My house smells amazing right now.
The kids and I are gearing up for a little late-winter adventure. That means we need to pack some delicious, portable food. We'll be bringing along a jar of our roasted squash soup, some homemade yogurt, fruit leather from the summer and some date balls.
For another treat we decided to make a batch of my mom's granola. (I know. Sass.) But seriously. There isn't a better smell that has ever come out of an oven in my lifetime. It's my favorite kitchen smell of all time. (Thanks, Mom!)
For those of you who include in grains on occasion, this recipe is for you.
A repost from 2010 follows, with my girl doing a cameo as a baby-faced three year old. Where do the days go?
When I was a kid there were two foods I could smell from a half-block away: stuffed green peppers and homemade granola.
They existed on opposite ends of my culinary spectrum: one being my worst nightmare and the other my favorite homemade treat. Even as I type this my mouth can't decide if it wants to water in the good way or the sick way while thinking about this contrast. (My sister knows exactly what I mean.)
When the smell from the bus stop was the good one I remember running that half-block home and being handed a bowl of still warm granola, right out of the oven.
Yesterday it rained all day. We were a little stir crazy, and then – for some reason – I remembered my mom's granola. At 3:00 we preheated the oven and mixed up a batch. We rarely make it, since its straight-up-non-soaked-non-sprouted grains, but it was raining. I was nostalgic. And I caved.
And we're all so glad I did.
As you already know, I am a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants cook, but I measured just for you and jotted down this recipe. If you are missing an ingredient improvise. Adjust. Flow. It'll be perfect – I promise.
Rainy Day Granola
4 C rolled oats
2 1/2 C nuts (we chose a combination of sliced almonds and chopped pecans and walnuts)
1/3 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C flax seeds
2/3 C coconut flakes
2/3 C coconut oil, melted
1/3 C maple syrup
1/8 tsp stevia or 1/4 C molasses
3/4 C dried fruit (we used a mixture of golden raisins, dried elderberries, dried sweetened cranberries, and goji berries)
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Combine dry ingredients. (Except the dried fruit which becomes hard, bitter, and nasty if baked. Well add the fruit in a bit, so set it aside.)
Add coconut oil and sweeteners and stir well.
Spread in pans (jelly roll or lasagna pans work well) and bake for 20-30 minutes. Watch carefully and stir and rotate trays every 10 minutes. The corners and edges are prone to burning, so be sure to stir in these zones.
When golden brown all over, remove from oven, cool and stir in dried fruit. Store in a glass jar in fridge. (Be sure to eat your first bowl still warm from the oven though, okay? It's magic.)