Thursday, April 8, 2010

earthy, crunchy

Something about granola reminds me of leaves crunching underneath my feet in autumn, although I'm talking about the wrong season again. I went on a hike this morning to collect data for a project, and the ground was so saturated that it oozed water like a sponge under every footstep. I noticed the new growth on the trees and the mountain laurel getting ready to flower, and though how lucky I am that my work and play overlap in such a pleasing way.

Good granola is the foundation of a good day. This granola, mixed with a spoonful of yogurt and some blueberries or strawberries, makes me immeasurably happy.

Top ten songs to listen to when making granola:
Waters of march- Art Garfunkel
Wagon wheel- Old Crow Medicine Show
Can't let go- Anthony Hamilton
I got a name- Jim Croce
Pa Mayte- Buena Vista Social Club
Sitting at the dock of the bay- Otis Redding
Each day gets better- John Legend
Hazy Jane II- Nick Drake
Greensboro woman- Townes van Zandt
Farmhouse- Phish

Maple almond granola

3 cups oats (not instant or quick-cook)
2 egg whites
2 Tblsp. oil (vegetable oil or something else neutral)
2 Tblsp. maple syrup
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup almonds, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup rasins
1/4 cup candied ginger, chopped

Mix the egg whites, oil, and vanilla. Add oats and stir to incorporate. Spread in a thin layer on a greased cookie sheet (preferably one with a raised edge) and bake for 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven.

Remove from oven and sprinkle almonds over, using a spatula to turn over and mix the granola in order for it to brown evenly.

Bake for another 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown, then add the raisins and ginger and let cool.

This granola adapts well to endless variations. Substitute honey for maple syrup, vanilla for almond extract, and dried cranberries for raisins. Pecans or walnuts are a good addition, or get crazy and add some shredded coconut a minute or two before you take it out of the oven.

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