Easy Granola Recipe

homemade granolaLet’s start with the facts: Yes, I am part Moravian. No, I don’t know what constitutes a traditional Bohemian breakfast, but I think we can agree that it’s probably not Greek yogurt. Yes, umami boy thinks that people use the word “bohemian” to make sure you realize how cosmopolitan they are—and “postmodern” to make sure you know what caliber of college they went to—when they can’t think of a word that means anything. No, as you’ll note from the headline, I haven’t exactly stopped using those terms; in this economy, a girl’s got to find some non-financial way to amortize the tuition and city rent payments of her youth. Yes, we both really like Greek yogurt with apple compote and granola for breakfast – we think you will, too. No, we didn’t save you any, but here’s us teaching you to fish so you can have it whenever your little heart desires.

And finally, yes, umami girl has a new home. Perhaps it was the wanderlust in my gypsy genes that made me do it. Or perhaps it was the opposite—a desire for a real, permanent room of my own. Either way, I hope you like the place! I’d owned the land for a little while but only just decided what to build on it after having discovered this gorgeous blog last week and shamelessly having hunted down the template. As you’ll see if you poke around a bit, we’re still settling in, but we didn’t want to put off the housewarming any longer. Maybe bring your own folding chair and some silverware with you for a few more weeks when you visit, if you don’t mind, but don’t let it keep you from digging in!

Homemade Granola

Adapted from Ina Garten

4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
2 cups sliced almonds
1/2 cup canola oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups dried cherries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the oats, coconut and almonds in a large bowl and mix to combine. Add the oil and honey to the bowl, and mix gently until all ingredients are coated. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt, and mix gently to combine. Spread the mixture onto two rimmed baking sheets (half-sheet pans) and bake for about 25 minutes, until golden brown. (Please watch it carefully, since there’s really no telling whether two ovens are alike, and it would be such a shame to have it burn.) Sprinkle half the cherries over each pan, then cool completely before storing in an airtight container. The granola will keep for weeks stored this way at room temperature.

If you have a convection oven, this is a great time to use it. The granola will brown more quickly, so watch carefully after about 10 to 15 minutes.

Apple Compote with Cranberries and Walnuts

8 apples (here is a great chart on the best uses – cooking, eating, etc. – for various apple varieties)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 to 4 Tablespoons sugar, depending upon the sweetness of the apples
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Heat the water in a heat-proof glass measuring cup or bowl in the microwave until almost boiling. Add the cranberries and let sit while you peel and core the apples and cut them into 1-inch chunks. (If you want the compote to be a bit chunky in the final analysis, vary the sizes of the pieces so some will melt away while others remain intact.) Combine all ingredients except the walnuts and lemon juice in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, partially covered, for about half an hour. Stir occasionally and check to make sure it doesn’t scorch on the bottom – you may need to reduce the heat to low. When the compote is as thick as you’d like it (keeping in mind that it will thicken up a little further as it cools), stir in the walnuts and lemon juice. Serve between Greek yogurt and granola.