Chocolate Mint Granola (Holy Cacao!)

‘Tis the season for chocolate peppermint everything– including granola.  The sweet and minty breakfast/ 
snack is all organic, vegan and loaded with the superfood powers of raw cacao and coconut oil.  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1. 2 cups of rolled oats (For this version, I used Trader Joe’s gluten free oats but you can use any that aren’t quick cook)
2. 1/2 cup of organic, virgin unrefined coconut oil
3. 1/2 cup of maple syrup
4. 1/4 cup of raw cacao
5. Organic peppermint extract – a couple of capfuls (go light – a little goes a long way w/ extract!)
6. 1/4 cup of coconut sugar
7. Sea salt
8. Optional: raw cacao nibs

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Places the oats in a baking pan
3. In a small saucepan heat ingredients #2-5 and stir until you get a delicious liquidy, minty hot chocolate sauce.  Once all the coconut and cacao is well melted and mixed, pour the chocolate sauce over the oats and stir to coat the oats evenly in the decadent chocolate sauce.
4. Add the coconut sugar, stir again and top w/ some sea salt sprinkles to give it that delicious sweet/ salty taste.
5. Bake for 45-50 minutes and at the halfway point toss around.
6. Let cool and options to top include raw cacao nibs and/or coconut chips.

Superfruit Berry Cacao Smoothie

Here’s a quick smoothie to cool down on this super sunny, decadent 70 degree SF day.

Ingredients:
1. One cup frozen berries (I used super fruit berry blend from Costco pictured below)
2. 1/2 cup of vanilla soy milk, 1/2 cup water
3. 1/2 banana
4. 1 tbspn cacao nibs
5. 1.5 tbpsn honey (you can use less sweetener but I found the Super fruit berries were pretty tart!)

Directions: Put everything in a blender and blend for about a minute or until you get to your desired consistency.  In a Vitamix, I made this on ‘setting 5’ for  one minute.

Enjoy and if you’re off to bask in the sunshine in Dolores park, see you there :)!

Blackberry Mint Cacao Super Smoothie

In honor of the sun gloriously greeting us in San Francisco today, I decided to make smoothies with some of the blackberry bounty we picked up this weekend at our local Alemany Farmers Market ($5 for 3 boxes!!).  If you find yourself in SF on a Saturday morning (8 am -2pm), it’s definitely worth checking out the sprawling, affordable, mural-feast-for-they-eyes Alemany farmer’s market, which I just learned was the first farmer’s market founded in all of California (see here).   Anyways here is the Alemany farmer’s market inspired smoothie: I used some of the blackberries and souped it up with raw cacao superfood (which adds a yummy crunchy texture), mint from our garden, and lightly sweetened with agave.

Ingredients (for 1 smoothie, multiply proportionally if you are making a few at a time):
1. 1 cup of soy milk (My favorite is Organic Vanilla Silk, which you can get at Costco or other natural food stores)
2. 1/8 cup blackberries
3. 1/8 cup frozen berries (I used these instead of ice so it doesn’t get watered down, but if you don’t have on hand you can replace with a couple ice cubes)
4. 1 tbsp agave
5. 2-3 mint sprigs
6. 1 tbsp raw cacao nibs (I use Divine Organics but you can use any)

Directions:  Put all ingredients in a blender until everything is well mixed.  Note the cacao nibs will likely stay a little chunky, which gives the smoothie a nice contrasting crunchy texture.  Enjoy, ideally on a hammock or any sun spot you can carve out :).