Date Nut Granola Bars & Crumble (Raw/Grain Free)

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Everytime I make a batch of granola I feel at home.

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

There’s something about the homemade version you can’t find in a package.

Love? Maybe.

Soul? Maybe.

Blood, sweat and tears? Hopefully not.

Whatever it is, it’s just so darn good.

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

This particular batch of granola isn’t my normal approach, either. No, this one’s a bit different. Sticky. Soft and crumbly. Sweetened only with dates. Oh, it’s raw and grain free, too.

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Normally, I make a crunchy, dry roasted granola with chopped nuts, whole seeds, oats and honey (like this one and this one). Closer to the standard granola we’re all used to.

Obviously, there are pros and cons to each. The dry roasted version will store at room temperature in an airtight container for quite some time, while this one’s best stored in the fridge or freezer. The crunchy version is, well, crunchy, and this one’s got more of a crumbly, soft texture.  The roasted version also requires some baking and stirring time, while this version only needs to rest in the fridge or freezer for a little bit to set.

Now I know I said this recipe makes bars and a crumble type version of granola, but I must warn you, the bars are best stored in the freezer and eaten promptly after you take them out of the freezer. That’s because as they warm, they’ll crumble pretty easily. That being said, these might not be your best bet as a granola bar on the go, but you could most definitely crumble it up into a to-go container and pack a spoon.

It really doesn’t matter how you eat it, it’s delicious, so just eat it however you want to. Deal?

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

DATE NUT GRANOLA BARS & CRUMBLE

Ingredients
3 cups nuts (I used 1 cup each of pecans, almonds, walnuts)
1 cup unsweetened, flaked coconut
1 cup pitted medjool dates
1 1/2 cups seeds (I used 1/2 cup each sesame, ground flax, chia) 

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Preparation

Pulse nuts and coconut in a food processor (fits nicely in my 11-cup food processor) just until mixed a bit, then add the dates and let it run until the mixture is crumbly and just starts to come together, about 30 seconds. Next, add the seeds and vanilla extract, and pulse until combined, about 15-30 seconds.

If you want the whole batch more of a crumble, you’re pretty much done at this point. Simply transfer into an airtight container and store in the fridge. For bars, firmly press into a lined baking sheet or dish and freeze until ready to serve. Serve the bars promptly after taking them out of the freezer.

I’d love to know what you think! Leave a comment below letting me you how you like to eat granola.

Date Nut Granola | Tiffany Lane Handmade

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DIY: Wreath

DIY Wreath | Tiffany Lane Handmade

This project is so quick, simple and cheap! Just the way I like ‘em.

If you’ve ever wanted to make your own wreath, there’s no reason to wait. Head over to your nearest craft or hobby store. Right. Now. I’ll wait.

All you need is a wreath starter, mine is grape vine, and some florals and/or other garb of your choosing, hairspray or other spray adhesive, then top if off with some ribbon, twine, rope to hang it. Easy as pie.

But for those of you who need structure, here’s the breakdown in an easy to read format.

Time: 15-30 minutes

Materials
wreath starter (grape vine, foam, etc.)
florals/decorations (dried flowers, feathers, moss, etc.)
scissors
spray adhesive

ribbon/rope/twine

Process

Weave/attach your florals/decorations into your wreath starter until it’s perfect. You may need to weave and/or trim the ends back through the wreath on the backside so they don’t stick out too far. Spray with adhesive, especially if you used dried flowers, so everything stays in place. Tie your ribbon/rope/twine from the backside, being sure it’s long enough to allow the wreath to hang as low as you prefer.

Wah-lah!

DIY Wreath | Tiffany Lane Handmade

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Almond Milk How-To

Almond Milk | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Almond Milk | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Almonds are a serious favorite for me. Their natural sweetness and bountiful nutrition make them all stars in my book.

Almond milk is all that goodness in drinkable form and it’s so easy to make! Plus, the leftover almond pulp makes great pancakes…yum. My favorite thing to do with almond milk? Homemade chai milk tea. Scrumptious.

ALMOND MILK

Ingredients
4 cups water + more for soaking

1 cup almonds

Preparation

Place almonds in a bowl or jar, add water until all almonds are covered, and soak for at least 6 hours.

Drain the almonds (feel free to save the soaking water for your plants), place in a blender with the 4 cups of water, and blend on high for 2-3 minutes. Using a fine sieve or cheesecloth, strain the solids out of the milk, either allowing gravity to do its thing or using a spoon/spatula to help it along.

What’s your favorite way to drink almond milk?

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Happy Birthday, America!

American FlagA midst all the barbecuing and parties, take some time to remember what Independence Day means.

Make it a good one, a safe one, and a fun one, cherishing family and friends.

 

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Central Coast Anniversary Adventure

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

If you’ve never been to California’s central coast, you’re missing out. Big time.

Hubby and I celebrated our 4-year wedding anniversary recently and took a trip we’ll cherish forever. From the beauty that is Bug Sur to experiencing farm life and topping it off with some fun in the sand dunes.

Honey tasting, strawberry basil popsicles and meeting great folks at Jack Creek Farms on the way to our B&B:

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

The lovely grounds and our amazing cottage at A Little Organic Farm & Cottages:

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Farm-fresh picnic breakfast:

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Warm summer nights make for great start gazing:

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Up by dawn to bottle feed the kids (baby goats) and milk the does (adult female goats) – my bucket list just got a little shorter!

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

A little hiking and exploring:

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Stopped by this place (we’ll be back someday to stay!):

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Topped it off with a stop at the dunes:

Central Coast Adventure | Tiffany Lane Handmade

A huge thank you to Gary and Cindy (and shadow and red) of A Little Organic Farm & Cottages for welcoming us with open arms (and wagging tails)! Their organic farm is gorgeous and breakfast amazing, these pictures don’t do any of it justice. And the goats, they’re pretty awesome, too. Thanks for the milk.

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Hiking Adventures: Sitton Peak

Sitton Peak Hike | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Gosh, how I love getting out in nature. It really gives my soul some peace. Beautiful views, fresh air, animals and creatures. It all just comes together for me.

Last month, the Sunday of Memorial weekend to be exact, hubs and I took the dog and set out to hike Sitton Peak.

A nice, leisurely, peak hike right in our backyard. Sitton is not a real high peak, only ranking in at almost 3300 feet, and the trail only approximately 10 miles round trip, out and back. The first four to five miles or so are mostly uphill (nothing too steep), with some places of downhill or level ground.  The last section is a bit of a scramble up a pretty steep, not well maintained path. Once you reach the top, you’ll find some nice sitting boulders (where we ended up relaxing and napping on for quite a while) and an old metal can with notepads to sign your declaration (some of which being pretty entertaining!).

Sitton Peak Hike | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Sitton Peak Hike | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Sitton Peak Hike | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Sitton Peak Hike | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Sitton Peak Hike | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Sitton Peak Hike | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Sitton Peak Hike | Tiffany Lane Handmade

Overall, a very pretty hike, that’s not too strenuous, not too long, dog friendly, and close to home.  I give it two thumbs up!

Sitton Peak Hike | Tiffany Lane Handmade

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Recipe: Vegan Pesto

Vegan Pesto | Tiffany Lane HandmadeI absolutely love pesto! It’s definitely in my top 5 for sauces and condiments, right up there with mustard. Yes…mustard. But that’s a topic for another day.

Back to the pesto. It goes with almost anything. Burgers, pizza, pasta. Yes, I do eat these on occasion. And I consider them more gourmet with pesto, which by default makes them healthier. Right?

But really, I put this stuff on almost everything. Eggs. Avocados. Toast with eggs and avocados. As a veggie dip. In wraps and sandwiches. On tacos. With roasted eggplant. Or any roasted vegetable really. And even with just a spoon sometimes.

So this pesto I’m talking about. It’s awesome.  And hubby approved. Which means it’s actually awesome, not just Tiffany awesome. He even said about the last batch I made that it must have crack in it because he couldn’t get enough.

Funny thing about this recipe, though. It’s more of a ratio built around your preference.  I normally eye ball everything then blend it all up in the food processor.  Easy as pie. Or should that be pesto?

Oh, and it’s vegan. Simply because I don’t feel the need to add tons of cheese to everything I eat (not because I’m vegan…because I’m not). But don’t be deterred, you dairy eating folk.  What it lacks in cheese, it completely makes up for in pure deliciousness. Remember, it’s (carnivorous/dairy loving) hubby approved.

If you’re anything like me, and I hope you are, you’ve probably got most, if not all, of these ingredients in your kitchen already. Greens, check. Nuts, check. Olive oil, check. Fresh garlic and lemon, check. Salt and pepper, check.

Traditional pesto is made with basil and pine nuts, but in true Tiffany fashion, I’ve got to mix it up and make everything my own. So, I use whatever greens I’ve got on hand (normally kale or arugula, sometimes basil), and whatever nuts I’m feeling that day (usually cashews, since they’re creamy like pine nuts, but not as ridiculously expensive, and many times I also use almonds or walnuts). And more than just using fresh lemon juice, I also add in the zest, because why not?

Like I said, just throw it all in the food processor, let it whirl, give it a taste, add a little more of this or that to round it out, and you’re good to go.

Vegan Pesto | Tiffany Lane Handmade

But this wouldn’t be a true recipe if I didn’t list it out all pretty with some sort of directions, would it?

VEGAN PESTO

Ingredients
greens (basil, kale, arugula, or anything else you like)
nuts (pine nuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, almonds, or anything else you like)
olive oil
fresh lemon, juice and zest
fresh garlic cloves
salt

pepper

Preparation

Throw it all in the food processor (maybe start with half and half, greens to nuts, 1 garlic clove, half the lemon juice and zest, a dash of salt and pepper, then add in the olive oil until you get a nice consistency), let it whirl, give it a taste, add a little more of this or that to round it out, and you’re good to go.

What are you gonna put your pesto on?

Vegan Pesto | Tiffany Lane Handmade

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