Gothic Granola

Tag Archives: Hazelnut

Horton Hears the Vitamix | Chocolate Hazelnut Spread

Today was Hoodie-Hoo Day, according to WellCat.

Alas, I wanted to finish one more thing…and one more thing…and one more thing at work, thus failing to observe it. Next year.

Speaking of observation, I was holding a bag for TC as we got ready to go somewhere the other day. Suddenly, I noticed myself saying the mantra, “May you be free of suffering | and the cause of suffering” in my head over and over again while he tied his shoes or something like that. Mantras are mind protectors, as Ram Dass reminds us in this post. I’m no expert or arhat, but I’ve noticed more and more often that when my mind is scrambling before a transition even as minor as a car trip, I’ll be saying mantras (Buddhist mantras or Catholic prayers) without thinking about it. Kinda cool, huh? Maybe I’m finally learning to self-regulate emotionally.

There are a lot of changes I’m making digitally around here. Pardon the pixel dust. Most of the time reserved for composing this post was instead spent figuring out new features and condensing old ones. Like the blog page on Facebook, yes no?

Today’s recipe was vegan chocolate hazelnut spread. Otherwise known as “vegan Nutella(R).” While I love the Vitamix to bits, this recipe really requires a food processor. The Vitamix simply isn’t wide enough to process 2 cups of hazelnuts, even after toasting them to soften ’em a little. I didn’t want to brick my machine and stopped short of smoothness. I like my peanut butter chunky, my tea black, and my salad undressed, so textured spread isn’t so bad.

I skipped blanching/skinning the hazelnuts. According to this 2012 article, hazelnut skins are one of the best sources of polyphenols. Polyphenols are antioxidants, chemicals which bind to free radicals. Free radicals occur as the body ages. I am going to stop trying to explain chemistry late at night. The point is, the hazelnut skins make the spread taste super-hazelnutty, and with the chocolate, there’s no aesthetic consequence to leaving them on.

Chocolate Hazelnut Spread
Modified from Brown Eyed Baker and Tales of a Kitchen

2 cups hazelnuts
1 cup coconut sugar
1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa
dash sea salt
2/3 cup non-dairy milk (I used unsweetened coconut-almond; using a blender necessitated this much liquid. Your mileage may vary.)
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or other neutral-tasting oil)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place hazelnuts in a pie plate in a preheating 350 degree oven.  Toast until fragrant, about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, whisk together coconut sugar, cocoa, and salt.

Add hazelnuts to blender or food processor and blitz until hazelnut meal forms. Add the sugar, cocoa, and salt and blitz to combine. Depending on your machine, you may need to scrape down the sides or loosen up pockets of hazelnuts.  Add the oil and process it in.  Add the nondairy milk and vanilla and process until smooth/desired texture is achieved.  Store in jars in the fridge.

 Super-chocolate, super-hazelnut.

This was the end of the batch; note the hazelnut pockets from the corners of the Vitamix.

There’s gonna be some good fancy oatmeal this week!

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Pants | Life-Changing Bread

I don’t like pants. I don’t like to wear pants that cover my calves. Simply do not like the feeling of cloth on my shins, particularly in the less-sensitive spots (voluntarily wearing short pants in single-degree temperatures growing up did that).  Leggings don’t count as pants since they’re borderline between tights and pants, and I like tights/stockings/knee highs/socks in general.

The temperature has been hovering in the single digits Fahrenheit. I must be getting old because I rolled down my pants to go for a walk on Thursday.

Last week, I was commissioned to make the Life-Changing Loaf of Bread from My New Roots for a friend.

Round 1 turned out awful: tasteless, mooshy, and even the birds didn’t like it, apparently (I wasn’t around to see the results).

Round 2: Baked oatmeal. I am not impressed. I did, however, successfully substitute hempseeds for sunflower seeds and still produce a cohesive loaf.

I let it soak overnight, and I think everything got a little too wet.

 Round 3:
As the bread did not dry out enough in the loaf pan, I increased the surface area and decreased the soaking time to the minimum 2 hours. By round 3, I had acquired sunflower seeds.

Minus that fillip of part of the bread sticking to the pan when it came time to flip it for the second baking, cohesion and dryness achieved. It’s a chewy, toasty, unsweetened granola bar with (kid you not) a shit tonne of fibre.

The Life-Changing Loaf of Bread
Modified from My New Roots

1 1/2 cups GF rolled oats
1 cup sunflower or hemp seeds
1/2 cup ground flax seeds
1/2 cup whole hazelnuts or almonds (or both)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut shreds
4 tablespoons psyllium seed husks
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon agave nectar (or more maple syrup, or all agave, or honey, or you get the picture)
Scant 1 1/2 cups water

If you line it with parchment, the parchment would get soaked and leech into your final product. So mix everything in an 8*8-inch glass or metal pan and set aside to soak for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bake for 30 minutes. Line a baking sheet with a Silpat or parchment. Remove the bread from the oven. Loosen the edges of the bread with a spatula. Invert prepared baking sheet over bread pan, then invert bread onto sheet. Tap (bang on that shit) bread pan bottom (use a potholder, of course) to loosen the bread.

Return to the oven and bake for another 25-30 minutes or until bread is dry.

Parting shots:

This week’s bread commission: ‘nana bread head-to-head. From left to right, newcomer Honky-Tonk Banana Bread from Bake and Destroy versus old standby Lower-Fat Banana Bread from Veganomicon.


DIY bulletin board: piece of cardboard taped to a padded envelope, tacked into the wall. Yes, those are Skinny Puppy tickets. This, this is punk rock.

Come to the Dark Side…we have vegan and gluten-free goodies.

Veg*n Ventures | Chocolate Hazelnut Torte

Continuing on the theme of last Saturday’s post, I realise since March I have patronized quite a few restaurants in the DMV area. Sometimes I was on dates, or artist’s dates, or out with friends or family. As I pointed out last week, there is a difference in being veg*n or gluten-free by choice or by force. What do your vegan and gluten-free date’s eating habits say about hir bedroom habits?

hazelnut chocolate torte vegan gluten-free | gothic granola

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