Many moons ago, when I was still in my prime days at Siena, my best bud, Kristin, introduced me to the name granola. Yes, I know what you are thinking…”Seriously Kelsey, you don’t know what granola means?” Why yes, I do actually, but that crazy concoction with oats, honey, and many different ingredients is not the term I am going for. What Kristin told me was that a granola is also another word for hippie. Now if you know me, you know that I immediately fell in love with that nickname and used it nonstop (and may or may not still use it to this day to sometimes describe my boyfriend).
From that day on she opened my eyes to kale chips, Trader Joe’s, and of course, blueberry juice! When Kristin made different snacks in college, it made me want to cook and bake more than I already did. Believe me, all I knew how to make were eggs, only scrambled, and salads. I even thought I knew how to make stovetop popcorn, until that dreadful day where I attempted to make it and put the stove on top high. Well needless to say, there was smoke everywhere with the windows open and I threw the popcorn, still in the pot, out on the stoop. Oh it was a riot! But anyways, let’s get back on topic shall we. Oh yes, cooking. As the year went on and I had to move back home. I finally tried to start making food for myself and *gasp* use the stove. I made many weird concoctions and they were delicious, but today I think I have found my favorite recipe by far…
Granola. See how I made this full circle people? I’m a lot more clever than you think! This is the first time I have ever made granola and I got the idea from Food Networks The Kitchen. It was just a basic recipe that Jeff Mauro showed, and it sparked my interest. The next few days was my research period, where I looked up tons of different recipes on my lunch break. Today, I finally found a keeper which involved my favorite things. Oats, coconut oil, honey, and cinnamon, how could you go wrong?
3 cups of rolled oats (aka old fashioned oats)2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup honey or maple syrup (I used honey)
1/4 cup of coconut oil or any kind you want
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup chia seeds
1/2 cup raisins or any dried fruit
You can even add slices almonds, sunflower seeds, or any add-ins you would like. I’m just picky and like the basics.
Preheat the oven to 300F. In a bowl mix the dry ingredients together and in a separate bowl, do the same for the wet ingredients. When using coconut oil, it may be a solid or liquid and you can either heat it up first to melt it, or the warmth from hands when mixing will do it for you (I went the messy route). Now add both the dry and wet together, leaving out the dried fruits until the end. Put the mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet with parchment paper and bake for 20 minutes. Then you have to add the dried fruits and bake for another 10 minutes. Being the pain that I am, I did 11 minutes because I didn’t think it would harden. When it is done, let it cool and then you can break it up. To store, put it in an air tight container and will be good for 2 weeks. Needless to say, mine won’t last that long and it makes enough for about 12 servings.
The reason I really liked this recipe was because it adds a hint of coconut without being overpowering. Also, I didn’t want to get too crazy with my first try at granola. My real goal was to make peanut butter granola because let’s be real, who doesn’t love peanut butter? It is already planned for my lunch tomorrow with the granola! Since I am a big girl now, I actually have to make lunch ahead of time and came up with the idea of a wrap with bananas, peanut butter, MY homemade granola, and chocolate chips. Being a granola isn’t so bad and I am happy to call myself a half-granola since I still eat bad at times…whoops! Hope you all enjoy this recipe and attempt to make it your own, I know I will next time.