Sea Salt Nutella Granola (GF, Vegan)

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‘There is beauty in simplicity’

I like to make my own granola for health reasons but also for taste. I love sweet salt umami for example, so adding salt accentuates that element. Mr. B loves all things chocolate and hazelnut (Nutella), so I use hazelnuts as the nut in this mix. You can change these elements based on your own taste and you will have something just for you and your loved ones.

I honestly never thought I would be someone who made my own granola. It was something that people used to joke about, calling the more naturalistic in a crowd, ‘crunchy granola’. Looks like my inner hippy is coming out these days, making bread, granola, yogurt and pasta by hand using old fashioned granny methods and ingredients from the farmers market. I personally think maybe they had it right all along. A simple life, old fashioned values and plenty of love and respect for the ingredients and environment around you.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups of gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp. coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup raw cacao
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • ½ cup vegan chocolate chips

Method

  • Mix all the ingredients apart from the chocolate chips
  • Bake at 350F for 12-15 minutes, mixing half way through
  • Take out of the oven and let cool
  • Add chocolate chips and store in a glass jar….Or put  a ribbon on and give to a friend
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Balala (Vegan, DF, GF, May contain Nuts)

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These are boiled nuts…But look closer….and a little closer still and you’ll find a hidden treasure trove of travel and childhood memories

These boiled nuts are a snack that my grandma used to make in Africa, the recipe and tradition of which she brought to the UK (some say the nuts too). I have only ever heard this dish being called Balala, which after some research (thanks google) I derided must come from a child’s interpretation of Bambara, which is what these nuts are called

This dish is originally from West Africa and so has made it’s way all over the world through the immigrant families of colonized nations who made there way through Africa to other far flung destinations and of course the recipe also travelled with the slave trade and so can still be found in may homes and restaurants in the southern united states

The process of soaking and boiling takes a while, but the result is a childhood memory and of a loved one no longer with us

So I’ll take this opportunity to say once more, thank you Bigmama for your love, caring, your warm embrace may no longer be available to hold us close but your recipes show us your journey, your strength and your eternal love. Happy 95th Birthday

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 2 pounds raw peanuts in the shell

Method

  • Dissolve 1/2 cup salt in 2 gallons water in a 3-gallon stockpot; add peanuts. (Weigh down peanuts, if desired, with a large plate or lid to ensure they’re fully submerged.) Soak 8 hours or overnight
  • Drain water; refill pot with 2 gallons water and remaining 1 cup salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 5 to 8 hours or until peanuts are tender, adding water as needed to keep peanuts covered; stir occasionally. (South Carolina-style peanuts are very soft, but some cooks prefer them al dente.) When the peanuts have boiled 3 hours, check for texture and saltiness. If the peanuts are not salty enough, add salt in 1/4-cup increments, turn off heat, and let soak 1 hour. Check peanuts for seasoning every hour.
  • Remove from heat, and cool 1 hour.
  • Drain and eat immediately or store (in the shell) in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer. Boiled peanuts will keep 7 days in the refrigerator, several months in the freezer.

Sweet and Sour Mixed Nuts (Vegan, DF, GF)

This recipe is from season by Nik Sharma, ‘I am an immigrant and I tell my story through food’.

This is a beautiful cookbook and a tail of a life and culinary journey through India and America. It is a book that tells the tale of the inherent tension between originality and origin. It is the familiar story of how food becomes a tool of acclimatization and acceptance and how on that journey it is a friend and teacher in times of discomfort and in finding yourself once again.

I love this cookbook not only for its beautiful pictures and recipes, but for the familiar story it tells, of getting to know yourself through food. For immigrants, food can represent heritage, home and your life journey. When you doing know where you are or who you are, your nostalgic dishes will give you back your pathway and identity. From the porridge you ate as a child with your grandma, or the celebratory dish that was always placed center stage at birthdays, food can take you back in time and give you comfort as you make your journey far away from the place you once started.

This recipe is a tantalizing combination of sweet, sour, salty and spicy. Make it to snack on or to serve to guests.

Nuts are a rich source of protein, omega-3 fatty acid and dietary fiber.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. unsalted vegan butter, melted
  • 2 tbsp. pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tsp. coconut sugar
  • ½ tsp. pomegranate powder
  • ½ tsp. sumac
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • ½ cup raw shelled pistachios
  • ½ cup halved walnuts

Method

  • Preheat the oven to c. 300f
  • Line a baking tray with parchment paper
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the melted butter, pomegranate molasses, sugar, pomegranate powder, sumac, cayenne and salt to form a smooth paste
  • Fold in the nuts and stir to make sure there is an even coat
  • Transfer to the baking sheet and spread out
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes or until lightly brown
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool before serving
  • If not using immediately, cool and keep in an airtight glass jar

Cardamom Ice-cream (Vegan, DF, GF)

Cardamom Ice-cream (Vegan, DF, GF)

Cinnamon Icecream

I love the simplicity and pureness of this recipe, filled with amazing ingredients straight from Mother Nature’s door!

I adapted this recipe from my plant lab raw desserts classic, bringing a little Indian Flair with the cardamom. If you don’t like cardamom, cinnamon works well or vanilla if you’d prefer a less dominant flavour profile

Did you know Cardamom has impressive medicinal properties and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. It has antioxidant and diuretic properties, which are said to stop the growth of tumours, lower blood pressure, prevent inflammation and act as an antibacterial.  Cinnamon has similar such properties, so you are good either way. Mr B doesn’t like Cardamom, so I tend to use cinnamon for him or during the holidays a little pumpkin spice (a US classic. I can not account for the medicinal properties I am afraid, just the smile invoked by the scent of the holidays)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup soaked cashews
  • ½ cup. Young coconut meat or coconut cream
  • ¼ cup coconut water
  • 1 tbsp. crushed cardamom seeds or cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup agave
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • Pinch of salt

Method

  • Blend all the ingredients together until smooth, except the coconut oil
  • Stream coconut oil in last
  • Process in an ice cream maker, or if you don’t have one (like me), place in a tub and freeze