Homemade Granola: Why didn’t I make some of this sooner?

IMG_0750Since I discovered that Bob’s Red Mill was making gluten-free oats, I have been enjoying my overnight oats every morning. But then, I went to Aux Vivres for brunch with a friend and tried out their granola bowl.

This was so good! It really made me craving granola and its delicious crispiness. I was very happy to see that I could find some gluten-free rolled oats. Add a little bit of maple syrup, some coconut chips, sultana grapes and bam! Cripy awesomeness!

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Here is what you need:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups almonds
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tbs melted coconut oil or oil of your choice (this really makes it crispy! Feel free to skip this however.)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
  • 1 cup coconut chips (they look like large coconut flakes. I used unsweetened.)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cup sultana raisins

Here is what you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300F.
  2. In your food processor (or with a rolling pin and a Ziploc bag), pulse the almonds until they are crushed. I like to keep some bigger pieces for crunch, but adjust the size of the almonds to your own taste.
  3. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients, but keep the raisins out for now.
  4. Add the liquid ingredients and give a good stir.
  5. Spread your granola on a cookie sheet, and put in the middle of the oven. After 20 minutes, take the pan out and stir the granola before putting it back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until the granola is golden to your liking.
  6. Take it out f the oven, add the raisins, and give a good stir. Let cool completely before storing in an air-tight container.

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This is really good! It is also so easy to prepare and personalize! It goes really well with some milk and fresh fruits, or just as a snack on its own. I have to say that my granola has nothing to fear from Aux Vivres’. I actually think its crunchier and more toasted. I also really like how the sesame seeds add a great flavour, while the maple syrup makes it sweet but not overwhelming so.

Let me know what your favourite granola ingredients out; and if you try this out, tell me what you think!

 

Christmas Series: Two Really Easy Vegan Truffles Bases

Every Christmas, my French grandmother sends us a box of homemade chocolate truffles. These truffles are chocolaty, and sugar crusted; they melt in your mouth and just beg to be eaten.

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I really wanted to recreate my own vegan version of these delicious truffles and here is what I came up with. I actually made two versions of a “truffle-base” that I then flavoured with different nuts, fruits and spices. You can really personalize the truffles with whatever you prefer.

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This would also make a great gift if you were to put these little chocolate treasures in a tin box.

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Version one: Almond base

Here is what you’ll need for a dozen truffles:

  • 1 cup of pitted dates
  • 1 cup of raw almonds
  • 1/4 cup of shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 tbs of coconut oil (this really helps making the mix a little less sticky for when you roll them up)
  • 1 tbs of maple syrup

Here is what you have to do:

  1.  Soak the dates in lukewarm water. If you store the dates outside of the fridge, you’ll only need to soak them while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. If you store them in your fridge, soak them for 20 minutes.
  2. In a food processor, put all the other ingredients and process until you have a very fine, slightly sticky powder. This took about 5 minutes. If your food processor is a little old, process for a few seconds and give the machine a break before restarting again.
  3. Drain the dates and press them to take out the excess water. Add them in the food processor.
  4. Process until you have a chocolate ball rolling around your food processor, or until the dates are all mixed in.

Version two: Peanut butter base

Here is what you need for a dozen of truffles :

  • 1 cup of pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 tbsp peanut butter (I use crunchy, but use the kind you prefer)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Here is what you do:

  1. Soak the dates in water.
  2. Drain the dates after 10 minutes of soaking, but this time don’t press them.
  3. Add them and the rest of the ingredients in the food processors.
  4. Process until you have a big ball of chocolate rolling around your processor.
  5. Take about a teaspoon of the mixture and roll it. Make sure you slightly wet your hands because this is sticky!

Then, all you have to do is roll about a teaspoon of the base and add some flavour. Here is what I use for these:

  • sesame seeds
  • shredded coconut
  • fresh cranberries
  • almonds
  • cashews
  • earl grey tea (this is really great!)
  • cayenne pepper
  • sriracha

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It’s really fun to set up all your ingredients, and mix and match flavours. And yes, one of these truffles has sriracha in it. Surprise! Of course you can adapt these to match your taste.

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Let me know what you think of these little delicious truffles. They’re not my grandma’s recipe, but they are still pretty amazing! Keep them in the fridge in an air-tight container, and they will last for about 2 weeks… if you can stop yourself from eating them all at once!

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