Happy new year! We recently returned from a wonderful trip to Colorado for Christmas visiting family and we miss the family presence, their conversation, and also the warmth of their home. They have so many cozy comfortable nooks to read or drink a cup of coffee or tea. I curled up as much as possible while there.
We brought home with us the feeling of comfort and the desire to create more of that in our home. One thing that makes our home ours is our kitchen. I love knowing where to reach for measuring cups and how many steps it takes to get to my pantry from the stove (2). I love the rhythm of cooking in a space I know well. It takes less thinking about where or how and more time to relax into the process. My lovely, amazing husband gave me my very own buttercup yellow Kitchenaid Mixer this Christmas and I’ve been able to put it to use for this recipe and many more to come. It’s amazing watching that thing go to work. It also seems to add to the warmth of the kitchen, and create even more desire to cook. There is an excitement as to what recipe will be transformed or discovered next.
Making granola is the experimenters paradise and the stone soup of breakfast recipes. You essentially need nuts, oats, dried fruit, a sweetener and an oil. Of course, the combination and ratios are important, but it’s fun to switch it up here and there depending on mood or what you happen to have on hand. This recipe also uses apple sauce that gives an overall hint of sweetness and contributes to the texture wonderfully. I love both maple syrup and honey as sweeteners and this granola has a little of both. Feel free to sub one for the other of try different amounts of both. Lastly, the spices add another layer of complexity. If you are feeling really adventurous, add some more spice with nutmeg or a dash of cloves.
5 cups rolled oats
2.5 cups raw almonds and pecan halves
3/4 cup coconut sugar
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
4 tbsp maple syrup
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp olive oil
Raisins or dried fruit
Stand mixer (optional)
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
Combine all dry ingredients (minus raisins) in a large bowl and add to mixer and mix on low or stir with a wooden spoon. Combine all of the wet ingredients in a medium bowl and whisk. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ones, and mix on low or stir until all dry ingredients and wet are well mixed.
Spread the mixture evenly on two rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown and toasty. Rotate the pans and stir the granola every ten minutes to ensure it cooks evenly. When it smells divine and is golden and yummy, remove the pans from the oven and stir well – I feel it’s almost a fluffing to keep the granola from sticking to the bottom and cooling in one sheet. The granola may be slightly chewy when it comes out, but not to worry, it’ll crisp up as it cools.
Add raisins and scoop granola into glass jars or other airtight receptical. Store in the pantry or fridge.