One of the things I love about a new year is the opportunity to give God my first, the first month of the year to pray and seek Him, re-align my heart with His, and seek His direction and guidance. We do this by participating in our church's 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting, which starts January 8.
Our family will be doing a somewhat modified Daniel Fast during the next three weeks. If you have never heard of a Daniel Fast, it's based on the first chapter of the book of Daniel in the Bible, in which Daniel, who was taken to be trained as a servant of King Nebuchadnezzar in the ways of the Babylonians. Being an Israelite, Daniel refused to defile himself by eating the king's royal food, and asked to only eat fruits and vegetables instead. As a result, he was healthier than the other servants who ate a diet of the rich royal food.
ANYWAYS, I've been testing recipes that are Daniel-Fast approved. We will be eliminating sugar, dairy, and meats, along with eating gluten-free (as usual). Even though we'll stay away from sweeteners as much as possible, I occasionally will add maple syrup or honey, since we expect our three kids age five and under to eat whatever we're eating for three weeks (and my middle child's gag-reflex game is STRONG, my friends).
I started with this granola recipe, which is really sort of a conglomeration of a bunch of recipes I found on Pinterest, and then my own variation once I decided it's pretty dang hard to screw up granola. It's like a casserole, where you just throw in whatever you have in your pantry, throw a bunch of cheese on top, bake at 350 and then bam! dinner. Except you bake this at 300, and I wouldn't advise throwing cheese on it. So it's not a lot like a casserole, actually. Use whatever nuts you want, a sprinkle of cinnamon, a splash or two (or three) of vanilla, eyeball the coconut oil and maple syrup...And you somehow will always end up with a pan of deliciousness you will eat during your kids' naptime so you don't have to share. (Kidding, only kidding...but seriously.)
- 4-5 cups gluten-free rolled oats
- 3/4 cup raw chopped hazelnuts
- 3/4 cup raw chopped walnuts
- 3/4 cup raw sunflower kernels
- 3/4 cups raw sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 1-2 scoops vegan vanilla protein powder, optional (I use Orgain brand)
- 1/4 cup ground golden flaxseed
- 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut chips
- 2 T ground cinnamon
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 2 T pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Mix wet ingredients together in a medium size measuring cup, then pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix until well coated. Spread mixture onto lined baking sheets. (I tried one with aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick olive oil spray) and one with parchment paper; either one will work fine.) Bake for 50 minutes, or until golden and crunchy. Store in airtight container.
This is great as a topping for yogurt or ice cream, in a parfait with fresh fruit and yogurt, as a breakfast (or anytime) cereal with unsweetened vanilla almond milk, and sliced banana, mixed with raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit as a trail mix, or straight off the cooling pan (which is what I did).
I will likely be posting a bunch more recipes that I discover, mainly so I have a record of the ones that turn out edible, but also so you have a chance to make them, too, so come back soon!