My muesli supply was depleted earlier this week and not wanting to make the long trek to my food coop, I needed something beyond fruit to put in my morning yogurt. Decided it was high time to turn to granola. I’m not a big fan generally, and would not choose to order it out.
Luckily — and now happily! — I came upon consummate baker Irvin Lin’s granola recipe which is actually a framework in which to structure your granola-prep based on what you like and what you have on hand. At least that’s the way it worked for me, happily, this a.m. If I had it on hand, I would happily have included dried apricots and coconut — and some coconut oil — but there’s next time.
I also came upon this definition of granola attributed to the Urban Dictionary, which was amusing:
“An adjective used to describe people who are environmentally aware (flower child, tree-hugger), open-minded, left-winged, socially aware and active, gay friendly, anti-oppressive/discriminatory (racial, sexual, gender, class, age, etc.) with an organic and natural emphasis on living, who might refrain from consuming or using anything containing animals and animal by-products (for health and/or environmental reasons), as well as limit consumption of what he or she does consume, as granola people are usually concerned about wasting resources. Usually buy only fair-trade goods and refrain from buying from large corporations, as most exploit the environment as well as their workers, which goes against granola core values. The choice of not removing body hair (see ‘amazon’) and drug use are not characteristics that define granola people, and people, regardless of granola status, may or may not partake in said activities. This definition is sometimes confused with hippie.”
oats, 3 c (350g) (options: rolled rye, rolled barley)
Nuts, 2 c (125g) — slivered almonds and walnut pieces are good (options include pistachios)
Seeds, 1-1/3 c (200 g) — pepitas. I used less than this quantity and added flax seed meal later with the currants (options: sunflower seeds, chia seeds)
cinnamon, 1 t
Cardamom, 3/4 t
Nutmeg, grated, ~1/2 t or less. (optional addition: ground ginger, 1 t)
Sea salt, 1 t
Combine in small pot:
Maple syrup, 1/4 c — suggest Grade B, dark not amber — for more flavor
Dark brown sugar, 1/4 c. (options: coconut palm sugar; or eliminate and double maple syrup)
Olive oil, 1/3 c (option: melted coconut oil)
vanilla, 2 t
Egg whites, 2
Dried fruit for later addition:
Currants, 1-1/2 c (option: dried apricots, coconut, and/or dried cherries as part of a mixture)
Also flax meal to add in later — 1/3 c approx
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Take out large rimmed baking sheet.
In large bowl, mix together oats and other dry ingredients up through salt.
In small pot combine the maple syrup, sugar, oil and vanilla. Heat over medium heat and stir until brown sugar dissolves.
Pour sweetener on top of dry ingredients and mix.
Add in egg whites and mix.
Dump contents of bowl onto baking sheet and spread out.
Bake for 20 minutes.
Dump dried fruit — and flax seed meal if using — onto middle of baking sheet, and scrape in pan contents over top to mix. Spread out again and pat down.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool to room temp. (If you do not let cool, the granola won’t clump, which is what you want to have happen, particularly for later.)
Store at room temp in covered container.
Note: this is a close cousin to the crisp topping on fruit crisp, which is delicious served with ice cream melting onto the crisp. So if you like, feel free to use this as dessert with ice cream and perhaps some berries.