Every time I look outside I realize that I definitely am ready for Fall to be over to slide right into winter time. I may be a bit impartial to all of this because this semester has been a very long stretch and I am desperately in need of a break, not only from school itself but this state as well. Don’t get me wrong. I love North Carolina and the amazing weather we have, but it just isn’t the same as home. And it never feels quite right when it is Thanksgiving time and the leaves on the trees are still green.
It also may be because some Christmas music came on the radio today and now I am super excited for the snow to be covering the ground and for hot chocolate to make up fifty percent of my diet. I know. Not the healthiest, but it’s Christmas. However, oddly enough, I did not begin being able to drink copious amounts of hot chocolate until after I went vegan. It was always just too heavy, rich, or just didn’t taste right, but then I created the perfect vegan hot chocolate recipe and I’m sold!
Another thing I love to shift over to making as soon as it begins to get chilly outside is a warm hearty breakfast. I do miss my chocolate smoothie on the daily, but when you begin to reach sub-zero temperatures it is a little difficult to will yourself to throw a handful of ice into a blender. So I substitute it for a lot of grain based foods like pancakes, oatmeal, and granola. Winter is just the perfect time to be loading up on good carbs to help keep you strong when you are staring down cookies, brownies, and bars on the daily.
Plus, on top of all the amazing desserts, I am rarely able to grab a lunch at a normal time with all of the fun things that start happening, especially when everyone is coming home for the holidays. From sledding to shopping to just playing in the snow, it sometimes gets becomes more than a little difficult to pull yourself away.
Because of this, I tend to try to make loads of different snacks that can fill up my purse or pockets so I will have at least a little something to tie me over until dinner, which my moocher of a sister often appreciates as well. One of the simplest ways ways to do this is by making a big batch of Rawnola and just keeping it with you everywhere you go.
Sometimes I will turn on the oven and spend the time making an actual batch of cooked granola, but other times I am all cooked out and just want to throw some ingredients in a food processor and be done with it.
A couple of times, I have hit extreme laziness or simply forget it was running and ended pulverizing my rawnola until it has to become the ‘dough’ for some energy bites. But I can just as easily claim that I meant to do it, and no one is the wiser. Which in reality has led to a lot of amazing energy bites recipes because although they have similar bases, I rarely use the same amount of ingredients for my rawnola in energy bites, so there have been a lot of new recipes created by accident.
Who’s to say that a goof up can’t be an unintentional stroke of genius?
Although it does make an amazing snack all on its own, you can also throw this recipe on just about anything and make it loads better. Nice cream is currently one of my personal favorites with this recipe in particular because the sweetness of the bananas and the tartness of the cherries go so well together. It is absolutely amazing! I highly recommend trying it out if you haven’t already.
But I also have always been a sucker for tart and sweet together.
Since it is basically almost winter time, or at least I wish it to be, I decided to make this recipe have a bit more of a wintery taste to it. All I did was take my go-to rawnola recipe, substitute cashews for some walnuts, throw in a handful of cherries, and a dash of cinnamon and Bam!
Ultimate Sweet and Tart Rawnola!
I don’t know why I had never thought to try this combination before. However, if you don’t like tarter flavors, you can easily substitute the dried cherries in this recipe for dried cranberries, which will help to cut the tang of the flavors a little bit. If you do go this route with the cranberries, it’s a much more subtle and sweet flavor than the version with the cherries. But why choose? Try both and let me know which is your favorite!
- 3/4 cup Dried Cherries
- 1/2 Walnuts
- 3 Dates
- 1 cup Oats
- 1/2 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
- In a food processor, blend together cherries, walnuts, and dates until the ingredients have broken up slightly.
- Add in oats and cinnamon and restart the food processor until a dough like consistency is formed.
- Remove mixture from the food processor and break it up so it resembles its cooked granola counterpart and Enjoy~