“I am Ready”
“Little one, I am ready to meet you when you are ready to enter this world. I am ready to count your little fingers and toes and watch your chest move up and down as you take your first breaths of life. I am ready to watch a father be born and for your dad to look at his son for the first time……..I am ready when you are little one.”
These were a few of the lines of a poem I wrote for Knox just hours before I went into labour. I had just returned home from my Blessing Way that Sunday afternoon and was flying high on emotions and inspiration from the day. I felt grateful for such a strong support network of girlfriends and their words of strength and encouragement lifted me to a whole new level of excitement for the upcoming birth of my baby boy. If you are unfamiliar with what a blessing way is, it’s a gathering of female friends, mothers and singles, that pass on their words of wisdom, strength, and encouragement for your labor and delivery. At my Blessing Way, we had each girl bring a bead and the plan was that I would string them together to make a bracelet to wear during the labour to remind me of their love and support. Each girl also wrote a little note or words of affirmation and read it to me aloud. Needless to say, there were many tears of joy and gratitude that afternoon!
As I laid down to go to sleep that night, I wrote a little “poem” for Knox (I’m not the best writer, so it was more like a letter, but same thing!). It spoke about how excited we were to meet him and how I knew him and I were ready for this adventure called labour and birth. Seriously, 3 hours later, I went into labour! Its so true what they say: Your life changes in an instant and even though scary and unpredictable, it’s the most beautiful change you have every experienced.
Our first days seem to go like this: after a night of feedings finally wake up with Knox, change him, feed him, “play” with him for an hour, put him down for a nap, take a shower, eat something…oh wow its almost noon already and now I need a nap! My newly cleaned hair with baby spit up in it is no longer a worry; his sweet smile is all I need to make the day the best day yet.
I was lucky to have friends and family bring over generous amounts of food for the freezer before Knox was born, however, I have still been itching to get back into the kitchen. Its my one “release”: some me time with a bit of Vance Joy playing in the background and a bottle of Napa’s pinot that we had been saving for after the birth. With time a bit limited now, my culinary experiments are taking a backseat, but I have still found time to whip up my favourite kale and lentil salad with black sesame dressing and this crunchy and sweet hazelnut chocolate buckwheat granola.
Being a health nut, its surprising I have never posted a recipe for granola before! Its even more surprising that I have never even tried using buckwheat! Since diving into this grain with such enthusiasm, I don’t think I will be leaving it in the back of the pantry ever again! Not really knowing where I was going with the recipe, I began with the basics: oats, nuts, seeds, then began to think what would make this granola stellar! Chocolate of course! Playing with a “nutella” type flavor, my spoon leapt into the hazelnut butter and emerged victoriously to meet the chocolate. I then saw a quickly dying banana and thought “what a perfect trio!”. What came out of the oven was the most addicting granola I’ve ever had!
I hate to keep this blog post so short and with no real nutrition information, but baby is calling! If I’m a bit distant for a while, you’ll know why! However, I have a great idea for my next post that I can’t wait to share with you all, so hopefully I’ll be back soon!
….And without further ado, meet Knox Philip Thorogood …my little nugget as I like to call him 🙂
- 1 1/2 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 1/2 cups buckwheat groats
- 2 cups mixed nuts and seeds, nuts lightly crushed* (I used almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds)
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut (optional)
- 1 1/2 cups dried fruit (I used cherries and goji berries)
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/3 cup hazelnut butter
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 4 1/2 Tablespoons cacao powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla powder
- 3/4 cup smashed bananas (approximately 2 small bananas)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine oats, buckwheat groats, nuts, seeds, and shredded coconut. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine coconut oil, hazelnut butter, maple syrup, cacao powder, and vanilla powder. Bring to a low simmer and stir until all ingredients are combined fully. Remove from the heat and stir in the smashed banana.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and stir thoroughly. Spread the mixture over the parchement paper-lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Allow the granola to cool, stir in the dried fruit, and store in an air-tight container.
- *Place the nuts in a ziploc bag and gently crush with a meat tenderizer until they are in chunks.