Excerpt from EATING CLEAN by Amie Valpone. Copyright © 2016 by Amie Valpone. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Aime's Grain-Free Granola
If you’re not a grain eater, this granola’s for you. It’s a simple blend of raw nuts, seeds, sulfur-free dried fruit, and unsweetened shredded coconut—so easy to make a kid could do it (and, in fact, it’s a great recipe to have kids help you with). Be sure to make enough for the week— you’ll go through a batch of this in no time! The other thing to know about this recipe is that you can adjust the flavors according to the seasons. This version works well for spring/summer; to make a fall/winter blend, replace the cherries with cranberries, pecans with walnuts, apricots with golden raisins, and sunflower seeds with pumpkin seeds. Replace the ground cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice and use pure maple syrup in place of the honey. This granola makes a great holiday gift offered up in glass jars tied with festive ribbon.
1 1⁄2 cups raw almonds, chopped
1 1⁄2 cups unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup raw pecans, chopped
1 cup raw Brazil nuts, chopped
1 cup shelled raw sunflower seeds
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch sea salt
1⁄4 cup melted coconut oil
1⁄4 cup raw honey or pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons water
1 1⁄2 teaspoons pure almond extract
1 cup chopped dried apricots
1⁄2 cup chopped dried cherries
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine the almonds, coconut, pecans, Brazil nuts, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, water, and almond extract. Add the wet ingredients to the nut mixture and toss to coat.
Spread the granola on the prepared baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring halfway through. Remove the granola from the oven and stir in the dried apricots and cherries. Set aside to cool for 15 minutes before serving. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
MAKES 8 CUPS
Rosemary Roasted Carrots and Beets
A very tasty dish filled with gorgeous fall colors, its combination of sweet and savory flavors makes it a star at any table. The golden raisins are a nice touch, so I encourage you to include them.
4 small beets, peeled and cut in half
5 medium carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary or 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons golden raisins, optional
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Combine all ingredients except the raisins on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss to coat vegetables. Roast for 30 minutes, or until tender, tossing after 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and, if using the rosemary sprigs, discard them. Transfer the beets and carrots to a serving bowl and, if desired, add the raisins. Serve warm.
Happy Hemp Seed, Chickpea Miso, and Crabnberry Grain-Free Crackers
Beyond tasting amazing, these crackers are packed with protein (and fiber) and they’re completely grain-free. Their flavor is unexpected: the combination of tomatoes and chickpea miso paste has lots of umami, one of the five basic tastes that make food so irresistible. You’ll want to bring these crackers with you to restaurants when dining out so you can enjoy your own grain-free “bread” while everyone else digs into the gluten-filled bread basket.
1 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
1⁄3 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon chickpea miso paste
2 cups finely chopped red onion
3⁄4 cup ground flaxseeds
1 garlic clove, minced
1⁄4 teaspoon dried rosemary
1⁄2 cup shelled raw hemp seeds
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 250°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine the tomatoes, cranberries, and miso; process until smooth. Add the onion, flaxseeds, garlic, and rosemary; process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl, add the hemp seeds, chia seeds, salt, and pepper, and mix well to combine.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking sheet and flatten with a spatula into an even ¼-inch-thick layer. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the mixture.
Bake for 1 hour, and then reverse the baking sheet and remove the parchment paper. Bake for about another hour, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely, about 15 minutes, and then break into pieces or cut with a knife before serving or storing. Store in a sealed container for up to 4 days.
Exciting Green Bean Chips
My family loves snacking on these for movie night instead of bagged chips or pretzels. They’ve got the crisp of a chip without the inflammatory oils and additives. If you want a different flavor, add a pinch of celery salt after you take them out of the oven.
1 cup green beans, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Spread the green beans on a rimmed baking sheet and toss with the oil and salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until very crispy and golden brown. Remove from the oven and season with more salt and pepper, if needed, and let cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
MAKES 1 CUP