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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Great granola and a note on Paleo

Hello all,

Thanks for reading.  I know beets are supposed to be next (sorry, Nat!) but I made this delicious granola last week and I wanted to share it with you.  And I figured out a way to make it Paleo friendly.  I think.  I'm not a Paleo expert and I think quinoa is a bit of a debate in the community.  So I've included a Paleo version with, and a Paleo version without.

While I'm at it, just a quick note on Paleo.  I'm going to try to include Paleo alternatives with my recipes whenever I can, because I think it's great and I know lots of people are trying to incorporate Paleo principles in their diet.

This isn't really a recipe, it's more of a method.  You make granola by throwing a bunch of grains, nuts and seeds in a bowl, binding it with a little fat and sugar, and roasting it.  Experiment and let me know how it turns out in the comments section below!

Whatever you do put in your granola, try to include cinnamon.  Turns out that all it takes is a little hit of cinnamon to boost brain function: everything from mood to focus and recognition.  That, and cinnamon is a potent anti-oxydant  that fights free radicals.  That means cancer-preventing.  It has a myriad of anti-aging, disease fighting qualities and it lowers bad cholesterol.  Try to get organic if you can (non-organic cinnamon is usually irradicated), and buy fresh to ensure highest potency.  The stuff that's been sitting on your shelf since 1998 is elderly cinnamon and has long ago lost its ability to kick ass.

Oh, and about milk.  About once a week, or as needed, I fill a big pickle or mason jar with a box of almond milk and a can of light coconut milk.  I keep it in the fridge and shake vigorously before using.  Voilà!  Milk for drinking cereal, lattés, ect...make sure it's not cold the first time you mix it, or you coconut might solidify and make it clumpy.

Next time....beets for Nathalie!



3 c. rolled oats (not instant, never instant, it's not a whole food)
4 handfuls toasted coconut
2 handfuls pepitas (aka pumpkin seeds)
3-4 handfuls sunflower seeds
2 handfuls whole hazelnuts
2 handfuls whole almonds
2-3 handfuls pecans halves
2 handfuls flax seeds
1 handful sesame seeds

3/4 c. coconut oil, metled
1/4 c. maple syrup
2 tbsp. vanilla extract
1.5 tbsp. cinnamon
A touch of salt (optional)

2 big handfuls of any or all of the following, grossly chopped:

Dried cherries

- Preheat oven to 350C.

- Combine oats, toasted coconut, pepitas, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and sesame seeds in as large a mixing bowl as you can find.

- Put nuts in a bag, Ziplock or otherwise, and pound with a knife handle to break them up a bit.  Just a bit, because you want chunks.  Add to oat mixture.

- Add vanilla, cinnamon and salt, toss.  Add maple syrup and coconut oil and toss.

- Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper, or grease them very very slightly with coconut oil.  You want to spread the granola in as thin of a layer as possible to ensure maximum crunchiness.  Roast in oven for 20-40 mins, tossing every 10, then 5 minutes to avoid burning.  You want your granola browned but not overly will crisp up as it cools.

- Remove granola from oven and let cool a few minutes.  Mix in dried fruit, if using.  Cool completely and serve.

Paleo Tip: if you eat quinoa, replace the oats with quinoa flakes.  If you do not, omit oats and replace with an extra 1.5 c. of toasted coconut.

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