Barefoot by the Sea

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Cinnamon Oat Granola (Easy Recipes)

Last week, our most recent snow day was called here in New England and once again, we went into hibernation mode. It seemed like a crazy joke, since we had almost hit 60 degrees just a few days earlier, a sure sign that Spring was on its way! The storm DELIVERED and by saying that, I mean it was a true Nor'easter complete with blizzard conditions here on the coast and everything was pretty much shut down. It was the perfect time to make some treats for the rest of the week. This time, I tried a new recipe for granola and wanted to share!

A couple of days before I'd been searching for that perfect granola but it's pricy and since I had some of the ingredients already, I decided to give it a shot. This granola is heart healthy, flavorful and perfect to top yogurt or to grab as a quick snack. I'll be making it again! 
Healthy Cinnamon Oat Granola
  • 4 cups of old fashioned rolled oats (I used Bobs brand)
  • 1 cup raw nuts/seeds. I used pepitas and chia seeds because I had them on hand
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Optional - dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, but I didn't have any)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F, line a large baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Mix oats, nuts, seeds, salt and cinnamon
  3. Add oil, maple syrup and vanilla and mix well till combined
  4. Spread granola into an even layer 
  5. Bake until golden, about 45 minutes and stir halfway through. 
  6. Cool granola completely before storing and add any dried fruit at this point.
  7. Store in mason jar for about 2 weeks. 
Do you make your own granola or have favorite mix ins? I'd love to hear! Please share tips and tricks for your favorite. This stuff is so good!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Once Again Nut Butter Review #sponsored #nutbutter #ad

Once Again Nut Butter

Have you guys tried Once Again Nut ButtersIf you like nut butters you will love them! 
This month, I received a pack of 4 jars of different nut butters: peanut, sunbutter, almond and cashew. I'd seen Once Again Nut Butter but never had an opportunity to try it. They've now earned a life long customer. These organic nut butters are DELICIOUS, non-GMO and gluten free. Opened in 1976, they've been around for a while and are owned by their employees and located in New York.
First up, the Almond butter - so creamy and yummy! It contains high quality organic almonds that are roasted and milled. Nothing else is added to them.  Its gluten free, vegan and non GMO. Perfect, to top say and English Muffin, include in nut butter balls and use for baking. Check out more information on it and some delicious recipes here.
Their Sunflower Seed Butter is so good! Creamy, smooth, tasty, organic like all of the company products. It has a little bit of organic sugar, a little bit of salt and a little bit of sunflower oil. This is the perfect texture and substitute for peanut butter. and the flavor of it. 
The Cashew Butter has no sugar added and the ingredients include organic sunflower oil is added to enhance the spreadability of this butter. I'd never tried cashew butter before and it's incredibly rich and tasty. Check out their recipes like the Spicy Sweet Potato Cashew Cakes with Cilantro-Lime Cream (YUM) here!
 Their Peanut Butter is delicious! Creamy, a classic and no ingredients other than peanuts! Perfect for cooking and making smoothies. Check out this delicious soup recipe from their website. You can find it here:
West African Peanut Soup
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled / diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled / minced
2 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled / chopped
5 cups vegetable stock
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1 cup Once Again Creamy Peanut Butter
2 cups peeled / chopped sweet potatoes
1 tbsp lightly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, more if desired
Salt to taste

  1. Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic and ginger.  Cook for 2 – 3 minutes.
  1. Whisk in the vegetable stock, tomatoes in juice and peanut butter.  Add the potatoes, brown sugar and cayenne pepper. 
  1. Bring to a simmer.  Cover and cook until the potatoes are very tender. 
  1. Puree the soup until smooth using an immersion blender or in small batches in the blender.  If using the blender, fill only halfway and crack the lid just slightly to allow steam to escape. 
  1. Season the soup to taste with salt.  Serve warm topped with chopped peanuts if desired.
Gluten Free and Vegan

What a great company! The nut butters are tasty and GOOD! I love the idea that everything they produce is high quality and no additives, preservatives are added to the final product. The nut butters are smooth, very clean tasting and versatile. Each one of them can be used in so many wonderful recipes, from savory to sweet. Thank you, Once Again Nut Butter for the opportunity! I highly recommend these products! 
Please note, I received this product for free from Moms Meet, May Media Group LLC, who received it directly from the manufacturer. As a Moms Meet blogger, I agree to use this product and post my honest opinion on my blog. The opinions posted are my own.
To be in the know, check out their social media pages here - 
I hope you check out their products and give them a try the next time you're shopping! 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Meal Prep Made Easier

One of the biggest things that helps my week go more smoothly? Meal Prep. It's taken a few years to come to this realization but with work, two kids going in different directions, appointments and everything in between, its really easier for me to meal plan and do prep just to make our life a little easier during these busy days. 

I follow along Sweet Phi's blog and she recently gave some great tips to make this go a little easier. My documentation of it isn't quite as pretty, but I've found a few hints that do make things run more smoothly...
1) Veggie Prep:
Salads are easier when the prep is done!
If my vegetables are washed, cut and ready to go, I find myself more likely to grab them for snacking and easily throw them into salads and to use in sides. I usually check out the sale flyers and shop Trader Joes for the best bargains but typically, I get carrots, cucumbers, peppers and carrots for raw snacking during the week. When I can't find local (which is pretty impossible this time of year), I buy organic. This is a good guide to choose carefully when it comes to buying organic. I set aside a few hours to wash, peel and prep. I store them in airtight containers or individual packs (you can surprisingly find some inexpensive options that are BPA free at the Dollar Tree) which makes it easier for grab and go snacking. As the seasons change and there are more varieties available at our local farms and farmer's market, then I add in more colorful produce and include more fresh veggies. 
2) Lettuce: I wash and dry my lettuce so it's easier to enjoy fresh greens this time of year quickly. The salad spinner helps me dry those leaves. I find that I mix a crunchy romaine lettuce with darker greens like baby kale or spinach to get a bit of everything. I store them separately because the field greens tend to break down a bit quicker. 
3) Fruit Prep: Similar to above - I wash my fruits, dry them and store them accordingly for the week. I rotate fruit but this time of year we have a lot of citrus and the girls are still loving apples. I try to include mango, pineapple and kiwi as well. As the weather warms up, I'll buy more strawberries, raspberries and blueberries - especially in the Summer when they're so delicious. 
4) Snacks/Treats 
Roasted Chickpeas
Homemade Granola
Weekly Muffins
Energy Balls
I try to make energy balls weekly and alternate flavors. Here are a couple we love - lemon and peanut butter. My kids love these and I love that I'm in control of the ingredients. I also make muffins weekly. I use honey or maple syrup in a lot of the muffin recipes and my girls enjoy taking these for snacks. I switch around the weekly recipes but I always make something and I feel good about these "from scratch" snacks because obviously they're free from preservatives and icky ingredients.
5) Protein: Lately, I've been cooking chicken so we have it to use in burritos, salads, on top of rice, anything. I also make sure we have hard boiled eggs handy for quick snacks and to throw into salads at lunch time. The protein I make changes weekly, depending on my meal plan but in general, I find it's great to batch cook all my meat at once and use it for a couple of recipes throughout the week. We don't eat a ton of  it but when I do buy it, it's local and I know where it's come from. 

Batch Chicken Makes for Easy Meals
Chicken Sausage topped rice and veggies makes for an easy quick dinner

What do you do to make your weeknights easier? Do you have any tips or tricks? I'd love to hear! 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Loving Lately

Happy Friday friends! It's felt like kind of a long week here so can I get a collective YAY for Friday! Even though were springing forward on Sunday, it's hard to ignore the fact that we're expecting a bit of snow today and there are murmurs (the kind I am trying hard to block out) of a nor'easter next week 🙄. I know we live in New England and there's typically snow in March but it's safe to say I'm over it and a much bigger fan of mud over snow at this point!

Since I'm anticipating warmer weather and Spring, I wanted to share a couple of things that I've been loving lately...mainly SALAD! Isn't it funny how the body works? In the Fall, I'm definitely craving soup and stews but at this point, I'm starting to crave fresh salads, salsa and just in general, healthier food, fresher food. This week I found these delicious pea sprouts which I've never had before and have been absolutely loving them! They're so easy to throw on top of a salad or sandwich and I love the taste and crunchy texture. I'm not huge meat eater, in fact I don't eat too much but I've been trying to increase my protein a
bit with local, boneless chicken breast. My favorite salad lately has been delicious greens with a bit of chicken topped with avocado. Avocado just seems to make my day happier, I feel more full and satisfied. 
Here are the sprouts - so good!
This is the chicken I've been eating a top my salads. So EASY and so good! We usually have fajitas for dinner one night and the leftovers are what I enjoy during the week. 

Sometimes I've eaten a salad topped with an egg too, which is satisfying and good...if you're into eggs!
I've also started to replace my mid afternoon pick me up with Herbal Coffee. I first learned about herbal coffee through Healthnut Nutrition. Which is a great resource when you're looking for new recipes and healthy eating. Nikole seems down to earth and realistic about her approach to food. Be sure to check her out if you haven't already! Here's the coffee, I got mine on Amazon.  
I hope you are all off to a fabulous weekend! TGIF from here! 
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