almonds

Breakfast, Gluten Free, Snack

NUT'NOLA

nutnola_01.jpg

Months ago, I may have mentioned that Hugh was doing the ketogenic diet? Surely you've heard of it. Most of the cookbooks at my local Costco are keto books so you know it's mainstream. He humored me and went off it for the holidays and is back to it these days. I refuse to make a third version of whatever I'm cooking, but I will compromise. How saintly of me, right? I have my current granola recipe pretty nailed down, but I gave it a spin with less sweetener and replaced the oats with more nuts. It replaces the carbohydrates with more fat, so I don't know where your nutrition paradigms lie, but it tastes good either way. You can use this as a topping for plain yogurt, oatmeal, as a snack or I used it as a crunchy bit for a green salad with arugula, red onion, and roasted butternut chunks and thought it worked perfect. I made a few notes below on seasoning options. 

NUT'NOLA // Makes about 5 cups

You can find the coconut flakes (the wide shards, not the same as shredded coconut) at Trader Joes, larger conventional grocery stores or Amazon. The kind of nut isn't as important as the yield. Swap in pecans or macadamia nuts, whatever you prefer. We use this as a breakfast sort of deal, if you want a more savory route, a dash of cayenne and some fresh chopped rosemary is a great swap, or that Everything But The Bagel seasoning from Trader Joes is pretty amazing here too, especially if you want to use these as a crunchy salad topper. 

2 Tbsp. coconut oil, warmed
1/3 cup maple syrup
3/4 tsp. sea salt
heaping 1/2 tsp. cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice

1 cup raw whole almonds
1 cup raw whole cashews
1/2 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 Tbsp. raw sesame seeds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes/chips

Preheat the oven to 325' and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine the warmed coconut oil, maple, salt and cinnamon/spice. Stir to combine. 
Give the almonds, cashews and walnuts a rough chop. Add them to the maple mixture along with the pumpkin seeds, sesame and coconut flakes. Stir everything to coat. Spread the mixture in an even layer on the baking sheet and pop in the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes, stir, bake another 20 minutes until golden brown. Remove to cool completely. The nuts will crisp up as they cool. Store in an airtight container for a couple weeks. 

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Dessert, Gluten Free, Winter, Fall, Chocolate

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE DATE CAKE

Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen

I rarely get overly descriptive about the recipes here but because I appreciate a bit of detail when I read other sites, I'm getting chatty. I tinkered with this recipe from Green Kitchen Travels as David and Luise are a go-to for more wholesome desserts. In the treat department, I like to know if I'm getting dense, super sweet, a healthier take, light and airy, or wherever it lies in the spectrum. There is a time and place for each of those sorts of desserts on different occasions. A flourless chocolate cake, classically speaking, is not really cake-like in texture at all. It is dense and rich and more similar to a brownie or fudge than cake and I am perfectly happy with that. This version is more wholesome - the refined sugar being replaced by a thick date paste that contributes a nice caramely sweetness. I thought the dates would throw off the fudge factor, or maybe not make it as decadent and I was wrong. This cake is rich and chocolatey. The date paste actually makes it even more fudgy while not being sickeningly so. Rich but not heavy and even better the second day as it all sank into itself. I appreciate some cream and berries with my chocolate for flavor contrast and also for the color they add. It's so pretty all piled high with hues of red and purple. I'll maybe even double the quantity next time. 

I'm hoping to have some book details to share with you next week. It comes out THIS month. Eep!

Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen

FLOURLESS CHOCOLATE DATE CAKE // Serves 8

Adapted from Green Kitchen Travels

The original recipe uses ground hazelnuts which I am sure lend a fabulous flavor but almond meal was on hand. I also chose to use buttermilk instead of the orange juice and zest because I have an aversion to citrus and chocolate together. If you are not crazy like me, it sounds really different and surely lovely. The original recipe calls for an 8" springform pan and I only own a 10" and used it anyway. If you have an 8", give it a little more cooking time to make up for the depth of the cake.

  • 1 1/2 cups almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • About 25 (2 cups) soft dates, pitted and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup buttermilk
  • 5 eggs, seperated
  • 3 Tbsp. natural cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 7 ounces dark chocolate
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • // for topping //
  • whipping cream (8 ounces whipping cream whisked with 3 T. powdered sugar and a dash of vanilla)
  • OR coconut cream (chill a can of full fat coconut milk overnight, scoop off the firm top and beat it with 2 T. powdered sugar or maple syrup)
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed berries, chopped small (I used pom seeds, blackberries and strawberries)
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350'. Line a springform pan with parchment paper and grease the bottom and sides. 

Put the almond meal and salt in large mixing bowl. Into a food processor, combine the dates, buttermilk, egg yolks, cocoa powder and baking soda and blend until smooth and sticky.

Over a pot of barely boiling water, into a glass bowl combine the chocolate and butter. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water line. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Add the date mixture and the chocolate mixture into the almond meal bowl and stir to mix. 

Beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the chocolate mixture (it will be thick) and transfer it into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-65 minutes until the cake is firm but not dry. Remove from the oven and let the cake cool completely (just trust me, it's better cooled). 

Spread the whipping cream on top and top with the berries. Serve immediately. The cake will keep for 3 days in the fridge.

Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Flourless Chocolate Date Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
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Snack, Breakfast, Dessert, Gluten Free, Chocolate

PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

Besides that I adore it staying light much later, I regret it hasn't felt incredibly summery over here. We have done a few picnics by the beach, my shoulders are tanned and I'm eating my weight in fruit, but I can't say I have felt this season. I think it's easier to see summer with kids or a school schedule, as these three months are marked by a break in routine. Now it's nearly Labor Day, the holiday that reminds us summer is fading, I just now feel called to be more present in this time. Maybe I'm not in school and my work demands carry on just as they did in the spring and winter past, but I want to be here. It's likely not just summer I'm needing to witness, I think it's the curse of the (primarily) self-employed that there is always something to do, which takes away from rest and presence. There is so much wonderfulness to take in if we'll stop and pay attention. I wish I'd stop and pay attention. Luckily September and October are my favorite months around here. Time to suit up and jump in. 

I keep tinkering with granola bar recipes to find just the right texture. Typically, I use brown rice syrup in granola-type bars, but wanted to try the maple route this round. I will say that the rice syrup creates a stickier bar, making everything hold together more easily. The maple is great, but expect the bars to be more loose and fragile. I added a few more dates and peanut butter in the written recipe than the photos reflect so they stay together a bit better. I toast the oats for a little extra favor, but otherwise these guys are no-bake, so they yield a chewier bar, not the crispy shattering sort. You can play around with the nut or seed butter, maybe a different dried fruit besides dates, but it's nice to have a tasty snack for your beach bag or lunch box. 

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

PEANUT BUTTER GRANOLA BARS // Makes 12 in an 11x7 pan

An adaptation from Minimalist Baker

I used a 7x11inch dish. Try to use something close, they will be thinner bars in a 9x13 or super thick in an 8x8. 

  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 2 cups crisp rice cereal
  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • 2 Tbsp. chia, buckwheat, flax seeds or a mix of these (I used this blend)
  • 2 cups pitted dates (about 14 large Medjool dates)
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup
  • 1 cup natural peanut butter (or nut or seed butter of choice)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 oz. dark chocolate
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen

Preheat the oven to 350'. Toast the oats on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the crisp rice, almonds, seeds, cooled oats and stir to mix. Chop up the dates well to make a chunky paste (this could be done in the food processor but I hate cleaning it for one small task). If your dates seem dry, add a splash of warm water to get them tacky. Think toothpaste sort of texture.

Warm the maple, peanut butter, cinnamon, salt and stir to mix. Pour the PB mix and dates over the dry ingredients and mix everything together, breaking up the date clumps with your hands to disperse. Just get your hands dirty, you need a big sticky heap.

Line a 7x11inch pan with parchment paper. Press the mixture down in an even layer, using the bottom of something flat to push the mixture down tightly as possible.

In a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, melt the chocolate until smooth. Drizzle the chocolate (or spread it evenly) on top of the bars. Chill in the fridge for one hour before cutting. Keep covered in the fridge for optimum freshness or wrap them individually and store in the freezer.

The bars will keep for about 5 days in the fridge.

peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
peanut butter granola bars . sprouted kitchen
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