I have never really thought of myself as a hippie. I do not wear birkenstocks, I do not own anything tie-dyed, I am hopelessly addicted to Gossip Girl. Pretty un-hippie-ish, if you ask me. And yet, one Sunday, I felt this inexplicable tug, whispering into my ear, "homemade granola."
Um, excuse me? Homemade granola? Seriously?
But that little whisper became a craving, and soon I was sitting over a bowl of oats, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and farmer's market honey and maple syrup. And you know what? I was a pretty happy little wannabe-hippie.
Because this stuff is really, really good. So good that I'm shocked at how quickly it was eaten -- let's just say that "breakfast for the week" soon became "after dinner snack." And by Wednesday, I was back to eating instant oatmeal at my desk, because my lovely bag of homemade granola was a (fond) memory.
I will also say, that if you are looking for healthy breakfast options on a budget, this recipe is about as good as you can get. I bought oatmeal, raisins, cashews and pumpkin seeds from bulk bins at my favorite health food store, and I think all together they cost about $2. And, a quick note on maple syrup -- I buy Grade A Dark Amber syrup from the farmer's market to use for baking, and it has an incredible strong maple flavor. If you can get your hands on a bottle of it, definitely give it a try!
In fact, give this whole recipe a try. It's worth embracing your inner hippie.
Honey Maple Granola
1 1/2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped cashews
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
4 tbsp maple syrup (I use "Grade A Dark Amber" maple syrup in baking)
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup raisins
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients except the raisins.
3. Spread out the granola on a baking sheet lined with silipat, or on a nonstick baking sheet.
4. Bake the granola for about 30 minutes, stirring every 8 minutes or so. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and store in an airtight container for up to two weeks (if it lasts that long!).
Makes about 2 cups of granola.