Category Archives: Recipes

Quick + Easy Homemade Granola

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Here in the Loewen house we eat lunch between 11:30-12 most days.

Meals are super important because, well, we love to eat and we get hungry.

The other day it was about 11:20 and it was a special treat as the hubs was home on a lunch break with us.

I was so over PB + J for the kids and had made a ton of cheese quesadillas, so I needed something quick and easy.

Granola to the rescue!

We had a bunch of yogurt in the fridge because in addition to appreciate food in general, us Loewen’s love us some yogurt.

I’ve made several granola variations in the past – stove-top, roasted, granola bars, granola balls, etc.

I just wanted a simple, tasty granola to sprinkle on top of our yogurt that didn’t take an hour to make (as a lot of them do) and also wasn’t filled with a ton of sugar.

This was a nice treat, and the kids {and Jason} loved it!

The granola varieties in the store are crazy-expensive, and although tasty have a ton of sugar.

So, do yourself a favor: save a bunch of money, make a healthy option and try this granola out!

We have a big ol' container of rolled oats, so nice to have on-hand for baking!

We have a big ol’ container of rolled oats, so nice to have on-hand for baking!

Vanilla from Jason's Haiti trip, along with the coconut oil and sea salt I used

Vanilla from Jason’s Haiti trip, along with the coconut oil and sea salt I used

The pretties: chopped almond, dried cranberries, rolled oats and raw pumpkin seeds + a few raw sunflower seeds

The pretties: chopped almond, dried cranberries, rolled oats and raw pumpkin seeds + a few raw sunflower seeds

Upclose-and-personal with granola

Up-close-and-personal with granola

{If you do like super-sweet granola, feel free to ‘up’ the sweetness factor}

Recipe adapted from: Elizabeth Rider

This makes two baking sheets of granola, enough to last our family of 5 for a few days.

4 cups regular {not quick cooking} rolled oats

1 cup chopped nuts {I used almonds but feel free to use walnuts, pecans…whatever suits your fancy}

1 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds {can sub with raw sunflower seeds – we get ours from a local natural foods store}

4 Tbsp. maple syrup {or honey if you prefer – raw honey being the healthiest option for honey}

2 Tbsp. + 2 tsp coconut oil

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 tsp sea salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl with your hands {messy, yes…but it mixes everything together perfectly}. The coconut oil can be a soft solid or liquid depending on the temperature in your house. Mine was a soft solid. Really work in the coconut oil so that there aren’t any big chunks left.

Spread granola mix on 2 rimmed baking/cookie sheets, and bake for 10-20 minutes depending how toasted you prefer your granola. I did this batch for 10 minutes as we needed lunch in a snap, but next time I’ll probably bake it closer to 15-20 minutes.

Eat it warm or cool, but make sure it’s cooled down before you store it in an air-tight container.

Eat as a cereal with milk and try with a variety of yogurts! 

Yum, yum!

Use your imagination and try different varieties! You could add: 

-Cinnamon

-Almond extract vs. vanilla

-Dried raisins or cherries vs. cranberries

Whatever your heart desires!

Enjoy and leave me a comment on what way you’ll be making your granola. 

Through Unspeakable Joy,

Laura

 

 

 

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Double Chocolate Cupcakes

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We were having some youth group students over this week, and I wanted to have a little treat on-hand for them.

So I thought: “What will everyone love and enjoy?”

Ahhh, yes. Chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

This was my first time making this particular cupcake recipe, and I had discovered my deep affinity for this frosting a couple weeks ago.

Now, these little babies aren’t meant to win a cupcake decorating contest. I didn’t take hours frosting them with various frosting contraptions/cake-tip-thingies. 

{Cake-tip-thingies is a thing now, didn’t you hear?}

These are just meant to be yummy treats! Take your time frosting and forgo the elementary-looking sprinkles to make the more sophisticated to your liking.

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I love that these cupcakes can be make in one bowl, which make them that much simpler to whip up, especially on those days you don’t feel like washing 25 bowls and pans.

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Chocolate Cupcakes {makes about 36 cupcakes}

(Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes)

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups unbleached pastry flour (can sub all-purpose flour, this is just what I had on-hand)
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place cupcake liners in muffin tins. In a large bowl, mix sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk, vegetable oil, and 1 1/2 cups warm water; whisk to combine. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until smooth.

2. Scoop batter into muffin cups (fill each about 2/3 C. full) and bake until toothpick inserted in the center comes out nearly clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks for 5 minutes, then place cupcakes on racks to cool completely. Frost after cupcakes are cool to the touch.

PRO TIP: No buttermilk on-hand? No problem. I “make” my own all the the time! This is so convenient for making pancakes and certain types of breads or muffins!

Buttermilk Sub

  • Just less than 1 cup milk
  • Tablespoon lemon juice OR white vinegar

Place lemon juice OR white vinegar in 1 cup liquid measuring cup. Pour milk to 1 cup mark. Stir briefly to combine. Let sit for 5 minutes.

TA-DA! Buttermilk.

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Heavenly Chocolate Frosting {will frost 1-9 inch round cake or 24 cupcakes, so do x 1.5 for above amount of cupcakes}

(Adapted from Lauren’s Latest The Best & Easiest Chocolate Frosting)

NOTE: I very lightly frosted these cupcakes. The frosting you’ll yield will be enough to mound some frosting on…if you like that sort of thing.

  • 1 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cocoa powder, sifted
  • 5 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 tablespoons milk

1. Cream butter and cocoa together until smooth in a large bowl. Add in vanilla and powdered sugar. Slowly pour milk into mix until frosting is a thick or thin as you desire. Scrape sides down and whip again until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes more.

Enjoy your new-found chocolate yumminess!

Through Unspeakable Joy,

Laura