Everyone is always calling me a hippie, so it’s only natural I provide a recipe for granola. You are what you eat, I guess! I love preparing a batch of granola on Sundays so I have it for the workweek and because it makes the house smell good. It makes a great breakfast or works really well for a late afternoon sweet craving that will help power you through until dinner. It’s also a nice pre-workout snack. As you prepare the granola, preheat the oven to 350° F. You will need the following ingredients:
- 2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal (not instant)
- 1 heaping cup of mixed nuts (sliced almonds, pistachios, walnuts, pecans, pine, etc.)
- ½ cup mixed seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds, etc.)
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut (I like “Let’s Do Organic” brand)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon of wheat germ
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 5 tablespoons maple syrup (use the pure kind)
- 1 cup dried fruit
- ½ cup dark chocolate chips
Mix the first ingredients together in a bowl and spread out on a baking sheet. I like to use one with high sides so it’s easier to stir later. Once you have it smoothed out, drizzle with the oils and maple syrup. If you don’t have coconut oil, just use all olive oil. Bake 25-30 minutes. Every five minutes or so, pull the granola out of the oven and stir it with a wooden spatula and then return to the oven. The granola tends to burn quickly if this step is missed. Remove it from the oven when the granola is golden.
After the granola has cooled down to room temperature, add roughly chopped dried fruit. I like to use dried cherries and wild blueberries, but other ideas are raisins, mangos, and apples. The dark chocolate chips are optional, or course, but I really like them in there to help satisfy sweet cravings. These cravings usually strike when I am overly tired and this snack helps boost energy. Store it in an airtight container. I like to use a 1.5-liter screw top glass jar and just leave it sitting on the countertop. Sur le Table makes some nice ones. It’s one of the weapons in my “hangry” prevention arsenal. I get really mean when I get too hungry, as Chief can attest to.
You can serve this with milk (cow, almond, soy, rice, oat, etc.) or yogurt. Another idea is to layer the granola with yogurt and fresh berries like a yogurt parfait. This looks really nice when done in one of the screw-top jars in a smaller size (.25 liter) and is a wonderful way to do breakfast on the go.
This granola is a great alternative to store-bought granola both for the novelty and because you can control the type of sweetener that is used, which is maple syrup in this case. Maple syrup has the benefits of having iron, manganese, zinc and calcium and also contains antioxidants and polyphenols. In addition to that, it has a more concentrated sweet taste for the same amount as cane sugar. If you don’t like coconut, don’t be turned off by this recipe. It only acts as a sweetener and doesn’t taste much at all like coconut. Enjoy!