate pot, saute Onion, Garlic, Thyme, and Bay leave just about 2 minutes.

Peel cooked Artichokes, take only the hearts for this soup. Add them to the sauteed onions, add about 4 cups of the water that you used to boil the artichokes. Bring to a boil.
Remove Bay leaf, blend soup whit a Immersion Blender, or regular blender, add cream, and salt, pepper & a squirt of lemon to taste.
Garnish whit a few drops of Olive Oil, and fresh Thyme.


Crispy Kale Chips

(serves 2)

  • 1 bunch fresh Kale
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt

 Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Tear kale into small sized pieces. Toss lightly with olive oil and sea salt. Spread evenly on a baking sheet. 
 Place baking sheet in the oven for about 15 minutes.  Check to see if kale feels crispy. If the pieces are not crispy at all, keep cooking for another couple of minutes.
 Remove baking sheet from the oven and place on cooling rack. Done! 


Thursday, January 9, 2014

The "Clean Food Challenge" - Day 3 - Nuts about Carrots



Day 3



Nuts about Carrots


Today you can eat everything that has the Color Orange!






You will fall in love, I promise. This Smoothie is dreamy delicious. The sweet Bananas, the tanginess from the Yogurt and Lemon, and the light spice of Ginger makes this drink to "dive in" good :)

It's also very good for you. Carrots have little calories. They are loaded with Vitamin C, A, Calcium, Folic Acid, and Magnesium.










Breakfast:

Carrot - Banana Smoothie

(serves 2)

Ingredients:

  • 2 big ripe Bananas
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated Ginger
  • 1 cup Carrot Juice
  • 1 small cup (5 oz) plain Yogurt ( I use Chobani)
  • Lemon juice
  • Ice cubes (optional)


Directions:

Peel and slice Bananas. Peel Ginger, and grate finely.
In a Blender, mix together with Yogurt, and Carrot Juice. Add a few drizzles of Lemon Juice to taste. Enjoy right away!



Lunch:


Wraps with Carrot Hummus and Arugula


These wraps are super easy, and quick to make. I call 'em super skinny, and delicious :)

 Carrot Hummus 

Ingredients:
  • 3 Carrots (peeled & cooked)
  • 250 g Garbanzo Beans
  • 2 tablespoons Tahini
  • 4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 glove Garlic (grated)
  • Juice of a half Lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


You will also need:
6 Tortilla Wraps
Hand full Arugula
1 Carrot ( Julienned -cut in thin strips)
1 Red Onion (sliced finely)
Directions:

In a blender, mix cooked Carrots, Garbanzo Beans, and the rest of the Ingredients to a smooth paste, it's okay to use a little bit of the Carrot water to make paste a bit thinner. Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

To prepare the wraps, spread Hummus evenly, add a little Arugula, fresh Carrot strips, onion, then roll the wrap together. To make it picnic perfect, roll into cut parchment paper, and tie with kitchen string. Voila.



Dinner:



Carrot Chestnut Soup with Rosemary

(serves 2-3)

Ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 small Onions (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 2 Celery Stalks (sliced small)
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh Rosemary (chopped finely - only green sprigs)
  • 700 g Carrots ( ca. 7 large Carrots,peeled and thinly sliced)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed Orange juice
  • 32 oz Vegetable broth
  • 200 g Chestnuts (coarsely chopped) 
  • 1/2 cup Sweet Cream
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoons Paprika (optional) I liked it with it.


Directions:

Saute Onions and Celery in Olive Oil. Add Carrots and Rosemary, cook on medium heat ca. 10 minutes.
Stir from time to time.

Take out about 4 tablespoons of the veggies, set aside for later.
Pour Orange juice to the pot of soup, continue to cook until Carrots are soft.
Use 3/4 of the chopped Chestnuts and put into the soup. Slowly pour the cream. Add pepper, salt, and paprika to taste. Blend Soup in blender, or with a Immersion blender.
After blending add the veggies, and the rest of chestnuts that you have set aside for garnish.

Tell me what you think!

xoxo, Diana




Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Clean Food Challenge - Day II



Day II

If you made it through yesterday's vegan challenge without cheating, congratulations :)
Everything went fine until around 4 pm, when I couldn't stand it any longer, and had my fingers on the cookie jar....

My two bosses, teenager daughters watching me like hawks...

Desiree: ..."I saw that"
Nastassja: ... "Cheater"

I heard it takes about 3 to 4 days to get used to a new diet. That's why I started my first day on a Wednesday, so by Monday...hopefully I should be good.

Since yesterday's meal plan consisted mostly of fibers, I thought today I include some healthy grains to the menu.
I'm a once - a - day ( or two) Smoothie kind of girl. So the recipes I'm going to share with you on this blog are my favorite ones, even my two babies love them.

P.S. I usually add a scoop of vanilla protein powder to my smoothies, but will leave it out for this challenge.

Enjoy! See you tomorrow.

Diana (aka cheating Mum)




          Blueberry Oatmeal Shake


Breakfast:


(serves 2)

1 Banana

2 tablespoons Oats
ca. 500 ml Buttermilk
200 g Blueberries (fresh or frozen)
Agave Syrup (optional)


Directions: 


Put all ingredients in a blender. Mix. To sweeten shake a little, add a little Agave Syrup. 


Lunch:




Orzo - Garbanzo Salad with crumbled Feta

(serves 4)

For the Salad:
  • 200 g Orzo Noodles
  • 1 cup Garbanzo Beans (Fresh cooked)
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 Bunch fresh Dill
For the Dressing:
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed Lemon juice
  • Peel of 1 Lemon (grated)
  • 1 red Onion (cut into small pieces)
  • 1 glove of freshly pressed Garlic (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste



Directions:
Cook Orzo with a water. After fully cooked, rinse with cold water. Put aside.

Rinse Garbanzo beans in cold water. Peel, de-seed, and cut (bite sized) Cucumber. Mince Dill.
In a big bowl, mix Dressing, then add Orzo, Garbanzo, and cucumber. Mix. Mix. Mix. 

You can leave the Salad up to 3 days refrigerated.


Dinner:



Blueberry Walnut Salad

(adapted from allrecipes.com)




For the Salad:
  • 10 oz. package mixed Salad greens
  • 1- 1/3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons Walnuts (chopped)
For the Dressing:
  • 1/3 cup raspberry vinaigrette 
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
In a large bowl, toss the salad greens with the blueberries, walnuts, and raspberry vinaigrette. Top with feta cheese to serve.