I have become dissatisfied with cereal.
But what else is there for a quick breakfast? Eggs and pancakes take too long. French toast is a process. Coffee and a bagel is kind of boring. It’s just that cereal is so dry, relatively expensive (I have seen a box of Special K going for $8 in the city), and horrifically lacking in the texture department. That, and things like dehydrated strawberries freak me out.
But wait! There’s granola. Yes, the store bought stuff is pretty good…but why not make your own? It’s tastier, you can put whatever you want in it, and it makes your kitchen smell sooooooo good while it’s toasting in the oven. People in the hallway of my apartment building were asking my roommates what I was baking.
There’s also a novelty in seeing everything that is in your food right in front of you. By making your own grub, you know there are none of those freaky science-y sounding things in it (like exthoxylated glycerides) or anything that you can’t find in your own pantry.
My recipe has pecans, cinnamon, flax seeds, and coconut, but the beauty of granola is you can literally put anything that you want in it. Want sesame seeds instead of flax? Go for it! Add some crasins? Throw them in 15 minutes before the granola comes out of the oven. Don’t dig pecans? Walnuts or almonds are perfect. Cinnamon not your thing? Leave it out. Just don’t skip the oats. Eat it with Greek yogurt or milk or by itself for a good between class (or work!) snack. Add some fresh strawberries or blackberries or peaches. I eat it with 2% Fage Greek yogurt, honey, and organic wild blueberries. Add some toast and coffee, and you have yourself a breakfast.
Homemade Cinnamon Granola makes a lot of granola
3 cups regular oats
1 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1/3 cup flax seed
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup canola oil
2 tsp cinnamon (more or less to your taste)
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, combine oats, coconut, pecans, and flax seed. In another mixing bowl, whisk together butter, honey, canola oil, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and salt. Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients. With your hands, coat the dry ingredients with the wet mixture, taking handfuls and making a fist to combine.
Transfer mixture into a baking dish, making an even layer. If you want, drizzle a bit more honey on top. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring granola every 15 minutes. Let cool for an hour, and store in an airtight jar.