Favorite homemade granola recipe

Have you ever had those crunchy Nature Valley granola bars, the one in the green package?  This granola has a similar crunch. They are vegan PLUS, they are gluten-free with no refined sugar, boom!

I have my granola with very simple with nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt. Other great options are almond, soy or coconut yogurt to keep it vegan, or if you insist a custard
or lemon curd and shape the granola into mini tart pans would be so yummy if you are making these for more of a dessert.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats , Quaker
  • 1 cup walnuts finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp hearts
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed
  • 5 tablespoons coconut oil melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (ground)
  • 2 cups greek yogurt  (coconut yogurt, or almond yogurt)
  • 4 cups mixed fruit for topping, (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples. I love using mango and blackberries.)

INSTRUCTIONS
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mns

  • Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
  • Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, melted oil, honey, vanilla and cinnamon together in a bowl until thoroughly coated.
    IMG_3860
  • Spread evening of a baking sheet, if you are making the granola into tarts: press about 3 tablespoons of the mixture into non-stick mini tart pans. Use the back of an oiled spoon to help press the granola evenly across the pan and up the sides.
    IMG_3865
  • Bake in the center rack of the oven for about 15 to 17 minutes, or until golden. Remove and let cool.
    If making into tart shells: immediately after you remove the tart shells from the oven, use the back of the spoon to press down the centers of the crust to create more of an indentation, and push up the sides. The shell puffs up in the oven, so it helps to reshape the crust after it bakes while still hot. Allow cooling completely in the pan before removing. Use a small knife to gently release the sides of the crust, working around each side, then very carefully remove it from the pan, turning over if needed into your hand. The crust should be crisp on the sides and hold together, but will be delicate.

 

When you are ready to enjoy, I serve about ½ cup of the granola pre serving or one mini tart per serving.

This recipe yields about 3 cups or 8 mini tarts.

ENJOY!!!

 

Baby Product Review

My favourite and not so favourite products

Swaddle Up by Love to Dream – Stage 1 (0-4 Months)
Product is said to replicate your baby’s behavior in the womb, allowing the natural arms up position and movement of their hands to the mouth to truly self-soothe.

Hope of Hype? …. Neither
I had so much hope for this product before I tried it. It didn’t work as well as it clamed, at least not for my baby. I think that it is worth a try for anyone that has problems with regular swaddles. I should suggest starting with it as soon as baby is born for best results. Retails at $36 and even if it didn’t work better for us, I do think its worth a try for the price.

Live Clean Baby Products

Product is said to be eco-friendly and delivers exceptional results using plant and natural based ingredients, efficacious and a pleasure to use.

Hope or Hype? I give this product HOPE!
I have used Live clean on my baby since the beginning and I really don’t like using anything else. It works as well as any other product but it is gentler on her baby skin. The scents are amazing and I can feel good about picking a product that is better for the environment. Best yet, it isn’t an expensive product and it is easy to find at most major retailers e.g. Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart, Safeway and London Drugs.


Swaddler by Miracle Blanket

Product claims to help baby sleep better than you ever imagined and makes it easy to get the perfect swaddle every time, even in the dark!

Hope of Hype? I give this product HYPE
While this product did achieve some of what is claims (Prevents Facial Scratches and makes baby feel warm and secure) it left me wanting more. Even in a tight swaddle my baby was able to escape and wasn’t user friendly for everyone (my husband). At $30+gst I suggest skipping this product.

 

City Select – Baby Jogger Stroller

Product claims it could be the only stroller you’ll ever need. The most versatile stroller on the market today, the City Select was designed to keep your family rolling as it grows from one child to two… or even three.

Hope or Hype? I give this product HOPE
I love my City Select stroller. It folds simply and compactly; it really is as easy as it sounds. The stroller is lightweight so it is easy to lift into the back of the car. The wheels are smooth and swivel with ease. This company makes stroller attachments for most popular cars seat brands, which makes for convent use of your stroller and infant car seat together. Only downside is the price at $750+gst plus $50+gst for the car seat adaptor.

 

Laundry Detergent and Oxy Boost – Honest Company
Product is said to have only naturally-derived ingredients as well as be hypoallergenic, effective in all temperatures, color-safe and septic safe.

Hope or Hype? I give this product HOPE
I really like the honest company brand laundry products. I have found the products to be effective on breaking down organic stains while still being gentle on the clothing. These products are mild and we have had no reactions on my baby’s skin.

 

 

How can I love my postpartum body?

If you’re one of the lucky ones who bounced back from delivery in a few weeks, hats off to you. But if you’re like most new mamas out there, pregnancy is sure to leave behind a few lingering battle scars. For some ladies your battle scars can include flabby skin, stretch marks, extra weight, c-section scars, breastfeeding boobs and/or a completely new body shape.

Yep, this new and uncharted post baby bod territory can be a strange and sometimes scary place. Especially when the months start to tick by and not everything seems to return to normal. So how exactly can you come to terms with the new you?

Give yourself a break – Just be patient, everything takes time. It took 40 weeks for your body to get to this new normal so it’s going to take sometime to try and change it back.

Focus on your child– Be impressed with yourself! You created a human and brought it into the world. You are already super mom.

Think positive thoughts– As hard as it is, be your own cheerleader! Many people are in abusive relationships with their bodies, even without having a baby. You are not alone but you need to have a positive mindset so surround yourself with other positive people.

Take some “me” time– Even though caring for your baby is super important its just as important that you take care of yourself. Leave your baby with your partner, parents or a trustworthy friend and take some time to do something for you. It can be as simple as getting your favourite coffee or even a workout class if you feel like you need to work towards you’re different post partum bod.

“Workout” a little each day – I have made sure to do an abdominal exercise, work out video or even a long walk with baby when its nice outside.

mif
My favourite post pregnancy workout DVD by Moms into Fitness

 

 

Things I did before baby came that were ACTUALLY HELPFUL

At about 30 weeks I made a list of everything I wanted to get done before baby came. I wanted to prepare, as I knew I wouldn’t have the energy to do most of the things I normally get done in a day. Here are some of the items I did before hand that was actually helpful.

Freezer meals – the hype is true. It was so much easier not to worry about what to make every night. Start small and do a couple meals a day for a week or two and you will feel better. I don’t love some of the pinterest blogs that have 50 meals in a day, that’s too much. I also made different healthy muffin recipes and froze them for snacks to have out for whenever  I felt hungry.

Cleaning crew– it was a good idea to have a cleaning company come in a couple weeks before baby. It wasn’t like I didn’t have to clean at all after baby but it did help with only having to do very little in the first few weeks.

Haircut and color – I might not get my hair cut as often as others so going this chore before the baby came was a good way to keep it off my to do list in the few months after baby was born.

Addresses for birth announcement – I got together all the addresses of the family and friends I wanted to send baby announcements to in the few weeks before baby came. I printed them out on labels so all I had to do is stick them on the envelopes. Perfect time saver.

Stock up on house hold items – I took a day a couple weeks before baby’s due date to stock up on items around the house like COFFEE, laundry detergent, toilet paper, Kleenex, paper towels, pads, diapers, wipes, shampoo and conditioner. If you don’t have time to do this, usually it’s easy enough to find friends or family to do a shop for you in the first couple weeks after birth.

Look into/ Contacted Newborn Photographers – Most newborn photographers like having your session 7-14 days after your baby is born. I didn’t really know how a lot of people felt up to taking photos such a short time after birth yet alone doing all the research just days after birth. Once we decided on a photographer I contracted her to let her know of the date and find out what to do next. I specifically wanted my photos out of the house so I mentioned my preferences at this time as well.

 

How I accomplished my all-natural (drug free) labour/ delivery

  1. Drinking a sip of water after ever contraction. Sometimes I would throw it up but it was good to try to get hydration. A hydrated cervix is a happy cervix
  2. “low-sugar” Electro light drinks like coconut water and Ener-C
  3. Urinating every 30 mins or more often in early labour when I left I needed to.
  4. “Mood” Lighting – Keeping the lights dim. Closing me eyes during every contraction and really focusing on controlled breathing.
  5. Essential Oils – Diffusing essential oils to help with relaxation and stress
  6.  My Birth Partner – Having my husband there to support me through contractions and be on the same page as to what I wanted to accomplish. Words of encouragement are a huge motivation.
  7. Moving into Different Positions- squatting, child pose over birthing ball, laying on my side, leaning against my birth partner, lunging up the stairs and leaning against the shower wall
  8. Bath/ shower – The hot shower on my back helped during contractions for my back labour. The bath was good to get into different positions that were hard out of the water due to pain or the heaviness of my pregnant body.
  9.  Inspirational music. I played Christian music during my whole labour. Some songs that always help me through rough situations are below.
  • Oceans – Hallsong

Sprit lead me where my trust is without boarders let me walk upon the waters whenever you would call me. My faith will be made stronger in the presences of my savior

  • He Said- Group 1 Crew

He said I wont give more, more then you can take and I might let you bend but I wont let you break. I wont ever let you go., don’t you forget what he said.

  • Holy Spirit – Francesca Battistelli

Holy Spirit you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere. Let us become more aware of your presences.