Coconut Raisin Granola


Where the heck have the days gone? I’m pretty sure I said this last week as well, but the days have just flown by in a blur. I’m usually pretty busy throughout the week with 8 hour shifts at the hospital taking up my weekdays, but a few weeks ago I registered to run my first full marathon at the end of May and trying to follow a training schedule has really worn me out. I’m ridiculously excited to push myself the day of and see just what I’m made of when I attempt to run 26 miles (42.2 km) for the first time ever, but now that I’ve incorporated longer runs and more intensive sessions at the gym I’ve been feeling so tired these past 2 weeks. I’m starting to realize that I’m not consuming enough calories to maintain my marathon training, which is probably why I’ve been feeling so weak lately. I usually eat 3 healthy meals a day with 2 snacks in between, but now I’m finding that I need a few more snacks to keep my body fuelled after a workout. Granola with greek yogurt was one of the first healthy snacks that came to my mind and so this morning I made 2 big batches of granola, the first being this coconut raisin granola.


Granola can be enjoyed with milk or yogurt, or even just plain but I like mine best with greek yogurt. I’m not a nutritional expert, but I know that this winning combination supplies me with protein, fibre, calcium and probably a few other good things too 😛  The best part is that it’s pretty easy to whip up a batch of granola and now I’m guaranteed to have a great snack ready when I need it 🙂 I hope you are enjoying your weekend, I have a 5k race tomorrow that should be interesting enough seeing as the sky has been dumping wet snow all morning!

Coconut Raisin Granola

Yields: 6 cups

1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil, liquid state
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups old fashioned or rolled oats
1 cup sliced almonds (I used whole almonds)
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, lightly packed
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, coconut oil, nutmeg, and salt until smooth. Stir in the oats, almonds, and coconut flakes until mixture is evenly coated.

Spread out evenly on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Stir in raisins. Cool before storing in an airtight container at room temperature.

Serve with milk, yogurt, or by the handful.

barely adapted from Pastry Affair


Ethereally Smooth Hummus


It’s funny because just a few months ago I shared this hummus recipe with you and marvelled over how I was able to almost achieve hummus perfection without having to peel all of those darn chick peas one by one. And then one rainy day I found myself alone in the kitchen with a can of chick peas. So obviously my natural instinct was to just put the can away in the pantry where it belonged, but something inside me had changed. It kind of felt similar to the change that took place deep inside when my body realized that I hadn’t had a poutine in a month and was sort of okay with it, but not really. Did any of that make sense? I think what I’m trying to tell you is that hummus with all the chick pea shells are good, but hummus without all that extra chick pea shell baggage, because who likes extra baggage right, is completely and utterly phenomenal. Sometimes change is good. Sometimes change can lead to skinnier thighs and unbelievably smooth hummus.

Ethereally Smooth Hummus

Yields: 1 3/4 cups hummus

1 3/4 cups cooked, drained chickpeas (from a 15-ounce can)
1/2 cup tahini
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice, or more to taste
2 small cloves garlic, roughly chopped
3/4 teaspoon table salt, or more to taste

Drain your chickpeas and peel. This is easiest when you take a chickpea between your thumb and next two fingers, arranging the pointy end in towards your palm, and “pop!” the naked chickpea out. Discard the skin.

In a food processor, blend the chickpeas until powdery clumps form, a full minute, scraping down the sides. Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic and salt and blend until pureed. With the machine running, drizzle in water or reserved chickpea cooking water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until you get very smooth, light and creamy mixture. I find I need about 3 tablespoons for this volume, but you may need slightly more or less.

Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt or lemon if needed. I do recommend that you hold off on adding more garlic just yet, however. I find that it “blooms” as it settles in the fridge overnight, becoming much more garlicky after a rest, so that even if it doesn’t seem like enough at first, it likely will be in the long run.

Transfer the hummus to a bowl and rest it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, longer if you can, before serving. Enjoy!

slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

2-Ingredient Vegan Banana-Oat Cookies

IMG_4237So I guess the title of this post gives away exactly what the 2 ingredients are in these cookies, and if the title didn’t then the picture above definitely does! My sister had originally told me about these magical 2-ingredient cookies months ago but I didn’t believe her, and when I heard what the ingredients were I felt very skeptical. But one day I found myself desperately craving something sweet and baked but did not have the time or energy to whip up a batch of cookies. However I did happen to have a banana and a cup of oats and that was how I was finally introduced to these brilliant cookies. 1 banana, 1 cup of oats. You will have cookies baked and ready to eat in literally 20 minutes from the second you start. These cookies may not be the sweetest, the prettiest, or the most flavourful but they are good enough to satisfy any serious cravings. The bonus (as if only needing 2 ingredients and 20 minutes isn’t enough) is that they are a healthy, vegan alternative to traditional cookies and you can pretty much customize them any way you like!
IMG_4240The first time I made these, I stuck with 1 banana and 1 cup of oats, and added a handful of raisins as well. The raisins added a nice flavour and texture, but I found that while these cookies were amazing fresh from the oven, they dried out quite a bit after a few hours. The next time I made these, I used about 3/4 cup of oats, a handful each of chocolate chips and flax seeds, and 2 dashes of cinnamon and they were out of the world. AND they stayed pretty moist throughout the day. I ended up baking the exact same cookies 5 days in a row, and then I ran out of bananas, so sad. So try these cookies and don’t be afraid to experiment!

2-Ingredient Vegan Banana-Oat Cookies

Yields:  About 6 small cookies

1 ripe banana
1 cup quick oats (use a bit less if you want your cookies to be more moist)

any additional mix-ins you like, including but not limited to: chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, cinnamon, flax seed, berries, nuts

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil, and spray with non-stick spray. In a small bowl, break your banana into smaller pieces by hand and add the oats and any additional mix-ins you have chosen. Combine all ingredients together by hand until the batter has reached a uniform consistency. Using your hands, scoop out a small amount of the batter and form into a circle, then place on the baking sheet. Continue until there is no more batter left. The number of cookies you will get depends on how small or large you form them.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, and let cool slightly before devouring. Enjoy!

based off of Blogilates

Cranberry Orange and Pecan Coffee Cake

IMG_4339 Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone has really been enjoying their holidays so far and that you are spending lots of time with your loved ones! We woke up to a light dusting of snow truly making it a white Christmas, hooray!  I wasn’t planning on posting anything today but I was flipping through all of my current drafts and realized with horror that I hadn’t shared this cranberry orange and pecan coffee cake with you yet. I feel a bit guilty not sharing this with you sooner, because this coffee cake is a real game-changer. Every slice screams out happy holidays, for real. Oranges and cranberries brighten up things up and pack a lot of flavour, pecans keeps things nutty and down-to-earth, and the sweet sugary glaze wraps it all together. This is my Christmas gift to you! Enjoy, and then go watch Les Miserables – an incredible take on the musical/novel that will leave you covered in goosebumps for the entire movie.  Happy holidays!IMG_4335

Cranberry Orange and Pecan Coffee Cake

Yields: two 9×5-inch loaves

For the Cake:
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cup granulated sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature and cut into medium chunks
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tablespoon orange zest
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh cranberries
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For the Topping:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans

For the Glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp. milk

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan.  Line loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving a few inches of overhang on each side.  Grease the parchment paper and dust with flour on all sides.  Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together flour sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Add chunks of butter and work the butter into the flour with your fingers.  Try to blend the butter into each bit of the dry ingredients.  The mixture will resemble a coarse meal.

In a medium bowl whisk together eggs, orange juice, orange zest, and vanilla extract.

Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients.  Stir together to incorporate.  Add the cranberries and pecans and fold into the batter.

To make the topping combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly.

Divide the batter between the two loaf pans.  Sprinkle each loaf with topping.  Place in the oven and allow to bake until the cake is golden brown and the center is cooked through.  Insert a skewer into the center of the cake to ensure that it’s cooked through, about 50 to 60 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pans for 15 minutes. Use the parchment paper to life the loaves from the pan and allow to cool further on a wire rack.

For the glaze whisk together 1 cup of powdered sugar and just over a tablespoon of milk, then drizzle over the cooled coffee cake.

Cake can be stored, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

Joy the Baker

Pumpkin Yogurt Parfaits


I adore any baked goods that feature pumpkin, but had yet to try pumpkin puree in it’s raw form until these parfaits. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of pure pumpkin, but when it’s mixed with brown sugar and the right spices to make it sweeter and more pumpkin pie-like, I’m all over it. That’s why I’m in love with these pumpkin yoghurt parfaits, a fun and healthy snack or dessert!  I have tried these parfaits 2 separate times with plain and vanilla greek yoghurt, and found that with the plain greek yoghurt, I ended up drizzling a bit of maple syrup on top to sweeten it up a bit. Therefore I recommend using vanilla greek yoghurt! I also couldn’t find any whole graham crackers at my local grocery store and had to make do with graham cracker crumbs, but I’m positive that crushed graham crackers would really take these treats to a whole ‘nother level!

Pumpkin Yoghurt Parfaits

1 (15 oz.) can pumpkin puree
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 cup greek yogurt (I used vanilla)
1 pkg (1/3 box) graham crackers

Stir together the pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and brown sugar in a bowl.

Unwrap the graham crackers and place them in a gallon sized zip top bag. Crush the crackers with a rolling pin.

Layer the graham crackers, seasoned pumpkin puree, and yogurt into four containers. Feel free to create the layers in any order. My layers went as follows: graham, pumpkin, yoghurt, repeat.

Either enjoy immediately or refrigerate for up to 5 days.

Budget Bytes


img_3656I’ve been somewhat daunted by the process of making hummus ever since I watched my housemate last year shell an entire can of chick peas just to make a batch of hummus. It looked like a painstakingly long process to make something that could be purchased at the grocery store for a couple of dollars. However as I recall, the resulting homemade hummus was absolutely delicious and the store-bought brands just didn’t compare to the homemade version.

So imagine my excitement when I discovered a recipe for hummus that did not require removing the shells of each individual chick pea! This is probably the simplest recipe possible for homemade hummus. All you need is a food processor (I think a blender could probably work as well) and you are good to go!

I do think that the simplicity of this recipe does sacrifice a bit of flavour as the result is not the best hummus I have ever had, but it is certainly good enough for me on a lazy day.

I am very excited to have a whole container of fresh hummus to snack on this week :)


3 tbsp. juice from 1-2 lemons
¼ cup water
6 tbsp. tahini, stirred well
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 small garlic clove, minced (about ½ tsp.)
½ tsp. table salt
¼ tsp. ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro or parsley (optional, for garnish)

Combine lemon juice and water in a small bowl or measuring cup.  Whisk together tahini and 2 tablespoons oil in second small bowl or measuring cup.  Set aside 2 tablespoons chickpeas for garnish.

Process remaining chickpeas, garlic, salt, cumin and cayenne in food processor until almost fully ground, about 15 seconds.  Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula  With machine running, add lemon juice-water mixture in steady stream through food tube.  Scrape down bowl and continue to process for 1 minute.  With machine running, add oil-tahini mixture in steady stream through food tube, continue to process until hummus is smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds, scraping down bowl as needed.

Transfer hummus to serving bowl, sprinkle reserved chickpeas and cilantro over surface, cover with plastic wrap and let stand until flavors meld, at least 30 minutes.  Drizzle with olive oil and serve.

Source: Annie’s Eats, from Cook’s Illustrated, May/June 2008.

Garlic Kale Chips


Have you ever tried kale chips before?  I’ve been hearing about kale chips and how they are all the rage when it comes to healthy snacking but I had pretty skeptical for a while. I just couldn’t see how kale chips could somehow substitute for my favourite unhealthy snack and guilty pleasure, potato chips. All I can say is that I’m so happy I finally gave these a chance.

The key to kale chips is to only use the leafy parts of the kale, and not the stems which are too tough. Also if you are washing your kale right before baking, make sure to dry them really well before seasoning or else they will not crisp up as nicely in the oven. I salted mine and tossed the leafs with some garlic and olive oil, and oh man. These kale chips are so light and delicate with fabulous crunch. They literally melt and crunch in your mouth (is that possible? Well it is now).

These are super easy to make if a salty craving strikes, and store fairly well in an air-tight container. To be honest, mine only lasted a day, so I’m not sure how long they can store for. Make sure to check regularly while these are in the oven, because burned kale is not very fun! My only other suggestion to you is try to avoid eating these in public, and make sure to check your teeth before you smile :P

Kale Chips

3 to 4 cups kale leaves, cut into pieces with stems removed and discarded
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 clove of fresh garlic, minced
2 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil; set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and garlic. Spread kale in an even layer on prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and the salt and pepper.

Bake for 11 to 15 minutes, or until kale is crunchy and has a slightly charred appearance, tossing once halfway through baking. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Espresso and Cream

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