Homemade Granola

My brother wanted granola this week,  so I looked inside our shelves and put this medley together.  Why are toasted  oats way more delicious than cooked oats?

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Here’s what we had in stock:
-Oats
-Raw Sunflower seeds
-Sesame seeds, untoasted
-Cashews, raw
-Maple syrup
-Molasses
-Unsweetened shredded coconut

Toss ingredients to taste; bake for 15-20 @ 350 degrees.

I really wanted to add some dried fruits, but he didn’t.

Instead we made cinnamon sugar almonds (almonds tossed in cinnamon, sugar and egg whites) and tossed it in after the granola had cooled down.

What a simple and delicious way to make homemade cereal. He was satisfied all week long! Cinnamon sugar can do that to a person.

Falafel Bites

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I wanted a change from my weekly hummus ingestion, so l decided to make falafel bites. Hey, sometimes a texture change is all you need to bring some variety to veg cooking.

One ravenous night I had stopped at Whole Foods and picked up a container of delicious fried chickpea bites w/ a hummus dip. It was more than enough to satiate my appetite that night.  What’s more, anytime I stop by WF, I can hardly stop myself from purchasing it.

The initial crunch gives way to a hearty mouthful of garlicky chickpeas. Though I love the humble chickpea dearly, falafels have always disappointed me with their dryness and lack of aromatic flavors (at least the ones that I’ve tried).

These were different for two reasons: the dip and their itty bitty size. While the bites were still dry when eaten alone; pairing it with a tangy dip initiates an amazing gastronomic experience.

I loved it so much that I just had to try to recreate it.  I’m sure you can get creative with dip choices: yogurt and dill; tahini and lemon; cilantro, parsley, basil pesto; etc. I paired mine with a bit of hummus and some chimi churri: just delsih!

Homemade Falafel Bites

Ingredients
2 cups dried chickpeas, soaked overnight with 1oz. of apple cider vinegar

4-5 cloves of garlic

1/2 large red onion

2tbsp tahini

1/2tbsp olive oil

1tbsp chia egg (mix w/ 4tbsp of warm water until it becomes viscous)

Sprinkle of the following herbs and spices to taste: rosemary, thyme, oregano, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric, black pepper, red pepper flakes and salt.

1. Boil the chickpeas until soft; add a couple of crushed cloves of garlic and crushed ginger to help neutralize the enzymes that produce gas.
**This step takes me about 1.5hrs. A pressure cooker would decrease the time by half.

2. Drain all water and discard all the crushed pieces of ginger and garlic.

3. After the chickpeas have cooled; toss them into the food processor with the remaining cloves of garlic, olive oil, chia egg, tahini, onion and your herbal spice blend.

4. Process to a chunky consistency.

5. Shape into bite-size pieces. Bake @ 400F for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.  You can also fry them for a sumptuous snack.

6. Pair with your desired dip and enjoy!