I am a morning person. The first few hours after waking are, to me, the most perfect and pure part of the day. Everything is new: the air is fresh, the slate is clean, and it is blessedly quiet. No clutter, no chatter, no chaos.
The moments of morning are sacred. They offer the opportunity to set an intention and tone for the day. For me, part of setting that intention and tone flows from the meditation of the morning ritual: rising with the sun (at least now, as we enjoy longer days), brewing the coffee, sitting down to a leisurely breakfast with the newspapers (yes, I still read a hard-copy newspaper–two of them, actually), followed by a creekside walk with the dogs.
I suppose it comes as no surprise that breakfast (by which I also mean brunch, because brunch includes even more breakfast foods) is my single favorite meal of the day. I allow myself time in the morning to make a hot breakfast nearly every day, usually eggs, some sort of doctored up oatmeal, or a nut flour-based waffle. I need a hearty breakfast to get me through the morning. But every once in a while, I indulge in one of my weaknesses: homemade granola. I adore granola, to the point where I have to limit how much I have in the house lest I eat it all in one sitting. After more than a decade of experimenting with various granola recipes–different grains, different nuts, different oils, different sweeteners, different spices–I finally developed a recipe that is my go-to. It’s simple, goes well with a whole host of different toppings and milks, and has enough protein to carry me through to … second breakfast (the hobbits were on to something). Enjoy!
Coconut Almond Granola
Ingredients 2 C gluten-free rolled oats 1/2 C gluten-free oat bran 2 C unsweetened coconut flakes 1 C raw almonds, coarsely chopped 1 C raw pepitas 1 C raw sunflower seeds 1 t cinnamon 1 t coarse sea salt 1/2 C coconut oil, melted 3/4 C maple syrup
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Farenheit.
Mix the dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.
Stir the coconut oil and maple syrup into the dry mixture.
Spread the mixture out into a uniform layer on a large rimmed baking sheet.
Bake the granola for 30 minutes, stirring halfway through. If the granola still seems too wet, stir again, and bake for another 5-15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and stir one more time to loosen the granola from the baking sheet.
Cool, and transfer to lidded mason jars to store. Keep in refrigerator if you won’t be eating it within a couple of days.
Enjoy with your favorite fresh or dried fruit and milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese (or, if you’re me, perhaps a handful or two right out of the jar …)