Tuesday, April 19, 2011

How Vanilla

Even though it's mid-50's and rainy -- there is something in the air. At times frustrating, seasons changing are always lovely because you can smell it. Winter is over and the sun is beaming when not hidden behind angry clouds. We all just have to be patient. Ya gotta think glass-half-full people: at least it's not snowing. While crossing my fingers for a warmer and awesome May, I'll be eating spring for breakfast and storing up that good weather energy. 

First of all, vanilla and granola are two wonderful adjectives for something that is boring. But Vanilla Granola is flippin phenomenal. It's also explicitly expensive when you buy it pre-made in any super market or grocery store. But that's why you make it for yourself in ginormous batches.

Mix old school oats, slivered almonds, sweetened coconut, cinnamon, and salt in a pretty bowl. In a saucer on the stovetop bring honey, vegetable oil, and brown sugar to a simmer. Turn the heat off and add vanilla. The syrup will spaz out a little here because of the vanilla, it's kinda fun and spooks ya. Stir it off of the flame and all will be well.

Drizzle syrup over oat concoction and mix well. Spread sweetened oats on a buttered cookie sheet (the butter does wonders for its flavor) and pop in a 325 oven for about 25-30 minutes. Widdle a wooden spoon around three, if not four, times throughout cooking. It's gonna be a lovely brown color and have a gorgeous cinnamon smell. As it cools, run your spoon around it a few more times or the honey will start to bind the oats together into giant clumps.

Hardy oats, mellow yogurt and tartastic blackberries. I personally don't like dried fruit in many things. My dad (as far as i'm concerned) coined one of my favorite phrases when describing food. Bitching about sushi, he called cucumber an uninvited guest (which I don't agree with). Dried fruit is often times an uninvited guest in my humble opinion. The coconut shreds, however, are a fantastic replacement adding the slightest chewy texture and lovely mild tropical flavor. Blackberries were on super awesome sale this week and were totally invited to this granola party. Of course, most any fresh fruit is welcome. I used plane-jane yogurt to bring it all together.

3 cups Old Fashioned Oats
1 cup raw slivered almonds 
1 cup sweetened coconut shreds
1 teaspoon cinnamon 
1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 vegetable oil
1/4 honey
1/4 brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract 

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