Posts Tagged 'granola'

fill me

I’ve been in a breakfast rut lately. Maybe it’s the mid-winter doldrums. I mull around the kitchen, open the fridge, peer into the pantry, but nothing really jumps out at me. Except for this past week. This past week there was left over Valentine cupcakes. And yes. I have a weakness for cake. Especially when it involves breakfast. But, like all good things, the cupcakes came to an end. Which is probably just as well. Bikini season is just around the corner.

This morning though, I realized the source of my problem. The granola jar has been empty for weeks. I’m not exactly sure why. We almost always have granola on hand. But there it was, empty as could be, staring me in the face. “Fill me” it whispered. And so I did.
I have several granola recipes, but I tend to latch on to certain ones for long spells, making them over and over again – ignoring all other contenders. Among past pet favorites is a version loaded with toasty cinnamon. My friend Cari introduced me to it on a backpacking trip and I was immediately smitten. Three tablespoons of cinnamon takes the chill out of the morning air like nobody’s business. Before that it was a fruit laden number that I adapted from Bon Appétit. But my new, all-time, number one favorite, is a subtle, seedy affair with coconut and honey. It has stayed in rotation longer than any other.
The recipe originated from sort of an odd source – the Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book, by an N.D. named Jessica Black. The subtitle beckons “Protect Yourself and Your Family from Heart Disease, Arthritis, Diabetes, Allergies – and More.” I picked it up a few years ago for the “and More” claim. Hopefully to help slow the progression of irreversible inflammatory glaucoma in my eye.
I have to admit that I didn’t have terribly high expectations for the recipes, but I have been pleasantly surprised with everything I have tried. If nothing else, the book is an interesting read. Black does an easy job of explaining the three different families of prostaglandins (fatty acids) found in foods. Two types (PGE1 and PGE3) are “good” and the other (PGE2) is a “not so good” pro-inflammatory type. Naturally, the book focuses on recipes with foods that are high in camps 1 and 3.
But good or bad prostaglandins aside, this granola is a winner. I love that it uses honey for the sweet and coconut oil for the fat. Two of my favorite ingredients. (If the thought of raw coconut oil scares you, I urge you to do a little research. It’s an amazing fat that has gotten an unfair bad rap for way too long.) The light, subtle coconut flavor matches perfectly with the oats. This is an understated granola but its flavor and texture are spot on. And who knows, maybe it really will help protect us and and our families from all the nasties out there. Who can argue with that?
Granola with a Conscious
(Adapted from Anti-Inflammation Diet and Recipe Book)

6 cups raw oats
1 1/4 cups unsweetened flaked coconut
1 cup chopped almonds
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil

Mix all of the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Gently heat the honey and coconut oil to a liquid. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Press into a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in a 325º F oven to your desired level of toastedness, 20-40 minutes. Store in an airtight container. (Milk, incidentally is high in PGE2, which means if reducing inflammatory foods is your goal, you should serve this with a milk substitute such a rice milk or almond milk.)


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