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autumn-flavored granola

In breakfast on October 20, 2014 at 12:41 am

believe it or not, i think this is actually the first time i’ve made granola, not just on the blog, but ever.

don’t get me wrong, i like granola, but it was never something i felt a pressing desire to make. with the change of seasons, however, it seems like every blog out there has a pumpkin-spice granola. and when two friends independently shared recipes with me, i decided to give it a try. (there’s also talk of a guest granola blog post, so get excited for that!)

the recipe i started with was this one from minimalist baker, but of course i made some modifications as i went along. and i’m calling mine “autumn-flavored” because although there is pumpkin in it, i just don’t think it tastes like pumpkin. it tastes like yummy pumpkin pie spices, but not the gourd itself. of course, i think that’s true of just about everything called pumpkin-spice at this time of year..

autumngranoladries

mix together in a large bowl:

3 cups old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/3 cup raw millet
1/3 cup raw pepitas
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

autumngranolawets

heat gently in a pot and mix well:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup pumpkin puree

then pour the pumpkin mixture over the oatmeal mixture and stir very well to totally coat.

autumngranolareadytobake

pour out on cookie sheets. i used two because i have two, but you could use one and stir it more often while baking.

bake at 340 degrees until toasty. the original recipe said 25 minutes, but i think my oven’s running a little slow these days. i kept it in for about 30 minutes and it still could have used a little more time, if you ask me.

i omitted nuts from the core recipe because of his allergies, but i did toast some pecans separately and will add them to my bowl. i also plan to add dried cranberries some mornings and raisins other mornings. you don’t want to include these during the baking step or they’ll get all dried out and hard.

and you’ll also notice the addition of my current favorite ingredient, millet. the little millet seeds add a wonderful crunch.

autumngranolabaked

overall, this one’s a keeper – a great, easy recipe that turned out some tasty granola. i also like it because some recipes out there have a lot of sugar and oil, but this didn’t. especially not when i reduced the sugar it called for even more, but it’s plenty sweet as-is.

how do you eat your granola? some like theirs with yogurt, but i’m a milk girl myself.

autumngranolajarred

pumpkin-millet bread

In ingredient on October 16, 2014 at 12:33 am

do you eat millet?

my whole foods sells “seed-uction” bread that is so delicious. it’s full of – wait for it – seeds, mostly millet. and it’s gotten us hooked.

you’d know millet if you saw it – it’s a little round, light-colored seed that looks like quinoa without the tail. you might also recognize it as one of the main ingredients of birdseed. don’t let this dissuade you. it’s also gluten-free and full of magnesium and fiber.

my mom made this pumpkin-oat bread recipe for my grandmother and they both loved it. she said it was like my favorite oat muffin recipe, which, as you know, i’m obsessed with, so of course i couldn’t wait even a couple days before i tried the bread myself.

a couple changes to the recipe:

  • who has whole wheat pastry flour? i used half a cup of white flour and half a cup of wheat. so did mama cooks and it worked out for both of us
  • as you know, we’re a nut-free home (mostly!), so instead of pecans, i used half a cup of millet

millet

i toasted it in a dry skillet (and cooled it) before adding to the flour mixture. not sure this was necessary step.

  • i did not use the topping. i thought with the millet, it would have enough texture already

milletbreadmixed

and it really was so tasty with great texture. i find that quick breads are very filling at breakfast, too. probably because they are full of eggs and butter or oil.

milletbreadsliced

a week or so later, i made another version of the bread, substituting 1/4 cup of molasses for 1/4 cup of the maple syrup, and using a cup of fresh/frozen chopped cranberries instead of the nuts. i topped it with a little millet for a cool look and a little extra crunch.

secondmilletbread1

the flavor and color were both darker from the molasses (i pretty much only use blackstrap, which is even darker than the usual kind), but the cranberries keep it tart and light.

secondmilletbread2

fried rice 2

In dinner on October 10, 2014 at 2:56 am

just like my pasta salads, i try to make my fried rice more veggie than carb.

friedrice

this one started with a large serving of leftover rice from the last time we went out for chinese food (to our favorite, dumpling house, the cambridge location)

for veggies, i used one carrot, half a red bell pepper, a couple handfuls of snow peas, a small head of bok choy (cut the leaves from the stems – you’ll want to add the stems to the pan earlier than the leaves because they take longer to cook) and about a cup of frozen peas.

i also marinated half a block of tofu, cubed, in just about equal parts sesame oil, oyster sauce, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and sriracha, and scrambled in two eggs. at the last minute, i stirred in a large handful of chopped cilantro.

cooking with the wok is great fun. it takes some confidence (show it who’s boss) and some thought (what order the veggies should go in to all cook the right amount), but i do find it’s pretty forgiving, too. you just crank it up as high as your (gas) burner goes and start tossing things in. of course if you don’t have a wok, you can use a large frying pan or cast iron skillet for your fried rice – i did for years.

as i’ve said before, the only place you can really go wrong with fried rice is adding too much soy sauce and ending up with a too-salty product. otherwise, there’s really no right or wrong answer for what you put in it.

here are more fried rice tips from the archives

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