Homemade Granola In a large bowl:
8 cups oatmeal (...or I did 6 c oatmeal, 1 c unsweetened coconut flakes, and 1 c Kashi cereal I had on hand... you can be creative with 2 of the 8 cups to give it some different texture)
In a sauce pan combine:
3/4 c agave
1/2 c canola oil
1/2 c water
1/4 c honey
1/2 t salt
Cook til warm, then add:1 t vanilla1 t cinnamon
Pour sauce over dry ingredients. (I don't pour it all at once. Pour half, then mix well. Then pour the rest and mix well). Spread over 2 cookie sheets.
Bake at 300 for 30-40 mins then take it out and stir it. (At this point I sprinkled it with a light sprinkle of Splenda and more cinnamon) Turn the oven down to 200, switch the cookie sheets (top to the bottom, bottom to the top) and cook it for another 30-45 mins (until your house starts to smell really yummy). Leave it on the counter for a few hours, then put it in a air tight container and you're set for some yummy snack and yogurt parfaits :)
Greek Yogurt Parfait
Seriously, you HAVE to try this one!!
 Mix 1 cup of plain Greek Yogurt with a handful of fresh strawberries or other fruit of your choice, a handful of chopped walnuts, and a drizzle of honey for a seriously DELICIOUS and totally challenge worthy breakfast, snack, or dessert.  SO.  GOOD.

Chewy Freezer Fudge
(from the book Raw Food Real World pg  261)
1 16 oz jar almond butter
1/4 cup carob powder (or cocoa powder)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 heaping Tbsp coconut butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp sea salt
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well until smooth.  
Line a square baking pan with plastic wrap.  Spread mixture evenly and  
cover with wrap, pressing to flatten.  Place in the freezer to chill  
for an hour or so, then flip over, remove plastic wrap and cut into  
small squares.  Store them covered in the freezer (preferably not  
touching each other so you can pull them out individually).  If left  
at room temperature they will become too soft.  Makes about 64 1"  
squares 3/4" thick.
Recipe Submitted By Carissa Buck, 8 Week Challenger 

  submitted by Melissa Briggs, 8 Weeks to a Better You Participant


2 1/2 cups oats
1/2 cup honey
2 Tbls Blue Agave
1 Tbls water
the zest of 1 lemon
pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup dried blueberries
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup soy nuts
1/4 cup slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Mix honey, blue agave, water, lemon zest, salt and cinnamon in saucepan and combine over medium heat. In a mixing bowl, pour the honey mixture over oats and nuts. Stir until well combined. Pour onto cookie sheet and spread around. Put in oven and bake for 6 minutes, take out and stir, place back in oven for 6 minutes. At this point you can either take it out or if you like it extra crispy like me, you can put it in for a 3rd cycle of baking for 4-5 minutes.

You can use any variation of dried fruits or nuts that you like! This is tasty over yogurt or sprinkled over steamed apples for a mock apple crisp.

Crispy Cinnamon Almond Granola
submitted by Alisa Frakes, 8 Weeks to a Better You Participant


1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons molasses
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup almonds, sliced
3/4 cup raisins

Place a saucepan over low heat. Pour the honey and molasses into the pan. Stir the two ingredients together well. Pour in the water and stir slightly. Pour the oil into the pan and stir well to make sure all ingredients are combined. Sprinkle in the cinnamon and stir slightly. Cook over low heat one minute stirring constantly and being sure mixture is heated through.
Place the oats into a large mixing bowl. Add the almonds and toss. Pour the heated mixture over the top of the oats and almonds and toss to coat evenly. Set the oven temperature to 250 degrees. Spray a cookie sheet with non stick cooking spray. Spread the granola evenly over the sheet. Bake 15 minutes being sure to stir every 5 minutes until the granola is golden brown and crispy. Remove from the oven then stir in the raisins into the mixture. Allow to cool slightly before eating.

Nutritional information:
223 calories, 4 g protein, 5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 42 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber and 7 mg sodium per ½ cup serving.

***I tweaked the recipe a little after the first time I made it. First of all, no one ever told me that granola gets crunchy AFTER you take it out of the oven. So I burned the first batch. Cook it for 15-20 minutes and as it cools, it will harden. J Also, I don’t love the taste of molasses, so I only put about ½ tsp instead of 2 Tbsp. I added pecans and left out the raisins (just personal preference). Everyone in my house has devoured it!


We received this recipe/email from Missy von Lutzow, one of our Challenge Participants:

Here's my healthy dessert recipe :)
If you are a chocolate lover, like myself, then you can indulge in these delicious chocolate brownies.  Not only are they good for you, but they are RAW- meaning they are made from only living foods, so you are keeping all of the vitamins and nutrients in tact :)  You can even have one on your non-cheat days.  I would advise not eating too many of these though- in this case you CAN have too much of a good thing :)

Raw Brownies

2 cup ground pecans or walnuts or almonds (or mix them all together:)
2/3 cup cocao powder (this is NOT cocoa powder but CACAO- you can get it at any health food store or on line, and it's good for you!)
2-4 tsp tsp raw honey
2 cup dates (any kind, but I love majool dates)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract (that's a complete estimate)
Process all ingredients in a food processor. Press into a brownie pan.  Cool (not cook :)  for at least ten minutes to firm them up a bit. ENJOY!

Protein Shake 

by Paul
(my hubby, bless his heart for coming up with this little slice of heaven)

1 scoop Protein Powder (I use the 100% Whey Protein made by Muscle Milk that you can buy in a big bag at Costco-only has 1g of sugar per HEAPING scoop, and I don't even use a heaping scoop)

1 banana

scoop of frozen (or fresh) blueberries


peanut butter-the secret ingredient :)

Throw it all in your blender and mix it up!

And that is THE family favorite at my house, and my "go-to" after a hard workout
or a treat when I need it!

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