Foodie Friday: Guilt-Free, Gluten-Free Granola

It's a grey and dreary Fall day here at the Homestead.  So what better way to spend the morning then whipping up a batch of granola.  It's super easy and my recipe is nice and healthy too!  The thing I really love about making my own granola is that each time you make it ends up being a different creation.  Maybe you were out of this, or didn't have that, so you used those instead.  It really doesn't matter what you through in, it's always bound to be good.  And most of the time, that's how I roll...cooking with whatever is in the cupboard.  So for possibly the first time ever , I wrote down what I made today.  Hope you enjoy it!  And feel free to experiment and get creative.  As I am gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy/egg-free, there are none of those unpopular guys in this recipe.  But really, you don't need any of them anyways.  See for yourself!

Guilt-Free, Gluten-Free Granola

Ingredients: 

5 cups of Gluten-free Oats
1 cup of Spelt Flakes (mine were organic)
1 cup of Raw Pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2  cup of toasted buckwheat groats (Kasha)
1/2 cup of almonds - coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of walnuts - coarsely chopped
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
2 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of ginger
Pinch of salt
Sprinkle of Allspice
Sprinkle of ground Vanilla Bean
2 tbsp of Coconut Oil - melted
1/2  - 3/4 cup of Brown Rice Syrup - you can use maple syrup, agave etc. as a substitute

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl mix together all your dry ingredients until well blended.  Use your warming oven to melt your coconut oil in an oven proof dish.  Mix your melted coconut oil and brown rice syrup together and mix well.  Then add the mixture to your bowl of dry ingredients.  And mix it up.  This may take a bit of elbow grease, but you want to make sure all those awesome seeds, nuts and oats are coated in yummy, gooey goodness.  Pour your almost granola onto 2 baking sheets.  I like mined lined with parchment paper, but if you don't have any then simply grease the sheets with a little more coconut oil.
Bake for 12 minutes and then take them out and give them a good stir and then place them back in the oven some more.  You will need to repeat this a few times just until your granola is dried and slightly golden brown.  My batch took about 30 minutes overall. Once done, remove from the oven and let cool.  Then stir again to break up any delicious clumps.  And store in an air tight container.  This granola will last a few weeks in your cupboard if you don't eat it all before then.

This granola is great for breakfast as cereal or mixed into a yogurt.  Or why not stash a bit in your bag for an on the go snack?  It's even a great handmade gift served little mason jars tied with a bow.  The options are endless.  Add dried fruit if you like, take out the nuts, add some more spice or less, you choose...it's your granola!

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Tip Tuesday - Downsize Your Vanity with One Item

Oh Coconut Oil....how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways....

And there's probably a thousand of them.  I've been a coconut oil addict for the past few years and I'm OK with that.  So I thought I would share why I feel this way about coconuts.

We use unrefined Organic Virgin Coconut Oil in our house.  We have a giant tub in the kitchen and a small container in the bathroom and the baby's room.  It's possibly the most versatile thing I've ever used.

So here's a few things we use it for....think of all the products in your home it can replace!  :)

1.  Cooking - coconut oil can replace butter, margarine and vegetable oils for baking, frying and cooking in general.  Especially delicious when used for making popcorn!  Great in the fry pan as it has a high smoking point.
2.  Lip Balm - skip the Vaseline or various lip balms in a tube.  Just a little bit to soothe your lips...and it tastes delish!
3.  Body Cream - so lovely to spread over all your parts especially after getting out of the shower.
4.  Face Cream - I use it as a face and eye cream.  Some people advise to put it on at night but I do it during the day with no complaints.  A little goes a long way.  It's so soft and luxurious and leaves my skin feeling nourished and looking great!
5.  Can help lower cholesterol - coconut oil is considered a healthy fat and can actually help lower your cholesterol.  Put it in your smoothie or use it in a stir fry.
6.  Diaper cream - yes you can chuck your icky petroleum based diaper cream and use some coconut.  With it's anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties it's great for baby bums
7.  Deodorant - use it on it's own as a natural deodorant or why not make your own with some lovely oils for a yummy smelling armpits!
8.  Sunscreen - yes you can use it as a natural sunscreen and to build up your own sun-tolerance.  It's got about an SPF 4.
9.  After Sun Care - spent a little too much time outside?  Then rub on some coconut oil and turn that pink into a lovely golden brown.
10.  De-frizz - use a tiny dab on those split ends or frizzy hair post-shower and enjoy gorgeous shiny locks
11.  Shaving Cream - perfect 2-in-1.  Shave with is and no need to moisturise after as it's already done!
12.  Foot Care -slather it on to those tired toes and go to sleep with some light socks and wake up to beautifully moisturised feet.

OK...so you probably get the point by now, I could go on and on. A simple Internet search will give you thousands of uses for this amazing oil.

So why not ditch some of those gross chemically products and just use one. Think of the space you'll you'll have in your vanity or pantry! What's your fave way to use Coconut Oil?

Cuckoo for coconut,
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photo credit: Swami Stream via photopin cc

Tip Tuesday: DIY Deodorant

I remember that day well...the day I made my own deodorant....the day I realised I might just be a hippie.  :)

So after my husband nagged me for years to stop using antiperspirants I finally made my own.  I had tried numerous natural deodorants on the market, but I never found anything I really liked.

And that's how I ended up making my own.  You make think I'm weird or crazy or both, but I can tell you I've been using my homemade deodorant for about 3 months now and I LOVE it!  My jar is almost empty so I thought I would share the recipe.

After an extensive online search, this is the recipe I found to be the quickest and involve the least amount of ingredients. Ditch your toxic deodorant and make your own natural, moisturizing and yummy deodorant with Coconut Oil.

A few tips as a Coconut Oil Deodorant convert:

Try and find Aluminium-free baking soda. No point in pitching your aluminium-laden stick of deodorant for aluminium-laden homemade one. (see my post on what's in your deodorant)

I keep mine in a small glass baby food jar in the bathroom. Before scenting, I split the batch into 2 jars. One for me and one for the hubby.

Make sure you give yourself a few minutes after applying before getting dressed as to not get those pesky white marks on your clothes.

Got your own recipe or fave scent?  Please share!

Smellin' pretty,