Okay, I admit it: I am still on the grown-up back-to-school rant. Last week I was driving to my normal teaching assistant gig at Antioch University and suddenly my fifteen-minute drive was now more like forty minutes. It happened just like that. 

 

 

Sometimes Life Happens

This grown-up was not in sync with the school schedule, and I hit a bump in the road as far as food preparation goes. I had my mug of cold brew in hand and was planning to stop at my favorite spot to grab the one paleo take-out item I know is available in the area. The traffic delay prevented this from happening and I did not have a back-up plan. That night a gluten-free cookie from the school café was my meal, and I felt horrible doing that to my body.

 

"Life evolves and stuff happens, but that does not mean we should be thrown off course from our healthy comfort zone."

Breaking Muscle Shop

Back-to-school affects all of us in one way or another, but especially those who have a life that includes a workout schedule. Over the last few years of living consciously, I’ve had to learn to pay attention and minimize the chances of getting stuck when change strikes. Life evolves and stuff happens, but that does not mean we need or should be thrown off course from our healthy comfort zone.

 

New Possibilities in the Kitchen

Mason jar meals became my helpful obsession earlier this year and they continue to support my active, scheduled, and committed life. Mason jars offer a great opportunity to think outside the lunch box when it comes to mealtime. They also hold lots of great food, with endless exciting possibilities. Right now in my kitchen, I am filling Mason jars of all sizes with homemade grown-up granola.

 

"Over the last few years of living consciously, I’ve had to learn to pay attention and minimize the chances of me getting stuck when change strikes."

This recipe is one of the most delicious anytime BAMs for those of us who tolerate nuts and seeds. There’s so much goodness in every bite, with rare ingredients like Brazil nuts and watermelon seeds. Add any dried fruit to make this a palate party unlike any store-bought granola.

 

Homemade Grown-Up Granola

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup each raw Brazil nuts, pistachios, almonds, and cashews
  • 1 cup each raw watermelon and pumpkin seeds
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup raw local honey
  • 5 dates
  • 1/4 cup of cinnamon
  • 2 pinches of turmeric
  • 2 pinches of pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Filtered water
  • Parchment paper

 

 

Method:

  1. Start the day before by adding the dates to a container. Cover with filtered water and place in the refrigerator overnight (or longer).
  2. Add the dates and water to a food processor. Process to make a date paste and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Grab a big bowl and add all the nuts. Using the food processor, mix the nuts to a medium size chop. Continue this until all the nuts are chopped. Add chopped nuts to a large bowl and mix in the remaining ingredients, as well as the date paste.
  4. Take two cookie sheets and line with parchment paper. Put a layer of the granola mixture on the trays and cook for 20 minutes (up to 30, depending on how well-done you like it).
  5. I recommend setting the alarm for 15 minutes and checking every 5 so it cooks perfectly and does not burn. This is my fail-safe system for those who want the granola roasted just slightly.
  6. Store in snack size Mason jars for grab-and-go ease in the refrigerator. Enjoy.  

 

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Photo 1 courtesy of Shutterstock.

Photos 2 and 3 courtesy of PaleoBOSS Lady.

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