Posts tagged granola
'Golden Bars'... Turmeric Granola bars (perfect 'back to school' snack!)

So turmeric is kind of a big deal at the moment in the health and wellness world... turmeric lattes and golden milk is now pretty much mainstream!

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I first made these bars a few months ago (when the photos were taken) and have since made them so many times with slight tweaks to the mix-ins depending on what I have to hand... they are perfect for festival food and camping trips, full of good nutrition, great sustenance for a mini meal or snack that keep you going for ages, and robust to pack!

I also realised they would be perfect for lunchboxes or after school snacks now back to school season has hit. Equally, they'd be great for breakfast-on-the-go, or a healthy mid morning/afternoon snack at work.

These were actually a spin on these amazing chocolate banana squares... featured in my 'Not Just For Goldilocks' ebookThey taste more dessert-like than snack like.

As all of my favourite recipes the variations really are endless- just be mindful to keep the proportions of wet and dry the same.

Tell me... what are you favourite 'back-to-school' or breakfast-on-the-go snacks?

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Recipe: Golden Granola Bars

Makes approx 12 squares

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water

  • 2 large mashed bananas

  • ¼ cup nut butter of choice

  • ¼ cup ground turmeric*

  • 2 ½ cups rolled oats

  • 1 packed chopped dried fruit (I find cranberries, dates, apricots best)

  • ¼ tsp black pepper (don’t omit as this activates the turmeric)

  • 2 tbs ground ginger or cinnamon (optional)

  • 1 cup chopped nuts and seeds

  • ½ cup cacao nibs or dark chocolate drops (not shown in this photos but are a great addition)

*or equivalent fresh turmeric root blended into the water

Method:

Blend the water with the bananas, nut butter and fresh turmeric (if using) until very smooth.

In a separate bowl mix together the remaining ingredients and then add the banana mix slowly, making sure the everything is fully coated (it’s easy to get pockets of dry pieces if you are not careful!). If the mixture is too thick, add a touch more water.

Note: taste test the mix before baking and add a little syrup/coconut sugar only if needed.

Spoon the mixture into lined and greased brownie tin so that it is approx 2cm thick. Press firmly and smooth the top. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

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Rhubarb Crumble Granola (and what is a 'natural flavour'?)

Over the last few month I have been working behind the scenes to develop my Wholeplus flavour range, it is still in the works but I hope to unleash the exciting new products and creative philosophy very soon!

Recipe: Rhubarb Crumble Granola

A huge part of my investigation process was in aligning optimal taste and texture with highest quality ingredients. When I launched Wholeplus I initially only had three flavours in the range- chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla as these were the only real food powders I could get and I was resistant to explore 'natural flavours' because I didn't understand them. It was very limiting.

So, what are 'natural flavourings'? 

Taken from the web: 'Natural flavourings are flavouring substances or flavouring preparations which are extracted from vegetable or animal materials and are not further chemically modified or changed.

Foodie Flavours
Foodie Flavours
Foodie Flavours

So basically, natural flavours come from natural sources — the original ingredient is found in nature and then purified and extracted and added back into the food. This is the only way it is truly possible to have foods in certain flavours, and nearly all companies use them including most of the health brands I know.

This has become sensationalised in various articles online with headlines such as 'is beaver butt used to flavour your food?' (Yes indeed the anal secretions of beavers can be used in foodstuffs and is actually pretty wide spread in the perfume industry as a musky smell- who knew!)  BUT Don't worry this DOES NOT appear in my products!

My biggest takeaway from this process of investigation is to be fully aware, do you own research and ask questions of the manufacturer if you are unsure how ingredients are derived. 

My investigations brought me to Foodie Flavours and after doing some thorough research to understand what natural flavours really are, a face-to-face meeting with the company, and confirmation that all of their products are indeed vegan, gluten free, sugar-free and made in the UK, I was gifted some flavours to take home for my trials.  

As well as Wholeplus Toppers recipes, I decided to put the Foodie Flavours to good use and created a granola recipe in a couple of flavours combinations. Both were great, but I have a real thing for the sweet and sour tang of rhubarb which is amazing.

Of course you can use any other 'flavouring' types you like- any extracts of choice or vanilla bean, cinnamon ginger etc.

Recipe: Rhubarb Crumble Granola

Granola is a perfect snack all on its own, but in a 'smoothie bowl' (top pic) that was almost like custard in its consistency it was a wonderful combo of smooth and crunchy.  This was simple to whip up with water, frozen banana and cashews blended up. Yoghurt gives a similar creamy contrast too.

I also love how the freeze dried beetroot gives a great nutritional boost and lovely pink hue to compliment the rhubarb.  Beetroot powder would also work well I imagine but I think beet juice would make the resulting granola too wet and soft.

You could add any chopped nuts or seeds you like, I used roughly half pumpkin seeds for some flecks of colour and the rest a combo of mixed chopped nuts.

Other flavours that would make great granolas...

  • Chocolate orange with cocoa and orange flavour (or zest)

  • Cinnamon ...because cinnamon with everything works ;-)

  • Bakewell tart- almond flavour with flakes almonds and some dried cherries (stir those in after!)

  • Banana Bread- I have tried this mashed with fresh banana and dried bananas chunks and it's great. These was my first granola recipe experiments that used pureed fruit.

  • Tropical Trip with a tropical flavour and then coconut curls and dried fruit chunks mixed through once cooked.

  • PB&J granola- this recipe made great chunky clusters!

What are your favourite flavour combos? 

Recipe: Rhubarb Crumble Granola

Recipe: Rhubarb Crumble Granola

(with Foodie Flavours)

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup oats

  • 1 cup chopped nuts/seeds

  • a pinch of sea salt

  • 3 tbs coconut oil- melted

  • 1/4 cup mild syrup of choice (I used coconut syrup)

  • approx 8 drops Foodie Flavours rhubarb flavour* (they suggest 20 drops per kg of product)

  • 1/4 cup freeze dried beetroot powder* (optional for colour)

*You could omit the beetroot and/or use an alternative flavour type of your choice. I also tried 'dulce du leche' flavour as seen below in the lighter variation. 

Method:

Stir together all ingredients in a medium bowl until well coated.

Spoon onto a lined baking tray in a thin even layer and bake for approx 15-20 mins on a medium heat- roughly 160C until lightly golden and toasted. Allow to cool thoroughly before storing in an airtight container. I found the granola lost it crispness after a couple of days, but it still tasted good!

The dulche du leche version. Great with yoghurt too- this is the new Alpro 'Greek style' version I fancied trying out!

The dulche du leche version. Great with yoghurt too- this is the new Alpro 'Greek style' version I fancied trying out!

Recipe: Caramel Crumble Granola
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Pancake crazy.... 'the chunky trail mix'!

Day three in pancake land... and I think these were favourite flavour combo of all!

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I think the reason I loved these so much was the texture... chunky juicy, crispy and full of flavour from the cinnamon and spices (I was generous with the cinnamon!)  The amount of mix-ins I stated in the recipes is a guide- basically you want enough batter to stick the trail mix together with it the pancakes falling apart :-)

I added a dollop of warmed PB and soy yoghurt to finish the whole thing off. The most satisfying pancakes I've had in a long time.

When it come to trail mix everyone has there own favourites ingredients... so what would you add in yours?

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Recipe: Chunky trail mix pancakes 

(the basic recipe was lightly adapted from this recipe on Oh She Glows)

Makes approx 12 pancakes - (feel free to halve the mix if you prefer)

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 heaped cup brown rice flour (or spelt)
  • 1/2 heaped cup buckwheat flour (or spelt)
  • 1/4 scant cup arrowroot (or other starch)
  • 2 heaped tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups non-dairy milk of choice*
  • 2-3 tbs unrefined syrup of choice* (adjust to taste as these are only slightly sweet)
  • 2 tbs ground flax or chia
  • 1/3 cup seed/nuts
  • 1/3 cup granola (or more seeds/nuts)
  • 1/3 cup raisins or other chopped dried fruit
  • cinnamon or other spices to taste
  • pinch salt
  • nut butter and yoghurt to serve- optional 

* liquid quantity may vary slightly depending on mix-ins used. For sweetness you may also use stevia or another form of sweetener, if so increase liquid slightly. 

Method:

Blend all ingredients (other than granola/seeds/fruit) together to get a thick smooth batter. Add the liquid slowly to ensure the smoothest mixture. Stir through the trail mix ingredients last.

Heat a non-stick saucepan with a little coconut oil (or other oil of choice) and spoon dollops of batter into the pan. Cook for 2-3 mins on one side, carefully flip and cook for a minute on the other. 

Serve immediately or keep warm in the oven on a low heat until all are ready together.

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Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me in these places:

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Granola-cookie breakfast clusters (gf)

I'm all about grab and go snacks. Snacks that pack a punch with a dense nutritional value.

But i'll be honest, I have a sweet tooth, so i'm more likely to opt for the lightly sweetened snacks over the savoury. That's why I love my quinoa cookies and veggie infused porridges (coming soon) so much!

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I also love granola, I think it's a texture thing as I very rarely eat is as a bowl of cereal drenched in 'milk'...but I make clumpy bits and eat handfuls of it on the fly. Sometimes this can get a little out of control....hmmm.

So these are almost like a larger version of granola clusters... kind of like a granola-cookie-cross. These are also gluten free. Does that sound like your kind of breakfast?

Oh and these little nuggets are no-bake! If you are struggling with them holding together then you could try lightly baking them too.  The quantities are listed are pretty flexible, just add what you have to hand and use enough date paste to hold it together.

For more breakfasty bites...have a look here!

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Recipe: granola-cookie breakfast clusters

Makes 8-10

ingredients:

  • ¼ cup each: gluten free cereal flakes, buckwheat groats, coconut curls, goji berries
  • ¼ cup date paste
  • a pinch- 1 tsp of cocoa, maca, spices (to taste)

Method:

Make sure the date paste is fairly sticky and not firm (add a drizzle of syrup if needed). Lightly mix in the spices and then mix through the remaining ingredients to combine into chunky balls, they should hold together well.

 Refrigerate to firm and store, consume within 2-3 days.

Notes: you could use other mix-ins such as quinoa flakes, puffed rice, chia, flax, superfood powders (e.g acai, maca), dried fruits, chopped seeds or nuts. Keep all the pieces fairly small so that they bind together without falling apart.

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I'd love you to join me in other places too!  

Why not sign up foemails in my sidebar where I feature roundups and special offers. If you are new round here check out my 'About' and 'Getting Started' tabs up top. To buy nibbles you can also find me over at Wholeplus.  Day to day you can also find me here:

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Superfood granola!

Granola is already a super food.... ha ha see what I did there ;-)

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Oh dear, i think i'm having one of those crazy days where overwhelm has finally taken a backseat to 'crazy lady lets just go with the flow' mode. I'm kinda liking it. Ok, so the fact that I have Michael Buble playing in the background as I write may have something to do with that.

Anyway. Stop getting distracted.

We're talking granola today, but not just any kind of granola. This version has super powers! (kind of).

In a nutshell I have cooked up a batch of regular granola clusters, the regular granola you all know and love BUT I infused it with all the super foods I had to hand plus a boost of quinoa. Note, there are no hard and fast rules here just mix in a bit of whatever you have and taste test as you go so you can tweak it to your liking! I appreciate that some super foods can have pretty powerful flavours! I didn't add greens powder because i was scared too- my granola was of the semi sweet variety. But feel free to do so.....?

The key thing here is to bake on a super low heat so as much of the goodness as possible is retained the lower the better basically, for as long as it takes to dry out to your desired consistency. I tried this win both the dehydrator and oven and both ways work well. Obviously it does't need to be clumpy if you prefer smaller flakes, it will dry out more evenly that way too.

What are your favourite 'super foods' to add to recipes? I'm always a cinnamon and maca girl.

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Superfood granola... baked on the low!

Ingredients: 

  • 1 large banana or apple- pureed
  • 1 cup packed dates (to make approx ½ cup date paste)
  • ½ tsp pure stevia
  • 3 tbs chia
  • 1 tbs each maca, acai, mesquite, cinnamon (use any superfood powders other than greens!)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 2 ½ cups jumbo oats
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (optional or sub other grain)
  • ½ cup soaked seeds of choice
  • handful of cacoa nibs- optional

Method:  

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Puree the banana/apple and dates and then mix through with the dry ingredients until well coated. Add the seeds last.

Spread in clumps on a lined baking sheet or dehydrator sheet. Bake for 60-90 mins in the lowest oven setting (mine was approx 90C) or dehydrate for approx 8 hours (maybe more as I forgot to time it!) The smaller the clumps the quicker it will ‘cook’ 

Using a low temperature helps preserve as much of the superfood goodness as possible! 

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PB&J granola clusters

It was only a few weeks ago that I made these PB&J no bake bars, the sweetness of the berries and the rich roasted peanuts are such a  great combo I couldn't wait to try out another variation…what better than a new baked granola flavour!

You can make the granola as clusters (my favourite) or as a smaller flake. I like to serve the clusters with a good dollop of vegan yoghurt, this would also be great serve with fresh strawberries, cherries or raspberries too.

What is your favourite way to eat granola? (other than grabbing handfuls out of the bag)  Unfortunately my other favourite way is eating the ‘raw’ granola mix before it even makes it into the oven…it think it almost tastes better than cooked granola, it’s a close call!

Recipe: PB&J granola clusters

Makes one large bowlful

Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cup oats
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts- chopped
  • 2tbs ground flax
  • 2 tbs peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbs coconut oil- melted
  • 1 tbs maple syrup or agave
  • 2 tbs sugar free raspberry or strawberry jam
  • ¼ cup mix dried cherries or cranberries- optional

Method

Melt the coconut oil and peanut butter (unless it is already very runny) and add to the other liquid ingredients.

Add all dry ingredients to the wet mixture(except cherries/cranberries) and mix through.

Spoon onto 2 lightly greased baking sheets making sure to achieve a thin even layer with lots of clumpy bits.

Bake at 170C for 10-15 minutes until slightly golden. Add the dried cherries/cranberries to the mixture once cooled. Stores in cupboard for a few weeks.

For further guidance on making gluten free choices please see this post.

For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.

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Peanut satay granola

It had never occurred to me until recently to make a savoury granola instead of sweet one. I love my lightly sweetened breakfast granolas (instead of breakfast insert ‘any time of day snack’!) and just couldn’t get my head around the idea of a savoury version…that is until this taste combo popped into my head.

Peanut satay granola.

An adaptation of my peanut satay sauce… you'll find the original sauce recipe here smothered over some veggie skewers. So you simply take this sauce and add in some oats and roasted peanuts instead.

satay sauce smoothered over veggie skewers

satay sauce smoothered over veggie skewers

Voila, the perfect snack… try it instead of croutons on your salad or, instead of popcorn as you watch a film. This will store in an airtight container for a few weeks, so no excuses not to make a big batch.

If you love roasted peanuts and a bit of a spicy kick (optional) then you will love this twist on granola. You could mix in some other nuts and seeds as well, but here I just wanted to keep it a pure and simple tribute to peanuts.

Recipe: Savoury Granola

Makes approx. 4-5 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 tbs soy milk
  • Approx. ½ tsp hot sauce or chipotle pepper sauce (to taste depending on what type you use)
  • 1 cup oats*
  • ½ cup roast peanuts- slightly crushed but still chunky (I roasted regular peanuts for 10 minutes in the oven)

Method:

Mix the wet ingredients together to form a thick paste. Add the oats and roasted peanuts and mix together until the nuts and oats are fully coated, adding a little extra milk if necessary.

Spread the mixture across a lined or greased baking sheet ensuring there are some nice clumpy bits of fairly even sizes.

Bake at 180C for approx. 10-15 minutes, keeping a close eye to ensure the granola does not burn.

Serve hot or cold with a salad or as a grab-and-go snack.

* for further guidance on making gluten free choices please see this post.

For tips and info on recipe measurement conversions, ingredients, substitutions and the methods behind how I do things.... check out my 'baking tips' tab at the top of the page.

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Chewy coconut granola bars

Remember I mentioned my coconut overload?

Well, I’m still hot on the coconut infused recipes and this one is no exception, although you can easily change things around and sub the coconut if you want as it’s a super versatile concept.

This recipe was originally generated by accident…following a batch of chocolate granola gone wrong. That will teach me to mess with things when they are perfect as they are. Anyway, this particular batch was a little lacking in flavour and was very crumbly, still edible but not enjoyable as a snack on its own.

So chewy granola bars to the rescue!  This could easily have been a no-bake recipe as the banana holds everything together, however to me they were like chunky versions of smoosh barsand  I wanted something a little firmer… so I baked them for 10 minutes. Just enough to firm them up but so they still retained the lovely chewy texture.

You can use any fruits and nuts you like and if you don’t have granola you can toast some oats and use those. I used chocolate granola, but if yours is plain feel free to throw in some cacoa powder or maybe even some cocoa nibs for a bit of raw chocolately goodness!

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Recipe: chewy coconut granola bars

Makes one 8” pan

Ingredients

  • 1 medium banana- mashed well
  • 2 tbs chia seeds
  • 1 cup mixed fruit ( I used raisins/dates/cranberries/figs
  • ½ cup coconut flakes (or crushed nuts)
  • 1 cup granola (I used homemade choc granola)

Method

Blend all ingredients, except the granola, together in a food processor on medium speed (so the fruit doesn’t break up too small) or mix well by hand. Add the granola last, mixing through well.

Press firmly into a lined square pan. You can either keep these raw and simplychill until firm or you can bake them for approx.10 mins at 180C.

Once cooled/firm cut into bars and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

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