Chocolate “Granola” – So Good…

 PaleoGranola1

Oh man, I’m excited about this one.  I have been a snack monster lately so I decided to make my own Paleo granola.  This is not necessarily original, there are tons of “granola” recipes out there, this one is mine.  It is so good!  Really it’s more like a dessert but I like it as a snack, or breakfast, or lunch or when I’m awake.  I’m chomping on it now.  For all of you local people I got most of the ingredients at Get Healthy in Rockwall.  The cool thing is, I just bought the amounts I needed out of their bulk bins so it didn’t cost much at all.  Now I have to go back though.  I have to make more!

So you know how I’ve talked before about the way I eat…I mean I’ve mentioned that a couple of times right?  Anyway, I told you that I work better going “strict” Paleo for a while, then letting myself off of the hook for a couple of weeks, then getting back on.  Well, last Monday started Paleo time for this girl.  Which means until June, no cheat meals.  I have a couple of little things I eat that are not 100% strict but that’s another post.  I’m logging food as well.  I like it when I’m not cheating.  I feel 10 times better and there’s no room to create special occasions for myself.  For instance, my nieces birthday is this weekend.  I will not have any cake.  It’s her birthday, not mine.  I’ll eat cake for both of us on my birthday. 

It’s sort of weird that I sit here and chat away about what I eat and you guys are interested.  I do this and tell you all of these things because in the past when I was trying to eat right (whatever that looked like), I felt like I was on a diet and I was the only stinking one.  Well, if you are in that place know that you’re not the only one passing on that cake.  Also, I’m not on any kind of “diet”.  I eat food that makes me happy and makes me full.  Ask my family, no one likes hangry mommy.  Seriously.

On to the other part of my life…I CANNOT find a series I like on Netflix!  No, I don’t NEED a series to binge watch but I sure like to have one.  I’ve started a few and I just can’t get hooked.  You know I need to be hooked on a time waster.  Leave me alone, I like TV.  Anyway, I started Gilmore Girls.  I thought, if I like it at least it will last me awhile.  I’ll keep you posted.  I know you’re on the edge of your seats. 

 

Chocolate Paleo Granola
Sweet and salty paleo granola.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/4 cup whole unsalted almonds
  2. 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  3. 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  4. 1/4 cup unsalted sunflower seeds
  5. 1/4 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
  6. 1 oz. 85% dark chocolate
  7. 1 tbsp. coconut oil melted
  8. 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  9. 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  10. 1/4 tsp. coarse ground sea salt
  11. 1/8 cup pure maple syrup
  12. 1/8 cup honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  3. In a food processor pulse almonds until they are chopped. You want them a coarse consistency. Not too fine. Then pour onto cookie sheet.
  4. Chop the coconut flakes, dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds separately and add to cookie sheet.
  5. Add the sunflower sees and walnuts to the rest of the pile.
  6. Stir all of the seeds and nuts together to combine.
  7. Pour in the coconut oil, maple syrup, honey, cinnamon, vanilla and sea salt.
  8. Mix all of the ingredients until well incorporated.
  9. Using your spoon spread the mixture out flat onto the cookie sheet. You want it to be about half an inch thick and spread out but all of it touching. (Similar to spreading out dough.)
  10. Bake in oven for 15 minutes then stir the mixture, redistribute and bake for another 15.
  11. When it has baked for 30 minutes remove from oven and let it cool completely. You can even put it in the fridge to cool.
  12. Once cool to touch the mixture will pull away from the foil and break into pieces.
  13. Store in refrigerator in an air tight container.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/
 

Chocolate Crunchy Prune Treats

CrunchyPruneTreats1I’ve been eyeballing the toasted coconut chips at Costco and trying to decide if they are worth $10.  Well, they are, and I made something yummy with them.  These little Chocolate Crunchy Prune Treats are great.  Maybe they are not the prettiest food in the world but they are sweet, salty and chewy.  They also took 10 minutes to make.  One quick disclaimer, we all know why moms give babies prune juice.  Don’t eat 10 at once.  If you do, don’t plan on going out for a run anyway.

Toasted Coconut Chips.  Sweet and yummy.

Toasted Coconut Chips. Sweet and yummy.

Today is a rest day for me.  I ran on Saturday and Sunday then Monday we did 400 sprint intervals in Crossfit.  So I decided to sleep in this morning.  I’ve been talking about it on Facebook some, but I’m digging not being on a training plan right now.  I’m not running less, just running with a little more freedom.  Having some fun with it and stepping out of my comfort zone a little.  My primary goal right now is getting faster.  I’m also still waiting on my buddy with the broke leg to come back.

So in other big news, it’s Valentines week…gag.  You’ve probably discovered I’m not the cool mom that makes cool stuff for VDay.  Nope.  The kids write their names on those little store bought cards.  Then we stick pencils in them.  Hey, that’s what I did as a kid and I turned out just fine.  Right?  Right.  Now the baby is digging through the candy bags and eating way too much candy.  First world problems. 

So anyway, I told you guys I was going to continue to answer questions.  I am.  I want to talk about Paleo and calorie counting.  I have a lot of my own thoughts on it.  I also feel like you folks are more interested in the recipes when I post one, so this is my little teaser.  Probably tomorrow or the next day I’ll give you my thoughts on sticking to the Paleo lifestyle but also paying attention to the numbers.

Do you go all out for Valentines Day?

Let me know when you try the treats!

Chocolate Crunchy Prune Treats
Prune halves, dipped in chocolate, topped with sea salt and toasted coconut chips. Sweet, salty and chewy.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 tbls unrefined coconut oil
  2. 3 tsp 100% cocoa powder
  3. 1/8 tsp. vanilla extract
  4. 14-16 pitted prunes, halved
  5. 1/8 cup toasted coconut chips, chopped into small pieces
  6. Sea salt
Instructions
  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.
  2. In a small saucepan melt coconut oil, chocolate and vanilla. Stir until incorporated.
  3. Using a toothpick dip a few prunes into the chocolate mixture and set on wax paper.
  4. Before the chocolate dries top with a small pinch of sea salt and a few pieces of the coconut chips.
  5. When all prunes are dipped and topped use a spoon to drizzle remaining chocolate over the top of all of the prunes.
  6. Place in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens, about 15 minutes.
  7. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Melt in Your Mouth Brownies

 

MeltinYourMouthBrownies1

As promised The Baker’s brownie recipe.  They are so yummy.  My kids loved them and that is always the test.  Even Paleo treats don’t get by them unless they are good.  The ingredients are simple as well.  Take them to a potluck or whatever and no one will know the difference.  Probably be good with some walnuts too.

This week I’m officially back to the grind.  My arms pits are so sore I can barely put my hair in a pony tail.  Dang Crossfit!  I said I would go back 100% after the race and I have.  I had no idea how far back I set myself from taking it easy there during marathon training.  Well, now I know.  Like I predicted, he’s not letting me be a wimp.  In a few months I’ll be a beast again…haha…was I ever a beast?  Hmmm??

 I told you before the race I was going to change things up a little.  One thing I want to do is make sure I am answering questions that you guys are asking me.  Probably the most popular question is “How do you have time to make this food?”  Well, I am blessed to be a stay at home mom so I do have that going for me.  However, I do not have ample amounts of time to spend on food.  I’m going to be completely honest with you.  TO EAT HEALTHY YOU HAVE TO COOK.  It’s that simple.  Whether it be Paleo or another type of healthy eating you have to prepare it in your own kitchen.  Sure, you can find Paleo food in restaurants but typically it’s so high in sodium it’s crazy.  Makes my shins burn.  It takes planning to get meals on the table.  Spend an extra few minutes thinking about what you are going to make and do some prep work.  It will get easier if you make it a priority.

ChopWizardcollageOne simple tool I have to speed things up a bit is the Vidalia Chop Wizard.  The Baker bought it for me for my birthday and I love it.  I chop an insane amount of veggies and it makes the process way faster.  It does take up room in the dishwasher but worth it in my opinion.  By the way, I’m telling you this because I like it.  They are not paying me to endorse it.  I wish I knew how to get companies to do that!  Anyway, chop veggies for your salad for the week and move on.  You get the drift.

Keep the questions coming!

Melt in Your Mouth Brownies
Yields 24
Delicious Paleo brownie
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Ingredients
  1. ¼ cup + 2 tsp coconut flour
  2. Pinch of salt
  3. 1 Tbs baking powder
  4. ¾ cup coconut sugar
  5. 12 ozs Enjoy Life chocolate or dark chocolate chips
  6. 1/3 cup unsalted butter
  7. 2 Tbs coconut milk
  8. 1 ½ tsp vanilla
  9. 3 eggs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Mix together coconut flour, salt, and powder in small bowl and set aside
  3. In a sauce pan, combine butter, coconut milk, and coconut sugar under low to medium heat stir occasionally
  4. Cook until mixture just starts to boil and remove from heat.
  5. Add 1 cup of the dark chocolate chips and vanilla. Stir until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  6. Transfer chocolate mixture to a mixing bowl.
  7. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each one.
  8. Gradually stir in flour mixture then fold in remaining chocolate chips.
  9. Spread in a 8 x 12 pan and bake for 30 min
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins and I’m Emotional Today!

 ProteinMuffins1redoHi guys!  Remember how I’m not the baker?  Well, I came up with some muffins.  I have been craving some Paleo muffins so why not make my own?  They are chocolaty.  I like chocolate.  These are great for on the go…  I feel like I’m supposed to say that about breakfast muffins.  Anyway, try them out and let me know what you think.  I’m going to make a batch to take with me on my upcoming road trip.

NolaRaceConfirmationSpeaking of!  Nola!!  It’s marathon week!!  Woohoo!!  Can you tell I’m excited?  If not, ask anyone who has talked to me in the past few days.  They will tell you I might have mentioned it.  The kids have all been sick so I’ve been a wonderful mother trying to keep my distance as much as possible and washing my hands until they are literally raw.  Hey, it’s just a week.  If they get sick next week, I’m on it!

Other than excessively washing my hands and drinking “wellness tea” I have been busy this week dancing to Zydeco music and making a list of running things I need to bring.  I’m not sure why I’m making a list, really I’m just going to bring everything.  Hopefully, the other passengers in my car pack lightly.  Just kidding…maybe.

For real, I have been doing all of those things but this week has been emotional for me.  My team and I have put 40 weeks of training into this race.  40 weeks of super early mornings, following the plan, stressing about injuries we had and might get, countless miles and hours of cross training, chiropractic visits, lots of money on gear, watching every bite of food we eat and talking about every workout.  Here’s the thing, I’m a little sad it’s over!  There are of course going to be other races but this is the end of this one chapter.  It’s been awesome!  No matter what happens on Sunday, the training went well.  The support from my Coach and the bond I have formed with my running buddies is amazing.  Tear…ok I’ll stop.

Speaking of food.  I have a plan.  I WILL NOT head to Louisiana and eat a bunch of Cajun food before a marathon.  Very bad things would happen.  Instead, I’m bringing my own pre-race food.  On the menu is boiled eggs, almonds, cuties and bananas, mushroom chicken and white rice and quinoa loaded with veggies and almonds.  I know, I know, white rice and quinoa are not Paleo.  I’ve needed carbs through this training and those things have been a good source for me.  I know they have no ill affect on me so down the hatch. 

When the race is over…um.  Whatever food I can get my hands on in New Orleans, Louisiana is fair game.  Just look away.

Chocolate Chip Protein Muffins
Yields 12
Chocolate chip Paleo breakfast muffins. Filling and yummy.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 mashed banana
  2. 1 cup blanched almond flour
  3. 1/4 cup coconut flour
  4. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  5. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  6. 1 scoop chocolate protein powder
  7. 2 tsp. chocolate baking cocoa
  8. 1 tbsp. coconut oil melted
  9. 4 whole eggs
  10. 1/2 cup coconut milk
  11. 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  12. 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  13. Olive oil or coconut oil spray for muffin tins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix all ingredients except for chocolate chips. If the flour is lumpy use a hand mixer.
  3. Dust the chocolate chips with the almond flour.
  4. Fold the chocolate chips into the batter.
  5. Spray muffin tin with cooking spray.
  6. Divide the batter into the 12 muffin tins.
  7. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Enjoy warm.
Notes
  1. If you don't want to use the protein powder add extra cocoa powder to keep the chocolate flavor.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/