Dried Mango and Toasted Coconut Muesli

Have you ever started a book and felt an immediate sense of kinship with the author?

This was my experience within the first few pages of Whole-Grain Mornings: New Breakfast Recipes to Span the Seasons. I just adore Megan Gordon‘s writing, and her recipes are so up my alley. I’ve been cooking from the book for a few months now, so it’s time I tell you about it! I’m also going to share one of the recipes that I’ve been enjoying from the book: Dried Mango and Toasted Coconut Muesli.

muesli | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Whole-Grain Mornings is chock full of health-promoting, seasonally inspired recipes. Megan is a whiz with granola (she actually owns a company called Marge: it’s seriously the best granola I’ve ever tasted) and you’ll be happy to know she shares a few takes on granola in this book. But the book goes way beyond granola: Megan also shares recipes for things like nut milks, yogurt, fried rice, and numerous condiments and egg dishes. And while it is a breakfast cookbook, I don’t really think there’s a reason to limit the recipes to morning consumption only.

I have made the Smoked Salmon Crème Fraîche Tart, the Whole-Grain Pancake Mix, and the Whole-Grain Gingerbread (I photographed them all because I wasn’t quite sure which recipe I would end up posting here). They were all delicious…

Whole-Grain Mornings | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

…as was this Dried Mango and Toasted Coconut Muesli.

muesli | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Muesli isn’t something I make very often…I usually do go for granola instead. But this muesli is briefly toasted, so it’s actually similar to granola (though with far less oil, and with very little added sweetener). I was drawn to this recipe because of the coconut and dried mango…these lend a tropical “vibe” that’s more than welcome this time of year! It’s been so snowy and cold this winter: if I can’t be on the beach, I am going to fantasize about being on the beach, and the ingredients in this muesli help a lot.

Muesli is usually soaked for a short while or overnight (in milk, nut milk, juice or another liquid). Soaking grains does have some potential benefits which Megan mentions in her book (and which I discuss in my book, as well), but soaking doesn’t work that well in this case due to the toasted nature of this muesli. As for serving it, Megan likes to eat her muesli with thinned yogurt; I prefer mine with (raw) milk.

muesli | www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Read more

Orange Date Oatmeal Scones

Scones are easy to make and they’re so, so tasty. This blueberry scone recipe is a favorite around here; my daughter loves those so much, in fact, that she was pretty skeptical when I recently made this orange date oatmeal version instead. She didn’t even want to try them at first, but she came around eventually. She still prefers the blueberry ones, but admitted these are delicious, too :)

scone

These orange date oatmeal scones are not too sweet and they have some “heft” due to the oats. They are adapted from a recipe in the lovely book Irish Pantry: Traditional Breads, Preserves, and Goodies to Feed the Ones You Love (I was sent a review copy). I made a few changes to the recipe in the book, one of which was to halve the amount of butter. I have absolutely nothing against butter (I love it, in fact!) but two sticks seemed like a lot to me.

orange date scone recipe | healthy green kitchen
orange date scone recipe | healthy green kitchen

You can use a food processor to make these if you want to speed things up (and a food processor does make incorporating the butter into the dough a snap), but I made the recipe by hand and it worked out fine. I imagine you can substitute another type of dried fruit for the dates: the recipe in Irish Pantry features currants, but raisins or dried berries would work, too…you take your pick. Lemon zest and juice can certainly be used instead of the orange zest and juice, if you like, but I do like the orange date combo, I must say.

orange date scone recipe | healthy green kitchen

Read more

Weelicious’ Fruit and Seed Bars

I’m participating in National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) which means I’m blogging every day of November, 2013!

Weelicious is a charming site dedicated to feeding kiddos run by the lovely Catherine McCord. Catherine has also written two Weelicious cookbooks: Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes and Weelicious Lunches: Think Outside the Lunch Box with More Than 160 Happier Meals. The recipe for Fruit and Seed Bars that I am sharing today was adapted from Weelicious Lunches.

fruit and seed bars 2_text

What I most appreciate about Catherine’s blog and her books is that the recipes are creative yet simple. In addition to these bars, I made her homemade fruit leather and it was terrific! I honestly had no idea it was so easy to make your own fruit leather.

book 1_

These bars are super quick to throw together and they are very yummy. I like them as is, slathered with additional nut or seed butter, and also crumbled into a bowl and splashed with some milk (like granola). Catherine’s recipe in the book calls for sunflower butter so her recipe is 100% nut free and appropriate for those with nut allergies. Note that I substituted cashew butter because that’s what I had on hand (so these are not nut-free).

Read more

Chai Pumpkin Oatmeal

I lift weights and/or do CrossFit most weekday mornings. I like to get some nourishing carbohydrates into my belly before I head to the gym: I just love this recipe for Chai Pumpkin Oatmeal.

Chai Pumpkin Oatmeal | Healthy Green Kitchen

This oatmeal is a wonderful autumn breakfast no matter what your morning routine is like; it comes from my friend Shelley Alexander‘s book Deliciously Holistic.

Shelley is a holistic chef. She specializes in preparing healthy foods that nourish, strengthen, and energize, and her cookbook contains more than 150 recipes that are as yummy as they are good for you. I have an extra copy of the book to give away…more details on that at the end of this post.

Chai Pumpkin Oatmeal | Healthy Green Kitchen

Read more

Fresh Apricot Crisp

Apricot crisp from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

I spent much of last weekend visiting with dear friends I haven’t seen in years. We enjoyed lots of great conversation and feasting: it was so much fun! I made this fresh apricot crisp as part of a big breakfast I hosted on Sunday and everyone loved it. If you enjoy fresh apricots, I think you’ll love it, too.

Apricot crisp from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Very ripe, local apricots are one of my favorite summertime treats. One of the local farm stands I frequent has them right now, and I keep making the trip over there to buy more!

Apricots from Healthy Green Kitchen

If you can’t find fresh apricots, you can certainly make this recipe with a different stone fruit, such as nectarines or peaches or plums. You can also use a combination of different fruits, if you like.

This recipe does not contain all that much sugar compared to other crisp recipes I’ve made in the past. I prefer less sugar because I really want to taste the fruit in recipes like this, even if the fruit is a bit tart; also, as I mentioned above, we had this for breakfast (and I prefer to avoid very sweet things in the morning). Feel free to use a little more sugar if you go for fruits treats like this on the sweeter side, or if you are making this for dessert.

If you don’t eat grains (and therefore oats are out), you could make the crisp topping with ground nuts, such as almonds.

Fresh Apricot Crisp from www.healthygreenkitchen.com

Read more