Chai Seed Granola

Today has been a wonderful day of baking and crafting! I made quinoa burgers for lunch, chicken and black bean burritos for dinner, chia seed granola for snacking, and DIY work out tank-tops. Over all quite a productive day off I think.

I have been thinking about making granola for a while now (I feel like I always say that, but it is true), but while I was trolling pinterest I happened upon a page dedicated to Chia recipes. And well, since I still have a big bag full of seeds from those chia bars that I made a while back; I said what the hell, that looks easy. I and it really was, it only took me 5 minutes to make and 15 to bake.

Factoid of the day: Did you know that the word Chia comes from the Mayan language and means strength?

So why not try out some chia seed granola, and maybe if you are feeling really bold, some no cook chia chocolate pudding. Recipe coming soon.

Normally I would include the website I got it from, but I thought the recipe was a little boring so I changed it up a bit. Feel free to put your own spin on it. You don’t even need to put chia seeds in it. Granola is very versatile.This is probably going to be my go-to granola/ maybe trail mix, from now on. It is so good and so easy to make. I gave a bowl to my roommate and he was like “this is amazing!” and then proceeded to ask for the recipe.

If you aren’t in a healthy food mood, stay tuned for my homemade “pop tart” recipe. Not healthy and oh so delicious. Way better than store bought Pop Tarts.

Chia Seed Granola

Makes four 1/4 c. servings or one really big serving (that’s what I would do)

Ingredients

1 c. old fashioned oats

2 tbsp. chia seeds

1/4 chopped pecans (you can just break them up with your hands)

1/4 unsweetened coconut chips/flakes

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

1 tbsp. honey

2 tbsp maple syrup

1 tbsp. canola oil



Directions

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine oats, chia seeds, pecans, cinnamon, and nutmeg  a small bowl. Slowing stir honey, maple syrup and canola oil into oat mixture until everything is almost coated. Add coconut and stir gently, so as not to break the coconut pieces. Spread granola onto prepared sheet pan and bake for approximately 15 minutes, stirring halfway through. Let cool until granola becomes crunchy. Enjoy!

This would also be great with other types of nuts, spices, and or dried fruit. If you do add dried fruit, lightly toss it in just after the granola comes out of the oven.

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Soft Pretzels= yummy!

So I was at work last week when I over heard my boss talking about making pretzels to sell. I have to admit that I got kinda excited and then more excited when I saw them. She made brioche pretzels ( I don’t think she dipped them in baking soda water, so I don’t think they were real pretzels) but they looked pretty tasty, and it gave me the idea/ craving to make my own. So while telling my co-worker she told me about Alton Browns pretzel recipe and how good it is.

So on one of my days off, with the help of my friend Krystal, who is a great friend and trooper (because she doesn’t actually like pretzels) I made the recipe. Oh and check out her blog the Dessert Shop.

I really liked the recipe. The recipe is very easy and fairly flexible. I made the dough in under 20 min and let it proof while we went grocery shopping. This recipe would be the perfect way to celebrate National Pretzel Day tomorrow!

oh and mmm… how about a pretzel sandwich?!?!

Soft Pretzels

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt

Directions

Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. *I would recommend to do a little more than lightly brush. I did that and they stuck to the parchment. And I didn’t know that things stuck to parchment. Well ok that isn’t true, but I was surprised. Set aside.

Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Chia seed cranberry walnut bars

So after eating a lot of sugary goodness last week, I decided that I needed to eat something healthy. Healthy but still delicious. I had seen a recipe for chia seed bars on runeatpdx, which is one of the blogs that I follow. I am not a runner but I do enjoy the recipes for healthy food. When I first saw the picture I immediately thought the chia bars looked good.

But chia seeds? What are chia seeds? The only chia seeds I could think of were the cha cha chia plant I had growing up and how I never got it to grow. I was skeptical so I did a little more research. First off they don’t taste like anything so if you add them to a recipe it wont change the flavor. Chia seeds get jelly when added to a liquid so they can be used as a substitute for egg in some recipes. And most important of all they are very good for you providing omega 3 fatty acids than a serving of salmon, and more calcium than a serving of milk. Which for me, a woman who doesn’t eat fish and is lactose intolerant is music to my ears.

So anyway, back to the chia bars. This bars are very easy to make and are a good healthy snack. I think they could be very versatile. So I definitely think these are going to be my go to work snack.

Where to buy chia seeds:

You should be able to buy them at any grocery store in the health/natural section. I bought a bag of Bob’s Red Mill brand at Fred Meyer. It was only 9 dollars.

different combination ideas

  • use orange juice instead of lemon juice and use cranberries and walnuts
  • raspberries and pecans
  • all nuts no dried fruit
  • dried mango pieces and macadamia nuts
  • fresh pears and walnuts
  • basically any dried fruit and nut combo you can imagine

Chia Seed Cranberry Walnut bars

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (approx 1.5 lemons)
  • 1.5 cups regular oats, ground into a flour in food processor
  • 1/2 cup regular oats (not ground)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened shredded coconut + additional for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup honey*
  • 4 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment paper*.

2. In a small bowl, mix together the chia seeds and lemon juice. Set aside to gel up while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. Take your 1.5 cup of oats and process them in food processor until a flour forms.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the oat flour (regular oats processed into a flour), baking powder, 1/2 cup regular oats, kosher salt, lemon zest, dried cranberries, pistachios, and shredded coconut.

4. In another small bowl, whisk together the melted coconut oil, applesauce, and agave nectar. Mix in the gelled up chia seed mixture until combined.

5. Add wet to dry and stir well until blended. It will take a while to mix it thoroughly. Scoop the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out smoothly with a spatula. Sprinkle additional coconut on top before baking.

6. Bake for about 20 minutes at 350F until golden around the outer edge. It will very lightly spring up when pressed.

7. Cool in pan for about 10 minutes before transferring onto a cooling rack for about 30 minutes. Cut into 16 squares. Approx 200 calories per square.

Here is the original recipe without the changes I made to it.

Notes:

I used honey in the recipe, but you can switch it out for agave nectar.

I, for some reason don’t have a 8in pan so I just used a 8x 10 casserole pan, and they still turned out great.