Chloe's Famous Granola
With a cross-country move already in progress (especially one that coincides with the new year), this feels like an obvious time to reflect not only on the past year, but the past demi-decade that I’ve spent here in Portland. I suppose it would also be apt to give some thought to the year ahead, where I’ll be putting my freelance practice on hiatus indefinitely to work at a music product in the city I swore I’d never return to when I left it the first time. But I make an effort to keep my personal life out of this space unless framed by things I’ve made, so, granola recipe.
Before I get to the granola recipe, I just want to mention that I did start quietly keeping track of things I like this year. I was only tracking songs initially, but the web is a rich medium, so why hold back? I suppose it does describe the time period for which it’s relevant. So there’s your (my) zeitgeist.
Anyway, granola. It is so natural and good for you, so why not do it up right and make your own. I adapted this recipe from Passionate About Baking. I’m sorry there are no photos, but I’m at an inflection point and I don’t own anything right now.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter or coconut oil if vegan
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup if vegan
1/3 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups rolled oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
at least 1 cup unsweetened dessicated coconut (go crazy)
1/4 cup flax seed
Oregon Blast Variation
1/2 cup hazelnuts, crushed
1/2 cup dried sour cherries, minced
Hawaiian Extravaganza Variation
1/2 cup macadamia nuts, crushed
1/2 cup dried goji berries
Holiday Cheer Variation
1/2 cup pecans, crushed
1/2 cup dried cranberries, minced
Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C and cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
In a small saucepan, combine the water, honey, sugar, butter, salt and vanilla. Bring to a simmer and stir until homogenized.
In a large bowl, combine the oats and sunflower seeds. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and fold until evenly coated. Fold in shredded coconut and the specified nuts from your selected variation.
Spread the mixture evenly over the baking sheet. I like to tamp it down real hard because I get better clusters that way, but being consistent is the key for even baking. Bake for, depending on the fidelity of your oven, 25 to 45 minutes (lol), until fragrant and golden brown. As a former student of chemistry, I must remind you that things continue to cook even after they’re removed from a heat source, so don’t try to be a hero. Sprinkle the flax seeds and the dried fruit from your selected variation over the granola and fold in, breaking up the granola sheet into clusters to your level of comfort. When cool, funnel into an upcycled container and reuse the parchment paper to line your pizza peel.