A couple of nights ago, slightly too full from the ample leftovers of Alli's Fantastic Wizzbang Indian Bridal Shower, and reeling just a wee bit from having been out of town and the gotta-catch-up's that tend to plague the recently vacationed human, I found myself sitting on the sofa watching a docu-drama about mountain climbing on Netflix. Boy oh boy. It was thrilling.
But then, at that moment, when these dudes were trying some death defying stunt on the ridge of some huge mountain in Peru, I got off the couch and stormed out the door into the balmy summer evening with cabin fever heaving in my chest. I had to get out, right then and there, like...NOW. Because I am an adventurer, dammit, an important administrator of all things hard-core, and no WAY was I going to sit there while these two seemingly normal dudes scaled a mountain.
And so, I invented this while I was traipsing around the neighborhood like a lost puppy, gazing at this one particular house that I always "accidentally" find myself in front of, doing my best to swallow the bitter taste of jealously when I see how cute and small it is, how loved and slightly ramshackled, overflowing with flowers in the windows and the rarely seen "this lawn is chemical free" sign that I so adore.
I decided that in order to live so cooly, so unabashedly hippy as these people do in this little green house, I should make my own granola. Yeah. That'll be one step toward becoming more like them, with their compost bins and their dumpy yellow Volkswagen Beetle and their subscription to Outside Magazine and their lawn chairs and yoga mats. Homemade granola makes me cooler. More apt to becoming like them. You hear that, future self? Or are you still eating stuffed peppers and paying your student loans and reading Proust and planning trips to Belize?
Yes, you are. And you also apparently have a stock of homemade granola eternally at the ready. You definitely know that buying it is stupid, considering how expensive it is and how good yours tastes. And how you can control exactly what goes into it. Since you're like that.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grab a big bowl. Toss in:
2 cups oats
1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup coconut
1/4 cup millet
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raisins
2 tbs flax seeds
whatever else looks tasty
Stir it up with a big spoon. Then, in a small bowl or cup, whisk together:
1/4 cup oil (olive oil tastes nice, but you can use canola oil too)
1/4 cup maple syrup
Pour the liquid mixture over the top of the dry stuff and mix, with your spoon, until everything is evenly coated. Add a dash more oil if it seems to dry, or if you went crazy with mix-in's. Then dump the whole thing, every last bit, onto a dry ungreased cookie sheet (with edges) and bake. After 15 minutes, or when the top looks slightly browned and toasty, stir the granola around on the pan and bake again for another 5 minutes. Toss and bake in 5-minute increments until you see your desired level of done-ness (since some folks like super crunchy granola and others prefer a bit of softness), but do your best not to burn it.
When it's done, let it cool completely on the sheet tray before you bag it up for breakfast tomorrow. You're cooler already.