Raised from Scratch

growing up outside the box: alternatives to processed food and television

New Orleans Granola with Roasted Chicory February 4, 2013

granola inside jar

close up single pecan

In America, chicory is not widely known or utilized in the kitchen, its primary use being a coffee additive. Chicory is a perennial tap root, similar to the dandelion, with stems that grow up to 3 feet in height. The leaves can be used in salads, and roots harvested while young and tender can be cooked like carrots or parsnips for vegetable dishes. To create the ground chicory Café Du Monde familiarized me with years ago, the cultivated root is sliced, dried and roasted before being ground. Adding it to coffee produces a darker, drier, more economical cup of joe. Though multiple trips to New Orleans’ Café Du Monde cultivated a nostalgic appreciation for the chicory used in their Café au Lait, I’m more of a coffee purist myself.

I didn’t sip my way through America’s finest small coffee roasters just to blend my favorite single origin finds with chicory, but I did acquire a small box of ground chicory as a gift at one time and it has been sitting neglected in my pantry. But I love how this granola turned out, and everyone I’ve shared it with wants more, so it’s time to share. Now I can reminisce about New Orleans at breakfast while keeping my Metropolis Coffee unadulterated.

Still curious about chicory root?

Sweet Maria’s coffee cupping reviews, where you can find freshly roasted imported chicory for $5/lb instead of the canned/boxed stuff that’s been sitting on your grocer’s shelf for who knows how long.

Botanical.com will tell you all about the plant’s history and uses.

 New Orleans Chicory Granola with Toasted Pecans

2 1/3 cups rolled oats

1/3 cup honey

2 Tablespoons molasses

¼ cup unsalted butter

2 teaspoons finely ground chicory root

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup pecan halves

Preheat oven to 325°.

Place oats in a medium mixing bowl. Heat butter, honey and molasses in a small saucepan until melted and simmering, then immediately pour over oats. Add chicory, salt and pecans and stir until thoroughly combined.

Pour mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Allow to cool on sheet pan without stirring if you like some clumps in your granola.

After cooling, store in air-tight container for one week.

Recipe adapted from “Coffee Roasted Carrots with Chicory Granola” at splendidtable.org

Homemade Yogurt – it’s easier than you think!

We go through a lot of yogurt in our house, and prefer plain, organic whole milk yogurt (Stonyfield brand was my preferred choice before I began making my own), which gets expensive. A quart of Stonyfield costs me $4.99 at my local grocer, while organic whole milk costs $3.69 for a half gallon (yielding 2 quarts of yogurt). That’s a savings of $6.29.

I didn’t believe making yogurt would be quite so simple, but if you’re a yogurt lover, give it a try and you’ll probably be as pleasantly surprised as I was. My homemade yogurt tastes sweeter and less acidic than store-bought.

Here’s a wonderful step-by-step guide with illustrations which I used to get started. Expect to spend 20-30 minutes in your kitchen, then 7-8 hours of allowing your yogurt mixture to sit and cultivate before chilling.

How To Make Yogurt Step-by-Step Guide

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Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins October 15, 2011

Filed under: Breakfast,Muffins — annalope @ 4:45 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

Why does the world need yet another recipe for banana muffins? It’s true, there are plenty of them out there, and I know there are a lot of bakers who find a decent recipe and never deviate from it. And there’s nothing wrong with that. My mother-in-law makes the same banana bread every time there are extra ripe bananas around, using a family recipe that has withstood the test of time, and I do absolutely love it. But when it comes to making banana bread or muffins in my own kitchen I find it impossible to not tinker with whatever recipe I might start out with (if there is one). These came about when I had set out to make Banana Mocha Muffins – a recipe I’d recently come up with and really loved, but by the time I’d blended the first few ingredients I started mentally drafting something drastically different. I’m not sure if this suggests creativity or just a lack of focus, but either way the results make me happy and appreciative of my restless mind.

One reason you should try this recipe is because the taste of molasses, coffee, and bananas together is pretty unbeatable. Or you could try my Banana Mocha Muffin recipe which also uses these ingredients. This recipe also has less sugar and less butter than your typical muffin, and uses only whole grains.

Whole Wheat Banana Walnut Muffins

¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ cup unsweetened applesauce

½ cup natural cane sugar

1 T. molasses + brown rice syrup to equal ¼ cup

1 t. vanilla

½ cup milk or milk substitute

½ cup coffee, room temperature or cold

1 egg

1 egg white

2 extra ripe bananas, mashed

1 T. flax meal

4 t. baking powder

½ t. salt

1 ½ cup white whole wheat flour

½ cup + 2 T. whole wheat pastry flour

¾ cup ground walnuts, reserving 2 T. to garnish muffins

Preheat oven to 375°. Combine butter, applesauce, sugar and molasses/rice syrup in medium bowl; blend well. Add eggs and bananas, mix well. In measuring glass combine vanilla, milk and coffee. In separate bowl combine all dry ingredients, including the walnuts. Add flour and milk mixtures to butter mix alternately; gently mix to fully incorporate.

Butter and flour 12 large muffin tins (or 18 small cups). Pour a heaping ¼ cup of batter into each (or fill small cups ¾ full); top with ground walnuts for garnish. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

Muffins freeze well once completely cool. I suggest eating half a batch and freezing the other half, which means less time before you get to try/create yet another muffin recipe!