Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Sunflower Seeds
Showing posts with label Sunflower Seeds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sunflower Seeds. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

"Everything" Granola Bars (Vegetarian)

My first attempt at making granola bars was a few weeks ago. It went so-so - hence why I never blogged about it. The granola turned out and tasted fantastic, but it didn't really work as "bars". I pressed them, let them set, and then removed them from the pan to cut them, at which point, it all fell apart. I was a little disappointed, but it was tasty homemade granola, so I enjoyed it as is, and decided I would try again...sometime...

Time got away from me a little bit, I had other endeavors I wanted to try and honestly, I kind of forgot about them, and got into the habit of buying Herbal Oats granola bars from the farmer's market or The Root Cellar to have for work. Then last week, I picked up a granola bar from the local Uprise Bakery (where we usually get our beloved ciabatta from), and it was the best granola bar I had ever had - seriously - so good. So I saved the label with the ingredients listed on it so I could try again, this time using Uprise's combination of seeds, nuts, and other goodies.

I am happy to say that they not only set and held together, they taste almost just like the granola bars from Uprise. These are a lot cheaper than the $2.50 a pop Uprise granola bars, and I was able to use some local ingredients to make them. And we all know that local ingredients make everything better, right? :-)

I have been enjoying these for my breakfasts at work and Brett has been enjoying them at home - though it seems he is also eating them as snacks too. And Brett isn't a huge nut/seed fan, so his eating them for snacks says a lot about how good they are. I think I might start making my own granola bars for work breakfasts - at least until some California clementines become available. Between the months of November and February, Brett and I almost turn into clementines. I kid you not when I say I was bringing 6-10 to work with me a day and eating them all last year at this time. Now I know clementines are small, but that is a lot of fruit! No wonder I didn't get sick very often last winter!

There I go, off on a tangent again. You would figure I talk people's ears off - Brett yes - but pretty much everyone else gets a fairly mute Jennifer. I guess when I am typing my long-winded nature really shows through. If I wasn't so shy and didn't have such "out there" opinions, I would likely talk it up more, but alas, that is not the case, so you all get to deal with my long-winded typing.

The local booty legend:
no asterisk = grocery store
+ = The Root Cellar
++ = The Peace Nook
* = farmer's market
** = CSA
*** = Container or Community Garden
**** = the non-profit buying club, Blue Planet or Purcell Mountain Farms

"Everything" Granola Bars

1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup chopped pecans *
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 ground flax seeds
1/2 cup regular rolled oats
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup honey *
1 cup smooth natural peanut butter +
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400.

Layer all the nuts and oats except the sesame seeds on a baking sheet.

Toast for 5 minutes. Shake pan and add sesame seeds.

Toast another 3-5 minutes, keep an eye on them so they don't burn.

Meanwhile, combine honey, peanut butter, vanilla, and salt over low heat in a small sauce pan.

In a large bowl, combine the dry and wet mixtures.

Line an 8x8 pan with parchment paper.

Spread mixture in pan and press down firmly to get the granola to stick together.

Cool completely and cut into squares (ours made about 12).

Store in an air tight container for 3-5 days.

These rocked and have made excellent breakfasts. Yum!

'Til next time.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Midwestern Spice Chili

I have been craving chili for awhile, but had avoided making it until I could come up with something creative, as I have, over the years, pretty much ‘chilied’ myself out. You see, chili was one of the first things I learned how to cook back when I was still an omni, so I made it all the time and wore myself out on it (and Brett too!). Then I came across SusanV’s Gold Rush Chili and thought it was a good starting point. I modified it to our tastes, and this is what I came up with!

A little note of warning though, if you don't like spicy food, either cut out or cut down the roasted hot peppers and cayenne.

Midwestern Spice Chili
1 cup kidney beans, cooked
1 cup navy beans, cooked
1 cup black beans, cooked
15 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1/2 butternut squash, cubed and roasted
1 sweet potato, peeled, cubed and roasted
jalapenos and other hot peppers, roasted and sliced
1/2 bell pepper, roasted and diced
1/2 cup corn, cooked
1/4 onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water
regular chili powder
chipotle chili powder
Mexican oregano
cayenne (of course)
black pepper

Heat water in a large pot, add onions and cook 5 minutes, add garlic and cook another few minutes or until veggies are soft.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot. Spice to your liking and simmer over low heat for a half hour to an hour for the flavors to meld.

This makes quite a bit of chili. We had our fill for dinner, portioned out two servings for lunch and then froze the rest. You could also just cut the recipe in half.

I also thought I’d leave you with the ‘recipe’ for one of my favorite snacks: mixed nuts and dried fruit. I call it a ‘recipe’ because there is no actually preparation really involved other than mixing the ingredients together in a bowl. But I thought I’d share this snack as it’s delicious, healthy, and filling.

J's Yummy Snack Mix

(Note: All my ingredients were organic and purchased from the bulk section. It cost less that $5 to make a HUGE container full of this.)

roasted peanuts*
raw almonds
raw sunflower seeds
raw cashews
dried mango
dried cranberries
dried cherries

*This is the only nut I bought roasted and salted as I wanted a little salitness in the mix. You could just use raw peanuts too if you wanted.

Mix everything together and chow down.

So yummy!

'Til next time!