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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Candied Pumpkin Seeds

candied pumpkin seeds

Last night, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to sign up for National Blog Posting Month (aka NaBloPoMo). NaBloPoMo is an annual blogging event that takes place each November: participants commit to posting on their blogs each day of the month. This means you’ll be hearing from me more frequently over the next four weeks…I hope that’s ok with you :)

To keep my goal of posting every day in November an attainable one, my posts will most likely be shorter than usual. There will be recipes, of course, but not every day…some days may just be brief musings on topics related to general health or nutrition. I have a few giveaways planned, too :)

Today, I have an easy, tasty recipe for candied pumpkin seeds for you.

Candied Pumpkin Seeds | Healthy Green Kitchen

I made this recipe with the seeds I took out of the pumpkin I used to bake this Pumpkin Stuffed with Cheese, Sausage, and Pasta. Whenever you “play with” pumpkins, you always end up with a sloppy mess of pumpkin seeds, right? Don’t dump them in the compost (or worse yet, the garbage)…use them to make a healthy snack instead! (I am being more conscious about my food waste than ever these days, since I am participating in this program.

Seeds (and nuts and grains and some other foods) naturally contain something called enzyme inhibitors. To increase the amount of nutrients available to your body when you eat these foods (and to make them more digestible), it’s good to give them “a good soaking”. This is why I recommend soaking your pumpkin seeds in salted water before roasting them (doing this also simplifies removing all of the pulp that may stick to the seeds upon removal from the pumpkin).

These fiber and zinc-rich goodies are perfect for topping salads and side dishes. They are also wonderful eaten on their own.

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The Sprouted Kitchen’s Gluten-Free Crackers

I love a good cracker: one that’s subtly flavored with herbs and just the right amount of sea salt. A cracker that pairs well with cheese and doesn’t break apart even when you’re a little too aggressive with whatever dip floats your boat.

Gluten-free crackers that meets the above criteria gets bonus points.

I recently found cracker perfection in these nutty/seedy beauties, the recipe for which comes from the brand new cookbook: The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods.

I discovered Sprouted Kitchen a couple of years ago, but I remember the first time I landed on the site like it was yesterday. I was immediately captivated by the combination of Sara’s winning whole foods recipes and Hugh’s stunning photos, and the wonder I felt returns every time I visit their blog.

I am so impressed with what Sara and Hugh have achieved with their first cookbook: it’s positivity lovely, and it’s warm and welcoming style will have you running to the kitchen. I’m working my way through the recipes: in addition to these crackers (and the Lemon and Herb Hummus pictured here with them), I’ve made the Coconut Loaf, the Greek Grilled Chicken with Tzatziki, and the Black Cherry Refresher so far. Everything has been terrific…kudos to the Sprouted Kitchen team: you two should be very, very proud :)

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Fall Garden Salad with Apples and Walnuts

I ate this fall garden salad, or something pretty close to it, every day last week. I simply could not get enough of this combo of homegrown greens, chopped apples, and walnuts. You probably already know how terrific kale is for you- it’s extremely high in antioxidants and minerals including calcium- but are you familiar … Read more