I spent some much needed time in my little garden this morning and was so happy to see a little baby bell pepper starting to grow! I'm not to sure if they normally look this deformed at first but I'm just excited there's something growing. Hopefully it has a chance to get to a normal size before the bunny that loves to poop all over our backyard gets to it.
A little mutated but I'm rolling with it.
I spent the rest of my morning at my grandparents house enjoying the warm weather and picking fresh avocados and oranges. I just purchased a new lens for my camera so if you can't tell I'm a little excited about taking pictures of random pretty things.
These are seriously the best oranges ever. I swear theres nothing better than homegrown citrus fruits and nothing in stores can even compare. I made sure to pick plenty to share! The entire bottom of this basket was packed with avocados as well. They take about 5-7 days to ripen though so I have to be patient. Perhaps there will be some avocado recipes in the near future.
Lately I've been looking into ways to get more nutrients into my diet through natural powders and other strange sounding supplements. I've never been one to drink protein shakes or use protein powder so I knew that was not the direction I was headed in. I do understand the importance of protein, but a processed and isolated source of it wasn't really what I was interested in. Instead I read more into a powder (or tablet) called Spirulina. It's a blue-green mircoalgae superfood that contains over 94 minerals, boosting energy levels naturally and promoting longevity. Spirulina is not only great for athletes because it contains plant protein, but is also linked to a decreased time of fatigue after exercise and an increased rate of fat burn.
When you are looking for a Spirunla supplement, make sure it is all natural, organic, and free from any pesticides, herbicides and GMO's. I chose Pure Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica in powder form. You can take Spirulina supplements like I mentioned earlier, but the "energizing" effects won't occur for about an hour. However this is probably the more convenient option if you aren't a smoothie or juice drinker. I went with the powder because I figured it would be easy enough to just add a teaspoon in my morning smoothies, and the beneficial nutrients are instantly digested. Pick whichever suits you better, just make sure its all natural.
(excuse the iPhone photo)
Add 1 teaspoon to your daily juice or smoothie and gradually you may start to consume more. You can even add the powder to water, but I tried this yesterday and it was one of the more unpleasent decisions I've made. If you don't have taste buds- go for it. Otherwise you will probably want to throw up on the spot. The good news is you can't taste it at all in a smoothie, so try it out! Everyone could use some extra vitamins and minerals and maybe someday you will live forever because you were that weirdo who drank deep sea algae.
My dad came to me last night looking very concerned and told me that he just finished all the granola. If you know my dad, I'm sure you are aware of how much he cherishes his nightly bowl of yogurt, fruit, and homemade granola- he rarely skips a day! And if you know me, I'm sure you are aware of how much I enjoy making granola. We work well together. I assured him that I would make a fresh batch this morning.
I am very simple when it comes to my granola. I usually just put it on top of my smoothies or acai bowls, so I am not really concerned so much about the sweetness or fruity add-ins. My dad on the other hand can be a little specific. He likes his granola sweet and full of treats- dried blueberries, nuts, peanut butter- and most importantly it must be very crunchy. So I decided to post both recipes because my dads granola is basically a continuation of mine and definitely much more flavorful! Not to mention it will leave your kitchen reeking of delicious peanut butter.
PB Crunch Granola
4c gluten-free, organic oats
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4c raw organic agave nectar (or maple syrup, honey, etc.)
1.5 tsp pure vanilla
1/4c peanut butter (or any nut butter of your choice)
1c chopped nuts
1/2c dried blueberries
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl mix the oats and cinnamon, then the agave and vanilla. This is where I stop for my granola. I pour the mix onto a silpat baking sheet (or a baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil) and bake in the oven for 15 minutes, rotating the mix with a spatula about halfway through until the oats are slightly golden. If you want to keep this healthy but still want to add in some flavor, try dried blueberries or sliced raw almonds. Also you can try using maple syrup for a more distinct flavor. You really can use anything- I'm interested in adding some cocoa powder next time (cocoa-peanut butter?!)
To continue with my dads beloved recipe, add in the peanut butter and stir. This can be a little tricky but it helps the granola form chunks- just try to incorporate it all together. Throw in the nuts and blueberries. I used a mix of cashews and glazed walnuts this time but pecans and almonds also work great. I let this bake for about 20 minutes, but if you want yours a little less crispy, try for 15-18 minutes. Remember the granola does get more crunchy as it cools so don't over cook them- try for a golden color instead. Again, stir the granola about halfway through or maybe even three times- the oats on the edges cook much faster than the oats in the middle of the tray. You don't want little burnt bites of oats! Once your granola is ready, remove from the oven and let cool. Store in a mason jar (surprise) or any other air-tight container. It tends to stay fresh for quite a while although it usually doesn't last long enough in my house to really know.