Tara’s Fig and Ginger Cluster Granola

I have shared many granola recipes here on the blog over the years, but it’s been quite a while since I made a new batch. I’ve even caved and bought granola from the supermarket a few times recently …gasp! But homemade granola really is much tastier in my opinion, and with milk or yogurt, it’s truly one of my favorite things to eat for breakfast or for a snack. So I figured it was high time to get my act together and make some more.

fig and ginger cluster granola | healthy green kitchen

This recipe, from Tara O’Brady’s new book Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Every Day, is a definite keeper. It’s clumpy, nutty, sweet, and a wee bit spicy (from the ginger), and I love it. I’ve been eating it topped with all sorts of fresh berries including local strawberries, gooseberries from my garden, and black raspberries from my yard.

fig and ginger cluster granola | healthy green kitchen

Though I don’t personally know Tara, I have admired her work from afar for years (feast your eyes on her cakes!!!). Her photos, both on her blog and in this cookbook, are exquisite, as her writing. So far, I have read and cooked almost exclusively from the Breads and Breakfast chapter: I look forward to making my way through more of Tara’s stories and recipes.

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Coconut Cake

A very pretty cookbook called Honey & Oats: Everyday Favorites Baked with Whole Grains and Natural Sweeteners landed in my mailbox recently courtesy of Sasquatch Books. Though there are many, many appealing recipes in the book, I just could not resist giving this Coconut Cake a try. Made with coconut milk and covered with a vanilla maple frosting and toasted coconut flakes, this cake had my name all over it.

coconut cloud cake | healthy green kitchen

This cake is easy to make but it’s also a real stunner. Make it for a celebration! Or for no reason at all.

coconut cloud cake | healthy green kitchen

I used regular all-purpose flour because that’s what I had in the house. Next time, I’ll experiment by including some coconut flour. Something else to try: use softened coconut oil instead of butter.

My cake came out a bit dense and I believe it’s because I overbeat the batter. Watch out you don’t do the same if you want your cake to be more fluffy. Be sure to store the cake in the refrigerator if you won’t be serving it right away; leftovers should be kept covered in the refrigerator, too.

coconut cloud cake | healthy green kitchen

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Bacon-Wilted Greens with Warm Goat Cheese

Virginia Willis is a French-trained chef and well-loved authority on Southern cooking. Her new book Lighten Up, Y’all: Classic Southern Recipes Made Healthy and Wholesome arrived in my mailbox a few weeks back. I’ve enjoyed cooking from it very much.

Bacon-Wilted Greens from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

In this beautifully photographed book, Virginia shares “lighter” versions of her favorite Southern recipes. Whole foods ingredients-and vegetables in particular-are featured prominently, and balance and moderation (yay!) are discussed throughout. Nutritional information is provided for all of the recipes.

I chose to make Virginia’s Bacon-Wilted Greens because 1. I am always looking for new ways to serve greens 2. I was intrigued by the baked apple with goat cheese garnish. I really loved this dish and will definitely be making it again! I used local Savoy spinach instead of the kale Virginia calls for: next time I’ll give the kale a try because the spinach cooked down quite a bit and made fewer servings than the recipe in the book states.

Bacon-Wilted Greens from @winnieab//www.healthygreenkitchen.com

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Chocolate Marshmallows

chocolate marshmallows | healthy green kitchen @winnieab

Chocolate Marshmallows | Healthy Green Kitchen

I competed in my second powerlifting meet this past Sunday. My goals for this one were to get more experience lifting in front of judges, and to qualify for USA Powerlifting (USAPL) Nationals in October. My lifts went pretty much as I planned and I accomplished my goals. I also got a pretty gold medal (full disclosure: I was the only one in my weight class) so I am very pleased!

One thing I am learning about meets is they are very draining for me, both mentally and physically. I tried really hard to stay super calm in the weeks before this one, trusting that my training, nutrition, and rest have all been very solid, but the day of the meet was still pretty nerve-wracking and exhausting. When it was over, all I wanted to do was get home and curl up on my couch with some hot chocolate embellished with these chocolate marshmallows. So I did just that, and I’ll be taking it easy the rest of the week, as well.

Chocolate Marshmallows | Healthy Green Kitchen

I’ve long wanted to try sweetening marshmallows with honey so when I saw this chocolate version in Brittany Angell’s new book Every Last Crumb, I knew I had to make them. I love how they turned out, and how they melt in hot drinks. I’ve enjoyed them in warm honey sweetened milk and coffee in addition to hot chocolate.

chocolate marshmallow fluff on whisk

marshmallows in pan

This chocolate marshmallow recipe is just one of more than 150 Paleo-inspired recipes found in Every Last Crumb. If you follow a Paleo-ish diet or have food sensitivities, I think you will love this book (though I don’t eat Paleo nor do I have food sensitivities and I am really enjoying it!). Every Last Crumb features grain-free recipes for numerous specialty breads such as bagels, croissants, and naan. But the book isn’t just about bread; Brittany shares lots of creative ideas for savory foods and treats, too.

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Silvana’s Gluten-free Blueberry Swirl Muffins

Happy 2015! I hope the coming year brings you all good things.

This is my second year belonging to a winter farm share. One of the items I’ve happily learned to count on each month is frozen organic blueberries. With these berries, I usually make smoothies, scones, and muffins.

blueberries | healthy green kitchen

Recently I was flipping through the new book Silvana’s Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen: Timeless Favorites Transformed. (Silvana is a friend of mine and she was sweet enough to give me a copy of her book.) The blueberry swirl muffins caught my eye: they feature both whole and swirled cooked blueberries, along with a lemon sugar topping, and looked positively delectable. So I gave them a try, and delectable they are!

blueberry swirl muffins | healthy green kitchenblueberry swirl muffins | healthy green kitchen

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