Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Granola for Breakfast
One of my favorite breakfasts is a bowl of plain yogurt with a small drizzle of honey, topped with fresh berries and a little granola.
I particularly love this in summer when I don't have the same physical need of the warmth of a hot bowl of oatmeal that I do on a winter morning, and when I can enjoy the sweet local blueberries. I will be sad when blueberry season ends. My local farm stands include farms from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania so I've been able to stretch my blueberry season by moving north as the summer progresses.
One of my best finds this year has been Icelandic yogurt which my daughter introduced me to. I think it might be even thicker and richer than the Greek yogurt I love, and is also nonfat. It's full of protein and tastes just a little less tangy than Greek. As I discovered in my sugar experiment a while back, nonfat yogurt is one of the few food items where the stated serving size is actually larger than what I'd eyeball for myself!
Granola can be full of fat and calories, so I both make my own and use only about a 1/4 cup serving. I like the crunch and the nuts with only a little sweetness. Sometimes I sprinkle on a little bit of hemp hearts as well. I base my recipe off of one from a Brooklyn shop that has made the rounds and has even been adapted by Melissa Clark of the New York Times. I've adapted it slightly differently, reducing the sugar and adding some spices like Clark does, but changing out the nuts a little. Feel free to experiment with reducing the sugar even further. One friend reported that she eliminated the sugar but added a couple of tablespoons of molasses to good effect.
The recipe is pretty straightforward, requires only one big bowl, a large spoon and a baking pan. I like to use a half sheet pan with a lip, rather than a flat cookie sheet, so that oats do not spill out into the oven when I mix it. I also like to line the pan with either tin foil (lightly sprayed with cooking spray) or parchment paper. This saves on cleanup!
I don't add dried fruit to this mix as the pieces tend to get hard. If you like dried fruit in your granola, add it in as you serve it. In winter, when I don't have fresh berries, I sometimes add dried blueberries to my yogurt along with this granola.
Maple and Olive Oil Granola
adapted from Nekisia Davis (and Melissa Clark)
(makes about 7 cups - I usually fill three quart sized canning jars