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Big Apple To Kentucky Granola

Carolyn Gahn didn’t grow up on a farm. She grew up in Florida and majored in theater. Her husband, Jacob, left UK with a degree in computer programming and found a great job in New York City.

They wondered what was in the food they ate and felt uncomfortable with no skills to grow their own. “We were borderline vegetarians,” she says.

They quit their jobs and left New York to volunteer as workers on organic farms across the country. They eventually returned to Kentucky, where Jacob had grown up, rented farmland for two years, and then bought a 68-acre farm in Garrard County.  

On their farm, served by Inter-County Energy Cooperative, they raise their own meat, pastured poultry, and a garden. They have dairy goats, “so I make a lot of yogurt and cheese,” says Carolyn. Jacob makes beer and wants to make cider, so they have planted apple trees. They eat  the fresh produce they grow, and ferment cabbage, turnips, and sweet potatoes.  

The Gahns also grow some sorghum for their hobby-turned-business granola company, Sweetgrass Granola, named for the sorghum that naturally sweetens it (along with honey from other local farms). The Gahns make four flavors—Kentucky Harvest, Cinnamon Kane, Cherry Home Companion, and Germantown Chocolate—in their certified kitchen for distribution to Whole Foods and Good Foods in Lexington, and Rainbow Blossom and Whole Foods in Louisville. Granola purchased from their Web site ships for no cost. Find out more online at

Sweet Potato Granola Muffins

1 C cinnamon granola
1 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 C fresh sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
1/2 C light brown sugar
1/3 C butter, melted
1/4 C sorghum
1/4 C milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400°. In a large bowl, combine granola, flour, baking powder, spices, and baking soda. Add sweet potatoes, sugar, butter, sorghum, milk, egg, and vanilla, and stir to blend, just until well-moistened. Divide among 12 greased muffin tins. Bake 15 to 20 minutes. 

Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie

Recipe by Sarah Fritschner

1 1/4 C gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 25 cookies)
1 Tbsp sugar
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

12 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 C packed light brown sugar
1/4 C sorghum
2 eggs
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
15 oz canned pumpkin

Heat oven to 350°. Mix cookie crumbs and sugar in medium bowl. Add melted butter and stir until moist. Transfer crumbs to 9-inch pie dish; press crumbs firmly onto bottom and up sides of dish. Bake crust until firm, about 8 minutes. Set aside. Turn oven to 425°.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until no lumps, scraping sides of the bowl often. Add sugar, sorghum, eggs, spices, and salt; beat again to combine evenly. Add pumpkin and stir to blend. Pour mixture into crust and bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350° and bake 20 more minutes, or until the custard is set but wiggles slightly in the center. Transfer to a rack and cool completely. Chill before serving in thin slices. Serves 12.

SARAH FRITSCHNER coordinates Louisville Farm to Table, a program bringing more Kentucky-grown food into local homes, restaurants, and institutions.


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