Ben might be based out of NOLA, but that doesn’t mean I can’t whip up some ‘nola myself. (Glad I got that pun out of my system).
I’ve recently become a fan of an incredible food blog called Love and Lemons, which centers upon largely vegetarian – and vegetable-based – recipes, coupled with absolutely superb food photography. I’ve tried a handful of recipes off the blog, and my most successful endeavor thus far has been the granola. I made a few tweaks – based upon taste and absence of ingredients – and can now whip up a batch of granola in about fifteen minutes flat (baking time excluded).
Love and Lemons calls for the following:
- 2 cups rolled oats (not instant)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted if yours is solid)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup shaved coconut
- a little brown sugar (optional)
I kept the recipe identical, but made a few adjustments and omissions:
- I’m not crazy about nuts in granola, so I reduced the pecans and almost to a 1/2 cup, total
- I used a bit closer to 1/3rd of a cup of maple syrup, as opposed to 1/4 cup
- I didn’t have coconut oil, so I substituted canola
- I also didn’t have coconut shavings, so I omitted this part
- I add 1 tbsp of brown sugar
Like the recipe says, you simply mix all of the above ingredients together, and lay them out flat in a pan, sifting every few minutes. I kept it in the oven for about 35 minutes, at about 325 degrees.
My principal challenge isn’t so much taste as texture. I haven’t yet mastered the ability to create consistent clusters of granola, so my last few batches have been mostly separate – but still delicious – oat crumble, with occasional clumps. I’ve begun to try reducing the amount of maple syrup I initially add by about 15%, and instead drizzle it on during the baking process, and then sift, so as to create clumps in the process.
The sweetness of the granola goes well on its own, but also works insanely well as a topping for greek yogurt with fruit. Those Starbucks parfaits got nothin’ on this.