From time to time, I go through my recipe index and think about what’s missing. What I need a bit more of, what’s been overdone. I try to fill the gaps but like a lot of cooks, I tend to mostly make what I love to eat. Which is why it’s odd to me that I have never posted any breakfast recipes, given that on some days I’ll tell you that breakfast is my favourite meal. Those days would be when I have scarfed down a bacon, avocado, and shrimp Benny at a popular brunch joint or shared a stack of blueberry pancakes with a sexy man who knows his way around a griddle. There are few things I love more than a weekend brunch with good company, but to be honest, most of my days start out with peanut butter on toast.
I work in an office with a big kitchen. When I come in at 8:30, my colleagues are mixing fruit into their yogurt, pouring Rice Krispies into a bowl, or putting together some variation on weekday breakfast–the kind you eat at your desk, if not in your car. I don’t know if other people work in offices like mine, of predominantly women who rush around in the morning, paper bagging lunches and dropping kids off at school. Each of us has our own shelf in the cupboards–for the tea, the Nutella, the Carnation Instant Breakfast. Mine is now filled with granola.
I’m on a granola kick now. I’ve started making my own because, let’s face it, homemade granola is the only kind that’s worth eating. Mine is heavy on the nuts and seeds and chunks of dried fruit. I like the complementary textures of thick oats and crunchy nuts, and the hearty chew of a dried cranberry or apricot. Sometimes I always use olive oil but mostly melted organic coconut oil for its healthy properties. As for as sweetness goes, its maple syrup most of the time.
I make a batch of this every couple of weeks, which is about how long it lasts when stored in an airtight container. I eat it with almond milk, sprinkle it on yogurt, or by the handful when I’m looking for a bedtime snack.
Apricot Coconut Granola
Makes about 750 grams/ half a pound
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup /75g Thompson raisins
1 cup/ 100g organic coconut flakes
4 tablespoons maple syrup
3 tablespoons melted coconut oil
1/2 cup / 35g sliced raw almonds
1/2 cup / 35g pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup / 75g dried apricots, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1) Preheat the oven to 325F. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut oil with the maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and a pinch of sea salt with a whisk. Add the oats, coconut flakes, almonds, pumpkin seeds and dried apricots and stir until evenly coated.
2) Spread the mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes; with a spatula, push the granola around to ensure it bakes evenly. Bake for another 20-25 minutes or so, until the granola is dry and golden brown and the coconut is toasted.
3) Remove from the oven and allow the granola to cool a few minutes. When completely cool, store in an airtight container.