With the exception of breads, there are very few breakfast recipes on this blog. The simple reason is that I don’t eat breakfast. Yes, I know, it’s a bad habit but the fact is that I cannot stomach to eat anything early in the morning. My breakfast consists of a large mug of coffee with lots of hot frothed milk, basically an oversized cappuccino. Other people’s breakfast then becomes my lunch.
However most supermarket cereals have way too much sugar. Granola is often very high in fat, and quality granola is quite expensive. Therefore I have been making my own granola for years. It was always good; last fall though, I kicked it up the taste ladder by starting to incorporate another, locally grown ingredient: dried Asian pears.
I had bought some in October when my husband and I visited the nearby Asian pear grower known as Subarashii Kudamono. The rows and rows of squat trees, loaded with gigantic fruit were unlike any other orchard I had seen before.
The small bag of dried Asian pears I brought back from the tour did not last long so ordered a 5-pound bag shortly after. The Asian pears add a sweetness and chewiness to the crunchy granola that make it irresistible. I often catch members of my family including myself with their hand in the granola jar. The fan club of that granola is growing. So now, instead of scribbling it down repeatedly for everyone who has asked for it, it’s time to share the recipe.The other breakfast recipe is a brand new one that came about by serendipity. As Florida sadly lost about 70 percent of its crop due to Hurricane Irma, and production was predicted to be the lowest since 1946, I did not expect to find the usual supply of citrus fruit at the grocery store this winter. When I recently spotted a bag of beautiful organic pink grapefruits, I snapped them up.
I had always wanted to try my hands on rhubarb grapefruit jam and I still had a bag of rhubarb from the garden in the freezer. When it snowed and snowed last weekend and cabin fever hit, the vibrant jam brought a much welcome splash of color.Low-fat Low-Sugar Granola with Dried Asian Pears
In the fall, I always make a large batch of unsweetened apple butter, which I freeze in portions in disposable paper cups. You can use apple sauce instead but it contains more water so you will have to likely increase the baking time by a few minutes.
I either combine sunflower seeds and walnuts, or pumpkin seeds and hazelnuts or almonds. How you mix it is entirely up to personal taste.
If using toasted flaxseed, add it after baking together with the vanilla, otherwise it will get too dark.3¾ cups (375 g) rolled oats (organic if possible)
2 tablespoons walnuts, almonds or hazelnuts, chopped
2 tablespoons raw hulled sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds
4 tablespoons raw flaxseed (yellow or brown)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons raw sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon (125 g) unsweetened apple butter or apple sauce
30 pieces (70 g) dried Asian pears, chopped (to make about 2/3 cup chopped)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 280 degrees F (140 degrees C).
2. Place all the ingredients except the dried pears and vanilla in a large bowl and stir well until evenly moistened.
3. Evenly spread the mixture on a large jelly roll pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove and stir to ensure even baking, then return to the oven for another 30 minutes, or until the oats are dry and crisp.
4. Remove from the oven and drizzle with the vanilla. Return to the oven for 1 more minute. Remove and add the pears. Stir to combine. Let cool completely and store in an airtight container.Rhubarb Pink Grapefruit Jam
Growing up in Germany where all jams and jellies are made with pectin, I am a big fan of it. It generally means using less sugar and a much shorter cooking time and I find that the end result tastes and looks fresher.
Because we are going to eat the jam within the next month, I did not process the jars in a boiling water bath as I usually do for long-time storage. I keep the jars in the fridge instead.
If you cannot find organic grapefruit, omit the zest.
And, finally, I did not have enough rhubarb to use a full package of pectin but the amounts can be easily doubled.
1 large or 2 medium organic pink grapefruits
3 cups (375 g) frozen rhubarb, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces
2 cups (400 g) sugar
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons (1/2 package/25 g) Sure Jell for less or no sugar (pink package)
1. Zest one of the grapefruits and set aside. Peel and fillet the grapefruits, removing any white pith and seeds. Do this over a bowl to catch all of the juice. You should have about 1 cup (275 g) fruit with juice.
2. In a large heavy non-corrosive saucepan, combine the grapefruit with the rhubarb and sugar. Finely chop the zest and add. Stir to combine. Cover and let sit for 3 to 4 hours, until the rhubarb has released a lot of liquid.
3. Place a small plate in the freezer. Slowly bring the rhubarb mixture to the boil over low heat. Cook until the rhubarb is soft and falls apart, about 10 minutes, stirring often, also scraping over the bottom of the pan, to fully dissolve the sugar.
4. Stir in the Sure Jell and bring back to a full rolling boil that does not stop bubbling when stirred. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
5. Place a spoonful on the chilled plate. It should set within a few seconds. If not, cook for 30 seconds longer and repeat the test. The jam will thicken considerably after cooling.
6. Fill the piping hot jam into sterilized jars placed on a damp kitchen towel, leaving about ½ inch (1.25 cm) headspace. Wipe the rims of the jars with a damp piece of paper towel to remove any drips. Place the lids and the bands on the jars and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.
7. Let cool and set for 24 hours without moving the jars.
Makes 4 half-pint jars
Photos by Ted Rosen