Granola has been on and off the menu now for a couple years, but never has it been so delicious or so local. It's taken me many tries, but I've finally researched and tested enough recipes that I was able to make one of my own, exactly the way I like it. And with some of that homemade local rice milk and a local pear from the farmers' market, I'm enjoying la vida locavore even as the sun rises (ok, I don't really get up that early, but you know what I mean). So without further ado, the recipe...
Heather's Homemade GranolaDry Ingredients:1-1/2 cups rolled oats1/2 cup flour (I used local whole wheat)1/2 cup nuts (I use local pecans)1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut (or 1/4 cup coconut and 1/4 cup raw cocoa nibs)1/2 cup dried fruit1/2 tsp cinnamon1/2 tsp ginger1/4 tsp saltWet Ingredients:1/3 cup local honey1/3 cup canola oil1 tsp vanillaMix dry ingredients together in a medium size bowl. Whisk wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Combine wet and dry ingredients and stir to thoroughly coat. Place in a jelly roll pan (I use a 9x10 inch pan that fits in my toaster oven. If you use a bigger pan, your bake time will very because the granola won't be as thick) and bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until lightly toasted. Do not stir. Allow to cool completely before breaking into chunks. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.
I've been through a lot of granola recipes. This works for my particular preference because of the clumping (I love clusters of granola!). The flour helps this process as does the fact that you don't stir while baking and let it cool before breaking up the pieces. I finally mixed and matched enough recipes that this is a real winner for me. Hope you enjoy it! Oh, and don't forget the homemade local rice milk!
I do love my granola, but this week, sweet potatoes were my crowning achievement. Why? Because after being coached from making my own slips through to harvest (and soon curing), this sweet potato came right out of my backyard. Let me tell you, it was beyond thrilling to reach past the intertwining vines that I've watched grow for 3 months now, dig in that beautiful soil, discover that fat bright orange root, and then enjoy every last bite of it for dinner.
And as you know, I'm all about easy food. So all I did was cut the sweet potato into those bite sized pieces, dropped them in the frying pan with a little olive oil (farmers' market) and salt, and let it cook through. I kept the pan covered mostly, other than stirring it a few times to keep it from burning. Delicious! The real trick will be seeing if I can resist harvesting the remaining 80 square feet of potatoes until their scheduled harvest at the end of the month. I don't know. They might just be too good to resist...
Pesto Veggie Sandwich and Steamed Carrots
The last, but certainly not least, featured meal started with one of my homemade whole wheat rolls (wheat and honey are local). I slathered both sides of the bun with vegan pesto, made from the basil I got from last weekend's farmers' market. Next I added tomato (also from the farmer's market) and lambs-quarter (from the backyard). Seriously drool-worthy!
On the side are farmers' market carrots that I steamed earlier this week. I like to nibble on the carrots cold (it's still pretty hot here in Texas and cold food is good food). It was both a tasty and wonderfully colorful meal.
Not pictured are the rice and veggie casserole I made out of a quart of all-local soup and some local rice I had stocked in the pantry. The pantry is getting full, so there is sure to be many more casserole dishes in the weeks ahead as I clear a little space.
What can I say? It doesn't get any better than local food. You don't have to be a chef to enjoy culinary perfection. You just need to start with the best produce. It just so happens, you can find it right around the corner so be sure to visit your farmers' market this weekend.
Until next time, Happy (and mindful) eating!