Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Vegan Granola with Mulberry, Chia Seeds, Cashew Cream, and Bananas

Cashew cream is one of the most versatile and awesome weapons in the vegan kitchen. It can replace sour cream, yogurt, even cream in your coffee. In this recipe I use it 2 different ways. One is flavored with mulberry jam and thickened with organic chia seeds. The other is flavored with crystallized ginger, banana, and orange zest. Both are layered between homemade granola, chock full of nuts and fruit.

(based off of Alton Brown's basic granola recipe)

1/2 any sweetener of choice (brown sugar, maple syrup, agave, etc.)
1/4 cup mild flavored oil of choice
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chopped cashews
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup unsweetened large coconut flakes
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup cocoa nibs

Heat oven to 250 degrees F.

Combine oil and sweetener of choice. Mix together the oats, nuts, and coconut flakes. Pour oil mixture over oats mixture and toss to combine. Clean hands work best for this. Spread granola evenly among 2 baking sheets. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until the granola is lightly browned and crispy. Toss every 15 minutes or so to cook evenly. Once cooled, toss in cherries, cranberries, and cocoa nibs.

Cashew Cream

1 cup unsalted cashews, soaked overnight
3 to 5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon chia seeds
2 tablespoons mulberry jam
1/2 banana, smashed
1 tablespoon crystallized ginger
1 teaspoon orange zest

Combine cashews and water in a blender. Mix on high until very smooth and creamy, adding more water if necessary. You are looking for a thick yogurt like texture.

Divide cashew cream in half. 

To one half, add chia seeds and mulberry jam, Mix well and let sit 15 minutes.

To the other half, add banana, ginger, and orange zest.

To assemble, layer granola with mulberry chia cashew cream, banana ginger cashew cream, and fresh banana slices.



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