Crunchy Maple Granola + Baby Update

Maple Granola

Hello there! Hope you all had an awesome holiday season. I wish I could say ours was rockin’, but it seems like we’ve been battling one sickness after another.

I was going to make Nutella Stuffed Cookies for ya’ll, but after the indulgence pigging out from the holidays, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

Maple Granola

So I went a little healthier route and made granola instead.

{1/52} Granola

For Christmas I received the lovely Smitten Kitchen Cookbook, from which I got this granola. I think I’m going to really enjoy cooking my way through that book.

This granola is bonkers good. The flavors are simply wonderful and it bakes up nice and crunchy. Plus, it super-customizable — always a good thing in my book. You can change up the type of nuts or fruit for a totally different result.

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And now for a bit of a baby/pregnancy update. I’m at 34.5 weeks (the above photo was taken at 33 weeks), or 5.5 weeks from my due date! It kinda scares and excites me to think that we’ll be responsible for the life of a tiny, helpless baby in a little over a month.

For now I’m doing my best to eat right to keep this life inside of me healthy. Onward to this new adventure!

You can read more about my pregnancy on my personal blog.

Maple Granola

Recipe Notes:

  • I think the use of egg white to help bind the granola is brilliant. It didn’t make the granola as “clumpy” as the recipe suggested it would, but it was still quite crunchy.
  • The fruit made the granola get a tad softer. Next time I might leave it out altogether. After all I’m not a huge fan of fruit in my granola.
  • Coarse sea salt makes this granola really lovely. Every once in a while you get a bite with a little salt crystal. Delightful!
  • The original recipe called for olive oil, but I used butter since olive oil can break down with baking. You could also use coconut oil if you prefer.

Crunchy Maple Granola | adapted from the Smitten Kitchen Cookbook | makes about 7 cups | PRINTABLE PAGE

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup pecans or nuts of choice
  • 1/4 flax seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 1/2 cups dried fruit of choice (I used figs and apricots), optional

Directions:

1) Preheat your oven to 300° F (150° C). Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

2) In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, nuts, flax seeds, cinnamon and salt. In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Mix in the maple syrup.

3) Pour the butter/maple syrup mixture over the dry ingredients and toss to coat well. In a small bowl, whisk the egg white until frothy. Add to the dry ingredients and toss.

4) Spread the granola out onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, until the granola is nicely toasted, golden, and feels dry, rotating the pan halfway through baking.

5) Remove from oven and let cool completely in the pan on a cooling rack. When completely cool, break up the granola and stir in the fruit. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. You can also store in the refrigerator of freezer for longer periods of time.

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Mango & Coconut Chicken

……As I glanced through Simply Summer by Angela Tunner, this recipe caught my eye. You see, I’m a sucker for anything involving coconut. Not only does it taste so wonderfully exotic, it is also very healthy. Granted, the sweetened shredded coconut used in this recipe is not the most healthy variety of coconut products, but it still tastes delicious.

……This recipe is perfect for that scorching summer day when you don’t feel like adding any extra heat to the house. You could cook the chicken the night before, or on some day that’s pleasantly cool. It is very filling, so you can serve it as your main dish. Or spread it on a piece of you favorite bread to create a very different chicken salad sandwich.

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Mango & Coconut Chicken

From Simply Summer

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups torn or shredded cooked chicken (about 3 medium chicken breasts)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons Major Grey mango chutney*
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (I used sour cream)
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • Pepper, black, to taste

Directions:

1) Place the chicken pieces in a medium bowl. Add the shredded coconut, lemon juice, mustard, chutney, and yogurt and toss until well combined. Add the parsley and toss to combine.

2) Stir in the salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed.

Serves 4

*Angela’s Tip: Major Grey is no a brand of chutney, it is a style of chutney. Look for it under various brand names in your supermarket in the condiments or ethnic section


Thai Coconut Rice

This recipe is for that special occasion when only white rice will do. Like when your sister makes the best chicken curry you’ve ever tasted.

The original recipe declared that it would serve 4. It served all seven of us with leftovers. But then, we’re not much of rice or pasta eaters. We go heavy on the sauce. However, this rice is so good it can be eaten all by itself. Which my sister and I did. 😀

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:: Thai Coconut Rice ::

Ingredients:

2 cups medium-grain rice

2 cups regular coconut milk

1 3/4 cups water

1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1 tablespoon coconut oil

2 teaspoons maple syrup, sucanat, brown sugar, or sweetener of choice

1/2 teaspoon coconut flavoring, optional

1-2 tablespoons toasted coconut, optional

Directions:

1) In a large, deep-sided pot, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes.

2) Add the coconut milk, water, salt, sweetener, and flavoring if using. Stir well. Bring the rice to a boil, stirring occasionally to prevent the rice from burning.

3) When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low. Place the lid askew on the pot, allowing some of the steam to escape. Cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the rice has absorbed all (or nearly all) of the coconut-water.

4) Turn off the heat. Cover the pot tightly with the lid and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, or until you are ready to serve. When you are ready to serve, fluff the rice with a fork or chopsticks. Top with roasted coconut if desired.

Serves 4-6


P.S. Recipes from the Party coming up next!