“I’m going to take pictures of my granola, and you’re just going to have to humor me and not ask any questions.” And so began my love note to granola.
I love granola. Always have. Crunchy and slightly sweet, it’s a hearty way to start the day. Except I hardly ever had it in the house, dissuaded at the supermarket from indulging in my love by the tiny bags and high prices. Why should I spend a portion of the grocery budget on something that only I would enjoy, I thought. Guess I’ll just get the shredded wheat again. Sigh…
Enter the vegan challenge and a good recipe for homemade granola. I’d come across granola recipes plenty of times, but never fancied myself as a make-your-own-granola type of gal; it seemed a little crunchy, if you know what I mean. I was even less inclined to make myself something I liked than to buy it. When I write that, it seems extraordinarily backwards and silly, but I never really thought of it that way while standing in the cereal aisle. In the interest of participating in the challenge to the best of my ability, and wanting to eat more homemade, whole foods, I gave the granola recipe a try.
Turns out, making your own granola is fantastic! It’s fun, tasty, and inexpensive. I’m the only one in my house who really eats it, so I’ve got a recipe figured that lasts me a week and costs about $1.50. Best of all, I can add in whatever tasty tidbits I like each morning, from dried cherries and roasted almonds to chocolate chips and coconut flakes. I feel like I’ve been missing out on this little secret, and it has me wondering what other pleasures I’ve been unknowingly denying myself.
What is your granola? Is there something out there that you love but tend to shy away from for some reason? Could it be that creating this pleasure for yourself is wholly worth the effort?
Granola for One
3 c whole oats
1/4 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c shredded coconut or sliced almonds (or both!)
1 T cinnamon
1 t nutmeg
2/3 c maple syrup (or honey or a combo of both)
1/4 c canola oil (or coconut oil)
1 t vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a small bowl mix together the maple syrup, oil, and vanilla. In a larger bowl, stir together all dry ingredients. Add the maple mixture to the dry mixture and stir until all the oats are coated with sweet goodness. Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Stir and bake for another 15 minutes or until mixture is dry and toasted. Let cool and store in an airtight container. Add in ideas: dried fruit, chocolate chips, chopped pecans, crystalized ginger, banana chips, whatever makes you feel zesty in the morning.