Am I granola?

I am powerless in the face of this granola! It calls my name from the cabinet and insists I eat spoon after spoon of it every time I see the zip lock bag I lovingly store it in.

Do I qualify as granola? Let’s examine the facts:

  1. My car is a hybrid prius but I look longingly at mini-vans and ford explorers.
  2. I wear flip-flops 365 days a year.
  3. I use natural deodorant and am gluten-free, but not vegan.
  4. I love peanuts and raisins, the only two ingredients you need to make cute little peanut sandwiches (peanut on top and bottom, raisin in the middle).
  5. I am very OCD tidy and organized around the house, minimalist in some areas, but not plastic-free or waste-free.
  6. I don’t make seaweed ravioli and I buy what’s on sale, not just fair-trade or organic…unless there is a really good sale at Whole Foods, which isn’t often.
  7. I don’t wear make-up now mostly because of allergies and I don’t care anymore. But I do remove body hair.
  8. I was born in California so might have been a flower child.
  9. My HOA has labeled me a tree-hugger.
  10. I live in a house, but once lived in a tepee.

I am granola, aren’t I?

NOW THIS IS WHAT I CALL A GRANOLA’S GRANOLA!

This recipe is simple, nothing tricky about it, and you can play around with it as you see fit. I adapted it from a restaurant in NYC—Eleven Madison Park—who gives every guest a bit of granola to take home for their breakfast the next morning. The oats are golden with brown sugar, a bit of olive oil, and salt to give it a good sweet-but-salty flavor. The dried cranberries (or dried cherries) peek out here and there, bits of softness in the crunchy whole.

INGREDIENTS
3 c rolled oats (not instant)
1 c pistachios, salted, chopped
1 c pumpkin seeds, salted
1 c slivered almonds halves
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/2 cup ground flax seed
1-2 t salt, to taste
1/3 c olive oil
1/4 c turbinado or demerara brown sugar
1 c dried cranberries
Optional: unsweetened coconut chips, 1/3 c maple syrup, dried cherries

 

STEPS
1. Preheat oven to 300F. In a large bowl, mix together the oats, salt, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, almonds, sunflower seeds, flax seed and whatever else you want. All but the cranberries or other dried fruit.
2. To a small saucepan set over low heat, add the sugar and olive oil. Warm the mixture until the sugar has just dissolved, usually about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Fold into the mixture of oats, making sure to coat the dry ingredients well.
3. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and spread the granola over it. Bake until lightly golden, 35 to 40 minutes, stirring granola a few times along the way. I stir it three times, about every 12-15 minutes.
4. Remove granola from oven, and mix in the dried cranberries. Allow to cool to room temperature before transferring to a zip lock bag or storage container. Makes about 6 cups.

So enjoy and experiment with whatever other flavours (vanilla??), spices (cinnamon??) and ingredients (coconut oil??) work for you.

NOTE: This tidbit may disqualify my granola status BUT if you are also powerless in its presence, put a 1/2 cup serving into a smaller bag and tell yourself you can only have one a day.

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Live life red.