the last days of february bring with them an ennui, a longing.
a yen for color and life and warmth.
elsewhere in the country, signs of spring begin to emerge: green shoots, buds swelling on trees, perhaps even a flower. as another snow squall descends, blotting out the world, one line from robert service loops through my mind: “the white land locked tight as a drum.”
even in this, though, the signs–subtle as they may be–are there. the extra minutes of morning light, the dry patch on the road. spring may come slower up north, but it is coming.
raspberry vanilla granola
I start seeking color this time of year, wherever I can find it. I buy flowers. I seek out foods that add a punch of brightness, like these freeze-dried raspberries. Using freeze-dried fruit in a granola recipe also means the end product stays crisp; it doesn’t soften up like it does if you add regular dried fruit, which still contains some moisture. The recipe is quite flexible–you can mix it up with whatever nut and seed combination you like; just keep the proportions consistent. I’m keen to try macadamia nuts next–I think their richness would pair nicely with the tartness of the berries. Enjoy!
3 C (324 g) rolled oats
1 C unsweetened coconut flakes or chips
1 3/4 C mixed seeds (e.g., shelled sunflower seeds, shelled pepitas, hemp seeds)
1 1/4 C mixed nuts (e.g., almonds, cashews, macadamia nuts, pecans)*
1/2 t coarse sea salt
1/2 C extra virgin olive oil
1/2 C real maple syrup
1 t vanilla extract
1 C freeze-dried raspberries
* Note: if you use walnuts, keep an eye on them in the oven. I find they are more delicate than other nuts and more prone to burning.
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the oats, coconut, seeds, nuts, and sea salt together in a large mixing bowl.
In a small mixing bowl (or large measuring cup), mix together the olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
Pour the wet ingredients over the try and stir to coat.
Scoop the granola onto the baking sheet and use a spoon to pat it down into a relatively uniform layer.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, removing from the oven to stir every 10-15 minutes. The granola is done when it is largely dried out and beginning to turn golden brown.
Remove from the oven and cool on the baking sheet. Once cool, stir in the freeze-dried raspberries.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature for a couple of weeks, or freeze for indefinite storage.