Tag Archives: nuts

Make your own Granola

If you buy granola in the store, look at the ingredient list. There are a lot of unnecessary chemicals and additives. You can make your own and control what goes into it. Different ratios are out there but you can experiment with different ingredients.

Epicurious.com says to use 6 parts dry ingredients to 1 part wet. The main base ingredient is ALWAYS rolled oats. When I make my granola I use about 3 cups of rolled oats. Then I add another cup of a combination of nuts and seeds. Some seeds don’t need to be baked (like chia or flaxseed) so you can add them after. I like a mix of almonds, pecans, and walnuts. Other possibilities are pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, puffed millet, and coconut flakes. Sometimes I also like to add dried cranberries and/or small chocolate chips.

Wet ingredients are what you coat the dry ingredients with. You can use coconut oil, olive oil, canola, sunflower seed oil, or even butter. To this you add some kind of sweetener like honey, agave, maple syrup. Sometimes I add a little powdered stevia to cut on the calories. You can also use an egg white. You can also add cinnamon, vanilla extract, nutmeg, cardamom, or salt for flavor. TheKitchn.com suggests a 50-50 ratio of fats to sweeteners.

Once you coat the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, you can spread it out on a sheet pan and bake at 300 degrees for about 30-40 minutes. Remember to stir every 10-15 minutes. After it is done, cool completely and then you can add the dried fruits of your choice such as dried cranberries, cherries, raisins, apricots. Store in jar or airtight container. You can use this as a cereal or mix in with your yogurt.


There are two kinds of basic protein: complete and incomplete.

Complete or whole protein have all nine essential amino acids. Some examples of foods with this type of protein are red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, soybeans, hempseed, and quinoa. These foods vary in the amount of protein but are all sources of complete protein.

Incomplete proteins can be combined to form complete proteins. Some incomplete proteins are nuts, seeds, legumes, pasta, and lentils. Some combinations can be nuts or seeds along with whole grain bread (like peanut butter on whole wheat). Whole grains with beans (like beans and rice or refried beans and whole wheat tortillas). Beans with nuts or seeds (like a salad with chickpeas and sunflower seeds).

You should aim to get about 50-60 grams protein per day.


No boring salads here!

Sometimes salads can be boring. That needn’t be. There are many trends out there that can add some pizzazz to your salad. The Victor crew suggests some of the following ideas:

To a green salad, add berries, apples, or other fresh seasonal fruit. Grapes or cherries are also good. If there aren’t any seasonal fruits you want to add, try dried cranberries or other dried/dehydrated fruits.

Another nice addition is nuts. You can even easily make your own candied nuts to toss in. Use some raw almonds and toss with olive oil and honey and maybe some cinnamon and roast in the oven for about 20-30 mins on low. You can make a bunch and freeze them for another time. You can do the same with pecans or walnuts too.

You can grate some cheese in your salad as well. Try using the “ribbon” side of your grater or the ribbon microplane and use cheese such as asiago or fontinella (not fontina).

As for greens, try some different types like spinach (strawberries go well with this), romaine, baby lettuce, spring mix, arugula mix, or mixture of any of them.

There are many different salad dressing that you can use with these salads. Usually vinaigrette goes well. There are different types that would work – sometimes a sweet one such as raspberry vinaigrette works well.

Legumes vs Beans

What is the difference between legumes and beans? The Victor crew wanted to find out in detail what the details are behind these classifications. So here is what we found out:

All beans are always legumes but not all legumes are beans.

A legume is a plant with a fruit that grows as a pod, BUT not all plants with pods are legumes. Legumes are made up of beans, lentils, peas, and peanuts.

Legumes are low in fat, do not contain cholesterol and are rich in fiber and nutrients. They are a great source of protein.

A bean refers to the seed of a variety of plants and include green beans, lima beans, soybeans, chickpeas, kidney beans, pinto beans, black-eyed peas.

Since all beans are legumes, perhaps it’s not so important to figure out which are which. Peanuts are not really nuts at all but considered legumes.

Beans and legumes are easy to incorporate into a variety of dishes. Toss some lentils in with your brown rice or some beans in your soup.

Snacks for weight loss

The Victor crew found some suggestions for healthy snack for weight loss on health.com. Here are some of their suggestions:

Greek yogurt with raspberries and honey – it’s good to have snack with some protein so you will feel full longer
Grapes and walnuts – this will add fiber as well as protein
KIND Healthy Grains Bar – sometimes these are in the health section or even at the checkout stand of your grocer.
Edamame – or soybeans, this will provide fiber and protein as well.
Wheat Thins and cottage cheese – you can use the cheese like a dip – this will give you protein and fiber.
Mediterranean hummus tray – this might include cucumbers, olives, hummus (1/4 cup), tomatoes
Oatmeal and blueberries – Think outside the cereal box and eat this anytime you need a pick-me-up.
Banana with peanut butter – One tablespoon of peanut butter spread onto a small banana.
Popcorn – go easy on the additives. Use a hot-air popper.
Apple slices with cheese – a small apple with a half-inch slice of cheese fits the bill here
Cheerios and soynuts – mix half-cup of Cheerios with 1/4 cup roasted salted soynuts
Turkey rolls – roll up five slices turkey breast with two roasted red peppers and you have a bread-less sandwich
Pear slices with almond butter – Dip your pear in a tablespoon of almond butter, add some cinnamon.

Steve Victor