Our Guest Test Kitchen feature always sneaks up at a perfect time. In fact, sometimes we even find the days flying by. Before we know it, we’re reaching out to another awesome person in our lives who has a knack for whipping up equally as awesome food. Sarah is actually a friend of a friend, but she made her love for food and creating recipes known, and without a doubt, we decided she needed her own space to share on our site. Sarah lives far away in Chicago, so unfortunately, she’s not cooking anything that either of us can nibble on. No matter, you can easily shoot her a message, and she’ll get back to you with a bunch of her own vegetarian and vegan creations–most of them flawlessly transcribed to make it easy for you to replicate. Now that is a friend. In this month’s Guest Test Kitchen, Sarah has full rein, and she’s bringing a crunchy breakfast or snack treat for any day.
“Hello all. First, many thanks to Chrystal and Amir for extending this opportunity to me. For a blogging newbie, I am delighted to begin my adventure with Duo Dishes! About a year ago, I opened my last bag of overpriced ‘fancy’ granola. It turned out to be $6 worth of only sweetened oats. Really?! Who likes the feeling of getting duped by marketing? I was not dismayed but emboldened to make my own. Of late, I had been transitioning my diet to veganism and aim to consume little to no packaged or prepared foods. So it was time to add granola to the list of homemade goodies around my house! In the end, it would be quicker to make large batches that embodied more substance. But let’s get real…it would be tastier than the junk I was paying top dollar for.
The following is a heavenly recipe put together after not only synthesizing many recipes, but also including ingredients I wanted to incorporate more of into my personal diet. It’s highly flexible! The combination of seeds/nuts is endless. You can add your favorite extract to the liquid contents. Lastly, any dried fruit can be mixed in halfway through the baking process. Afterwards, your home will indeed smell glorious!!!
Glorious Granola – Approximately 5 cups
In a large bowl, mix the following:
2 cups old fashioned oats
1/2 cup wheat germ
2 tablespoons dark (or light) brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup extra ingredients (any combo of seeds or nuts)
2 tablespoons ground flax seed or chia seed
In saucepan on the stove, bring these to a simmer over low heat:
1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or honey)
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon liquid extract (ie. vanilla, almond, etc.; optional)
You will also need:
Non-stick oil spray
Pour liquid mixture over dry ingredients and mix with fork or hands. Work mixture into various size clumps (press firmly in hands). Spread evenly on a large baking sheet coated with non-stick oil. Bake on middle rack position for 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 275 degrees. Turn or stir mix halfway through for even baking. It makes 5 cups and is best stored in an airtight container.
Here is a quick fruit bake I like to prepare using the granola:
I made the granola recipe with 3/4 cup pecans and 1/4 cup of a mixture of sunflower seeds, pepitas (hulled and unroasted), and sesame seeds. It’s sweetened with maple syrup.
Bake the granola for approximately half the time of the original recipe (20 minutes) and set aside. Slice 4 cups of your favorite seasonal berries. Toss the berries with 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon lemon/lime zest.
Spread the fruit mixture in a square (10″ x 10” or 10″ x 9”) baking pan. Spread the granola evenly over the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the granola is crunchy. Enjoy topped with a dollop of regular, Greek, or soy yogurt.
God bless you and your kitchens!!”
Click HERE for printable recipes.