The rain and wet weather is back which doesn’t help my January blues, especially after enjoying a fun and festive holiday season. One way I’m coping is by getting back to the healthful and welcome staples that our family enjoys like granola, a quick and satisfying breakfast (and late night snack).
When my mother discovered the book, Diet for a Small Planet by Frances Moore Lappé in 1971, foods like granola moved onto my radar along with brown rice and soya beans. Through the 70’s I often had granola at the ready for breakfast and snacks, but over time it somehow dropped out of my regular breakfast repertoire. A few years ago I happily got back into the “granola groove”, and realize how much I missed it. I now have renewed fans and new fans for granola in my household. Their comments aren’t so much focused on the healthy aspects of granola but (like me) they just love the flavour and textures that oats, dried fruit and toasty nuts bring to the breakfast bowl.
As a note, granola started out in the late 1800’s as sanitarium fare, so if it helps keep you sane, while delivering a yummy start to the day, all the better. Hey, it can't hurt!
- 4 cups organic rolled oats
- 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup quinoa flakes
- 1 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 2/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup grapeseed oil
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 3/4 cup dried tart cherries or cranberries
- 3/4 cup organic raisins
- 1/4 cup chopped candied ginger
Preheat your oven to 300°F making sure that the oven rack is in the centre.
Line a large heavy large baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Put all the ingredients except the spices, maple syrup, grapeseed oil and the dried fruit into a large bowl (note: the dried fruit gets added in AFTER the granola is baked). Mix the maple syrup, spices and the oil in a separate bowl, then pour over all the dry ingredients. Toss everything gently to coat and distribute all the ingredients.
Spread the mixture onto the baking sheet.
Bake for 30 - 35 minutes, stopping every 10 minutes to stir and redistribute the ingredients so that everything toasts as evenly as possible.
After removing the granola from the oven, stir in the cranberries or cherries, raisins, and candied ginger.
When completely cool, transfer and store in tightly sealed glass jars.
Serve with milk or yogurt, and if you'd like, a spoonful of fresh fruit, or jam.
Ah, I feel better already,.. don't you?