Do you remember when everyone thought that eating granola was such a healthy thing to do? There was such a connection that non-food related things would be referred to as granola. It was earthy, natural and likely to be consumed by non-carnivores! Well, I wasn’t those things but I still loved snacking on granola. Over the years, I learned that granola is not necessarily a healthy snack. If you buy it in a package, you have to watch out for many things. What’s being used to preserve it? How much sugar or, worse, corn syrup is used to make it? What other balls of sugar, essentially, are hidden in it? M&Ms? (In case you are wondering, M&Ms are not healthy. At all.) Some yogurt-covered treat (also usually full of sugar). Lots and lots of sugar in granola. That’s not to say anything of the calories, especially if there are peanuts or other nuts in it. Nuts aren’t bad. But, let’s face it, if you are trying to lose weight, you don’t want to be consuming a high calorie, high fat, high sugar content snack.
So, I simply stopped eating granola. However, recently I was at one of our favorite grocery stores with my daughter and she wanted a snack. The snack she wanted had a very high sugar content, so I offered she try something different. We were in the bulk section, so I picked up some granola that was on sale. She and I both ate it in the car and I realized that I missed that snack. I also remembered why I stopped eating it. I felt so full so fast and saw that the sugar content was higher than almost any snack that we usually eat. So, even before we got home I determined that I was going to start making homemade granola.
It was easy, inexpensive and so much healthier than any granola I could buy at our local grocery store! Here’s the recipe.
3 cups oats
1 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/2- 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 c. coconut oil
1/2 c. honey
1 tsp. vanilla
(I also threw a handful of almonds in mine…just because I noticed that I had a few right when I was putting all this together.)
1. Preheat the oven to 300.
2. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a bowl. Then, spread them out onto a greased or parchment paper lined baking sheet.
3. Then, mix all the wet ingredients and pour over the oatmeal mix on the baking sheet. Mix wel
4. Bake for 40 minutes, stirring the mixture every 10 minutes, until it’s golden brown. Let it cool and store it in a glass container with a lid.
Enjoy for breakfast or as a healthy snack at any time of the day!
What’s your favorite kind of granola?
It’s a common thought that healthy foods are expensive and junk food is cheap. While it’s true that junk food is incredibly cheap, and healthy food is generally more expensive, there is still hope for cheap healthy foods.
Here’s our list of healthy foods under $1.
Black Beans-the ones in a can are less than a $1 or you can make your own from a bag. It’s high in protein and is a great addition to a meal. It really fills you up and bulks up your meal.
Eggs-usually they are around $.20 per egg and it doesn’t take many to fill you up. Plus there are a million uses for eggs and I mean that literally. The possibilities are endless and they are another incredible source of protein.
Hummus-This is only the homemade version, but I don’t think there is a better treat. HERE is a recipe we posted a while back. Nix the tahini for cost because it doesn’t change the taste too much anyway. Even with all the ingredients, it shouldn’t be more than a $1.
Rice-quite possibly the cheapest food out there. No wonder they use it on survivor the most. It doesn’t have a ton of nutrients, but it’s very cheap and very filling.
Yogurt-You can always find good prices on yogurt and even better prices when they are on sale. Makes for the perfect breakfast and is packed with protein and probiotics.
Popcorn-Just don’t buy the junk version. Make your own. A bag of kernels is around $3 and that will make about 40 servings of popcorn. We posted the “how” to do it without a bag HERE. Popcorn is a great healthy treat! Your kids love it too!
Fruits-Everyone loves fruit right? Some fruit is cheaper than others. Making the cheap list is watermelon (in season), oranges, bananas, and apples. All of these are less than a $1 a serving and are obviously awesome for you!
What’s your favorite cheap, healthy food?
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Farmville on Facebook? No thank you. I prefer the real deal! At least as much of the real deal as makes sense in my small backyard.
For me that means gardening! Not only is it way more fun than an online game, you get to eat the rewards of your time and effort.
Gardening can be as frugal or as expensive as you want. But if you’re like me and trying your best to keep it on the cheap side, here are my tips.
1 – Plant what’s easy to grow but expensive to buy. That will make the best use of your time, energy, and financial investment into your garden. My go-to suggestions are salad greens. Spinach, romaine lettuce, leaf lettuce, swiss chard, kale, etc. They are all super easy to grow, some take as little as 60 days from sprout to harvest, and these healthy greens get pricey when you’re buying them every week so growing your own will quickly pay you back your investment and then save you plenty of money in the long run. Not to mention, it’s so much more nutritious straight from your garden!
2 – Container gardening on the cheap. If you don’t have a backyard, or if you’re like me and your backyard drainage drowns plants in the ground, or you just prefer to weed less, container gardening is an option for everyone. However, it does require a bit more investment up front. The good news is that you can skip the fancy, expensive planters and just use 5 gallon buckets instead. These can be bought cheap at home improvement stores, or if you have a friend at a restaurant or bakery, you can ask if they have any (such as frosting buckets). Just drill holes in the bottom for drainage and get planting.
3 – Dirt is not dirt-cheap, but it can be bought for less than full-price. If you need potting soil for your containers, or garden soil to amend your backyard garden, you’re going to have to get bargain hunting! I bought potting soil, big 1.5 cubic feet bags, for just $1 each after this rebate. But you’ll have to hurry because that ends June 2nd. Or perhaps you can save some money by putting together your own potting mix.
4 – Make your own watering can. I used one of those hard plastic orange juice jugs with the handle. I drilled holes in the cap and voila, I have a watering can for free!
5 – Make your own compost. Put those kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, fall leaves, etc. to work! It may sound complicated, but honestly you can take one of those 5 gallon buckets, drill a few air holes in the lid and along the sides, then add your scraps and leaves as you get them. Ideally, mix up the contents once a week. In a few months, you’ll have compost!
If you’re feeling a little more determined, find a few earth worms to add to your compost bucket. They’ll speed up the work and make your compost even better!
Food waste just bothers me! One-third of the food we buy, we throw away. That just makes me sad to waste that money. Because it really is just a waste. You might as well just wad up some cash and put it in the trash.
However there are things you can do to eliminate wasting food. Even if you only incorporate a few of these things, you have wasted less food and money. Here are a few of the most commonly wasted foods and purposes for them before they go bad.
1. Bread. This is easy, make croutons! I have a mild obsession with Outback croutons and found an exact copycat recipe. So before your bread goes bad, try THIS recipe. Don’t forget that bread makes a great food to feed to birds at parks. My kids LOVE it!
2. Potatoes. We’ve all seen potatoes when they have stuff growing out of them. I won’t lie, I will totally still use them unless they are black. They haven’t killed us yet. Potatoes are great frozen and even mash potatoes are great frozen. So before they go bad, cook them up and freeze them. Making your own shredded potatoes for hash browns is easy. Here is a great recipe for preparing your potatoes to be frozen into hash browns.
3. Tomatoes. We waste more tomatoes than I’d like to admit, so now I like to make my own “sun” dried tomatoes in the oven. It’s super easy and they last for a while! They are a great addition to recipes. Try THIS recipe.
Another great tip for not wasting foods is to make a list to put on your fridge every week of what you have and when you bought it. A common problem for a lot of people is not knowing what’s in your fridge.
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