Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Recipe: Maple Granola with Balkan Yogurt, Strawberries, and Honey

So it’s day 3 of my pre-spring cleaning cleanse and I’ve already google imaged a variety of pastries. Some bank had a promotional stand set up in our lobby today and I could already see a bunch of brown stuff on the table (likely chocolate cookies), so I knew I would have to exercise an inordinate amount of self-restraint. My co-worker and I approached the table and after politely listening to some horrific savings account opening incentive, she went for the best looking cookie on the table. I somberly declined and we walked on. I don't know who I am anymore.

Also, last night, I dreamt about guava. 

Before I share with you a recipe for the most luxuriously healthy granola, I just want to mention that I don’t know what I was thinking when I said that the Vaseline body moisturizer I use is scent-free. I used it twice on my arms and didn’t smell anything but that was maybe because I had a cold. I lathered it on again last night and oh my god. It’s like if Vaseline was a regular ol’ joe shmoe man, this Vaseline would be a man wearing a Dior tie.  It’s got this rich fragrance of honey and cologne, but not in a masculine way, just in a way that makes you imagine a stranger.  I was totally not expecting this smell, and suddenly it covered me, and I felt like there was someone new in the room (doesn’t that just happen to you every day?). You know how sometimes you smell something and because you’ve never smelled anything like it before, your mind doesn’t go to anything. It just …stays right there, and creates a new sensation of that very moment. Anyway, that’s how I felt. I think I might be high.

So, this granola was inspired by Secret Squirrel Food, who posts unbelievable (and unbelievably healthy) meals she makes and/or eats in Dubai. She recently posted a beautiful granola dish which makes me wonder why the farthest I’ll go to decorate my granola is with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
I decided to make my own granola this time, which was incredibly easy. Here’s how you do it:

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup white quinoa
½ cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped almonds
1 tsp salt
Nutmeg, Ginger, Cardamom …about ½ teaspoon each.  

Then add:
½ cup maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil

Stir until everything is well combined, then throw into a 300 degree oven for about 45 minutes.  You want the granola to look toasted/golden, but don’t worry if it’s still soft. It’ll harden up while it’s cooling!

Get yourself some lovely natural yogurt. I love the Balkan style one because it’s unsweetened and brings out the flavour of the berries and granola. No starches, no sugar, just the basics.  Plop some into a bowl, throw in your wonderful granola, and then top with:

Chia seeds
Coconut flakes
Oh, and for that last bit of magic: drizzle it with honey!

I happened to have Spanish blossom honey kicking around (don’t ask why), and it did the job perfectly.  You can use any honey in the world, it honestly won’t matter. It’ll still be amazing.
And now, admire your beautiful meal and Instagram the hell out of it. I suggest X-Pro II…


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