Tag Archives: granola

Brewday: The Mead

22 Feb

A couple weeks ago Nick and I made mead. It was my first time actually participating in the brewing process beyond just capping the bottles.

For my non-brewer friends, mead is made like this: boil a crapton of water, pour >10 lbs of honey in, put 7 lbs of fruit into a bag and steep it just like tea. Add some yeast, let it cool (and sit for a couple months) and it goes from a hot yummy breakfast drink to alcohol.

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Me adding in 13ish pounds of honey to the pot

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This is what the fruit looked like before it was steeped

At the end of the day, I ended up standing in my kitchen with a giant sack of hot mushy leftover fruit bits, pondering how my life had gotten to this wonderful point. I then started to brainstorm what I could do with the leftovers. Nick and I looked over at the dehydrator on our counter, and decided we wanted to see what happened if we just dried it out.

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I look ridiculous but this is me steeping the fruit bag

After a bunch of hours, the fruit finally turned into a mixed fruit leather. It was a combination of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, mangoes, and oranges – it was sweet, citrusy and seedy.

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The fruit, halfway through drying

Nick cut it up into little pieces, and added it into the granola/granola bars. The fruit is so delicious, it makes me so excited to drink the mead (it only has two months left!)

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The granola bars and chopped up fruit bits

Related: Granola bars, made from leftover barley

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Granola Bars

16 Nov

Sorry I’ve been MIA for a while! We went away for the long weekend, and when we got back my computer was non-functioning! After toiling with things I don’t really understand, we got it back running.
So Nick and I have been planning on visiting his Aunt (and my other roommate’s mom) Marianne up in Vermont. We needed food to fuel the drive and a hike, so I thought of turning my granola into a portable (and not ridiculously messy) snack. This time around I altered the recipe pretty significantly, including changing the type of grain I use. Nick brewed beer last weekend and I still had some leftover barley, so I made it using mostly that. They were a little sweeter than usual but they stuck together pretty well – they even lasted after being jostled around in my backpack but 48 hours. Next time I’m going to see if I can make them a bit chewier, but I thought this was a good first attempt!

What I used:
3 cups grain (I used one cup of old-fashioned oats and two cups of dried barley, but three cups of oats would work just fine)
½ cup flax seed
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup dried fruit (I used a combination of crasins and rasins)
½ cup honey
¼ cup packed brown sugar
2 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter
salt

I started by preheating the oven to 400. I combined the grain, seeds, and nuts, and roasted for about 15 minutes.  While I was doing that, I combined the honey, sugar, and peanut putter in a large pot (the one I use for pasta) over medium heat. I stirred until the sugar dissolved and the mixture started to bubble/became frothy.

When I pulled the grain out, I turned the oven down to 350. Once the liquids were ready, I dumped my salt and grain mixture into the pot and stirred to coat evenly. I had a 9×13 dish lined with parchment paper all ready and set to the side – once the mixture was ready, I spooned it into the dish and spread evenly. I pushed down with a spatula to squish everything together… this step is actually pretty important. If you don’t squish enough, everything will separate when it bakes. When I felt like the mixture was pressed enough (and I got bored), I put it in the oven for 20-ish minutes until everything looked golden.

When it was done, I took out to cool. Once it was cool enough to touch, I put it in the fridge and let sit overnight. In the morning I cut into bars and threw into tupperware for our drive. Yum!

Granola, round 2

17 Oct

It took a while,  but we finally managed to run out of granola… that discovery was quickly followed by “so, when can we make more? Today? Right now???”

Well, I get sick of getting pestered pretty quick (and I wanted more granola), so I made another batch. I used the same recipe as before (Easy-Peasy Granola) except for two changes: instead of using pistachios I used sliced almonds and instead of banana chips I used 1/2 cup raisins and a 1/2 cup crasins.

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We ate about a handful each when it came out of the oven and it tasted pretty darn good.

Easy-Peasy Granola

11 Oct

The rate at which we go through granola is absolutely absurd. I find myself standing in our pantry looking for something to cook and just stuffing my face full of the crunchy goodness. I am also lazy, and do not feel like going to the grocery store every 4 days when we run out. That being said, I decided it was time to make my own. It was actually really easy – and has managed to last us over two weeks!

The recipe is pretty basic. This time I went with pistachios, bananas, and flax seed (yum fiber), but you can make it with whatever combination of nut, fruit, and seed you think is delicious. I’m thinking of trying pumpkin seeds and maybe craisins? The options are endless!

What I used:

3 cups old-fashioned oats (not instant)
1 cup nuts, chopped – I used pistachios
1 cup seeds – I like flax, but anything works!
1 cup coconut flakes – don’t skip, they’re the best part
1 cup dried fruit – if they’re big, chop them up, if they’re small leave em
½ cup honey
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 egg white, whisked

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I roughly chopped the nuts up so we wouldn’t choke on them, and preheated the oven to 300.

I mixed the oats, seeds, coconut flakes, salt and cinnamon. If I was using raw nuts I would have put them in at this step, but mine were roasted so I added them later.

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I also put in the egg white, oil, and honey, and mixed up well!

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I lined my deepest cookie sheet with parchment paper, and spread the mixture out as evenly as I could.

I baked at 300 for about a half hour, stirred, and added my bananas and pistachios. I wanted my granola to be more clustered so I only stirred it a little, but if I wanted it less cluster-y I could have stirred it more.

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I put it back in for about 15 minutes… then I pulled it out and let it cool completely before sampling, which lets it crisp up. Once it was cool, we went at it with spoons and ate about half of what we made.

Banana Chips

5 Oct

Edit: I apparently lost these pictures, it’ll be fixed sometime next week

Alright, here’s an easy snack that was super duper easy. Banana chips!

I’m planning on making granola pretty soon, and I wanted to throw banana chips in there. I also had a couple extra bananas that were starting to spot that I wasnt going to eat, so I figured why not try and make them myself? (or with some help).

It took a fairly long time but minimal effort, so if you’re going to attempt just make sure you have plenty of stuff to keep you busy while they cook.

I started by preheating the oven to the lowest setting I could. We were up in Maine and the lowest temp available was right about 150, so that’s what I used.

I (Nick) sliced a couple spotting bananas  to about 1/2 inch think. We took a cookie sheet and put some aluminum foil down. We spread the chips out so they were in a single layer, and sprayed the top with a bit of canola oil.

We put them in the oven for a little over two hours. Yes, really, two hours. By the end the bananas looked all brown and delicious and firm.

I took them out a little but before they were done because I’m planning on cooking them in the recipe that I’m using them for, so I wanted them a little underdone.

 

aaand they were delicious!