Olive Oil Granola with A Medley of Coconut Flakes, Apricots, Dates, Nuts, and Seeds

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I’ve cracked the granola code! Meaning, after a couple years of tweaking my homemade granola recipe, I’ve found the one. I’ve experimented with different oils, different nuts, different baking temperatures and time spent in the oven, different sweeteners, and different ratios. Some of them were decent, some were not so good (too heavy on the salt or too light on sweeteners), but this one… this one is my holy grail granola.

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I’m excited to share this recipe with you as I think it really is somethin’ special, as far as granola goes. Oh, and I apologize for the long title, which is probably the longest granola recipe title there is – it just really is so tasty with all of those ingredients! Of course, you can adjust it to your liking, adding or taking out different nuts and seeds and dried fruit, depending on your taste or just what’s currently in your pantry. However, I do recommend the extra step of heating the olive oil, sweeteners, vanilla, and almond butter together in a little saucepan on the stove, whisking a bit until combined and fragrant, as this keeps those ingredients from becoming clumped and too concentrated in certain bites of granola.

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I like mine sprinkled (in actuality, spooned into a heaping pile) atop some tangy yogurt for breakfast, or eaten plain as a little crunchy afternoon snack.

Sincerely,

Adelle

OLIVE OIL GRANOLA WITH COCONUT FLAKES, APRICOTS, DATES, NUTS, AND SEEDS

Makes 10 cups of granola

  • 5 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsulfured dried apricots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup pitted deglet noor dates, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1/4 cup unsalted pistachios
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup pepitas/pumpin seeds
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup raw honey
  • 1/4 cup unsalted almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (not needed if the nuts or almond butter is salted)

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine oats, apricots, dates, coconut flakes, nuts, and seeds. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the olive oil, maple syrup, honey, almond butter, and vanilla. Whisk until combined, warm and fragrant, and pour into the bowl of dry ingredients. Toss together with a spoon, adding the salt only if needed, until combined.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, then spoon half of the granola onto each pan, spreading evenly. Pop the granola into the warm oven and bake for 20 minutes, then after stirring each pan a bit, bake for another 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, and allow to cool completely without stirring, as this will allow the granola to keep in clumps, if you like your granola that way. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place, and it will keep for a week – that is, if it’s not already eaten by then!

Honey Raspberry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks

For my birthday this year, my sweet mom and siblings gifted me an ice cream maker. I have plans to put it to good use as the temperature begins to rise over the next several months and my cravings for something cold and sweet rise along with it. Though it’s only February and still chilly here in California, I decided some ice cream churned with berries and chocolate was in order after sunny skies left me yearning for summer.

This recipe is fairly unfussy for an ice cream recipe, as it doesn’t call for tempering an egg yolk custard or chilling overnight. Simply throw everything into a bowl, crushing the berries a bit, and add hefty chunks of chocolate as it churns. Sweetened only by a few spoonfuls of raw honey along with the raspberries, it’s not overwhelming in any way, and dark chocolate adds both crunch and richness.

I hope you enjoy this scrumptious treat! I won’t blame you if you steal a few spoonfuls as it churns.

Sincerely,

Adelle

HONEY RASPBERRY ICE CREAM WITH CHOCOLATE CHUNKS

Serves 8

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2 percent)
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/4 cup raw honey (you may add a spoonful or two more if your raspberries are more tart than sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dark chocolate, chopped roughly into chunks (or chocolate chips), amounting to about 1/2 cup – you can add more or less to your liking.

Whisk together the heavy cream, milk, honey, and vanilla in a bowl until the honey has dissolved. Add the raspberries, slightly mashing them against the bottom of the bowl while you whisk them in, mixing until the cream mixture has turned slightly pink.

Pour into an ice cream maker, adding the chocolate slowly as the cream is churned. Churn for about 20 minutes, or until the ice cream has a soft serve consistency. Spoon into a freezer safe container, allowing to chill for about an hour or so before serving to help the ice cream firm up a bit.

Orzo and Wild Rice with Acorn Squash, Arugula, and Tahini Dressing

Earthy wild rice and fluffy orzo, sweet roasted squash and peppery arugula, briny olives and nutty tahini… the flavors here come together in just the right way. This dish is plant based, filling, and vegetarian. And the dressing! This dressing has been drizzled over practically everything lately. And I mean everything. I’ve put it on salads, roasted veggies, chicken, pasta, tacos, you name it – it’s been on it.

I chose to add a handful of arugula and some olives, but feel free to experiment here with toppings! Feta, cilantro, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, baby kale leaves, pomegranate seeds, sliced blood oranges or roasted corn would all be delicious options. Experiment with what’s in your fridge, and you just may find your own favorite version!

Sincerely,

Adelle

ORZO AND WILD RICE WITH ACORN SQUASH AND ARUGULA

Serves 6

(You can cut the amounts listed in half if you don’t have multiple mouths to feed, although I like to make a big batch as the leftovers make for a no-fuss dinner or even lunch the next day. It tastes equally good cold!)

  • 2 1/2 cups uncooked wild rice
  • 2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
  • 2 acorn squash, seeded and cut into 8 slices
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • Olive oil, for drizzling
  • Flakey sea salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Chopped olives, to garnish if desired

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the wild rice and orzo according to the package instructions, strain, and set aside.

Place the squash and shallots on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil, and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat with the oil, then place in the oven. Roast for about 40 minutes or until the squash is cooked through and slightly browned.

Toss the wild rice and orzo together, adding olive oil if sticking together. Spoon the wild rice and orzo onto the plates, top with a few pieces of roasted squash and shallots, add a handful of arugula, a few chopped olives if you like, and drizzle with a little olive oil and tahini dressing (below).

TAHINI DRESSING

  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk the tahini, orange juice, red wine vinegar, and honey together until completely combined (depending on the sweetness of your orange juice, you may want to omit the honey or adjust the amount, so taste before adding the honey and add a bit at a time to adjust the sweetness to your liking). Whisk in the olive oil, 1/2 tablespoon at a time, until emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Peanut Butter Chocolates with Almond Date Caramel

These chocolates, I tell ya! They are so decadent and rich but also free of any added sugar as they’re sweetened with medjool dates! That means a healthy dessert which equals guilt-free indulging and a satisfied sweet tooth with no sugar crash. I may or may not have snuck one for breakfast the other day… so no judgement here if you find them beckoning you at 9am. Or noon. Or anytime. Because, health.

Every time I make these, they vanish within days, so feel free to make an extra batch as they’ll keep well in the freezer. This recipe uses a combination of almond and peanut butter, but if you only have almond butter or only peanut butter on hand (or even sunbutter if you’re nut-free) no need to run to the store! These are great made completely with just one kind of nut butter, so feel free to experiment with whatever is in your cupboard!

You can also experiment with different toppings like shredded coconut, sunflower seeds, pistachios, walnuts, or dried fruit. Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Adelle

PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATES WITH ALMOND DATE CARAMEL

Makes 22 chocolates

For the almond date caramel filling:

  • 25 medjool dates, pitted
  • 3 tablespoons salted almond butter (if unsalted, add a pinch or two of salt)
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the chocolates:

  • 10 oz dark chocolate (72% cacao or greater)
  • Peanut butter
  • Whole almonds, three for every chocolate
  • Flaky sea salt

To make the almond date caramel filling:

Place the pitted medjool dates, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla in a food processor or blender and pulse a few times or until combined and the dates are fully blended. Divide and roll into balls about 1 inch in diameter (I ended up with 22 total). Set aside.

To assemble the chocolates:

Melt the chocolate by simmering a pot of water under a glass bowl or in the microwave, stirring and heating until fully melted.

On a parchment lined baking sheet, dollop a spoonful of melted chocolate until there are as many dollops as there are pieces of almond date caramel (I did 22). Place the rolled pieces of caramel onto each dollop, top each with about 1/2 teaspoon amounts of peanut butter (or more if you love peanut butter!), then cover with a spoonful or two of melted chocolate until the filling and peanut butter is fully covered. Press three whole almonds onto the top of each chocolate, and sprinkle with a bit of flaky sea salt.

Place the baking sheet with the chocolates in the freezer for about 15 minutes or so to firm up the chocolate, and they’re ready to go! They keep best in the fridge or freezer as they tend to get a little ‘melty’ if left at room temp. I personally like to keep them in the freezer as this makes for sort of a chocolate-ice cream-bar texture, leaving them at room temp for a couple minutes to soften just slightly.

Roasted Garlic Hummus with Sprouted Wheat Pita Bread

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If I’m completely honest, I used to really not enjoy hummus at all. (gasp!) Having only tried some chalky, pre-packaged, to-go containers as a kid that were available at my local grocery store, I considered it to be just a bland, boring bean dip. Over the years, store-bought hummus has definitely upped its game, getting fresher, featuring adventurous flavors and boasting organic ingredients. Still, I wasn’t totally hooked.

Enter homemade hummus.

It takes time, it takes effort, and it takes some extra planning, but oh my. This isn’t boring-chalky-bland-bean-dip anymore. This is the how-is-this-healthy sort of good.

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Though you can absolutely used pre-cooked canned garbanzo beans, I’ve recently been dabbling in soaking then cooking dry beans bought in bulk. Though this means you have to plan ahead and soak your beans overnight before you want to cook them, it’s actually better for you this way. This is because beans naturally contain something called phytic acid, which keeps minerals from being absorbed during digestion. When the beans are soaked overnight, the phytate content is reduced, therefore allowing for greater mineral absorption. In short, soaking beans allows your body to absorb more good-for-you minerals and therefore makes for a healthier, more body-beneficial food. Personally, I think it also makes for creamier, fresher-tasting hummus! Additionally, purchasing dried beans in bulk can sometimes be cheaper. I’ve included instructions for how to do this, but again, feel free to use canned chickpeas if that’s more efficient for you!

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This post not only includes a hummus recipe but also a recipe for sprouted wheat pita bread. This hummus can absolutely be served with store-bought pitas, but I would suggest that the homemade stuff is pretty darn awesome. Hot out of the oven and steaming as you plunge freshly torn pieces into creamy hummus, these just might forever ruin any other pita for you!

This recipe uses sprouted whole wheat flour, which relates to the whole phytic acid thing I was talking about above. Because the grain used for the flour has been sprouted, it contains less phytic acid, making for ultra-healthy pita bread. However, you can substitute regular wheat flour and it will still be oh-so-delicious! In contrast to pita made with white flour, these whole wheat morsels are hearty and add an earthy, robust flavor to this meal..yes, I said meal. When I make this, it’s usually constitutes for an entire dinner as it’s just that good and filling. Shown in these photographs is the hand of my younger sister (who is vegan and always appreciative of a delicious vegan meal) digging into that fresh hummus…needless to say these pictures were taken rather quickly as we rushed to munch on our meal!

Enjoy!

Sincerely,

Adelle

 

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COOKING DRIED CHICKPEAS

Cooks one 1 lb bag of dried chickpeas

Wash beans thoroughly in a colander and sort out any small stones that may be present. After washing, place the beans in a large bowl, pour in enough filtered water to cover them by about 3 inches, cover, and pop into the fridge. Allow the beans to soak overnight for at least 12 hours or for up to 24 hours.

After having been soaked, rinse the beans thoroughly again and discard the soaking water. Place the rinsed beans in a pot, covering with fresh water by a few inches and adding a pinch of salt.

Cover with the pot lid, turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, skim off any foam that has risen to the surface, then turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 55 minutes, until the beans are soft and cooked through.

Strain the beans, discarding the cooking liquid. Now you’re ready to eat them, roast them, or make hummus with them!

ROASTED GARLIC HUMMUS

Makes 6 appetizer portions or 4 dinner-sized portions

  • 5 cups cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6 large garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375.

Place the garlic cloves on a baking sheet and roast in the hot oven for about 10 minutes. Discard the skins.

Place the roasted garlic along with all the other ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth and creamy. You can taste along the way, adjusting the salt and pepper to suit you. Bam, you’re done!

ROASTED CHICKPEA GARNISH (optional but VERY tasty!)

  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped parsley, for topping
  • Flakey sea salt, for topping
  • Olive oil, for drizzling

Using the oven that was preheated to 375, place the chickpeas drizzled with oil and tossed with all seasonings and the sesame seeds into a cast iron skillet or onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and roast for 25 to 35 minutes, until quite golden and a little crispy.

Spoon on top of the hummus, showering with some chopped parsley, flakey sea salt, and a good glug of olive oil drizzled all over!

SPROUTED WHEAT PITA BREAD

Makes 8 small pitas… I like to double this recipe to have extra on hand!

  • 3 cups sprouted whole wheat flour (I used this one)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup very warm water
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Mix flour, salt, and yeast in a large bowl until combined. In a separate bowl, combine the warm water and honey until the honey has dissipated. Add the honey-water mixture to the dry ingredients as well as the olive oil and stir to combine. Knead the dough in the bowl for about two minutes, until elastic. Cover and set aside for 1 hour minimum for the dough to rise and relax.

When the dough has been set aside for at least an hour, knead the dough again for about 30 seconds, adding flour if it’s too moist and sticky. On a floured surface, cut the dough into eight pieces, roll into thin disks, and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 475, and allow the disks to rise and rest a bit while the oven is heating.

When the oven is fully heated, bake the disks for 10 to 12 minutes (this is my favorite pan to use for this). Allow to cool and dig into that hummus!