Healthy High Protein Grain Free Granola recipe - delicious sugar free homemade granola for any diet! Vegan, gluten free, paleo. | veganchickpea.com

Healthy High Protein Grain Free Granola (Sugar Free!)

Delicious homemade sugar free, grain free and versatile granola for any diet with 5 grams of protein in 1/4 cup! Vegan, gluten free & paleo.

Healthy High Protein Grain Free Granola recipe - delicious homemade sugar free, grain free and versatile granola for any diet with 5 grams of protein in 1/4 cup! Vegan, gluten free, paleo. | veganchickpea.com

Last week I went to the Everything Food Conference #EFC2017 for food bloggers, and it was so amazing! I got to meet other bloggers in person for the first time, and learn from those who have been really successful. It was inspiring and has definitely kicked me into creative mode to really think about how I can best serve those of you who read this blog. I’d love for you to leave a comment below letting me know your biggest challenge when it comes to your health, diet and food choices. What do you struggle with most, and are there specific answers you seek when you visit this site? Also, be sure to sign up for my mailing list if you haven’t already – I’ll be sending out updates and free resources over the coming months, so you wont want to miss out on that! 🙂

On to today’s newest recipe – homemade granola! I’m a big granola fan but have noticed that it’s impossible to find any granola on the market that doesn’t have sugar added to it. I searched every box at Whole Foods, and while many don’t have refined sugar, they still use some form of sugar, be it maple syrup, agave or coconut sugar. I really wanted a granola that had zero added sugar but still delivered a satisfying level of sweetness.

Healthy High Protein Grain Free Granola recipe - delicious homemade sugar free, grain free and versatile granola for any diet with 5 grams of protein in 1/4 cup! Vegan, gluten free, paleo. | veganchickpea.com

Enter: this Healthy High Protein Grain Free Granola! With the spices, coconut and roasted flavor from the oven, I promise you – you won’t be missing the sugar!

I made it grain free because I don’t eat a ton of grains in my diet, so experimented here with what the outcome would be with a whole lotta nuts and seeds instead. I loved the result! It’s perfect on top of chia pudding, overnight oats, a smoothie bowl or on its own for a snack.

Have you ever made your own granola? I can’t believe it took me so many years to make my own! For some reason it sounded intimidating, but I assure you – it’s really easy and, as a major bonus, will make your house smell like a fresh bakery. 🙂

Healthy High Protein Grain Free Granola recipe - delicious homemade sugar free, grain free and versatile granola for any diet with 5 grams of protein in 1/4 cup! Vegan, gluten free, paleo. | veganchickpea.com

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Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sweet Potato Turmeric Casserole recipe - A healthy, clean, real food recipe to nourish your entire family! Also use this recipe as a template and sub whatever veggies and seasonings you have on hand! (Vegan, gluten + oil + soy free, nut free option) | veganchickpea.com

Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sweet Potato Turmeric Casserole

Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sweet Potato Turmeric Casserole recipe - A healthy, clean, real food recipe to nourish your entire family! Also use this recipe as a template and sub whatever veggies and seasonings you have on hand! (Vegan, gluten + oil + soy free, nut free option) | veganchickpea.com
Happy May my friends! What are you most excited for this month?

I’m going to be all over the USA in the coming weeks, starting with Salt Lake City tonight for a Food Blogging Conference which I am SO excited for! I’ve had my ticket for almost a year, eagerly awaiting this fun and educational opportunity where I’ll get to meet other bloggers, learn more about the industry and get mega inspired for what’s to come next with Vegan Chickpea! I’ll be sharing some updates from Salt Lake, mostly on my new Twitter account, so be sure to follow me here!

Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sweet Potato Turmeric Casserole recipe - A healthy, clean, real food recipe to nourish your entire family! Also use this recipe as a template and sub whatever veggies and seasonings you have on hand! (Vegan, gluten + oil + soy free, nut free option) | veganchickpea.com
Today I have another healthy casserole recipe to share with you, which came about when I realized that my most viewed and popular recipe to date is this Broccoli, Kale & Rice Casserole. This tells me that everyone loves a clean, real food upgrade on traditional family friendly meals!

I’ve also been reviewing the survey responses that I collect when someone new joins my mailing list. Thank you to all of you who have filled that out! It’s really important to me to know your interests and challenges. One common interest I found is that so many of you are looking for plant based, gluten free main dish recipes that you can make for a family friendly dinner. 

With that in mind, I knew I wanted to create another casserole recipe that the whole family can enjoy. What I love about this Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sweet Potato Turmeric Casserole is that you can think of it as a template that you can modify with other vegetables and seasonings. Don’t like turmeric? Use other seasonings or your favorite blend! Don’t have these veggies? Use butternut squash, zucchini, asparagus or whatever else you may have in the fridge that needs to get used.

You could also assemble this dish ahead of time and then just bake it when you’re ready, so it’s done in just 30 minutes. Or, you could actually bake it in advance and then reheat the next day. This makes a great solution for busy nights!

Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sweet Potato Turmeric Casserole recipe - A healthy, clean, real food recipe to nourish your entire family! Also use this recipe as a template and sub whatever veggies and seasonings you have on hand! (Vegan, gluten + oil + soy free, nut free option) | veganchickpea.com

Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sweet Potato Turmeric Casserole recipe - A healthy, clean, real food recipe to nourish your entire family! Also use this recipe as a template and sub whatever veggies and seasonings you have on hand! (Vegan, gluten + oil + soy free, nut free option) | veganchickpea.com
The cashews get blended with water to create a creaminess that thickens as it bakes, instead of needing to use heavy cream, regular milk or cheese. If you have a nut allergy, you can substitute sunflower seeds. I particularly like this casserole leftover and reheated because all the flavors have time to meld, and it gets nice and thick!

Topping recommendations: 

  • More fresh parsley or other herbs
  • Kelp seasoning – a seaweed/algae that give a similar affect to salt but with less sodium and a ton of minerals, vitamins and enzymes, including being one of the highest natural sources of iodine. This is a staple in my house!
  • Trader Joe’s ‘Everything but the Bagel’ Seasoning Blend – I just discovered this stuff and am seriously addicted to it! Anyone else? It has sesame seeds, sea salt flakes, dried minced garlic, dried minced onion, black sesame seeds and poppy seeds. Perfect on, um, just about anything.

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Simple Asparagus & Pea Soup recipe - the perfect healthy soup using seasonal spring produce, ready in 30 minutes! {oil free, vegan, gluten free, paleo, nut free option} | veganchickpea.com

Simple Asparagus & Pea Soup (oil free, paleo)

Simple Asparagus & Pea Soup recipe - the perfect healthy soup using seasonal spring produce, ready in 30 minutes! {oil free, vegan, gluten free, paleo, nut free option} | veganchickpea.com

For some reason, I’ve been craving soup the past week. I’ve made three big pots of different soups that have lasted for 3 – 4 meals each, making my meals super easy! Making soup is such a great way to prep for your week, so if you’re busy and need to take lunches to work or want to have dinner ready to heat and serve, make a big batch of soup and you’ll be set for a couple days. Plus, soups recipes are typically really versatile with being able to substitute different ingredients with whatever you have on hand.

I wanted to make a seasonal soup, highlighting two of my favorite spring veggies – asparagus and peas! This soup is pretty much as simple as you can get. Throw veggies and broth in the pot until softened, blend and then combine with peas and fresh herbs, in this case dill, which I’ve recently discovered more of an appreciation for. No fancy moves here, but if you do feel like going the extra mile, you can roast some extra asparagus in the oven to add on top of your soup. I really wanted to add that into my meal but was out of asparagus, doh!

Simple Asparagus & Pea Soup recipe - the perfect healthy soup using seasonal spring produce, ready in 30 minutes! {oil free, vegan, gluten free, paleo, nut free option} | veganchickpea.com

True confession: I’ve been living alone the past week and a half, and when I reheat the soup I’ve been eating it straight out of the pot… because who needs to dirty another bowl, am I right? Please tell me I’m not the only one who does that…?!

I want to say THANK YOU again for all of you who have supported my fundraiser at You Caring for the raw food teacher training coming up in Portland at the end of May. I raised enough to cover my cost of tuition, woohoo!! I’m still in awe at the generosity and love I’ve received from this experience. I can’t wait to learn more about raw foods and share with you what I discover! The fundraiser is still open to support the cost of supplies, travel and lodging, so if you feel inspired to donate you can still contribute here.

Enjoy this spring weather – I’ll be delighting in a beach day here on Saturday with my sister in North Carolina for sure! – and I’ll be back next week to share with you a Cauliflower, Broccoli & Sweet Potato Turmeric Casserole. Who’s excited?! *hand raise*

Simple Asparagus & Pea Soup recipe - the perfect healthy soup using seasonal spring produce, ready in 30 minutes! {oil free, vegan, gluten free, paleo, nut free option} | veganchickpea.com

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The surprising truth about honey bees, sustainability and veganism: An interview about sustainable beekeeping and why you should care about the honey bee and your food choices - vegan or not! | veganchickpea.com

The Surprising Truth About Honey Bees, Sustainability & Veganism

The surprising truth about honey bees, sustainability and veganism: An interview about sustainable beekeeping and why you should care about the honey bee and your food choices - vegan or not! | veganchickpea.com

Today is a big day for Vegan Chickpea! I get to come out from behind the blog and camera to shed light on issues that are near and dear to my heart, that represent why I got into blogging in the first place. My goal is to spread awareness around sustainability, health and wellness, so that we’re all empowered to make choices for ourselves and our families that feel aligned with our values.

With that, I ask that – no matter your current opinion of bees, honey, veganism, etc. – that you open your mind as you read this post and watch the video below, because you just may be surprised at what you discover!

MEETING KEVIN FROM BEE BOYS

Since going vegan a couple years ago, I wanted to learn more about how honey is created. I know honey isn’t vegan since it’s an insect by-product, but felt curious as to why some vegans were proponents of consuming raw, local, sustainably raised honey. What does sustainable honey mean, and how does it serve rather than exploit the bees?

I was sharing this curiosity with my brother David one day in Hawaii at a local coffee shop we stumbled into during a drive near the most southern point of the USA, on the Big Island of Hawai’i. Next to the cash register was a yummy looking granola bar, locally made by a company called Bee Boys. The bar had honey in it so I was sharing with David about my desire to learn more about honey production.

Lo and behold, one of the cofounders of Bee Boys named Kevin was actually standing behind us in line! Talk about divine timing. Long story short, we got to talking and I asked him if he’d be willing to do an interview for Vegan Chickpea, sharing about his views on veganism and what it means to produce sustainable honey. He happily said yes, as it lines up with Bee Boys’ mission to spread education and knowledge on this topic. So, I put on my investigative reporter hat and reached out to an active vegan Facebook group I’m in to ask them their big questions about this topic. Thank you to those of you who contributed to this conversation on Facebook!

The surprising truth about honey bees, sustainability and veganism: An interview about sustainable beekeeping and why you should care about the honey bee and your food choices - vegan or not! | veganchickpea.com
The surprising truth about honey bees, sustainability and veganism: An interview about sustainable beekeeping and why you should care about the honey bee and your food choices - vegan or not! | veganchickpea.com
The surprising truth about honey bees, sustainability and veganism: An interview about sustainable beekeeping and why you should care about the honey bee and your food choices - vegan or not! | veganchickpea.com

A couple weeks later, I went out to Kevin’s beautiful land (pictured above) in the Waiohinu Valley. He lives off the grid in a modest home he built, surrounded by trees, flowers, plants and – of course – bees, in a serene place that feels like a magical garden. He considers himself a proud protector and steward of the bees, insisting that Bee Boys never “puts money before honey.”

If you’re not familiar with the standard honey production practices, I’ve provided some links in the next section about how honey is harvested, and Kevin also mentions some of these points in the video below.

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Warm 5 Minute Vanilla Flaxseed Cereal (Vegan + Gluten Free) - This warm, creamy porridge comes together in just 5 minutes. Substitute whatever fruit and dried fruit you want, making this a versatile recipe perfect for busy mornings! | veganchickpea.com #shop #ad #SilkandSimplyPureCreamers #cbias

Warm 5 Minute Vanilla Flaxseed Cereal (Vegan & Gluten Free)

 This breakfast recipe is part of Silk’s #SilkandSimplyPureCreamers #dairyfree #shop, compensated by Collective Bias® Social Fabric® Community and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias

Warm 5 Minute Vanilla Flaxseed Cereal (Vegan + Gluten Free) - This warm, creamy porridge comes together in just 5 minutes. Substitute whatever fruit and dried fruit you want, making this a versatile recipe perfect for busy mornings! | veganchickpea.com #shop #ad #SilkandSimplyPureCreamers #cbias

Warm 5 Minute Vanilla Flaxseed Cereal (Vegan + Gluten Free) - This warm, creamy porridge comes together in just 5 minutes. Substitute whatever fruit and dried fruit you want, making this a versatile recipe perfect for busy mornings! | veganchickpea.com #shop #ad #SilkandSimplyPureCreamers #cbias
Does cooking ever feel like a chore to you? That’s how I’ve felt these past couple of weeks… yes, even food bloggers go through our phases where we can’t be bothered to spend too much time in the kitchen!

That’s why this Warm 5 Minute Vanilla Flaxseed Cereal is awesome. It’s a quick breakfast that only takes 5 minutes to heat up, perfect for busy (or lazy) mornings! It’s really so simple and yummy – even receiving a stamp of approval from my brother. 😉 Pair it with your morning coffee (or, in my case these days, herbal coffee!) for a winning combination.

Warm 5 Minute Vanilla Flaxseed Cereal (Vegan + Gluten Free) - This warm, creamy porridge comes together in just 5 minutes. Substitute whatever fruit and dried fruit you want, making this a versatile recipe perfect for busy mornings! | veganchickpea.com #shop #ad #SilkandSimplyPureCreamers #cbias

I was pretty happy last week to be visiting my parents back where I grew up in Fairfax, Virginia, pop into the Walmart I used to shop at when I lived there, only to discover that they now have a lot of vegan options! They had about two refrigerators full of JUST nondairy milks and creamers. I think it says a lot about the demand for plant based products when a huge retailer that is in just about every town in America is now carrying these products. YAY for vegan awareness spreading! At my local Walmart, the milks and creamers are along the wall, all the way to the left of the store next to the bakery (see second photo below!).

By the way – yes, this is me taking a selfie at Walmart. Yes, I had a selfie stick. No, I didn’t know how to use it (you’d think it would be obvious!?), so I ended up just holding my iphone as per usual. I felt pretty silly taking this photo in a busy Walmart! But it was worth it to share this moment with you. 😉

Warm 5 Minute Vanilla Flaxseed Cereal (Vegan + Gluten Free) - This warm, creamy porridge comes together in just 5 minutes. Substitute whatever fruit and dried fruit you want, making this a versatile recipe perfect for busy mornings! | veganchickpea.com #shop #ad #SilkandSimplyPureCreamers #cbias

Warm 5 Minute Vanilla Flaxseed Cereal (Vegan + Gluten Free) - This warm, creamy porridge comes together in just 5 minutes. Substitute whatever fruit and dried fruit you want, making this a versatile recipe perfect for busy mornings! | veganchickpea.com #shop #ad #SilkandSimplyPureCreamers #cbias

Warm 5 Minute Vanilla Flaxseed Cereal (Vegan + Gluten Free) - This warm, creamy porridge comes together in just 5 minutes. Substitute whatever fruit and dried fruit you want, making this a versatile recipe perfect for busy mornings! | veganchickpea.com #shop #ad #SilkandSimplyPureCreamers #cbias

I picked up these two Silk Almond Creamers in vanilla and caramel flavors. I’ve always enjoyed Silk brand products and was excited to see their new almond based coffee creamers. I typically use plain or vanilla unsweetened almond milk in my (herbal) coffee, but every so often want to indulge in something more interesting.

Silk creamers have no artificial colors or flavors and are free from gluten, soy, carrageenan, casein and dairy of course! I think they make a great, everyday coffee creamer – I especially enjoyed the flavor of the caramel one! I had the idea to use the creamer in a warm breakfast cereal, remembering the days of being a kid when my mom would make oatmeal using her vanilla coffee creamer instead of water or milk. Yum.

For this recipe, you just need to remember to soak the flaxseeds the night before. Why is soaking the seeds necessary? Soaking most nuts and seeds before eating them improves their digestibility and makes more nutrients available. They become more ‘alive’ and their enzyme inhibitors are released. For flaxseeds specifically, the soaking overnight releases mucilage (a tasteless gel-like substance), which does an internal sweep in your intestines – meaning that flaxseeds are great for digestion and elimination. (Source: The Plan by Lyn-Genet Recitas)

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