recipes and tips for better living

Monday, February 28, 2011

Not For The Birds: Birdseed Granola

Recipe numbero tres since my return from sayulita mexico is another of chef hugo's specialties.  Fondly referred to as 'birdseed' by all the folks at the retreat, this stuff is definitely not for the birds.  If you've been reading this blog for a while you'll know i'm into making granola.  It's so easy and delicious, and makes for great gift giving (to see my holiday granola making extravaganza, click here).  This granola features popped amaranth as the all star which is such a great way to make a less oat-y, and gluten free granola.

If you've never popped amaranth before you're in for some fun.  I recommend using a small DRY (no oil) pot WITH A LID so you don't end up with little amaranth grains all over your kitchen like i did the first time.

Put the pot on high heat until it's hot.  ONE TBSP at a time (otherwise it will burn) drop the amaranth grain into a pot and put the lid on.  Shake it every few seconds and you'll hear the little buggers popping like popcorn.  You only need to do this for a few seconds until the bulk are popped, then dump them into a bowl and put another TBSP in the hot dry pot - lid it!  Do this procedure until all the amaranth are popped.  Some will not pop entirely and don't worry about that.  Just pop as many want to pop and shake vigorously so they don't stick and burn.  Each cycle of popping a tbsp only takes a few seconds - and keep shaking the pot the entire time.

You'll Need:

in the kitchen with chef hugo

1/4 - 1/2 cup of all the following seeds and nuts:
sesame seeds (his were honey coated)
sunflower seeds
pumpkin seeds
coconut shreds
1 cup of (gluten free) rolled oats
2 cups of popped amaranth (he said his are store bought, though I couldn't find any at the health stores)
Coconut Oil (melted, 1-2 tbsps)
Dark Honey or Agave (about the same amount as coconut oil, or more if you want it sweeter)

chef hugo making granola
Add all the dry ingredients to an oven safe pan.  Drizzle with melted coconut oil and honey.  You don't need too much coconut oil as the nuts give off oil as they cook.  Add enough of the coconut oil and the honey to coat lightly all the ingredients.  Bake at 450 degrees stirring every 5-10 minutes until golden.  If you are adding in raisins or any dried fruits, add these in AFTER it's baked.

Now...i will say he told us 450 degrees (F) or 200 C....i thought 450 seemed high, so feel free to turn your oven down a bit.  Maybe it's an altitude thing??? is that even possible???

chef hugo's 'birdseed' before baking

my 'birdseed' fresh out of the oven
While this is a yummy brekkie served with banana slices and rice milk, it can also make a great little snack, pictured at top and below.  Cut a soft medjool date in half, remove the pit, and press the inside into the granola.  It effortlessly shaped itself into a heart...though not all of them did that, so it may require a little bit of sticky play on your part if you want the heart shape.

This granola is sooo good.  Look at these amazing yogis!  Fueled on birdseed, yogi tea, and gourmet vegetarian foods.  Yoga never looked so good!


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