Healthy Cinnamon Honey Granola

Healthy Cinnamon Honey Granola
I love having a bowl of granola cereal in the evenings.  However, last time I went to the store the price was too high for my liking.  So I decided to make my own!  It's super simple and has a great flavor!  I had a bowl last night and it passed the test.  Super yummy!  

Next time I may try upping the oven temp to see if I can get it a tad more crunchy.  But that's just a personal preference.  This recipe browned nicely and has a great flavor.

You can add dried or fresh fruit to it after you have baked it to add even more flavor.

Homemade Cinnamon Honey Granola

  • 9 cups oats *see notes

  • 1 cup organic honey (local is best)

  • 1 cup organic coconut oil

  • 1 t himalayan salt

  • 1 t ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 cup pecans, broken (optional)

  • Preheat oven 350*.
  • In a large bowl, combine oats, salt, cinnamon, & pecans.
  • In a small saucepan, mix together honey and coconut oil.  Bring to a gentle boil, stirring to help break up clumps.  
  • Pour over dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Spread onto 2 large baking sheets, lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake in oven 15 minutes for soft granola
  •  For a more cereal-like granola, stir granola and place back in over for another 10 min.
  • Cool and store in air-tight container.

*I did a mix of old fashioned oats and quick oats, about half and half, to add more texture and variety.

*If you want them a bit crunchier, try using a higher oven temp and check after 15 min

DIY Pumpkin Spice Creamer

Tis the season for all things pumpkin spice! I have been a lover of this season for a long time.  I love all things pumpkin spice!  However, the healthier I get the harder it is to find anything I can enjoy. So I found a recipe that I can make myself and enjoy without my body paying for it later. 

First, let me tell you that I absolutely LOVE my Vitality oils. They are approved for ingestion and a little goes a long way, making them a perfect match for all of your culinary needs. If you don’t have your kitchen stocked with Vitality Oils yet, let me know and I’ll be happy help you out! 

Now for the best part of this post, Pumpkin Spice Creamer! This is the perfect coffee creamer to kick off the fall season.  It's made with vitality essential oils to give your body extra immune support.  Not to mention that they make it taste amazing!

If you need the perfect mug to compliment your pumpkin spice coffee?  Check out our custom made mugs at Lavender & Coffee.  We welcome new design ideas, so feel free to browse our mugs and contact us with any new suggestions.  We also have a Winter Spice Mug gift set available that has a sample to use for some good pumpkin spiced coffee!

 Spiced Pumpkin Creamer


Add all ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth.  Store in airtight container.  Keep refrigerated.  Shake well before using.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I will earn a small commission on purchases made through these links. I assure you that I only recommend products and companies that I trust and would purchase from personally. Thanks for reading! Our full disclosure policy isn’t too exciting but you can find it here. 

The Best Gluten Free Pancakes (no egg, no dairy)

The Best Gluten Free Pancakes (no egg, no dairy)
If you have read many of my blogs, you know that in my family of 5, 3 of us have special dietary needs.  That often makes it super hard to find a meal that we can all enjoy and isn't a ton of extra time and work for me in the kitchen.  If you think gluten, sugar, and dairy free are hard to work with, try adding no pork and no eggs to the list.  Goodbye breakfast ideas...or maybe not!

We often like to have breakfast for dinner.  It's a favorite in my house.  I usually serve it with fruit or a smoothie so that we get in some of those extra nutrients.  However, I had been holding off on it due to some of our newfound dietary needs.  Just how do you make a breakfast with no pork (hello, bacon!...and sausage) and no eggs??  Oh, and did I mention that the no dairy also means no butter?  That's unheard of, right?  Wrong!!

That's when I came across this recipe and tweaked it a bit to suit our families needs.

Gluten-Free Pancakes (no egg, no dairy)

  • 1 cup gluten-free 1 for 1 flour
  • 1 Tbs ground flaxseed (flax meal)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp himalayan salt (or sea salt)
  • 2 Tbs pure maple syrup (can also use honey)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk (see note)
  • 1 cup almond milk

  1. Grease griddle and preheat (see notes for suggestion).
  2. In mixing bowl, combine flour, flax meal, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. You can sift if you want it more fine.  I skip this step because it seems to work fine to just mix it.
  3. In another bowl, combine maple syrup, vanilla, buttermilk (see note), and almond milk.  Slowly mix in half of the liquid into the dry ingredients.  Stir continually as you add the rest, 1/4 cup at a time.  This helps keep it from being too runny.   Mix until all the lumps are out of the batter.
  4. Place about 1/4 cup of mix onto prepared hot griddle.
  5. Cook for 1-2 minutes, or until they start to bubble around the edges.  Flip and cook the other side for an additional 1-2 minutes.  Remove and serve.
To make buttermilk, add 1 TBS of lemon juice to 1 cup of almond milk.  Let stand for 5 min.
Here's the cast iron griddle I have used for years and it's been great!  

DIY Soup Mix

I love using soup mixes in my recipes, but I don't love all the added yuck!  In my family of 5, 3 of us have special dietary needs.  No, they aren't all the same.  So, if I truly make something that we can all enjoy, boxed, canned, pre-made foods are definitely not the place to go.  Not to mention that once you get used to cooking a certain way, the canned/boxed/pre-made stuff just doesn't seem as appetizing.  You can see the difference in this post where I compare pictures of canned vs homemade soup mix.  Wow!  Just look at the difference!  Now, tell me which one you would choose.

That's why I was super excited to find a way to make my own.  Here's the recipe I currently use. Eventually, I plan to find a fully dairy free version to better suit my family's needs.  

Since we are mostly dairy free, when I mix this up I use almond milk.  Even though there is powdered milk in this recipe, it seems to be mild enough that we can still tolerate it.

DIY Soup Mix

  • 2 cup powdered milk
  • 3/4 cup cornstarch
  • 2 Tbs chicken bouillon (see notes)
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Measure ingredients and place in glass container.
Shake well to combine.
Store in cool dark place in airtight container.

To use: Mix equal parts of soup mix and preferred liquid (almond milk, water).  Heat over medium heat in saucepan, whisking continually.  Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
To use as a thickener, combine 1/3 mix with 1/4 liquid and add to desired recipe.

Find the recipe I use for bouillon here.

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Tater Tot Casserole From Scratch

Tater Tot Casserole From Scratch
On Friday mornings I make meals for shut-ins, elderly, or those recovering from a medical procedure.  I have a list of meals I choose from.  Most of them are meals my family used to enjoy.  However, our diets have changed so much that I end up making a totally different version of the meal for my family.  It's amazing the differences I now see in foods.  Food that I once considered home-made from scratch, I now laugh at because I know the difference.  Here's an example:  
The first picture is using canned soup mix.  The second picture shows the same recipe, but made with a homemade soup mix, totally from scratch using dried herbs, seasonings, and almond milk. 
Now for the good part!  Below, I will share with you the recipe I make for my family.  Enjoy!

Tater Tot Casserole

  • 1 lb ground hamburger meat
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup DIY soup mix (see notes below)
  • 1/4 cup almond milk (or water)
  • 32 oz frozen tater tots
  • salt & pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Brown ground beef, season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add chopped onion, cook until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, mix soup mix with almond milk and set aside.
  5. In a 9x13 casserole dish, combine ground beef mixture and soup mix.
  6. Top mixture with tater tots.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until bubbly and tater tots are golden brown.
Note:  If you are not dairy free, you can add cheese to the top and return to the oven to melt it.
You can find the soup mix recipe here.