Archive | March, 2013

Cranberry Orange Granola

Granola is one of those foods that you generally can’t walk by without taking a handful or pouring yourself a bowl of, and this granola is no exception. I don’t think I’ve ever found granola to be a refreshing food, though. Usually it’s hard to achieve refreshment with sweet, nutty, chocolaty snacks. This granola, however, proves otherwise. I had an abundance of oranges on the counter, some of which were threatening to go bad within a few days, and as much as I love oranges, I didn’t think I’d be able to eat them all before they were no longer edible. So obviously, I had to make granola. In particular, I had to make cranberry orange granola spiked with freshly grated orange zest, freshly squeezed orange juice, and dried cranberries with just the right amount of tartness to balance out the sometimes overly sugary snack.

The orange zest makes this granola fragrant and irresistible,while pumpkin seeds provide it with a wonderful crunch. Cranberries round out the texture by giving it a bit of chew, not to mention a beautiful color. If you’re looking for spring appropriate snacks, look no further. I challenge you to make this granola last more than 2 days.

Cranberry Orange Granola

Ingredients

  • 4 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup mixed nuts and seeds*
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (optional)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower oil or other neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened, unsalted nut butter (I used sunflower butter)
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line a standard rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, combine rolled oats, nuts and seeds, and optional shredded coconut and ground flaxseed
  3. Combine applesauce, orange zest, orange juice, oil, nut butter, sugar, vanilla, and salt in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until it just begins to bubble. Remove from heat immediately.
  4. Pour wet mixture over dry ingredients and stir until evenly coated.
  5. Spread mixture into an even layer on prepared baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 55 minutes to one hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  7. Remove from oven, stir in cranberries, and allow to cool on pan before transferring to an airtight container. The granola will keep, unrefrigerated, for at least 2 weeks (it’s never lasted longer)!
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Do you have a favorite granola recipe? My personal favorite is the Chocolate Chunk Maple granola I made a while back. What are your favorite refreshing springtime snacks?

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Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Hummus + a Twist on Socca

roasted cauliflower and garlic hummus and spinach socca

I think we are all quite aware by now that I am the president of the hummus fan club. And I’m not afraid to throw an entire head of garlic (roasted, of course) into the aforementioned delectable dip. You may not know, however, that I am a cauliflower fiend. I horde the stuff like it’s going extinct, and it’s not out of the ordinary for me to eat an entire head in one sitting.

So why, I asked myself, have I not combined my love for these three versatile ingredients? And yes, hummus is an ingredient (hummus based salad dressing, anyone?). Well today is the magical day that it happens. And let me tell you, I could not stop eating this. I’m almost positive that a third of it went into my mouth before I even got around to scraping it out of the food processor.

spinach and thyme socca

Though traditionalists would probably scold me for calling this hummus (no chickpeas, no tahini, no cumin…) it does serve the same purpose as traditional hummus, and so it will be called hummus whether they like it or not. This version is a big lighter than completely bean based spreads thanks to the roasted cauliflower. Roasted garlic and cauliflower lend a double dose of deep caramelized flavor, while the avocado makes it smooth and satisfying. A bit of lemon juice balances out the richness, and ground black pepper provides the perfect bite.

You’ll probably want something to accompany your hummus, and I have just the thing: thyme and spinach socca. If you’ve never heard of socca, it is a garbanzo bean flour based flatbread that originated in France, and has, in the past few years, become quite popular in the blog world. It’s extremely quick and easy to whip up with only a few ingredients, and the flavor combinations are seemingly endless. Socca is gluten free, too, so it’s a great bread alternative for those who cannot eat gluten.

roasted cauliflower and garlic hummus and spinach socca

The socca and hummus are a great balanced meal, and extremely portable, too. You’re getting your veggies thanks to the cauliflower and spinach, protein from the beans, and healthy fats from the avocado. I promise you won’t need anything else!

Roasted Cauliflower and Garlic Hummus

Yield: About 2 cups

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of garlic
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • Flesh of 1 medium avocado
  • 1/2 cup cooked navy beans
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease or line with parchment paper a standard baking sheet.
  2. Peel away the loose outer layers of skin on the head of garlic, then cut off the top 1/4 inch to expose the tops of each clove of garlic. Drizzle one teaspoon of olive oil over top, being sure to coat the top of each clove. Wrap in aluminum foil and place on prepared baking sheet.
  3. On the same baking sheet, spread the chopped cauliflower into an even layer. Roast for 35-40 minutes, or until the cauliflower is golden and tender, and the garlic is easily pierced with a knife. Unwrap garlic and let cool for 10 minutes.
  4. Once garlic is cooled, squeeze the contents of each clove into the bowl of a food processor. Add all other ingredients and process, wiping down the sides of the bowl if necessary until a smooth, mixture forms. If your mixture will not come together, add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Taste, and adjust seasonings as necessary.
  6. Store in an airtight contain in the refrigerator for up to one week.
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Spinach and thyme socca

Spinach and Thyme Socca

Ingredients

  • 1 cup garbanzo or garfava flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup packed baby spinach, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly grease or line with parchment a 7 inch by 11 inch glass baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together garbanzo or garfava flour, sea salt, and dried thyme.
  3. Whisk in water until no lumps remain, then stir in chopped spinach.
  4. Pour batter into prepared baking dish. Bake for 25-27 minutes, until edges are just golden.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing and slicing.
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Roasted Cauliflower Hummus and Spinach Socca

Have you tried socca yet? What are you favorite flavors? I’ve made countless versions, but the spinach is probably my favorite. What about hummus - have you made your own? Isn’t it a million times better than store bought?

spinach and thyme socca

 

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And the winner is…

Hi all, I just wanted to drop in to announce the winner of the almond flour giveaway. Anna over at Apron Hearts is the lucky one. She said:

Anna, I’ll be contacting you shortly so you can claim your goods. Thanks to everyone who entered, and especially to nuts.com for their generosity! I’ll be back soon with more recipes!

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