Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Breakfast. Show all posts

Friday, October 25, 2013

Quinoa Maple Granola

Currently I am kind of unable to eat, thanks to a wisdom tooth removal on Thursday. Consequence nr. 1 of this is that I am actually kind of really grumpy, and walk around with the urge to punch people in the face so that they have swollen faces, too. (I get really hangry, sorry for that). And Nr. 2: I do some cooking nonetheless, preparing things I'll be able to eat once I can open my mouth again. Case in point: This granola.

I am not usually one to plan that much ahead when it comes to Christmas presents, but I made this not only to have something to cook today, but also because I wanted to give this recipe I came up with a test-run before preparing it for my friends in December. This urge to try a new granola recipe (not the urge to punch people) rose in me after seeing Melissa's granola two days ago and then reading on food52 about how to get really clumpy granola. I combined recipes, also remembering the müesli Talley posted quite a while ago, and this is how I ended up with this mixture. And unlike with Deb's recipe (it is in her book), I actually ended up with big clumps in my granola. Yay.
This is not a one bowl quick situation though.  You need different bowls to soak the quinoa, whisk the egg white and melt the coconut oil. And it actually requires to process the oats in a food processor to ensure maximum sticking power.

It is all worth it in the end, and if you make a big batch of granola in one go, you'll have quite a few breakfasts taken care of until you need to repeat the whole process again.

Quinoa Maple Granola

2/3 cup water
1 cup quinoa
4 cups oats
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 1/2 cup walnuts (or pecans, or a mix of both)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cardamom
1 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup ground flax seed
6 tbsp unrefined coconut oil
1 egg white

First, add the quinoa to a bowl, bring the water to a boil, pour the water over the quinoa, cover with a plate and set aside for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 325°F/160°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a food processor, slighly process the oats, until you have some fine pieces between the regular sized oat flakes. You don't want to end up with oat flour, though. Add the processed oats to a large mixing bowl. Add in the sunflower seeds and the coconut, chop the walnuts into smallish pieces and add them to the bowl, too, together with the salt, cardamom and flax seed.
In a small saucepan, melt the coconut oil, and stir it, together with the maple syrup, into the dry ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Stir the quinoa into the granola mixture, then add the frothy egg white and mix well.

Distribute the granola mixture evenly on the two baking sheets. Make sure to press the granola down with your spatula and keep it nice and tight.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the granola is golden and toasty. If you have an old gas oven like mine, which has the amazing feature of having bottom heat only, you probably want to bake this granola on the top rack of the oven, that way you don't have to stir the granola, and end up with big chunks of granola that you can break up into the size you want them to be.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Sourdough English Muffins

Currently I am sitting in my office/bedroom, and really don't want to look out of the window on my right because it is snowing, again. I feel like an old lady for talking about the weather, but when it just starts snowing again and again after I thought we were finally over it, I can't really think about anything else. But while this still goes on, I spend my free days inside, painting, reading, cooking and baking. A week or so ago I started a sourdough starter, following the instruction in Peter Reinhart's book, Crust and Crumb.

Experimenting with sourdough is fascinating, within 4 or 5 days you go from water and flour, plus a little honey and raisins, to a dough that can actually leaven a bread. I was sceptical at first, still unsure whether the sourdough would actually work, but then I made the firm starter for the San Francisco Sourdough bread in Crust and Crumb, and it rose beautifully. The recipe does make a lot of dough, though, and while I looked at all that dough, rising on the counter, I decided to use half of it and make English Muffins out of it. I had made English Muffins before, and I really liked them and thought it was great to be able to make bread without having to turn on the oven and heating up the kitchen that much (and to actually save some cash, apparently the gas bill for our apartment has doubled or tripled since I moved in [oops]). The resulting English Muffins are not that different from the standart English Muffins that I made before, they are not really sour, but they are so delicious and a great way to experiment with sourdough or use some of it up if you happen to have way too much starter after feeding it daily those first days.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


After getting over my fear of macarons and gougères, I decided to make croissants this weekend. And it really took me a weekend to make them, from making a starter on Friday, to cool the dough between folding and rolling it out on Saturday and then finally baking them today, and inviting a friend over to help me eat some/most of the freshly baked croissants. The croissants did turn out okay, I guess. After I did my best not to freak out over the little tears in the dough, or over the fact that I was too lazy to properly wrap my dough and having a little crust form on top (Going through the troubles of making the dough but not wrapping it? This seems just so typical for me), I am not quite sure that making croissants myself is worth the effort. The croissants were pretty good, mind you. Like a good croissant should be. But I still remember this croissant I had in France, almost two years ago. The croissant that was so unbelievably flaky and buttery all other croissants pale in comparison.
I am spoiled, and I don't think putting that kind of effort into making croissants is worth it if I don't get croissants out of it that resemble that perfect croissant of my memory.
Mind you, I still ate two croissants and a pain au chocolat, still warm, with a cup of coffee. But I am ready to move on and make something else from the list of things that kind of scare me.
Speaking of that list, I actually wrote the items that float through my head down and plan on tackling those things kind of soonish in the future. I think I'll share those things with you, but probably wont actually post recipes for those kind of things because I really don't know what I am doing with those things and just follow recipes I decide are trustworthy and hope for the best.

The list of things I want to make currently:
Plum Knödel (an Austrian recipe, I had them once or twice at a childhood friends' home and I always loved them)
sourdough starter/bread
Ginger Ale
Tonic Water
Ketchup and Mustard
my Grandmother's cake

And now I need go out to buy small bottles to bottle the vin d'orange I recently made so that I can share the recipe with you, before orange season is completely over.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Maple Cranberry Granola

As I am writing this, my thesis lies in Michaels inbox, waiting to be checked one last time before I print it out tomorrow, bind it and drop it off in my departments office. Yay. And really, I can't imagine what it must feel like to write a real book. These 30 pages were quite enough for me.
Now that this is behind me, I can dedicate the few days before Christmas to actually make a few Christmas presents.
So today I transformed my kitchen into a Christmas present factory and made this granola and candied citrus peel that still needs to be dipped into chocolate.
If you are still looking for Christmas presents, and I really don't know many people who are not, may I suggest making this granola? It is slightly adapted from a recipe in the Smitten Kitchen cookbook, and I really love it. It has just the right sweetness, for a breakfast and the tartness of the dried cranberries contrast really nicely with the maple flavor. I did find though that the egg white did not produce the big cluster granola Deb promised in her recipe. I don't know if this is because Swiss eggs are smaller than American eggs, or perhaps I just did something wrong, but nonetheless, this is a great granola, big or small clusters.
I filled the granola into small bags, made a bow with some yarn and attached a little tag I made myself. I already know a few friends I want to give this to, just to say I thought of you this Christmas. If you like the tag I made, and would like to use it for a really quick gift, I attached a template you can print out at home, you'll just need to cut them out. As you see in the picture, I made a German one for myself, and an English version for you. Exclusively.
English gift tag   German gift tag

Maple Cranberry Granola
adapted from Big Cluster Maple Granola from the Smitten Kitchen cookbook

250g old-fashioned oats
50g unsweetened large-flake coconut
100g pecans, coarsely chopped
25g wheat germ
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 large egg white
200g dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Add all the ingredients from oats to maple syrup to a large mixing bowl and stir until all the dry ingredients are coated with maple syrup.
In a small bowl wisk the egg white until frothy. Stir it into the oat mixture until is distributed evenly. Pour the mixture onto the baking sheet, and bake for 45-55 minutes. Take out after half of this time to turn large segments of the granola with a spatula. Bake until evenly golden. Let the granola cool down, break into pieces (if it actually does stick together better than mine), add in the cranberries and fill into bags or mason jars.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Malted Coffee Cake Muffins

I'll be moving in a few weeks. Right now, the exact date is not yet clear, but I know it is approaching quickly. I feel the need to let go of a few things in this move. Right now, my room is too stuffed with things. I need some space to breath, to be able to work more focused and freely. It is the same with my kitchen. My pantry is full, and my boyfriend always jokes about me having enough food on hand to survive a war. I don't want to be this person, having bags over bags of grains and legumes and flours as if I awaited this "next war".
These muffins were created in an attempt to use up some things I have in my pantry. They use some of the stranger flours I have and the malt powder I bought a while ago. I grew up drinking Ovoltine, and really, these malted muffins taste a bit like it in muffin form. But better. They are only lightly sweet because you replace some of the sugar with malt powder and they have a crackly top.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Baked Grains with Apple

I always seem to be looking for an easy option for breakfast. During all my life until now I had about the same breakfast, every single day.
Two or three slices of  bread, butter, topped with jam or honey. That is what my family eats for breakfast, and it has been what I ate even when I moved out.
I have written before about how I find that this is not really a filling breakfast, an hour or two later I feel hungry again and so I am on the look for breakfast option that don't require lots of time in the morning. These baked grains can be made the day before and reheated in the morning or eaten cold. They make also a great portable breakfast or lunch. And they can help you use up all of these grains that I keep buying.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Good Morning Citrus Smoothie

One part of my eating habits I wanted to change is breakfast. As I said before, I love bread, but I just don't thrive on bread alone. And I end up starving after just 2 hours after eating, which is not that great, really.
So the smoothie entered my life. I did not stop eating bread completely, but I really try having something else whenever possible now. I began with making green smoothie (aka the Green Monster), tried one with beets in it (kind of strange, tasted really healthy) and now this. Citrus for the wake-me-up-boots I really need in the morning. Banana for sweetness, and what I really love about it, some chicory (or Belgian endive, however you may call it). I have been adding some greens to most of my smoothies, but I love the chicory here, because it doesnt change the color of the smoothie. Green smoothies just don't look that great.
One of Michael Pollan's food rules in In Defense of Food is to eat mostly plants, and mostly the leaves (not seeds) of them. I like to eat salad, but I love to have other options to increase my intake of leafy plants. And you can't actually taste it (I tested it on my boyfriend), which is great, because I don't always want to have a green tasting smoothie. The chicory loses the bitterness it usually has in between the brightness and sourness of the lemon and orange juice and the sweetness of the banana.
Oh, and I felt great this morning, much more awake than after a cup of coffee.