Every month I look forward to trying out new recipes from other bloggers who are part of the Secret Recipe Club. There's just something about the surprises involved that I love--I don't know who has cooked from my blog, and the other blogger doesn't know that I've been assigned to them until reveal day. And this month I got an even bigger surprise...I was assigned a vegan blog: We Heart Vegan! My family has a pretty strong love affair with bacon and sausage, so it's pretty unlikely that we'd go as far as changing our diet to a vegan one, but I've always been fascinated with the vegan lifestyle, partially because of all of the interesting ingredients used to balance the diet.
I wasn't sure that I'd find something that my family would dive into when I was assigned the blog, but Brittany and Julie do a great job at making their recipes simple and accessible for all diets. I really wanted to make their Black Bean and Avocado Salsa, but I've been traveling a lot this month, and I was just scared it would go to waste, so I settled on something a little more storage- and travel-friendly: Omega Granola. I'm not sure my version would fit into the Omega part of that title, but what I ended up with tasted delicious! I had never made my own granola before, and I'll definitely think twice before buying it in the store. It was an easy process and tasted so much fresher than what I typically buy.
As I mentioned, I did make a few adjustments. I had a hard time finding some of the ingredients in our local grocery store, so I just omitted them. I also adjusted the nut ratios since I'm a picky nut eater. And finally, I used Kentucky's version of molasses: sorghum. I've never used this ingredient before, but happened to pick some up the week before, so decided to use it. It's not quite as strong in flavor as molasses is, but it was a great substitution! (If you're not sure what sorghum is, you can find out more here or check out fellow Kentucky Food Blogger Rona Roberts' book, Sweet, Sweet Sorghum.)
I will be making this again for sure...and I thank We Heart Vegan for introducing me to the vegan lifestyle so gently and beautifully!
Sorghum GranolaSubscribe to free updates from The World in My Kitchen
Adapted from We Heart Vegan
Makes about 5 cups
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats
1/6 cup uncooked red quinoa (regular would be fine here too)
1 small ripe banana, mashed
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/6 cup sorghum
Pinch of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds
3 tablespoons chopped pecans
2 tablespoons golden raisins
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and spread the oats and quinoa evenly on the sheet. Place the sheet in the oven and cook for 10 minutes.
Stir the oats/quinoa and add the nuts and seeds. Toast in the oven for 6 more minutes. While the granola is toasting, prepare the wet ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the mashed banana, sesame oil, vanilla, sorghum, salt, and cinnamon. Once the granola has toasted for 6 minutes, pour the wet mixture over and add the raisins and dried cranberries. Mix until most of the granola is wet. Bake for another 12 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let the baking sheet cool on a cooling rack for at least 10 minutes or until the granola becomes crunchy. Once it's cooled, break apart (using the parchment paper to help) and store in an airtight container. This will last a while in the cupboard. (Mine is going on two weeks and is completely fresh still.)