Chocolate Almond Granola

Chocolate Almond Granola, Lake Superior Kitchen

I’m still here!  I do still cook, I promise.  I just haven’t been documenting things the same way these days!  When life is busy, prioritizing is a must.  I have been learning the art of “yes” and “no.”  Some things in life are an absolute “yes”: faith, family, relationships, rest.  And some less obvious things more personal to me: music, dinner with friends, dates with my husband.  I have been learning what things I have to prioritize in life in order to stay healthy and whole.  Consequently, this means saying “no” to quite a few things as well.  One of those things is time on my computer.  I have to be on a computer a lot at work.  Once I’m home, it’s just not healthy for me to be interacting with a screen again.  I have to be really careful with my phone too.  I really love documenting my life with food, but it has been on hold for awhile.  I’m hoping to start incorporating it more again, especially as things slow down this summer.  As you may know, I really love the challenge of making food for my family that is healthy, delicious, and affordable.  The latter is getting more challenging all the time.  Right now, I am responsible for a lot of meals every day: breakfast for 3 kids & 2 adults, packed lunches for those same 5 people, separate extra snacks for 2 kids, after school snacks, and dinner for the same 5.  It’s taken me quite some time to get into a good routine with all this.  But I am discovering better ways to stay on top of things and am coming up with some delicious recipes to help out.

This recipe came from spring break.  It was a cold spring break here in Duluth.  I was fine with it.  One of the great thing about kids is they want to go outside no matter what.  So, despite the frigid days, we spent time on the beach, biking, and fishing.  I also made this delicious chocolate granola.  It could be dessert or breakfast.  It’s chocolatey enough to leave the kids with leftover chocolate milk in their cereal bowls, which is the sign of a good chocolate cereal.

Chocolate Almond Granola

30 min


Ingredients:

3 c regular rolled oats

1 c almonds, chopped

1/3 c cocoa powder

4 T butter

1/3 c maple syrup

2 t vanilla 

1/4 t salt


Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 375 F

  2. Stir oats, almonds, cocoa powder, and salt together in a large bowl

  3. Melt butter in small bowl and stir in the maple syrup and vanilla

  4. Pour the butter combo over the oats and stir well until everything is evenly coated

  5. Lightly grease a 9x13 pan 

  6. Pour the granola into the pan and press it evenly into it.

  7. Bake for 22 minutes

  8. Remove the pan from the oven and let the granola cool in the pan completely before removing. After this, you’ll be able to break it up into bigger chunks if you desire!


Chocolate Granola, Lake Superior Kitchen, gluten free, no sugar, healthy granola

Matcha Balls

Matcha Balls, Lake Superior Kitchen, paleo snack

I’ve been a little absent around here lately.  The short story is that I’ve been really tired.  The long story is pretty long.  Here’s a little bit of the details…

I transitioned from being a stay-at-home mom to a working mom this past year.  I have been home full time with my kids for the past 5 years and recently started a full time job.  It has been a HUGE adjustment to say the least.  I’ve had to wrestle with a lot of emotions and thoughts about parenting, who I am as a mom, who I am as an individual, our family, and more.  It’s been a huge adjustment for me physically.  I was tired as a SAHM in many ways, primarily mentally and emotionally.  Some days were awesome and some I thought I was going insane.  My new tired is similar but different.  My job as a school counselor has been extremely demanding and, by the time I get home, I’m ready to collapse.  That, of course, isn’t an option, so instead I power through, trying my best to be fully present in the evening hours I have with my family.  It’s much harder to prep a good dinner, tackle laundry and other household chores, and find any break for myself.  It’s harder to stay connected with friends because work and family feel all-consuming.  Of course, there is good too.  I like my job and it’s been a fun change to be back in that setting.  It’s a good feeling to work this job and, in many ways, it helped me get through the long days of winter when being a SAHM was always the most painful.  But, man, it’s been hard.  I’ve had to focus on keeping myself and my family well and that meant cutting back on a lot of things.  Most changes in life have an adjustment period and I know I won’t feel this tired forever.  I’m glad I now have increased understanding into the world of moms and parenting.  Being a parent is tiring, no matter what.  I envied aspects of the life of working moms when I was a SAHM, and now I miss a lot of the perks of being a SAHM.  (Not having to wear pants is a big one).  I hope that, instead of wasting time comparing situations and assessing how others have this or that easier than me, I can extend grace and compassion to all my parent friends, knowing that we’re all tired, we all have boogers somewhere on our clothes, we’re all worried about something small and something really big, and we all can do this parenting this so much better when we are supporting each other.

I jumped aboard the matcha train.  These matcha balls are a delicious treat/energy boost to keep in the fridge for when you need it most!

Matcha Balls

makes about 15

Ingredients:

1 c walnuts

3/4 c shredded coconut, unsweetened

1 c chopped dates

1/2 t matcha powder

1/4 t ginger powder

For “topping”

1/4 c shredded coconut, unsweetened

1/8 t matcha powder

 

Directions:

  1. Put all ingredients in blender and blend until everything is chopped fine.  You will have to use a tamper, or something similar, to make sure everything is evenly chopped.  (If your blender doesn’t do this well, process the ingredients individually and combine them in a bowl)
  2. Mix the 1/4 c shredded coconut and matcha in a small bowl
  3. Shape the mixture in the blender into small balls, roll each ball in the coconut mixture and set on a plate so they are not stacked.
  4. Refrigerate to cool, then they can be stacked and refrigerated to store.

Matcha Balls, Lake Superior Kitchen, Paleo, snack, energy bites