I've been gone for a while enjoying the last month of summer before hibernating for the long Northern winter. I've missed you and I hope you've missed me too. I've also had a hard time getting myself to sit down and write. But here I am, writing. Not necessarily well, but writing no less. I was thinking I could claim writer's block and drink dry martinis alone in a bar while staring at people and penning doodles in my empty notebook. I could try and channel Hemingway, except he wrote real life- changing books opposed to a food blog. But who says a good slice of cake or bowl of soup can't change a life? Although he did love to drink, apparently he never drank while working, he knew this wouldn't produce his best works. Hemingway was a world traveller, a man after my own heart and frequented bars all over the globe. He said, “Don't bother with churches, government buildings or city squares, if you want to know about a culture, spend a night in its bars”. I've been very “nighttime" Hemingway lately and I feel this statement deeply. Bars have a rawness you can't get everywhere and night carries mystery that dissipates with sunrise. People engage with each other uninhibited, they let down their guards and speak more freely which allows for easier connection. Like Hemingway I cannot write in them, but they are a perfect place for conversation, fun and distraction.
For now, I will cultivate my inner “day" Hemingway and recommit myself to putting words on paper (or computer), whether they're bad or good. I will go on walks and let ideas flow, I will lay on my couch and gaze into space instead of my phone and let my mind wander. I will leave scraps of paper around scribbled with sparks of ideas or reminders to myself of an inspiration I couldn't bare to forget. I believe that sometimes you must create bad art simply to move past it and towards better art. It's easy to get stuck on criticizing the bad work because you want it to be better so badly. But maybe it simply needs to release itself so you can move forward.
To get back into the swing of things I've made this granola for you (and me, because I'm forever hungry and love this recipe). Granola has always been one of my favourite foods because of it's versatility, crunchiness and slightly sweet taste. If you want more time to focus on projects, work or relaxing– granola is there for you. Satiating yet so easy to pour into a bowl with some yogurt, milk and fresh fruit. I am known to eat granola at any time of day and indulge in multiple bowls if I'm too busy (or lazy) to cook. This granola uses quality ingredients with the addition of maca powder which adds a malty flavour (perfect for anything vanilla, strawberry or chocolate– think malted milkshakes). Maca is a superfood and adaptogen. It is reported to help balance hormones, energy, mood and increase your sexiness. It technically increases your sex drive, but that means sexiness because you are always sexier if you feel sexy, yes? Yes.
You can buy maca powder at health food stores or online. If you can't find it simply remove it from the recipe, it's still lovely without it. You can always substitute out one thing for another in this recipe, it is very versatile. Hazelnuts for the almonds, sunflower seeds for the pepitas, raisins or dried cherries for the currants; these are all good options.
Baking the oats first without the nuts and seeds is important so that we don't over bake them which is easy to do. This recipe takes less than thirty minutes to make and yields you a ton of granola, 8.5 cups to be exact. This amount is great for a family or if you eat a ridiculous amount of granola like moi, but you can always half the recipe if you're a more reasonable person.
I made strawberry cashew milk this week and have been pouring it onto this granola and it's sooooooo good guys. I will be posting the milk next week because you need it in your life and I need more of it in mine.
MACA ALMOND GRANOLA
inspiration: healthy snack food
the feels: crunchy, nutty, chewy, sweet, salty
eat with: milk of choice! I like it with strawberry cashew milk (recipe coming soon!), smoothie bowls, yogurt, fresh berries, bananas, carob nibs, chocolate chips, apples, pears, cottage cheese, honey, maple syrup, ice cream, frozen yogurt.
might like if you're into: after school (or work) snacks, malted milkshakes, The Old Man And The Sea, bulk food stores, camping, quick breakfasts.
makes 8.5 cups granola (half this recipe if this family portion of granola is too much) || time: 30 minutes
- 3 cups rolled oats (gluten free)
- 2 cups raw almonds, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup raw pepitas
- 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
- 1/2 cup dried currants
- 3 tablespoons maca powder (I used white)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup virgin coconut oil, melted
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
- fresh berries to top with (optional)
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl combine the oats, salt, maca powder, cinnamon and cardamom. Stir until combined.
- In another bowl combine melted coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla. Whisk well until thickened homogeneously, it will become an thin paste-like consistency. Set aside two tablespoons of the maple-coconut mixture. Add the rest to the bowl of oats and mix together until evenly combined. Pour out on to baking sheet and spread evenly. Place into oven and bake for about 12 minutes, stirring half way through until light golden in colour.
- While oats are baking add chopped almonds, pepitas and coconut to the bowl you just used for the oats. Add the remaining maple-coconut oil mixture and combine evenly. Add to golden baked oats and mix together. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool. The granola will become crispy once fully cooled. Add dried currants and mix to combine. Store in airtight containers and keep for up to one month in cool dry place. You can also freeze granola in an airtight container if you like, but dried fruits can become hard so consider removing them from the recipe.