No refined sugar — its sweetness comes from bananas and dates!
Tip: Adjust the baking time based on how crunchy or chewy you like your granola. The longer you leave it in the oven, the harder it will get. Delicious in a bowl with almond milk and fresh fruit.
- 8 cups organic rolled oats
- ¼ cup each of the following (or substitute your nut/seed/dried fruit preferences): chopped pecans, pumpkin seeds, raisins, slivered almonds
- 2 cups pitted and chopped Medjool dates
- 2 ripe bananas, peeled and chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla or almond extract (or ½ teaspoon of each)
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon of sea salt (plus more, to taste)
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
- Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Add oats, pecans, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and slivered almonds (or whatever nuts/seeds/dried fruit you've chosen) to a large mixing bowl and set aside.
- Place dates and cup of water in a saucepan, bring to a boil, and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently and add more water as necessary to keep dates from sticking to saucepan.
- When dates have become a paste, add them along with the bananas and vanilla or almond extract to a blender and process until smooth.
- Pour the date mixture over the oat mixture and mix everything well. Divide the granola between the two baking sheets, spreading evenly in the pans.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until the granola is crispy (the granola will get crispier as it cools). Store in an airtight container.
Adjust the baking time based on how crunchy or chewy you like your granola. The longer you leave it in the oven, the harder it will get. Delicious in a bowl with your favorite plant-based milk (almond, coconut, or hazelnut, especially!) and fresh fruit.
Okay, white flour is not the healthiest, but maybe fresh-baked bread gets a pardon?
Tip: Want to add some extra flavor? Try the basil and herbs de provence version of this recipe.
Rustic French Bread
- 1 packet active dry yeast (or 2¼ teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or agave
- 1½ cups warm water (between 105-110 degrees)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 4 cups all-purpose flour (plus ½ cup, reserved)
- Olive oil (to prepare bowl)
- Place the warm water and maple syrup or agave in the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a regular metal bowl if not using a mixer), and sprinkle the packet of yeast on top. Let stand until yeast gets foamy (about 5 minutes or so).
- In a another bowl, whisk together the flour and sea salt.
- Using the stand mixer on medium speed with its dough-hook attachment, begin to add the 4 cups of flour slowly to the proofed yeast mixture. (If mixing by hand, use a spoon to stir flour slowly into the yeast mixture.) Once the 4 cups of four have been mixed in, add a bit more from the reserved ½ cup of flour -- the dough should be stiff.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Slowly continue to add from the reserved ½ cup of flour as necessary to keep it from sticking to the work surface (it's not necessary to use all of the reserved flour). Knead with floured hands until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 6 minutes).
- Form the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning once to coat the entire ball. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and leave the dough to rise for 90 minutes (it should nearly double in size).
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Gently punch the dough down to deflate it a bit, cut it in half, and shape it into two baguettes. Dust the tops of each baguette lightly with flour and place on a parchment-paper-lined (or lightly greased) baking sheet. Let rise for another 30 minutes, uncovered.
- With a sharp or serrated knife, cut several small diagonal slits across the tops of each baguette. Mist each loaf with water (or sprinkle a few drops on top).
- Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool a bit and serve while warm.
Grandma gave it to Mom who gave it to me. Makes 4 pints of a lovely Heinz alternative.
Tip: Great for topping veggie burgers, adding to baked beans, cooking up homemade barbecue sauce, and making my (or your) favorite sweet chili con ‘carne’ recipe.
Grandma's Homemade Ketchup
- 2 quarts tomato juice
- 1 cup distilled white vinegar
- 2 cups vegan granulated sugar (such as Florida Crystals)
- ¼ cup sea salt
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- ½ large green bell pepper, diced
- 6 tablespoons cornstarch
- Also needed: cheesecloth, cooking twine, and 4 1-pint canning jars/lids
- Lay out a piece of cheesecloth and place chopped bell pepper and chopped onion into the center. Gather up the edges and use cooking twine to tie it up into a sachet.
- Place all the ingredients except for the cornstarch into a pot along with the sachet of peppers and onions. Stir to combine, bring to a boil, then lower to a medium heat and cook for 30 minutes, uncovered. Stir occasionally.
- While sauce is cooking, in another bowl, mix the cornstarch with a little water to make a thin paste.
- When sauce is finished (at 30 minutes), remove from stove. Remove the sachet of peppers and onions (discard, or eat them if you're so inclined), and slowly add cornstarch mixture, stirring sauce constantly while adding (stirring nonstop is critical or cornstarch will form lumps).
- Return sauce to stove and boil until mixture thickens, about 2-5 minutes (stirring several times). Note: sauce will thicken slightly more as it cools.
- Pour finished ketchup into 4 1-pint Ball canning jars and seal with canning lids.
Pair with garlic rice, Southern cornbread, or tortilla chips for the perfect sweet + savory combination.
Tip: Try my easy cornbread recipe — it’s, um, easy. Plus, golden, fluffy, and perfect with chili.
Sweet and Simple Chili Con 'Carne'
- 1 tablespoon Earth Balance (or other vegan butter)
- 1½ cups chopped yellow onion
- 1 cup peeled and chopped carrot
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1½ teaspoons of sea salt
- ½ teaspoon dry mustard
- 2-4 tablespoons of chili powder (depending on heat preference -- add even more if desired)
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- ¾ cup homemade ketchup (get my recipe here, or use your favorite store-bought artisanal ketchup (Heinz or grocery-store brands could be overpowering)
- 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce (such as Annie's Naturals)
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon vegan brown sugar
- 1 quart tomato juice
- 2 15.5-ounce cans of dark red kidney beans, rinsed
- 12 ounces of vegan 'beef' crumbles (such Beyond Meat, Gardein, or Smart Ground), browned in a skillet
- Scallions, cilantro, diced jalapenos, chopped avocado, non-dairy sour cream, non-dairy cheese... (you get the idea)
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the Earth Balance until melted. Add the the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic to the skillet and sauté for 5 minutes. Don't allow garlic to burn.
- Add the vegetable broth, lemon juice, salt, dry mustard, chili powder (I recommend starting with 2 tablespoons and adding more to taste as chili cooks), vinegar, catsup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and tomato juice to the skillet. Combine everything with a wooden spoon. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add kidney beans and browned vegan beef crumbles. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Taste chili, and add more heat, salt, or sweet if desired.
- Top with whatever you love, and serve with rice, Southern cornbread, or tortilla chips.