Monday, April 25, 2011


Way back when I posted the pictures and recipes for granola bars from the Healthy Snacks eBook by Katie from Kitchen Stewardship, I didn't realize that I posted the wrong recipe--or at least not the one I made. My brother went to make them the other day and they were totally different!

Here's the soaked version that I make and love. You don't have to soak and dry the oats, you can just use regular rolled (old fashioned, not quick, if you please) oats, and if your walnuts are soaked like mine, that's great! I do the unbaked ending, and we LOVE these.

½ or ¾ c.butter

2/3 or 1 c. honey

2 tsp. vanilla

4 ½ c. soaked and dried oats

½ c. whole wheat flour

1 c.walnuts

1 cup add-ins: mini chocolate chips, dried fruit, sunflower seeds, coconut, etc

In a small saucepan, melt butter, honey and vanilla over medium low heat. Once butter is melted and bubbly, cook and stir for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Mix the liquid with the oats. Incorporate add-ins at this point (mini-chocolate chips melt, so you may want to cool first).

Choose Your Own Ending

Unbaked (Use the 2/3 cup honey and ¾ cup butter) Line a container of any kind with waxed paper (I’ve used glass dishes and plastic storage containers.) Press into a pan with waxed paper. Allow to harden up (the refrigerator ensures this) and then cut into bars.

Baked (Use 1 cup honey and ½ c. butter, or use less honey but have more crumbly results. Add 1 tsp. baking soda and mix in thoroughly.) Press mixture hard into a greased pan; use wax paper on your fingers to apply pressure. Bake at 325 degrees F for 10 minutes. Allow to sit in pan until completely cool and then cut into bars.

Taste difference? Believe it or not, 10 minutes in the oven does something considerable. The baked bars have a mouthfeel related to a cookie (but not quite) and are less sweet. Unbaked bars are more like a sticky Quaker chewy granola bar, but with the 1 cup honey are much too sweet (and more expensive anyway). You could try half and half in 8x8” pans to see which you prefer!

Makes at least 20 bars, equivalent to about 3 boxes processed bars

Cost: $3.00, varies widely based on honey and butter prices

HOW TO: soak and dehydrate oats! (adapted from Katie at Kitchen Stewardship)

Start by soaking the oats overnight in water at the ratio of 3 cups oats to 1 cup water with one tbsp whey in the cup. Add 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (or spelt or buckwheat flour) in order to have some phytase available to break down the phytic acid. Without it, this process is worthless.

Drain any excess liquid off (if there is any, the oats aren't that moist).

Spread as thinly as possible on cookie sheets or a silicone baking mat.

Toast in a 250 degree oven for as long as it takes for them to completely dry out, usually about 2-4 hours. You want the oats to be very crunchy. You can accomplish this in a dehydrator at any temperature as well. Use parchment paper or teflon sheets to keep the oats from falling through the racks.

Allow to cool slightly, then break apart and whiz briefly in a food processor until the oats are in little chunks.

Store in a tightly closed container at room temperature, or if you have access to freezer space, cold storage isn't a bad idea.

Added bonus: If you want soaked oatmeal for the morning, you can cook these up as hot cereal just as if they were "quick oats!"

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Coconut Banana Pancakes

I posted on my family blog about some pancakes we had for breakfast the other day (which we eat pretty regularly, actually), and I had such a good response and requests for recipes, I thought I'd oblige here.

The pancakes are pretty much the recipe from my Vitamix cookbook for buttermilk pancakes, but I change the grains up regularly. I have used oat, barley, kamut, spelt, hard red wheat, hard white wheat flours, and others I'm sure. In the picture above I used a mixture of kamut and spelt, just what I had on hand already ground. The actual recipe just calls for whole wheat flour.

Here's the recipe for the pancakes:

Place in blender:

1 1/4 cups buttermilk
1 egg
2 Tbsp. light olive oil (I've used several kinds, all with success)
1/2 tsp (sea) salt
a little squirt of agave or other natural sweetener, if desired. (about a tsp.)

Blend well.

Then add:

1 1/4 cups whole-grain flour or mixture of flours of choice
1 tsp. baking soda

Blend, pulsing to combine. If it doesn't all combine, give it a stir or two with a spoon.

Cook on griddle.

I usually at least double this to have a few pancakes left for the next day.

Now, for the syrup! Oh yes. Delicioso.

The original recipe comes from Kara, and you can find it here.

I have modified it to suit my taste and needs. The original was just too thin for me.

Place in saucepan over medium heat:
1/2 cup sucanat
1/2 cup honey
1/4 tsp (sea) salt

Melt those all together. Once the sucanat is all dissolved, add in:

1 can of coconut milk
(Kara's cans are bigger than mine, I guess. I just use my 13.66 oz can, and it works great. A little more or less won't hurt.)

Mix in well. Then, I add in:

about a tablespoon of corn starch and a smidgen of water to mix it beforehand, add the mixture into your syrup and bring to a boil to thicken.

Once the desired thickness is achieved, remove from heat. Add in:

a tsp of vanilla.

Place on pancakes and inhale. So good.

For a special treat, and as pictured above, layer on some banana slices and come unsweetened coconut. Wow. What a breakfast. No white flour or sugar. No HFCS. Just goodness. And man, it's SO GOOD.