Crunchy (Except When Chewy)

White Supremacy is alive and well in America, and every person of color has known this for a long, long time. Charlottesville is no surprise, unfortunately, and performative measures won’t make it go away. I recommit to doing all I can to fight anti-blackness, antisemitism, and bigotry, in every facet of my life.

And that’s what I have to say about that.

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In all of the goat milking, kraut fermenting, hippie deodorant making melee around here, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I love making granola. Maybe not as much as Mike, but he doesn’t have a WordPress account so we’ll never know. Granola was my job, once upon a time, as I joined a great line of folks who baked for Forward Foods, making batches upon batches of Suzy’s killer granola recipe.

Granola is simple and magical. It is forgiving. It is customizable. It is, as a Murray’s alum might say, imminently snackable.

Feel free to change the fruits and nuts around or vary amounts and add or subtract spices. The one spot you really *do* need to be careful is during the bake. Keep an eye on the edges of the granola as it bakes– the line between beautifully toasted and burnt and bitter is thinner than you might expect.

Ingredients

6 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

3/4 c pepitas / pumpkin seeds

3/4 c sunflower seeds, pecans, or shredded coconut

1/2 c dried cherries

1/2 dried currants or blueberries

1/2 dried apricots (I prefer Blenheim) or dried, unsweetened mango or dried apple

1/2 c whey or water

1 c olive, grapeseed, or coconut oil

1/2 c sugar (I like sucanat, rapadura, or demerara, but plain is fine)

2 T molasses

2 T honey

Dash of tamari

1/2 t sea or kosher salt (the bigger the flake the better)

1 t vanilla extract (or use a vanilla bean with the wet ingredients)

Preheat oven to 375. Combine oats, nuts, and seeds in a large bowl. Warm whey to simmer, then turn off heat, add dried fruits, and cover for 15-20 minutes, until fruit has just barely changed texture, plumping slightly.

In the meantime, warm chosen oil over medium heat. Add sugar, honey, molasses and tamari, and whisk to combine. Once mixture heats and foams, whisk again, and add vanilla. Whisk once more. Cook on low for 5-7 minutes, taking care not to burn, stirring if needed.

Drain fruit and add to oat and nut mixture. Toss to combine. Turn off heat for oil and sugar mixture. Pour oat, nut and fruit mixture into oil and sugar mixture, folding the mixture until all oats are coated with sugar and oil mixture.

Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet or two (mixture should be about 1/8 of an inch thick, no more than 1/4 inch thick). If no parchment, grease baking sheet well. Bake for 12-15 minutes, stir carefully, and turn, returning to the oven for another 5-10 minutes, until the granola is browned but not burned.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Store in a cool, dry place for 1-2 weeks, if you can, anyway.

Enjoy.