Thursday, February 23, 2012

Guest Post: Food I Love//Annie

During the month of February you'll see some guests on Nova Granola talking about a food they love.

Guest: Annie (She's my oldest sister and married to a tops husband and raising 4 kids--I'm so lucky to live close to them. She's an avid reader and excellent in the kitchen. I had to have her guest post cause she loves to cook and bake and she's really good at trying new things and making things healthier.)

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Recently my niece, Dayna, challenged her blog readers to a 30 day veggie/fruit smoothie. Well, that got me thinking. I have been making smoothies every morning for a little over a year now. And I have improved them nutritionally over the past year.

So first - let me tell you why I do it. I believe in eating as a family and it is really important to me that we all eat breakfast together. I really do believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. There may come a day that this routine won't work, but for the past 6 years it has worked great. I usually cook a hot breakfast (oatmeal, pancakes, waffles, breakfast burritos) but there is always a smoothie with it (or almost always).

4 reasons I make smoothies:
1 - Increase the number of veggies and fruits we consume a day
2 - Start the day off with protein
3 - Get some Omega -3 in our system

I have found that it is the perfect way for me to guarantee a serving of fruit and vegetables in the morning. We know that we should be consuming a lot more servings of veggies and fruits a day and that they should come in a variety of colors. Well, I knew that it wasn't very likely that I could start serving spinach and kale for dinner and be very successful. (Someday that will happen, right?) But for now, if I could get that in our breakfast then that would work. I know some people believe in not drinking calories (and I really try not to), but I think smoothies count more as food than drink (that is just my opinion). You can add spinach, kale, carrots, cucumber, etc. The kids don't have to know. My don't care anymore though.

I think it is crucial to start the day out with more protein. So my smoothies always have a scoop of vanilla protein powder and/or some plain greek yogurt (very high in protein).

I always add several tablespoons of ground flaxmeal. It is high in Omega -3 and a good source of fiber. Omega-3 is so important for a number of reasons - including focus and brain development (besides as an anti-inflammatory and maybe even attention/behavior).

Here is this morning's smoothie.
A couple handful of grapes
Couple spears of pineapple (with core)
big handful of spinach
scoop of vanilla protein powder

Just play around till you get a consistency you like.

I really don't use recipes anymore. I just kind of guess. You can't really mess up too badly. And if your kids can't deal with green smoothies - add dark fruits - blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and even strawberries. I almost always throw in a cup of frozen berries from Costco. Those will usually cover up the green.

Another trick is having a good blender which can be kind of pricey. Or chopping or shredding food before you put in the blender. One thing I found helpful, is to blend the water with the spinach until it is well chopped and then add the rest.

>Thanks Annie! I broke my blender some months ago and this only reminds me of just how badly I need to replace it. Such an ideal way to start the morning! I've never put grapes in my smoothies before. Can't wait to give that a go.

Guest Post: Food I Love//Kylie

During the month of February you'll see some guests on Nova Granola talking about a food they love.

Guest: Kylie (She lives in Los Angeles, California as a freelance photographer and videographer. Her and her husband, Spencer, are world travelers. They go on totally rad adventures all the time and I'll also include that they are good looking, cause they're good at that too. Other mentionable...She's a triplet! Hooray for multiples!)

. . . . .

I love to be creative, to use my hands, to be outside and especially to fill my belly with food! If you know me well enough, you also know I absolutely love to be outside. Camping is one of my favorite pass times and thus, foil dinners are my fave!

I grew up camping and eating out of tin foil in the woods. It just feels right. Not only do I have a sentimental connection to the food, but I also enjoy the whole experience. In and of itself, it’s an activity that takes time to prepare, time to cook, and gives YOU time to enjoy company of friends and loved ones over a campfire. What’s better than that?

The best part is, it’s easy peesy! I’m no chef in the kitchen but I like to dabble with things I feel capable of. Foil dinners aren’t much of a challenge but they’re like second nature. Here’s how I make mine.

1. Grab the foil. Easy enough.

2. Spread foil and create your lil patty. I use ground turkey, and it tastes great. If you’re a more white meat type of gal, go for chicken. If you only eat vegetables, try asparagus or something green.

3. Wash and chop potatoes, carrots, and onions to your belly’s desire. No need for measurements here – it’s all about eye balling it. If you’re like me with eyes bigger than your tum, you may have extras for your pals. People who like corn can add corn. I am not a corn person (thank you tummy flu in elementary school… ick). But this is the fun part! Add whatever you like! Creation station!

4. Marinate the meat with worchestire sauce, Franks Red Hot sauce, and some cayenne pepper, garlic salt and black pepper. It’s even tasty to add a squirt or two of ketchup, if you’re into that kind of thing. Dump whatever else you want all over the veggies.

5. Wrap in lettuce and cook. Easy as 1, 2, 3. You’re ready to put that baby on the campfire. Cook side 1 for approximately 10 minutes, and side 2 for the same. They cook fast in a hot fire, so listen closely for the boiling inside! If you’re camping indoors and making a home camp out retreat, go ahead and pop it in the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about thirty minutes or until vegetables are soft.

If you’re like me and need to satisfy your sweet tooth after a tasty meal, just go for that s’more and add a Reeses to it. Nobody will stop you.

> Thanks Kylie! Why does food always taste better when you're camping? I love tin foil dinner and s'mores so much. I'm so glad you shared. Now, must plan a camping trip soon!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Almond Flour

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My friend Meagan asked me a question on this post that I thought I'd address over a few posts.

We'll start with Almond Flour.
Almond Flour is simply raw almonds ground up fine like a flour.

Food Processor works great for this.
FYI: If you were to keep the food processor running it would turn the almond flour into almond butter. It only takes about a minute or two to make the almonds fine enough for the flour.

That's it! If you don't have a food processor or you'd like to buy the flour, then Bob's Red Mill has an almond flour that I've used before. Find almond flour in the flour aisle of your local grocery store. Look where they have the unique flours.

I use almond flour in many of my breakfast recipes.

Why to love almonds:
+reduce heart disease risk
+tons of magnesium-improve the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients through the body
+potassium-essential to maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function
+almonds will lower the rise of blood sugar and insulin seen after eating

For more information:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Guest Post: Food I Love//Brittany

During the month of February you'll see some guests on Nova Granola talking about a food they love.

Guest: Brittany (I met Brittany through the world wide web but we have some mutual friends and both attended college at BYU-I. Her blog is a site to behold. She does amazing charcoal portraits and is a professional photographer. I love her posts and her hair. I feel lucky to have her here sharing a food she loves.)

When my body is craving something healthy, yet tasty I always turn to collard wraps and sweet potato fries!
This meal allows you to be creative and can easily work for vegetarian diets!

Preparation for the Collard greens:
1. Rinse off the greens and then soak them in warm water with a dash of white vinegar for 10 minutes.
(This helps them to be more 'foldable' when it comes time to wrap!)
2. Once they are done soaking, dry them off, and trim down the stem as shown in the top left photo.
I like a good crunch but sometimes the stems could be overly hard and not appetizing.

collards 1

Now that the Collard greens are prepared, we are ready to fill:
1. Lay out 2 Collard leaves overlapping them.
2. First spread down your "glue", roasted garlic hummus in my case.
3. Top with your favorite veggies! I used cucumbers, carrots, red bell pepper, turkey, and sprouts.
4. Finally it's time to wrap! Wrap it like a burrito, take in the sides and roll.
5. Cut in half and enjoy!

collards 2
Now for the yummy fries...

Sweet Potato Fries

2 large unpeeled sweet potatoes
1 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. cumin
dash coriander
1/4 tsp. pepper
Kosher salt

1. Heat oven to 425° and put the cookie sheet in the oven to get hot, giving them that extra crisp.
2. Wash the potatoes and cut them into 1/4" slices.
3. Coat potato slices with spice mixture and place on greased pan.
4. Sprinkle with Kosher salt.
5. Bake for 15 minutes and turn them over for a remaining 10 minutes, then enjoy!

I also just learned that adding an egg white to your potatoes before you cook them makes them
extra crispy... I haven't tried it out yet but will definitely give it a try next time.

>Thanks Brittany! I can't wait to give these a try! I've never done collard wraps before and they look easy and fresh. Beautiful.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Guest Post: Food I Love//Katelyn

During the month of February you'll see some guests on Nova Granola talking about a food they love.

Guest: Katelyn (I'll let her introduce herself below...but I must add how much I love and admire Katelyn; she's a hard working wife and mother, super talented, creative, and fun. )

I met Jane back in college. I was roomies with her sister Kristine. We were instant friends and have been since. Thanks to the blogging world for keeping us together! I am a wife and mother to 3 beautiful little girls. I am also a professional photographer. I am an extremely busy working mom. I wake up at 5am each morning to get my exercise on and keep running till bed time.

fouch fam

The girls and I make sure to find time for yummy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

In the morning we love:

green smoothies

steel cut oats

breakfast burrito

Lunch time we love:




When dad gets home we love:

Jaime's Meatballs

One pot Chicken and Brown Rice

Meatless Taco Salad

When it’s party time we have fun and go all out. Check out their birthday cake from last year.


That's just a few things we love. The girls already love being in the kitchen helping. Back when my youngest was still eating baby food, we found a fun way to reuse the jars.


See some of my recipes here:

Family blog:

Photography blog:

>Thanks for being a guest on Nova Katelyn! I love your photography and seeing what beautiful things are in your home, tasty things you are doing in the kitchen, and what your cute girls are up to. Feeding a young family takes a lot of work. You're good at it.

Guest Post: Food I Love//Jane

During the month of February you'll see some guests on Nova Granola talking about a food they love.

Guest: Jane (Jane and I met when I moved to Salt Lake City and we became instant friends. She was married a couple of years ago and soon after moved to Singapore!!! I love seeing her adventures in a foreign country. Jane is she an amazing cook* and a Pilates instructor, there is so much I'd love to learn from her. okay and she has a great name too)
I was completely shocked after my first grocery run here in Singapore. Hummus at $11.00 a tub! Are you kidding me?

I had no choice but to make my own.

This homemade delight has become a staple in our fridge. Every Sunday night, I 'religiously' whip out the ingredients and my food processor and Voila -- a fresh batch for the week.

My favorite part about this recipe -- SO HEALTHY. You really can't find a better snack...especially paired with carrots, bell peppers, crackers or pita bread.

Homemade Hummus
2 (15.5 oz) Cans of Garbanzo Beans or Chick Peas
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
3-4 Cloves of Garlic
1/4 tsp. Salt

Mix in food processor for 5-7 minutes on high.

-rich in fiber
-folic acid
-dense in protein
-healthy mono-unsaturated fat
-low calorie and filling

Next time, switch things up and add:
-pine nuts
-sun-dried tomatoes

>Thanks Jane! Hummus is so versatile and I love the idea of switching things up. Makes eating raw veggies a little more exciting.

*Jane and her sister's have a food blog called Boyer Try This which is full of delicious foods and I want to try everything.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Two Is Better Than One WINNER

Winner of my first Nova Granola giveaway is:

that was fun! more giveaways to come!

1 citrus and 1 original is coming your way.

email me your address novagranola at gmail dot com

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Guest Post: Food I Love//Egan

During the month of February you'll see some guests on Nova Granola talking about a food they love.

Guest: Egan
(my sister! things you should know about her: industrial designer, salt lake city liver, volleyball player (I could name 10 more active things she does), has an amazing house and garden, and is my favorite person to cook/bake with besides my mom)
Lets talk about prunes baby, lets talk about you and me, lets talk about all the good things and the bad things. (if you don't know the musical reference forgive me...) Growing up my parents ate prunes quite often. " stay regular" they'd say. They never appealed to me until years later my mom came up with this tasty treat. Since then, I have learned more about prunes and the benefits of eating them. Most of us know of their ability relieve constipation but little known benefits include, provide antioxidant protection, prevent pre-mature aging, promote cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk of cancer and osteoporosis! (insert trendy blogger overly-excited-word that isn't really a word here:) These cookies don't need a pump up-- but there you have it. Like I said, my mom made this up years ago and although it had a brown sugar in her original recipe, I wanted to see if I could make these without refined sugar. They are not super sweet but you are rewarded with a chocolate chunk in almost every bite. I like to make these and then put them in bags to freeze. I eat one before I workout in the morning for the perfect amount of energy buzz. They are soft right out of the freezer too.
Girlfriend tip: Good to bring to book club but not to a superbowl party.

Preheat oven to 375
In a medium bowl combine the following:
1/4 cup cocoa
1 3/4 cups oats
1 1/2 cups flour (i used whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

in large bowl combine to form a grainy paste:
1/2 cup succanat
1 cup applesauce
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sunflower oil (or any oil)
1/2 cup honey

Add the flour mixture to above. Then add:
1 cup high quality chocolate chips
1 cup ground or finely chopped prunes
1/3 cup ground or finely dates
1 cup chopped almonds

>Thanks Egan! I love these cookies and love that you've made them even healthier. Pre-workout or Post-dinner. I like them all the time.

Top it: Mangos over Waffles

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I topped my waffles with mango the other day.
It was so good!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Try//Coconut Everything

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After a few friends recommended the dried young coconut at Costco I gave it a go, and now I'm telling you to do the same. Super good.
I spotted the almond coconut milk at Whole Foods when I was picking up my weekly carton of unsweetened almond milk and I just couldn't not. Try it! You can really taste the coconut.

Guest Post: Food I Love//Brooke

During the month of February you'll see some guests on Nova Granola talking about a food they love.

Guest: Brooke (Brooke and I (along with Ellie) have been cooking together for a year and we share a passion for cooking wholesome natural foods and trying new things in the kitchen. It's been the best to learn new recipes with these girls.)
Sometimes it seems like the highlights of my life are a series of food memories: the best sandwich I ever ate, the best apple I ever ate, the best brownie I ever ate (have you seen The Food Network's The Best Thing I ever Ate??)

One of my best food memories is the discovery of almond milk. All my life I hated milk, and all my life I loved almonds. What could this collaboration of something I love and something I hate ever be like? It could be the best thing to ever happen to me, that's what!

Nowadays I go through a carton of almond milk every 5-6 days or so. Can't even keep it in the fridge for a week. But I feel guilt-free about it, because I buy Silk's PureAlmond Unsweetened almond milk. At 35 calories and 0 grams of sugar per cup, I can't think of a better way to eat my bran cereal, jazz up my oatmeal, whiz up a banana smoothie, or concoct my own healthy horchata. Anything you would make with cow's milk can be made with almond milk too!

I have to admit the unsweetened, unflavored almond milk does take some warming up to — it's not for the almond milk rookies. The flavor is pure, nutty goodness, but if it's your first time trying out the non-dairy drink I would suggest sweetening it with your own natural sweetener (I like Stevia), a dash of sea salt and a few drops of vanilla extract. But the next thing you know you'll be swigging down cartons of unsweetened almond milk with the best of us!

Here is one of my favorite guilt-free almond milk indulgences this winter. It's vegan and low-cal. You should probably try it now:

-1 1/2 cups of ice
-1 cup of almond milk
-1/4 cup of canned pumpkin
-a dash of pure maple syrup
-nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves to taste
-a pinch of sea salt

Blend everything up and enjoy a tasty after-dinner smoothie treat!

> Thanks Brooke! I love almond milk too! I am eager to try this drink.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Guest Post: Food I Love//Kristine

During the month of February you'll see some guests on Nova Granola talking about a food they love.

Kristine (my twin!)
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I love eggs. I'll take them any way too. Poached, scrambled, on toast, in a breakfast burrito, or hardboiled. Eggs, as you know, are easy to prepare and quick to cook. They're tasty alone or made into an omelette packed with veggies or poached and served over sauteed spinach.

How do you like your eggs?


skinny omlette

>Thanks Kristine! I love eggs too! Go over to Kristine's party blog: Attend! She got talent.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Two Is Better Than One//Giveaway

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It's the first giveaway on this blog.
It's the first time I've done a giveaway with Nova.
And it's February!
Can't think of why not to giveaway 2 bags of my granola.

To Enter:
1. Go and Like Nova Granola's facebook page, comment if you did
2. Comment and tell me who you will give the 2nd bag of Nova Granola to (it's Valentine's month after all)
Good Luck!

Last day to enter: Wednesday February 8th----THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

popcorn company

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My go-to treat for myself and for guests is popcorn.
It's cheap, easy, fast, and healthy.
My favorite way to make it lately when I have a crowd is this:
1. Fill the bottom of a sauce pan or stock pan with coconut oil.
2. Drop 3 kernels in and place the lid on and wait until you hear three pops
3. Add enough popcorn to fill most the bottom of the pan and shake a few times
4. Listen to the pops and remove from heat when it starts to fade out
5. Shake some cinnamon and evaporated cane juice together and sprinkle on top

*you could also add unsweetened coconut flakes

popcorn crew//built by wendy

gray and peach zag bowl
festive jar topper diy
copper stock pot//sur la table
midnight popcorn//crate & barrel
coconut oil