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Granola with Raw Cashew Cream

June 1, 2012

As granola recipes go, some are simpler and some are more complex, and this one lies squarely in the middle. I love the idea of a bare-bones, just-the-essentials granola – oats, nuts, oil, and a sweetener of some sort – but to my palate, a great granola needs a little more. It needs a variety of nuts and seeds, and maybe a couple of different sweeteners for flavor complexity, and some warm spicing too, like cinnamon and ginger. It may require buying a couple of extra pantry ingredients, but once you’ve got them, you’re set for a while – and for a lot of granola.

This granola makes for a lovely breakfast, snack, or even dessert. When the granola is topped with raw cashew cream, it supplies just the right amount of indulgence – without the guilt.

Cashew Cream


  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar (or maple syrup, raw honey etc)
  • Seeds from 1/2 a vanilla bean (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Place the soaked cashews and water in a blender. Turn the blender onto a low-medium speed to break up the nuts and stop when the pieces are starting to form a puree.
  2. Add the coconut oil, agave nectar, vanilla bean seeds, salt and more water if necessary. Turn the blender to high until the mixture is as creamy and smooth. This may take a few minutes.
  3. Scrape cashew cream into a container and chill thoroughly.


Fig’ n Pear Granola


  • 1 cup nuts or seeds of your choice (I used a mix of almonds and hemp seeds)
  • 1/2 cup fresh or dried figs, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh pears, cored & roughly chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar, maple syrup or honey
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F  (177° C).
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients. Stir to mix well. In a small bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients. Stir to mix well. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones, and stir well.
  3. Spread the granola evenly across a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Stir periodically to help it bake evenly.
  4. Let cool completely, store in airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.

To assemble: Place sliced/chopped fruit into a bowl and spoon some granola mix evenly on top of the fruit and put a nice dollop of cashew cream on there. Then devour. 

Chia Pudding

April 18, 2012

For most of us, we can’t think of the word chia without thinking of Chia Pets – those enigmatic, ceramic, living dolls that were a hallmark of 1980s culture. Who would have thought that those funny Chia Pets use some of the most nutritious seeds around?

These tiny seeds are powerhouses of nutritious energy, extremely filling and relatively low in calories. Chia seeds are remarkably high in omega-3 fatty acids and calcium. They’re full of soluble fiber which is what makes them expand into a gelatinous pudding of sorts when they are soaked in liquid. With a high concentration of easily digestible protein, these little seeds fill you up and keep you energized. Some people call them the perfect food for athletes and dieters alike.

These seeds figured prominently centuries ago in Mayan, Incan and Aztec cultures, where they were valued as an endurance food, and even used as currency. (Chia is the Mayan word for strength.) Its a wonder to me why so many athletes are carrying around those weird packets of alarmingly colored, artificial-protein gel. Here’s a nice tip I’ve learned – soak chia seeds in water and use that as a fuel for your workouts. When I’m out for a long run, especially during my distance races, I bring along with me a drink of soaked chia seeds. It is a naturally perfect energy food.

Making this sweet, comforting and healthy snack (or breakfast, or dessert) couldn’t be easier. Simply pour the ingredients into a bowl, stir, walk away long enough to fold your laundry, do the dishes or maybe call your mom, then come back and it’s done. Or stir it up at night before you go to bed, put it in the refrigerator, and you’ll wake up with your energizing breakfast ready to go as you run out the door.


Chia Pudding

Serves 4 to 6


  • 1 cup chia seeds
  • 3 cups nut milk, coconut milk, or hemp milk
  • 2 to 4 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
  • Pinch of sea salt


  1. Place the chia seeds, milk, agave and salt in a bowl (add vanilla and cinnamon, if desired) and stir well, so there are no clumps and all the chia seeds are coated in milk.
  2. Let this set at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes, or cover and refrigerate. This pudding will keep well in the fridge for days.