It’s been kind of quiet over here, I know. The easy answer is that I’ve been busy but in reality I’ve been really busy with life, documenting food stuffs and whatnot has played second fiddle to being in the moment. I have friends to see and places to eat!
Last December, I made promise to keep this up more as an exercise. But honestly, I wrote this in 2015 and only now am I taking out of the draft stage and publishing it. Also in December, I went back to cooking more and wanted to conquer granola.
See, I love yogurt but texture-wise it can be very boring. So I mix it up with chunks of granola. But not just any granola, I like the super chunky stuff that sits at the top of the container waiting to be eaten right away. (I save the crumbled stuff to fold into my yogurt.) So in true Darlene fashion, I set out to conquer this project and make it myself.
When you break it down, how hard can granola be to make?
Doing research on the process, I discovered it’s really not so difficult. The most basic kind takes steel cut oats, a sweetener and oil. For the kind with the really big chunks, only a few adjustments are needed but you can’t rush the process. There’s a lot of mixing and then waiting for the big chunking effect to happen. But don’t worry, that waiting happens after the oven has been turned off, transforming the oats into golden, lightly toasted chunks.
As for flavoring, I prefer to use vanilla with a little bit of almond extract. The addition of silvered almonds add texture. And if I have it, I also add a some sweetened coconut to play off the coconut oil. You may prefer to add raisins instead of coconut. In that case, please do not send me your granola thankyouverymuch.
Vanilla Almond Granola
- 2 and 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg white, whipped until frothy
- 1/4 cup coconut flakes, sweetened or unsweetened (optional)
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
Toss the oats, almonds, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk the maple syrup, coconut oil, almond and vanilla extracts together until combined.
Pour over the oats and toss to coat. Fold egg white into the oats. Make sure all of the oats are moistened. Mix in coconut flakes if desired.
Spread onto the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Turn off oven and leave granola in oven for 4 hours or overnight.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks or freeze up to three months.