This is a celebratory post. It is it my hundredth post here – I feel like it should have shown up sooner and there should be a greater fanfare, but I’ve been busy. I worked really hard and threw an epic beer fest with some absolutely fantastic people, I started a new job (more on that later), and I’ve just been sort of lazy. I know I’m not supposed to admit that here – where I show you pretty pictures of food and make you think I eat like that all the time – but I don’t. Most nights I eat pasta with butter and Parmesan on it or instant mac and cheese. I have plenty of knowledge but a low threshold for motivation. Occasionally that comes out here. This post is about the awesome though, this is a celebration of this little blog – this corner of the internet I have claimed as mine and proudly declared to be KATHY CAN COOK. I’ve covered it in 8-bit sprites, I’ve met some amazing people, and I’ve eaten SO.MUCH.GOOD.FOOD.
This is not me signing off – please don’t think that as I wax nostalgic about how great keeping this blog has been. I’m not giving up on it, at least not yet, I’m not even taking a break. I’m just sharing how loved this makes me feel – and how great it is to have made friends, actual friends, through blogging. That’s what this recipe is – new to me comfort food that is a little bit of home and a whole bunch of love. I made it with my big sister on a Monday afternoon that she’d taken off to hang out with my kid brother and I. It was a perfect leisure activity.
This granola is made with rolled oats sourced from Aurora Mills in Maine, and alone they are great and nutty oats – in granola they have just the right flavor and give while still being chewy and filling. This is not-too sweet granola either, it’s maple-y without being in your face and it holds its own against the tang of Greek yogurt.
I say this granola is home because it is. I feel a special connection to pretty much anything sourced from Maine and even now, when I don’t live in Maine anymore I still refer to myself as a “Maine kid” it gives me a sense of identity and place. I love it – so this granola is a perfect example of blogging for me – it’s new, my first homemade granola (win) paired with some old (a few Maine oats to make me feel like I’m home).
Note: This recipe is loosely based on one from the Cooks Illustrated Cookbook in that I looked at that cookbook for ideas of what ratios to use and what temperature to cook my granola at. Please consider this a broad guideline to create your own granola recipe though, it’s totally adjustable I used the flavors and textures I really liked when I made this, as such you should adjust in your own way. It does make a lot of granola though, so be prepared to share!
- 3 1/2 Cups Old Fashioned Rolled Oats – small batch rolled oats will be nuttier and more flavorful
- 2/3 cup Pepitas, hulled pumpkin seeds
- 1/3 cup sesame seeds. raw
- 1/3 cup flax seeds
- 2/3 cup nuts (I used pecans and they were AWESOME)
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp salt (I use coarse kosher, but go with your preference)
- 1/3 cup high heat oil (I used peanut, but you can use safflower, sunflower or whatever else too)
- 2/3 cup Real Maple Syrup (The corn syrup stuff will not work here)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup Honey (the honey/maple syrup ratio is really forgiving and can be modified to what you have)
- 1/2 cup toasted coconut
- 1 1/2 cup dried fruit (I used cranberries, tart cherries, and candied ginger)
- Preheat your oven to 300 degrees farenheit.
- In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients (oats, nuts, and seeds) and mix until evenly distributed.
- In a small pan combine the oil, honey, vanilla, and syrup. Heat them over low heat until the liquids are fluid and easily mixed.
- Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients and mix until everything is evenly coated
- Put the granola in a large pan (I use my turkey roaster) and spread it out evenly so it is an even layer (mine was about 3/4 inch thick).
- Toast the granola in the oven for about an hour – stirring every 10 to 15 mins to prevent large clumping. THe granola will be golden brown and fragrant when it is done.
- Allow the granola to cool completely, for at least an hour.
- Mix the toasted coconut and dried fruit into the toasted granola.
- Eat over your favorite yogurt or by the handful!