Homemade granola may be the perfect food — sweet, salty, crunchy, fruity, and healthy (though not, alas, low calorie). It’s also relatively simple to prepare, more a concept than a recipe.
This is nourish-the-writer-brain food and makes a saliva-inducing start to the day or a good energy boost in the afternoon.
My favorite kind of granola (and the “recipe” I share here) is one with lots of seeds and nuts in it. I don’t give quantities because this is a fluid recipe — add as much or as little of your favorite ingredients. You will need access to a good bulk-food section or health food store for some ingredients.
Start with an assortment of seeds and nuts – I use pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, and cashews – but you can add or omit whatever you like. Mix in proportions that prioritize your favorites.
Mix the seeds and nuts with oats and puffed rice to give the granola some body.
Prepare a dressing of 1/2 cup canola oil, 2 tbs good quality maple syrup, 1/4 cup honey, 1 tsp vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. Whisk this together and pour it over the nut, seed, and grain mixture. Stir well to coat everything. If you’ve really made a big batch of granola, you might need to double the dressing. The mixture should be damp, but not dripping.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Turn the granola mixture out onto baking sheets, spreading thinly and evenly. Bake the granola for 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes until well toasted, crispy and golden. It’s important to set a timer and stir regularly so the toasting is even and nothing burns. Use the time between stirs for writing sprints on your current novel or short story project.
Once the granola is well toasted, turn it all into a large bowl and mix with the dried fruit of your choice. I usually include dried cranberries and dried golden raisins, but you can put in whatever you prefer.
If you have the strength, it’s best to let the granola cool before diving in…but if you can’t wait, I won’t tell 😉
The best way to serve this granola is on top of some good plain yogurt with a drizzle of honey.