Traditional granola bars

I love making granola to add in yogurt and this is about the same recipe. I have made it with wheat germ or golden raisins. It can make 10 bars.

2 ½ cups of oats
½ cup shredded coconut flakes, unsweetened
¼ c brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup nuts in pieces (almonds, walnuts or pistachios)
¼ cup dried fruit (cranberries or raisins)
¼ cup sunflower seeds
¼ cup semi sweet chocolate chips of any flavor
¼ cup oil (vegetable)
¼ cup maple syrup or honey
½ tsp salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8×8 inch baking dish. If you have parchment paper, cut to fit the pan with overhangs to make it easier to lift and spread butter evenly. Combine oats, coconut flakes, brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, and chocolate chips in a large bowl. In another bowl whisk the oil, honey or maple syrup, salt, and vanilla extract. Add the oil mixture into the oats bowl and mix well. Place in the baking dish, and press the mixture into the pan with a hard spatula and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool completely for a few hours and then cut into bars.

You can cut them smaller for snack bite size pieces. If you cut into 10 bars it contains: 290 calories, 15 g total fat, 4.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 0 mg dietary cholesterol, 36 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 5 g protein, 120mg sodium.

Strawberry daiquiri

Good morning!  Is it too early for a strawberry daiquiri?

Well this one is virgin, sorry. This one has 1/2 cucumber (peeled), 10 almonds, 7 strawberries, 1/4 cup of margarita mix. If you don’t have margarita mix, add 1/4 cup water and half of a fresh squeezed lime. Blend and that’s it.

Easy brussels sprouts

These brussels sprouts are so easy to cook and delicious. Before I cook them I remove one or two leaves and rinse well.

In this picture they are steamed in a deep pan with a small amount of water until tender. Then drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar and ground sea salt.

My two favorite ways to cook them is in the oven. One is wrapped in foil seasoned with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and almonds. You can also do this in the grill. Another way is roasted on a baking pan, cut them in half, drizzle olive oil and bake for 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. My children like to add parmesan cheese on top when they are ready.

What is your favorite way to cook these brussels sprouts?

Easy Hummus

A can of garbanzo beans can make a delicious dip for your snack or for a tasty appetizer. Serve with fresh cut up vegetables or simply with tortilla or pita chips. Place everything in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Usually tahini paste is used but I don’t have it so peanut butter can give it the same consistency. It will be ready to serve or store in the fridge until the party start. Salud!

1 can garbanzo beans, drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 garlic cloves
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1/8 Cayenne pepper or to taste
Ground sea salt to taste

This recipe makes about 1.5 cups. Nutrition information for 2 tablespoons: 80 calories, 6 grams total fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 6grams carbohydrates, 1gram dietary fiber, 1gram sugar, 2grams protein.

Brown banana bread

Do you have ripe bananas on your kitchen counter? Don’t throw them away, make this healthy brown bread recipe that I have been using for a long time. Whole grain flour and flaxseed makes it high in fiber with a better profile of vitamins and protein than using refined white flour. Try it and have it ready for your morning coffee or tea!

2 large egss, lightly beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 ripe bananas or 2 cups of bananas, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnut

Preheat oven to 350°F and grease 9 x 5 loaf pan. In a bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugar, applesauce and vanilla extract. In a separate large bowl, combine flour, ground flaxseed, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir the egg mixture into the flour bowl,  mix with a spatula until you have a uniform consistency. Lastly, add the bananas, and walnuts and combine. Place in the baking dish and bake for about an hour or until you insert a knife in the middle and it comes out clean. Let the bread cool in pan. Salud!

Makes 12 loaves. Each loaf provides
240 calories
12 g fat
1.5 g sat fat
25 mg cholesterol
300 mg sodium
34 g carbohydrates
4 g fiber
5 g protein

Chop, chop to make gazpacho

Gazpacho is a soup from Spain that is ideal if you are looking for a light and nutritious dish to improve your diet or lose weight. This cold soup is excellent when you have ripe tomatoes on hand.

Ingredients:
4 ripe tomatoes, remove seeds, finely chopped
1 cucumber, remove seeds, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, remove seeds, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
1 green onion, minced
1 jalapeño, remove seeds, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups tomato juice
1 tablespoon Sherry or red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Finely chop all vegetables. When you are cutting, turn up the radio with your favorite music! In a food processor or blender, blend and pulse half of all the chopped vegetables. Then add the tomato juice, vinegar, lemon juice and pulse one last time. Then place this mixture in a bowl with the rest of the chopped vegetables, mix well, add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate for at least 3 hours. To serve, place a few ice cubes if the soup is too thick. Serve with finely chopped zucchini or croutons. Another idea is to fry some pieces of bread in a pan with some olive oil to make your own croutons. ¡Buen provecho!

Nutrition information for the entire recipe: 340 calories, 2grams of fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 0 grams trans fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 70 grams carbohydrates, 20grams of dietary fiber, 15 grams of protein, 1500 milligrams of sodium.