The four unused stalks of lemongrass left over from my bout of recipe experimentation with Thai green curry have haunted me during the past week. Since I seldom cook my own dinners anymore, cannot effectively incorporate the unpleasantly toothsome herb into my lunchtime salads, and did not fathom grating it into smoothies until this very moment, I grappled with how to implement the remainder of lemongrass into my weekly/daily cooking schedule. Not until waking up this morning and gathering the ingredients to whip up a batch of granola like I do every weekend did I contemplate introducing a burst of complex citrus flavor into my beloved breakfast clusters.
A quick Google search for “lemongrass flavor pairings” directed me toward one of my favorite raw food blogs, Nouveau Raw. To my delight, Amie Sue offers a helpful post listing ingredients whose flavors complement each other, including lemongrass. Extracting berries, coconut, ginger, and vanilla from the list as ingredients suitable for a sweet, breakfast-y application, I developed a new recipe for a unique, rather Thai-inspired granola, also including cashews due to their commonplace use in Asian cuisine.
Berry Lemongrass Granola with Coconut and Cashews (Soy Free, Low Sodium)
Makes 8 cups.
12 oz of a mixture of strawberries and raspberries, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
5 dates, pitted and diced
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2-3/4 large stalk of lemongrass, grated
1 tbsp powdered ginger
2 cups GF rolled oats
1 cup raw buckwheat groats
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup raw cashews, chopped
Preheat the oven to 250°F.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine the dates, strawberries, and raspberries. Process until very smooth. Add the coconut oil, vanilla, lemongrass, and ginger and puree again.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients (rolled oats through cashews). Pour the berry puree over the dry mixture and stir well until evenly coated.
Divide the mixture between two baking sheets. Place in the oven for 1 hour, stirring every 30 minutes and rotating the baking sheets, until the granola is adequately dry and crunchy. Take care, however, not to overbake or burn the granola, as it will continue to dry and become crunchier as it cools.
Allow the granola to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. The granola will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Comment Provoking Questions: Have you ever used an herb while making granola before? What is your favorite way to use lemongrass? Would you consider using lemongrass in a smoothie?
Until next time, Ali.