Tag Archives: Maple syrup

Proud to Eat Granola!

29 Nov

Poor granola — and I don’t mean a granola bar in fancy packaging — I mean plain granola.  Although its popularity as a breakfast food is growing with places like Starbucks offering it, it still seems to end up as a joke, sometimes in connection with mocking language, particularly about people who prefer to eat healthfully or are perceived to be something of a “hippie” (regardless of whether or not they are).

In fact, I had an unpleasant experience at a doctor’s office this summer.  I explained a minor problem I was having and requested both an allergy test and a certain type of hormone test that a nutritionist had recommended to me.  The doctor scoffed at the idea, said she didn’t know what the test was supposed to tell me, and why I was asking for it.  When I explained about the nutritionist, she said derisively, “Sometimes these earthy granola types tell people to do the craziest things.”  She then went on to suggest I take medicine for this minor problem — for an indefinite amount of time.

Well.  That was the last appointment I would have at that doctor’s office.  If she had recommended the medicine alone, then perhaps I would have felt sorry for her lack of training in nutrition, for example, that would otherwise have allowed her to recommend something beyond pharmaceuticals.  But that comment — “earthy granola types” — spoken about one of her own colleagues (in the sense that they both work for the improvement of people’s health) was unprofessional and dismissive.

But that word granola had me thinking — I’m not sure why she used it, but she was by no means the only person from whom I heard it in a similar context.  I actually don’t even eat granola on a regular basis, but that experience makes me want to reclaim the food with pride!

And so recently I realized that the book I am reviewing, Scatter Vegan Sweets, has not 1 but 6 variations of granola, and 5 granola bar recipes.  A perfect opportunity to take back granola!

With her permission, here is the recipe, by Wendy Gabbe Day:

Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats

2/3 cups almonds

1/2 cup coconut shreds (optional)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup almond butter

2 teaspoons vanilla

Directions:

1) Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit .

2) Lightly oil a 13 x 18 inch (or similar) baking sheet (I prefer parchment paper — it’s easier to clean up!)

3) In a bowl, combine the first four dry ingredients.

4) In a small saucepan, combine the remaining five wet ingredients and heat on low until liquefied.

5) Pour the wet mixture into the dry ones and mix thoroughly.

6) Spread evenly on the baking sheet.

7) Bake 20 minutes, then stir.  Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Let cool to crisp up.

All the ingredients, shown here.

First I put together the dry ingredients:  oats, almonds, coconut, and salt.

Next, I measured and assembled the wet ingredients:  rice syrup, maple syrup, water, almond butter, and vanilla.  Instead of measuring each ingredient separately, I actually combined them within the measuring cup to reduce the messiness.  As long as you can remember some middle school math and add fractions, it’s totally possible.  Furthermore, when measuring out the almond butter that is not in liquid form, you can measure it by judging how much of the other liquids it displaces when you add it to the measuring cup.  As you scoop spoonfuls in, the liquid level will rise.  Easy!!!!

Heat all the wet ingredients together….

….until they blend.

Add them to the dry ingredients and mix.

Spread onto a cookie sheet…

… so that it makes one really big granola bar!  After baking, it can easily be crumbled and kept in a jar.

Serve over soy yogurt, or just eat by the handful.

This recipe is only one of many possibilities for granola as a breakfast food and as a counter-attack on anyone who wants to call you an “Earthy Granola Type!”