August 27, 2011
So it's late August, and I started getting emails from a school about meetings and classes and schedules and things like that. I was confused. I had to put down my knitting and take a closer look. It turns out that those paychecks I've been getting all summer? They're not actually paying me to sit at home in my pajamas and knit and go on bike rides and have elaborate lunches and go cheese tasting or sake tasting with my teacher friends. In fact they are expecting me to come and teach some children. Sigh. Well, it was probably time I stopped eating ice cream every day anyway.
The return to school seems an appropriate time for me to share with you my granola recipe. I love, love, love my granola. It might sound like hyperbole but I am not exaggerating when I say that making a batch of it on Sunday makes me feel ready for the week, and a bowl of granola with yogurt and fruit actually makes me kind of excited to get up in the morning.
For a while, I was buying my granola in bulk, but I got to talking to lots of friends who made their own granola, so I figured I should give it a try. I started out with a recipe from Joy the Baker, and after many batches and tweaks and phone calls to my friend Andrea, who is a granola guru, I've got it exactly how I like it. So friends, here it is. And once you get the idea, you can make your own adjustments to find your perfect granola - try it with different nuts (like pistachios or hazelnuts), change the sweetener (maple syrup instead of honey, or all honey), try different grains (you can use barley flakes or kamut flakes too). I eat it with a dollop of plain whole milk yogurt and whatever fruit is in season: right now, nectarines and blackberries; soon it will be apple sauce or pumpkin butter; in winter I like pomegranates and clementines; dried fruits are always good too. Michael likes it too but doesn't usually eat it for breakfast - but we both enjoy it for dessert served on top of vanilla ice cream.
Honey Almond Granola (makes about 4 cups)
Adapted from Joy the Baker, who adapted it from Martha Stewart
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1.5 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp white sugar
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, coconut, salt, and cinnamon.
In a small saucepan, mix together the oil, butter, sugars, and honey. Cook them over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved, then add the vanilla extract.
Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until everything is well coated. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it as evenly as possible.
Bake for 30 minutes, stirring it around every 10 minutes. The granola is done when it has turned slightly golden brown - but note that it will not get crisp until you've taken it out of the oven and let it cool. If you're not sure whether or not it's done, remove a spoonful and set it out to cool, then taste it for texture. You can cook it longer if you like your granola crisper, or for a shorter time if you want it softer.
Let the granola cool completely before putting it into an airtight container for storage - but don't let it sit out too long after it's cooled; it will lose its crunch.