After ten years in Colorado, I am not that surprised at this month’s drastic weather fluctuations. Here, April is always characterized by volatility, but enough already with this late spring snow! Today was exceptionally messy: five inches of snowfall throughout the day, with temperatures hovering around 20 degrees. Aside from venturing out for a cozy lunch and coffee break, I stayed indoors with the heat cranked high. I am eager to get my hands dirty in the soil and plant seeds and seedlings, but today called for indoor projects and some rest, accompanied by some tea and homemade granola that I made a couple of weeks ago.
I have always enjoyed store-bought granola, but I have always wanted to make it myself. It is quite easy and economical. Inspired by one of my favorite food blog’s recipe, I searched through my cupboards and refrigerator and created my own “kitchen sink” edition. Simply combine and bake some whole oats, seeds, nuts, cooking oil, and spices. Toss in your favorite dried fruit, once your mixture is thoroughly toasted. Don’t worry about the exact measurements; play around with what you have on hand, and clean out your dry goods stash at the same time.
Ingredients for “Kitchen Sink” Granola – adapted from a post by Cannelle et Vanille:
- 3 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 cup apple cider
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- dash clove
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 1 cup dried cranberries
Steps for preparing the granola:
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine your oats, nuts, and seeds in a large bowl.
- Combine your oil, cider, honey, and seasonings in a saucepan. Integrate over low heat, until the coconut oil liquifies. This will take less than five minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from heat, and empty this mixture into the bowl of oats, nuts, and seeds.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Evenly spread the mixture onto a large baking sheet (preferably with a one-inch lip, to avoid spillage) and bake 30-45 minutes, until golden brown. I slightly over-toasted my first batch. I impatiently turned up the heat to 350 degrees; be more patient than I was.
- Gently stir the mixture every 15 minutes, to ensure even baking.
- Once the mixture is browned and toasted to your desired shade, let cool completely. Stir in the dried fruit of your choice.
I served this granola over some plain Siggi’s Icelandic-Style Skyr yogurt, with a drizzle of Mittica sunflower honey. It was exceptionally good. Store this granola in an air-tight container for up to four weeks, or until it loses its crunch.