I’m laying in bed, overheated under the L.L. Bean comforter and my perpetually 75 degree apartment. Lucky, in a way, to know hot during a New England winter. My old Timex doubling as an alarm clock has gone off at 6:00, 6:04 and 6:30. It’s 6:42. I need to stop doing this to myself.
I welcome a cup of tea, working quickly to pack lunch while the kettle boils, while the tea steeps, pausing to add milk, honey. I pack breakfast also, which I will eat at work in a few hours. Today it’s the kind of granola I get nostalgic over.
Sprinkled over whole milk yogurt and drizzled with maple syrup, one is completely treated. I know I will spend the rest of today pouring over spreadsheets, but that doesn’t stop me from imagining I have my snow pants on, waiting for the lifts to open.
I like to toss in a few whole nuts such as almonds and hazelnuts. When you get one in your bowl it’s sort of lucky and sort of like getting an M&M candy or yogurt raisin in a handful of trail mix. Homemade granola makes an excellent host/hostess gift, thank you gift, birthday present and is a healthier alternative to cookies and breads.
adapted from the “old” Alta Lodge granola recipe
6 cups Oats
2 cups shredded sweetened coconut
1 to 2 cups raw nuts (slivered almonds, pecan or walnut pieces, whatever you like)
1 handful whole nuts (almonds, hazelnuts) (optional)
1/2 cup pepitas or sunflower seeds (optional)
1 stick salted butter, cut into 6 pieces
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup cranberry or apple juice
1 cup dried fruit- raisins, cranberries, currents, cherries, or blueberries (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl combine the oats, coconut, raw nuts, and optional whole nuts and seeds. Set aside.
2. In a small sauce pan over medium heat, combine the butter, honey, maple syrup and juice. Stir gently until the butter has completely melted. Once melted, pour the sugary syrup over the oat-nut mixture. Using two large spoons, toss until evenly coated.
4. If you have a finicky oven use your best judgement for baking times and make sure to rotate the sheets from top to bottom and back to front inside the oven if needed. The granola will brown slowly at first but will darken quickly at the end of baking.
Spread the oats evenly onto two baking sheets. Place into a 325 degree preheated oven and set the timer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the baking sheets and stir or turn the granola using a spatula. Granola on the edges of the baking sheet tends to cook more quickly than in the middle. Return the sheets to the oven and continue to bake in 10-15 minute intervals, removing the pans each time to stir the granola. This should take an additional 20-30 minutes.
Once browned to your liking (somewhere between golden and medium brown) remove the baking sheets from the oven and allow the granola to cool. It will not become crunchy until it has fully cooled! Once cooled, mix in dried fruit if you’d like and enjoy with yogurt, milk or by the handful.