Granola you could thrive on

23 01 2012

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I used to make granola religiously and then I started eating oatmeal.  I’m growing tired of oatmeal and looking for something new, something crunch, something satisfying.  So I made some granola.

Looking at a bunch of recipes that I have, I pulled my favorite parts together and tried something new.  Something healthier, fruitier, and downright protein-i-er.

My favorite thing about this granola is cooking it at a low temperature.  It’s so much more forgiving!

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My Newest Granola Creation

1 cup oats

1/2 cup almonds, chopped

1/2 cup protein powder

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (optional)

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/2 cup unsweeted coconut

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup apple, peeled and chopped

1/4 cup agave nectar

1/3 cup apple sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 250ºF.  Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Mix all the dry ingredients, stir until everything is evenly combined.  Measure wet ingredients into bowl full of dry ingredients.  Stir until combined, ensuring that all the oats, flax, and protein have been been moistened.  The resulting mixture should be thick and moist, not runny.

Divide the granola between two baking sheets and spread thin.  Bake for at least an hour or until the granola seems mostly dry.  This recipe does not require you to stir the granola during the process, although you can stir it, stirring will break up the granola into smaller bits.

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Butternut Squash ‘n Banana Loaf… with some pecans

21 01 2012

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This is another modified creation from Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook.  First, I thought putting pecans on the top before baking would look pretty and taste delicious.  I was wrong, the pecans got a little overdone and, although I enjoyed picking them off and eating them, this would have had better presentation without burnt pecans on top.

The original recipe called for pumpkin, but I used butternut squash instead.

It also called for a lot more sugar, which I replaced with less sugar and some protein powder.

The end result is, perhaps a little dry, but totally delicious.  Spreading applesauce on each slice helps with any moisture issues without adding any fat.  Genius.

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Butternut Squash ‘n Banana Loaf

2 cups flour (I used a combination of spelt and buckwheat)

1/2 cup protein powder (no protein supplements? just add 1/2 cup extra flour)

2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1/4 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups puréed butternut squash

1 banana

1/2 cup canola oil

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 tsp stevia powder

1 tsp vanilla

2/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat over to 350ºF.  Lightly oil a large loaf pan and dust with flour.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, protein, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt.

In a blender or food processor, blend squash, banana, oil, water vanilla, sugar, and stevia together until smooth.

Mix wet and dry ingredients together until just mixed.  Fold chopped pecans into batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

 

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Sugar-free Muffins for V

15 01 2012

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V slept over last night and we had a girlie night in.  We drank wine, ordered talk-away, painted nails, did face masks, and played Wii video games before falling asleep in front of the television watching movies.

An excellent evening that required an excellent breakfast start that wasn’t too fussy.

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As I’ve mentioned in many a post, it’s January and not only am I broke but I’m trying to get out of the bad habits I developed over Christmas: eating lots of cookies, having chocolate for breakfast, and not caring about what I was eating at all.

You have nothing to feel guilty about with these muffins.

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Sugar-free Oatmeal Muffins

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1/2 cup soy milk or almond milk

2 flax eggs (2 Tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 Tbsp water)

2 Tbsp ground flaxseed (yup, more flax)

2 Tbsp canola oil

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1/2 cup dried cranberries.

Preheat oven to 375º.  Prepare muffin tins with paper liners or cooking spray.

Combine oatmeal, applesauce, soy milk, flax eggs, flax and oil in a bowl; stir and allow to rest.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining dry ingredients, including dried cranberries.  Combine wet and dry ingredients together until just mixed.  This is one instance where a wooden spoon is the tool of choice over an electric mixer.

Portion your batter into the muffin cups, filling 2/3 full.  I use my ice cream scoop for consistent portions.  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes and allow to cool before eating.  Serve with coffee and enjoy with a good friend.





Catastrophic Waffles

9 01 2012

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When I moved to the east coast, my brother bought me a waffle maker.  It was amazing, we had top notch waffles and they tasted delicious.  Then one day the waffle maker decided to hate me and never let go of the waffles I tried to cook.

I read the web sites and tried the tricks to not have sticky waffles.  Nothing worked.

For a year (or more), my waffle maker has been stashed in the cupboard, silently repenting for all it’s sins.  Yesterday I brought the beast into daylight to try out  Alicia Silverstone’s rice waffles from The Kind Diet.  I had hoped that maybe bygones could be bygones and everything would turn out waffalicious.

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I was mistaken.  The carnage was quite severe.

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This is a small sample of the wreckage, a tasty-tasty piece of wreckage.

So, although my waffle maker still hates me, the recipe is delicious.  The miso is not over powering and could easily allow these waffles to sway to the sweeter side of life, or remain on the veggie side.  (At the bottom you can see my attempt at salvaging the batter for pancakes – it kinda worked.)

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Rice Waffles

2 cups cooked brown rice (I used black rice)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 Tbsp miso paste

Get your waffle iron hot because this batter will take you two seconds to get ready.

Stuff everything into a food processor and whiz it around.

Cook waffles as per your waffle makers instructions.

*Note: Alicia Silverstone’s recipe actually says to just mix these things together in a bowl, but I like processing my food… which could be part of the reason why my waffle maker hates me.

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Thanks Giving Muffins

20 10 2011

SO grabbed one of these off the stove and headed to his favourite chair to begin his morning review of webcomics when I heard, “What the — did you put in these that tastes so tart?”

Cranberries.  Fresh cranberries.

“Oh… They’re really good.  Can you bring me another one?” he replied from the living room.

From inauspicious beginnings, these muffins quickly turned their fortune around and then just as quickly disappeared from my counter forever.

Thanks Giving Muffins

1 cup oats

1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling!)

3 flax-eggs

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp pumpkin spice

1/2 cup almond or soy milk

3/4 cup spelt flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup fresh cranberries

1/4 cup raisins and/or pecans (optional)

Preheat over to 375ºF.  Line muffin pan with paper liners or coat with cooking spray.

Combine oats, pumpkin, soy milk, flax eggs, and oil.  Mix until combined.

Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just mixed.

Use your trusty ice cream scoop to fill muffin tins 2/3 full.  (You can also you spoons or other kitchen implements, but I really do love my ice cream scoop.)  Bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned on top.

They taste best while still warm from the oven but can be kept for several days in the fridge, sealed in an airtight container.





Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

14 10 2011

Growing up, my mom used to make these enormous cinnamon buns.  In the morning, we’d cut them in half, cover them in butter and sear them in a cast iron skillet.  Growing up, I hated breakfast and every morning it was a chore for my mother to figure out what I was willing to eat.

When there were cinnamon buns available, it was never a chore to get me to eat breakfast.

This past weekend some friends were hosting lunch.  I brought this festive rendition of a classic mom dish to share.  I didn’t hear any complaints, just a lot of hmmmms.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

2 1/4 tsp yeast (1 pkg), regular not fast acting

1/2 cup lukewarm water

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 tsp salt

1/3 cup sugar

3 Tbsp Earth Balance or coconut oil

3 to 3 1/2 cups flour (I used whole wheat)

3 Tbsp melted Earth Balance or coconut oil

3 – 6 Tbsp cinnamon (I ♥ cinnamon!)

1/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup raw or brown sugar

6 Tbsp melted Earth Balance or coconut oil

1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts

Mix the yeast with the water.  Allow to stand for 5 minutes.  Mix again.  If you have a Proof option on your oven, use it to get your yeast going.

Beat pumpkin, salt, sugar, and Earth Balance into yeast.  Beat and work in enough flour to form a soft dough.  Ad more flour if necessary.

Turn out on a floured board.  Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes.

Place in a large bowl and cover with a damp cloth.  Let the dough rise in a warm place until it has more than doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours.  Not sure where you should let the dough rise?  In the oven on the proof setting or in the oven with the light on are two really great places.

Punch the dough down and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.  Roll out on a floured surface to form a 9 x 14 rectangle.

Brush the dough with the melted Earth Balance.  Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle evenly over the surface of the dough.  I LOVE cinnamon and normally go overboard, using 6 or more tablespoons but that’s just me and that’s how I roll.

Roll up the dough lengthwise to form a long rope.  Slice into 12 equal pieces to form the buns.

Mix the brown sugar and melted Earth Balance together.  Spread over the bottom of a 10 inch cast iron skillet or ceramic pan.  Sprinkle pecans evenly over the bottom.  Arrange the buns in the skillet about equal distance from each other.

Redampen the cloth, cover the buns, and allow them to rise in a warm place – not the oven – until proofed, 30 – 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350ºF.  Bake the buns until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Invert a large plate over the pan.  Reverse the pan and plate so that the rolls will come out in a single cake, covered with syrup and nuts.





Banana Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

3 10 2011

I had bananas that were going brown and a craving for oatmeal raisin cookies. That’s right, I like oatmeal raisin cookies and I’m proud of it.

My Aunty Dee used to make these wicked amazing oatmeal cookies and, despite her best efforts, my mom could never them quite right. I’m pretty certain that the key ingredients were love and fat. This recipe has lots of love, no fat, nor does it include eggs or sugar. Well, no refined sugar, there’s only a little bit of maple syrup.

Having shared these with a picky SO, a yoga instructor, a kettlebell instructor, a nurse, and a 2-year old, I feel pretty confident that these cookies are a taste sensation that will rock you nation. These cookies are chewy and subtly sweet, with a nutty crunch.

Banana Oatmeal Raisin Cookie

2 cups rolled oats

1 cup soy milk

1 Tbsp vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

2 ripe bananas

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 cup toasted walnuts

1 cups raisins

Preheat over to 325ºF. Prepare 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Measure oats, soy milk, and vanilla together into a mixing bowl. Set this aside and let the oats soak in some of the milk and vanilla for 5 minutes or more.

Mix bananas and maple syrup into oat mixture. Once the sweetness has been combined with the oats. stir in flour, baking powder, and vanilla. Lastly, stir in your toasted walnuts and raisins.

In 1 or 2 tablespoon balls, scoop cookie dough onto baking sheets and squish them down a little bit – they won’t spread out in the oven.

Bake for 14 minutes.

Let cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Or allow to cool before devouring straight from the cookie sheet.