Tag Archives: granola

Four Great Places for Breakfast on Prince Edward Island

Given a choice of which meal of the day to eat out, hands down, I’ll choose breakfast every time! I love eating breakfast out and sipping on that first cup of coffee as the tantalizing scents of breakfast preparation waft through the air in the dining room.

Coffee
French-Press Coffee

When I choose a restaurant for breakfast, I’m not looking for greasy diner fare. I’m looking for places that:

  • have a selection of breakfast menu items that extend beyond the standard/usual run-of-the-mill bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, and toast (although, admittedly, that’s sometimes exactly what I crave!);
  • cater to a gluten-free diet since one in our party follows this diet;
  • offer a dining experience which is to say the restaurant has some kind of ambiance – that could be energy and vibrancy, scenery, décor, etc;
  • support local food producers and use fresh, locally-produced ingredients;
  • provide consistency which is to say their food and service are consistently good over several visits; and
  • put some effort into food presentation.

Right out of the gate, I’ll tell you this is not a sponsored post and I wasn’t paid to do it. In fact, the restaurants I’m about to tell you about have no idea I was checking out their restaurants and writing about them on my food blog. So, what follows are my own personal impressions of four (4) great places on PEI that I choose for breakfast and we travel from Summerside to Murray Harbour to find them.

Barbara’s Choices:

  • Samuels Coffee House, Summerside
  • #5 Café, Murray Harbour
  • PEI Preserve Company, New Glasgow
  • Kettle Black, Charlottetown

Samuel’s Coffee House, 4 Queen Street, Summerside

Price Range: $2 – $10  (at time of writing)

I seriously love this place that opened in 2011 and I personally think they have the best coffee on the Island! Their coffee house is small and quaint (yes, you can even eat in the little vault!) but they pack big flavor in their light fare menu items and desserts.

Samuel's of Summerside, PEI
Samuel’s Coffee House, Summerside, PEI

Housed in the former, and now refurbished, Journal-Pioneer building, the large windows allow lots of natural light to permeate the dining area. This is casual style dining. You place your order at the counter, receive a table number and, when the food is ready, a server delivers it to your table. Complimentary Wifi is available.

A good selection of coffee types are available that include espresso, café mocha, café latte, espresso macchiato, cappuccino, and americano. They also, in my view, make the best paninis on the Island using local ingredients. These are perfect for brunch or a light lunch. If you check out their menu board, they’ll often list the food producer’s name by the ingredients they use so you know you are getting good, fresh, local fare.

Breakfast Sandwich
Breakfast Sam at Samuel’s Coffee House, Summerside, PEI

Their “Breakfast Sam” is a great breakfast or brunch choice and it is available in a gluten-free version as well (shown in the photo above).  With eggs, cheddar, ham, tomato, and spinach on a cheese bun (gluten version only with this particular bun; gluten-free is on toasted bread), this is simply a lovely way to start the day. Other breakfast items include their own house-made granola, homemade bread for toast, muffins and cinnamon rolls, and oatmeal.

In the summer months, Samuel’s also operates a coffee house at Avonlea Village in the resort municipality of Cavendish.

Samuel's in Cavendish, PEI
Samuel’s Coffee House Cavendish Location at Avonlea Village

#5 Café, 5 Church Street, Murray Harbour

Price Point: $9 – $11.50 (at time of writing)

Oh, this is a real little gem in the picturesque fishing village of Murray Harbour and absolutely worth the drive to eastern PEI.

#5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI
#5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI

Located in a decommissioned and repurposed church, the owner has kept much of the ambiance of the former church including the matched board walls and ceiling.  The small open- concept kitchen (seen in the photo below) now takes up the former altar and choir loft.

#5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI
Open-concept Kitchen at #5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI

The focus of food preparation at #5 Café is very much on the concept of clean food that is not full of additives and preservatives and that is made from scratch in their own kitchen.

#5 Café offers a wide variety of casual fare items on their menu but, bar none, their omelette is the best I’ve ever had!  Toast is made with their own homemade bread and you’ll often find locals dropping in to buy some of the bread to take home.  Gluten-free bread, though not made in-house, is also available with breakfast items.

Omelette at #5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI
Omelette at #5 Cafe, Murray Harbour, PEI

Regardless the time of day, I’ll bet you can’t leave without checking out their dessert case and large glass jars filled with delectable cookies and other sweets! You just might find some homemade fudge in that dessert case as a sweet ending to breakfast or brunch!

#5 Café, Murray Harbour, PEI
#5 Café, Murray Harbour, PEI

Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, 2841 New Glasgow Road, New Glasgow

Price Point: $6 – $11 (at time of writing)

In operation since 1985, this restaurant is the “go-to” place for many Islanders (including me) for breakie on weekend mornings. You know the old saying “Go where the locals go and you’ll find good food”. Breakfast is served daily until 11:00am.

Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, New Glasgow, PEI
Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, New Glasgow, PEI

Open seasonally from the end of May to early October, be sure to look through the windows to the right as you enter the front doors. Here, most days, you can see the preserve-making process in action. This company is well-known for its production of preserves and spreads and many breakfast menu items are served with their own house-made preserves.

Breakfast Frittata, Prince Edward Island Preserve Company
Breakfast Frittata, Prince Edward Island Preserve Company

The bright open-concept dining room is surrounded by windows. Boasting a phenomenal view of the River Clyde, try to snag a table by the window so you can watch the many different birds at the feeders and fluttering amongst the beautiful flowers of the nearby Gardens of Hope. Complimentary Wifi is available in the dining room.

Breakfast Time!
It’s Breakfast Time for Everybody at the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, New Glasgow, PEI
View from the window of the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company Restaurant alongside the River Clyde
View from the window of the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company Restaurant alongside the River Clyde
Traditional Country Breakfast
Traditional Country Breakfast at the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, New Glasgow, PEI

This full-service restaurant has a great menu selection for breakfast and I’ve sampled most of them!

French Toast
French Toast, Prince Edward Island Preserve Company

Many items can be prepared gluten-free or vegetarian. Items range from granola to the standard country breakfast to French toast, pancakes, Belgian waffles, egg croissant to the breakfast frittata which is seriously the best I’ve ever had. Served in an au gratin dish, it’s filled with peppers, green onions, mushrooms, and three cheeses.  Served with sautéed potatoes and toast, this is the full meal deal and you won’t need to eat for the rest of the day!

Breakfast Frittata
Breakfast Frittata at the Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, PEI

Kettle Black, 45 Queen Street, Charlottetown

Price Point: $3.50 – $12 (at time of writing)

Located not far from the Charlottetown waterfront, this independently-owned coffee shop is housed in a refurbished historic building. Look for the bright sunflower yellow store front.

Inside, the exposed brick walls and high ceilings lend a European look and feel. A variety of seating options is available – tables, padded benches, bar stool and counter, and easy chairs.  This is casual dining where you place your order at the register, pick up your beverage, find a table, and a server will then deliver your order to your table. Complimentary Wifi is available.

Breakfast is served all day! Breakfast items range from bagels, Belgian-style waffle, homemade granola and yogurt, and frittata.  Known especially for their types of coffees, they roast organic coffee beans in-house and you can get your lattés, cappuccinos and mochaccinos as well as standard americano coffees here.

My choice at Kettle Black is the frittata that is served with a tasty side salad and toast (gluten-free bread is available).

Breakfast Frittata
Breakfast Frittata at Kettle Black, Charlottetown, PEI

Together, these four establishments offer a wide variety of tasty breakfast fare.

Four Great Places on PEI for Breakfast

 

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins Recipe

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

I make a lot of muffins and freeze them to take to work for coffeebreak snacks. I am always testing out flavour combinations for muffins.  This recipe combines grated zucchini, applesauce, granola, orange rind, and spices to make tasty muffins. Adding some granola to the muffin tops makes them colorful and interesting.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

Muffins are not difficult to make and one of the most important tips I have for muffin making is not to over mix the ingredients – this will lead to a tough-textured muffin. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry just until the two are barely combined – it’s okay if you still see a small bit of the dry ingredients. Don’t worry, by the time you spoon the batter into the muffin tin cups, all the dry ingredients will get incorporated.

In a perfect muffin, look for texture that is uniform and neither soggy nor too dry and that has a medium crumb that is moist and tender and somewhat loose. A well-baked muffin will also reveal round gas holes that are uniformly distributed as shown in the photo below.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Zucchini Granola Muffins

I like to start the muffins baking in a really hot oven (475°F) and then immediately reduce the heat (down to 400°F for these) when I place the muffins in the oven. It’s important that the oven is preheated. I find this quick start of high heat helps the muffins to rise really quickly at the beginning of the baking period and will give them that nice symmetrically-formed, slightly rounded dome-shaped top that is customary in muffins (see photo below). A well-formed muffin should not have any sharp peak or knob on the top.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

The crust of a good muffin should be thin and tender with a rough, pebbled surface.  The muffin, on all sides (including the bottom), should have a uniformly browned crust with no sign of darkness or burning.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

I do not recommend using paper liners in the muffin tins for these as the muffins won’t have a nice brown crust and I find some of the muffin sticks to the liners – these taste too good to lose any to a paper liner!

I have used The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola in this recipe.  This is my own recipe that you can find here. It’s quite easy to make.

The Bistro's Great Nut-free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

The muffin recipe has not been tested using any other kind of granola than my own recipe. Therefore, if you choose to use other granola as an ingredient in these muffins, the results may differ as some granola is loose texture while another type may be large and clumped together.  This will obviously affect the amount of granola needed in the recipe.

Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

While these are delightful warm from the oven, the muffins also freeze well – all I do is simply split them in two, add a slather of butter, put the two halves back together, and wrap them tightly in plastic wrap then pop them in to a freezer bag. This makes lunch packing quick and easy on work day mornings.

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

(printable recipe follows at end of this post)

Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

Ingredients:

1⅔ cup all-purpose flour

⅓ cup whole wheat flour

1 tbsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

2½ tsp cinnamon

⅛ tsp nutmeg

2 tsp finely grated orange rind

1¼ cups of The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

 

2 extra-large eggs, slightly beaten

¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

½ cup vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla

⅓ cup milk

1 cup coarsely grated zucchini

⅔ cup applesauce

Apx. ¼ – ⅓ cup granola for topping (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 475°F. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tins are also well-greased/sprayed.

In large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Stir in orange rind and mix in the granola. Set aside.

In medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and milk.  Stir in the zucchini and applesauce just until well combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir only until mixed. Do not overmix.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup a generous ¾ full.  Sprinkle some granola on top of each muffin, if desired.

Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 400°F.  Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield:  14-16 standard-sized muffins

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Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

Yield: 14-16 standard-sized muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 1¼ cups of The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola
  • 2 extra-large eggs, slightly beaten
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 cup coarsely grated zucchini
  • 2/3 cup applesauce
  • Apx. ¼ - 1/3 cup granola for topping (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top of the muffin tins are also well-greased/sprayed.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose and whole wheat flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir in orange rind and mix in the granola. Set aside.
  3. In medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla and milk. Stir in the zucchini and applesauce just until well combined.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir only until mixed. Do not overmix. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup a generous ¾ full. Sprinkle some granola on top of each muffin, if desired.
  5. Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 400°F. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.
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Best Zucchini Granola Muffins
Best Zucchini Granola Muffins

The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola Recipe

The Bistro's Great Nut-Free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola

This granola recipe features a tasty mixture of toasted rolled oats, coconut, and dried fruits and berries.  Notably missing in this recipe are any nuts or whole seeds which are often found in granola.  This is intentional.  For anyone who, for any reason, cannot consume nuts or whole seeds, this granola is especially for you!

The Bistro's Great Nut-Free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola

Granola is an oat-based cereal. Typically, the base ingredients will include:

  • rolled oats (use the ones that have large flakes; easily customize the recipe to be gluten-free by using gluten-free oats),
  • some kind of sweetener (e.g., brown sugar, maple syrup, or honey),
  • an oil (e.g., coconut, vegetable, or olive),
  • dried fruits and/or nuts, and
  • flavoring (such as vanilla and a medley of spices that often include cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamon).

Granola is very versatile and is so much more than a cereal served with milk for breakfast, although that is quite lovely. Here are some ways I like to use granola:

  • topping for yogurt parfaits,
  • snack food (like a trail mix),
  • ingredient in muffins, cookies, and bars,
  • crushed/ground and used to bread chicken pieces or as a topping for casseroles,
  • sprinkled over salads, or
  • mixed with toppings for a baked fruit crisp

It’s very easy to customize granola to suit your taste. If you want to add some nuts or chocolate chips to the granola, for example, swap out an equal amount of dried fruit or berries.  Or, if don’t like raisins, exchange them for an equal amount of another ingredient such as dried blueberries, cranberries, cherries, or apricots.  The important thing is to keep the proportions of ingredients in the recipe.

The Bistro's Great Nut-Free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola

If you can turn on an oven and heat a mixture in a saucepan on the stove, you can make granola!  The sweetener, oil, and flavorings are heated in a small saucepan on the stove top just until they are warmed and well blended.  This syrup gets poured over the oats and stirred to ensure the oats are coated.  The oats are then spread on a large cookie sheet and baked in the oven for 35-45 minutes until they turn golden brown.  They are then cooled and tossed with the mixture of dried fruits and berries.

It’s very important to pay attention to the oats as they bake because they can easily burn.  The oats need to be turned 3-4 times as they bake to ensure that they toast evenly on all sides.  As soon as they start to turn a deep caramel color and begin to get a bit crispy, they are done.

The Bistro's Great Nut-Free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola

The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

Ingredients:

3 cups large flake rolled oats
2 tbsp ground flaxseed

1 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries (or a combination of two or three)
1 cup sultana raisins
½ cup hemp hearts
¼ cup chopped dates
½ cup dried pineapple
½ cup dried papaya

½ cup coconut oil
½ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp cardamom
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch salt

½ cup flaked coconut

Method:

Preheat oven to 300°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil. Spray lightly with cooking oil.

Combine rolled oats and ground flaxseed in large bowl.

In separate large bowl, combine cranberries, cherries, and/or blueberries along with the raisins, hemp hearts, dates, pineapple, nd papaya. Set aside.

In small saucepan, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, spices, and salt. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture is well blended and heated. Do not boil.

Pour hot syrup over oats and toss to coat. Spread oats evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until oats are a deep caramel color and start to get crispy. Stir oats every 12-15 minutes, turning them over with a spatula, so that the oats toast evenly. Add coconut to oats during the last 5-7 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes then transfer toasted oat mixture to the large bowl containing the dried fruit. Stir well to combine all ingredients.

Store granola in airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days or store in refrigerator for longer use.

Yield:   Apx. 7½ – 8 cups

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The Bistro’s Great Nut-free Granola

Yield: Apx. 7 1/2 - 8 cups

A tasty nut-free granola made with a wonderful blend of dried fruits and berries

Ingredients

  • 3 cups large flake rolled oats
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1 cup dried cranberries, cherries, or blueberries (or a combination of two or three)
  • 1 cup sultana raisins
  • ½ cup hemp hearts
  • ¼ cup chopped dates
  • ½ cup dried pineapple
  • ½ cup dried papaya
  • ½ cup coconut oil
  • ½ cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • Pinch salt
  • ½ cup flaked coconut

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with tinfoil. Spray lightly with cooking oil.
  2. Combine rolled oats and ground flaxseed in large bowl.
  3. In separate large bowl, combine cranberries, cherries, and/or blueberries along with the raisins, hemp hearts, dates, pineapple, and papaya. Set aside.
  4. In small saucepan, combine coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, spices, and salt. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture is well blended and heated. Do not boil.
  5. Pour hot syrup over oats and toss to coat. Spread oats evenly on baking sheet. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until oats are a deep caramel color and start to get crispy. Stir oats every 12-15 minutes, turning them over with a spatula, so that the oats toast evenly. Add coconut to oats during the last 5-7 minutes of baking. Remove from oven and cool for 20-30 minutes then transfer toasted oat mixture to the large bowl containing the dried fruit. Stir well to combine all ingredients. Store granola in airtight container at room temperature for 5-7 days or store in refrigerator for longer use.
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The Bistro's Great Nut-Free Granola
The Bistro’s Great Nut-Free Granola