Baking | Multigrain Granola … breakfast o’clock! #glutenfree #healthy #DIY

“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast.”
John Gunther

Multigrain GranolaMultigrain Granola … this is what flavours the mornings our end these days, and it doesn’t seem to change. I have made granola every single week for the past 4 weeks, and its gratifying to see the better half reach out for it. I had forgotten how easy granola, the ‘hippie’ food of the Sixties, was to make at home.Multigrain Granola  I was born in the late Sixties of this “cultural decade” which also saw a paradigm change in the world – the Beatles, the first step on the moon, the Vietnam war, the assassination of JFK, womens liberation movements.  My Sixties saw the good old Pye tuned to BBC World Service every morning, the Hare Rama  Krishna movement gaining fame thanks to  George Harrison, blackouts during war, no television, hopscotch and hide ‘n seek…

Wild Indian figs {goolar}My Sixties and Seveties also saw loads of naturally growing foodstuff  - mulberries, wild dates, jamun {Java plum}, ber {jujube/ Indian plum}, mangoes, tamarind, wild berries, wild figs. We would cram everything into our little mouths!The Sixties also saw the ‘hippie’ movement and a revival of natural, healthy foods in everyday diet, and a shunning of processed and sugary foods.Multigrain Granola My first tryst with breakfast creal began with the Gluten Free Chocolate Granola in 2011. Someway along the way, breakfast options for the dieting diva changed into smoothies, and granola got left behind. Of late, the husband has tired of ‘eggs in breakfast‘. He’s also off wheat as being gluten free makes him feel better.

Whole foodThat’s where granola stepped in! With the weather becoming increasingly warm, a make ahead, on the go ‘cold’ breakfast has won over egg! Topped with seasonal fruit like mulberries, fresh figs, strawberries, banana even better. Of late, my involvement with oats {and other whole grains} has been huge thanks to developing recipes and doing a TV cookshow for Saffola Oats. Suddenly anything and everything oats seems like a recipe opportunity. 

Multigrain Granola

Both granola and muesli contain a mixture of grains (such as oats), nuts, dried fruit and sometimes bran and wheat germ. Muesli may contain sugar and dried-milk solids, but it can be unsweetened. Granola is typically toasted with honey and oil, resulting in a crisp texture and sweet glaze not found in muesli. Because granola contains the addition of honey and oil, it tends to have a higher sugar and fat content. As a result, granola is, on average, higher in calories than muesli. 

Jordans Perfect Morning v10

Click here for a range of Jordan’s cerealsBoth granola and muesli offer nutritional benefits. Both have fiber from the grains, fruits and nuts. In addition, the dried fruits provide antioxidants, while the nuts offer healthy fats. Topping either muesli or granola with low-fat milk, soy milk or yogurt makes for a nutritionally balanced, filling breakfast. 

Multigrain Granola  Along came a huge bowl and in went the oats, followed by popped amaranth. I use amaranth quite often these days I have plenty on hand, both flour and popped. In also went some puffed rice which is available at just about every corner store here. Nuts and raisins are always welcome. I also threw in some melon seeds, the remainder of some last used in Savoury  Hungarian Kalács & Twisted Buns.

Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse vintageGranola and toasted cereal is always nice to have on hand for a quick snack, to top yogurt and fruit, to make granola bars, and even to make a layered fruit dessert. In the Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse above, I tossed some granola into melted chocolate, let it harden and then used it in the layered dessert!

[print_this]Recipe: Multigrain Granola 
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Summary: Full of fibre, crisp, sweet, buttery too, this Multigrain Granola is sure to please! You can always substitute the butter for oil, and play around with different grains and nuts. Go ahead, make it into the granola you love!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 160g oats
  • 30g puffed rice
  • 35g popped amaranth
  • 50g melon seeds
  • 50-75g walnuts, chopped
  • 100g raisins
  • 25ml water
  • 25ml honey
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.
  2. Place the water, honey, butter, brown sugar and vanilla bean powder in saucepan. Simmer over low heat until the butter melts. Stir well to mix. {Alternatively, place in a heat proof bowl and microwave for 1 minute}.
  3. Place all remaining ingredients except raisins in a large bowl and stir to mix.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture over the dry mix, stir well to mix uniformly.
  5. Turn onto prepared sheet and bake for about an hour until dry. Stir every 15 minutes to redistribute.
  6. Toss in the raisins, cool completely and store in an airtight box.

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Baking | Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies … #comfortfood #cookies #eggless #wholegrain

“You’ll never convince me that there’s more to life than chocolate chip cookies”
Charles M. Shultz

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain CookiesEggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies … cookies that are meant to be shared! I haven’t posted a cookie recipe for a while on PAB. Possibly since I don’t make new variations very often, or when I do, I forget to jot the recipe down. Ones that I regularly make are all time favourites like Wholewheat & Oat Chocolate Chip Cookies & these Not Quite Anzac cookies.

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies That morning I was due to meet a sweet girl who was coming in to meet me from halfway across India. I knew she was a vegetarian and I wanted to bake something eggless for her. Cookies seemed a good idea for the coffee morning. I had some Strawberry & Cape Gooseberry Quark Mousse chilling in the fridge for her too.

Spring Spring has all but given way to summer. Mornings and evenings are beautifully pleasant; the season inspires like no other. Flowers bloom, fruits spill off bazaar shelves, birds chirp, butterflies zip around. Baking is fun in this weather though baking cookies is fun any time!!

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies The cookies came out delicious, even better since they were packed with nutrition and whole grains. I love the idea of adding nut meal to cookies. In my case I have to since the daughter dislikes nuts with a vengeance. She loves cookies with nut meal though!

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies I baked another batch soon after as we flew into breathtakingly beautiful Srinagar for a short vacation. It’s always nice to carry a ‘taste of home’ with us. Though Srinagar is known for its little bakeries that dot the length and breadth of the city, my humble cookies were much in demand with the kids too! Srinagar, India ... paradise on earthOne look at the ingredients in the recipe and you’ll see the cookie goodness I am talking about. Almonds, whole wheat, amaranth {my latest obsession}, oats, and honey instead of  corn syrup!  Told you … these are deliciously healthy cookies. Indulgent too!

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies Try them. Cookies don’t get simpler than these. One bowl goodness, fun to make, get the kids involved. Do watch them towards the end of baking. Honey in baked goods tends to lead to faster browning. So do keep an eye!

Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies Healthy, fun recipes with amaranth, whole grains, oats {read lots of oats}, unrefined sugars, honey etc have kept me busy of late. I’ve been involved in doing a project for Saffola Oats here in India.

Whole foodShot two recipe videos with the very sweet Michelin Starred Chef Vikas Khanna for Food Food Channel, India as part of the engagement. You can catch the first episode for a Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Gateau {Gluten free} which has been uploaded onto You-tube.

[print_this]Recipe: Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Summary: Eggless Almond Honey Wholegrain Cookies offer deep delicious butterscotch flavour thanks to the brown sugar and butter. Almond meal adds interesting taste, and chocolate chips are thrown in to make another quintessential chocolate chip cookie, this time eggless. These whole grain cookies are nice, chewy if you underbake them a little, and crisp if you bake them longer!  Makes approx 2 dozen
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Ingredients:

  • 100g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 100g honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch salt
  • 55g brown sugar
  • 100g whole almonds {or almond meal}
  • 50g amaranth flour
  • 50g whole wheat flour
  • 100gm oats
  • 50g chocolate chips {I used dark}

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 150C
  2. Run the almonds in the processor with the wholewheat flour until you get a fine-meal.
  3. Heat butter, honey and vanilla bean powder in a pan over low heat till the butter melts. Mix well. {Can do it in the microwave too}.
  4. Add the baking soda, salt and brown sugar and whisk to mix.
  5. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to form a cookie dough. The dough will be a little stiff.
  6. Drop tbsp of dough on parchment lined cookie sheets, flatten with the tines of a fork. {I rolled the dough into balls, flattened them slightly with the palm of my hand, and then further flattened them by pressing down with a fork.}.
  7. Bake for approx 20 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Leave to cool on cookie sheets for 5 minutes {they are quite tender when they come out of the oven} , and then transfer on racks to cool completely.
  9. Thermomix Recipe:
  10. Run the almonds in the TM bowl with the wholewheat flour on speed 7 for 30 seconds to get a fine-meal. Scrape and repeat if necessary. Turn into a bowl and reserve.
  11. Place butter, honey and vanilla bean powder into TM bowl. Heat for 2 minutes at 60C on speed 2 until fully dissolved. Place bicarb into bowl and mix for 5 seconds on speed 3.
  12. Add remaining ingredients and set dial to closed position and mix for 30-35 seconds on interval speed…. then continue as above from step 5.
  13. Note: Since the dough has honey, the cookies tend to brown faster than normal cookies. I use double cookie trays. Keep an eye on them.

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Baking | Rick Bayless’s Rustic Amaranth Chocolate Cake … glutenfree

“When we don’t have the words chocolate can speak volumes.”
Joan Bauer

Rustic Amaranth Chocolate Cake Rick Bayless’s Rustic Amaranth Chocolate Cake was divine. Earthy, fudgy, deeply chocolaty and gluten free, just perfect for to satisfy the sweet tooth in the ‘attempting to go wheat free‘ better half. He does give in to the occasional temptations … read keema stuffed naan at Purani Dilli’s Al-Karam Kebab House or then my recent addictive from scratch baklava.

Dark chocolate amaranth brownies gluten freeStill, I continue to look for alternatives that fit in to wheat free stuff. Found the cake recipe while googling for an amaranth chocolate cake since my amaranth brownies turned out really nice. I was surprised though at the lack of baking online solely with amaranth. Amaranth offered great texture to the gluten free dark chocolate  recipe I was trying to develop.

Rustic Amaranth Chocolate Cake Rick Bayless’s cake was the only simple amaranth cake I found. It was as rustic beautiful as the name suggested. Beautifully moist too. If you want to pretty it up for a birthday, you might consider topping it with mascarpone or pastry cream, some balsamic reduced fruit, maybe a chocolate lace collar like I’ve done on this Bittersweet Dark Chocolate Fallen Cake.

Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau The fallen chocolate cake is often referred to as the ugly duckling chocolate cake, a gateau that collapses somewhat on cooling. For me, it’s what makes this cake special, the moorish appearance it takes on. Just a sifting of sugar or cocoa, or maybe a touch of grated chocolate adds oodles to it’s character!

Amaranth chocolate cakeThe verdict was reason enough for me to bake it again very soon. Using good quality dark chocolate makes this cake shine. It went rather fast. Amaranth or no amaranth, the kids loved it too! You really can’t tell that it’s an amaranth cake. It slices neatly once cool, and tastes quite like a flourless chocolate cake, indulgent in every bite!

[print_this]Recipe: Rick Bayless’s Rustic Amaranth Chocolate Cake 
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Summary: Gluten free, deep, earthy and divine, Rick Bayless’s Rustic Amaranth Chocolate Cake impresses. A fudgy and chocolaty cake, which serves up rustic goodness to please the chocolate lover in you. Serves 6-8.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Ingredients:

  • 100g good quality dark chocolate (60-65% cacao), coarsely chopped
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup amaranth flour

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly grease an 8-inch springform pan.
  2. In a medium sized, microwave-safe bowl, melt together dark chocolate and butter, stirring every few seconds until mixture is smooth.
  3. Allow to cool slightly.
  4. In a large bowl, combine sugar and eggs and beat at medium-high speed until mixture is fluffy and has doubled in volume, about 3 minutes. Beat in vanilla and salt.
  5. Stir in the chocolate mixture, then sift in the amaranth flour and stir it in until no streaks of flour remain visible and batter is uniform.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake for 40-45 minutes, until cake is set and jiggles only slightly when the pan is gently shaken. Allow to cool completely before slicing. Cake may fall as it cools.

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