Blueberry Almond Pecan Breakfast Cereal Granola

Friday, November 17th, 2017

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In one of her most recent care packages, my mom included a few boxes of hippy-dippy cereal that I totally got hooked on. It’s not exactly a cereal in the traditional sense of the word – or at least not how I think of it – but rather a mix of cereal-type flakes, nuts, dried fruit, and granola. It’s almost like a granola mix watered down with cereal. Anyway, it’s sweet and delicious and even though I extended its life by mixing it in sparingly with my bran flakes – just enough to spice them up – it was gone way too soon.

I decided to approximate the experience by making my own granola-cereal mashup. This recipe has all the regular granola ingredients – rolled oats, dried fruit, nuts – along with a few types of store-bought cereal, just for fun. Normally I go with dried cranberries or homemade apple slices for the fruit portion of the mix, but I just couldn’t resist trying out the dried blueberries gifted to me by Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit! (If you worry that your dried fruit will get a little too dry during baking, you can always mix it in at the end.)

Though this stuff takes the better part of an afternoon to make, the end result is so worth it: sweet* and savory granola, made to your own specifications, and for a fraction of the price of store-bought stuff. The cornucopia of fruit, nuts, and other goodies in this granola really make it stand out from some of the other versions I’ve made. And yes, it works wonders for ye ole boring bran flakes!

* But not too sweet: if you really want a cavity-maker, double the maple syrup, or add in a few tablespoons of brown sugar!
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Lemon Frankenberry Muffins

Friday, February 19th, 2016

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Over the weekend I was hit with an inexplicable, overwhelming urge for muffins. Not just any muffins, either, but blueberry muffins. This is unusual not because muffins aren’t awesome – they are! – but on account of my baked sweets cravings are mostly directed at cookies. They don’t call me Jelly Belly Kelly/Cookie Monster for nothing.

I reviewed Kris Holecheck’s The 100 Best Vegan Baking Recipes ages ago, and remembered that it had a pretty rad blueberry streusel muffin recipe. But alas! It calls for vegan yogurt, which is something I rarely have on hand. And the nearest Whole Foods is like 45 minutes away. One way! Ugh right?

But my longing would not be brushed off so easily, and so I found myself searching through my massive cookbook collection for a substitute. The Joy of Vegan Baking had a lemon blueberry recipe that looked serviceable enough, just without Holecheck’s decadent streusel topping. So I decided to have them both!: Colleen’s muffins + Kris’s topping.

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The verdict? UNGH. Pillowy soft in the middle, with a sweet crunchy topping. This whole post is basically just a reminder to self to make this again and again and again. So, so good.

(I almost called this post “mashup muffins,” but that sounds gross. Instead I went with Lemon Frankenberry Muffins, named after a cereal I loved in my omni days. RIP Count Chocula! Goodbye Booberry Crunch! Farewell to all the marshmallow-stuffed, candy-for-breakfast cereals! Until we come up with a vegan version, you will forever be the ones that got away. That and circus peanuts. I’m pretty sure I was their last/only fan.)

(P.P.S. So I made a batch of pumpkin muffins for our foster snuffaluffagus, as a hiding place for his post-dinner glucosamine pills. Now he thinks he can haz ALL THE MUFFINS. You should see how excited he gets when I crack one of these bad girls out. I almost feel guilty eating it in front of him. Almost but not quite.)

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Blueberry Coconut Pancakes (And a GF pancake FAIL!)

Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

I recently received a whopping five pounds of coconut flour for review, so I finally broke out that copy of The Paleo Bread Bible I scored through Goodreads. Nearly every recipe calls for coconut flour, yo! I’ve been meaning to try it for ages, but haven’t done a whole lot of baking lately.

I decided to start with something simple – you know, a real can’t-eff-this-up recipe – and, spoiler alert, it was an epic fail.

I give you: Blueberry Pancakes.

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Since he’s the designated pancake-flipper in the house, Shane was stuck making these, and I tweeted halfway through the ordeal my prediction that these GF Paleo Pancakes would have him in tears before the night was done. He didn’t cry, but it was close. There was a lot of cursing and several areas of burned skin. (Never cook while you’re angry, folks.)

The problem? The pancakes just didn’t hold together very well. Even after he added some wheat flour to the almond/coconut-flour batter, it spread out like whoah after he ladled it onto the griddle. And while they got nice and crunchy on the outside, the insides remained a gooey mess, as you can see in the bottom pic. We even tried oven-baking some of the batter into a giant pancake, like so, to no avail.

Now, all of these recipes use eggs – so it could be that the egg replacer we chose just wasn’t up to the task. It was ye trusty old Ener-G, though, so I don’t think that’s it.

I was planning on trying the banana bread, but I’m legit afraid at this point. This is why I rarely give cookbooks a negative review: I don’t feel comfortable rating a cookbook unless I’ve tried multiple recipes, but I refuse to throw good money after bad if the first two or three are a disaster. It’s a conundrum.

Anyway.

A few nights later, he tried swapping out some flour in a regular carby recipe for coconut flour, with much better results;

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you can find the recipe under the jump. He was feeling lazy, so he just went with Bisquick – but you can try this trick with your own favorite recipe, too. We also added some coconut extract for double the coconutty flavor, and it tasted amazing with blueberries.

All in all, not a total loss.

(More below the fold…)

Carbs & Rec: I MADE CREPES!!!

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

We are getting down to the wire, Pawnee, and I am pulling out ALL THE STOPS.

(Just wait until you see what I’ve got planned for Tuesday.

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For realsies!)

Today on Carbs & Rec, I attempt to do something I never thought I would-could-should do: make crepes!

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And – spoiler alert – it was not a total disaster. Not a tear was shed nor a crepe destroyed.

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Carbs & Rec: Jailbird Scones

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Let’s take a moment to celebrate one of the most epic friendships in sitcom history: Ann Perkins and Leslie Knope.

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Vanilla Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Saturday, May 17th, 2014

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The freezer cases at Whole Foods, Green Acres, and Price Chopper are so cluttered with non-vegan desserts (not to mention three kinds of chocolate-covered frozen bananas! three! that’s valuable real estate you’re wasting, businesses!) that I’ve pretty much given up on buying anything other than chocolate and vanilla ice cream at the store. If I want a more exciting or unusual flavor, I’ve got to make it my own bad self. So you know what that means, folks! Saturday ice cream blogging is back on! (I usually posted my ice cream recipes on Saturday, right? I forget.)

This one’s a simple vanilla blueberry swirl, inspired by the Purely Decadent Blueberry Cheesecake flavor. (But sadly minus the cheesecake. I’m working on it though!) Pretty tasty, although next time I think I’ll blend the blueberries for a smoother ice cream. (See the variation under Step #4.)

(More below the fold…)

Blueberry Lavender Banana Ice Cream

Friday, August 9th, 2013

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This particular flavor combination was inspired by the Lavender Pancakes in Alicia Simpson’s Quick and Easy Low-Cal Vegan Comfort Food, which I made for VeganMoFo and topped with a yummy blueberry sauce. Spoiler alert: it tastes every bit as delicious as it sounds.

(Incidentally, Shane enjoyed his pancakes with maple syrup and didn’t share in my heavenly dining experience. He was less than impressed. To which I responded: Told you so! Maple syrup and lavender, ew.)

The blueberry syrup is optional but really takes things to the next level.

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Blueberry Lavender Banana Ice Cream

(Makes just under one quart of ice cream.)

Ingredients

4-5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup blueberry syrup (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried lavender
1/2 cup dried blueberries
sugar to taste (optional)
a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer, if needed

Directions

1. Put the bananas, vanilla extract, and blueberry syrup in the food processor and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir the bananas by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead.

2. If the bananas aren’t sweet enough for your taste (sometimes this happens if you freeze them before they’re sufficiently ripe), add a bit of sugar to taste. Any sugar works fine – white, brown, etc. – but I find that powdered sugar results in a smoother blend.

3. Add the lavender and dried blueberries and process until the berries are broken up into smaller pieces. Your food processor might get a bit jump during this step, so hold on tight!

4. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

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Peach Blueberry Swirl Banana Ice Cream

Friday, July 26th, 2013

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Photographed with nectarine slices,
on accounta I used all my peaches to make this ice cream!
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So this is a simple yet delicious recipe that I threw together using some leftovers – namely, a few ripe peaches I had on hand, along with some blueberry pie filling, most of which I used as a topping for pancakes. (VeganMoFo spoiler alert: there will be pancakes!)

Since blueberries are in season, you can just as easily make your own sauce if you’d rather. It’s as simple as simmering blueberries, sugar, and water on medium heat until the berries burst and the sauce thickens to your liking. If you make too much, you can freeze the leftovers for later use – or use them as a sundae topping! Chocolate So Delicious with a blueberry drizzle, yum.

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Peach Blueberry Swirl Banana Ice Cream

(Makes about a quart and a half of ice cream.)

Ingredients

5 overripe bananas, peeled, sliced and frozen
powdered sugar or another vegan sweetener, if needed
a splash of coconut milk or creamer, if needed

3 peaches
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 to 1 cup canned blueberry pie filling or homemade blueberry sauce

Directions

1. Begin by roasting the peaches. Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut the peaches into quarters; peel each slice (optional) and remove the pits. Combine the peaches and brown sugar in a large bowl; cover and toss to mix. Transfer the slices to a baking pan (9″x9″ fits perfectly). Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, or until the peaches are tender. Once the peaches are done baking, flip each slice onto the other “cheek” so that it soaks up some of the juices.

2. After they’ve cooled, transfer the peaches and their juices to an airtight container and refrigerate for six to eight hours, or until ready for use.

3. To make the ice cream: Place the chilled peaches in the food processor and pulse until chunky.

4. Add the (frozen) bananas and pulse until smoothly blended. Most likely you’ll need to stir them by hand several times, as the frozen chunks tend to gather and become “stuck” on one side of the bowl. If necessary, add a splash of non-dairy milk or creamer to get things moving!

Alternately, you can allow the bananas to defrost on the counter top for 30 to 60 minutes beforehand, so that they’re easier to work with. Before putting them in the food processor, break them up into smaller chunks with a butter knife.

Note: Since introducing extra liquids (such as non-dairy milk) into the mix results in a slightly icier finished product, I prefer defrosting to non-dairy milk. If you’re in a hurry, pop the bananas in the microwave for 20 to 45 seconds instead. The juices from the peaches should help in this regard.

5. Sample the batter and add a bit of sugar if needed.

6. Transfer the ice cream to an airtight container. As you do so, gently mix in the blueberry sauce, so that you create a swirl effect. Enjoy immediately as soft serve, or pop the ice cream in the freezer for an hour+ for a firmer dessert. Store any leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container. If the frozen banana ice cream proves too hard to scoop, microwave it for ten seconds to help loosen it up (or let the container sit on the counter for ten to thirty minutes prior to eating, depending on room temp).

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I can’t tell y’all how much I love this plate, scored at Goodwill for a buck fifty.
idk what dogs have to do with tomatoes, nor do I care. DOGS!
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Blueberry Banana Bread Pancakes & Bitch Magazine

Sunday, April 7th, 2013

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What better way to spend a lazy Sunday morning, am I right ladies?

The recipe’s from Betty Goes Vegan, which I’m really digging so far. I just have two BGV dishes under my belt, but still. The pancakes are thick and hearty, and really do taste a lot like banana bread. Probably more so if you leave out the blueberries – they steal some of the banana’s spotlight – not that I ever would. Blueberries are my most favorite of all the fruits.