Life these days is made of extra cups of coffee, sipped outdoors if we can manage it (though we’re not as bleary eyed as you might expect with an almost-three month old because – no jinx!- this baby sleeps) and peanut butter toasts and quick bowls of vegetable soups and stir fries and whatever else I can manage to put together that’s healthy and nourishing (loads of quinoa, for one, and roasted vegetables with tahini for another). The weather is turning just a touch and I’m considering making an excursion to find some frozen turkeys for the upcoming holiday meals. I’m even thinking about my vegetarian Thanksgiving offering now that it’s November 1. (This year I’m keeping things very simple.) We don’t have much of a ‘schedule’ of sorts but every so often I get a solo hour during the day to work or cook or do a quick yoga practice or even occasionally all of the above.
I’ve been making my own granola for over three years now, since we officially moved overseas and it was no longer convenient to grab a bag at the grocery store. And not to sound all ‘you should always make everything from scratch!’ but, um, it’s SO much better when you make it yourself, especially if you’re a tad bit of a micromanager (moi). I started with a recipe from Megan Gordon but have adapted it to be my very own. I make up a batch at least once a week, often with little hands helping to stir the maple syrup into the oats. I omit nuts, not sure why but I do, and use lots of good seeds like pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, and chia. I have reduced the oil and maple syrup to just a 1/4 cup each and this seems to hit our sweetness threshold perfectly (and then I can have a pastry later and not feel so bad).
I know I’ve shared granola recipes here before but this is my current favorite and it’s too good not to post. I’ve gotten the prep time down to about a maximum of three minutes, just enough time for the coffee to brew, and 25 minutes after sliding the pan into the oven I can serve myself a bowl or two (yes, sometimes I eat granola for lunch). It’s perfect.
Three cheers to fall, to digging out a sweater, to nights that actually feel cold. If all goes as it should, we’ll be moving to a place that has proper seasons to experience and we’re decidedly looking forward to that prospect. Endless summer sounds nice in theory but unless you’re living on a tropical island it’s not so much as pleasant as a bit dull. Crunching leaves under our feet and introducing our girls to a real winter has a certain appeal after this desert life. Soon enough!
You may substitute whatever seeds or nuts you like here, just keep it about a 2 1/2 cup proportion. This is my current favorite iteration, however.
Makes about 12 servings.
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup chia or sesame seeds or 1/4 cup each
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup maple syrup
Heat oven to 325 F.
In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients until combined. Drizzle in the olive oil, then the maple syrup. Stir well to coat all of the oats and seeds with the liquid ingredients.
Spread granola evenly on a large baking sheet and bake for 25-28 minutes until very lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool before storing and serving. Store in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 10 days.