Maple & Olive Oil Granola

There are so many amazing recipes to be found on Food52. I love to get inspiration from the site and occasionally participate in the recipe contests. That's where I stumbled upon Nekisia Davis' Granola recipe. After giving it a few tweaks here and there, I am ready to share the recipe!

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Maple & Olive Oil Granola

3 cups gluten-free rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup raw hulled sunflower seeds
1 cup raw pecan pieces
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut, coconut chips, or a blend
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients (oats through salt). Stir well. Set aside.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together syrup, oil and vanilla.

Pour liquid over oat mixture and stir well to combine.

Divide mixture between two baking sheets. Spread into a thin layer.*

Bake 20 minutes, stir, swap placement of baking sheets (top to bottom, bottom to top), and bake 20 minutes more.

Remove from oven and cool. Store in an airtight container for up to a week. Or divide up between mason jars and share with friends and neighbors!

*OPTION: press granola with the back of a flat spatula and do not stir at 20 minute mark to create a bark-like granola that can be broken into shards.

Banana Bread!

Banana Bread

Once I feel the crispness of Fall in the air, I get in the mood for baking. I used to make quick breads with my Mom growing up: banana, pumpkin, persimmon, and even beer bread! We had such a good times together in the kitchen. With such fond memories fueling my desire to bake, I knew our family was going to need a good gluten-free banana bread recipe. This one started by adapting Karina the Gluten-free Goddess’ Banana Bread recipe. We’ve made it at least ten times and tweaked it along the way. Thanks Karina for getting us started!

My family LOVES this banana bread, and I'm always surprised how fast it disappears. But fresh is best, so enjoy!

Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Makes one 9-inch loaf; serves 10-12

Ingredients:

1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
2 large organic, free-range eggs, beaten
¼ cup olive oil or coconut oil (melted)  
¾ cup brown or coconut sugar  
¾ cup all-purpose gluten-free flour (such as Trader Joe’s or Bob’s Red Mill)
½ cup arrowroot, tapioca or corn starch
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
2 teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoon guar gum or xantham gum
½ teaspoon GF baking soda
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon GF vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Optional topping:
1 Tbs flaxseed meal
1 Tbs Turbinado, raw or brown sugar

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Grease a 9-inch non-stick metal loaf pan with oil or butter.

In a mixing bowl, beat the mashed bananas with the eggs, oil and brown sugar until combined. Add the gluten-free flour, arrowroot starch, flaxseed meal, baking powder, guar gum, baking soda, salt, vanilla and cinnamon and gently mix until a smooth, sticky batter forms.

Scoop the batter into the loaf pan and spread evenly. Sprinkle with crunchy topping if desired.

Bake on the center rack for 55-65 minutes, until the center is done. Cool on a wire rack. Slice & serve.

Bacon, Date & Pistachio Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Crusted Pork Tenderloin
The inspiration for this recipe came from my sister-in-law. My mom raved about a dinner Holly made with pork tenderloin, bacon and dates. This percolated for a few days, and then I picked up a beautiful pork tenderloin from the folks at Diamond Mountain Ranch. This amazing piece of meat deserved special treatment, so I came up with this recipe to celebrate it!

4-6 Servings
Time
Active: 10 minutes
Total: 35 minutes

Ingredients

Crust:
2 strips raw bacon
2 Medjool dates, pitted
¼ cup pistachios
salt & pepper

1 – 1 ½ pound pork tenderloin

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with foil or lightly oil/grease a baking dish.

In a food processor, pulse crust ingredients until a chunky paste forms.

Remove fat or silver skin from pork exterior if desired. Place on lined sheet or in baking dish.

Distribute crust evenly across the top of the tenderloin. Then press it down so that it adheres to the tenderloin all across the top and part of the way down the sides.

Place pork in oven. Decrease oven temperature to 350. Roast 20-25 minutes or until the center of the pork registers 135-140, or is just slightly pink at center.

Remove from oven and rest 5 minutes. Slice gently with a sharp knife to preserve crust.

Serve 2-3 slices per person. Enjoy!

DIY Fruit & Streusel Muffins

DIY Fruit & Streusel Muffins

Do you ever stumble upon a recipe that just seems like a perfect fit for you or your family? I hope so because it feels and tastes so good! This Streusel Muffin recipe, inspired by Stacy Toth & Matthew Mccarry of the Real Everything blog and Real Life Paleo cookbook, has relaxed nicely into our home. Stacy & Matt made huge changes in their lives through diet and exercise to turn their family’s health around. Thanks for sharing! I've made this recipe so many times now with little tweaks here and there that it has become a Squier Family recipe. I love that it is practically a meal in a muffin, offering healthy fats, hearty protein and fiber, and just a small amount of unrefined sweetness. I hope your family enjoys it as much as we do!

DIY Fruit & Streusel Muffins

12 Servings
Time
Active: 30 minutes
Total: 50 minutes

Ingredients

Topping:
1/4 cup raw macadamia nuts
1/4 cup raw walnuts
1 Tbs coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
2 tsp coconut oil

Muffins:
1 cup pitted Medjool dates (or ½ cup pitted Medjool & ½ cup pitted Deglet dates)
1/4 cup coconut oil
4 large eggs
1 Tbs vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
1 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs coconut sugar
1 cup almond flour/meal
1/3 cup coconut flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 cup fruit of choice (see suggestions below)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tin with 12 paper or foil muffin cups.

In a food processor, pulse topping ingredients until crumbly. Move to a bowl and set aside.

Pulse dates in the food processor until a thick paste forms.

Add coconut oil, eggs, vanilla, lemon juice and zest. Pulse to combine. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine sugar through sea salt. Stir in wet mixture.

Add fruit; stir gently.

Using an ice cream scoop or 1/4 cup measure, spoon batter into muffin cups. Top with a rounded teaspoon of streusel topping.

Bake 22 minutes or until cooked through and lightly browned. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes. Move muffins to a rack to cool. Keep some in the refrigerator to enjoy in 2-3 days. Pack the rest in the freezer for later.

DIY Fruit Recommendations:

  • Strawberries, chopped with their juices (Stacy & Matt’s recommendation)
  • Fresh, frozen or dried blueberries
  • Apple, chopped with 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Fresh raspberries
  • No sugar added raisins or dried cherries, soaked in hot water for 5 minutes
  • Fresh apricots, chopped

Spice Blend Meets Salsa for Big Flavor

Summer grilling is back...yay!

Grilled Pork Chop with Nectarine Salsa
Grilled Pork Chop with Nectarine Salsa

After getting a couple of bone-in center cut pork chops from the sustainable, family-run Diamond Mountain Ranch at the Long Beach Farmer's Market, I was inspired to dress 'em up nicely for dinner. The grill seemed like the perfect place for them.

I threw together a few of my favorite items from the spice drawer to give a bold flavor to the chops. The great thing about this EASY spice blend is that you get big flavor from a small amount of ingredients...and you probably have these items in your kitchen. If not, you are missing out and need to add them!

Smokey Spice Blend
Makes 1/4 cup

Combine these ingredients in a small jar:
2 Tbs chili powder or ancho chili powder
1 Tbs cumin
1 Tbs garlic salt (or garlic powder if limiting salt/sodium)

Use some now and save the rest for later.

NOTES: If using garlic salt, there is no need to salt the chops, chicken, ribs or whatever else you might be seasoning. Use 1-2 tsp per pound of protein as a rule of thumb. I used about 1 tsp per 12 oz chop.

The grill was heated to about 400 when I put on the chops. The grilling time varies with bone-in vs boneless and how you like your meat cooked. I cooked the bone-in, 1 1/2 inch thick chops about 5 min a side for just a hint of pink. Using a thermometer, I recommend taking them off when they register 135 degrees. While resting, they will come up another 5 or so degrees and you don't want to overcook these beauties.

For a perfect accompaniment, I whipped up some Nectarine Salsa. The abundance of amazing summer fruit at the Farmer's Market sometimes leads me to buy too much (oops!), so this salsa was a great way to use up some of our bounty. I used regular and white nectarines here, but you could use one type or even sub peaches or plums if you like.

Nectarine Salsa
Makes 2 cups

Combine these ingredients in a small bowl:
2 large or 4 small nectarines
2 Tbs finely chopped red onion or shallots
2 Tbs finely chopped jalapeno
2 Tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbs lime juice

Stir gently. Tastes great with pork, chicken, fish (tacos!), and organic corn chips.