Grain-free Granola

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 So, granola – I love granola, but haven’t eaten it in so, so long! Too many carbs, too much sugar….But, I needed some new breakfast options.  You see, I’m eating plant-based.  Why, you ask?  Well, I’m trying to avoid a statin prescription, trying to lose more weight, and trying to reverse my type-II diabetes.  The hardest part?  Giving up the cream in my coffee, but I’ve done it.  No dairy for the past 15 days – I began tapering myself off in December.
a8c2c-granola005The transition has been smooth, for the most part, with breakfast being my Achilles heel.  No eggs, no cheese, and remember, no gluten.  Oh, and I watch my carb intake.  Yes, I’m attempting to do this while keeping my carbs low.  Not ketogenically low, but lower than the average American eater.  After searching for some alternatives, I saw many grain-free granola recipes.  I thought, why not?
4913e-granola017Here’s the great thing about the recipe, if you’re not eating low-carb, just substitute real honey for my sugar-free honey, oatmeal for the TVP, and toss in some dried fruit.  As much as I wanted to add dried fruit, I didn’t have any no-sugar added blueberries or cranberries.

The husband likes the granola, but would prefer it in bar form.  I love it!  I’ve been a happy plant-eater every morning, eating a bowl of granola and unsweetened almond milk for breakfast.

Grain-free Granola, my way
2 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup TVP, optional (do not rehydrate)
1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup Swerve or Xylitol *
1/4 cup sugar-free honey or 1/4 cup sugar-free English Toffee syrup
1-2 teaspoons ground cinnamon (I used 2)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon maple extract
1 tablespoon chia seeds mixed with 3 tablespoons water
1/2 – 1 teaspoon salt or to taste

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper; set aside.
Combine the chia seeds and water in a small bowl; stir and set aside for 10-15 minutes.
Combine melted coconut oil with the honey or sugar-free syrup, cinnamon, vanilla extract, maple extract, chia gel, and salt – stir well.
Add remaining ingredients, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
Once the ingredients are all well-moistened, spread onto prepared pan.
Place in oven or 30 minutes, remove, toss with a spatula, and return to oven, tossing every 15 minutes until desired color is achieved.  This took about an hour for me.
Allow to cool before storing in a sealed container.
Keeps for a week in the pantry, longer if kept in the refrigerator.

*Dog owners be aware!

***If you’re adding dried fruit, do so after you remove the granola from the oven.

 

Roasted Cauliflower

To me, most things taste good with a bit of caramelization, and they taste even better with a lot of caramelization – hash browns, burgers, steak, chicken, and in this instance, vegetables, specifically, cauliflower.  When you take a bite, it’s crunchy, it’s tender, it’s sweet, and it’s savory – a perfect mix of flavors and textures.  Roasting vegetables is one of the easiest and tastiest methods for making a delicious side dish. I roast broccoli, cabbage, green beans, and okra. For the cauliflower, I’ve started to add lemon juice to the mix; I love the extra punch of flavor.

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Roasted Cauliflower
1 medium-large head cauliflower
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Prepare a sheet pan with a piece of parchment.
Trim core from cauliflower and then cut cauliflower into florets.
In a bowl, combine cauliflower, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
Stir or shake well, all pieces should be well-coated with the oil.
Pour onto prepared sheet pan.
Roast for 35-40 minutes, flipping pieces over as they brown.
Remove from oven when cauliflower is well-browned and tender.
Serve immediately.
Enjoy!

Low Carb and Gluten-free Sandwich Buns

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Hello! I signed on for the 17-day Low-carb Mini Challenge, and I’m doing pretty good if I do say so myself ☺! Many of my recipes are low-carb, although all of my dessert eaters know that many of my recipes are not – anyway, I’ve been tweaking the low-carb recipes to make them more keto appropriate. So, these rolls are nothing short of miraculous, as the base is mozzarella cheese. Yep, cheese. Who knew? Anyway, I can’t take credit for the creation, as I found the recipe on Splendid Low-carbing. I went in a slightly different direction, adding proofed yeast for aroma, baking powder to get more lift for the buns, and 1 medium egg.  I tried just adding the yeast to the dry ingredients, but without proofing it, you get no yeasty aroma.  Since I had to proof the yeast, I needed to decrease the liquid in the original recipe, which is why I used a medium egg – choose the smallest in your carton.  

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The great thing about this dough is its versatility. I’ve made pizza, breadsticks, hot-pockets, and pigs in a blanket.

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So, what’s the texture, you ask? Very breadlike, more than any other recipe I’ve tried. Taste? Mild – no egginess, yeasty aroma – they are very rich. I tried freezing the leftovers, and they were ok, not horrible, but not as good as they were fresh from the oven. If you make them, plan to share or eat them within 24 hours. As written, each bun has 5 net carbs. Enjoy!

Quick & Easy Sandwich Buns
Makes 6
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1/2 teaspoon Truvia baking blend
3 tablespoons very warm water
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I shredded my own)
1 1/4 cups (140 grams) almond flour Wellbees or Honeyville
1 tablespoon coconut flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 medium egg, beaten

Combine yeast with Truvia baking blend in a cup, then add the 3 tablespoons very warm water, stir, and set aside for yeast to proof.
Combine the almond flour, coconut flour, and baking powder; set aside
Melt butter and set aside.
Place mozzarella cheese into a microwave-safe bowl, and melt in microwave (this took 90 seconds).
Remove melted cheese from microwave and immediately pour in melted butter.
Add flour mixture, then pour in proofed yeast and beaten egg.
Mix together quickly; I find a fork is best.
Let dough rest about 30-60 seconds, then remove dough from bowl, place onto parchment paper, and knead until smooth, maybe 15-30 seconds.
Divide into six pieces and shape into buns.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, loosely covering with a piece of foil to prevent over-browning.

Makes 6

5 net carbs per roll

Nutrition Stats:LCBunsStats

So this morning, I used the above recipe, rolled it very thin and made sausage rolls – so good!
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For 9 of them, I just used the link in the casing. As a test, I squeezed the filling and pressed into the dough and then rolled it up. No difference, really, totally up to you. I used Jimmy Dean Original Sausage Links.

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They did brown more than I would have liked, as I neglected my own advice and didn’t cover with foil.

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Makes 10, 3 net carbs each

Nutrition Stats:
SausageRollsStats