Showing posts with label Oats. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oats. 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, 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.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Coffee Energy Bars

Last saturday I got up relatively early to go to the farmers market. The farmers market here in Berne is quite big and is open year round, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. With my move I now am a lot closer to it, and I have already  been a few times over the last few weeks.
I recently discovered a bakery stand there, selling french croissants. I have the fondest memories of french croissants, the ones I ate for breakfast last two summers that we spent in Northern France. Swiss croissants are buttery and flakey, too, but french croissants are on a whole other level, you can barely eat them without being covered in buttery delicate flakes. I eat them plain, savoring every bite. The croissants I bought today were good, but not as good as the french croissants.

I also brought home a bag of mixed salad greens. These greens are sold seperately, all at the same price so you can go an choose the ones you like best. I always bring back a bag full to eat on the very day I bought them.
Being so close to the producer of the vegetables I buy feels good to me, the connection to the food is that much closer. And I can pick whatever produce looks best that day, choosing cherries over apricots because they look fresher. Picking up a few carrots, all differently coloured, just because they are so beautiful.
I am going to be away for a few days, for a rather spontaneous trip to France (hello flakey croissants) with my boyfriend and our bikes. And while I am looking forward to the croissants, I know that I'll have one problem that I always seem to have. Hunger attacks.

You should see me, pedaling my way through France, or hiking up a mountain, and I am fine, thinking I could go on forever, when suddenly a switch flips and I am starving. I have to eat right then and there, or else I become really mad at anyone near me. Coffee Energy Bars to the rescue. To save myself from a few hunger attacks, and my boyfriend from the resulting mood swings, I made these energy bars this weekend, to carry with me and snack on on our trip. They were really easy to make, and are easy customizable. I added coffee, because I thought that a little shot of caffeine is probably not a bad thing, and many other good things that hopefully keep my hunger at bay and give me a little push to keep pedaling.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Apple Rhubarb Crumble

 Last week I went out one evening, to drink some micro brew beer and meet some friends. At some point in the evening we talked about one guy we all know. He got married last fall and started working for a Swiss bank (in a low position, but with still a high wage compared to our student wages). Two guys in our group thought of him as being successful, while I silently disagreed.

To me, in my situation, this would mean failure (and I really don't want to step on any ones toes here, I am just speaking of myself. I love my independence.). And since this conversation I could not stop thinking about success, and what it means to different people.

I don't have a definite answer even for myself, as I see my definition of success change with my changing lifestyle, but these are a few ideas I came up with.

Doing work that has a purpose.
Earning enough money to be able to live comfortably.
Working not too much, so I can enjoy this comfortable life.
Putting thought and effort into the small things, because ultimately they are what makes us happy.
Having honest and open relationships with friends and family.
And right now, making a delicious crumble with things I have on hand.

But before I share this recipe with you, what do you consider success? 

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.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Apple Muffins

These are really healthy muffins. But I thought I couldn't say this in the title, or else you would run off.
But, please, give me a few seconds (or minutes, rather) to tell you about these muffins, and how lovely the are.
This all started with the recipe for Orchard Pear Muffins I found on Tea & Cookies. I was really eager to bake, but did not want to end up with half a pound of butter and sugar in muffin or cake form. Don't get me wrong, I do love these things, but sometimes I just want to bake, but not eat something that sweet. (Am I alone in this?) I found these muffins at the perfect time, and just had to make them. And since I was already baking healthy muffins, why not just leave out the eggs and most of the honey? I ended up with a rather dense muffin, but I loved the flavor, the amount of sweetness was quite right and they were great in the morning with a bit of Salted and Honeyed Brown Butter Spread (is it wrong to share a recipe for a healthy muffin and then link to this heavenly spread? Make that too, just give it away after you tried it. Only keep a little for yourself)

But I knew they could get better. I tried again today, and I think the ratio between the wet and the dry ingredients is better now. (The picture above is a muffin from the first batch, btw) I also swapped the pears for apples, since I found the flavor of the pear got lost somehow, in my opinion the apples work better here. But feel free to resubstitute pears here.
Back to these muffins. They taste like oatmeal to me. Oatmeal in muffin form. They have a crackly crust, are still rather dense (because I used flour low in gluten), have great layers of texture with the chewy oats, the soft apples and the quite crunchy millet. I really enjoyed them for breakfast or as a snack.
Oh, and I forgot to mention that I make the "applesauce" for these muffins from scratch. Exept, it isn't really difficult or time consuming, and I dont even know if you can call these coarsely mashed apples applesauce. I don't care, I'm crazy like that, and I guess you could use storebought applesauche instead of the whole apples I instruct you to use in the recipe. But really, if you let the apples simmer while you prepare dinner, you can totally make the muffins right after you had said dinner.