I love this month's Recipe ReDux because I made a wonderful granola recipe that fit the theme! I feel like the themes keep getting fancier and fancier. Last month was unique and intriguing with tea and this month it's spirits (a.k.a alcohol!) Well I don't have any cooking wines or liqueurs in my house, but I do have the best Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract. It has to be pure and it has Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans. Never ever use that fake "imitation" vanilla extract. You can tell the difference when you use the real quality stuff compared to anything fake and full of artificial chemicals.
July’s theme: A Spirited ReDux - From plain Jane vanilla extract to fancy-pants elderflower liqueur, we like to keep a little liquor in the kitchen. Show us how you like to cook, bake or mix-it-up with spirits, extracts and other alcohols. A splash of vodka makes summer sauces shine – and liqueurs brighten desserts: What’s your healthy recipe with spirit?
Vanilla extract is just one of those ingredients you can not compromise quality on. If you want that pure robust aromatic vanilla taste, then go with the real stuff. If you open up that bottle and you don't smell the most glorious smell, throw it out! Make sure you keep the real stuff in a cool dark place, away from harmful sunlight. Vanilla extract is definitely something I want to try making on my own eventually with quality Madagascar vanilla beans and pure vodka, but until then, J.R. Watkins will always be the only vanilla you'll find in my pantry!
And here are a few fun facts on learned on the Watkins website! "A delectable addition to dessert recipes, vanilla isn’t just for the kitchen. Use it to freshen potpourri or remove odors from microwaves, fridges and coolers. You can add a little bit of vanilla to paint to minimize the smell, and you can even keep insects away by mixing a teaspoon of vanilla with 1 cup of water and spraying it on your skin. (Bugs hate the scent!)" Ah, so I may have to use some vanilla when I sit outside to keep those damn summer bugs away 😉 Good to know!
Besides the fact that I think my Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract is fancy, I also think this granola is extra fancy because I hoped on the raw quinoa theme. That's right, there is uncooked quinoa seeds in there! As well as quinoa flakes! When I started seeing so many great granola recipes using quinoa, I knew I had to try my own too. I absolutely loved the fresh clean quinoa taste the granola had. It worked really well with this subtly sweet vanilla pear granola.
As for the pear, I had a different pear granola flavor combo in my head, but then when I really started thinking about it, it just didn't sound as appealing anymore. So I used the pear in this recipe instead. Plus, pears are pretty fancy too right? I mean people get those special Harry and David Pear boxes for Christmas. Yea, pears aren't exactly summer fruit either, but I digress!
When it comes to granola, there are no seasons, there are no restraints, there is just glorious deliciousness!
Vanilla Pear Quinoa Granola
Ingredients: (serves 6)
+ 1 ½ Cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
+ 1 Cup Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
+ ¼ Cup Quinoa (rinsed)
+ ¼ Cup Quinoa Flakes
+ ¼ Cup Milled Flax Seed
+ 1 Cup (20g) Freeze Dried Pear (I used two bags)
+ ½ Cup Pear Puree
+ 6 Drops Liquid Vanilla Stevia
+ ½ Tsp Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract
+ ¼ Tsp Cinnamon
+ Preheat the oven to 325°F.
+ In a large bowl, combine oats, cereal, quinoa, quinoa flakes, flax, and dried pear. Mix well. Then add the remaining ingredients and mix well so everything is mingled together and thoroughly distributed.
+ Line a baking pan with parchment paper, or an oiled piece of foil. Evenly spread the granola out on the pan and pop it in the oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
+ Remove from the oven when done and let cool completely before storing in an air tight container or glass jar.
There you have it. Fancy "spirited" granola! This one would definitely be a good "gift" granola recipe. Although I just ate all this myself since...well...it was really good 😉 No one else in my house really likes granola. My mom says she doesn't know what to put it on! That's such a silly excuse! I love mine just plain by the handful or in a cereal bowl combined with some other cereals and almond milk...and extra cinnamon! I would live off granola if I could, but then I would miss things like apples, nut butter, and potatoes. Gotta keep it balanced my friends 😉
Before you go, remember to check out the rest of the incredible Recipe ReDux members great spirited recipes! Just click the froggy in-linkz button below to view them! (I can't wait until my new site gets up so I can finally have the link-up show up on the actual blog and not through the stupid button! In do time folks!)
So tell me:
+ Do you or have you ever cooked with wine or actual alcohol? I have once when I made risotto many moons ago. We had to stop after the grocery store to grab a bottle of white wine. Only to realize that we couldn't find the wine bottle opener right when I needed it! I remember frantically having my mom call up my dad to see if he knew where it was, all while my risotto is on the stove waiting ever so patiently. (P.S. Risotto is pronounced Risott-O not RisAtto. Big pet peeve of mine!)
+ Is there a certain ingredients you will never compromise the quality on? Vanilla extract is definitely one of mine, as well as cinnamon, and nut butters.
Happy granola-ing my foodie friends!
*Recipe linking up for the week! Allergy Free Wednesdays, #RecipeFridays, #RecipeOfTheWeek, #StrangeButGood, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Friday, Gluten-Free Fridays, Tasty Tuesdays, Savoring Saturdays, Healthy Vegan Fridays, #Foodie Friday, Real Food Recipe Roundup, Gluten-Free Tuesdays, Tasty Tuesdays!*
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