While in Europe we eat muesli for breakfast almost daily. And we often eat muesli for lunch or dinner. Back in the U.S. we eat American muesli or granola. For what is granola but baked muesli? This granola is great with yogurt for breakfast or simply to eat by the handful.
When we decided to share our top secret and simple granola recipe, we were surprised by how complicated the recipe looked when we gathered all the ingredients. But do not let the forest of ingredients and cookware scare you.
Rolled oats vs. cut groats: Groats, on the right, are the preferred choice for oatmeal, but for granola, get rolled oats.
We have done some research regarding the mythical powers of flax and chia seeds. Flax truly is high in Omega 3 fatty acids, like the cereal boxes say. But simply adding whole flax seeds (above in white tea cup on left) to a meal will not do the trick. The seeds simply pass through your system, whole and ready to plant. Grind the flax seed with a pepper grinder or a mortar and pestle
. Do not grind the seeds until you are about to use them lest they lose their vital energy. Chia seeds, Salvia hispanica
, are the legendary super food of the Aztecs and the Tarahumara, residents of Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons. These seeds are reported to be part of the recipe that makes the Tarahumara arguably the greatest endurance athletes in the world. Chia seeds, like flax, are also high is Omega 3 fatty acids. The seeds contain essential minerals such as phosphorous, calcium, manganese (yum), potassium and sodium.
You can buy almonds at a premium pre-sliced or you can slice them with your Opinel. We prefer chopped raw, unsalted almonds for their crunch. They wont’ be raw after the granola is baked.
On the left are black mission figs and on the right adriatic figs. Both delicious, both dried, both available at your local health food store in the bulk food isle. Tim Krabbe
chose figs in the days before the proliferation of so called “energy food.” Figs are loaded with natural energy.
Once again, you will want to use your Opinel. Chop the figs to roughly raisin size.
There are many options for sugar. Brown sugar is an excellent choice. If you have everything but brown sugar, use white sugar with a teaspoon of molasses.
Maple syrup comes in many grades. From left o right: Vermont Fancy, grade A light amber, grade A dark amber, and grade B. We prefer Grade B as it is by far the most flavorful. Corn syrup is not a viable substitute.
The wine bottle is full of delicious grade B maple syrup. On the right is what is known at the local food coop as #944, and known to the rest of the world as local honey. The local food trend is a trend that we are happy to embrace (fresher, tastier, etc). Also, local honey is rumored to help with allergies. Although the person who first told me this seems to suffer year-around from allergies and has local honey in her tea on a daily basis.
This is the pot that we use to heat the liquid ingredients. It was made in France, where most quality cooking items come from.
This is a low fat recipe but we usually steer clear of things labelled “low fat” or “diet.”
4 Cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped or sliced raw unsalted almonds
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp crushed flax or chia seeds
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup local honey
1/3 cup local water
2 tbsp canola oil
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped, dried figs
preheat oven to 325°
Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir.
Combine water, honey, syrup, sugar, and oil in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Pour over oat mixture; toss to coat. Spread oat mixture on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 325° for 35 minutes or until golden, stirring every 10 minutes. Place in a large bowl and stir in dried fruit. Enjoy.