Archive for the ‘snacks’ Category

Easy Homemade Granola

Posted: November 21, 2010 by lainey in Breakfast, Fruits, snacks, Sweets, Vegetarian


Easy Homemade Granola

adapted from “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (I used grapeseed)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup whole almonds (I used chopped almonds)
1/3 cup of chopped dates
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. (I ran out of parchment and used aluminium foil instead, that might explain why my granola got a little burnt)

In a large bowl, toss the oats with the cinnamon and salt.

In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until completely combined.

Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them: Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture. ( I did not do that…hehe)

Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Sprinkle the almonds over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.

Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven. Let cool completely. Sprinkle the dates and cranberries over the granola.

Let it cool completely before transferring into an air-tight container. Or before the husbands starts eating it.

J has been raving about Cafe Fixe’s homemade granola for ages and has suggested buying boring supermarket granola to quell his craving. However, being rather the expert on granola, I know that the supermarket brands will never satiate his craving. One visit to Cafe Fixe revealed that a pound of that granola costs $18 and we were not about to spend that money. I reasoned that if it’s homemade, I can do it. So I did it.

Granola making took about 30 minutes. With the base of oats and cinnamon, salt and honey mixture, one can basically add any kind of nuts, grains and dried fruits as one liked. I bought the rolled oats (because we eat steel-cut oats at home) and basically threw together the granola with whatever I had at home. Now we have a really pleased husband who, for the first time, gave my cooking a 10/10. And this is slightly burnt granola.


Carrot and Celery Wholegrain Muffins

Posted: September 27, 2010 by lainey in Breakfast, snacks, Sweets, Vegetarian

Perfect Fall Food: Carrot and Celery Wholegrain Muffins

Recipe (Adapted from the back of King Arthur Flour package)

1 cup (4 ounces) whole wheat flour
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) granulated sugar
(I used 1/3 cup of sugar because I’m paranoid about sugar)
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup (8 ounces) buttermilk or yogurt ( i used yogurt cuz I always have that in my fridge and never buttermilk)
2 large apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
(I used carrots and celery pulp leftover from my juicing)

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups and set aside. (I only have a 12 cup muffin pan and I think I had 1 muffin worth of batter left)

Mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, and set aside. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and add the granulated sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add the egg and mix well; stop once to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.Mix in the yoghurt gently. Stir in the dry ingredients and fold in the carrot celery mix.

Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, sprinkling the remaining 1/4 cup brown sugar on top. Bake for 10 minutes, turn the heat down to 400°F, and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Cool the muffins for 5 minutes in the tin, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

I didn’t expect the recipe at the back of a flour package to be so good, but it is -wholesome and easy to make. I don’t have apples (Fall is here but not quite here yet so apples are NOT that cheap yet) and I have a lot of pulp left from my juicing summer days. I was worried that celery might taste a little gross in muffins, but surprisingly, it doesn’t. It gave the muffins a little of a savory taste which is what I like in my sweets. If you like your muffins SUPER sweet, you might want to consider adding a bit more sugar, both in the batter and as the topping. I love the brown sugar crust on top, but I didn’t put too much, as usual.

What a healthy snack/breakfast. Yumz.