Thursday, August 28, 2014

{Recipe} Homemade Granola - Bear Naked Protein Copycat

We like our granola around here and our favorite has been Bear Naked Protein granola but it's gotten harder to find at the stores where I shop, not to mention expensive ($4/12oz bag).
I set out on a quest to recreate it at home.
Of course there's no recipe on the back of the bag but I took the ingredient list and made my own version with  this basic granola recipe.
Bear Naked Protein Granola Copycat
Ingredients:
4 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup maple syrup
2 TBS canola oil*
2 TBS ground flax seed meal
1/4-1/2 tsp Kosher salt(depending on how salty you like it)
1 TBS cinnamon
1 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit)**
Heat oven to 350F. On a rimmed baking sheet toss the oats, cereal, sunflower seeds and flax meal with the maple syrup, oil and cinnamon.  Bake 25-30 minutes, tossing once (I toss a few times) until golden brown and crispy.
Remove from oven and add dried fruit. 
Stir to combine and let cool.
Store cooled granola in an airtight container.
I usually double the recipe and use two baking sheets.  
I think it's better than the original and it's around .50/cup vs $2.66/cup!

Notes:
*Since finding out that canola oil is a GMO vegetable oil and partially hydrogenated=no bueno, I'm going to try using melted coconut oil next time (I'll keep you posted!).
**I've been using this mixture  from Costco instead of the dried cranberries. Yum!
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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

{Get Crafty} Chalk Painted Mason Jars

I told you guys that I had a project in mind for my thrifted Mason jars and here it finally is.
I have been chomping at the bit to try out chalk paint but didn't feel like ordering it online so when I saw it for sale at Michael's I did a little happy dance right there in the aisle.  I had a hard time deciding which color to buy but settled on Yesteryear--a soft grey.  I ultimately want to use the paint on a piece of furniture so I chose the color with that in mind. But first...baby steps and Mason jars.
I gave them each two coats of the paint and distressed them a bit with an emory board in spots.
I used the gold Sharpie from my Glam Dinosaur Ring Dish project to accentuate the writing on the jar and give it a tiny bit of sparkle.  I also purchased the clear wax for the chalk paint and tried it out on one of the jars to see how it would look. It goes on with a soft cloth and then is buffed to a subtle shine when it's dry.
The jar on the left has the wax on it.  I liked the look with the wax so I did the second jar too.
Before I knew it, I had two new rustic vases.
Now for some flowers...my garden has been pretty sparse this summer but I managed to pull together two bouquets.
I gathered some roses, black eyed Susans, Rose of Sharon, impatiens and a few greens to make them.
The soft grey really sets off the flowers (and matches my kitchen=bonus!).
Are you a chalk paint expert like my friend Bliss or a newbie like me? 
I'm excited to do some more projects with chalk paint!

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Monday, August 25, 2014

{Recipe} Quick Strawberry Chia Seed Jam

Ch- Ch- Ch-Chia!
Now that I've got a big bag of chia seeds from Costco, I'm looking for more ways to use them apart from my new breakfast favorite- Overnight Oats.  
Chia seed jam is really quick to put together.  I followed this recipe and noted my changes.
Ingredients:
2 1/4 cups chopped strawberries
3-4 TBS of sugar (I used 2 TBS of agave)
1-2 TBS chia seeds (I used 2 TBS)
1 tsp pure vanilla extract (next time I'd omit this)
To make the jam:
Add the strawberries and sweetener to a medium pot and cook on medium heat until the berries begin to sweat and get a bit watery.  Once it cooks down some, add the chia seeds and vanilla and stir well. Bring to a low boil and simmer over low heat for 10-15 minutes.
Once it has thickened, remove from heat and let cool for about 15 minutes. Pour into an airtight container and refrigerate.  (You can process the jam before storing it but I like my jam a little chunky and I don't mind the seeds).
We tried it on some saltines right away.Yum. It's also good on bread or toasted English muffins.
It should last for about 2 weeks in the fridge.
If you use chia seeds, how do you incorporate them into your diet?

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Friday, August 22, 2014

I Heart Philly

This popped up on my Facebook feed today and I just had to share our beautiful city through the lens of this filmmaker.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

{Recipe} Overnight Oats

I wanted to see what all the fuss was about with these overnight oatmeal jars. I didn't think I was going to like cold oatmeal but I was willing to give it a try for the sake of the blog.   
Sacrifices, I tell ya...
   And what was the deal with chia seeds anyway?
I used the wide mouth Mason jars that I found on this recent thrifting expedition.
 (There's another Mason jar post coming!)
The recipe is as follows:
Dump 1/2 cup of old fashioned oats into a jar (or any container with a lid). Add 1 cup of milk (I used almond milk but any kind is fine. You can also do a combination of milk and yogurt.  
*Save the blueberries for later if you want to add them (just for photo purposes at this time).*
 Stir the oats and milk together. Add 1-2 TBS of chia seeds (these things are little nutrition power houses and the key to making the overnight oats "set".  Drop in one mashed up banana and season as you like. I added a healthy dose of cinnamon and just a dash of salt.  
Stir everything together and cover.
 I found plastic lids that fit the wide mouth jars at the supermarket. Shake it up a few times and then put it in the fridge, leaving it overnight or even for a few days.
When you're ready to eat it, you can top it with: 1)more fruit 2)nuts 3)nut butters 4)whatever else you can think of. 
I think the banana makes it sweet enough so I don't add any additional sweetener, you might like it sweeter and want to add it in at this time.
 I was skeptical but I loved it! 
The chia seeds absorb a lot of the liquid and you don't even taste them.
 I don't mind eating it cold either, I thought I would but I really don't.
It can be heated up in the microwave but I'd use a bigger container for that because oatmeal can overflow when heated.
These are a great grab and go breakfast for busy mornings and keep me really filled up.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

{Get Crafty} Glam Dinosaur Ring Dish

I saw one of these quirky ring dishes on Pinterest and it took me to a really fun craft site that sells craft making kits. #greatidea
 Being the impatient and thrifty gal that I am, I picked up the supplies at Michael's and made my own version.
{Supplies needed:}
terracotta saucer
gold spray paint
gold paint pen
dinosaur
hot glue
I made this for Miss High School(yeah..she starts next week!). 
I gave the saucer a few coats of white spray paint but I think it would have looked equally cute in its natural state.  Once it was dry, I added a little message to the bottom with the paint pen.  
The dinosaur got a few coats of gold spray paint.
 I hot glued the dino to the dish and added some more sparkle with the paint pen.
Isn't he the cutest?

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