Easy Gluten Free Granola

I have a granola obsession. I eat it about five times a week. No joking here. This Easy Gluten Free Granola recipe is my new go-to granola favorite. It starts with gluten free rolled oats (my favorite one is from Trader Joes). I add raw pecans, almonds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds and cinnamon for my base. My liquid mixture is comprised of a mixture of honey, maple syrup, coconut oil and vanilla. Bake it in the oven, and it is that simple.

I am so picky about granola. Honestly, I have tried every single granola brand out there. I cannot find one store brand that has wowed me over. When my daughter and I put this version together at the start of this quarantine, I have been making it ever since.

How I use granola:

•Top off smoothie bowls or smoothies

•Add to Greek Yogurt with fresh fruit

•Eat as a grab-and-go snack.

•Add to warm oatmeal

•Serve with milk

•Give as a gift

If you want to add or subtract nuts to my recipe, go ahead. Also, if you want to add dried fruit to the mixture, add after baking.

If I do ever purchase granola, my favorite is the grainless granola is from Alabama Biscuit in Birmingham.

Easy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins

If you want a new breakfast or brunch baking recipe, try this recipe for Easy Lemon Poppyseed Muffins. These muffins make a scrumptious spring or summer breakfast, mid-morning or afternoon snack or dessert.

We love anything with fresh lemon, so these muffins always win rave reviews with my kids and husband. I lightened up this recipe by substituting nonfat plain Greek yogurt for some of the milk and sour cream.

If you’re still in quarantine, these are simple to make. Hopefully, they can brighten your day.  If you’re headed out to the lake, beach or poolside, these Lemon Poppyseed Muffins are perfect for kids and family. Also, they are a great snack for long car rides. Store them at room temperature in an airtight container, and they should last up four to five days. Enjoy and have a great week!

Blueberry Spritzer

This Blueberry Spritzer recipe is a refreshing summer mocktail, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. If you’ve been following me and my recipes, you know I like easy. This yummy beverage is only three ingredients. Kids and and adults love it!

If you’re one of the lucky people heading to the beach or lake this weekend, put these ingredients on our grocery list now. If you’re like me and staying home, this recipe will hopefully will make you feel better. My Blueberry Spritzer uses Pomegranate Blueberry Juice, which is 100% juice with no added sugar. If you want to turn this recipe into a cocktail, add desired amount of vodka (be careful here).

Blueberries are a nutritional powerhouse. Tufts University conducted a study of 60 various fruits and vegetables and found that blueberries rated the highest for their antioxidant capabilities. Blueberries have been linked to so many health benefits. Areas of blueberries with blueberries show that they also may assist with improving brain health, cardiovascular health, aging  eyesight and more. One cup of blueberries has four essential nutrients, including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K and manganese.

When purchasing blueberries, look for smooth, plump berries that are a deep purple or blue-black color. Refrigerate them as soon as you get home and wash before using. Most blueberries will last 7-10 days. If you want to grow your own, spring or fall is usually the best time to do this. Choose a sunny, well-drained location. Raised beds and containers work well if you don’t have good soil. Frozen blueberries are awesome too. Just defrost before using, unless you are adding them to a smoothie or smoothie bowl recipe.

Have a great weekend and enjoy! Alison

Easy Strawberry Cobbler

I began planning a Memorial Day weekend menu today, and this recipe for Easy Strawberry Cobbler is on my list. Now that strawberries are in season, it is the ideal time to prepare this warm, succulent cobbler. This recipe is extremely simple, with only fifteen minutes of preparation time. The most time-consuming part is slicing the strawberries.

A Southern dessert, a cobbler is usually prepared with a biscuit topping. For my recipe, I added oats to my topping mixture, which creates a slight crunch and nice texture. When my three kids tried this recipe they said, “Mom, this is the best thing you have ever made.”

Enjoy this for a fresh and fabulous Memorial Day dessert or any time while strawberries are at their peak. Have a fabulous holiday weekend and stay well!

Banana Dark Chocolate Chip Muffins

I am excited to share this recipe for Banana Dark Chocolate Muffins. This recipe is a twist of my very popular banana bread recipe from 10 years ago, which is one of my top posts ever.  What’s great about this recipe (besides the taste) is that all of the ingredients can be combined in one bowl, and no mixer is needed. I add nonfat Greek yogurt which adds moisture and increases the protein in the recipe.

These muffins are amazing, and my kids went wild over them. I almost wasn’t able to take a picture of them before they ate them all. Substitute semisweet or milk chocolate chips for the dark chocolate chips if you like (I personally like dark chocolate) Enjoy these muffins for a wonderful breakfast treat, afternoon snack, lunch, or dinnertime dessert during quarantine or any time.

Immune Booster Smoothie

Happy Monday! I have a new smoothie recipe for you. I have been making this Immune Booster Smoothie every week since the quarantine began. Since I posted a photo of it a few weeks ago on social media, several of you have asked for the recipe. Find my recipe for Immune Booster Smoothie below, but feel free to add or subtract to it and make it your own with ingredients you have in your kitchen.

  1. You can substitute pineapple juice, coconut water or milk for the orange juice.
  2. Add your favorite protein powder or collagen powder if you like. This brand is my favorite.
  3. If you are looking for frozen chopped mango, check the frozen fruit section of most grocery stores. I have seen fresh mango lately in some stores too.
  4. If you use a frozen banana in place of the ripe banana, omit the ice.
  5. Add a stalk of celery or 1/2 an avocado or both.

5 Healthy Mother’s Day Recipes

Pomegranate Berry Smoothie Bowl Recipe

For Mother’s Day this weekend, I am sharing five  healthy Mothers Day recipes (all smoothie bowls) starting with this Pomegranate Berry Smoothie Bowl. These recipes are all easy, healthy and filled with raw, sweet fruits just in time for spring and Mother’s Day. Happy Mom’s day to all of you moms out there and have a great weekend!

Most of these recipes are in my latest cookbook, 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes published by Robert Rose Books.

Berry Yogurt Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Berry Yogurt Smoothie Bowl

Pomegranate Tea Smoothie Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Pomegranate Tea Smoothie Bowl

Greek Yogurt Smoothie Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Greek-yogurt-smoothie-Bowl

Watermelon Tropic Smoothie Bowl on Ingredients, Inc.

Watermelon-Tropic-Yogurt-Bowl

Simple Homemade Fresh Pesto

Homemade Pesto

I am thrilled about our fresh herbs growing right now. We planted them in hanging baskets a few weeks ago, so they’re plentiful at the perfect time. During this quarantine they have been a lifesaver (one less thing to purchase at the store). This Simple Homemade Fresh Pesto recipe is so easy to make and takes only 5 minutes. Toss fresh basil, garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan, olive oil, salt and a touch of a fresh lemon juice in a blender or food processor. It is that simple.

I have been making this Homemade Pesto recipe lately on a weekly basis. Friends often ask me. What do you use basil for besides on pasta or on a tomato, basil, mozzarella salad? Here are a few suggestions:

•To add to pasta with grilled chicken or shrimp

•To serve on top of grilled or roasted flounder, snapper or salmon

•To add on top of avocado toast

•To puree in soups

•To use as a base for homemade pizza

•To spice up a fresh salad

Basil is packed with nutrients. It is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin K, manganese, iron, calcium and antioxidants. Basil is also an anti-inflammatory food so it can also help individuals with inflammatory health problems such as  arthritis. Some studies also say that eating basil can help with acne and help protect the skin from some effects of aging.

Tuna Checkerboard Sandwiches

With kids at home right now, I wanted to share a twist on the basic tuna sandwich. Make it fun by mixing and matching different types of bread to jazz up the kids’ sandwiches. These Tuna Checkerboard Sandwiches are my healthier version using fresh lemon juice and white wine vinegar instead of mayonnaise. I also add freshly chopped basil or dill to mine if you have that at home or in your garden. This recipe is light, flavorful and a great new way to get the kids to eat more tuna. Let me know how your kids like it. Stay well!

This recipe is in my first internationally published cookbook, “400 Best Sandwiches: From Classics & Burgers to Wraps & Condiments” published by Robert Rose, Inc. If you’d like to purchase a copy, purchase here.

Pomegranate Tea Smoothie Bowl

Where have I been? I know I said I was getting back to my blog, and I’ve let y’all down. Although I have not been posting here, I have been keeping up with my daily fitness and healthy eating. Probably more hardcore than years ago. So, what have I been up to lately? Working, yes. Traveling for work, yes. Working out, yes. Doing yoga, yes. Cardio, yes. Finding time to read, yes. Trying to turn off technology, trying. Cooking and eating at home 90% of the time, yes.

I was saying to my husband the other day that no matter what’s happened in my life and the twists and turns that life has taken me, I have stayed truly committed to fitness, healthy living, healthy eating. Today is the 5th day of a 21-day partner yoga challenge I am doing at Kiva Hot Yoga. This is my first yoga challenge. For this challenge, we have to do yoga at least 4 days per week (I’ve done 5 days straight so far), keep up with a food journal and work with our partners to inspire each other and help each other be accountable.

My partner and I did not know each other well before this, but we’ve been chatting every day since this began. I was telling her about my some of my work background, and she said, “I hit the lottery with partners”. I sent her a few healthy recipes I was making this week including this Wonton Soup Recipe by Skinny Taste, which is so easy, fast and amazing.

I have not had the opportunity to tell my partner yet about my smoothies and smoothie bowl recipes. I made this Pomegranate Tea Smoothie Bowl, which was perfect after my 90 minute hot yoga class this morning. Pomegranate juice, tea and strawberries are the stars of this recipe, which all contain antioxidants. It’s refreshing, filling, hydrating and tasty. This is one of 200 recipes in my cookbook. If you’re interested in a copy of my book, you can order it on the “shop” button here.

That’s all for now. More to come, Alison

Pomegranate Tea Smoothie Bowl

If you can’t find pomegranate-flavored tea, you can substitute any berry-flavored tea.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup brewed pomegranate-flavored tea, chilled

1/4 cup unsweetened pomegranate juice

1 tbsp. liquid honey

11/2 cups frozen strawberries

Ice cubes (optional)

Suggested Toppings

Sliced strawberries

Pomegranate seeds

Goji berries

Muesli

Chia seeds

Directions:

1. In blender, combine tea, pomegranate juice, honey and strawberries. Secure lid and blend (from low to high if using a variable-speed blender) until smooth. If a thicker consistency is desired, add ice, one cube at a time, and blend until smooth.

2. Pour into a bowl or bowls and top with any of the suggested toppings, as desired.

Courtesy of 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes by Alison Lewis © 2016 www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher permission. Available where books are sold.