Thursday, November 25, 2010

No-Bake Vegan Granola Bars

Anne (fANNEtastic food) inspired me with her 5 minute granola bars. I have been looking for a recipe to make my own granola bars for a while, and this seemed the right fit. I made several changes to the original recipes, plainly because I did not have the ingredients and had others I wanted to use. They still taste great! Especially, I love the goij berries.

No-Bake Vegan Granola bars
Dry ingredients:
1 & 3/4 cup multigrain flakes (similar to rolled oats )
1 cup crisp puffed brown rice cereal
1 TB sunflower seeds
2 TB chia seeds & cacao bits
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/8 cup finely ground flaxseed
¼  cup Goji berries

Wet ingredients: 
1/2 C brown rice syrup
1 TB creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl, and mix them together. In a separate, microwave safe bowl  mix the wet ingredients, and microwave them for about 20 to 30 seconds (I actually did it for 1 min but my peanut butter still would not melt, so there was less in the mix than what the original recipe asked for). Now,  pour wet ingredients into dry and mix with a spatula and coat the dry ingredients to make them sticky! 

Layered a 8x12 baking form with parchment paper. Cut slits in tbe corners of the parchment paper, so that you can fold the paper at the corners and the parchment paper fits snuggly into the pan. Pour the mixture in the pan, distribute and press flat.  Cover with another parchment paper sheet, and chill in the fridge overnight.

On the next day, cut the granola 'sheet' into 12 rectangles, and package them seperately in plastic wrap. Store them in the fridge.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blog Bites: Feta Spinach Pumpkin Muffins

I cannot believe I have not blogged about them yet; I made them twice already! I favor savory things to sweets any day, and these are now my favorite savory muffins. My local farmers market sells a wonderful, strong feta, as well as fresh spinach and any type of winter squash, and these are the main ingredients. I adapted it slightly from the original recipe from 101Cookbooks, but they are also delightful in their original conception.

cooking spray (or butter for the muffin pan)
1 gluck of olive oil
255g cubed butternut squash, cut 1/2-inch cubes (I buy peeled butternut squash, less work)
salt and pepper to taste
1 large handful of fresh baby spinach, chopped
1/4 cup sunflower seeds kernels, roasted, unsalted
100g  cubed feta (full-fat, and best a local product from the farmers market)
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
180 ml un-flavored almond milk
1 cup allpurpose flour
1 cup quinoa flour
4 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

Preheat oven to 405F / 200C, with rack in the top third. Grease 2 12-hole muffin pans and set aside.

Sprinkle the olive oil, salt and pepper over the cubed squash. Arrange in a single layer on a baking pan and bake for 15 - 25 minutes so that the squash is mostly cooked, but not mushy or dry. Set aside to cool.

In a bowl beat the eggs and almond milk together. Sift the flours and baking powder onto the mix, add in some salt and a generous dose of freshly ground black pepper, and mix until smooth. Fold in gently the spinach, sunflower seeds, feta, and all of the mustard. At last, fold in the baked squash.

Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely. Let cool for a couple minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.