Posts tagged ‘flax seeds’

Toasted granola

IMG_3418 (1)Here is a recipe that has been adapted, and then adapted again. My thanks to my mother-in-law, who introduced us to this delicious granola and showed up often at our doorstep with a ziploc bag full of it (which is welcome always, but most especially when there is a new baby in the house).

I asked for the recipe around Christmas-time so I could make a batch as a gift for my parents, and it has been gratefully received. I’ve amended it a little: even though the original is perfect, I cannot help tinkering! I love coconut, so I’ve added that, and omitted chopped almonds in favour of more hazelnuts, which are my favourite (and also available locally). I’ve also employed my trick of tripling the spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger) and cutting half the sugar, which adds enough flavour that you don’t miss the sugar (too much).


My husband has quickly become addicted to it, and I think I have made three or four double-batches already this year. He makes me a latte every morning and has done so for many years, so with my granola-making I finally feel like we are on equal footing at breakfast time. Plus, I am enjoying it, too – a perfect snack or breakfast sprinkled over yogurt and fruit.

The recipe originated from the River Cafe – a beautiful oasis of a restaurant in Calgary. It was a favourite (though occasional – pricey!) place for us to eat dinner, and I have fond memories of taking a very old and good bottle of wine there on free corkage night one time and thinking that there could not be a better place to open something special.  I’ve never eaten brunch there, nor have I visited it since it was rebuilt after the floods in Alberta a couple of years ago, but I can imagine that toasted granola would pair wonderfully with the amazing atmosphere I’m sure still exists there.

Toasted granola
Makes approximately 6 cups

4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 cup coconut
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
1/2 cup maple syrup

Combine all the dry ingredients in a big bowl and mix well. Add the oil and maple syrup and mix well again. Spread on a tray and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes until golden brown, stirring once or twice while baking. Allow to cool completely, and then store in an airtight container (big mason jars, tupperware, etc) at room temperature.



February 11, 2016 at 12:35 pm Leave a comment

Pumpkin scones

pumpkin scones 5

This is an adaptation on a the cranberry and lavender scone recipe I posted a few weeks ago. I’ve made these scones with regular flour rather than gluten-free since pumpkin is not a popular flavour with anyone except me in our house. Substitute all-purpose gluten-free flour for a GF version.

pumpkin scone 2

The cream cheese frosting was an after-thought, but I had some in the freezer leftover from another recipe. A rich, sweet indulgence, but we all deserve a treat once in a while on weekend mornings.

Pumpkin scones
Makes 8 scones

1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/4 cup flax seeds
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ginger
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plain yogurt
1 cup canned pumpkin (or freshly cooked pumpkin if you have it)
1 egg
1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
1 tablespoon demerara sugar (coarse sugar) for sprinkling on top
1 tablespoon of flax seeds for sprinkling over finished scones
Zest of 1 orange for sprinkling over finished scones

Cream cheese frosting
1 cup cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
1 teaspoon milk

Combine flours, flax, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices in a medium-sized bowl. In another bowl, whisk together pumpkin, yogurt and egg and then pour into flour mixture. Gently fold until the ingredients are just combined. Tip the dough into a greased glass pie plate, score the dough with a knife into eight pieces and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in a 375F oven for 20-30 minutes or until scones are baked through (be careful not to overbake).

Mix together frosting ingredients in a mixmaster or with a spoon until smooth and drizzle over top of the scones once they’re cut and removed from the pan. Sprinkle with flax seeds and orange zest and serve with orange slices.

The frosting freezes and refreezes well, so pour the remainder into a jar put it away for the next time you need it.

pumpkin scones 4

April 7, 2013 at 11:18 am 1 comment

Cranberry scones with lavender sugar

cranberry flax scones2

I love lazy weekend mornings. Walk the dog, bring the newspaper in from the step, start baking, and then fritter away the rest of the morning reading, sipping coffee, and nibbling.

I’m a big believer in the proverb “necessity is the mother of invention,” especially when it comes to cooking. This recipe came about in the standard way, which is peering into the fridge / pantry / freezer for any usable ingredients. This weekend I found frozen cranberries, flax, and yogurt, and some dried lavender I brought home from France and have been meaning to use more often in baking. It turned out to be an amazing combination, and the scent of lavender added an extra element of relaxation to my blissed-out weekend routine.


Cranberry scones with lavender sugar
Makes 8 scones

1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flaxseeds
1/4 cup flaxseed meal (ground flax)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries
3/4 cup plain yogurt

Lavender sugar topping (optional, but if you have lavender it’s delicious):
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried lavender
1 teaspoon demerara sugar (large crystal sugar – adds a nice crunch)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the scones, combine flours, baking soda, sugar, flax, and nutmeg. Drizzle oil over top of flour mixture and stir to combine. Add cranberries and yogurt and stir until just mixed together (the scones will be tough if you overmix the dough, so be very gentle – it’s better to undermix and have a bit of loose flour at the end). Shape the dough into a loose ball and place in a greased glass pie plate. Press the dough down gently so it fills the pie plate evenly. Use a knife to score the dough into 8 slices before you put it in the oven: this helps the scones cook evenly and makes them easier to serve when they’re done.

Lavender sugar: If you have a mortar and pestle, use it to crush the lavender and regular sugar together (otherwise just combine them) and sprinkle over the scones. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle the demerara sugar on top.

Bake scones in a 375F oven for 30 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown on top (be careful not to overbake). Serve with fruit, yogurt, and coffee for a beautiful breakfast.

Variation: I often use a similar version of this recipe to make cheese scones. Swap out the cranberries for cheddar cheese, decrease the sugar to 1 tablespoon, omit the nutmeg, and add 1 teaspoon of a savory herb like thyme or sage.

scones and yogurt

cranberry flax scones3

March 11, 2013 at 12:12 am 1 comment

Modern day porridge

When we moved to Vancouver, I dragged along a variety of products from Highwood Crossing in Alberta. They make awesome organic flours, canola oil and breakfast foods that I doubt are available here. I’ve written before about how much I love their granola and I’m also a big fan of their steel cut oats.

I always admired my grandfather’s unbreakable routine of beginning each day with a steaming bowl of porridge topped with brown sugar and milk. Is there anything more comforting than that? This is my modern-day version – steel cut oats topped with fresh fruit, soy milk, maple syrup, sunflower seeds and ground flax.

Steel cut oats
1 cup of steel cut oats
3 cups water
pinch of salt

Add oats to boiling salted water. Cook for 15-20 minutes over medium heat, stirring often. Add toppings of your choice and enjoy for breakfast, lunch or whenever the mood strikes.

January 22, 2011 at 5:19 pm Leave a comment

Blueberry coffee cake

Our big move has temporarily stalled most kitchen activities, but I did find some time last weekend for baking. Eating local means storing lots of summer produce in the freezer and I had an almost full bag of BC blueberries to use up. I’ve been meaning to make the blueberry coffee cake recipe from the Four Sisters Inns Cookbook for ages and the surplus blueberries created a perfect reason. (more…)

April 4, 2010 at 2:38 pm 3 comments

One perfect breakfast

Beautiful Sylvan Star gouda, one of my very favourite cheeses, is pictured here as part of what I consider to be a perfect breakfast. A piece of fruit, a wedge of cheese, and a healthy muffin, toast, or a homemade granola bar filled with fruits, nuts and whole grains. There are other perfect breakfasts (here and here and here), but this is a good one and a quick one for when you’re running out the door to work or don’t want to waste a minute getting to the projects or relaxation you’ve been longing for all week.

January 22, 2010 at 12:04 pm 1 comment

Banana muffins

Banana muffins were one of the first recipes I mastered in the kitchen when I was learning how to cook in my teens. The recipe came from a Canadian cookbook called Muffin Mania. I still own it; the pages proudly wear all the slops and spills of a well-used cookbook. My family loved seeing a batch of warm banana chocolate chip muffins emerging from the oven on the weekend, and I loved the fact that they loved what I was making. That feeling of mutual enjoyment between cook and eater was born with this recipe and is at the heart of why I find cooking such a joy, a true source of peace and comfort. (more…)

January 9, 2010 at 8:13 pm Leave a comment

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