It’s nearly a month into this new year and I’ve spent it catching my breath. Last year, 2010, was pretty intense, emotional, and filled with extremes. I got married and saw others I love do the same, I tried to help mend the broken hearts of two dear friends and it broke my heart to see them so fractured, I became an Aunt, and I lost my favorite person on the planet to an arduous battle with cancer. I learned a lot about who I am and want to be, and came out a little tougher because of it. I couldn’t be more relieved that it is all over and I look forward to a new year. For me, 2011 is like a bright morning, fresh and new…
A fresh, new, morning calls for a crunchy and wholesome breakfast. Enter granola. If you haven’t ever made granola, you should. Not only is it super easy to make, but it is far more cost effective than pricey, store-bought granolas. Plus, the freshly baked stuff is a whole different experience. For me, along with oatmeal, granola must contain some sort of nut and/or seed. Preferably both. This batch contained the standard oats, some rice puffs, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and chia seeds. Chia is the herb used to grow the “Chia Pet”, which I didn’t know was edible until I saw it in the bulk bins at Whole Foods. The seeds are tiny and I would liken them to poppy seeds. I love this granola as a topping for greek yogurt…they make good friends. I keep add-ins like chocolate chips and dried fruits out of the bag so that my husband and I can customize each bowl.
Good Morning Granola
adapted from La Tartine Gourmande
As far as add-ins, add and omit as you like. Some good ones are: dried cranberries, dried blueberries, banana chips, white or dark chocolate chips, coconut, poppy or sesame seeds, and dried spices.
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup rice puffs
1/2 cup each: slivered almonds and pepitas
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1-2 Tablespoons chia seeds
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
2 tablespoons sugar
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup water
Preheat oven to 300 F and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Place oats, rice puffs, almonds, and seeds in a large bowl.
In a small saucepan heat butter, sugar, salt, honey, spices, and water together, simmering until sugar has dissolved. Stir into oat mixture to coat.
Transfer mixture to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.
Cool completely before storing in an airtight container.