Firehouse Favorite

When I first met Paul five years ago, I knew right away that he was different from my usual photography client. His passion was unmistakable, almost tangible, paired with an infectious enthusiasm and warmth that could win friends in an instant. It wasn’t just a granola business he envisioned, but a stronger, healthier community. Such lofty goals never seemed out of reach with a clear vision and determination to make it possible.

Paul’s Firehouse Granola has been a labor of love from day one, born from the need to feed fellow firefighters while spending long hours on duty. Never knowing when they’d need to refuel, Paul’s carefully balanced formula was a runaway hit. This convenient, delicious snack was designed to provide quick energy to sustain them for the long haul, but demand quickly spread beyond the station. It’s easy to see why, just at a glance.

No other granola on grocery store shelves packs in the same quality and variety of whole nuts, seeds, unsweetened dried fruits, and whole grains. The best way to honor such superlative ingredients is to let them shine, unimpeded by excessive sugar or heavy spices. Paul’s Firehouse Granola is so spectacular because Paul doesn’t doesn’t cut any corners or take any shortcuts, valuing flavor just as much as nutrition. That means you’ll find rich dark chocolate chunks cozied up right next to toasted nuts and thick-cut, toasted oats.

As if that emphasis on premium ingredients wasn’t enough to feel good about, your purchase helps those in need, too. Paul’s Firehouse Granola proudly supports The San Jose Firefighters Burn Foundation and The Natalia Salcido Legacy Fund.

Now, after a lifetime of dreaming, years of hard work, and countless hours in the kitchen, Paul’s Firehouse Granola is finally available for online purchase! I’m proud to say I played any role in shaping the this voice for this bold new brand, and want to shout from the rooftops about the news. Instead, I thought it might be more effective to share a taste of this incredible blend with you. THREE lucky readers will get the gift of granola shipped straight to their door! If you’d like to win a beautiful glass jar full of Paul’s Firehouse Granola, leave me a comment below about your favorite way to eat granola. Do you sprinkle it over yogurt, mix it into muffins, or just eat it straight?

If you’d like some fresh ideas, make sure you check out the recipes I developed, including waffles, pancakes, and so much more.

Don’t forget to log your entry below, and find additional ways to enter, too!

Continue reading “Firehouse Favorite”

An Alluring Date

Give me a new ingredient, and I’ll practically move heaven and earth to find a way to use and enjoy it, no matter how unusual or scarce it may be. I make a point to try everything vegan at my disposal at least once, and some of my favorite fresh discoveries have been made this way. Thus, when I first discovered date syrup, the mere concept was irresistibly appealing. Never before had I considered a syrup made solely of those naturally sweet and succulent fruits, and yet it made so much sense- Thank goodness someone thought of the concept and bottlate syed it!

Tasting for all the world like pure dates in liquid form, like one would expect, it pours just like molasses and has a pleasantly demure sweetness, much less in-your-face sugary than agave or maple. Though I can happily see using this as a simple topping on pancakes or even ice cream, I was clamoring to get this nectar into the kitchen to see what it could do in some treats.

Using the deep, molasses-like, earthy flavors to my advantage, I started out by dabbling a bit on the savory side of the street. Truthfully, more like the sweet-and-salty side, these candied cashews are all of the above, and then some. Tangy from a healthy dose of balsamic vinegar, and just a touch spicy thanks to a little pinch of cayenne and paprika, they’ve got it all going on, and are incredibly addictive to boot. Pleasing all realms of the palate, it’s disconcertingly easy to just munch on handfuls of these little morsels while watching a movie or chatting it up with friends.

Thinking more towards healthy sweets, this date syrup seemed like the perfect thing to introduce to a crispy snack bar. Packed with wholesome things like oats, wheat germ, and puffed rice, it’s easy to excuse that little handful of chocolate chips and think of these as health food. Plus, the date syrup keeps things from being tooth-achingly sweet, so it’s hard to feel guilty about these simple little squares. Ideal for packing in a lunch box or taking along for a snack on the road, these will absolutely see a repeat performance in my kitchen sooner or later.

Now I don’t usually share two recipes in one post, but both of these were so incredibly good, I can hardly leave you guys hanging. Just consider it a little “thank you” gift for being so patient while I got my school situation under control!

Yield: Makes 2 Cups; 8 Servings

Sweet and Salty Balsamic Cashews

Sweet and Salty Balsamic Cashews

These candied cashews are tangy from a healthy dose of balsamic vinegar and just a touch spicy thanks to a little pinch of cayenne and paprika.

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/4 Cup Date Syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Raw Sesame Seeds
  • 1 Teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Paprika
  • 2 Cups Whole, Raw Cashews

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  2. Simply whisk together all of the wet ingredients and spices, and once everything is combined, add in the cashews and toss to coat. Pour everything out onto your prepared sheet, spreading the nuts out into an even layer so than none are overlapping. Bake for 15 – 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until there’s no remaining liquid between the cashews and the nuts themselves are golden brown.
  3. Pull the sheet off the baking sheet to let the cashews cool. Break up any clusters, and store in an air-tight container at room temperature.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 224Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 270mgCarbohydrates: 19gFiber: 2gSugar: 9gProtein: 6g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

Yield: Makes 16 – 25 Bars

Double Date Chocolate Chip Bars

Double Date Chocolate Chip Bars

Packed with wholesome things like oats, wheat germ, and puffed rice, it’s easy to excuse that little handful of chocolate chips and think of these as health food. Plus, the date syrup keeps things from being tooth-achingly sweet, so it’s hard to feel guilty about these simple little squares.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • 1 1/2 Cups Crispy Brown Rice Cereal
  • 1/2 Cup Wheat Germ
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Cup Date Syrup
  • 1/4 Cup Date Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 1 Cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees, and lightly grease a 9 x 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Place the oats, rice cereal, wheat germ, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl, and toss to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a medium sauce pan, combine the date syrup, date sugar, and coconut oil, and set over medium heat. Cool until the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is just on the brink of boiling. Incorporate the vanilla, and quickly pour the hot syrup into the bowl of dry goods. Mix gently but thoroughly to combine. Add in the chips and stir to distribute them through the mixture. (Adding them last helps to prevent them from melting, but if you’d prefer an all-over chocolate bar, go ahead and add them first to the syrup, let them sit for a moment to melt, and them stir everything together.)
  4. Transfer everything into your prepared pan, and use lightly greased hands or a non-stick spatula to firmly press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 15 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Let cool completely in the pan before turning out onto a cutting board and slicing into bars.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

25

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 108Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 53mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 2gSugar: 10gProtein: 2g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.