Monday, November 15, 2010

Post-Kid Kitchen: Hippie, Dippy, Trippy, Crunchy...


Here it is! The first installment of my (I hope) weekly round up of soy-free, gluten-free vegan goodness. And I'm totally pumped! Woo!

It's the "Post-Kid Kitchen" for two reasons: As you know (or maybe you don't), my food sensitivities showed up after my son was born. Perhaps because I spent my entire pregnancy eating whole wheat everything. Post-kid, I've had to learn a whole new way of cooking and eating, not only because I have a tiny vegan to feed, but also because a lot of things I used to love now make me sick.* Post-Kid Kitchen is also, of course, an homage to Post Punk Kitchen, a major source of vegan inspiration (veganspiration?) for me pre- as well as post-kid. Also, Rob's #1 celebrity crush happens to be a certain cookbook author...


We're starting with breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day, after all. But, for me, often a challenging one. I never know what to eat first thing in the morning. I've always liked the ease of cold cereal: bowl, cereal, milk, done! I'm not so keen on the extra packaging, not-so-healthful ingredients, and expense that come with buying ready-to-eat cereal. Plus, the taste of a lot of that boxed stuff? Meh. So I started making my own.

If you're looking to level up as a hippie, this is the recipe for you. It doesn't get much more granola than making your own granola. For one thing, since most of the time it takes to make granola is inactive - the granola is in the oven, getting crunchy and smelling delicious - you have time to watch a documentary about midwifery or practice yoga or work on whatever DIY project you've got going.

I use rolled oats to make my granola. I like them, and they seem to like me back. I realize that this is not the case for everyone who avoids gluten (and I promise future recipes will not be so oaty). You could always make your homemade cereal with quinoa flakes, but things would get real expensive real fast. The nice thing about oats - if they do jive with your gluten freedom - is that in addition to being highly nutritious, they're fairly inexpensive.

Sunflower Granola Crunch

6 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup oat bran
1/3 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup canola oil
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
12 fl oz water
1 1/2 cups raisins

Preheat oven to 300 F. Spray two rimmed baking sheets with oil.

In a large bowl, combine everything except the raisins. Stir to combine. When everything is well-mixed, spread the mixture evenly on baking sheets. Bake 1 hour, stirring half-way through.


Allow granola to cool on baking sheets before stirring in raisins. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 10 cups.

In theory, this recipe will last a good long time. In actuality, it'll get eaten up before you know what happened.


Recently, while experimenting with making a granola that was slightly lower in fat and didn't require as much sweetener, I remembered the existence of muesli. I quickly threw this recipe together using basically the same ingredients I use in granola. Rob still vastly prefers the cooked version, but I like the raw, health-foodiness of muesli.

Minute Muesli

5 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup oat bran
1 cup raisins
3/4 cup sunflower seeds

Combine everything and mix well. I do this in two glass canning jars, because I get a lot of satisfaction out of shaking everything to combine it.

Before shaking...

...and After!

Makes 7 generous cups.

Store muesli in an airtight container. Serve topped with almond milk, fresh fruit, and a drizzle of maple syrup. Enjoy!

*According to my doctor, I don't have celiac disease. But I have most of the symptoms of celiac disease, and when I do eat something wheaty or gluteny now, I'm not a pleasant person to be around. I don't want to be around me, even.