Tuesday, August 08, 2006

a perfect breakfast



For me, there's something compelling about granola. Perhaps it's because my parents were never keen on buying their children sugary cereals, so my mom's honey-laden granola was the next best thing. I loved snitching bits of the buttery oats before they were transformed in the oven (then I would snitch out the crunchiest clumps, looking for the bits of sugar hidden inside). As a child, I'd eat my granola with copious amounts of milk. While I still like that combination, I try to vary my granola eating. For a perfect breakfast, I recommend the following:

Begin with jam you've whipped up from an excess of fruit lingering in your fridge:

Cherry Plum Jam
2 cups pitted, quarted plums
1 cup pitted Ranier cherries
1/3 cup sugar (add more to taste, if desired)
3/4 teaspoon allspice

Mix all ingredients. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Refrigerate until cold.


Add a layer of plain yogurt (if you can find it, goat's milk yogurt).

Top with a handful of granola.

Maple-Honey Granola (adapted from Hell's Backbone Grill)
4 cups rolled oats
1 cup bran
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup flaxseed
1/2 cup cocoa nibs
1/2 T. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1/4 c. honey
1/3 c. maple syrup
1/2 T. vanilla extract

Mix first seven ingredients. Heat remaining ingredients for about 5 minutes. Coat oat mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through.

3 Comments:

Blogger Lisa B. said...

This _is_ a perfect breakfast. I, too, like goat's milk yogurt. I haven't tried it with jam (cherry plum jam! that sounds amazing!), but I do like it with whatever soft fruit I have.

My personal favorite granola has almonds, pecans, dried apricots, dried cherries, and dried strawberries, with maple syrup as the sweetener. It's shocking how fast it goes after you make a panful.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I LOVE homemade granola too! As the good stuff is pricey in stores, and as I'm very picky about what I don't want in my granola (no raisins, no coconut, no terrifying hydrogenated tropical oils), I've pretty much resigned myself to making my own from now on. Like lisa b., pecans and maple syrup are staples for me. To reduce the amount of oil most recipes call for, I add orange juice to sweeten and moisten the mix. I vary the dried fruit according to what I have in the pantry or what's on sale (meaning that craisins appear often, as do apricots and currants, which in my mind don't count as raisins even though they're dried grapes). I stretch it and add more crunch with Grape-Nuts that get coated and baked with the oats. My biggest mistake came early on: if you add already dried fruit to the mix before you bake it for 45 or more minutes (I use lower heat and longer time in the oven than Lis), the fruit turns hard and inedible. Vive la granola!

8:59 AM  
Blogger tara said...

I love goat's milk yogurt! Used to buy it at the Trader Joe's in Riverside, but they don't seem to have it at the particular Maryland TJ's we found the other day. Oh, the tribulations of a new city ...

6:57 AM  

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