3 Point Granola

 

3 point granola

One of my favorite breakfasts has always been yogurt, fresh fruit, and homemade granola. I have made homemade granola for years, and some of my favorite recipes are on NJSD. It’s an easy and satisfying breakfast when you don’t have time to cook.

I recently came up with a 3 Point Granola that I can eat without sacrificing a day’s worth of points. It’s a two-tablespoon serving, but I prefer the taste of this homemade granola over anything I have found in the store.

If you aren’t looking for a lighter granola check out my two favorite recipes below.

Granola


3 Point Granola
 
Author:
Serves: 40
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. old-fashioned oats
  • 1 c. broken pecan halves
  • 1 c. sliced almonds
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • ¼ c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ c. honey
  • ¼ c. Smucker's Natural Creamy Peanut Butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300℉, Spray a large sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl mix the oats, pecans, and almonds, set aside.
  3. In a saucepan mix the salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, olive oil, honey and peanut butter. Heat over medium heat until melted and combined. Remove from heat and add the vanilla. Pour over the oat mixture and toss to coat.
  4. Pour onto prepared pan, spreading to cover the pan. Cook in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Return to over and cook 10 more minutes. Remove for oven and stir. If the granola is nice and brown at this point, let stand outside oven to cool completely. If the granola has not browned nicely return to the oven, watching it very closely and bake a few more minutes.
  5. Store in an airtight container.
  6. Serving= 2 tbsp.
  7. tbsp. + 3 WW Freestyle Points

 

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Healthy Nutty Bars

healthy-nutty-bars

 

I know that we all go through times in our lives when we simply get bogged down by the demands of life. Honestly, I have been going through one of those times for a few months now. I think there are several contributing factors which include an empty nest and Greg’s changing work schedule. I have come to realize that one thing that keeps me sane and grounded is writing to you!

I enjoy “talking” to you about the good things happening in my life, as well as the bad. I like running across old recipes to share and finding new favorite recipes to try for you. I feel a change coming to NJSD, and I’m not exactly sure what that change is going to be yet. With my changing life, my recipes also are in need of a rehaul. I believe I am moving in the direction of fresh, easy, few ingredient recipes.  I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen at this point in my life.

I hope you also look forward to the new and exciting recipes that I will be bringing you in the future. As promised, I also plan to bring at least one healthy recipe a month your way, starting today!

These Healthy Nutty Bars are fresh and delicious. With the Paleo Bars from my blog as a guide, I set out to make a substitute to a store-bought nutty bar. I am thrilled with this final recipe! The nuts are crunchy, and with the addition of honey and dried fruit, they are a sweet treat too.  Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Healthy Nutty Bars
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 2 c. whole almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 1 c. walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tbsp. chia seeds
  • ½ c. flax meal
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. rolled oats
  • ½ c. apricots, chopped
  • ½ c. dried cherries, chopped
  • 12 Medjool dates, pitted, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ c. almond butter
  • ½ c. coconut butter or coconut oil
  • ½ c. local honey
Instructions
  1. Toast almonds and walnuts in a 200°F oven. Remove and cool.
  2. In a large bowl combine the cooled nuts, chia seeds, flax meal, salt, rolled oats, apricots, and cherries.
  3. In a medium saucepan combine the almond butter, coconut butter (or oil), honey, and chopped dates. Stirring occasionally keep over heat until ingredients are combined and warm. Remove from heat and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add vanilla extract and process until dates are finely chopped Pour over the nuts and fruit and using a large spoon or spatula combine.
  4. Press the mixture into a 9 x 9-inch pan lined with wax paper. Use the bottom of a glass to press it down tight so that they bars will be solid.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until firm, a couple of hours.
  6. Remove from pan using the wax paper, cut into small bars. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

 

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Skillet Almond Shortbread

skillet-almond-shortbread-11

 

 

I love shortbread. I can’t pass it up when I’m in Panera or any other place with shortbread. I’ll choose it over chocolate any day. It reminds me of the old-fashioned tea cakes that my mama and grandmother use to make.

I recently tried this Trisha Yearwood recipe for Skillet Almond Shortbread and was hooked from the first bite! The almond extract and almonds make a delicious addition to the shortbread! It’s so simple to prepare, no mixer needed. Whisk the dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ingredients in the other bowl. Combine the two and pour into the skillet. It’s just that easy. The most difficult thing about this recipe is waiting for the shortbread to cool!

Skillet Almond Shortbread
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1½ c. plus 2 tbsp. sugar
  • ¾ c. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 lg. eggs
  • 1½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • ½ c. sliced almonds with skins
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with aluminum foil and spray the foil with cooking spray, set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, stir 1½ c. sugar into the melted butter. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Add the extract, mix and set aside.
  3. Sift the flour and salt into a small bowl. Stir the flour mixture into the wet mixture a little at a time. When mixed well, pour the batter into the prepared skillet. Top with sliced almonds and sprinkle with full 2 tbsp. of sugar. Bake until slightly brown on top, about 35 minutes. Cool the shortbread in the skillet. When cool, use the foil to life the shortbread from the skillet; remove the foil before serving.

 

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Chocolate Almond Pastry Braid

 

Chocolate-Almond-pastry-Braid

 

Jimmy and Michelle are great friends of ours. Greg and I met them shortly after moving to the farm, and they quickly became like family. We love going to eat or to a good concert with them. Even chilling by a bonfire and catching up on life is fun.

Michelle will be the first to admit that cooking is not high on her list of favorite things to do. Jimmy says that he can never tell Michelle when he likes something she cooks. He says that she’ll cook it every night for three months straight until he’s sick of it. I think he likes to give her a hard time and tease her. Michelle is a better cook than she (or Jimmy) give her credit.

Chocolate croissants are one of her favorite things to make, and she has me hooked with this recipe. With frozen puff pastry, this Chocolate Almond Pastry Braid could not be easier. This recipe is so basic and fast that she often makes these pastries before school and work. The chocolate is out of this world, and I can’t wait to try apple filling, peach filling, and prune filling!

Chocolate Almond Pastry Braid
 
Author:
 
Ingredients
  • 1 box Frozen Puff Pastry
  • 3 (1.55-oz.) Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Demerara sugar, optional
  • Sliced almonds, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Unfold both pieces of puff pastry. Using the folds as a guide, place 1½ Hershey's bars down the center of each piece.
  3. Usding a sharp knife, cut diagonal cuts from the fold line to the edge on both left and right sides, about ¾-inch apart. (approximately 8 or 9 cuts) Discard the corner piece. (2 per pastry)
  4. Begin folding cut pieces over the chocolate, alternating left and right pieces and overlapping until you have a braid pattern.
  5. Brush beaten egg over braid. Sprinkle with sugar and almonds. Bake until golden brown. Cool slightly and slice to serve.

 

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Paleo Bars

2015Apr13_4967 copy

Greg seems to be the world’s best at sticking to a low-carb diet.  He has more willpower than anyone else I know. I can usually stick to a low-carb plan better than any other but I just can’t shake craving something sweet occasionally.

These are a sure-fire way to satisfy that sweet tooth.  These Paleo Bars are full good things, with just a little chocolate on the top.  You can leave the chocolate off if you prefer, or use dark chocolate instead of semi-sweet chocolate.

It’s best to use virgin coconut oil, which can be found in many grocery stores.  Also, eat local raw honey, if possible.  Because local raw honey has not been processed it still contains pollen, enzymes, antioxidants, and many other beneficial compounds that make it nutritious.  Research has shown that local honey, obtained as close as possible to where you live, may help build immunity to some seasonal allergies.  Honey, raw or processed, should never be given to a child under the age of 12 months old.

I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with these Paleo Bars, they are healthy and delicious, even if you are not following a low-carb diet.

Paleo Bars
 
Author:
 
Recipe from the Very Vera show from Augusta, Ga.
Ingredients
  • 2 c. almonds
  • ½ c. flax meal
  • ½ c. shredded coconut, unsweetened
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. coconut oil
  • ½ c. almond butter
  • 9 - 10 large Medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. almond extract
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • ½ to ¾ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Place nuts, flax meal, coconut, and salt in food processor. Pulse until you have sizes ranging from the size of sand to the size of a pea.
  2. In a small saucepan melt the coconut oil over low heat. Add the dates, almond butter, vanilla and almond extracts, and honey. Stirring occasionally keep over heat until ingredients are combined and warm.
  3. Add the coconut oil mixture to the food processor and pulse until it all comes together.
  4. Press the mixture into an 8 x 8-inch pan (I lined mine with wax paper). Use the bottom on a glass is you need to in order to press in down tight so that they bars will be solid.
  5. Melt chocolate chips and spread over the bars. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until the bars cool and chocolate sets.
  6. Remove from refrigerator and cut into small squares.

 

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