I’m back!

You know you love what you do when you miss it while away.

After 8 hours of travel we arrived home yesterday afternoon with a cranky baby and a few eager pets. My body ached, I needed to shower, and my head was starting to nod as I struggled to keep my eyes open. And still Jason had to restrain me from the kitchen as my need for productivity fought all my bodily urges. After a bit of resistance I caved. Then I took a three hour nap with Eden.

That was a good choice.

This morning, still on Michigan time and well rested from my nap the day before, I was up by 5:00 a.m. By 6:00 I had granola bars in the oven. I was rolling out cookie dough for a raw Almond Strawberry Linzer cookie I still haven’t decided to post on the blog or publish in the cookbook, and cashews were soaking for a raw Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake. Sipping on coffee while jotting down ingredients, taste testing recipes, and making a mess in the kitchen may just be the best way to start a day.

By 6:30 I pulled the granola bars out of the oven and pretty quickly I discovered they weren’t going to work. Crumbly and soft, I had essentially made granola. So I tried again, this time using a completely different technique. And they were delicious. Sweet and chewy, these granola bars are packed with goodness; biting into one of these may just be another great way to start the day.

Easy Homemade Granola Bars
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  1. 2 cups rolled oats
  2. 3/4 cup wheat germ
  3. 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
  4. 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
  5. 1 cup whole almonds
  6. 2 Tbsp flax seeds
  7. 1 cup shredded coconut
  8. 1/2 cup raisins
  9. 1/2 cup dried cherries
  10. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  11. 1/2 cup agave nectar
  12. 6 tbsp non-hydrogenated vegan butter
  13. 2 tsp vanilla extract
  14. pinch of salt
  1. Line a 9x13 baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl combine oats, wheat germ, seeds, and nuts. Spread onto a larger baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, stirring ever couple minutes. Stir in shredded coconut and continue to toast for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from oven, stir in dried fruit. Return to bowl and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan combine brown sugar, agave nectar, vegan butter, salt, and vanilla. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly. Once sugar has melted pour hot liquids over the oats and mix thoroughly to combine.
  4. Transfer granola onto prepared 9x13 baking sheet, spread evenly, and press down hard. Let granola cool for 1-2 hours. Flip baking sheet over to release and cut into bars.
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.
My Darling Vegan

What’s your favorite way to begin the day?

I can’t do much without my coffee. Most mornings I brew some coffee while Eden snacks in her highchair. By the time the coffee is ready I am already on my computer responding to emails and comments. I’ve explained to Eden that I need 15 minutes of “me” time as I wake up and prepare for the day. Every morning she obliges.