WHOLE GRAIN MORNINGS + GO-TO GRANOLA
While I was on Book Depository a cookbook mysteriously jumped in my basket. How did that happen? With a name like Whole-Grain Mornings, it was always going to happen. Breakfast is my boyfriend, my jam, my thing. I couldn’t pass this one up. Megan Gordon is the creator of the beautiful blog A Sweet Spoonful, and of Marge Granola, a granola company based in Seattle. She’s been my granola recipe go-to girl for a while now. I may have decided to go to Seattle on an upcoming USA trip purely so I can sample the stuff first hand. That’s a totally normal reason to go to a city right? Truth talk. Food moments are usually my main impetus for travelling to any particular place. I’m not sorry.
As trite as it sounds, you simply haven’t tasted granola until you’ve made your own. It’s crunchy, salty, nutty and sweet. Put it on yogurt, eat it with almond milk and sliced up fruit, or pick up clumps by the warm fistful straight from the tray and shove them in your mouth while scrolling food blogs. Crumbs will fall on your nice new shirt but that’s okay. I tried making granola with buckwheat groats instead of oats last week, inspired by my favourite local café’s version, which they serve on vanilla flecked labne with a bountiful amount of colourful seasonal fruit. The experiment was a resounding success. Ultra crunch factor. Using buckwheat also means you gluten free guys are sorted. You’re welcome.
The point of granola is to change it up to suit your tastes. Nuts, seeds, dried fruit, cocoa nibs, coconut, whatever’s your jam, chuck it in. Just make sure it equals 2 ½ cups at the end. Below is the combination I used last time, but no doubt it will change as my winter I-want-chocolate-all-the-time mood kicks in. Then I’ll be adding some cacao nibs, hazelnuts and extra salt. Nutella granola…
Go-To Granola, Buckwheat Style. (adapted from Apricot Pistachio Granola in Whole Grain Mornings by Megan Gordon)
2 cups buckinnis or activated buckwheat groats (I get mine from Loving Earth) or regular rolled oats
1 cup millet (either normal or puffed. I used puffed)
1 cup almonds, whole and unblanched
½ cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup shredded or flaked coconut (added in the last 15 minutes of baking so it doesn’t burn)
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp sea salt
¼ cup coconut oil or butter
¼ cup maple syrup (or another liquid sweetener)
1 tbsp almond butter
¾-1 cup dried fruit (added after baking. I used crimson flame raisins because they’re juicy and delicious)
- Preheat oven to 180C. Mix the buckwheat or oats, nuts, seeds, salt and spices together in a mixing bowl.
- In a small saucepan over low heat gently melt together the coconut oil, maple syrup and almond butter until they’re combined together, then turn off the heat.
- Add the melted mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until the entire mixture is coated with the sweet syrup.
- Pour onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Make sure you taste some of that untoasted goodness off the mixing spoon. Press down on the mixture hard with the back of a spatula to make those clumps happen.
- Pop into the oven in the middle shelf and bake for about 13 minutes. Toss and add the coconut (if you’re using it) and bake for a further 13 minutes, or until the granola is brown, toasty and smelling like all good things.
- Take out of the oven and add in the dried fruit. If you want your granola clumpy, press it down with a spatula after baking as well, and try to stir it as little as possible while it’s in the oven. Leave it to cool completely in the pan then break up the clumps and store it in an airtight container. It will keep for about 2-3 weeks, but it will be gone in far less time than that. Trust.
I just love how subjective granola is, malleable to all our different tastes and obsessions. Favourite granola recipes? Let’s share the love.