Chocolate-Orange Buckwheat Granola

Okay, really. Who doesn’t love that chocolate-orange combination? And when it’s combined with fragrant coconut oil, toasty coconut flakes, and nutty almonds, it makes for an easy homemade cereal big on flavor and crunch. This cereal/snack/dessert/anything uses buckwheat instead of oats as its base, adding the bonus of zero gluten cross-contamination possibilities and a boost of protein and fibre.

Chocolate-Orange Buckwheat Granola

2 cups flaked buckwheat, such as Bob’s Red Mill Creamy Buckwheat
1/2 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup large flaked coconut
1/3 cup agave nectar or maple syrup
1/4 cup nondairy milk, plus more as needed
1/4 cup  dark cocoa powder
3 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
1 teaspoon  orange zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon fine sea or Himalayan salt

Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the buckwheat flakes, almonds, raisins, and coconut in a large bowl. Mix well to combine.

Put the agave nectar, nondairy milk, cocoa powder, coconut oil, orange zest, vanilla extract, and salt in a small saucepan. Heat until the oil is melted, whisking to combine. Pour the mixture into the buckwheat mixture. Mix well until the buckwheat mixture is moistened and well combined, adding a dash or two of nondairy milk if needed.

Spread the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until it feels dry to the touch. It will be a little soft, but once it cools completely it will harden. Once cooled, store leftovers in the refrigerator or at room temperature in an airtight container.

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Savory Spinach, Caraway, and Kalamata Crackers (Biscotti-Style)

I was trying to come up with a savory cracker with a texture similar to biscotti… and then I realized I should just make a savory biscotti. These get their green hue from pureed cooked spinach, and are dotted with black olives and caraway seeds. You can nix the olives or add different herbs and spices and they’ll likely stand up to any sort of variation. One last note: they are pretty spinachy–this isn’t one of those “mask the greens flavor”-types of recipes, and the vibrancy is just an added bonus.

Savory Spinach, Caraway, Olive Biscotti Crackers

Savory Spinach, Caraway, and Kalamata Crackers

  • Servings: about 22 mini biscotti
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1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour, plus more for your hands
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/8 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cooked, pureed spinach
1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons kalamata olives, chopped
1 tablespoon caraway seeds

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the sorghum flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, xanthan gum, and salt in a bowl. Whisk to combine.

Put the spinach and olive oil in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl. Beat on medium speed until combined. Add the flour mixture. Beat until well mixed. Add the olives and caraway seeds, beating until combined.

Dust your hands with tapioca flour, and transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Use your hands to make a log, about 2 inches wide, 1 inch high, and 12 inches long. Bake for 25 minutes.

Carefully transfer the log to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Decrease the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1/2-inch thick slices, making about 22 in total. Put each piece, cut-side down, back onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until firm (but slightly soft) to the touch. Flip the pieces and bake for 5 to 10 minutes more, until nearly firm to the touch. Let cool completely on the pan.

The pieces should firm completely once they are cool, but if they aren’t crispy enough, biscotti is forgiving–just put them back in the oven and bake at 300 for 10 to 15 minutes.

Super Simple Refrigerator Dill Pickles

I’ve never made pickles before but was a little intimidated by canning, so I figured the fridge variety would start me off… and it definitely paid out. These are amazing and just what I was looking for: super crisp, dilly, tangy (but not too tangy), and garlic-free (low-fodmap). I analyzed a lot of recipes then settled on a combo based on the flavors I was looking for and the ingredients that were easily accessible. My only regret is that fresh cuke season is over!

The recipe might seem a little vague, but I’ll explain it based on exactly what I did, and most measurements are exact. I might get some terms incorrect here — I’m no canning expert — so please let me know and I’ll fix it.

Though the photo shows three jars and one small one, it actually made four large and one small one — the fourth one just went to my mom before I snapped the picture.

refrigerator-pickles

Super Simple Refrigerator Dill Pickles

  • Servings: 4 large jars plus 1 small jar
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For the jars:
1 (3L) basket size two cucumbers (this fit into 3 of the jars)
1 small pile of miscellany veggies (this fit into the final jar, and included peppers, green beans, a couple cukes, carrots, and radishes
~2 teaspoons per jar mustard seeds
Large handful fresh dill weed
Turmeric (see instructions)

For the brine:
3 cups water
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons coarse/pickling salt
1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar

Cut the ends off of the cucumbers, then stuff them into the jars. Trim the stems from the veggies and do the same. Add the mustard seeds and dill weed to the jar. For one of the cucumber jars, I sliced them in half. For the veggies, I nixed the mustard seeds and added about a teaspoon turmeric. I didn’t really notice any difference.

Put the water, cider vinegar, white vinegar, salt, and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from heat and pour into the jars, leaving 1-inch headspace.  Put on the lids and lightly screw the tops. Let cool completely, then refrigerate.

Notes:

  • As mentioned, I didn’t really notice much difference adding the turmeric. That jar is more vinegary, but the peppers and beans might just absorb more.
  • I read that you pretty much want to do a 1:1 ratio with vinegar and water. I was going to do all cider vinegar but the store only had small bottles, so I went with some white.
  • I added the sugar because I knew I wouldn’t eat them if they were TOO sour. The amount seemed perfect! My mom (who also got a jar) mentioned they could have had more salt, but I found them salty enough (and I really like salt… so maybe it was just her jar?)
  • love dill, and definitely could have added more!
  • I had a tiny jar and a couple pickles left, and love bread and butter pickles, so added more sugar (about a tablespoon) just into that jar. They are good — still quite sour — but I love the originals so much that I would just make them from here forward.