Thursday, June 1, 2017

Spicy Tropical Peanut Butter Granola

I conceived this granola as a way to use up an oversupply of The Heat is On, which is peanut butter made with hot peppers. The warm spices and lime blend really well with the hot pepper in the peanut butter.

I do not recommend using more of the spicy PB than 1/4 cup. It packs a punch. I like things to be spicy and it's just right for me. You might want to start with less spicy PB or even just use regular PB with a pinch of red pepper if you're not a big fan of heat. Try it with yogurt!

Wet Ingredients
1/4 cup honey, maple syrup, golden syrup, or light corn syrup
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup spicy peanut butter (2 Tbsp for less spicy granola)
1/4 cup regular creamy peanut butter (6 Tbsp for less spicy granola)
zest and juice from one lime

Dry Ingredients
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
1 cup crisp rice cereal
1/2 cup chopped dried/candied tropical fruit (I used a mix of papaya, pineapple, sultana raisins, and ginger)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking/cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Melt the sweeteners and peanut butter in a large microwave safe dish or in a large pot on the stove over low heat, stirring often to mix them together. When melted, take off heat and stir in lime zest and juice.

Stir oats, peanuts, coconut, spices, crisp rice, and dried fruit into the melted syrup and peanut butter mixture. Mix until thoroughly blended and spread on prepared cookie sheets. Bake at 250 until browned to taste, 30-45 minutes. Stir the granola and rotate the cookie sheets every 15 minutes to ensure that it doesn't burn.

If you have unsalted macadamia nuts or pecans, they would be a good substitute for half of the peanuts.

Other dried fruits to try include kiwi, mango, or possibly even candied citrus rind.

Banana chips could be used to replace the coconut shreds.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Great Northern Brownies

I like this version of bean-based brownies better than the black bean versions out there. Great Northern beans are very subtle and less noticeable than black beans or chick peas. Even cannellini beans have a stronger flavor.

These brownies are a bit cake-like, almost like a breakfast quick bread, but have a slightly fudgy texture. I used a little less cocoa powder than usual which gives them a light fruity cocoa flavor that blends well with the molasses and spices. You can use more and omit the spices if you want them to be more assertively chocolate.

Wet Ingredients
1 Can Great Northern Beans, rinsed very well and drained (1.75 cups cooked from dried and drained)
2 Eggs
1/4 Cup Molasses (this is a minimum amount, you might start with a bit more to make them sweeter first time around)
1/2 Cup Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt (or use vanilla flavored sweetened yogurt to make them sweeter instead of more molasses above)
2 Tbsp Coconut Oil, melted (or butter)
1/4 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter above)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Dry Ingredients
1/2 cup Flour (I used oat flour, but white flour would work too)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon (ceylon if you can get it)
1/4 nutmeg
pinch cloves or allspice

Heat oven to 350 and grease an 8*8 cake pan or similar size.

Add the wet ingredients to the bowl of a large food processor. Puree them until very smooth.

Meanwhile sift and whisk together the dry ingredients. Add them to the wet ingredients with the processor off, using a spatula to incorporate them to avoid a powdery mess. Process until smooth.

Pour batter into cake pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.