"California is like a bowl of granola; full of fruits, nuts, and flakes." Gallagher
: a mixture typically of rolled oats and various added ingredients (as brown sugar, raisins, coconut, and nuts) that is eaten especially for breakfast or as a snack
OR: noun: a Birkenstock wearing, tree-hugging, mushroom picking hippie.
Hip Hip Horray for Granolas!
Somewhere, buried deep inside of me, there still resides a granola; a remnant of a former girl who used to wander the countryside making daisy chains and gathering rosehips for jam. Those were wonderful times, where a lazy day of reading in a tree or knitting wool socks by the fire were not thought twice about. Someday, I'll tell you more about that girl and her many unique and impressionable food experinces that worked together to inspire her to follow her passion for great food.
I miss her occasionally, but I know she's still there, waiting for the day when I'll take her out of the city; but for now she'll (I'll) have to be content with making some crunchy granola with lots of seeds and nuts.
This is a quick recipe that I love and doesn't take any sugar. (Hippies are more into honey, the more natural and unprocessed the better) You can substitute any type of nuts, dried fruit and seeds your heart desires. I generally use up all the scraps in my cupboard.
I almost want to call this 'Granola Topping', because it is good enough to sprinkle over a bowl of ice cream, pile onto your morning oatmeal, or -my favorite- mound onto yogourt. Also, it's better in small portions as it's quite the dose of fiber, and a whole bowl of this just might rearrange your digestive system in a way that may not be the most comfortable. Danny has valiantly attempted to plow his way through a generous bowl of my granola in the morning and when I come on the scene, he is usually rubbing his jaw and looking at me like "What are you trying to do to me?". Of course if you eat a wussy bowl of Frosted Flakes every morning, the real deal granola is going to take it's toll. Ah, men. They don't make them like they used to.
I have to thank my sister, a true granola (with a cute little granola family), for the recipe.
5 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped nuts and seeds (like pumpkin, sesame, sunflower or flax. Not like watermellon or papaya. !)
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
dash of cinnamon
1-2 cups dried fruit
Asemble oats, nuts and seeds together in a bowl. Here I am using coconut, hazelnuts and pumpkin seeds.
Combine honey, oil, vanilla and cinnamon in a pot and heat to near boiling.
Pour over oat mixture and stir quickly until well combined.
Pour oats onto a baking sheet and spread over the entire pan. Oats should be no more than 3/4 inch high on the pan. (you may need two pans)
Bake at 325F for about 20-30 minutes. You will need to remove it from the oven halfway through and stir it to ensure even coloring. It should color to a nice golden brown. Cool.
Now add your dried fruit and mix well. Here I have added raisins and chopped apricots. Mmmm.
Store in an airtight container. Keeps well for several weeks.
Enjoy your homemade granola!