Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Granola (refined sugar free)

Happy Monday! Hope ya'll had a great weekend. We hosted a massive brunch on Saturday before we took to the frozen lake for some ice golf. The things you do for fun when you live in Minnesota during the wintertime...

We had 14 people play overall - with all proceeds going towards the local food shelf. Of course I'm the only one not looking at the camera. :)

We had 14 people play overall - with all proceeds going towards the local food shelf. Of course I'm the only one not looking at the camera. :)

Other than that, the hubby and I mostly relaxed on Sunday (and I may this delicious granola - keep reading!) as we were planning on attending a SuperBowl party at a friend's house last night. However, our little Aussiedoodle Tux, had different plans for us! Right as we were about to leave, Tux stole a sock out of the bedroom (I was finishing putting laundry away) and swallowed it. Off the the ER vet we went! Needless to say, not how we planned our Sunday night to go, but it is what it is. I'm hoping I'll be ready for the crazy things children thanks to him!

Ok so now on to the real reason for this post: Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Granola (refined sugar free). Hello yum! Being I'm just about 22 weeks pregnant, I've had some major candida overgrowth issues (for those of you not familiar with what that is, google it). I was already prone to the infections that go along with it, and usually was able to nip them in the bud when if I started taking probiotics and laid off the sugar. Unfortunately, that didn't work being pregnant. Normally, I only eat one or two servings of fruit a day and hardly any processed sugar, but of course I've been craving sweets and sugar like crazy this pregnancy. Besides the medications my Ob/GYN but me on, I've been really trying to get back to reducing my sugar/carb/dairy intake (basically anything that yeast likes to feed on in the body!). This granola is still made with maple syrup, but it's much less sweet than what you buy in the grocery store.

Originally, I was making this granola into granola bars, but I think I over-toasted it and the poor things just wouldn't hold together! So, I crumbled it up and ta-dah! Granola. Deliciously crunchy, perfectly sweet, granola.

I've been on a big coconut-milk yogurt kick, and this granola is the perfect topping for my yogurt and fresh berries parfait. Coconut milk yogurt has barely any protein, so it's nice to get an added boost from the oats, peanut butter, and quinoa. 

 I hope you enjoy it as much as I am!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Quinoa Granola (refined sugar free)


1 and 1/4 cups rolled oats (I used old fashioned)

1/4 cup oat flour or rolled oats finely crushed (I threw mine in the food processor for a few pulses)

3/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/3 cup uncooked quinoa 

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup dried fruit of choice

1/2 cup peanuts, roughly chopped (or other nut of choice)

3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (I like Lily's brand for no-sugar added)

1/2 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter of choice)

1/2 cup coconut oil, warmed until melted

1/4 cup maple syrup, agave, honey or other natural sweetener of choice


Preheat oven to 350.

Lay parchment paper into 8 by 8 square inch pan (could also use 9 x 11)

Mix all dry ingredients together in mixing bowl. 

Mix wet ingredients (oil, peanut butter, sweetener) in separate bowl.

Add wet indredients to dry and combine.

Pour granola into pan and press down in even layer with back of spoon or rubber spatula.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until edges and top are starting to brown.

Let cool completely before crumbling into granola.

Store in airtight container for up to a week, or throw in the freezer for longer. 





Peanut Butter Chocolate Bliss Balls

What's better than peanut butter and chocolate? Rolling them together in a ball with shredded coconut, muesli, and no sugar added! Yep, you heard that right - NO SUGAR ADDED. We can all rejoice in our post-holiday healthiness now. These Peanut Butter Chocolate Bliss Balls are packed full of nutrients and oh-so-yummy! Even my husband, who is sometimes skeptical of my 'kitchen experiments', loved them. Win win for everyone! 


Here's what you need to make these perfectly creamy + crunchy + delicious bliss balls:

1 cup dates, already pitted (or you can squeeze out the pits yourself by soaking in water first)

1/2 cup natural no-sugar added peanut butter

1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks (I took a high-quality fairtrade dark chocolate bar and roughly chopped with a butter knife - you could probably buy pre-chunked chocolate from the store if you prefer). Health hack: If you're really looking to make these completely sugar-free, look for a dark chocolate that is only sweetened with Stevia.

1 TBSP flax seeds (could also use chia seeds or other favorite seed of your choice)

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes

2/3 cup muesli (or rolled oats work too, but I like Seven Sundays muesli as it has no added sugar)


Place dates in mixer or food processor and blend until softened. Fold in rest of ingredients until combined. Roll into approximately 1-inch balls with hands. If having a hard time coming together, can add a little more peanut butter. Place on cookie sheet and freeze for 10-15 minutes or until set. Pop into mouth. Determine why you hadn't thought of making these before.

I stored leftovers in an airtight glass container in fridge. If you're like us, it wont take you long to devour! If it takes you longer than a week however, I would consider freezing them.

These are easy to grab-and-go, and make a great breakfast, snack, or dessert. Who knew a bliss ball could be so blissful?!

Homemade Margarita Mix + Easy Chicken Nachos

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

Cinco de Mayo (pronounced: [ˈsiŋko ðe ˈmaʝo]; Spanish for “May 5th”, or literally, “Fifth of May”) is a celebration held on May 5. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza.
— Wikipedia

Most of us know it as the day of Mexican food and margaritas (we will take any excuse for a drink really!). 

So as I sit here outside on this gorgeous Minnesota spring night (I'm talking about you 70 degrees) sipping my homemade margarita and feeling contently full from my easy chicken nachos, I thought I better share the love.

If you've followed my journey before you know that I strongly despise artificial ingredients in food (well, actually in everything). "It's hard to make a cheese sauce without Velveeta you say". I'm here to tell you otherwise. Besides, doesn't that FREAK YOU OUT that it is a dairy product that ISN'T REFRIGERATED?!?!

Ok, maybe just me. 

Or maybe not.

I'm not the most detail-orientated person on this planet, so I'll do the best I can. 

First, the drinks:

Homemade Margarita Mix 

What you need:

  • Tequila. We had some Patron Silver Tequila in the house so that's what I used.

  • Ice

  • Course sea salt (optional)

  • Agave syrup

  • 1/2 large lime


  1. If you want a salted rim, pour course sea salt onto plate. Run glass rim under water. Turn upside down and twist glass around on salted plate. Ta-da!

  2. Pour desired amount of tequila over

  3. Squeeze 1/2 large lime in (can use more or less depending on amount of tequila you used!)

  4. Squirt of agave syrup (vary depending on level of sweetness desired...again, not too particular over here)

  5. Use a spoon to stir until syrup is dissolved

  6. Enjoy!

It's always a good idea to consume food while drinking tequila (or at least in my experience!): 

Easy Chicken Nachos with Homemade Cheese Sauce

What you need:

  • tortilla chips

  • rotisserie chicken

  • shredded cheddar cheese

  • milk or cream

  • salt

  • cayenne pepper seasoning

  • butter

  • desired toppings (guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo, salsa, etc.

  • cilantro (optional)


  1. Make cheese sauce (I like this recipe here: - please don't boil the milk and be sure to take it off the heat before you put the cheese in - this is essential for a non-lumpy sauce!

  2. While cheese sauce is thickening up (remember - don't let milk boil!), pull apart rotisserie chicken and decide what meat you are using (white, dark, a bit of both).

  3. Spread chicken pieces evenly-ish around on chips

  4. Once cheese sauce is finished and you've let the cheese integrate into the sauce (OFF THE HEAT!), you can now pour or spoon over chips

  5. Top with favorite toppings (I used store bought guacamole and pico)

  6. Enjoy!

That was easy, right?! Right. :)