[Ugh, ignore the time stamp at the bottom. I didn't realize it was permanently on there until after I'd shot these photos.]
As I write this, I can smell the maple goodness of some freshly baked granola wafting in from the kitchen. The granola is still in the oven, but it’s not being quiet about it. That granola is here, loud and proud. It’s going to be effing good. And it knows it.
I’ve had a love-hate relationship with granola for the past few years. To be fair, I think a large amount of anything is likely to cause severe gas and bloating. <– Eating a lot of granola will make you have that. So will chocolate. But granola seemed a lot easier to cut out of my life than chocolate. Obviously. (Though I know some people that would disagree.) I also didn’t understand its reputation as a healthy food. It just seemed like a lot of carbs, and by the time I added protein and fruit to it, I was looking at a highly-caloric breakfast. For a while, it remained a topping on oatmeal and the occasional afternoon snack. And then for a while, I didn’t really see the point in it.
In high school, I had a pretty skewed sense of what was good for me. One time, I decided to cut out sugar. For three months: January 1st to March 20th, my birthday. And I did it. But I did it in a weird way: I cut out anything that could be labeled as a dessert, even if it was made with unrefined sweetners, and I cut out anything that directly said ‘sugar’ in the ingredients. Granola was, however, still a healthy food in my mind. So one time, when I went out with my friends to get dessert and they all got ice cream, I opted instead to– yes– get granola. I made them drive me to Whole Foods where I bought a container of the most delicious Cherry Almond Granola from their bakery. And then I ate the entire container.
this was, of course, the night before I was supposed to leave for Spain with a friend’s family for her 18th birthday. I didn’t immediately feel the effects of the granola after I ate it, but I definitely did the next day. On our way to the airport, through security, and on the 6/7-hour plane ride. If our plane made it to Spain in less than scheduled time, I’m sure I had something to do with it.
This recipe was inspired by a recipe taken from the granola recipe in the Kripalu cookbook. If you’ve ever been to Kripalu, you’ll remember the granola. It’s so good, and I’ve never had any like it anywhere else. This comes pretty close though, and somehow homemade granola always tastes amazing.
6 c. rolled oats.
3 1/2 c. rye flakes.
2 c. coconut flakes.
2 c. sunflower seeds.
3/4 c. barley malt.
2/3 c. pure maple syrup.
1 T. pure vanilla extract.
Sprinkle of salt.
1 c. raisins.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients. Combine wet to dry and mix well. Lay granola flat on a baking pan, making sure granola is even throughout pan (I used 2 pans). Bake for 50 minutes, taking the pans out halfway through to stir granola to ensure that it cooks evenly (I didn’t do this the first time, and the outer edges burnt). When done, let granola cool for 30 minutes. Mix in raisins, if desired. Store in an airtight or sealable container– I used a huge ziplock bag.
I really think granola is one of the simpler things to bake. It’s so easy, and once you get the hang of it, you can really experiment with different ingredients and flavors. It’s perfect with almond milk, oatmeal, or even eaten with your hands. Or on ice cream. Or yogurt. Or anytime.