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Entries in granola (7)

Sunday
Apr132014

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola

The sun is peeking over the horizon when my alarm buzzes in the morning, my bedroom a hazy gray. The dim light makes it feel like a new day instead of a tired continuum of night. This has made all the difference, it seems, in mood and spirit. The long winter is over, the sun is warm once more, and it feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

I am beginning to feel human again. It is the most glorious feeling.

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola Honey Almond Quinoa Granola

I've been having a hard time finding my voice these last few months. I can hold words in my mind as well as water cupped between my hands. Eventually the water slips through my fingers, as do any thoughts I may have wished to share. For the first time in years, the recipes have slowed. I want to write when I have something to say, not to just fill this space with empty thoughts.

I am certain the recipes will come more often in the future, but for now I need more time to myself: to think, to breathe, to find the words to say. Thank you for being patient and supportive—it means so much.

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola

A few times a year, I make a large batch of granola to last me through a busy week. When creating this granola, I sifted through the cupboards to gather together a few ingredients, missing so many of the common ingredients such as dried fruits or chocolate chips. In the end, it didn't matter. Whole grains, nuts, and a natural sweetener brought this granola together, making it something quite unique.

This may be both the healthiest and most enjoyable granola I have ever made. I hope you feel the same.

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola Honey Almond Quinoa Granola

Honey Almond Quinoa Granola is a whole grain breakfast both filling and wholesome (and gluten-free). The quinoa provides a lovely crunch, with honey for sweetness, and toasted almonds for nuttiness. Over the course of a week, I enjoyed this granola drowned in milk, sprinkled over yogurt, and eaten by the handful for a midnight snack. Healthy and delightful, this is a breakfast you can feel good about.

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Thursday
Sep122013

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

So much has happened since we last spoke that I wouldn't know where to begin. I feel as if more than a month has passed, as if I have aged half a dozen years in a few short weeks. Life is a mixture of exhaustion and transition right now, as I adjust to my new beginning. There have been so many changes to my daily life and I haven't had a moment to sort out my feelings about them. In many ways, it feels like I took off running and I am still trying to catch my breath.

Breath in. Breathe out. Breath in.

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

This evening, I'm sitting on a new couch in a new apartment, propping my feet up on a new coffee table. The space is smaller than before, built for only one, but somehow it suits me. The view from my window stands in contrast to the old, as different scenery from a different state looks in. I have unpacked my belongings, trying to fit the pieces of my old life into my new—a jigsaw puzzle of memories and unfamiliarity, as the two sets of pieces merge to form a completed image.

The final picture is just beginning to form, the edges in place, but the middle is still muddled, an unclear image of the final product.

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

I have been so caught up in these life adjustments, drained of thought or energy, that I haven't opened the oven door in over a month. It feels strange to have abandoned baking for so long, holding it so close to my heart as I do. During a morning rainstorm last weekend, I turned on the oven and tried to rekindle some of the familiarity I had lost in the move. I made granola, a simple comfort food with a touch of character.

The scent of granola wafted through the apartment, erasing the foreign scents and replacing them with something closer to home. For this, I was grateful.

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars

Honeyed Apricot Granola Bars are filling and wholesome. Dried apricots are plumped up by soaking in black tea and are pureed to form the base of the bars. With honey for sweetness and nuts and dried fruit for interest, the chewy bars make a quick breakfast or snack complete. The bars bake up soft, but hold together well, cutting neatly into pieces.

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Sunday
Feb102013

Coconut Raisin Granola

Coconut Raisin Granola

Lately, I have become a bit of an exercise nut. A month ago I was dragging myself to a gym after work, but now it feels like a treat. Until my love for sweating and sore muscles wears off (and, if history is any indication, it inevitably will), I have been looking for a power breakfast to help me sustain my long workouts. While I typically mix some fruit into oatmeal or quinoa, some mornings I just don't have the time to stir a hot pot on the stove. For these mornings, I reach for a bowl of cereal, but it never fills me up as a breakfast should. While I love a good, satisfying granola, I just can't get behind the boxed brands with too much sugar and strange preservatives.

It took a few weeks for me to realize that a robust, hearty, and filling homemade granola is the perfect food to fuel an afternoon run.

Coconut Raisin Granola

For several years now, I have been hunting down the secret to a good chunky granola. Though there is little comparison of flavor between boxed granola and a personalized batch fresh from the oven, it bothered me that I could not quite get the textures to match. My ideal granola has big chunks along with a smattering of stray oats—just as the boxed granola features. If there were any stray clumps of oats in my homemade granola, it was seemingly by accident. I played around with ratios, substituted different ingredients in and out, and waved around my magic spatula, but the secret to my perfect granola remained untold.

Untold, that is, until now.

Coconut Raisin Granola

The secret to a good chunky granola is egg whites. The egg whites help to bind the granola together, allowing it to clump together while it toasts in the oven, but the egg whites do not lend any flavor to the finished product. Traditionally granola is stirred while baking to keep it evenly toasted. Granola bound together with egg whites is not stirred while in the oven, so it is best to spread it out evenly on one or two baking pans so it toasts evenly. When you are ready to eat or store the granola, you may break apart the granola into as large or as small pieces as you desire.

Now this is my perfect granola.

Coconut Raisin Granola

Coconut Raisin Granola makes for a healthy and robust breakfast. The sweetness of the granola comes from a drizzling of pure maple syrup and the coconut oil is used to help give the granola a nice crunch (while adding a light flavor). Oats, raisins, almonds, and coconut flakes give the granola a hearty texture. A pinch of nutmeg helps bring the the flavors together in a wonderful blend. Serve plain, stirred into thick Greek yogurt, or as a cereal with a cup of milk.

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