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Simple Maple Almond Granola

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps15 Comments

I am so glad that the summer is almost here. I always look forward to the fresh fruit of the summer, and the chance to eat outdoors again. There is something about enjoying fresh ingredients in the out of doors that truly creates extra happiness in life. Though it's been chilly, the sun has been shining more, which has made me crave more fresh fruits and veggies as I enjoy it. Naturally, granola came to mind as I was deciding what I wanted to eat for breakfast this weekend. I found some gorgeous raspberries to pair it with and set to making a simple maple almond (not alps) granola.

Simple Maple Almond Granola | www.maplealps.com

I have always loved granola. It has the right amount of crunch and flavours that I love. It also creates an atmosphere that only granola can make. Perhaps it's linked to memories of camping and breakfasts in foreign homes and places that make it so special - or maybe I'm thinking about it too much - but I think you understand that I enjoy granola.

Simple Maple Almond Granola | www.maplealps.com

I like to experiment with different flavours and combinations. I love that granola is so versatile! Around Christmas, I like to make a gingerbread version, and in the summer I like adding coconut. This time, I decided to go simple and add some almonds and maple syrup. What a delicious combination! I love eating it with fresh fruit and some soy yogurt! So much yum!

Simple Maple Almond Granola | www.maplealps.com

Simple Maple Almond Granola
Makes about 7 cups

5 ½  cups old fashioned oats
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp sea salt
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup roughly chopped almonds
½ cup coconut oil
¾ - 1 cup maple syrup (depending on your sweet tooth)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp pure almond extract

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and prepare a large baking sheet by putting parchment paper on it
2) Mix dry ingredients well in a large bowl
3) Melt coconut oil in a small saucepan and whisk in maple syrup and vanilla and almond extracts
4) Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix until oats and nuts are well coated
5) Spread granola evenly on the baking sheet (you may have to use two)
6) Bake for 10-15 minutes, being careful not to let it burn
7) Allow to completely cool, then crumble the chunks and store in an airtight container
 


Do you like granola as much as I do? What kinds of foods "feel like Summer" to you?


 
 

Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas (vegan)

RecipesAmanda Walter | Maple Alps21 Comments

After the holidays and travelling for so long, the last thing I wanted to do after I came home was cook. There's nothing worse than coming home after living out of a suitcase for 2 weeks and having to come up with a complete meal when the fridge and pantry are basically empty. It's not motivating in the least.

We ended up running to the grocery store and making some paninis with our panini grill, but I was reminded later that I probably had some freezer meals left over. 

I love freezer meals. Once in a while I'll do a huge cooking haul, and prep meals enough for the month. The freezer is a wonderful thing, especially on days I don't want to cook, or know I will be too busy to do so. It's mostly for the benefit of my husband, who requires good and balanced meals. I suppose I do too, but I'm honestly the eat-cereal-for-dinner kind of gal when I'm too tired to care. 

On those days, it's very handy to have my freezer stocked with some of our favourite meals. It's win-win, since I don't really have to cook, and we still get to enjoy a homemade meal. That being said, we don't eat a meal from the freezer every day - I'm not that lazy! Today I'm going to share with you one of our favourite freezer meals!

Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

I've been experimenting with all sorts of enchilada recipes, but I keep coming back to this basic recipe, since it's quick, simple, and still really yummy! Spinach is probably my favourite thing to add to dishes, so naturally, I love this.

On meal prep days, sometimes I will make double the amount so that our freezer is always full of enchiladas! 

Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas (vegan) | www.maplealps.com
Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

They're quick to make up too, which makes Sunday prep days really painless. I can't complain when something is easy, and still tastes like a lot more effort went into it. 

I'm hoping to share some more freezer friendly meals soon, but for now, try this one out. You will love it.

Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas (vegan) | www.maplealps.com

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas

For the Enchiladas

  • 15 oz. can black beans

  • 1 cup frozen corn

  • 6 oz. baby spinach

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 small red onion

  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro

  • 2 tsp. cumin

  • 2 cups shredded vegan cheese (optional)

  • Green onion for garnish

  • 10 large tortilla shells

Sauce (or use this recipe)

  • 3 cups vegetable broth

  • 1/2 C tomato paste

  • 1/4 C flour (I use whole wheat white flour)

  • 2 TBSP olive oil

  • 2 tsp. cumin

  • 1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder, chilli powder

  • salt/pepper to taste

1) Make the sauce by heating olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add tomato paste, flour and spices.

2) Whisk for about a minute and add broth, slowly bringing it to a boil.

3) Reduce to simmer and cook until slightly thickened. Add salt/pepper for taste and set aside.

4) Saute red onion and garlic until softened. Add spinach and cook until slightly wilted.

5) In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients and add onion, garlic and spinach mixture. 

6) Fill tortillas with mixture and roll tightly

7) Coat a 9x13 inch baking dish with some enchilada sauce and line the dish with rolled enchiladas, seam side down.

8) Pour remaining sauce generously over the enchiladas. Sprinkle some cheese on top (optional)

9) Bake at 375 degrees F for about 20 minutes

10) Garnish with fresh cilantro and green onions and try it with some homemade vegan sour cream

Freezer Friendly: As mentioned, I love freezing these for a quick meal on a busy weeknight. To freeze, line rolled enchiladas up on a parchment-lined baking sheet and place in the freezer until firm and ready to transfer to a freezer bag. 

Freeze enchilada sauce separately. 

To prepare, heat up sauce slowly in a saucepan and prepare as normal (see above). Bake covered for about 30 minutes and uncovered for another 20, or until done. 

 

Do you prepare meals in the freezer? Let me know if you try this or anything else by posting to social media and tagging #MapleAlps!


 
 
Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas (vegan) | www.maplealps.com