Thinking back to my adolescent years, when my face was riddled with acne and my hair thinned practically overnight, I’m astonished by how big of a turnaround my body has made (yay, body!). I attribute these changes to overall improvements to my diet and lifestyle (eating healthy, regular meals, plenty of cooked water, and most importantly sleep and rest), but I would be lying if I didn’t mention a little herbal support has gone a long way. Namely, plant-based collagen has been a dear friend, not only in doing what you might expect—improving skin, hair, and nails—in ways that vitamin B supplements never did, but also in supporting the health of my connective tissues and overall feeling of stability and suppleness.
Plant-based collagen works differently from animal-based collagen in that, rather than just filling in deficiencies with the actual compounds, it encourages your body to make its *own* collagen, which is exactly what it’s designed to do. I was so excited to learn about Copina Co.’s line of plant-based collagen products, and their Vanilla Beauty Creamer has become a staple in my Dandy Blend lattes and other drinks. It also took center stage in this yummy granola, where along with maca powder (a powerful herb known for its ability to improve whole-body strength, resilience, and libido) the delightful nutty flavor matches beautifully with the grain-free base. Pumpkin seeds in particular provide wonderful healthy fats to support balanced reproductive hormones, which offer their own level of skin-plumping radiance. I hope you give Copina—and this granola—a try!
Beautifying Vanilla Pumpkin Seed Granola
- 2 tbsp flax meal + 6 tbsp water
- 1.5 cups buckwheat groats
- 1.5 cups quinoa flakes
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 2 tbsp Copina Co.’s Vanilla Beauty Creamer
- 2 tsp maca powder
- 1 tsp ground cardamom
- 1/3 cup coconut oil melted
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- Flaky sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the flax meal and water. Stir and let set for about 5 minutes to gel.
- Add the buckwheat, quinoa flakes, and pumpkin seeds. Stir to combine.
- Add the creamer, mama, and cardamom. Stir to incorporate all the spices evenly.
- Add the coconut oil and maple syrup. Stir to combine. If the granola feels dry, add a bit more coconut oil (1-2 tablespoons).
- Transfer the granola to the prepared baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle the top with a few pinches of flaky sea salt.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then toss the granola with a spatula. Bake for another 10-15 minutes, until golden brown at the edges and crispy.
- Let stand until completely cool (the granola will crisp and clump more as it cools), then transfer to an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator or freezer for maximum crunch for up to 3 months, or at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, depending on the temperature of your space.