Following a recent business trip to the Seattle area, my husband brought home the most amazing homemade granola given to him by Mandy Levenberg, chief cook and bottlewasher of Greater Good Granola a small business based on the honor system and created with a mission for giving back to the community.
Every week, the baker/mother/business consultant whips up batches of granola goodness, packages them in mason jars and leaves them in a fruit crate on her front porch. The idea: take a 1 or 2lb jar, leave your cash. You can also subscribe to the granola service and bring back your jar each week for a refill. Simple as that. Profits are donated to hunger-based charities in the Seattle area. If you don't live in the neighborhood, Levenberg will also ship.
Inspiring on so many levels.
I kept meaning to photograph the cute bag of Greater Good Granola tied up with string for the blog...but I ate it. I couldn't help myself. It was irresistible on my banana every morning...on yogurt, ice cream, as a snack... I kept thinking: Okay, just one more scoop -then, I'll photograph it...You get the idea.
Once it was gone, I suffered homemade granola withdrawal -and decided it was time to take matters into my own kitchen mitts.
With Valentine's Day coming up, it could also make a great gift! But I have to warn you, like any great love affair, it may be habit forming...Leaning heavily on the Basic Granola Recipe by Roxanne Weber, I also incorporated elements of the granola recipe in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook and took inspiration from the Vanilla Almond Granola recipe I found on Sally's Baking Addiction.
3 cups rolled oats
3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup coconut oil
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Add-ins: (note, these are suggested amounts add more or less to your heart's desire!)
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup coconut
1 cup diced dried figs
1 cup diced dried apricots
1 cup chopped cashews
1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup pistachios
1. Preheat oven to 300 and move rack to center position.
2. Combine all dry ingredients in one big bowl: oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Mix together.
3. Next, combine honey, oil and vanilla in a smaller bowl, stir to combine. Then, pour over the dry ingredients and mix until oats are thoroughly coated.
4. Spread the oat mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and continue baking until the granola has turned a light, golden brown -about 5-15 minutes more. For me, it was another 15 minutes.
5. When you take the pan of golden brown granola out of the oven, place it on top of a wire rack and allow it to cool to room temperature. Stir occasionally. It's hard to wait.
The granola will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks...if it lasts that long.
Happy, healthy Valentine's! xo