Delicious Homemade Granola

taosAt a bed and breakfast in Taos, New Mexico in December we sat before a roaring fire in the kiva, a table was set for two.  The first course was so delicious and simple.  Yogurt topped with granola and drizzled with honey.  I don’t know if was the Christmas lights all around or the fire or the vacation but that tasted so good to me and I have been eating it nearly every morning since.

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I have written three vegan cookbooks and I am going to re-release one of the them soon.  I have been cooking my way through the book to make sure they are still great and came across my old recipe for granola.  It is so easy to make and makes a great big bag of it.  Add a few big handfuls to a bowl of yogurt.  I like So Delicious brand Cashew yogurt with vanilla.  There are many amazing non-dairy yogurts out there.

Drizzle with local honey or agave or maple syrup.  Delicious, nutritious, and your own bed and breakfast treat!

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Farmgirl’s Granola

6 cups of old fashioned oats

1 cup of nuts, such as slivered almonds, pecans, almonds

1 1/2 cups of brown sugar

1 T of spices, such as pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, etc

1/2 t salt

Mix all ingredients with 3/4 cup of organic olive, sunflower, or canola oil

Spread out on a large cookie sheet or broiler pan sprayed with non-stick oil spray.  Drizzle with maple syrup.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

Fold in 1 1/2 cups of dried fruit of your choice, such as currants, raisins, acai, apple, etc.

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Continue baking for 20 more minutes.

Stir often as it’s cooling to prevent it from clumping or sticking to the pan.  When it is completely cool store it in a gallon freezer bag.

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The Best Farm Breakfast

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I talk a lot about lessening our use of electronics, heading towards off grid living, getting to the point where if the power went out we wouldn’t notice, there are a few electronics we love and one of them is our Vitamix.  Doug jokes that it has a Volkswagen engine.  It makes it very easy to get lots of fruits and vegetables in one sitting.

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We always feel better when we start drinking our breakfasts.  Green drinks have been written about in books and researched to rid the body of cancer.  Green drinks oxygenate the blood and cancer cannot survive in an oxygenated environment.  I like the Vitamix because juicing wastes a lot of the pulp and uses more vegetables and fruits than necessary.  Throwing everything into the machine breaks down all the produce into a drinkable vitamin.  This drink provides the body’s needs for iron, calcium, magnesium, folate, B vitamins, vitamin C, D, K, and protein.  Add pumpkin or other orange fruit and get vitamin A.  Add a tablespoon of almond butter and get vitamin E.  I don’t think much of vitamins in the store.  They are lab created and the body simply does not recognize them but vitamins in food are readily uploaded into the body.

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The raw fruits and vegetables have all the necessary enzymes for the body to digest easily and the cell walls of the produce are broken down allowing the body to assimilate the nutrients effectively.

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(To serve two) In a powerhouse blender add:

4 cups of greens like dandelion, kale, or chard.

Then add whatever is around the kitchen.  The produce section at the health food store often has bags of produce on discount.  I scored a big bag of bananas that were browning but make perfect smoothies.

Apples from the root cellar.

A chunk of raw pumpkin.

Frozen berries and rhubarb.

Peaches I put up.

Anything works!

Then I add a splash of maple syrup (anti-tumor) and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger, cardamom…mmm.

Add enough water to achieve desired consistency.

We fill up the Vitamix container and we each get 3-4 cups of smoothie with approximately 5 fruits and vegetables each to start our day.  We get plenty of energy, boost our immunity, and feel really great.

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This may very well be the quintessential farm breakfast!

 

Thanksgiving Traditions (and the search for a casserole)

Every year, for many years, our Thanksgiving morning looks the same.  Mama is up first making cinnamon rolls and coffee.  I then turn on the parade and one by one the sleepy house awakes.  Sitting in bathrobes and slippers we enjoy the sweet pastries and dark coffee and enjoy the floats, wave at the balloons on the screen, and anticipate the feast now wafting through the house.

Maryjane's hand print

Maryjane’s hand print

I always make the same meal served just after noon.  A traditional Thanksgiving feast with the mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes and marshmallows, stuffing, green bean casserole, rolls, cranberry sauce, and Tofurky.  We eat at noon and then head to a Christmas movie to start off our season.  An apple pie, pumpkin pie and eggnog greet us when we arrive back home after the film.

Thankful for Bret, Emily, and Maryjane

Thankful for Bret, Emily, and Maryjane

That night we go to the shop and decorate it so that Friday morning we open with bright and shiny window displays, an enchanted store filled with great sales.  The next day the tree comes up, the children put their ornaments on, and we create a winter wonderland throughout the house.

Thankful for Andrew and Megan

Thankful for Andrew and Megan

Traditions ground us.  They give us comfort and something to be excited for, something to count on.  But life changes, sometimes drastically, and part of life is going with the flow, making changes when necessary or deemed proper, and perhaps new traditions will unfold even more fun than the prior.

Thankful for Shyanne

Thankful for Shyanne

This year Andrew will be going to his girlfriend, Megan’s house for Thanksgiving dinner, Emily to Bret’s mom’s, and Shyanne, newly broken up, doesn’t know where she is going.  So, for us, I needed to accommodate rather than demand that they all be at my house.  So, I am doing Thanksgiving breakfast.  Then we can all go our own ways, Doug and I attending the movie by ourselves this year.  No shop to decorate.  The trees will go up before Thanksgiving and while I have everyone in the house at the same time Thanksgiving morning I will have them put their decorations on the tree.  Doug and I will decorate the house ourselves the rest of the weekend.  We were invited to go to Bret’s mom’s house for Thanksgiving dinner.  New traditions will unfold this year, hopefully bringing blessings and good memories.

Thankful for Doug

Thankful for Doug

Now, question to all of you out there.  I need a fool proof, easy, delicious, breakfast casserole to make Thanksgiving morning.  Somehow, I have none in my artillery.  So, kindly sound off and share your Thanksgiving traditions as well as your favorite breakfast casserole.

Thankful for Maryjane

Thankful for Maryjane

Thankfully yours, Katie

Garden Breakfast

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We usually eat hot cereal with cinnamon, dried fruit, and nuts in it for breakfast.  Or slices of homemade bread, butter and jam.  Or eggs scrambled with fish and potatoes.  Heavier fare to strengthen us and get us on our way.  But the other day, I was walking through the garden early and noticed a lovely red tomato.  First big tomato of the season and thought, ‘why not?’  Sliced red tomatoes with freshly minced basil and sea salt.  Fresh, delicious fruit.  Eggs from the coop hard boiled.  A few salty olives.  Maybe even corn on the cobb!  One of the pleasures of summer eating is the variety and getting out of the “what to have for a meal” rut!  There is no reason not to have tomatoes and basil for breakfast!  I ought to do it more.