Another Reason For Joy, Ravishing Recipes, To brighten your day, Yummy Favorites!

Ravishing Recipes: Almond Granola + Homemade Yogurt!

See other Ravishing Recipes here and here.

My favorite quick-fix breakfast would by Homemade Yogurt with Homemade Jam, Almond Granola and Self-Picked Blueberries.  Over the past few years, my family has grow to love wholesome, homemade meals.  Although not every meal we make is all homemade and natural, I am so happy with the new recipes we are making.  Here is my all time favorite Granola + Homemade Yogurt (a surprisingly yummy dish 🙂 )

Almond Granola*

Ingredients

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

5 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

2 cups of raw almond, hand-chopped coarsely

2 cups raisins or other dried fruit, chopped if needed (we use 1 cup dried cranberries, 1 cup golden or regular raisins)

Instructions

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla and salt in a large bowl.  Whisk in oil. Fold in oat and almonds until throughly coated.

Transfer granola mixture to prepared baking sheet and spread across baking sheet into thin, even layer (about 3/8″ thick). Using a stiff metal spatula, compress granola mixture until very compact. Bake until lightly browned, 40 to 45 minutes, rotating pan once halfway through baking. Remove granola from the oven and cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 1 hour.  Break cooled granola into pieces of desired size.  Stir in dried fruit. Store in airtight container. (Makes about 9 cups).

This granola is so, so yummy!  I eat it with yogurt, milk or by itself as a snack. My favorite though, is to eat it with yogurt.  Keep reading to make Homemade Yogurt!

Homemade Yogurt

Although it seems a little odd, making your own yogurt is surprisingly easy and SO inexpensive.  Just follow the instructions and see for yourself!

Ingredients and Tools

– 1 half-gallon whole milk (8 cups). (We make a whole gallon at a time, since there are so many of us.  We also use low-fat yogurt, but it is best to start with whole milk.)

-1/2 cup store-bought, natural, live/active culture plain yogurt as a starter (we use 1-1 and 1/2 cup starter when we make a whole gallon).

-frozen/fresh fruit, jam or honey for flavoring

-crockpot/slow cooker

-thick bath towel or quilt

Instructions 

(Note: Yogurt making takes a while, make it on a day when you are around for a while).

Plug in your crockpot and turn it on low.  Add your all your milk.  Cover and cook on low for 2 and 1/2 – 3 hours.

Unplug your crockpot and let it sit with the cover on for 3 hours. Do not lift the lid or stir the yogurt.

When 3 hours have passed, scoop out 3-5 cups of the warmish milk and put in a large bowl.  Add your starter (the active yogurt) to the bowl and whisk for about a minute.  Put the contents back into the crockpot and whisk for another minute. Put the lid on your crockpot and keep it unplugged.  Wrap your bath towel or quilt tightly around the crockpot.  Let it sit for about 8 hours (we normally let it sit overnight).

Once 8 hours have passed, the yogurt will have thickened (it’s not as thick as store-bought yogurt, but we like it just the same).  Store in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

When you eat the yogurt, add fruit, jam or honey to flavor it. Be creative!  Our favorite is homemade raspberry jam and that Almond Granola.

Making simple recipes in bulk like this is both time-efficient and low-cost.  For our family of eight, using store-bought yogurt even in bulk was just too expensive.  Plus, making your own allows you to be creative and adjust the recipe for your family’s needs.  Please enjoy!

Let me know how your Almond Granola + Homemade Yogurt turns out! What is your favorite on-the-go breakfast?

Blessings,

Maddie

*Recipe from America’s Test Kitchen 

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Another Reason For Joy, Ravishing Recipes, To brighten your day, Yummy Favorites!

Ravishing Recipes: Mango Banana Smoothies!

See other Ravishing Recipes here.

Hello there!

I’m back with another recipe to share!  We first discovered/created this recipe a couple of days ago, and I am so happy with it!

I love this recipe mostly because it is quick (as smoothies usually are), packed with fruits and veggies, and full of flavor, which makes me happy.

Ingredients (makes one LARGE serving):

1 whole ripe Banana

1 cup frozen Mango

1 cup Spinach

1/4 cup plain Greek Yogurt

3/4 cup milk

3/4 cup water

This recipe could easily be made dairy free and vegan, by using 1 cup almond milk, no yogurt and 1/4 cup water.  

Instructions:

Put ingredients in blender in order.  Blend from medium to high until smooth, light green, with no chunks of fruit or spinach.

I really enjoyed this smoothie.  It came out a pleasant shade between smooth mint and lime green. It was creamy, due to the yogurt, but I could still taste all the fruits.  I could not taste the spinach at all.  Overall, it had a sweet taste that was fresh, and not overwhelming.  This recipe is a winner!

My sister adapted this recipe from The Daniel Plan Cookbook, a guide that is based off of Daniel 1.  The idea is that healthy eating should not just be for weight loss, but should be a central part of our lives.  The Daniel Plan addresses not just the physical side of us, but also how to grow and shape our mind and soul as well. I’m not doing the Daniel Plan right now, but I still enjoy their recipes!

I hope you try this smoothie!  Please enjoy!

Blessings,

Maddie

I was not sponsored by The Daniel Plan for this post.  I really do like their recipes that much!  🙂
Another Reason For Joy, Ravishing Recipes, To brighten your day, Yummy Favorites!

Ravishing Recipes: Baker’s One Bowl Brownies!

Hello there!

I am taking a different route today to give you one of my favorite recipes.  I hope you enjoy this recipe that I have loved since childhood.

Today, I am starting with my favorite type of food: dessert!  I absolutely love dessert, especially ice cream. I am pretty sure most of you out there have a little sweet tooth too. 🙂

This recipe is one of my family’s favorite: Baker’s One Bowl Brownies.

Now I know what you are thinking, Another brownie recipe?!? You have probably had dozens of different brownies in your life, but please give these a try.  My family brings these delightful little things to all types of events (class graduations, birthday parties, youth group), because people keep requesting them!  They are so simple, but so yummy.

Ingredients:

4 squares of Baker’s Unsweetened baking Chocolate

3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) butter or margarine (we always use butter)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

1 cup flour

1 cup chopped pecans (optional, we usually don’t use nuts)

Family twist: Extra chocolate chips either for the batter or sprinkled on top before baking

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, extent foil over sides of the pan. Grease foil.  (We always use a glass baking dish and grease it with shortening, no foil)

Microwave chocolate and butter in a large microwave safe bowl on High for 2 min, or until the butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is melted. (We microwave for a minute, stir the mixture, microwave for another minute etc.)

Stir in sugar (take a minute to taste before you add the eggs! 🙂 ), eggs and vanilla.  Add the flour and nuts (if you so choose).  (At this time, you can add some chocolate chips if you like.)  Mix well and spread well into the prepared pan. (You can also sprinkle a generous amount a chocolate chips in top.)

Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out almost clean, with some fudge crumbs. (Don’t overbake these little beauties!) Cool on a wire rack.  Cut, remove and enjoy! (Don’t forget to like the batter bowl! 🙂 )

As soon as you taste these brownies, you’ll be setting your oven to make another batch!  I have had so many good comments on these, but they are so simple.  My family has even added cream cheese (for cheesecake brownies), peppermint (for peppermint brownies) and even peanutbutter (I think you can figure this one out).

I hope you give these a try!

Blessings,

Maddie