Fall has made its arrival.
The mornings are chilly.
There’s a crisp to the air.
The leaves have begun to let go of the trees and fall around us.
While I was standing in the classroom this week I looked outside to see beautifully coloured leaves falling and twirling in the wind. It’s amazing how quickly one season ends and another begins.
We went downtown Sunday to the trade show and ended up walking around the city in the pouring rain. We ducked into the mall for a while and when we emerged it was sunny.
That’s Vancouver for ya.
This whole week has been a combination of sun, rain, wind, and storms. You can never be sure of what will come next which means leaving the house in boots and returning in flip flops/flats while peeling off the heavy sweater I thought I needed.
Layering is best in Fall. Especially a Vancouver Fall.
Layering is also good when it comes to granola. Layers of yogurt/almond milk/granola/fruit.
I made this granola after seeing it on this site. I thought it sounded perfect – since I have a love for bananas and crunchy granola. I changed it slightly and doubled the recipe, granola doesn’t last long between Adam and I.
It’s perfect to bring to school because it is nut free; I have to leave my beloved nut butters at home while I work because of students’ allergies. Though I did switch to Sunflower Seed Butter during my practicum earlier this year. I needed that recess apple + nut butter fix.
Ps. Recess as an adult? Awesome.
I like my cereal cold, really cold. You can definitely freeze this granola and eat it right out of the freezer with a splash of ice cold almond milk.
Or, you can have it over yogurt like Adam does.
I read a tip that you should keep the granola in the oven after you have turned it off, so that it dries fully throughout and you have crunchy granola – unless you like chewy granola, then take it out after the timer goes off.
Simple delicious banana granola
- 2 cups oats (wheat-free, gluten-free)
- 1/2 cup quinoa flakes
- 3 tablespoons flax seeds
- 1/4 cup coconut (optional)
- pinch of cinnamon
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F and line a baking tray with baking paper or silicone.
- Combine oats, quinoa flakes, coconut, seeds, and cinnamon in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, thoroughly mash the banana with a fork. Add the coconut oil and mix well.
- Add oats to the banana mixture and mix well. Make sure everything is coated and has a clumpy texture.
- Spread the granola on the baking tray. Bake for about 15-18 minutes. Turn the granola over halfway cooking time.
- The granola should be golden brown and crisp.
- Turn off the oven. Let the granola cool in the oven until completely cold.
- Serve or store in an airtight container.
b a k e a h o l i c http://www.bakeaholic.ca/
I have a passion for Bananas. You might say I’m a connoisseur. We usually have one or two large bunches in the house at all times. I love them on their own, sliced over warm oatmeal, mixed in with cool cereal, over ice cream (even banana ice cream), in cookies, as a substitute for butter in many baking recipes, and even in brownies. You might say Banana’s are one of my favourite fruits. I think they’re tied with apples. I feel like apples and bananas are just a given staple in our house, we’re never without either of them. Ok, well maybe not true for this week.
Adam sold his truck last week, so he’s been taking my car to work (since I’m only at school a few days a week). This means during the day I have no car. Although, we live right across from an outdoor shopping centre/mall that I can easily walk to if we actually needed anything. It’s funny, I thought I’d be over there everyday when we first moved in, and much to Adam’s surprise, and probably relief, I don’t go over that often. Maybe once every two-three weeks I’ll walk over and shop (it’s not as hard as I though it’d be to live across from an H&M haha.) This is probably because I’m so busy anyways to even have time to stroll over and peruse.
I have been trying, and I mean trying not to go overboard with buying groceries. I was feeling like we were throwing away a lot of produce at the end of the week because it wasn’t getting eaten. And I wasn’t happy about it (although we do compost all organics.) I tried to blame Adam, because really he won’t make himself food unless I’ve already prepared it. He only eats breakfast at home, lunch at work, and then I make dinner. However, if there is produce etc in the fridge and he’s hungry, he’d rather not go to the hassle of making an entire meal, and opt for something like an apple or bowl of cereal if I’m not making something. He’s not a fan of cooking. So, a lot of the food doesn’t get eaten. And I’m home most of the day now that school is out, and my classes are later in the day. I only really eat a small breakfast and a smoothie, so I’m not making a huge meal other than dinner. But when it comes to dinner it is always heavy on the veggies. But still, I was finding I was throwing out some bad lettuce or even kale, tomatoes, cucumber etc. that I had bought too much of in anticipation of eating it during the week.
I think it’s also our schedules. Lately, I’ve had baseball Monday night, Tuesday and Wednesday I have classes until late, and then Thursday I might have baseball again. So, we’re not home for dinner a few nights each week. Which means, lots of veggies get left. Weekend are usually ok, because we’ll make dinner Friday, Saturday and Sunday at home.
In the end, I’ve realized I have to buy less groceries. Even though Adam can eat a lot. Usually we’ll just go up to the produce market or the butcher shop that night if we want to make a specific meal. Now, I do love meal planning, and I always have some idea of what I want to make that week, but I won’t buy all the items just in case we actually don’t get around to having time for dinner that week.
I have to say, it’s actually nice not to have to go on a big grocery run, or think I had ‘better go buy that.’ It’s against my usual habits, but I think I’ll get used to buying less. And hey – even better, less money, and no money/food wasted, which was my biggest concern, wasting food.
Do you do a big grocery shop at the beginning of each week? Or do you buy-as-you-go for meals, and pick up that day?
One thing I never worry about really is fruit. If it’s starting to brown, it goes in the freezer. And when it comes to Bananas, you can never waste them. If they’re really brown/starting to brown, they either get sliced up for banana ice cream, whole for banana bread, or for smoothies and put in the freezer.
And even better – 2-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Ice cream. My new favourite combination.
It’s super easy, and can be prepped well in advance, and kept in the freezer for up to a month. For summer I think I’ll have a batch in the freezer each week for a quick healthy, yet satisfying, sweet frozen treat to beat the heat.
2-Ingredient Peanut Butter Banana Ice Cream
*Wheat-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, vegan*
- 4 Medium ripe bananas
- 1-2 Tbsp. All Natural Peanut Butter
Slice your bananas, and place into a plastic freezer bag. Make sure they are in a single layer, and lay flat in the freezer. Allow to freeze overnight, or up to a week.
Remove frozen banana slices from freezer and place in food processor.
Turn food processor on and blend bananas, stopping to scrape down when needed. This will take about 5 minutes. Pulse if you need to, and stop to scrape down the sides so the chunks all get mixed int.
Allow to blend until smooth. When it is all blended, add in the Peanut Butter. Pulse again until completely mixed.
You can eat it like this, soft serve, or, transfer ice cream to a plastic tupperware container and return to freezer. Freeze at least 3-4 hours, or longer before serving. Keep leftovers in the freezer.
Smoothies are one of my favourite snacks / meals. I usually have one a day, after a workout. They’re super refreshing, and when using the right ingredients, they are a huge boost of energy and nutrition.
I shared a Summer Citrus Smoothie a couple weeks ago, and thought I would share some more creations. A Green Smoothie is my go-to favourite. I usually throw in some spinach, kale, banana ice and almond milk and whirl it up in the blender. I thought I’d venture out and add a few more ingredients to my regular Green smoothie recipe.
I’ve seen lots of smoothies with cucumbers, but I never thought about adding them to mine. I wasn’t sure they would break down nicely, but the cucumber makes it cool and refreshing, and adds a great texture. I also added in a slice of avocado, which I’ve done before to make it super smooth and thick and creamy!
Smoothies are easy, refreshing, and packed with nutrients.
Cool as a Cucumber Green Smoothie
- 1 1/2 cups Kale, washed, rind removed
- 1 slice of avocado
- 1/4 cup sliced cucumber
- Splash Almond Milk (or other milk alternative)
- 1 small banana
- 5 pieces frozen banana slices
- 5 ice cubes
- protein powder (optional)
Add all ingredients to blender, and puree until smooth and creamy. Serve in tall glass, with a straw.
Lainey likes to stay cool in the shade.