All About Almonds

Almonds are cholesterol free and rich in vitamin E, protein, and magnesium. Not only are they great for you, but they are also versatile, and delicious in their many forms. You’ve probably bought almond milk, almond butter, and almond meal at the grocery store many times if you enjoy eating clean, healthy, vegan food. Read More

Do it Yourself Granola

These days the word “granola” seems to be slightly vague. When you go to the grocery store there are so many versions. It can be made with oats. It can be made with nuts. There can be cinnamon, or vanilla – even chocolate. You get the point. Basically, to be granola it has to have crunch, and it has to be delicious. When you make it at home, however, there are even more versions to experiment with. The options are endless, so I wanted to share some of the interesting granola recipes that have been catching my eye lately. I love the idea of making your own granola, and really controlling what goes into it. I’m still deciding which I should throw together, but if any of you try one, let me know how it is!

Crunchy Quinoa Granola


3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons agave syrup
2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses


  1. Preheat oven to 300F.  
  2. Combine all dry ingredients (oats, quinoa, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds) in a large bowl. Mix well. 
  3. In a small bowl stir together all wet ingredients (applesauce, cinnamon, vanilla, agave, molasses).
  4. Pour over the dry ingredients and stir until well coated.
  5. Spread the granola on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Turn it over every 10 minutes or so to provide even toasting.
  6. Let cool completely. Keep in airtight container.

(recipe via Anja Food 4 Thought)

Lemon Rosewater Pistachio Granola


1 lemon, zest and juice of
1/4 cup date syrup or honey
1 tablespoon rosewater
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flax seeds
1 cup chopped pistachios
1/2 cup raisins


  1. Preheat oven to 300F.
  2. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Combine lemon zest, lemon juice, rosewater and syrup/honey in a saucepan.
  4. Bring to a boil. Take off the heat and let cool a little. Set aside.
  5. In a big bowl, combine oats, flax seeds, and chopped pistachios.
  6. Pour the lemon syrup mixture over the oat nut mixture and stir until well combined.
  7. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Spread the granola evenly on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
  9. Let cool completely. Stir in raisins (optional).
  10. Keep in airtight container.

(recipe via Anja Food 4 Thought)

Pumpkin Granola

just because I’m loving fall :)



3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Dash of ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raisins
1/2 cup almonds
1/4 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the pumpkin puree, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and salt.
  4. Stir in the brown sugar and maple syrup until smooth.
  5. Add the oats, dried cranberries, raisins, almonds, coconut, and pumpkin seeds, stirring until granola is evenly coated. It will be moist.
  6. Spread out evenly on prepared baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 20 minutes and stir the granola around. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes.
  8. Allow to cool completely before storing in an air-tight container. Granola will crisp up once it has cooled down.

(recipe via The Pastry Affair)

Homemade Tomato Sauce

As requested, a recipe for delicious, fresh, homemade tomato sauce.

If there’s one thing an Italian child is raised on, it’s tomatoes. Italians are obsessed with tomatoes. I’ve even seen it go as far as a dinner conversation centered around the different kinds of tomatoes and their individuals uses – for a whole hour! Anyways, their obsession led to tomato sauce, which is something I think many of us could not live without. They’ve perfected it into one of the world’s best comfort foods, and it’s also pretty easy to make. I’ve taken tips from various individuals and come up with my own personal recipe. There’s nothing like homemade tomato sauce, so enjoy :)


1 – 28oz Can of Whole Peeled Tomatoes

1 – 6oz Can of Tomato Paste

2 Extra Large Garlic Cloves (minced)

Approx 10 Basil Leaves (ripped into thirds)

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

10 Cherry Tomatoes

½ Cup 2% Milk

Salt and Pepper to taste

Picnik collage

Picnik collage1


Place olive oil, garlic, and half of your basil into a sauce pan to sauté


Once your garlic is browned, lower the heat as low as it will go, add in tomato paste and whole peeled tomatoes (it’s important to lower the heat A LOT so that it doesn’t explode all over you when you pour in the peeled tomatoes). Sprinkle with oregano, add remaining basil, and stir.


Turn the heat up to about a medium flame. Once it starts boiling, lower heat and let simmer for about 25 minutes. Be sure to stir every 5-10minutes.


While the tomato sauce is thickening you’ll want to peel the skins off of your cherry tomatoes. After you’ve peeled them, quarter each one.

Picnik collage2

Once the sauce is almost to the desired consistency, put water on to boil for your pasta. As you do this, add the cherry tomatoes into the mixture so they have about 5-10 minutes of simmer time. Once you’re ready to throw in the pasta, turn off the sauce’s burner, and slowly stir in milk. Let sit until pasta is ready.


Drizzle over or mix into pasta.