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The Best (and Healthiest) Granola. Ever.

Paleo Granola via Cafe Sucre Farine | Covet Living

I ran across this recipe on the mothership (Pinterest, duh) when I was scouting healthy Whole 30 / Paleo-esque recipes a few months ago. I just made it last week and I’m tellin you what… probably best to sprint to your local Sprouts, snap up the nuts & seeds you need for this and get to makin’ some granola. Best I’ve ever had, and there’s not a tsp of brown sugar or a dash of oats in sight – it’s ALL seeds, nuts, coconut oil and a little honey. I’ve been DEVOURING the stash I made of this for breakfast with some almond milk every day, cuz anybody who’s done the Whole 30 / Paleo thing will tell you, making eggs every morning gets to be kind of a drag. The only thing I changed from the original recipe is that I cut the raisins / cranberries / dried fruit… you can add whatever you want; I bought the dried cranberries that you’re supposed to add after this comes out of the oven and cools, but after I tasted it, I didn’t feel like it needed anything else. I also added a dash more salt than it calls for. PS, I feel like the ground cloves are a revelation – anyone who walks into your house while this is baking in the oven will think they just walked into heaven. Here she blows:

Ingredients
  • 2 cups blanched, sliced almonds*
  • 1 cup pecans*
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts*
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds*
  • 1 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)*
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds*
  • ¼ cup ground flax seed or flax seed meal, you can also use almond meal in place of the flax
  • ¾ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • ½ cup honey
  • 6 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon**
  • ½ teaspoon cloves**
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger**
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt + a dash after it comes out of the oven
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 275˚F. Lightly grease a sheet pan or, for easy clean up, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. If you use foil, lightly grease it.
  2. Combine all the nuts and seeds as well as the coconut in a large bowl.
  3. Over low heat, combine honey and coconut oil until heated through. (You can also heat the honey and coconut oil in the microwave on high heat for 90 seconds.) Remove from heat and stir in vanilla, cinnamon and cloves, ginger and salt.
  4. Pour over nut/seed mixture and mix well. Be sure to scrape all the good honey/oil mixture that’s left in the bowl. Spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet (NOTE: I had to use 3 baking sheets).
  5. Bake for about 45- 60 minutes or until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes to keep granola at the edges of the pan from burning. Watch carefully after 45 minutes as ovens vary. Once the granola is a nice golden brown, remove it from oven and allow to cool**.

xoxo!

Steph's Scanned Signature

 

Favorite Wines Under $25

Fave Vino Under $25 | Covet Living

Listen yo, I’m no sommelier… when all else fails and I’m in a hurry, sometimes I pick a bottle out at the grocery store based on pretty the label is (whoops)… in the same manner that whenever I’ve had to pick fantasy teams, I’ll pick the gaggle of dudes with the best weaves, etc.  That said, I know enough about what I like & what I don’t about wine: don’t like whites that are too sweet (Riesling might as well be a Shirley Temple, IMO), prefer a California Sauvignon Blanc over a New Zealand one b/c I love citrus-y vs. grassy… love big jammy reds that aren’t too battery-acid tannic or too earthy (yack). Don’t need anything that costs an ovary per glass, either. I’d almost always rather drink red – except for the fact that it turns my teeth purple, and except in the summertime when it’s hotter than hades.  You get my jam – anyhow…  This year, I’ve taken stock of the wines I’ve run across that were REALLY great – and relatively reasonable.  SO, here are my faves under $25 (most around $15)… because I’m sure we all need to restock before NYE.  And because I’m sure THIS reality is probably setting in for just about everyone right about now:

therapy-by-new-years

REDS

La Atalaya del Camino 2013 ($17)… I buy it locally (in LA) at Lincoln Fine Wines.  Superb.  Tasting notes: “Suggestive aromas of juicy black fruit and red fruit, alongside creamy notions of spices, vanilla, toffee and moka over a fresh, balsamic background.”

red-la-atalaya-del-camino-covet-livings-fave-vino

Piatelli Vineyards Premium Reserve Malbec, $14.  Kudos to Mountain Spirits on Elk for always hand-picking and stocking $15 bottles of wine that taste like $100 bottles of wine.  One of my all-time faves.  Tasting notes: “Decadent aromas of meat, blueberry and mineral. Slate too. Full-bodied, tight and chewy with a lovely texture and freshness. Just a hint of toasted oak and walnuts.”

red-piatelli-malbec-covet-livings-fave-vino

True Myth Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, $18 at Trader Joe’s.  I’ve been loving Paso wines this year; this one might be my fave from there.  Grabbed this a few nights ago for dinner at my Mom’s.  Plus look how pretty the bottle is?  Slap a taper candle in that bad boy when you’re done and light er up.  Tasting notes: “…abundance of blue and black fruit to sweeten, the chalky tannins and earth “soil” play up the savory and mineral tones of this rustic red… serious big oak-caramel and black cherry coming in from the mid-palate to finish… straightforward feel in its red currants, licorice and spice.”

red-true-myth-covet-livings-fave-vino

Daou Cabernet Sauvignon 2015, $23.  Daou never disappoints.  Fun fact: Nick – my cabinet guy I design custom cabs for (kitchens & baths & built-ins) did all the custom cabinetry for their winery this year. #baller.  Tasting notes: “Rich deep dark berry color with creamy mocha-espresso flavors is the first impression of this wine. The tannins are well integrated with the fruit and create a long finish that keeps going. It’s full bodied with a saturated finish while accompanied by bright acidity and infused by black current and cooked blueberry fruit.”

daou

Chateau Thomas-Laurent Bordeaux 2014, $12.  I think a good Bordeaux is hard to find… and it’s not always the first varietal I reach for, but this is a find.  Another Mountain Spirits score.  Tasting notes: “…initial scent reveals fresh fruits and whiffs of earth, flavors follow with the same notes, adding plums and herbs.”

red-chateau-thomas-laurent-covet-livings-fave-vino

Pali Bluffs Russian River Pinot Noir 2014, $23.  I ordered this for the table when my mom was in San Diego last Spring, and it was $75 at George’s at the Cove (most overpriced place ever with the best view of the water at sunset).  Don’t tell them I said this, but it was worth every penny there, so it’s like highway robbery at $23.  Tasting notes: “…oak present from the start, adding to the plushness of the tannin and taste of vanilla and spice. Plum jam gives way to juicier cherry and berry, with an underlying yeastiness that presents like baked bread.”

red-bluffs-covet-livings-fave-vino

Santa Barbara Valley Syrah Santa Ynez Valley 2012, $20.  Tasting notes: “…flavors of white pepper and lavender, with a jammier full fruit character.”

red-santa-barbara-winery-syrah-covet-livings-fave-vino

WHITES

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier 2014, $12.  I buy mine at Trader Joe’s.  Light & on the sweeter, peachier (but not too sweet) side.  Tasting notes: “…from crisp white peach, honeyed pear and sweet mango, to touches of fresh jasmine blossom and white chai tea.”

white-pine-ridge-covet-livings-fave-vino

Pedroncelli Sauvignon Blanc 2015, $12.  TWELVE DOLLAH BILLS and this stuff is DUL-LICIOUS.  Hands-down my favorite white; everyone I have poured it for raves about it.  Tasting notes: “refreshing with rich, lingering layers of citrus, honeydew melon and pineapple.”

white-pedroncelli-covet-livings-fave-vino

Burgans Albarino 2014, $13.  Hate to be a one-trick pony but kudos again to the sommelier at Mountain Spirits.  Found this one this summer and it went down REAL EASY.  Pedronelli is still my fave, but this is a goodie.  Really tough to find though – I also snap it up from Lincoln Wines in LA.  Tasting notes: “Powerful scents of pineapple, mango and white flowers, with a chalky overtone. Supple and round in the mouth, offering juicy tropical fruit avors and a bracing note of lemon zest.”

white-burgans-albarino-covet-livings-fave-vino

La Crema Chardonnay 2014, $20.  This one goes out to my girl KP, who has a mini-fridge in her sweet Malibu beach studio, and fills up 3/4 of it with bottles of this. Tasting notes: “…opens with layered aromas of fresh Meyer lemon, shortbread and ripe pear. On the palate are flavors of baked, locally grown, Gravenstein apple framed by hints of sweet spice and white peach.”

large-la-crema-chardonnay-2014

Bottoms up & Merry Christmas!!!

xoxo,

Steph's Scanned Signature