Granola Girl at Heart

When I spent a month doing my yoga teachers training course at the Sivananda Vedanta Centre in Val Morin, Quebec, every morning I looked forward to the delicious homemade granola that was part of our breakfast.  My most favourite part of it was that the chef added chewy date pieces to it…. Mmmmm.  I was there through the month of September, and the cooler weather, along with all the yoga, made the granola a comforting and sustaining breakfast.

I found a great homemade granola recipe that I’ve made over the years that is very much like the one I enjoyed during my training.  I often come across packaged granola at the grocery store that looks so delicious, has a decent ingredient list, but contains a bitter enemy of mine… sunflower seeds!  All kidding aside, I have nothing personal against sunflower seeds, it’s just that I have an anaphylactic allergy to them, and many good and healthy store bought granola options contain this healthy and hearty seed so I stay away from them.

So… I’ve opted to make my own when I feel a granola mood comes around.  I love this recipe because I can do what ever I want to modify it and it holds up.

The recipe is from the book “Grazing: Portable finger snacks & finger food for anytime, anywhere” by Julie Van Rosendaal. 

This book is quite handy because it does have some great quick and healthy snack ideas.  With me being me, I have found a number of recipes in this book that I can tweak… substitute spelt flour instead of wheat flour, use maple syrup or honey instead of white sugar, coconut oil instead of butter… you get the picture.

Here’s the recipe from the book:

“My Granola” p. 18

6 cups old fashioned (large flakes) oats

1/2 – 1 cup chopped nuts (sliced almonds, pecans, walnuts or a combination)

pinch of cinnamon (optional)

1/4 tsp of salt

1 cup dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, cherries, chopped dates, apricots, apples and pears

1/2 cup honey

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

1) Preheat the oven to 300 F.

2) In a large bowl, combine oats, nuts, cinnamon and salt.  In a small bowl, stir together honey, maple syrup, and vanilla.  Pour over the oats and toss well to coat.

3) Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for about a half an hour, stirring once or twice until golden.  Remove from oven and stir in the dried fruit.  Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container or individual zip lock bags.

Makes about 8 cups.

Recently, I made this and changed a few things and it worked out ….Here’s my variation:

3 cups old fashioned oats (because that’s all I had in the house!  Any kind of gran flakes can be used here… eg. spelt or buckwheat flakes)

1 cup walnuts + 1 cup pecans (but here you could do a variety of different nuts and seeds in this proportion)

a generous sprinkle of cinnamon (because I love cinnamon)

1/4 tsp himalayan sea salt

1 cup rasins (because that’s all I had in the house… but as in the original recipe, any dried fruit would go nicely here… bonus points for medjool dates!)

1/2 cup raw unpasturized honey

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

Here’s how it went down… because the fewer the steps the better…

1) Preheated the oven at 300 F.

2) Combined oats, nuts, cinnamon, salt AND dried fruit

Dry ingredients

3) I mixed together the honey, maple syrup and vanilla.  Then drizzled it over the dry ingredients and tossed them.

Liquid ingredients

4) Spread granola over a baking sheet.  Popped them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes (I used less oats, so reduced the baking time).  Took them out and let them cool.  Then stored them in a airtight container.

Mmmmm…. crunchy, chewy, sweet and satisfying.  I add almond milk to it with fresh fruit and we are good to go!  This is also great mixed with other cereal to give it some extra flavour, fiber and texture, or eaten on its own as a snack.  Yum.


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