This afternoon, to calm my nerves about starting my new job tomorrow and to fill my kitchen with an amalgam of comforting aromas, I made granola. I found the recipe from Healthy Green Kitchen, a very cool blog replete with healthy and environmentally-friendly tips on cooking, living, and gardening.
Yield: about 4 cups
*1/3 cup raw pumpkin seeds
*1/3 cup raw sunflower seeds
*1/3 cup raw sesame seeds
*2 cups organic rolled oats
*1-2 teaspoons organic ground cinnamon
*3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
*3 tablespoons organic coconut oil, liquified in a pan of hot water, if necessary
*1 teaspoon vanilla extract
*1/2 cup organic raisins
*1/2 cup organic dried cranberries, unsulphured dried apricots, or other dried fruit (chopped, if necessary)
*1/4 cup raw cacao nibs- optional, but highly recommended (70% dark chocolate chips could be substituted, if desired)
1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
2. Pour all ingredients except cacao nibs in a large bowl and stir well.
3. Spread the mixture evenly onto a baking sheet in a thin layer.
4. Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
5. Remove pan from oven, toss granola around, rotate the pan, and bake for another 15 minutes. Repeat until granola is completely dry and light golden brown (about 1 hour total).
6. Allow to cool and then stir in cacao nibs. Store in an air-tight container.
I purchased the ingredients from a nearby health food store. I’ve patronized Nature’s Pantry before, but every time I visit, I want to move in. There’s just something about being surrounded by non-conventional, ultra healthy, and somewhat kooky food, drinks, and supplements. Spriulina, anyone?
Here’s a picture of the makins’ for my granola:
I picked out my ingredients with the help of the store owner, then couldn’t resist buying more overpriced goodies. For some reason, I simply could not leave without Kombucha Tea, Ezekiel hamburger buns, and raw almond butter:
As for my final product, I think only used 1 cup of rolled oats instead of 2, rendering my batch kind of thin. But I proudly stand by the warm, delectable, and versatile snack I baked today:
After my granola cools, I plan to store a portion of it in a mason jar and gift it to my favorite yoga instructor for her upcoming birthday. As I’ve delved deeper into the world of culinary arts, I have connected to the beautiful experience of working with food, not just eating it. Food as a source of pleasure and emotional and physical nourishment resonates with me, as I enjoy cooking and baking for others. I want to nurture people I care about with whole, delicious dishes. A gift of granola serves this purpose completely. Who wouldn’t enjoy the mental and physical benefits of this crunchy, sweet, and chewy snack?