Wednesday, June 6, 2012

letting go and a little recipe: honey vanilla blueberry granola

Mop the kitchen floor?  Trim the lilac bushes?  Write another post?  Start writing the things that have been  on your heart?  Ooh, don't let that last one scare you.  Just a time of transition in my world, so I'm working it out.  If you know me, you know you often get to participate in me thinking something through.  You might not want to, but if you are conscious and present sometimes I need to call for an auxiliary brain.  Mine seems to be seriously faulty recently which I will blame on lack of sleep.  I parked my car and came out to find it barely fitting in it's chosen slot in the store parking lot.  I did that?  Where am I?  Can I be trusted to operate heavy machinery?  Process transactions at the register?  Here's a bit of an answer and when you've helped me work it all out I have a fantastic granola recipe for you.

LA girl and I are packing in the hot vinyasa classes before our road trip west and her shiny new life out on her own.  One particularly fast and free flowing class we walked in and could not easily put both our mats down in the same row.  I like being in the front row, but it's super tricky to find your drishti (somewhere to look and focus to help you balance) when you are communing with a blank wall.  So Kelly chose a spot in one of the middle rows and we settled in for class.  She's got a little experience, but still I wanted to be next to her to help her remember where we were going next when we were set free to flow on our own.  As I took in a few seriously deep breaths, I pondered just how that reflected where we are right now in our lives together.  How's she going to know what to do next?  Where to go?  How to make adjustments?  When to just make a little shift?  Then there wasn't time to worry.  The music was loud, the room was hot, the series was challenging and I had to breathe and move and remember.  And I didn't have to worry.  That's why I show up to yoga.  To let go.  For those of you who personally know me, you know that's it, that's the big challenge for me:  to just be and to try to let things be how they are without my interference.  And so class was over and I asked her how it was back there and she said it was fine, she knew enough to keep going and when she didn't really remember where to go next she just made it up.  Because girls next to her were in side crow and handstands and all kinds of things Rogers women may never do.  And she was just fine.  And that's how I hope this all goes.  She'll find her way.  It is her big shiny new life after all and I'm just to put her happiness and success in my intentions and prayers and let it be.  Remind me of that if you see me around the next few months.

Would you like a little recipe today?  Maybe you don't come here just to read about my super exciting life.  What was good these past few weeks?  Let's go with a recipe that is an excellent return on your investment in time:  homemade granola.  So easy.  So crazy delicious.  Here's a version we recreated after Sara (thank goodness she's sticking around all summer, she's an excellent auxiliary brain) and I bought some two different Saturdays at the Broad Ripple Farmer's Market ostensibly for food blog research.  This is a big batch recipe so be prepared to share a little granola love with someone or just store it in an airtight jar or storage container.  Thinking it might be just the thing to send off in care packages to LA and Durham.


Honey Vanilla Blueberry Granola

6 C old fashioned rolled oats (an entire cylindrical box)
1 3/4 C sliced almonds
1/4 C ground flaxseed
3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/3 C canola or other vegetable oil
1/4 C honey
1/2 C agave nectar
1 T vanilla
1 C dried blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a large rimmed sheet or pan with cooking spray (I use my Pampered Chef stoneware rimmed baking sheet and it's seasoned so I do not spray it).
In a large bowl, stir together oats, almonds, flaxseed and salt.  Pour in vegetable oil and use the "oiled" measuring cup to measure the honey and agave nectar (the order of operations is key here, the sticky ingredients will slide right out).  Stir vanilla into honey and agave and pour mixture over dry ingredients and oil in bowl and stir to mix well.  Spread granola into prepared pan.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes until golden brown.  Let cool completely and pour back into large bowl with dried blueberries until the fruit is distributed evenly throughout the granola.

*If you stir dried fruit into hot granola the dried fruit with absorb all the steam from the mixture and get all plump which seems fine but then when it cools it becomes hard as a rock.  I know this because I once baked raisins into the granola instead of mixing them into the cooled batch.  Always read your recipes from start to finish before beginning to cook or bake.  Just a friendly reminder.


Store in airtight containers.  Makes 10 C.

ingredients minus the vanilla which failed to show for the photo shoot

mixing

baked and cooling

stirring fruit into cooled granola

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