Maple-Nut Granola

maple-nut granola - trust in kim

For breakfast I usually eat a bowl of fruit and homemade yogurt.  It’s so delicious, but I find sometimes it’s not enough to get me through the morning.  I haven’t made granola in ages, so I thought this would be a good time to rework an old recipe. I’ve used maple syrup for a little sweetness, and a bit of olive oil to make it nice and crunchy.  I think the amount of sugar and fat are quite reasonable, especially when you look at the fat and sugar content of commercial granolas.  The nuts themselves have a high fat content, but it’s a healthy fat, and one of the reasons why  serving of granola should be small.

What you need:

2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped

1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped

1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

What you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 300F.

2. Combine the oats, almonds, pecans, walnuts and salt in a large bowl.  Add the oil,maple syrup and vanilla to this and combine thoroughly.

3. Spread this mixture evenly on a baking tray.  Bake for 2o minutes.

4. Add the pumpkin seeds and coconut to the baking tray and combine with the other ingredients.  I like to add these later in the cooking process so they don’t get too toasty.

5. Return the pan to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.  You will want to watch it towards the end of the cooking time, just in case your oven in running a little hot.  The granola should be a golden colour, but not browned.  I think it tastes burnt when it gets browned.

6. Allow to cool completely on the baking tray, then store in an airtight container.

Breakfast Arepas

On my recent trip to Quebec City I was treated to this great breakfast made by Eduardo.  He is from Venezuela, and he showed me how to make these traditional Venezuelan arepas.  They are the vehicle for whatever you want to stuff into them; we had egg and cheese in ours, and then some “dessert” arepas with nutella, cream cheese and jam.

What you need for the arepas:

1 cup corn flour

about 1 cup water

about 1/2 teaspoon salt

a little oil for frying

What you need for the eggs:

a few eggs

chopped onion

chopped tomatoes

diced garlic

salt and pepper

What you do:

1. Mix the flour, salt and water until there are no lumps.  Scoop some dough into your hands and roll it into a ball.  Then flatten it out and make the edges round.

2. Heat a frying pan with a little oil, then place the patties in the pan until browned on each side.

3. Heat the oven to 350F and place the arepas into the oven on the rack.  After 10-15 minutes, take one out of the oven to see if the inside is cooked.  To do this, take one in your hand and tap on it; it’s ready if it makes a dull hollow sound.

4. While they are baking, cook the onions and garlic for a few minutes in a little oil in a frying pan, then add the tomatoes.  Beat the eggs with a fork and add about a tablespoon of water and some salt and pepper.  When the onions and tomatoes have cooked for a few minutes, add the eggs to the pan and cook them.

5. To serve, slice the arepas open, spread on a little butter,  and then fill with some egg.  Add a piece of cheese if you like, and you’re set.


Rhubarb Brazil Nut Bran Muffins

Rhubarb in my garden, a huge bag of brazil nuts, and a desire to bake some flax-bran muffins to throw in the freezer for a time of need, all led me to make these muffins.  They are based on my usual recipe,  with a new fruit and nut combination.  Of course I forgot to put in the molasses, which I went out and bought especially to make these.  But they were still good!

What you need:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup bran

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1 cup chopped fresh rhubarb

1/2 cup chopped brazil nuts

2 eggs

1 cup milk (soy is good too)

2 tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup butter

What you do:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400F.

2.  Stir dry ingredients  in a large bowl.

3.  Melt the  butter, then mix  the milk into the butter slowly, so the butter doesn’t harden when you add cold milk.  Add the molasses to the other liquids.  Pour the liquids, along with the slightly beaten eggs, into the dry ingredients.  Mix by hand only until the ingredients are combined; if you mix more you’ll get tough little muffins.

4.  Mix in the rhubarb and brazil nuts.

5.  Place mixture in muffin tins lined with paper baking cups.

6.  Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.  Take the muffins out of tins and cool on a rack for a few minutes before eating.

These are especially yummy served warm with a little butter, and it you have a sweet tooth, some honey or agave nectar.

Mom’s Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

I grew up on these, and now I make them all the time when I have company for brunch.  I’ve also served them, with lots of teachers flipping and serving, to the kids at my school for Bike to School Week.  Anybody who rides to school that week gets a free pancake breakfast!  The incentive works well, and we have tons of kids riding.

This recipe is really easy, and sooo much better than a box of pancake mix!  They are also amazing with raspberries in place of the blueberries.  Serve them with a little butter and real maple syrup and they’ll be perfect.

What you need:

1 cup buttermilk

1 egg

2 teaspoons vegetable oil or melted butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

butter for frying

What you do:

1. Beat the egg up a little with a fork, then add the other liquid ingredients.

2.  Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.  Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir it until there are no lumps.  If it seems a little thick, thin it down with a bit more buttermilk.

3.  Stir in the berries.  If you are using frozen, don’t thaw them, just mix them in straight out of the freezer.  They’ll maintain their shape better that way.

4.  Heat a frying pan to medium high and put a little butter in the pan.  I usually do one tester pancake because the first ones never seem to turn out right.  Scoop spoonfuls of the batter into the hot pan, turning it down if it starts to smoke.  When you see bubbles rising to the surface of the pancake it is time to flip it.  Cook on the other side until they are nicely browned.

I like to serve them fresh out of the pan because they taste the best then, but I suppose you could put some into a warm oven if you needed to.