Easy and Simple Granola

I despise granola. Yes, I realize that this is a funny thing to say at the beginning of a post with this title. But it's something I am very used to saying. 

The thing is, I don't actually hate granola. I just have a troubled relationship with it. When I was younger, I struggled dieting and a horrible binge/purge cycle (I am still in recovery for disordered eating but bingeing and purging has not been a problem for quite some time). Granola was one of my binge/overeat foods. So when I began to recover, avoidance of the stuff was necessary for a good long while. 

As I went into adulthood, my avoidance of granola began to take on an air of disdain. "Don't like the stuff" I would say. I would say this about a lot of foods I was avoiding because they were potential triggers, like french fries or chips or fried foods. After a while, I began to believe it.

But now that I am in advanced recovery, I am actually starting to rediscover some of these foods. One by one, I'm adding them back in my repertoire and seeing if I actually might like them after all. 

So, here is my offering for a granola recipe. There's nothing fancy about it, but it's awfully good in its simplicity. It's got a nice balance of crunch and crisp and soft, and it tastes great with milk (my favored delivery) or with yogurt. 

You know, I think I might like it after all.

Note: this recipe is very open to adaptation. Up the oats, add more or less nuts, omit the coconut, use melted butter or olive oil instead of the coconut oil, or add different mix-ins entirely; do whatever you wanna. 

GRANOLA THAT I DO NOT HATE

Makes about 4 cups (loosely packed)

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup wide coconut flakes
  • 1 cup nuts (I used a mix of slivered almonds and pecan pieces)
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt 

In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, and nuts.

In a separate microwave-safe bowl, melt the coconut oil in the microwave by heating it for about 10 seconds. You might not need to do this at all if your kitchen is warm and the coconut oil is liquid.

Add the honey, vanilla, and salt to the bowl with the coconut oil. Whisk or stir with a fork or spoon to combine.

Pour the mixture over the dry ingredients, and stir to combine. 

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Scatter the mixture evenly on a parchment lined (easier cleanup) baking sheet. Bake anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes, or until it reaches your desired level of crispy. Remove from the oven and let cool entirely before transferring to storage containers. 

Do you like granola?

Mother's Day Pancake Sandwiches

Your mom is the best in the world! Show her how much you care by presenting her with adorable and delicious mini pancake sandwiches. This would be an awfully sweet (and easily transportable) breakfast in bed idea!

I mean, pancakes are great, and so are preserves. But why are they so frequently segregated to different parts of the plate? They need to be together. Sandwiched with love.

Listen, I don't want to cause a controversy here, but I don't like maple syrup, on pancakes or really otherwise. I don't find it offensive--I like the flavor of maple in things, but not poured on top of things. Whatever, maybe I'm weird. But I got it from my mom, so I figure, this might be a great solution! 

Fruit preserves = A+ pancake topping/filling, in my book. 

I've made these babies with Bonne Maman raspberry preserves in the middle. They taste homespun but also just a little pinkies-out. 

These pancakes are interesting because they're slightly eggier than traditional breakfast pancakes. It gives them a nice crisp edge and a fluffy, very light center.

Filled with the raspberry preserves, they're a simple yet irresistible morning treat. Mom will be proud that she taught you well, and feel so appreciated! 

Makes about 8 sandwiches (printable version here)

Ingredients

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (light, packed)
  • 1 teaspoon honey 
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour, sifted
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • milk, to thin (may or may not be needed)
  • 1/2 cup Bonne Maman raspberry preserves (can use another flavor if desired)
  • vegetable oil or melted butter, for greasing the surface

Procedure

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, and honey for about 2 minutes; alternately, use your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment for about 1 minute. 

Add the sifted flour and salt, and fold it into the wet mixture. If the mixture is quite thick, thin it with a small amount of milk so that it's easy to spoon. 

Pour about 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil or melted butter on a medium skillet, and then use a paper towel to carefully spread it across the surface and swipe off any excess. You want to have the thinnest possible layer of oil for these delicate cakes. Heat over medium-low. 

Once heated, pour about 1 tablespoon of batter onto the hot surface to form each pancake; you can do multiples, but be sure to leave space to leverage in a spatula for flipping. After about a minute, you'll see the edges have small bubbles and a matte-looking finish; this is a good indication that it is time to flip. Use common sense, though; it may take longer or shorter depending on the size of your cakes and the heat of your surface.

Cook the second side; it will take slightly less time than the first side.  Remove the pancakes and transfer to a plate while you continue with the remaining batter; replenish the cooking fat as needed.

Pair up similarly sized pancakes. To assemble, spoon about 1 tablespoon (more or less to taste) of Bonne Maman raspberry preserves on top; sandwich the second similarly sized pancake on top. Serve immediately. 

Enjoy! Happy day! 

PSST! Thanks to Bonne Maman for sponsoring this post. Readers, be sure to enter the sweepstakes that they currently have going on, to win a 12-piece Le Creuset cooking set! ENTER HERE.