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Vegan for the Holidays

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All the world is nuts about

    What's in The Nut Gourmet

The Nutty Gourmet

Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about vegetarian food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie, .

Dear Aunt Nettie,

I know it's easy to buy granola in the market or health food store, but I really want to make my own and add more nuts and seeds than the commercial kind. I also don't want honey in my granola. I'm a total vegan. Do you have a good recipe?


Howdy there, Harmony,

Well, darlin', y'all knows you kin count on me. I been whippin' up granola fer years, but I never called it granola. My family jes called it homemade cereal, we did. An' the fixin's is easy as pie. Now, mind, the recipe is a mighty big one. What you'll need is mighty big bowl 'less ya cut the recipe in half. All's ya do is measure an' put-er into the bowl.

I must say I'm mighty tickled ta see young folks cookin' 'stead o' relyin' on ever'thin' comin' out of a package. I knows yer gonna have a fine breakfast.

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

A great morning starter packed with nutritious ingredients, this earthy granola offers tantalizing taste, plenty of crunch, and zero hunger pangs until lunch. The recipe makes an extra-large quantity so you'll have plenty on hand.

Nutty Granola is one of the delicious recipes from Zel Allen's cookbook The Nut Gourmet; Nourishing Nuts for Every Occasion published by Book Publishing Company in 2006.


    8 cups (2 liters) old fashioned rolled oats
    3 cups (720 ml) pressed barley or rolled triticale
    1 1/3 cups (320 ml) oat bran
    3/4 cup (180 ml) millet

    2 cups (480 ml) dried grated unsweetened coconut
    1 cup (240 ml) raw sunflower seeds
    1 cup (240 ml) raw coarsely chopped walnuts
    1 cup (240 ml) raw coarsely chopped hazelnuts
    1 cup (240 ml) raw coarsely chopped cashews
    1 cup (240 ml) raw coarsely chopped Brazil nuts
    1/2 cup (120 ml) roasted peanuts
    1/4 cup (60 ml) carob powder (optional)
    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1 teaspoon ground allspice

    1 1/2 cups (360I ml) maple syrup
    1 cup (240 ml) rice syrup
    2/3 cup (160 ml) organic canola oil
    2 teaspoons vanilla

    2 cups (480 ml) chopped dates
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) black raisins
    1 1/2 cups (360 ml) golden raisins

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees (Gas Mark 3) and have ready 4 baking sheets about 10 x 15 inches (25.5 x 38 cm) (jellyroll pans are best). Plan to bake the granola in two ovens or in two batches.
  2. In a giant mixing bowl, combine the oats, barley, oat bran, and millet and toss with a large wooden spoon.
  3. Add the coconut, sunflower seeds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, peanuts, carob powder, if using, cinnamon, and allspice and mix well.
  4. Combine the maple syrup, rice syrup, canola oil, and vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl. Stir well and add to the grain and nut mixture, tossing well to distribute all the ingredients evenly.
  5. Divide the mixture equally among the 4 baking pans and bake 2 pans (on separate racks) for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, stir with a large spatula and return to the oven for 10 minutes longer. Bake the remaining 2 pans.
  6. Cool the granola completely and transfer it to the giant mixing bowl. Add the dates and raisins and stir well to distribute them evenly. Store the granola in heavy-duty zipper-lock plastic bags or in air-tight containers. Nutty Granola keeps well at room temperature or in the refrigerator for one month. For longer storage, pack it in heavy-duty zipper-lock plastic bags and freeze for up to three months. Makes 32 cups or 8 quarts (8 liters).

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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