ABOVE: Fog in settling over the tree in my backyard.
It’s been a rough winter. Snow, ice, fog, freezing temperatures, and our usual–rain.
I’ll tell ya, I’ve struggled with the overcast skies for years. At some point, the wise Western Washingtonian finds a way to turn the weather into a positive. For the past ten years, I’ve referred to our weather as “romantic”. I now realize romance is a bit over rated. Enough with the romance already.
I do believe my love of cooking and baking is directly related to Seattle weather. Can you think of anything more enjoyable than cooking or baking on a rainy, overcast day? I didn’t think so.
After reading Mark Bittman’s “Food Matters”, I’ve challenged myself to eat more vegetables and fruits. As I write this post, I’m snacking on a mixture of chopped oranges, apples, pecans, unsweetened coconut, sliced and bananas. It tastes like I’m eating dessert. Granted, fruit is full of sugar, but this has got to be good for me.
I could make a smoothie, but they seldom fill me up. I’m sure it’s all in my head, but I only have the one head, so I tend to believe it.
I made Mark Bittman’s granola recipe a few weeks ago. It has to be better for me than boxed cereal. It certainly tastes better!
I did manage to buy most of my ingredients in bulk, and that saved a bit.
I added my nuts whole, and coarsely chopped–for a heartier bite. You might prefer smaller pieces.
I really love to have granola in my yogurt too, so this will be both a cereal and a topper for me.
HOMEMADE GRANOLA Food Matters, by Mark Bittman
5 cups rolled oats (not quick cooking or instant), or other rolled grains
3 cups mixed nuts and seeds, like sunflower seeds, chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds, cashews, and sesame seeds
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 tsp ground cinnamon, or other spices to taste
1/2 to 1 cup honey, or maple syrup to taste
1 tsp vanilla (optional)
1-1 1/2 cups raisins or chopped dried fruit
Heat oven to 350. In a lg bowl combine oats, nuts, seeds, coconut, cinnamon, sweetener, and vanilla. Sprinkle with a little salt (not too much!). Toss well to thoroughly distribute ingredients. Spread mixture on a rimmed baking sheet, bake for 30 minutes ,or a little longer, stirring occasionally.
The granola should brown evenly. The darker it gets, without burning, the crunchier it will be.
Remove pan from oven and add raisins. Cool on a rack, stirring now and then until the granola reaches room temperature. Put in a sealed container and keep in fridge. It will keep indefinitely.
WHAT I USED:
-5 cups rolled oats
-3/4 cup thick chopped almonds, 1/2 cup whole almonds, 1 cup chopped walnuts, 1/3 cup raw unsalted sunflower seeds, 1/3 cup raw, unsalted pumpkin seeds
-1 cup large shredded unsweetened coconut
– 1 tsp cinnamon
-3/4 cup blackberry honey
-about 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
-1 tsp vanilla (I stirred it into the honey)
-1 cup of dried blueberries
DON’T forget to stir in oven as it gradually turns golden
I thought it was browning too fast, so immediately after removing from oven I poured it onto another sheet to stop the cooking. It browns, but as you stir, the unbrowned surfaces. It was done in 25-30 minutes.
Let it cool completely before storing. I use 1/3- 1/2 cup per serving.
To see the steps, click below for more..
Start with your oats, nuts, seeds, coconut
Add your honey, seasoning, and vanilla
Find the strongest person in the house, and get them to stir it all up for ya.
Spread it out on a baking sheet
Pour the dried fruit on after it is finished baking.
That’s it! You have breakfast!
..or granola topping, or a great snack.
Stay out of the rain!