Switch up your granola game with this savory curry coconut granola with chile spiced dried mango!
Happy Friday! As you're reading this, Scott and I are either in Atlanta or in transit for the wedding of two of our dearest friends. The bride is one of my best friends from college and the groom is one of Scott's best friends from middle school. They actually first met at our housewarming party and then more officially at our wedding. I'd share the full story, but it's much too embarrassing (for my brother, of all people, not them). Also I've told it about 3,347 times in real life because I've realized I'm one of those people who tells the same story over and over again, the result of an autosomal dominant gene on my paternal side.
Being on a road trip, you know we'll have plenty of travel snacks. I'm probably driving with fellow dietitian and one of my other best friends from college, Barb (of homemade yogurt fame). We've had many a road trip in our almost 15 years of friendship, but gone are the days of stopping at McDonalds. Now we do things like pack baggies of sprouted lentils, go to the drive thru for hot tea and lattes, and drive 30 minutes out of the way for artisan chocolate drinks.
We are so old.
Granola is another one of my favorite travel snacks. It's filling, portable and tasty! But for snacks, I tend to prefer savory over sweet. I've had this idea for savory granola ever since last years trip with California Almonds. One of our activities was a snack contest featuring almonds and my group came up with a savory curry and chili spiced granola bar. While I think our bar tasted the best (purely speculative as I did not taste any of the other entries), it lost on based on the fact that we couldn't get it to stick together in bar form. Sigh...unrecognized genius.
Feel free to use any mix of nuts and grains you like. I really like using uncooked quinoa in granola for extra crunch. I had half a bag of puffed millet on hand leftover from making these marshmallow free crispy treats, but you could also use puffed brown rice or quinoa flakes. Or just keep it simple with all oats.
Don't make the same mistake I always make and add the dried fruit before baking. It makes it chewy and gives it a little bit of a burnt flavor. Stir it in after baking and cooling. You can find chili spiced mango, which is an addictive blend of sweet and spicy, at Trader Joes, or order it online. If you can find it, swap plain dried mango, dried pineapple or apricots and maybe add a teaspoon of chili powder with the curry.
Savory Curry Coconut Granola with Chile Mango
Makes about 6 cups
- 2 cups oats
- 1 cup puffed millet
- 1/2 cup cashews, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chili spiced dried mango, chopped
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together oats, puffed millet, nuts and seeds, and coconut. In another bowl, whisk together honey, coconut oil, curry powder and salt. Pour wet mixture over granola and stir to combine.
- Pour granola mixture onto baking sheet and spread evenly with a spatula. Bake 40 minutes, stirring lightly halfway. Remove from oven, set aside to cool then store covered at room temperature.
More snack mixes for road trips:
This sweet & spicy tofu millet bowl with garlicky kale and citrus tahini dressing makes a perfect lunch!
You know what I realized I don't have enough of on this blog? Asian inspired grain bowls.
KIDDING! I've posted 11. Just counted.
Buuuut, I still think this one deserves it's own special place on the blog. First, there's the sweet and spicy baked tofu. Make sure you leave plenty of time for it to marinate, so it soaks up all the delicious flavors. If you think you don't like tofu, trust me, this recipe will change you.
Then there's the garlicky kale. Kale and garlic are like peanut butter and bananas. I love how the sweet bite of sauteed garlic permeates the bitter greens.
Of course, avocado is mandatory. Except when you're about to take photographs and slice one open and it's brown inside. Then said avocado becomes optional.
We can't do a grain bowl without crunch. For this bad boy, we've got toasted pumpkin seeds. If you're ever looking for something to fulfill a salty, crunchy craving, try salted toasted pumpkin seeds. The little pocket of air in the middle expands, giving them some major crunch.
Because all grain bowls need some fermented goodness, I added a scoop of fermented sauerkraut. I used an Asian arame and ginger kraut by Wild Brine but any ol' kraut will do.
Last but not least, there's tahini dressing, the king of all dressings. This one is spiked with miso (more probiotics!), citrus and sriracha.
Sweet & Spicy Tofu Millet Bowl with Garlicky Kale
- 1 block extra-firm tofu
- 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sriracha
- 1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup millet
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 10 ounce bag of chopped kale, or 1 bunch kale, chopped
- 2 large carrots, shaved into ribbons
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
- 1/2 cup fermented sauerkraut (optional)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1/2 cup tahini
- 2 tablespoons miso paste
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- Juice of 1 large naval orange
- Wrap tofu in a clean dish towel. Place on a plate and weigh with something heavy, like a cast iron skillet. Let sit to drain water about 30 minutes or longer. The longer it sits, the more water it will drain and the more room to soak up marinade. You can leave it in the fridge to drain if desired. Or, you can drain it quickly using a tofu press. Chop into 1 inch cubes.
- In a large plastic container, whisk together sugar, soy sauce, sriracha, vinegar and sesame oil. Place tofu inside, cover and shake to combine and coat. Place in the refrigerator and let marinate at least 30 minutes or all day/overnight.
- When ready to make bowl, first whisk together all the dressing ingredients. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Set aside until ready to use.
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Drain tofu and spread evenly on a large baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Place in oven and bake 20 minutes total, flipping halfway, until browned. Set aside until ready to use.
- While tofu is cooking, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small pot. Add millet and toast for a couple minutes. Add 2 cups water, bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer 15-18 minutes until water is absorbed. Let sit covered a few minutes, then remove lid and fluff millet with a fork.
- While millet is cooking, heat olive oil in a large sided pan. Add garlic cloves and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add kale and 1/2 cup of water. Cook until wilted and tender, about 10-12 minutes total, adding more water as needed. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide millet evenly among four bowls. Top with sauteed kale, tofu, carrots, pumpkin seeds, kraut, avocado and drizzle with dressing.
More Asian-inspired grain bowls:
Made with pumpkin seed meal, these gluten free chocolate pumpkin seed cupcakes with ganache are worth creating something to celebrate.
Happy National Cupcake Day!
Kidding! I just wanted an excuse to share these rich, chocolatey, gluten free cupcakes with you all. But then I realized you never need an excuse to do that!
Plus, National Cupcake Day is December 15th. Mark your calendars now :)
I had a little happy moment while making these. I woke up, had a great run followed by (well, a shower first) an initial client meeting which went incredibly well. After our meeting, I checked my inbox to find a super sweet email from an old client sharing his progress and another email booking a corporate event. After responding, I went to the kitchen, turned on Parts Unknown, and pulled out the ingredients to spend the rest of my morning making these cupcakes.
Like a ton of bricks (or a pound of dark chocolate), it hit me. Life is pretty good :)
Last week, I had a conversation with this guy (not a client) who was, well, frankly a little cray cray. He made a lot of comments that were more than a little off the wall, but he did say something that when I thought about it later, was actually quite profound. He said "I believe if you can envision it, you can manifest it."
For years, I was stuck in a job that I liked, but it was difficult to help people reach their true potential (or reach my professional potential) because of the bureaucracy of the system. I dreamt of starting a private practice, but I didn't identify as someone with the skills to run a business. Because that was my identity, I stayed stuck.
Even after making the crazy leap into starting my private practice, I still held on to that identity. When I struggled, it was proof of my identity (a failure, supposedly), not the normal trials and tribulations that come with doing something new for the first time.
Then a funny thing happened. I started to change my perspective and view myself as success. The more I viewed myself as a success, the more success came my way. I envisioned it, therefore I manifested it.
I see the same thing with many of my clients. Those who struggle the most to change their identity also struggle the most to change their behaviors. If you think of yourself as someone who doesn’t have any control around food, why wouldn't you give in to an emotional craving or order pizza instead of cooking dinner? On the other hand, those who are able to imagine themselves as the person they want to be, or even identify as a work in progress, are those ones who constantly surprise themselves by achieving new goals.
Wow, so that was a major tangent from pretend cupcake day! Let's take this full circle. Since now you will start viewing yourself as a healthy and successful person, you should probably go ahead and make these cupcakes to celebrate!
Gluten Free Pumpkin Seed Cupcakes With Chocolate Ganache
Adapted from The Homemade Flour Cookbook.
2 cups pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
4 large eggs
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup walnut oil, melted coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
2 tablespoons coconut milk or coconut cream
1/2 cup dark or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Place pumpkin seeds in a food processor. Blend into a meal/flour, about 4-6 minutes. Be careful not to overblend or it will form a butter.
Scrape pumpkin seed meal into a large bowl. Whisk in cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In another large bowl, whisk together eggs, honey, and oil. Mix wet ingredients into dry.
Divide batter evenly between the wells, filling about 2/3s of the way full. Place in the oven and bake 16-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aisde to a wire rack to cool.
While cupcakes are cooling, mix chocolate and coconut milk/cream in a microwave safe bowl. Heat 30 seconds, stir, then in 10 second intervals until chocolate is melted and smooth.
When cupcakes are cool, spoon ganache over the top. Serve warm or refrigerate until ready to eat.
Try these other gluten free baked goods:
Break out the Birkenstocks for this hippie salad! Topped with sprouted amaranth, red cabbage, pumpkin seeds and a creamy lemon-tahini dressing, this is a salad that would make any flower child proud!
Today, I bring you the most hippie salad I've ever made. In full disclosure, no, Birkenstock is not sponsoring this post.
Mostly raw, vegan, and gluten free, this is the salad any kombucha guzzling, hybrid driving, obsessively recycling, yoga enthusiast would dream of.....I think I just described myself.
Alas, this salad is so flavorful and satisfying with it's citrusy and spicy tahini dressing, fluffy sprouts and crunchy veggies that you'll soon forget all that and just enjoy it.
The idea of this salad prompted my first experiment with DIY sprouted grains. Sprouted grains are a regular at our house in the form of Ezekiel bread, but I had yet to make them myself. I was initially intimidated, but then I realized I've already tackled ricotta, goat cheese, pizza crust, beer and yogurt, so might as well jump head first into the world of sprouting grains!
Why sprout grains in the first place. Essentially, sprouting mimics the process of a seeds germination into a plant. This greatly increases nutrient bioavailability, mainly by breaking down a compound called phytic acid. Soaking and sprouting does this by increasing the activity of phytase, the enzyme that breaks down phytic acid. This is important for anyone who follows a plant based diet as phytic acid binds to minerals that tend to be lacking in a plant based diet, namely zinc, iron, calcium and B vitamins. You can do the same with beans and nuts, which also contain phytic acid.
The process is so simple, I really don't know why I didn't start sprouting earlier. Basically, all you do is soak, rinse, then let it sprout for a few days in a clean mason jar covered with cheesecloth or a sprouting lid. Check out this fantastic how-to article on Nutrition Stripped for more in depth information and a helpful chart on sprouting times. And if you really want to get into it, check out The Everything Sprouted Grains Book.
From a culinary standpoint, sprouted grains are a lot of fun to experiment. They have a lighter, fluffier texture than cooked whole grains, which works well tossed into a salad or in a sandwich. You can also grind the sprouted whole grain into flour and bake with it. Sprouted grains can even be used to make cereal or granola. I just used sprouted quinoa to make my quinoa almond energy bites!
Do be careful though as sprouted grains are at risk for food borne illness. Keep your kitchen and hands clean as well as your sprouting equipment. After sprouting, make sure you store the grains in the fridge and consume within 4 days.
Now, go throw on your Jefferson Airplane vinyl, light some incense, and make this salad!
p.s. Are you in Atlanta this weekend? Come meet me at Pure Barre in the Park, sponsored by the Virginia Highlands Pure Barre. The class is sold out, but I'll be there from 8-11 at my booth and would love it if you could drop by and say hello! We'll be in Piedmont Park across from the Nook. Hope to see you there!
Hippie Salad with Sprouted Grains and Tahini Dressing
Feel free to use any sprouted grain you like, but I chose amaranth, simply because I had a lot on hand and it seemed like a good beginners grain with it's shorter sprouting time. Inspired by Martha Stewart Meatless.
- 1 head broccoli, cut into florets
- 1 bunch arugula
- 1/2 small head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
- 1/4 small red onion, diced
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1 1/2 cups sprouted grain, like amaranth, quinoa, millet or wild rice
- 1/2 cup tahini
- Zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 2-4 tablespoons water (optional, to thin)
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Set a steamer basket over a medium pot filled with an inch or so of simmering water. Place broccoli florets in the basket, cover, and steam for 5 minutes until tender, but with bite. Set aside to cool.
- While the broccoli is cooling, make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the tahini, lemon juice and zest, oil, garlic, honey and spices. Whisk in water until smooth. Season with sea salt to taste. Set aside.
- In a large salad bowl, toss the arugula, red cabbage, red onion and broccoli. Top with pumpkin seeds and sprouted grain. Divide salad among plates, drizzle with dressing and serve.