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Granola

Granola is a delicious, wholesome combination of rolled oats, dried fruit, shredded coconut, nuts, and seeds, sweetened with natural sweeteners such as honey, and baked until crisp and golden brown.

This granola recipe uses only natural ingredients. No refined sugar is used.

The following recipe only serves as a guide, feel free to adjust the ingredients and their ratios as desired, for instance, by adding more fruit or nuts. The baking time can also be adjusted for instance by baking for longer time for a  more golden, toasted granola.

Serving suggestions:

Homemade granola can be eaten as is, making it a healthy, energy-boosting snack.

Ideal for breakfast; pour cold or warm milk into a bowl of granola and eat straightaway.

Great for healthy desserts such as yogurt parfait.

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Total time: 1 – 1 1/2 hours (including cooling time)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup organic rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup any desired combination of seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, white sesame seeds, flax seeds, hemp seeds
  • 3/4 cup any desired combination of raw (not toasted), unsalted nuts such as walnuts, almonds, pecans
  • 3/4 cup any desired combination of dried, unsweetened fruit such as raisins, prunes, cranberries, dates, apricots, apples, pineapples, cherries etc
  • 1/8 cup any desired combination of sweeteners such as honey (except bee’s honey – see note), maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened coconut chips (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of ground cinnamon (optional)
  • About 1/8 cup (or as required to evenly coat mixture) melted unsalted butter

Note: According to ayurvedic teachings, subjecting bee’s honey to heat is not recommended.

Method 1 (this method yields granola with toasted dried fruit):

Combine all dry ingredients in a big, roomy bowl. Optionally, you could add the dried fruit later on for a granola with dried fruit that is partially toasted.

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat melted butter and sweeteners over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Stop heat.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir well to ensure dry ingredients are evenly coated. The result will be a thick, stiff mass.

Transfer to baking tray. Spread using a spatula.

Heat oven to 300 F.

Bake the mixture until aromatic and slightly browned about 10 minutes. If dried fruit had not been added earlier then it can be added when granola is halfway toasted. Open oven, check granola, if satisfied, stop heat. For a more toasted, deeper hued granola, bake a few minutes more.

Stop heat, take out tray, let contents cool completely. Once cooled, granola is ready to eat.

Store granola in airtight container.

 

Method 2 (this method yields granola with un-toasted dried fruit):

Combine all dry ingredients except dried fruit in a big, roomy bowl.

In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat melted butter and sweeteners over medium heat until it just begins to boil. Stop heat.

Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir well to ensure dry ingredients are evenly coated. The result will be a thick, stiff mass.

Transfer to baking tray. Spread using a spatula.

Heat oven to 300 F.

Bake the mixture until aromatic and slightly browned. About 10 minutes. Open oven, check granola, if satisfied, stop heat. For a more toasted, deeper hued granola, bake a few minutes more.

Stop heat, take out tray and immediately add dried fruit. Stir thoroughly.

Set aside to allow granola to cool completely. Once cooled, granola is ready to eat.

Store granola in airtight container.

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One-Pot Bean Soup

This wholesome, hearty one-pot bean soup is ideal comfort food on a cold wintry day. This recipe is vegetarian, however it could be adapted for non-vegetarians; for instance vegetable stock could be replaced with chicken stock.

Any mixture of the following beans could be used as desired:

  • Flageolet beans
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Red beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Navy beans (also known as haricot beans)

Serving Suggestions:

Serve alongside whole grain sesame seed rolls.

Version 1

Preparation time: 20 minutes:

Total time: 1 hour

Serves: 4-5 people

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups (about 750 milliliters) vegetable stock
  • 1 large yellow onion – finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 1 small carrot – finely diced
  • ½ stalk celery – finely diced
  • 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes – diced
  • 2 tablespoons pearl barley
  • 1 medium potato – diced
  • 1 cup (about 250 grams) mixed beans – cooked until soft
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Garnish:

Grated parmesan cheese

 

Method:

In a non-reactive pot, bring stock, onion, garlic, carrot, celery, tomatoes, barley and olive oil to boil, covered, until vegetables have partially softened.

Add potatoes, cooked mixed beans, dried thyme and dried oregano. Season with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Continue to boil until potatoes are cooked, vegetables have softened and flavors have melded.

Stop heat, serve hot garnished with grated parmesan cheese.

 

Version 2

Preparation time: 20 minutes:

Total time: 1 ½ hour

Serves: 4-5 people 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large yellow onion – finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic – minced
  • 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes – diced
  • 3 cups (about 750 milliliters) vegetable stock
  • 1 small carrot – finely diced
  • ½ stalk celery – finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons pearl barley
  • 1 medium potato – diced
  • 1 cup (about 250 grams) mixed beans – cooked until soft
  • ¾ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • Coarse sea salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil or unsalted butter for sautéing

Garnish:

Grated parmesan cheese

 

Method:

In a non-reactive pot, heat the olive oil or unsalted butter over medium heat.

Sauté onions until translucent.

Stir in minced garlic and sauté until aromatic.

Add tomatoes and sauté until it soft.

Add stock, carrot, celery and barley bring to a boil, covered, until vegetables are partially softened.

Add potatoes, cooked mixed beans, dried thyme and dried oregano. Season with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Continue to boil until potatoes are cooked, vegetables have softened and flavors have melded.

Stop heat, serve hot garnished with grated parmesan cheese.