Saturday, January 26, 2013

Carrot cake granola and reading list

Carrot cake granola

I was craving something sweet (mmmmm carrot cake!), but wouldn't wreck my healthy eating plan (hmmmm not cake).  I was searching through a few recipes for ideas when I stumbled across a carrot-sunflower granola recipe in a the 20 year old version of the cookbook titled The Joy of Juicing - Creative Cooking with Your Juicer.  The ingredients were similar to the desired carrot cake and would use up some of the pulp from the fresh juices I have been adding to my diet.  I used the recipe in the cookbook for the inspiration for my version:

Carrot Cake Granola

makes about 6 cups

Pulp from 3 carrots run through a juicer - about 3/4 cup  (use the juice for carrot-ginger lemonade)
2 cups of old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw nuts (walnuts, pecans or almonds)
1/3 cup unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
3/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon almond or vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped dates

Preheat the over to 375 degrees F.  Grease a cookie sheet.  

In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the raisins and dates.  Spread the mixture evenly on the cookie sheet and bake for about 15 minutes.  Stir the mixture and bake for another 15 minutes or until the top of the mixture is lightly browned.  Remove from the oven and stir in the dates and raisins and set aside to cool.

Cool completely and store in an airtight container.  Serve with your favorite dairy or non-dairy milk or sprinkle over yogurt or ice cream.   

This recipe will fill your home with the comforting aromas of cinnamon, maple and vanilla.  It smells just like carrot cake, but it's much healthier and kinder to the waistline.  

The winter evenings have me curled up in front of the fire with some granola for snaking and a few good reads.  Here are a couple of books I have been enjoying lately:

Product Details
Little House off the Grid: Our Family's Journey to Self-Sufficiency by Cam and Michelle Mather
An entertaining and informative story about a family that moves from the city into a 100 year old farm house on 150 acres and chronicles their journey to learn about solar and wind power, gardening and other skills needed to live and run a business off the grid.

Product Details
Marrakesh by Design by Maryam Montague
This is a beautiful book full of colorful photos and the history of the craftsmanship of Moroccans style that will have you inspired to add a little more color to your surroundings.  I was lucky enough to participate in a book signing and presentation by the author that has me dreaming of creating with color and rich textures.

I hope your week is filled with comfort foods and inspiring reading.

Thanks for reading!

View of the fire while I read

The recipe above  has been shared on Keep It Real Thursdays.

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