The Only Granola That Matters

 in Kitchen

As this granola toasts it lets off a sweet caramel smell that reminds me of kettel corn and summer time. There are so many memories linked to food and smell it is sometimes hard to start. However, granola clearly reminds me of one fateful summer day in Grinnell, Iowa. 

The recipe is another one from college, as are so many of my best vegan discoveries. I had the gift of time on my side, the open internet in front of me, and an insatiable vegan appetite. That summer I lived with humans who pushed my culinary boundaries even further. They were both line cooks and I rapidly got whipped into shape as I learn proper knife storage, sharpening and cutting. (in that order)

My roommate would come at me every other day with vegan recipes he found and we would try most of them. Once he heard that bananas could be made into ice cream and happened to see bags upon bags of over ripe bananas on discount. Of course Brock came home with all the bananas he could carry. I greeted him in the kitchen, puzzled, but the rest is history. Banana has gone one to be one of the best healthy, at home ice cream hacks even non-vegans know about.

However, the day Brock came to me with granola was even more life changing.
I had recently be urged by a doctor to eat more seeds and nuts in a bid to gain some weight. At the time on my student budget nuts were expensive so I begrudging obliged but has zero idea how to eat them. I would eat a couple here and there as snacks but wasn’t too inspired, and they mostly sat aimlessly on the shelf. Granola was Brocks way to help me learn how to use my new ingredient.

It was an easy task to chop up the nuts, mix them with maple syrup, oil and oats. I had most of the ingredients already and Brock, the eternal cook had some dried fruits and another variety of nut. Obviously, we got to it without another hesitation. It was while the granola was toasting that we knew the recipe was too good to be true. The smell coming out of the oven was to die for.

We could barely wait for it to cool and burned our fingers and tongues both as we took nibble after nibble. It was just as good when cooled and I couldn’t believe how a not very exciting snack had taken such a short time to transform into something wonderfully addictive.

We loved the granola so much we hid it away (in the broom closet) from our third roommate because we didn’t want to share our prized portions. Over the years I have made this granola with countless different nut and dried fruit combinations. Sometimes I don’t even measure or weigh it, I just grab 3-4 handfuls of nuts and an equal part of oats and the recipe never fails me.

This is the only granola recipe I have ever made. It’s so easy after 3 years of not making it I could still remember it. Now that I have made it again, my husband demands it stay stocked in our kitchen, and I can’t complain. I hope you become as woefully addicted as I have.

The Only Granola That Matters

3 cups of nuts (I like to use 1 each almonds, pecans and cashews.)
3 cups of oats
1/2 cup agave (or maple syrup, use what you have locally)
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 t cinnamon
dried fruit (as desired)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl.
Spread on a lined cookie sheet.
Bake for 15-20 minutes in a hot oven until golden brown.
Stir once in the middle of baking.
Careful to not over bake it.

Allow to cool completely on the cookie sheet, it will become more and more crunchy as it cools.

Store in an airtight container.
(I prefer to keep it in the fridge)


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