Muesli

Here, let me introduce you to muesli.

Or as its friends like to call it, lazy granola.

Ooh yeah, I saw those ears perk up.

Muesli | memo2munch

Because sometimes (all the time) you don’t want to wait around forever for granola to toast in the oven, but you also don’t want to spend your life savings + an arm on little bags of overpriced granola consisting of ingredients you can buy IN BULK from Kroger for the same amount or less TOTAL. I know.

Muesli | memo2munch

muesli3'5

Muesli is the exact same thing as granola, only it’s not toasted or just slightly toasted. If you decide not to toast it, you literally just have to throw things in a bowl and stir them around. Done.

It’s the most college thing ever, but it makes you look hipster-foodie as all get out.

And saves you a lotta money.

And gives you a lotta fiber, which helps lower bad cholesterol (byeeee, LDL) and keeps you full.

Muesli | memo2munch

“What did I do today? Oh, well I woke up early, biked to my favorite coffee shop–you know, that one next to that old record store I love–made a batch of muesli, saved a kitten, detangled my flower crown from my hair, and watched all of Wes Anderson’s films and it’s only 2pm.” <—- YOU

Muesli | memo2munch

Just like granola, muesli is super customizable. You can sub in all different kinds of nuts, seeds, and dried fruit, or add some cinnamon for a little extra kick. As long as you stick with the basic formula, your ratios will turn out right.

I like to eat my muesli with coconut milk and so much fruit that you can’t even see the muesli underneath. Aka like this:

Muesli | memo2munch

You could also eat your muesli sprinkled over yogurt or in parfait form, mixed with water and heated up to make oatmeal, or however you so desire. It will be delicious, I promise.

Experiment with some muesli this week!!

Muesli | memo2munch

Muesli
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Ingredients
  1. 4 cups rolled oats (certified GF if celiac)
  2. 1 cup nuts
  3. 1 cup seeds
  4. 1 cup dried fruit
  5. 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
Instructions
  1. If toasting muesli: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil. In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, and seeds. Stir in honey or maple syrup. Spread evenly on pan and toast for 10-15 minutes. Let cool completely before mixing in fruit. Store in an airtight container.
  2. If not toasting muesli: Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Store in an airtight container.
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins

Normally I’m a pretty patient person. I’m trying to think of specific examples right now, but none are coming to me, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

That wasn’t very patient of me, was it?

Oh! Like waiting for bread dough to rise. I will do that happily. Mostly because I can distract myself by reading other food blogs or watching Youtube videos to waste pass the time, (VlogBrothers, anyone?) or by doing homework, of course… heh. But also because I’m patient!

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

However, sometimes I have streaks of impatience. (Don’t we all?)

For example, when I get a craving for banana bread, I wanna make banana bread THAT DAY. The only thing is, for deeeeelish banana bread, you just have to use really ripe bananas, as in so-ripe-the-peels-are-almost-all-brown bananas, because the flavor comes out much deeper and richer.

Well, that means you have to wait for them to ripen. Which takes a day or two, even using the handy brown bag trick.

So that means I won’t get my banana bread for at least another 24 HOURZ. Or will I?

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

One of my favorite ladies, Lindsay, over at Pinch of Yum has basically rescued me from ripe-banana peril now and forever.

Her recipe for banana bread muffins uses caramelized bananas to add a decadent layer of sweetness. Doesn’t that just sound wonderful?!

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

But here’s the best part: caramelizing the bananas cuts out the whole waiting for the bananas to become overripe step because they need to be fairly sturdy to caramelize well. Hello, yellow bananas sitting on the counter, you are perfect!

SO we get impeccable banana flavor without the wait, and caramelizing the bananas brings out such a rich, sweet taste that we can cut down on the sugar too. YAY!

Plus you get to call them caramelized banana muffins. Look at you, being all fancy and talented. Oh, yes.

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

Also, can we take a moment to appreciate the bits of crunchy granola on top? And I though muffin tops couldn’t get any better.

Lindsay used oat flour in her muffins (aka grinding up oats in a food processor), but I used almond flour instead. The substitution worked great, although I strongly suggest waiting until the muffins have cooled quite a bit before eating them so that they can set properly. Otherwise the texture will be kind of mealy. I know you wanna eat ’em piping hot, but it’s a lot better than waiting for bananas to ripen, amiright?

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

Since these muffins are predominantly almond flour with just a little whole spelt flour, they should be fine for you if you just have a gluten sensitivity. Spelt still has gluten in it, though, so they are not good people with Celiac. (Read more about why spelt is okay for people with gluten intolerance here, near the end) You might be able to make them truly gluten free by experimenting with some other GF flours, although I have not tried it yet. YOU SHOULD DO IT AND LET ME KNOW HOW IT WORKS.

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins | memo2munch

Caramelized Banana Almond Flour Muffins
Yields 12
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For the muffins
  1. 4 bananas, peeled and sliced (NOT overly ripe)
  2. 1 cup almond flour
  3. 1/4 c. + 2 tbsp. whole spelt flour (can sub whole wheat)
  4. 2 tsp. baking powder
  5. 1/2 tsp. salt
  6. 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  7. 3/4 c. plain almond milk
  8. 2 eggs
  9. 5 tbsp. melted Earth Balance or coconut oil
  10. 2-3 tbsp. honey or real maple syrup
  11. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the topping
  1. 1/3 c. oats
  2. 1 tbsp. melted Earth Balance or coconut oil
  3. 1 tbsp. honey or real maple syrup
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray generously with a nonstick cooking spray. (The oil is necessary for the caramelization) Slice the bananas into rounds and place them flat on the baking sheet. Bake for 5-10 minutes, flipping once and removing from the oven when the bananas are a deep, golden brown on the outside. Transfer to a bowl and mash the bananas with a wooden spoon.
  2. Toss the almond flour, spelt flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon together in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the milk, eggs, melted Earth Balance, vanilla, and honey until combined and smooth. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet.
  4. Stir gently until batter is just barely combined. Fold the bananas into the mixture, stirring just 5 more times.
  5. Transfer the batter to a greased 12 cup muffin tin. Mix the topping ingredients together and sprinkle over the muffins. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the muffins are puffed slightly and spring back when you touch the tops. Let cool completely before enjoying, or the consistency will be mealy.
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Adapted from Pinch of Yum
Memo2munch http://memo2munch.com/

Basic Granola (Gluten Free)

I’ve never had a particularly good relationship with insects.

As in, a grasshopper puked on me when I was younger, I’ve found at least four bugs in beds I’ve slept in, my mosquito bites get humongous, and the first time I ever got stung was by a wasp and a bee on the same day. On my stomach.

I’ll admit it. These encounters have left me kind of paranoid. (Anyone else check under their pillows and blankets for bugs before they crawl into bed each night? That’s normal, right?) But now I KNOW the bugs are out to get me.

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

You see, a giant spider has decided that our back door is a perfect place to set up spider shop. Its web extends about a third of the way down the doorway, so we have to duck if we want to grill or water the plants. SUCH CRUELTY.

During the day when the spider is off doing whatever spiders do (plotting world domination), we get rid of the web with a stick, but lo and behold, by the next day the web is back.

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

As if this wasn’t bad enough, today a wasp decided that our front door was prime real estate for a nest. It literally built a nest ON our front door. Not on the frame, but on the front door. Yep, can’t even open that one now. (Update: my father has since taken a hose to our front door and washed the nest away—brave man. Fingers crossed it doesn’t reappear and/or the wasps don’t wage war on our household.)

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

If it weren’t for the garage door, WE WOULD BE TRAPPED.

Watch, a praying mantis battalion will be waiting outside of the garage tomorrow.

At least in the event of an insect takeover, I have homemade granola to comfort me.

I am definitely a granola girl. I like it on yogurt, with some almond milk like cereal, sprinkled on a fruit crisp, and even just by itself. The sweet crunch of toasted oats and nuts mixed with the chewy tartness of dried fruit creates a texture adventure for your mouth, and it’s super filling and nutritious—I can’t get enough!

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

I used to buy granola, but it’s super easy to make and will save you tons of money coming from your own kitchen. Plus it’s one of the most customizable foods out there. Any dried fruit will work, as well as any nuts and seeds. Throw in some pumpkin pie spice during the fall for a fun twist, or a splash of vanilla for extra flavor. You can even add some dairy-free chocolate chips after your granola has cooled completely if you’ve got a giant sweet tooth like me! The {HEALTHY} possibilities are endless! Unlike the number of ways I can exit my house currently…

Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

Today’s recipe is just an all-purpose, basic granola recipe to get you started. Feel free to tweak it to your liking. To make this recipe even more nutritious, add some chia or flax seeds. Yum!

You will also notice that I FINALLY have a link to print the recipe. That’s been a work in progress, but I’ve figured out how thanks to the vast interwebs. (Ugh, I just made myself think of spiders.) I’ll be working on making print pages for my previous recipes, promise! Okay, go make granola.

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Basic GF Granola | memo2munch

Basic Granola (Gluten Free)
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Ingredients:
4 cups (360 g) old fashioned oats (look for certified gluten free oats to make this recipe GF)
Pinch salt
1 cup (128 g) mixed nuts and seeds (I used sliced almonds, chopped walnuts, pecans, and pumpkin seeds)
1 cup (120 g) dried fruit (I used raisins, cranberries, and cherries)
¼ c. (2 fl. oz.) melted coconut oil
¼ c. + 2 tbsp. (about 128 g) sweetener like honey, brown sugar, maple syrup, agave, or a combination

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line an edged baking pan with aluminum foil.
2. Mix oats, salt, nuts, seeds, and dried fruit in a large bowl.
3. In a separate small bowl, mix coconut oil and sweetener until combined. Pour into bowl with oats and mix until evenly incorporated.
4. Spread granola on pan in an even layer. Bake for 30 minutes, mixing every 8-10 minutes and again when the granola comes out of the oven. For chunky granola, don’t mix. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Store in a jar for easy snacking. Granola will last a few months.