The Heart Filling Magic of Granola and Other Flexible Foods

I’ve waited far too long to start pinning down recipes, thoughts on food and cooking and the like. Nothing better represents my style as a body in the kitchen than the creation of granola. Often a result of procrastination or just an itch to put some of my favorite foods together, the process of throwing together seeds, oats, fruits, and whatever else is lurking in your kitchen cabinets is extremely rewarding.

I’m a believer in the non-scientific kitchen; rarely do I utilize measuring spoons or cups, or pay much attention to finicky notes of a recipe. Most of the time this works in my favor, other unsuccessful consequences of my efforts have made me realize I’d be better off next time paying more attention to the sage words of published cookbook authors and chefs. They do know best but I’m working on trusting my intuition inside and out of the kitchen.

Granola is a joy to make for its therapeutic process and is gratifying for those who consume it as well-some may curse it for its addictive properties while at the same time praising it for all its toasty, hearty glory.

And onto the food:

ImageThis recipe is always changing and eternally forgiving. Make do with what you have and you’ll almost always be satisfied with your result if you pay attention to your general ratios of wet and dry ingredients. It feels foolish to be writing on about the praises of a baked good but in this moment this recipe is a tangible representation of what I’m all about and what you can be in the kitchen. Cooking should be pleasurable, flexible, and empowering. Starting with something that you can create noon or night, bent over your recipe book or devouring a web page, granola is a quick way to satisfy a craving to stir, bake, and create.

This pretty little batch manifested in the morning hours, the best time in my opinion with its bright light pouring in through the windows and quiet atmosphere. It’s a luxury to indulge in whatever your creative mind pushes you to do before the day falls into its necessities.

Here we have:

3 cups oats (old fashioned, rolled,  quick, whatever will do!)

1 tablespoon of coconut (or almond flour)

a toss in of ground flax seed for added nutrition and omega-3’s (chia seeds or uncooked quinoa have been another winner for me in the past)

1 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 cup raw almonds

1 cup raisins or craisins

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut

4 tablespoons coconut oil (butter, canola, olive or a cominbation have all worked in the past)

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla

a few grinds of sea salt

2 tablespoons cinnamon (however much cinnamon suits you!)

Note*: adding an egg white and a tablespoon of wheat flour will aid in creating more clumpy granola. Here I omitted flour to keeps things gluten free but keeping the egg white will aid in allowing the granola to break into clumps as it cools.

ImageCombine your wet ingredients, cinnamon and salt  in a sauce pan and heat until bubbling and homogeneous.

Pour over your tossed together oats, seeds, nuts and other mix ins until coated.

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Light illuminating food may be one of my favorite things.   

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Dump the mixture onto a baking sheet and press the pile down to conform to the pan. Bake at 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (I play around with temperature) for about 30 to 40 minutes.

nola4

Boom. When everything looks toasty and ready to roll, let the sheet of ‘nola rest in the pan until cool. Doing this will allow you to break it into chunks (if clumps are what you are looking for) before containing.

My favorite way to enjoy granola is probably intermittently throughout the day in hand fulls, preferably with a hot mug of dark coffee.

Granola will grant you peace and power for your next adaptable, easy going cooking adventure.

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1 Comment

Filed under Advice, Baked, Breakast, Grains, Snacks

One response to “The Heart Filling Magic of Granola and Other Flexible Foods

  1. Roger Ingraham

    These writings with pictures are wonderful! Thank you so much for doing this!

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