Fruit and Nut Granola Clusters

This past Mother’s Day I made my mom some Homemade Gluten-Free Fruit and Nut Granola Clusters. This is probably the best granola recipe I’ve made so far! It was also inspired by the Oh She Glows Cookbook. My mom is constantly buying Gluten-Free Granola from the store because her favourite thing to have for breakfast is Greek Yogurt and Granola, so I thought, why not make her some from scratch? Not only do I think this tastes better than store-bought, it will save you money in the long run, and who doesn’t love that?

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup of whole raw almonds
  • 1/2 cup of raw pecans
  • 1 1/4 cup of Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
  • 1 cup of mixed dried fruit (I used half cranberries (unsweetened) and half chopped apricots)
  • 1/2 cup of raw pumpkin seeds or pepitas
  • 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fine-grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup or other liquid sweetener (first batch I made I used raw honey, and the second batch I made I used maple syrup, both are amazing)
  • 1/4 cup of coconut oil melted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 275ºF. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Put a 1/2 cup of the almonds into a food processor and grind them down into a fine meal (similar to the texture of sand). Then transfer to a large bowl.
  3. Place the rest of the almonds, along with the pecans into the food processor and finely chop the nuts. The nuts should be chopped into various sizes, you will even have some powdery meal, it’s all good. Add the nuts to the large bowl with the almond meal.
  4. Add the oats, dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, cinnamon, and salt to the large bowl with the nuts. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the syrup or liquid sweetener of your choice, melted oil, and vanilla to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir until thoroughly combined.
  6. With a spatula spread the granola out onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure that you spread the mixture out evenly into a single layer. Press down the granola as you spread it along so that it is slightly compact. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 18-20 minutes more, or until the granola is lightly golden and firm to the touch.
  7. Cool the granola on the pan for at least 1 hour before breaking it apart into clusters.
  8. Store the granola in a glass jar in the fridge for 2-3 weeks or freeze it for 4-5 weeks.

Enjoy!!

vegan, gluten free, fruit and nut granola clusters with organic greek yogurt and cherries



Starbucks eating a hole in your pocket? Try this Iced Espresso! It’s diet friendly and it saves your pennies!

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Yes, I know we don’t use pennies anymore in Canada… sounds cute though right?!?! Ok, so I LOVE Starbucks… and sugar-free gum. It’s a serious problem LOL I have been in control of my coffee intake and limit it to one a day, and I always feel better when I make it myself because I can control the taste and flavor BUT a coffee a day (especially a specialty coffee from Starbucks) adds up real quick! It’s one of those expenses that we so mindlessly make on a regular basis that we don’t even realize how much it’s really costing us! Especially, if you’re like me, and you have a Starbucks Gold card (I have a lot of generous clients who know about my addiction) the money disappears from your card so quick because its invisible money. It’s not as painful of a purchase when you don’t have to count out the change for it. So recently, I learned how to properly use the percolator at home to make my own espresso! If you have an espresso machine then awesome! Making your own iced Americano of specialty coffee is just that much easier. Below is a recipe for an iced Vanilla Americano (or iced espresso coffee) that I made from home and it is awesome! Oh and it’s diet friendly too!! You can make this with regular coffee but if you like it strong like me then espresso is where it’s at!

Iced Vanilla Americano Recipe:

Step One:

Get out your percolator, open it up and take out the coffee holder and metal grate out of the bottom of the percolator. Then fill the bottom of the percolator with cold water. Most percolators will have a line indicator for the water. On my percolator, I filled it to the indent line where the screw is. See Below:

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Step 2:

Put the coffee holder into the percolator and fill the percolator up with espresso. Make sure you pack the espresso in tight! I used a teaspoon to pack it down.

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Step 3:

Once you’ve packed the coffee in tight, put the grate on top and then screw the top of the percolator back on. Once you know the top of the percolator is on tight, turn on your stove and wait. DO NOT FLIP OPEN THE TOP OF YOUR PERCOLATOR TO CHECK THE COFFEE!! IT WILL RUIN YOUR ESPRESSO! You will be able to hear your espresso bubbling up to the top of the percolator. Once it stops making bubbly sounds it’s ready!

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Step 4:

Take the percolator off the stove and let your espresso cool, about 20-30 minutes. Then transfer your coffee to a thermos or some other container and put it in the fridge. I usually make my espresso the night before and have it iced for the next day, or if I just want one espresso shot I will save the rest and have it iced the next day. But you can make it, let it cool and follow the next few steps to enjoy your iced espresso coffee sooner.

Step 5:

Once your espresso is cold transfer it out of the thermos into a jug or something bigger so you can stir in your sweetener, ice and so on. I would recommend 2-3 packets of stevia. This is a matter of taste (how sweet you like your coffee) and how bitter your espresso is. Put the stevia in the coffee and stir, then I added 2 packets of Italian Vanilla (see below) you can get this stuff at any grocery store. It would be in the baking aisle! Stevia is a natural sweetener, and you can get stevia drops in whatever flavors you like (vanilla, caramel and so on). However, this Italian vanilla packets are artificial flavors, still zero calorie but you should know that it is indeed artificial. When I made this coffee it was the only zero calorie flavoring I had.

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These are two different brands of the same thing.

Once you have added your flavor and sweetener, add your milk. Again, I used a bit of almond milk to keep the calories down, and it’s also lactose free, fat-free etc Add as much or as little milk as you like. This is a matter of taste, however, I kept mine low because I really like espresso and I like my coffee strong. Now, that all the ingredients are in and the taste is to your liking, add ice and serve! A full percolator of coffee will make more than one serving of this stuff! So share with friends, or save it for later. If you are planning on saving some for later, then add ice to the portion you are about to drink and then put the rest back in a thermos and put it in the fridge for later. Once you are ready to drink it, then add the ice so it doesn’t get too watered down. And that’s it!

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You can also have this drink hot, so make espresso, pour a shot or two into a coffee mug, add hot water to it so now you have an Americano. Then add sweetener, and flavor to your coffee if you like, and there you have it! You have now become your own barista who knows how to spell your name! LOL money saved, and coffee made just the way you like it! Saves your pocket-book and your waistline! And who doesn’t love that?!?!


Chocolate Avocado Pudding! Contest Prep/Diet Friendly Treat <3

Yesterday I was at work eating breakfast after I did some fasted cardio. For breakfast my coach had (just got a new plan) me eating 1/3 cup of oats and 250 ml or 1 cup of egg whites. I LOVE breakfast, it is my favorite meal of the day and at the time, one of my only carb meals during my prep. So, to keep things fun and interesting during my 16 week diet I would turn these oats and egg whites into pancakes! Some ladies saw me eating them, thought they smelled delicious, I gave one of them a TINY piece to try (have to save every last bite for me lol) and they loved it! So I shared the recipe, and then I realized I should share some of my favorite things to make while on prep. Things that keep me sane, and on track with my goals. Because, let’s face it, eating the same thing everyday can get boring! And during my last show prep that’s exactly what I did. So this time I decided to not punish myself so much and get creative!

I will share with you my protein pancake recipe here as well, but I never took photos of it lol that’s mostly because after fasted cardio all I wanna do is eat! But I did however, take a photo of this delicious avocado dessert that I made last night 🙂 Coach gave me a new plan yesterday and there’s absolutely no carbs in my diet anymore, except for a reefed day that I’m sure Coach will let me know when that is… Or I’m sure I’ll remind him lol 😉 Anyway, I’m allowed to have half an avocado as part of my last meal with the standard white fish and asparagus. So last night I was craving chocolate and I thought, aren’t there chocolate avocado recipes out there? Pretty sure there’s pudding I can make or something to make my Saturday night in more exciting LOL So I Googled and I was inspired to make myself this delicious bowl of chocolate avocado pudding! I literally scrapped the inside of the magic bullet to get every last bite! Totally hit the spot! I mean… I was still hungry a bit after but that’s all part of being on show prep lol C’est la vie! haha but it did make me so happy so that’s what matters! Now you have to keep in mind that this is a single portion for one person, and eat this if you’re really dying for something sweet late at night! Also, make sure it’s cool with your coach, and don’t do it all the time… I only say this because it’s better to be safe than sorry lol

3rd place

How I made my Chocolate Avocado Pudding:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 an avocado
  • almond milk
  • vanilla extract
  • 1 stevia packet
  • cocoa (2 heaping regular teaspoons, I didn’t use the real measuring spoons)
  • coffee grinds
  • cinnamon

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Get your magic bullet out, and put your avocado in it with two heaping teaspoons of cocoa. Then I put a dash of vanilla, one stevia packet (or Splenda if you don’t have stevia). I eye-balled the amount of cinnamon… I just sprinkled maybe a 1/4 teaspoon of it into the magic bullet. Then a smidge of coffee grinds to help bring out the chocolate flavor. Now, as for the almond milk, you can use any kind of milk really, but almond milk is fewer calories and more diet friendly. Pour about a 1/3 cup in and then blend, only add enough almond milk until you reach your desired consistency. And there you have it! A diet friendly treat that is actually so delicious! Maybe I just think it’s delicious because I’ve been prepping hard for 11 weeks now and the taste of chocolate is amazing! But honestly, I LOVED it and I’m sure you will too!

Protein Pancake recipe that I used during the earlier part of my prep!

  • 1/3 or 1/2 cup of rolled oats (I used both, depending on what coach allowed at the time for my carb intake)
  • 250 ml of egg whites or 1 cup
  • cinnamon, (or add a bit of your favorite protein powder in for flavor)
  • 1 stevia packet
  • a pinch of baking powder
  • vanilla extract

Take out your magic bullet and put the rolled oats, stevia, baking powder and cinnamon in. Blend until you’ve made a flour and there are no whole pieces of oats left. Then add your egg whites and a dash of vanilla extract. Blend in the magic bullet. Once it is all combined, add a spoon into the mixture because the oats tend to fall to the bottom, so stir it often while you cook it. Cook these pancakes in a skillet using coconut oil, coconut oil spray, or PAM. The first pancake tends to be the thinnest, but the rest of the stack comes out perfect! Especially, if you remember to stir the mixture a bit before you pour it into the pan! ENJOY!

Macros for the stack of pancakes: P 28g, C:26g (for 1/2 cup measurement) F: 0 (These are approximate and there would be some fat if you cooked it in coconut oil, but not much)