Oh, that Granola!
I equate September with ‘Back-to-School,’ and ‘Sweater-Wearing-Fall-in-Love-Weather’, and taking long, intellectual and philosophically-filled walks with hot chocolate. Somehow all of this translates to me the very basic need to make and have Granola at the ready, at home, at all times.
Granola is just one of those breakfast items that ticks all the boxes: It’s satisfying, it’s filling, it lasts forever, and we can eat it at any time of the day (hello, after-school snack, or pocket-snack for aforementioned long walk).
I have been making my own homemade granola for a while now, and have invented a few recipes inspired by either the location of retreats I’ve been invited to cook at and for spaces that I work at. One granola was called “Gårds Granola,” and was inspired by our silent meditative walk in the forest; we passed berries of all kinds and mushrooms begging to be foraged. So the granola that ensued featured cranberries, blueberries, and reishi mushrooms.
Another granola I created for LAMB, a new social members and co-working space in Stockholm, was inspired by the founders’ individual love for blueberries and cardamom; I add a hint of black pepper to really enliven the cardamom and a ‘pop in your mouth’ kind feel with puffed quinoa. It’s fun, unexpected and yet makes you feel right at home….just like LAMB makes you feel when you are there.
Back to the long walks, with hot chocolate. I make my kids hot chocolate with a hint of cinnamon and coconut strips, which I grew up on in Peru. So my “Boys’ granola” is a version of that. I serve it with warmed up oat milk with vanilla bean in it. The kids are basically eating my childhood hot chocolate, and because it’s filled with ingredients like Brazil nuts and coconut flakes, they are gaining healthy fats, supporting brain function and a healthy immune system. And it’s yummy! I also make a decidedly Dolce Vita version with candied ginger and pistachios, and a good dose of Pomerans peel (which is something we bake with in Sweden during the holidays but have been remiss in finding elsewhere). It gives it that citrusy scent of Mediterranean summers.
Here is the best part: granola is beyond easy to make! I have a base recipe and then let my imagination add all of the flavour combinations to make it an endless parade of delicious variety. I like to have it with warmed up oat milk that I throw into my Nespresso milk foamer, and there I add a ¼ teaspoon of vanilla powder, or a ¼ teaspoon of Matcha powder (great with the LAMB granola), and serve with the granola. I think as winter approaches that this warmed up approach is tastier than cold yogurt, and the granola is crispier and has a more exciting mouthfeel than oatmeal.
Let me know what variations you end up making with this basic recipe!
Camilla, The PracticePrint
Oh, that Granola!
3 cups oats (gluten free)
2 cups quinoa puffs
2 tablespoons chia seeds
4 tablespoons of your preferred choice of nuts (Brazil nuts, walnuts, pepitas) or seeds sunflower, hemp, sesame)
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon spices of your choice (cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg)
Flaky sea salt, cacao nibs, coconut strips, fruit mix-ins like dried berries, candied ginger, etc.
- Warm up the oven to 160°C
- Mix together all dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl
- Whisk together wet ingredients over low heat, just to emulsify these two together. Add the spices so it all becomes well mixed together and can coat the granola.
- Add the wet mixture over the dry ingredients, and fold it together with a silicone spatula (keeps the ingredients together while not sticking to the spatula). Keep folding until all of the dry ingredients have been coated with a glossy coat.
- Spread the granola over parchment paper on a baking sheet. Let it get toasty in the oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring through it 2-3 times during the toasting process to equally toast the granola and keep an eye out for burning.
- Remove the granola and let it cool slightly. Toss it into a bowl with any fruit mix-ins and a teaspoon of flaky Sea Salt. Store in an airtight container for up to three months.
This is a guest post. Any opinions expressed are the writer’s own.