My Dad’s birthday is this week, and each year I ask him what he would like for his special day. It’s usually something favorite to eat, sometimes a coconut cake, sometimes a huge pot of cherry preserves reserved for his consumption, and I always take him to the nail salon for a mani-pedi sometime this week. Today out of the blue he told me he wants coconut granola for his birthday, and so late this afternoon I got busy making up a batch. We are not going to have a big birthday party, at his request, so I’m thinking of making up a special breakfast tray for him.
I’ll use the new yellow linen napkin I love, and a Chinoisserie tray. This looks like the start to a nice breakfast; I think I’ll add add a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice to this~
This is a nice little personal tray; no sharing, with a little pot à lait for one~
This little one holds just enough for a bowl of granola;
and though Dad may not appreciate the detail on the pot, I do; and now that the price of silver has dropped again, I think it’s time to look for a few more of these~
So back to the granola, this is the recipe that he especially loves; I don’t put any dried fruit in it because he prefers fresh: blueberries and strawberries are the current favorites in our house~
I make a batch every two weeks, or more often, if Mom starts to snack on it. If you have never made your own granola, you should give it a try. I love being able to adjust the flavors and ingredients, and I love to know exactly what I am eating. Well, I don’t actually eat much granola, but I make a lot of it….so I’ll say it’s nice to know what your family is eating….
I buy the main ingredients in bulk: organic rolled oats, raw wheat germ, sliced raw almonds and whole flax seed. The coconut is sweetened and shredded. I know a lot of people don’t like coconut, so you can omit that; my family loves it, so it goes in every batch.
You can decide if you want to sweeten your granola or not; I use raw agave, and it’s just about time to buy some more from Akram at Thyme of Essence, who sells them in fancy bottles; this is the best agave I have ever tasted, and I love the color in the St. Germain bottle on my counter~
Some oil is used in each batch. This time I am using about two tablespoons of vegetable oil, but mostly blood orange olive oil (from the Corona del Mar farmers market); orange is a great compliment to the coconut. I also use wildflower honey from Jonas Farms, my favorite honey of late.
The recipe is really very simple:
three cups of rolled oats (buy organic if you can)
one cup each of almonds, coconut, wheat germ and flax seed.
Stir to blend.
Combine 1/4 cup of oil of your choice, and 1/4 cup honey or agave; I stir these over light heat, then add the oil and honey mix to the dry ingredients and stir to combine. You should mix the oil in as evenly as you can; during the baking mine clumps up a little more.
Spread the mixture out on a cookie sheet, with a silpat or foil beneath. Going in the oven it will look like this~
Bake at 200 degrees for 1 1/2 hours or until brown; using a spoon, mix the granola around every 20 minutes so that it cooks evenly; if the granola starts to brown before 90 minutes, remove it from the oven. I find that the cooking times vary depending on ingredients and oil & honey. I like it lightly toasted, like this:
Let cool, and store in an airtight container.
This batch turned out great, and as for my Mom (who loves granola with Greek yogurt for breakfast) and the dogs (who beg for granola) it will be hands off this batch…reserved for Dad. He gave me one clarification though this evening; the granola is not to eat on the day of his birthday, can he have Eggs Benedict, please, on that morning? Sure, Daddy, anything you want for your birthday breakfast…