Wednesday, February 18, 2009
There were a million things to do this afternoon: bills to pay, phone calls to make, details to accomplish. Faced with an afternoon of tasks and just a tiny bit of anxiety about all that needs to be done, I coped by doing what any self-respecting, stressed out person should do: I made granola.
Yes, making granola was on the master to-do list. I like to travel with some healthy snacks, and since I'll be gone for nearly ten days, granola was a must. But there's just something about baking or making that is a huge stress reliever for me. It gives me a sense of accomplishment, yes. But I also love the few moments in the kitchen, combining, stirring, tasting and creating.
This is my staple granola recipe. If you look closely at the photo you'll notice that today's batch is missing about half the ingredients the recipe calls for. I was out of all that other stuff. What I did have was the oats, a bunch of sunflower seeds, and some dried currants. So I modified and mixed. I know it will turn out well, a tasty afternoon snack, or breakfast before I hit the East Coast morning air with yogurt or steaming hot milk.
By the time I return, we'll need more.
8 cups rolled oats
2 cups bran
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
1 cup flaxseed
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
dried fruit, optional
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine oats, bran, sesame seeds, coconut, almonds, and flaxseed. Sprinkle cinnamon over the top of the mixture.
In a saucepan gently heat salt, maple syrup, oil, honey, and vanilla till thin, about 5 minutes. Pour over oat mixture and stir well to coat.
Spread oat mix on parchment lined (essential!) cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Then bake for another 5-10 minutes, until golden brown and fragrant.
Let cool and toss in dried fruit if you like. Store in airtight containers.
P.S. This recipe makes a lot of granola. I halve the recipe and make it more often, though I do find it keeps very well.