Tag Archives: nuts

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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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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Recipe: Lemon Spiced Nuts & Seeds

Lemon Spiced Nuts | Tiffany Lane

Nuts are a staple in our house. At any given time we’ll have large bags of almonds, walnuts, pecans and cashews in the fridge. We use them for various things, a few of which are: eating raw or roasted as a quick snack, tossed in salads, add-ins for granola, and bases for grain free snacks (like these homemade larabars).

Since they’re filling, healthy and delicious, nuts also make great party treats. Just in time for all those Superbowl parties! One of my go-to party essentials is spiced and roasted mixed nuts. Not only are they tasty, they’re quick and easy to prepare, both sweet and savory.  Lucky for you, I’m sharing one of my recent and favorite additions to the growing roasted nuts list: lemon spice. They’ve got a zing from the lemon and deep earthy flavors from the spices. Yummy!

Lemon Spiced Nuts | Tiffany Lane

LEMON SPICED NUTS

Adapted from My Darling Lemon Thyme

Ingredients
5 cups mixed nuts/seeds (I used walnuts, pecans, almonds, sunflower seeds)
1 small lemon, zested and juiced
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons fine sea salt
4 teaspoons cumin, ground
4 teaspoons coriander, ground
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon fennel, ground
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon allspice, ground

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, ground

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325F.  In a medium bowl, mix spices until well combined, then stir in olive oil, lemon zest and juice until a loose paste forms. Add nuts and toss to coat. Spread into an even layer on a lined, rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.  Allow nuts to cool enough to handle before eating.

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Health: The Diet Conundrum

strawberries - naturally ella Photo Courtesy of Naturally Ella

I don’t know about you, but I am so tired of hearing about the latest and greatest diet.  It seems everyday someone has a newer, better, faster, cheaper version.  But what’s all the hype?

My diet is just that, my diet.  The term “diet” has this new connotation attached to it so hard (like super glue) that anytime I mention my diet, someone almost certainly asks me which one.  Huh?

The dictionary definition of diet is simply: “The kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats,” (Dictionary.com).  I habitually eat whole, unprocessed or minimally processed, mostly plant based foods.  All the research I have done (and continue to do) has helped me decide this is the healthy way I want to eat and live. Yes, it’s a lifestyle.

We’ve talked about processed foods here before (see Food + Recipes and Health), so I won’t regurgitate it all again, but a huge take away is that moderation is key (which should go for many aspects of life, not just eating).  I vary my diet between whole grains, nuts, beans/legumes, dairy, fruits and vegetables, with the very occasional seafood or meat addition.  Since I’ve been eating clean (as some call it), I feel better: more energy, healthy weight.

For the record, being healthy is not just about diet; hydration, exercise and rest are just as important.  It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely worth it.  The hardest parts for me are passing up sweets (which is why I make so many healthier sweets at home to satiate my sweet tooth); staying hydrated (since I forget to drink water – don’t ask me how or why), exercising as much as I know I should (since sometimes I am just tired and lazy), and getting enough rest (since my mind doesn’t always stop when my body does).

How do you live out your healthy lifestyle? What’s keeping you from fully experiencing a healthy lifestyle?

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Recipe: No Bake Cocoa Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites

cocoa oatmeal peanut butter bites - tiffany lane

I’ve been eyeing this treat for a while now and finally decided to go for it.  I’m not sure why I waited so long.  My old self really didn’t know what she was missing!

These are delicious little bites of goodness and so customizable.  Just use what you have on hand and I bet they’ll turn out just fine.

No Bake Cocoa Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bites

Adapted from How Sweet It Is

Yield: 20-24 Bites

Ingredients
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, melted and slightly cooled
1/2 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup cocoa powder (to roll the balls in)
 
 
Preparation
Combine oats, wheat bran, flaxseed, cinnamon and salt in a large bowl.  Melt peanut butter and allow it to cool slightly (melted in the microwave for about 30 seconds works well), then stir in honey and vanilla extract until combined.
 
Pour peanut butter mixture over the oat mixture, mix well with a spoon or spatula, then bring together with your hands, compressing into a tight ball. Pull off golf-ball sized (or slightly smaller) chunks, rolling into balls with your hands, then rolling each ball in cocoa powder.
 
Store in an airtight container.  They taste yummy right out of the fridge or at room temperature!

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Recipe: Healthy Granola via 100 Days of Real Food

I love granola.  I love real, wholesome foods.  I love snacks.  This recipe encapsulates it all.  100 Days of Real Food has been mentioned more than once on this blog and I truly hope you’ve checked it out for yourself.  If you’re a granola lover like me, this recipe won’t disappoint.

It’s been a long time coming for me, but I finally (successfully) made my own granola.  I had a failed attempt last year with granola, and ever since I’ve been weary.  But I’ve got my spatula in hand and I’m ready to bake!

Jump over to 100 Days of Real Food for the full recipe.  Since it’s very versatile, you can use what you’ve got on hand.  I used oats, sliced almonds, shredded coconut, honey, coconut oil (instead of butter), vanilla extract, cinnamon, ground ginger and nutmeg.

There’s just enough honey to add a touch of sweetness.  I’ll definitely be eating this any time of the day.  Seriously, some of the best granola I’ve ever had.  It’s husband approved, too!

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