Hearts Rejoice!

A grain based, heart healthy, fibrous, wonderful breakfast!

After honing my skillet breakfast yet further this morning (and putting a hefty dent in my brick of Gold Rush creamery Swiss [amazing!] in the process) I decided I needed a break from dairy. I hopped in the van and headed down to Raley’s, a local supermarket that just expanded their bulk food section.

I love bulk foods. I love only buying what you need and the ability to sneak a taste every now and then. Additionally, everyone is in a rush to establish themself as a green consumer, going to the bulk food aisle with your own containers is the greenest shopping you can do.

I have to lay off on the music today as it appears that my neighbors are not friendly to e-hop ons and have installed a new password to get to their toobs. So now I sit, 56k-in’ it chomping some of my homemade granola.

I can’t believe I’ve never done this before. Not only is it easy, but it blows storebought out of the water. I guess this recipe should come with a disclaimer, you won’t be able to eat storebought granola again, cook accordingly.

DIY Granola
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped toasted almonds
1/4 cup sesame seeds toasted
1/4 cup flax seeds toasted
1/4 cup wheat germ toasted (kinda hard to find)
1/2 cup shredded or flaked coconut, unsweetened if possible
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup choose-your-own dried fruit
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup peanut oil
3/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon

That is why I kind of hate baking, so much junk. I tried to keep it within the realm of possibility for a sparsely maintained spice cabinet but the spices are essentially omittable. The real flavor of the granola come from the toasting, which is the first step anyway.

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees. Grab a big skillet and put it over medium high heat. Put in the sesame and flax seeds and let them toast on that side. Pay attention to what color the sesame is, because the color is the only real way to gauge doneness of toasting. Let it sit for a minute or two, then stir around. If you’re fancy you can do that little skillet shake you see on TV all the time. You want to get those little seeds turned over, however you want to do it, thats your business. When the sesame seeds turn a shade similar to the flax, remove from the heat and put in a big bowl. Throw the chopped almonds in there and put them in your oven for a bit. The almonds are too big to just toast on their own, so I kind of toast/bake them. Bake until the white, meaty part of the almond is golden brown and (using a oven mit, that shits HOT) throw them in the flax/sesame bowl. If your wheat germ is untoasted when you buy it, throw it in the hot skillet for like 30 seconds and stir, it doesn’t take long.

Now that the toasting is done, its just about adding your ingredients. I took a measuring cup to the store and bought only exactly what I needed for this recipe (minus the honey, we had that). Dump your oats in the nuts mix up. Now, measure out your oil and swirl it around real well in the measuring cup. By greasing up the cup you’ll get all the honey out when you do that next. Measure your honey and mix it well, don’t leave any dry spots. Add your vanilla, cinnamon and ginger and mix up a little more. At this point I just throw it back in the skillet (spread out thin as you can get it) and put the whole shebang in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring every ten.

You can tell its done because everything should be slightly uniform in color. It should just look like granola. Take it out let it cool on a separate dish, about 20 minutes. Put in a big bowl and mix with the fruits and coconut and dig in!

I love a little vanilla ricemilk with this, and it goes great with yogurt. At this point, you can do anything you want, but make sure to taste it first, its amazing.

Quick aside, the fundamental aspects of this are the grains and the honey. You can make any derivation that suits you and have your own personalized granola. Puffed rice? Brazil nuts? Make it as weird as you want, its your granola and its your prerogative.

I was listening to a lot of Ben Kweller when I made this, maybe you should too.

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One response to “Hearts Rejoice!

  1. I love the idea of toasting the sesame and flax seeds before everything else. I will definitely try that next time. I’m still not convinced though about the merits of cinnamon.

    And at least you’ll have some granola left by Saturday. I expect mine to be all gone by tomorrow morning.

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