My very favorite granola

If you’re anything like me, you’ve tried at least 10 different recipes for granola- each of them ok, but not something that you want to make… and then make again.  With this recipe I’ve tweaked it a few times until I found the balance that makes me happy.  It’s slightly crunchy, a little salty, it has the chew factor, it has texture, the little bit of sweet offered up by the dried fruits, and a teeny bit of heat, ’cause, well, why not?  So without further adiue….

Granola

Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 Cup whole raw cashews
  • 1/2 Cup chopped raw cashews
  • 3/4 Cups unsweetened, shredded coconut
  • 1/4 Cup grade B pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 Cup canola oil
  • 3/4 Teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/3 Cup dried cranberries
  • 2/3 Cup raisins (I like variety so I use 1/3 Thompson, 1/3 golden, and 1/3 red flame)

Directions:

  • Preheat your oven to 250 degrees F
  • In a 1 Cup liquid measuring cup combine the maple syrup, canola oil, kosher salt, cinnamon and cayenne- give it a real good swirl around in there
  • In a bowl, combine the oats, all of the cashews, and the coconut
  • Add the liquid to the solid and combine the mixtures as evenly as is possible so that you can’t see any bog, dry clumps at all
  • Spread the mixture out on a jelly roll pan, evenly, and cook for an hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even brownesss
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 15 minutes, then add the cranberries & raisins
  • Store in an airtight container in a cupboard for up to 1 week.  Enjoy dry or with your favorite milk (cow, goat, soy, almond, hemp)

A peanut-free version of the Rocky cookie

Never in my life, until just over a year ago, had I known so many people with food allergies.  Now I have adopted an entire family full  🙂  (and I love them all) and have several friends with them as well.  There are allergies to spices, some to raw fruits and veggies, to gluten, to tree nuts, to peanuts, to dairy, and the list goes on.  Then there are the folks who make life choices to exclude certain foods- people who eat paleo, vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, etc.  All of this adds up to challenge the “foodie” at each party.  You want to bring a dish that looks good, tastes great, and that everyone will be able to partake in.  It can be a little crazy, but I’m up for the challenge.

This particular recipe is an adaptation of the Rocky cookie which tastes a bit more tropical and uses no peanut butter.  It’s for Sheila and Michael as she loves her healthy foods and he doesn’t breathe so well when peanut products are near him 😉

Ingredients:

2 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup steel cut oats

1 ½ cups whole wheat flour (or oat flour)

¾ teaspoon baking soda

¾ teaspoon cinnamon

dash of  nutmeg

Sprinkle of sea salt

Handful of bittersweet chocolate chunks

Handful of raisins

Handful of chopped dates

Handful of cashews

Handful of shredded coconut

Handful of dried pineapple

Handful of wheat germ

Handful of flax seed meal

Handful of sunflower seeds

1 egg

1/2 cup real maple syrup

1/4 cup molasses

¾ cup plain, unsweetened applesauce

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

a well-ripened banana

1 large scoop of Tahini

  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix
  • Scoop the batter by the tablespoon onto a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper (cookies will not spread)
  • Bake for 15-25 minutes (depending on your oven).  You want a finished cookie that is golden brown around the edges and a bit on top

Rocky cookies

Peanut Butter & Jelly Cookies

A while back I had tried out Heidi’s recipe for a healthier version of the standard peanut butter cookie and really enjoyed them.  Then the other day I was working on new recipe development for a makeover of the Peanut Butter Blossom and couldn’t get the phrase “peanut-butter-jelly-time” out of my head the whole time that I was measuring and mixing and baking and cooling, and I had to do something about that.  My solution was to take a healthier peanut butter cookie, make a welt in the top of it with the back side of my cookie scoop, and fill it with a tart raspberry jam that I had picked up a the Tuesday Market by Beaumont’s Berries which is sweetened with nothing but the berries and some honey.  The pairing was a match made in heaven!  The salty peanut butter cookie topped with the tart berry jam was wonderful and very satisfying as a sweet snack.  What’s even better is that with the lacks of eggs in this cookie, you can eat the dough!

Ingredients

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup organic, natural peanut butter

1 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees
  • In a medium mixing bowl combine the flour, baking soda, and salt
  • In a stand mixer bowl combine the peanut butter, maple syrup, olive oil, and vanilla & stir until combined
  • Add the flour mixture to the peanut butter mixture and stir until just combined
  • Let sit for five minutes and give one more quick stir
  • Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes – but don’t over bake or they will be dry
  • Immediately sink the back side of your cookie scoop/spoon into the top of each cookie to create a well
  • Let cool five minutes and transfer to a cooling rack
  • Fill the cookie wells with your favorite jam

J