Today we have a special guest, Elise Barber. She has recently turned her innate passion for healthy living into a career through publishing this niche recipe book that shares her baking expertise with the world. Elise is available to discuss her own tips for healthy eating and how that came full circle as she took her knowledge not only into the kitchen, but also onto paper, as she compiled her own recipes that she shares in her fun and simple recipe book.
Her book Homemade Granola has great delicious recipes that use oats and muesli. I was able to do an interview and ask some questions. You’ll find those questions and answers below:
- Describe your cookbook. What should your readers expect?
My cookbook is full of mix-and-match granola recipes that readers can customize to suit their own tastes and nutrition needs. Readers can choose one of the dry mix recipes given, and combine that with a granola flavor of their choice. My recipes contain less sugar and fat than granola you find at the grocery store, and no preservatives or strange ingredients. With the huge variety of flavor options, I hope everyone can find their favorite new breakfast in my book! Additionally, I’ve included many ways to use your delicious granola beyond a bowl and milk! You can find muffins, cookies, trifles, energy balls and more, all containing granola!
- Do you have a favorite recipe from your cookbook?
My absolute favorite recipe, the one I bake nearly every week, is my peanut butter granola. This is the flavor that got me into granola in the first place!
- Did you have any challenges while writing this cookbook?
I think there’s challenges with writing every cookbook- what to include, perfecting recipes. To be honest, one of the most unexpected challenges was a supply based one. I wrote part of the book while living in Germany, and part while living in Canada, and there were some things I couldn’t get in each place. For example, I use my favorite natural peanut butter in all my peanut butter granolas, and I couldn’t get that, or even anything very similar, in Germany! My parents had to stuff their suitcase full of it when they came to visit.
- How long did it take you to write your cookbook?
That’s a tough question to answer! I’ve been slowly developing recipes for years as I thought of new flavors I wanted to try. When I got to actually writing the book, it took about a year to pull it all together!
- What did you enjoy most about writing your cookbook?
Tasting recipes, of course, and sharing them with my family! I loved baking multiple versions of the same granola, and then taking notes on what everyone liked the best.
- Have you always loved to bake?
I have! I used to bake with my mom a lot as a child, until I started doing it a lot on my own. I used to enjoy making cupcakes especially, until my tastes and therefore baking went in a bit of a healthier direction. In addition to granola, I now love baking bread, healthy muffins, granola bars- things my husband and I can enjoy every day!
- Do you have any secret baking tips?
Working with the best possible ingredients will always yield better results! I love working with local, in-season produce, real, natural nut butters, and fresh, high quality maple syrup, honey and spices.
- What made you want to have a cookbook about granola?
Granola is something that I enjoy so much, but didn’t like always having to buy. It’s expensive, and I always cringed at the ingredient list, particularly the amounts of sugar. I love baking my own granola, and I wanted to share my recipes so others can do the same! Additionally, I’ve always dreamed of publishing a cookbook, so this is an amazing opportunity to do so, about a food that I love.
- Granola is such a popular item for breakfast. Do you know of any great health benefits or anything good about granola?
Oats contain lots of fibre and protein, making them a great breakfast food. By including healthy fats and other protein sources like nuts, granola becomes a breakfast that will keep you satisfied through to lunch without making you feel heavy or over-full. Granola is a great way to incorporate seeds into your diet, adding in a lovely dose of omega 3, vitamin E, and a host of other important nutrients. I also love mixing fruit and yogurt into mine, making it a varied and complete meal!
- Do you have any advice for someone that may want to publish a cookbook?
Write about something you love! It’s a lot of cooking or baking and recipe testing, and it’s easy to tire of making something over and over again, so it helps if you love eating it!
- Is there anything you’d like to add/say that I didn’t mention?
Not that I can think of! Thanks so much for taking an interest in my book! I hope you get a chance to enjoy some of my recipes!