When I used to work for a certain outdoor school, we used to play this game – well I never thought of it as a game, until my friend Kimberley told me that she tried to explain “this game” to someone recently. The game is, someone says a word. At this point, they don’t know they just started the game. Like, let’s say they say, while contemplating their snack, “I love bananas”. Then you continue the game by saying, “YOU’RE bananas!” So it’s like a pun game. But you can keep it going. They can retort with, “I’ll show YOU a banana!” or something similarly witty.
It’s become a popular game in my house and it’s especially ridiculous to do it with someone whose first language is not English. However, if the person who “starts” the game is not familiar with the game, it can make you seem a bit silly. You know, the guy you hired to build your deck says, “I need a squarehead, not a philips” and you say, “YOU’RE a squarehead! Hahahhahaha!” I likely do not have to describe to you what happens next, especially if you live in Quebec. Anyway, either he could counter with, “I’ll show YOU a squarehead” – which would be a pretty good one – but more likely than not, he’d look blankly at you and go get his screwdriver his damn self, and then stop letting you help build your deck.
All this to say, I was munching a big bowl of granola just 5 minutes ago and thinking, I love granola! and then retorting to myself that I WAS granola, haha, which is actually funny-ish, because I have been accused of being “granola” once. Or twice.
But really, I don’t love ALL granola. I am quite particular. Recently in the nice food store in Gaspé they started carrying this gourmet, “euphoric” granola that cost 15$ a package. Talk about getting your hopes up. Finally one day I indulged myself and bought a bag, to my utter disappointment! Blech! It hurt my jaws and it wasn’t even that tasty and I think it was stale. So I started the hunt for a granola recipe that would make me and my jaws happy. Oh, and that Mr. “Nut Allergy” would be able to eat. (I’ll show YOU a nut allergy!)
So HERE it IS! I have to say I am convinced that this is the best granola ever. So much so that I hesitate even putting the recipe here cause I thought about packaging the stuff and selling it, for 14$ a bag at the nice food store here. But then I remembered that dog hair gets into everything I make in this kitchen so I’d never get approval to sell my stuff in any store.
This recipe is infinitely adaptable to whatever ingredients you do or do not have “training” in your cupboards. There are a few basics and then the rest is up to you. The key is the cooking. You can make it chunky or not depending on how much you stir during baking.
Adapted? I think so.. From SimpleBites.net
Preheat the oven to 300 F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment OR grease them lightly.
Mix together the following in a saucepan and warm (don’t boil) over medium heat till the sugar is dissolved (you can play with the spices as much as you like):
2/3 cup maple syrup, agave syrup (ew) or honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup canola oil or light olive oil
at least 1 tsp EACH cinnamon & ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp EACH grated nutmeg & black pepper
This stuff you will mix together in your biggest bowl:
500 g or 5 cups large-flake oats (i.e. not quick oats or – god forbid – instant!)
2 cups various nuts and/ or seeds. I like a combo of sliced almonds, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
1/2 cup wheat germ, oat bran, bran, whatever. All or none, doesn’t seem to matter much.
1/2 cup buckwheat flour (or other wholegrain flour) – I think this is one of the secrets to the clumps, so don’t skip.
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 cup sesame seeds.
Once it’s all mixed, add the warm liquid to it and mix, mix, mix.
Spread the mixture evenly on 2 baking sheets and pop them both into the oven. Rotate the pans after 15 minutes and decrease the heat to 275F. Bake for another 15 minutes. Add any dried fruit you want (raisins, cranberries, apple, apricot, FIGS yes figs!) and then turn off the oven and put the baking sheets back in till the oven is cool. This crisps things up nicely.
Now, the stirring: if you like clumpy granola, (I think the word is “clusters”), DON’T STIR during baking! It will be like one giant granola bar and when you undo it into your bowl there will be lovely clumps. (see mini-granola girl above holding clump example) (YOU’RE a clump example!). However, if clusters are not for you, go ahead and stir when you rotate the pans and when you add the dried fruit (I’ll rotate YOUR pans!).
That’s it! Enjoy on yogurt, ice cream, with milk, on oatmeal, in a baggie, or just sitting in a pretty glass jar on your kitchen table for weeks on end till I come over and re-possess it.