November 17, 2011
I love granola. It’s great stuff.
What I don’t love is the fact that many tend to think of it as a “healthy” food, without taking into account what is often a very high fat content. In addition to the nuts, you’ll likely find copious amounts of oils and syrups, weighing in many granolas at twice the amount of fat as protein. And this isn’t just the case with large, well-known store-bought brands: even many of the granolas I see being made locally and sold at farmer’s markets have oil & honey as the second & third ingredients.
And yet, despite the fact that everywhere, every granola package whose ingredient list I perused seemed to follow this same formula… something inside me whispered, it doesn’t have to be this way. So finally, after what was probably years of rolling this secret conviction around in the back of my brain, I decided to tackle it head-on. The solution, it turns out, is quite easy. In short: simply replace the bulk of the oils and syrups with pureed fruit.
Or in this case, roasted pumpkin and brown sugar.
It’s brilliant, right?
My first step in the tackling involved (what else?) consulting the internet. Step 2 involved literally smacking myself in the forehead for not consulting the internet sooner… because there I quickly found a recipe that called for using apples and dates (pureed with just a small amounts of oil and honey) to hold the granola together. Fresh and dried fruit! Why hadn’t I thought of that?
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October 16, 2011
I should warn you that I briefly considered titling this an Apple Puree, just because calling this delicious mess “applesauce” felt… well, not quite right, somehow. I mean, that’s what it is — no question about it — but it tastes nothing like the jarred, store-bought apple sauce I was used to eating growing up… or even like some of the home-made applesauces I’ve had at various Thanksgivings and Passovers. Not like any applesauce I have ever had, actually.
But calling it a “puree”, while not inaccurate, seemed both too precious and too exacting: one might wonder what one is to do with an “apple puree” (should I bake with it? mix it with something? schmear it on a plate of fancily-prepared pork and miniature onions?), whereas one does not have to wonder what to do with applesauce.
So let me just re-emphasize: this rosy-hued, tart-sweet taste-explosion below is *not* the jarred applesauce so many of us grew up knowing and (not really) loving.
Speaking of, I’m a little in love right now, actually. I might even be blushing a bit. Can you tell?
[Resist urge to make a pun on blushing and cheeks and apples. Fail.]
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August 21, 2011
And yes, I realize it’s been over a month since my last post… but what can I say? I’ve been frolicking. And traveling. And writing and reading and getting my hands dirty.
Unemployment, contrary to popular opinion, has been conducive to a whole lot of cavorting.
First I spent a few days on a farm where I befriended a few sheep, harvested my first (and second, and hundredth) beet, and did yoga outside next to a pen of squabbly turkeys. Then I went for a run along the Golden Gate Bridge and foraged for wild blackberries (and fennel, and Grecian strawberries, and Ponderosa lemons) in San Francisco. THEN I went to Nashville where I got to go honkey tonkin’, get harassed by a rather forward little Jersey cow, and eat my way through a bucket of crabs and a plate of fried green tomatoes (thankfully not all in one sitting). Finally I returned home to pillage a prolific plum tree on a quiet block of Park Slope, jump in the ocean… and spend hours reading about the nutritive value of organically- vs conventionally-grown tomatoes, sustainable farming methods, and farm-to-table/plate/school initiatives. Yep.
In between all of that, I also managed to make this salad:
Now *that’s* farm to table, baby.
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September 13, 2010
You have been so sweet. Let me sit back and take a moment to remember you — the salt-crusted skin and the smell of brine; the sound of cicadas and crashing waves; the intense sweetness of a plum after an accidental mouthful of seawater; the feel of falling asleep tucked into a hammock, impossibly both grounded and weightless, floating; the stretch of long days, melting hot and sticky-sweet, and the cool relief of evening — before I say goodbye….
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August 2, 2010
This weekend I spent another lovely afternoon in New Haven, with my brother, not eating eggs.
If you’re wondering why I announced what we were not eating (ie, eggs) instead of what we did (those nifty cucumber and white bean salads up there), it’s because we were supposed to be having eggs: backyard-fresh, straight-from-the-hen eggs. Because my brother has been chickensitting for his neighbors, and was sure he would have accumulated such a massive collection of eggs that last week he commissioned me to start thinking about new and interesting ways to use them all.
Truth be told, the real reason I went to New Haven was not to visit my brother, but to visit the chickens.
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June 20, 2010
I am eating banana ice cream for breakfast.
Ice cream for breakfast?? you may be thinking. How could you?!
You’re right. I couldn’t. I have rules about that sort of thing. I lied.
It’s not actually “ice cream”, as there’s no cream involved… but don’t let that fool you. It looks like ice cream, tastes like ice cream, has the creamy consistency of ice cream, and manages to taste wonderfully indulgent while also being far healthier than ice cream. This, in my book, is something far more valuable than ice cream — something to be coveted and raved about and devoured.
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