Archive for September 1st, 2006

Simple Granola

Everyone knows that more whole grain is always a good thing to eat. I love granola, as does Mike and yet I won’t spend the abhorrent amounts of money asked for in a store to buy a 10-oz bag of granola that will disappear in one sitting in my house. I found the origin of this recipe in a Cooking Light magazine and embellished it to include more grain and flavor. It makes a big batch all on it’s own, but I double it because we can eat it on so many things.


In a large bowl combine 2 c. regular oats, 2 c. barley flakes, 1 c. oat bran, 1/3 c. ground flaxseed, 1/4 c. chopped almonds, 1 t. ground cinnamon and 1/2 t. nutmeg. In a small saucepan stir together 1/3 c. orange juice, 1/3 c. honey, 1/4 c. packed brown sugar and 2 t. canola oil. Cook over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in 2 t. vanilla extract. Pour over dry ingredients and stir well to coat. Spread on two cookie sheets coated with non-stick spray and bake at 300 degrees for approximately 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15. Remove from oven and sprinkle the top with dried cranberries and/or dried blueberries to taste. Allow to cool and store in airtight container.

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Combine the following in food processor: 1 14-oz can garbanzo beans (i drain and rinse, you decide about that one), 1/3 c. tahini, 1/4 c. lemon juice, 1 T. oilive oil, 2 t. minced garlic, 1 t. salt, and 1/4 c. water for smoothness (this is optional but it seems to even it out well- you will need less water if you don’t rinse the beans)

Whirl together until well blended, scraping sides and stirring from the bottom as needed. Keep in fridge, eat with pita bread, crackers or veggies. Resist standing at the counter and eating it with a spoon.

I often add about 1/2 c. chopped kalamata olives to ours because we love the flavor. I have also used roasted red peppers which makes it sweeter. Don’t skimp on tahini, it gives it the authenticity you want and if you can find organic tahini, buy it. The flavor is way better.

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Blueberry syrup

I love blueberries and go picking every summer at my favorite farm, usually twice if I can manage. This summer I got one good visit in and picked 20#. One thing I like to make with the bounty is blueberry syrup. I have always loved blueberry syrup since I was young, often desiring it more than maple. When I found this recipe I never looked back at the expensive jars of thin and sugary stuff in the stores. We love this on pancakes and waffles of course, but it is wonderful on ice cream, in vanilla yogurt (with granola for an added bonus), on cereal with milk and in hot oatmeal. It is chunky, not too sweet and bursting with delectable blueberry flavor. I imagine it would freeze well too, although none of it ever survives in my kitchen long enough for us to find out.

Blueberry Syrup

In a saucepan, stir together 1/2 c. sugar with 2 T. cornstarch. Pour in 1 c. of water and stir to dissolve sugar. Add 4 c. of blueberries and cook over medium heat to boiling. Stir occasionally. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Cool and store in fridge. It should last for several weeks if you aren’t consuming it in your sleep.

I have used fresh berries right off the vine for this, as well as those frozen from previous forays and also berries from the store for the times I can’t stand living without this for too long. It always comes out delicious. If you want it less chunky use the spoon to mash the berries as it heats to boiling, or you can crush them prior to putting them in the liquid.

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