This lazy Sunday evening in July, we sat in the window of our favorite wine bar.
and shared a picnic dinner.
I'm off to Charlotte, NC this week for work, while my husband holds down the fort. Even though I'm excited to go, this introvert sure will miss her quiet evenings working from home.
I hadn't planned on cooking, of course, my sweet husband would be fine with the grill and fresh steaks from the meat locker, but somehow throughout the weekend, gaps in the fridge managed to be filled. Homemade bread, flavored water, peanut butter protein balls, and quinoa pizza bites for snacking; Thai chicken lettuce wraps make a quick mid-day lunch
For his breakfast?
Our favorite granola, hands down. I can't imagine ever making anything different. The recipe made its first appearance on The Veggies last fall, although I thought it would be fun to bring it back, with updated pictures, for those who may be new to the site.
(The original post follows)
I really just wanted something with a slight bit of crunch to top my greek yogurt. Not that my standbys, a few chopped nuts, Ezekiel or Kashi cereal, weren't just fine. After thumbing through several whole-grain cookbooks, the idea of making homemade granola seemed like an attempt worth trying
It shouldn't be too sweet, an easily adaptable recipe to which I could add our favorite flavors, yet grown-up all on its own.
When I ran across this Olive Oil and Maple Granola, I knew that would be my launching point. Not only was it a Food52 community pick, but it had everything I'd been looking for
Oats, I love oats, don't get me wrong, nuts are ok, but as a personal preference, I wish for them as an accent. Maple syrup is a friend, coconut, olive oil and salt
A bit of something for every palate, salty, savory, and sweet
As the first batch emerged, I knew it was a keeper. The smell was incredible, with low and slow cooking perfecting its crunchy texture
A second iteration included cinnamon, vanilla, and toasted wheat germ, along with a few dried cranberries mixed in at the very end
Really, really good
So when it came time to decide what to bring for our Food Swap in September (theme: Grazing Food), it was a no-brainer. A full batch of granola and I was set.
A couple of words to the wise:
You'll want to take the granola out as soon as you see it starts to turn brown. It won't be crispy right away, its texture developing as it cools. It sure makes a lot! (Though it does freeze well)
ps: If you're someone like me who looks for nutrient balance in her meals, the granola, on its own, is high on the carb side. Don't forget to have it with your favorite protein source to create a balanced meal, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.
Also .. though the nutrient count is broken down by 1/4 cup. Again, for me, the crunch is really what I'm after, and use far less, probably a tablespoon or two, more as a garnish.
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~ Adapted from Food52
Maple and Olive Oil Granola (My Favorite)
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut, shredded or flaked
- 1 ¼ cup pecans, coarsely chopped
- ¾ cup maple syrup
- ½ cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup natural sugar (Sugar in the Raw or Turbinado)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- optional: dried fruit (we love dried cranberries or blueberries)
- Preheat the oven to 300° F
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, pecans, syrup, olive oil, sugar, and sea salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined.
- Spread the granola evenly over the prepared baking sheet, spreading it evenly in a single, clumpy layer.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the sheets from the oven, close the door to retain the heat, and scrape the outer edges of the granola toward the center and the center out to the edges. Work gently to maintain the crunchy clumps.
- Put the baking tray back in the oven and repeat the baking & scraping a second, third, and fourth time, for a total of 40-45 minutes (or until the granola is toasted)
- Remove granola from oven and season with more salt to taste.
- Once the granola has cooled, stir in the dried fruit.
- It will keep, stored in an airtight container, for at least a week, although it will also freeze beautifully