Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

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Store bought jam is packed full of sugar and weird stuff, and ain’t nobody got time to can it themselves. Here we have a super easy, raw strawberry chia seed jam packed full of fiber & protein that can be made in less than 5 minutes. No cooking required!

Strawberry chia seed jam:
Ingredients:
1 cup strawberries
1/3 cup chia seeds (run these through a cleaned coffee grinder until they’re powder for smoother jam)

Directions:
Combine strawberries and chia seeds in a food processor and blend until smooth (or desired consistency). Store in jars in the fridge for 2 hours until jam thickens & slather it on all your favorite things.

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Chocolate Chip Cashew Cookie Balls

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I don’t about you guys, but I’m a big fan of eating constantly…meaning I basically don’t leave the house without lots of snacks on me. These chocolate chip cookie dough balls are one of my go-to snacks when running out the door or for throwing in a backpack.

Ingredients:
1 cup raw cashews (soaked 1 hour-overnight)
1 cup dates, pitted
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips

Directions:
Soak 1 cup of dates in warm water for 1/2 hour & 1 cup of cashews for at least an hour (but overnight is most ideal for easy blending). Drain the dates and the cashews & blend in a food processor until it forms a sticky, even consistency and holds together well. The mixture should start to form a big ball in your food processor when it is ready.

Stir in chocolate chips (optional, or you could add dried fruit, coconut, more nuts, really whatever you want)  & roll into balls. Let refrigerate for an hour before eating or packing for best results!

Homemade Granola

In my opinion, there is absolutely no better breakfast than homemade granola sprinkled on top of some coconut yogurt and topped with berries. It’s easy, satisfying, and (best of all in the morning)….quick.

As it turns out, granola is pretty easy to make for yourself, and the secret isn’t what you put in it as much as it is the process. Making you own breakfast cereal can be a much healthier (and cost friendly) alternative to store-bought cereals and granolas that are packed with additional sugar and food additives.

Who needs that junk anyway?

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So here’s my basic, go-to recipe and process for making the perfect homemade granola.

Dry Ingredients:
5 cups whole oats (check for gluten free if necessary)
1 cups chopped almonds
1 cup pepitas (I use Trader Joe’s roasted and salted)
1 cup chopped pecans
3 tbsp cinnamon

Mix all above ingredients in a large bowl. Preheat oven to 350. Cover 2 cookie sheets in parchment paper or spray them down with oil and set aside

Mix these ingredients together in a saucepan until they’re warm:
1/2 cup honey (use agave syrup for vegan)
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup coconut oil

Once the liquids are warm, toss them together with the dry ingredients & mix well.

After mixing, divide the granola in even layers between the two sheets. Put it in the oven.

You’re going to want to set a timer for 10 minutes. At this point, take both trays out of the oven and stir the granola around, mixing completely before putting it back in and setting another 10 minute timer.

You’ll repeat this process roughly 3-5 times (totally dependent on your oven) for a cooking time of roughly 30-45 minutes or until nicely browned.

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After removing the granola from the oven, toss in 1 cup of dried fruit (I like to use dried orange-infused cranberries, but anything goes here)

Allow the granola to cool and place into a container to store in the fridge where it’ll keep for several months.

Pro tip #1: even when it’s done, it won’t actually be crispy until it cools down. It can be really easy to overcook or burn by feel, because it stays pretty soft the entire time. A good indication is the color; when it looks golden and toasty.

Pro tip #2: It’s soo easy to burn the crap out of soo quickly (as I discovered), so the secret is constantly watching it, especially on the 3rd or 4th round in the oven. It can be a bit persnickety, but it gets significantly better each time you make it.

Pro tip #3: You can control the size of the granola clusters by stirring more or less when you take it out of the oven. For larger clusters, be mindful not to stir as vigorously and let the granola rest until cooled after removing from the oven when finished.

This recipe can be diversified by adding whatever nuts, spices, or dried fruits you prefer.

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Gluten Free Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes

(recipe yield about 4 small pancakes)
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: <5 minutes

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Pancakes have always been a favorite of mine, and I’m not just talking breakfast; I could seriously eat pancakes for every single meal. That’s why I was so excited to find a version that was not only lighter and healthier, but so much easier & quicker  to make.

Today’s recipe is just too easy not to share. Not only are these pancakes gluten free (totally grain free, actually), but they only require two ingredients, and contain no added oil or sugar! Oh, and they take WAY less time than the regular variety.

Ingredients:
-2 eggs (or egg whites, or flax egg for vegan)
-1 medium banana (ripe or even a little overripe is perfect)

Directions:
-In a small mixing bowl, mash together 1 medium banana and 2 eggs until mixed (I just use a fork, no fancy equipment here)
-Add mixture to a griddle or pan on medium heat and flip once lightly browned.
-Serve with banana slices, fresh berries, or whatever you like.

Though these only require 2 ingredients to make, I also love to experiment by adding other things to the batter or on top. Some favorites have been almond butter, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, fresh or frozen berries, cinnamon, or whatever else is on hand. The possibilities are endless. 🙂