Submitted by Stephanie Clinton
You know what is great about Oklahoma Women Bloggers? Community. Finding other women in your home state who have a passion for writing and blogging takes the loneliness out of sitting behind the computer. Recently I was able to spend time with some of my fellow bloggers and learn about healthy living at the same time. We got together at Natural Grocers in Oklahoma City to learn about how eating healthy can be a delicious way of life. We also learned about Natural Grocers as a company and what they are all about. Natural Grocers is not your average bear. It started out at a family business and as it has grown has held on to the family values it was based on. Their philosophy is all about using food to keep the body healthy, offering affordable pricing, commitment to quality and commitment to community and employees. Each store has an accredited health coach where you can receive FREE one on one food and nutrition coaching sessions. Free! Some of the stores have meeting spaces with demo kitchens where they offer free cooking classes for the community and free culinary-nutrition classes. I’m seeing a trend here and the key word is “free”. Loving that. That tells me that they really do value their customers and they aren’t about nickel and dimeing people to death. One take away that really hit home with me is that Natural Grocers sounds like an amazing company to work for. The employee benefits are outstanding beginning with offering a ‘living wage’ rather than ‘minimum wage’. I know where I’m going to send Addison when it’s time for him to get a job to pay for gas.
(Oklahoma Women Bloggers)
We were also treated to a small brunch of turkey bacon, olive and tomato frittata and veggie latke. All super delicious and easy to make. The frittatas were made in muffin tins so they are so easy to serve and easy to freeze and reheat in the microwave. Hello fast and healthy breakfast.
In addition to the fellowship, yummy food and inspiration we walked away with a reusable grocery bag filled with goodies. Among the treats were organic shaved coconut, organic raw almonds, organic sunflower seeds and organic chia seeds. All of this is the perfect start for granola, all I had to do was add the oats and something sweet. I have been munching on this stuff all week and have decided that it is my favorite granola recipe so far.
Almond and Coconut Granola Recipe
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl mix together:
4 cups rolled oats (NOT quick cook oats)
3 Tbs. coconut oil, melted
Spread oats on baking sheet and toast in 300 degree oven for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Increase oven temp to 350 degrees.
In the same bowl combine:
1 1/2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cups almonds (roughly chopped)
1/4 cups sunflower seeds
1 Tbs. chia seeds
pinch of salt
Add oats to nut mixture and combine.
In a sauce pan combine:
2/3 cups brown sugar
1/3 cups agave nectar
1/3 cups honey
1/3 cups orange juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. garam masala
Heat until thoroughly combined, stirring often.
Pour over oat/nut mixture and thoroughly combine. Spread on foil lined baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, stirring halfway through. Store in an airtight container.
Stephanie is a writer, blogger and avid housework avoider. In addition to being a Community Manager for Oklahoma Women Bloggers, she also writes her own blog, Hugs, Kisses and Snot. Discover parenting, humor and all sorts of shenanigans at hugskissesandsnot.com