With the current events, now seems a perfect time to continue posting easy, from scratch, staple recipes. This big batch of granola can keep several weeks on your pantry shelf or a few months in your freezer if stored in an airtight container.
There are few smells as cozy as the smell of oats and honey. The beauty of this basic recipe is the ability to customize it to your liking. If you do choose to add nuts to the granola, they would be added at the same time as the seeds mixed in this recipe. Dried fruit options should be added during the last 5 minutes of baking. It should be cooked only briefly at the end to prevent completely drying out – just dry enough to not cause the granola to moisten when stored.
Hope that you and yours are staying safe and well.
Big Batch of Granola
Yields 7 cups or 28 servings
5 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
6 cups old fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup coconut oil, melted
⅓ cup honey
2 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup of raw seeds (I usually use ½ cup of sunflower seeds, ⅜ cup pumpkin seeds, ⅛ cup flax seed)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray jelly roll style baking sheet or cake pan (something with sides) with cooking oil.
Mix together oats and brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix together coconut oil, honey, and vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl.
Stir the liquid mixture into the oat mixture until fully incorporated. Then mix the raw seeds into the oat mixture.
Bake the granola for 30 minutes, until golden brown; stir about every 10 minutes to keep the granola from turning into one giant clump. If you would prefer granola clusters, be less thorough in the stirring.
Allow the granola to cool and place in a storage container of your choosing. You may store the granola in an airtight container for a month or so. Ours doesn’t last much longer than a week. If you do need to keep your granola for longer periods, place in a freezer friendly, tightly sealed container for up to 3-6 months.
Happy Winter Solstice! We are feeling the excitement in our home as Christmas is just a few days away. My preschooler checks the tree every morning to see if Santa has visited. The boys have been busy creating holiday gifts and being kitchen helpers. The youngest loves to taste everything from a mixing bowl; even the french bread dough is tasted with enthusiasm. He then declares, “Mmm, good Mama!” If only that same zest was for the finished meals on the table.
I enjoy making the cookies I had as a child every Christmas. Breaking from tradition, it was my goal to bring you all something that was vegan and more allergen friendly for your holiday cookie plates. This recipe is just that. Peanut butter blossom cookies were the inspiration for this recipe. Tender, crumbly shortbread cookies are the perfect vehicle for combining peanut butter and chocolate. Flecks of sea salt flakes add a little bit of sparkle and bring out the chocolate taste. They are easily nut free if you use sunflower seed butter and refined sugar free.
Here’s to hoping you have a chance to add this to your baking plans this season. Snap a picture of your recipe result and tag Mama Sparrow on social media so we can see it too.
Vegan Peanut Butter Thumbprint Cookies
Yields 12-15 Cookies
Tender, crumbly shortbread cookies filled with peanut butter and drizzled with chocolate. These tasty treats are vegan, easily nut free and refined sugar free.
10 minPrep Time
10 minCook Time
20 minTotal Time
1 ¼ cup flour
⅓ cup coconut oil, melted
3 Tbs. maple syrup
1 ½ tsp. applesauce, unsweetened
3 Tbs. peanut butter
2 Tbs. maple syrup
Pinch of salt
2 Tbs. non dairy milk
¼ tsp. vanilla
1 oz. chocolate chips or chocolate
Coarse sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Mix all cookie ingredients together in a medium bowl until dough forms. Form form into ¾ in. - 1 inch balls - approximately 12-15 cookies. (Chill the dough briefly in plastic wrap if it is too sticky to work with.) Place on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet. Flatten the dough balls into slight discs and press thumb in the center to create a little crater. Bake cookies for 10 minutes until lightly golden brown. Remove from oven and repress the centers with a spoon. Then allow the cookies to cool.
In a small saucepan, mix the peanut butter, maple syrup, and salt. Slowly add the milk, stirring all the while. The mix should get a nice smooth caramel consistency that has a bit of drizzle to it. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Set aside
Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Place the melted chocolate into a piping bag or simply use a ziploc with the corner snipped off. Set aside
To assemble to cookies, spoon about 1 teaspoon of the peanut butter confection into each cookie’s thumbprint. Drizzle chocolate over the filled cookies and lightly sprinkle with coarse salt.
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Nut free option: Use Sun Butter. Really you could use any preferred nut or seed butter. I did try pumpkin seed butter and it was not quite as tasty.