Posts tagged ‘pumpkin 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

Carrot and apple breakfast cookies

IMG_3373Here is my attempt at a healthy(ish) breakfast cookie. As much as I love a sit down breakfast, it’s just not possible some days. I usually gravitate toward muffins for a grab-and-go breakfast, but lately they have felt too heavy, too crumbly, and sadly, sometimes even two minutes of warming in the toaster oven is not realistic/desirable mixed in with all the morning things that need doing. There is also something about coffee and cookies that I can’t get enough of – a small indulgence to start the day.

These batter for these cookies will look a little gooey – the carrots and apple provide a lot of moisture. The result, though, is a lovely texture: a cross between a gingerbread cake and an oatmeal raisin cookie, which is exactly what I was hoping for when I started experimenting.

Try them on the run with a piece of fruit, or pack them for a mid-day treat. Or make them on a Saturday, like I did, and enjoy eating cookies for breakfast.


Carrot and apple breakfast cookies
Makes 24 cookies

1/2 cup butter or coconut oil, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup spelt or whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup ground flax
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
1 apple, finely chopped (I left the peel on for texture and colour)
1 carrot, grated

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, cream together the butter/coconut oil, brown sugar, molasses, egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, whisk flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together and stir into the butter/sugar mixture. Stir in the remaining ingredients.

The cookies should be two inches apart on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat or parchment paper. Bake them for 12 to 14 minutes, taking them out when the edges are “done looking” edges but still a little undercooked-looking on top. It’s a little tricky to tell because of the dark molasses colour – if they smell great and look almost done take them out (always better to undercook rather than overcook). Let them sit on the hot baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool.


February 6, 2016 at 11:40 am Leave a comment

Salmon soba salad

 I love how easy it is to eat salad this time of year. All the greens and veggies are so tasty, and so easy to grow in your own garden or to find at farmer’s markets. And patios and warm weather are made for healthy food like salads and fish…no need for warm soups or pastas baked with a blanket of cheese right now.

I made this salad with some leftover cedar plank salmon that we cooked on the BBQ. Cedar plank cooking was popular a few years ago and I feel like it dropped off the radar too quickly. It’s still trendy at our house…so delicious and so easy.

In baby-land, we have just started on solid foods. We are trying the baby-led weaning approach to food, which basically means that little ones get to eat what the grown-ups are having without too much interference (no pureeing, etc). It is still mostly mucking about instead of real eating, but it is a lot of fun watching him try different tastes and textures. It’s hard to believe that there are three of us at the dinner table now – babies grow up so fast. Avocado, salmon and cucumber have been a big hit so far, so this salad is perfect for sharing.

Salmon soba super salad

Serves 2

2 salmon fillets, grilled or poached
6 cups spinach or mixed greens
1 avocado, sliced
1/2 large cucumber, diced or cut into long chunks for baby
1 carrot, grated
1 bundle of soba noodles
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablepoons fresh ginger, minced
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons water

Assemble salmon, greens and veggies in individual bowls or plates. Cook soba noodles in a pot of boiling water – be careful not to over cook as they only take a few more minutes. Drain the noodles and add to the salad.

To make the dressing, saute garlic and ginger in sesame oil on medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes and stir in remaining ingredients. Pour warm dressing over salad and sprinkle with pumpkin seeds. Healthy yum! Any extra dressing can be saved in a jar for another salad.

June 23, 2015 at 2:52 pm Leave a comment

Beets, squash, kale and chickpeas…together at last

There’s nothing like a week off work to spur on more blogging. I’ve been looking through a few photos I took in recent weeks and found this one of a veggie dish I made for a holiday dinner with friends. I started with an ingredient that everyone seems to love: roasted beets. I also had butternut squash, a fresh bunch of kale, chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and shallots, all things that have come to be staples in my kitchen one by one over the past few years, so that’s how this dish came to be.

Uplifting day-glo colours, healthy veggies, a bit of protein, and aside from the messiness of beets it’s a snap to make.


January 4, 2012 at 4:03 pm 1 comment

Peach and raspberry muffins

peach muffins2

Some mornings the usual breakfast foods like cereal and toast just don’t cut it. Some days call for a treat. I love making muffins or pastries for breakfast on weekend mornings. It’s a special thing to use your food imagination at the beginning of the day to match the flavours you’re craving.

Today, for me, a beautiful ripe peach sitting in the fruit basket on the kitchen counter plus reading a recipe for apricot muffins in my favourite breakfast time cookbook from Four Sisters Inns was inspiration enough. Here’s my adaptation on that recipe.

1 medium peach, chopped
1 cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup flax seeds
1 cup flour (or gluten free flour mix)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg (recipes always call for tiny amounts of spices like nutmeg. I always add in way more than they suggest)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (add more if the batter is too thick)

Mix peaches, raspberries and lemon juice together in a small bowl. In a large bowl, combine butter, sugar and egg, beating well. Add in fruit mixture along with pumpkin and flax seeds. Combine dry ingredients and add, alternating with yogurt. Don’t stir too much. If the batter is too thick, add an extra spoon or two of yogurt. Fill muffin tins and bake for about 20 minutes at 350F.

July 11, 2009 at 9:34 pm Leave a comment

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