Today I woke up with the need to bake something. Cookies, cupcakes, chocolate cake, Nutty Bread, whatever. This is due to five reasons that I can think of:
1. I have an intense sweet tooth.
2. I'm a baker at heart.
3. My friend, Robyn, hipped me to an amazing web site: Healthy Indulgences. Take a peek and drool with me.
4. I read Andi Ashworth's piece in the June 2009 issue of Comment magazine where she listed several of her mouthwatering recipes. For example, "Breakfast favourites include the Barefoot Contessa's Granola - I make pounds of it every year for our houseguests, along with Apple Cinnamon or Lemon Ginger muffins from Marion Cunningham's Breakfast Book." Her bio. for this piece reads, "Andi Ashworth with husband, Charlie Peacock, runs Art House America - a unique hospitality ministry for cultural creatives in Nashville, Tennessee." And, Art House is a renovated old Church. They are quite the all-around inspiring couple. Oh, and if you haven't read Andi's book, Real Love for Real Life: The Art and Work of Caring, you ought to do so ASAP. It's a must-read, one that I turn to again and again.
5. I recalled my poor, neglected to-do list, namely #26a: "Learn to make granola."
So this afternoon, I did just that while listening to a Timothy Keller sermon on marriage. I didn't have every single ingredient that the recipe called for, so I used what I had on hand including raw pepitas, raw macadamia nuts, and so on. Any nut/seed combo will do; I plan to switch it up each time I make granola.
I can hardly wait for breakfast tomorrow - granola and blueberries swimming in So Delicious unsweetened coconut milk beverage. At times like these, it's hard for me to grumble and complain about a restricted diet. In fact, as I mixed up these ingredients, I smiled and thanked God for the bounty in our fridge and pantry, and for reuniting me with granola - truly, one of my very favorite foods.
Cinnamon-Peanut Butter Granola (Grain-Free)
[adapted from Lauren's Peanut Butter Granola recipe]
Makes two heaping cups.
1/4 cup freshly ground peanut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil (or butter)
3 tablespoons Truvia (4 1/2 packets - I used this conversion chart)
1/4 teaspoon SweetLeaf clear liquid stevia
2-3 egg whites
A generous pinch of Celtic sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
1 tablespoon flax meal
2 tablespoons almond flour
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
1/4 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1/4 cup raw macadamia nuts, chopped
1/4 cup cashews, chopped
1/2 cup almonds, chopped
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Melt coconut oil (or butter) with peanut butter in a small saucepan on the stove - low-medium heat - until liquefied. Pour into a bowl. Whisk Truvia, liquid stevia, egg whites, sea salt, and cinnamon into the peanut butter mixture. Mix the dry ingredients together and stir in the wet ingredients, using your hands to coat the nut and seed blend. Spread the mixture over a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 45-55 minutes, occasionally stirring the mixture. Remove from the oven and spread over a paper towel set on a baking rack. The granola will continue to dry out as the moisture evaporates. Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze.