Inflation Inspired Pantry Granola E. A. T. #51

Everyday healthy. A Grab-and-Go snack. Simple is good. Make it cheaper, make it better.

Homemade granola is so much tastier and healthier than anything available store-bought….and more definitely more affordable. At times when I am really busy I will buy my favorite brand from the supermarket, but earlier this week while grocery shopping I had a few “arresting inflation shopping moments” that did not have anything to do with filling my car up before entering the grocery!

Limes, which I had to have for a photo shoot recipe, were 89 cents each! Two large crisp apples cost $2.64, etc, etc. The granola I buy “in a pinch” was $1 more per package and the package is not very large. Granted it is low sugar, low-batch produced and has a lot of really good ingredients, but I just could not make myself toss it in the cart. Why now? Why not now? Why not make my own using what I already have at home in my pantry. It is quick and easy and based on good whole grain oats and whatever else I can rummage up so I call this batch “Inflation Inspired Pantry Granola”.

Pantry Granola is delicious with yogurt and fresh fruit, but also as a sprinkle over a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt, and can be stirred into oatmeal right before eating to add a little crunch. Sometimes I take it in a little container with me in the car for when I get the munchies. A little bit salty and a little bit sweet. Very satisfying.

This batch of granola has pecans, large coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pistachios, almonds, old-fashioned oats, maple syrup, brown sugar and olive oil with a bit of sea salt tossed in. I have attached a recipe or how-to, but truthfully you can add as much or as little of any nuts, grains, dried fruit, etc as you like. It is pretty hard for this to not be a success. It is absolutely as easy-as-this.

Giant bowl of good stuff…..
….all tossed together.

Spread out on parchment lined baking sheets and popped into the oven until a bit caramelized. We like our granola pretty toasted & roasted, but that is totally up to you. Less toasted, more toasted, anyway you like it.

Cool down time.

Stored in large airtight containers ready for the pantry. It is as easy-as-this.

A few jars of healthy goodness.

Other granola post links: “Orange Peel-Cardamom Gluten-Free Granola” and “Hola! Granola!” Different versions, same results.

Pantry Granola

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups whole grain rolled oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill), not quick cooking oats
  • 1 cup each pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans (or any mixture to make 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup each pistachios, walnuts, slivered almonds (or whatever nuts you have to make 1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup flaked coconut (shredded works as well)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (you can use honey, just take it down to 1/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • Sea salt flakes (kosher will do)
  • Note: Use whatever combination of ingredients you prefer or have on hand for your own mix. You can add dried fruit such as chopped dried apricots or dried cranberries, banana chips, but add these the final 15 minutes of cooking so they do not get to dried out! I have added in flax seeds and cracked black pepper as well as a bit of coffee grounds. Make it how you like it…the process is the same.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper.
  2. Mix together in a large bowl the oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, slivered almonds and coconut.
  3. Add maple syrup, olive oil and brown sugar and sea salt flakes. Toss all of the ingredients together until well combined.
  4. Divide the granola mixture between the two pans and spread out evenly. Bake granola, stirring every 15 minutes, until the granola is toasted to your liking, for about 45 minutes. (Adjust time based on your oven and how toasted you like your granola.)
  5. Remove granola from the oven and let cool completely. Store in airtight containers for up to 1 month. I have found that one batch usually lasts us about a month with both of us having it most mornings.

Be well.

teresablackburnfoodstyling.com

” Amuse(d) Bouche”

  Is this a tapa, or little bite, possibly an hors d’ oeuvres,  (it is definitely not dinner, unless you plan on eating lots of them at one time),  it also might be a snack…..no no….it is an amuse-bouche!

This might be one of those phrases that might run its course very quickly….or not. It has been popping up everywhere about all kinds of subjects other than food. It has been used to describe everything from delightful little bites bestowed on diners at no cost in certain restaurants as a “gift” from the chef to entice the appetite……..as well as in regards to Mitt Romney’s run for the President in an article written by a columnist for the Chicago Tribune titled “Romney’s Tax Amuse Bouche”. It was sighted in a magazine article called “Yoga for Foodies” and I ran across a mystery novel written by a Canadian, Anthony Bidulka, entitled “Amuse Bouche: A Russell Quaint Mystery”. I continue to be amazed and amused at the things I don’t know.

Here are some pretty “amuse-bouche” I whipped up for New Years Eve earlier this month.

I had some French bubbly with my “amuse-bouche” which I think would be correct? I do not think Romney was having bubbly when he was discussing his “amuse-bouche” which might have been more correctly referred to as a “amuse-gueule”.

Basically here is what this all means:

amuse-bouche (uh-MYUZ-boosh) noun

Similar to but not to be confused with hors d’oeuvre. This is a tidbit, often tiny, served as a free extra to keep you happy while you are waiting for your first course to come. It gives you an idea of the chef’s approach to cooking and the restaurant’s attention to your appetite.

From French, literally, “mouth amuser”, from amuser (to amuse) + bouche (mouth).

Its more informal twin, amuse-gueule, (see above in relationship to Mitt Romney) is the same thing, but may be considered vulgar in some circles. Gueule is the French term for an animal’s mouth, bouche for a human’s.

You don’t really need a recipe to create some interesting “amuse-bouche” for your next get-together. I made mine from what I had in my pantry and refrigerator/freezer. Here is what you will need & instructions:
One box of frozen puff pastry, thawed according to package directions, cut into shapes using cookie cutters to top with various ingredients. Cut & fit dough into small muffin tins to fill & bake. Cut some of the dough into squares & circles to top and bake with ingredients.
Gather a collection of the following:
Creamy spreadable cheeses such as Boursin, cream cheese, goat cheese, etc.,  olives, sun-dried tomatoes, fresh herbs, shredded cheeses, caramelized onions, crispy cooked bacon or ham, cooked fingerling potatoes, steamed asparagus spears, grape tomatoes, capers, etc…

Spread, top & fill puff pastry cut-outs with ingredients. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 degrees until your little bites are hot, bubbly and the pastry is golden brown. Serve immediately…with Champagne, Prosecco or Cava chilled.

Eat well, stay warm.

2012 List

“IN”……………….”OUT”

1. amuse-bouche……….tapas

 2.  molasses……..brown sugar

3.  vegan…………..vegetarian

4. quinoa…………………..rice

5. csa……………………….CIA

6. Vimeo…………….You Tube

          7.  local artisan chocolate…..chocolate at the check-out

  8.  apples…………………apples

    9.   coffee at home……Starbucks

      10.  Us………………………………me

What’s your list?