As I'm writing this, it is raining. A good, hard, steady rain. The perfect kind for snuggling up in a warm blanket and getting lost in a really good book. Woody Guthrie is laying next to me in complete relaxation. These are the elements of a perfectly pleasant afternoon. But to be perfectly perfect, it needs a snack. And what would be more fitting than some freshly made granola?
I am a sucker for some good granola and I've been fiddling around with the makings of a recipe for quite some time now. To me, granola should be cinnamon-y, crunchy (but not too crunchy), simple, and delicious. That's the most important component. It must be delicious. I also don't like recipes that are too fussy or require too much care (i.e., lots of oven time with lots of shuffling around on the baking sheet to ensure there's no burned bits). Because isn't the ideal granola eaten by the handful while one passes absentmindedly through the kitchen? That's what's ideal to me.
I don't want to tout my granola-making abilities, but this recipe is good. As in could-be-eaten-on-ice-cream good, or could-be-eaten-on-yogurt good, or could-be-enjoyed-with-almond-milk good, or could-be-eaten-all-by-itself good. I hope you make this recipe and enjoy it as much as I do.
The beauty of granola is that it can be modified to meet one's individual preferences. Not a fan of sliced almonds? Substitute hazelnuts or cashews instead. No sesame seeds on hand? Mix in a few sunflower seeds in their place. Unsure about buckwheat groats? Add 2 cups of rolled oats instead. Toss in bits of dried fruit or even chocolate chips if you're really feeling fancy!
M Y F A V O R I T E G R A N O L A
Makes about 3 cups
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 teaspoons coconut sugar
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter (unsweetened*)
1 tablespoon coconut oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
pinch of salt
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup raw buckwheat groats
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tablespoon chia seeds
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
*If you don't have unsweetened peanut butter, I would suggest forgoing the coconut sugar.
1. Preheat your oven to 350º F and lightly coat a baking sheet with coconut oil.
2. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, combine maple syrup, coconut sugar, peanut butter, coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Heat until coconut sugar has completely melted and the mixture resembles a thick sauce. Stir occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, combine the rolled oats, buckwheat groats, shredded coconut, sliced almonds, chia seeds, and sesame seeds in a large mixing bowl.
4. Once the sauce mixture is completely emulsified, pour it over the dry ingredients and gently combine with a spatula until the mixture is evenly coated.
5. Pour the granola onto the baking sheet and spread evenly.
6. Pop the granola into the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, shuffle the granola around on the sheet (to help with even baking) and pop back into the oven for another 10 minutes.
7. Remove the granola from the oven and place it (still on its baking sheet) on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before enjoying.