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Jenny’s Nutty Granola with fresh blueberries, Spoon Size Shredded Wheat and Hudson Valley Fresh milk.

I’m crazy about the tastiness, texture and nutrition of good granola, and while there are many on the market, most are too sweet for my taste. So for several years now, I’ve been making my own version, full of the nuts that I adore and lots of other components that bring flavor, protein and vitamins and minerals to the party.

Now if I don’t have it every day, I feel cheated. And I’m decidedly not one of those, “I’ll have the usual” types. I love variety and love to mix things up, on the table and otherwise. But I can never have this stuff too often, so when I run out I have to make more ASAP. Fortunately I currently have a gig in a natural foods store where it’s convenient and not too expensive for me to buy most of the ingredients in bulk.
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While it may look like a lot of items on the list, my granola is uncomplicated to make, and contains three groups of items. The first assortment is the oats, nuts and seeds tossed together in a bowl.

 

 

 

 

Then the mixture is drizzled with bit of sweetness, healthy fat and flavorings, tossed and toasted in the oven.

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The first two groups of ingredients after a bit of baking.

After the lot is redolent with the aromas of toasted nuts, vanilla and heady cinnamon wafting into the air, you just fold in the remaining ingredients, cool and store. Don’t forget to taste test!

This is not a clumpy granola but lovely sprinkled on cereal, yogurt or plain. I put it on my cereal every morning (usually Spoon Size Shredded Wheat or Heritage Flakes), and top with berries and milk. So good!

Give it a shot, and feel free to customize it according to your granola-y preferences, perhaps all of one nut instead of three kinds (2 cups), or maybe sub your faves like hazelnuts or macadamias. You can use less coconut oil, or more maple syrup or another sweetener that you like better. You can skip any seeds you don’t love, or maybe use dried cherries or blueberries instead of the cranberries. Make it your own (and make it often)!

I welcome questions and comments and would love to hear from you!

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Jenny’s Nutty Granola

Jenny’s Nutty Granola

Makes 16 1/2-cup servings
Group 1

3 cups oats

2/3 cup pecans, chopped coarsely

2/3 cup walnuts, chopped coarsely

2/3 cup almonds, chopped coarsely

1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds

¼ cup raw, unsalted sunflower seeds

¼ cup wheat germ

 

Group 2

¼ cup water

¼ cup virgin coconut oil (melted if solid)

3 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

 

Group 3

2/3 cup diced dried apples

2/3 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup dried date pieces

1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut

1/3 cup chia seeds

¼ cup ground flax meal

 

  1. Preheat oven to 325° F.
  2. Mix together first group of ingredients. Mix together second group and pour over oat mixture. Toss to mix, then spread in foil-lined 10 x 15 pan.
  3. Bake for 22 minutes, then stir and bake another 15 minutes, stir and bake 5-10 minutes more or until golden. Toss together last group of ingredients and mix in. Let cool and store in air tight container.
A 1/4 cup serving contains about 170 calories, 5.5g protein, 37 mg sodium and 7.5g sugars.

 

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Favulous favas

I found some beautiful fava beans at work the other day (Mother Earth’s Storehouse Poughkeepsie NY store).  

Like giant green beans without, but with treasures within, they are irresistible. Had to take some home.  

 A bit labor intensive but entirely worth the trouble for a tiny treat for one. These seven giant pods yielded only a few fat white-coated beans nestled in soft down…wish I could minimize myself and sleep in one…  

  

 After a quick blanching, I …  

 … squeezed out the beans …  

 … Then sautéed shallot in olive oil, threw in the favas, tossed a few minutes with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then turned off the heat and stirred in slivers of mint, a splash more olive oil, a dash of white wine vinegar … then topped it all with microplaned fluffs of Parmigiano … sublime.  

  

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For many years I’ve been doing cooking demos in the Harvest Kitchen at the NYS Sheep and Wool Fest, the challenge being to offer something with lamb meat or sheep cheese. As a big fan of both, that’s no hardship, and I’ve presented a variety of tasty recipes over the years. This year join me in a celebration of the luscious Spanish sheep cheese Manchego and taste samples of Mini Popovers with Manchego and Roasted Shallots and Kale Salad with Apple and Manchego. My demos are at 11 am and 3:30 pm Sunday in Building E.

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Join me for opening day of the Dutchess County Fair! I’ll be doing cooking demonstrations in the Harvest Kitchen in Bldg E at 11 am and 3:30 pm on Tuesday, Aug. 19.

On the menu are….surprise….cephalopods! Come learn about other things to do with these tasty critters besides fried calamari, and taste some classic dishes from Thailand and Sicily. I’d love to see you there!

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I’m excited to be launching a brand new blog about the senses-pleasing, beautiful food in and around Rhinebeck, NY, where I live. It’s called The Rhinebeck Gourmandizer, a name I chose in hope that some of the mystique of trendy Rhinebeck will rub off on it, and the “izer” at the end honors the recently closed 200-year-old weekly local newspaper The Gazette Advertiser. I hope for it to be an up-to-date resource for residents or visitors seeking information on where to fill their bellies happily! Check it out at http://www.rbkgourmand.wordpress.com

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Odd request

I don’t get a lot of mail via my website jenniferbrizzi.com, but I got a kick out of this one. Where does it hint on my website that I might sell Mr. Cox a jar of pickled lamb’s tongues? Or anything other than my professional services?
I do love them, though. Haven’t had any in a long while. They’re the kind of thing that grosses people out, touching that Bambi spot on the heart as we picture all those baby lambs running around mute, unable to say “Baaa.” So I guess they’re not a hot seller. But they are a great combination of meaty tang and silky and delicate tongue meat. Good luck, Mr. Cox.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 12:45 P
From:
To: jenniferbrizzi@yahoo.com
name = Tom Cox
Comment = Do you sell pickeled lambs tounge if so how are they packed.are they in jars and what price Thanks Tom Cox

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I love epicurious.com, refer to it all the time for work or just making dinner. But it has never made me laugh so hard before. Look at this recipe for boiling water, but what’s funny is what you read when you click on “reviews”—789 of them.

And no, I didn’t read them all–I have a life–but I’d love to have time to.

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