Beatnik Breakfast

For some time, I have wanted to make my own granola. I do not really know why. I am not an authority about granola nor do I eat it regularly. I just thought that making it on my own would be cool. Once upon a time, I did become a muesli fan.  We used to eat it as children in South Africa. I remember the dark, sweet raisins that would generously swell in milk. My love of muesli can also be credited to my time in Germany. Muesli paired with thick, natural yoghurt and a glob of farm honey will stop traffic. We used to make our own muesli, very simple. Mix oats with raw almonds, sunflower seeds and ground flaxseed. 

Any raw nuts will do. Walnuts are fantastic and ditto hazelnuts. Pecans or pistachios. Like most things in the kitchen, the sky is the limit. The objective here is to add crunch to your oats. You can use any variety of oats though I recommend excluding the fast cook sort. I like mine gluten free. Sweeten up the bounty with some raisins plumped the night before in water or chopped apricots or dare I say it, prunes. How about bananas or almond or cashew butter? Perhaps a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg. You get the picture. Serve with the yoghurt, a drizzle of flaxseed oil, maybe some honey or great quality maple syrup and you are in business. You can also use cow's milk, soy milk, almond milk, rice milk, goat milk or cottage cheese. Get crazy and soak everything the night before if you wish. Anything goes in the Swiss German breakfast department. Simplify your life and keep everything in containers. That's what my folks do.

My first job out of college, our office had a cafeteria where they served breakfast and lunch. Breakfast comprised a wondrous muesli bar. They also had a marvelous assortment of cheeses, cold cuts and rolls fresh from the baker around the corner. A little bit of this and that neatly put out for the pickings. The cafeteria was also subsidized by the company so saying I ate on the cheap was an understatement. Every morning, after hanging my coat and firing up the PC, I would meander down to the bottom of the high-rise to procure my German breakfast. 

The woman who ran the kitchen, was quite interested in the young American who graced her space daily. Perhaps it was my accent. Who knows. Either way she was always generous with her winks and smiles. I was welcome in her kitchen. I think she was more surprised to learn that muesli was not par for the course back in the good old USA. One day, she gave me a small plate of chopped grapes and suggested I add them to the bounty. The next day was orange slices and the following day, apples and later pears. Berries when they were in season. You get the picture. I visited her nearly every day I was in the office for almost three years.

I am always on the hunt for healthy snacks for the both of us to take to work. As such, it seems that we are constantly reinventing the wheel. So when I came across this recipe calling for nuts, seeds, coconut oil and spices, I decided to give it a gander. I returned to Trader Joe’s to buy all the goodies because their price of nuts simply cannot be beat. I keep coconut oil in the house as it is on regular rotation. Finding the unsweetened coconut flakes was a bit of a chore but persevere I did. Whole Foods. You coarsely chop the dried goods in the Cuisinart, slowly melt the oil and spices on low heat, combine the two and bake. Ten minutes in the oven and an hour on the counter, you have granola. A little bit of this stuff goes a long way.

Grain Free Granola
Adapted from Delighted Momma


Note you can substitute whichever nuts tickle your fancy. I used:
1 cup of walnuts
1 cup of hazelnuts
1 cup of raw almonds
½ cup or flaxseeds – not ground
2 TBS sesame seeds
3/4 cup of coconut oil
2 TBS maple syrup
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
¾ cup of unsweetened shredded coconut

Do Your Thing

1. Coarsely chop nuts in the food processor. This means pulsing a few times. Don’t go overboard otherwise you will have powder or worse yet, nut butter. What a waste!

2. In a small pot, please melt the coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla, salt and cinnamon. I did this on medium heat and it took approximately 5 minutes. Once melted, remove from the heat.

3. Transfer your nut medley to a big bowl along with the flaxseeds and sesame seeds. Now add the liquid that was on the burner. Mix until coated. I dare you to taste the medley now, it’s gorgeous.

4. Spread the mixture on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 300 degrees for 12 minutes. Let cool and enjoy with yoghurt, on its own, directly out of the bag. Ours is now resting in a container that we will keep in the fridge. I can promise you that this stuff will not last long.


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