Summertime is granola time. A cool bowl of yogurt and fruit with a little something crunchy is my preferred breakfast during these summer months when I just want to roll out of bed and sit myself next to the nearest source of air conditioning.
Of course there are lots of benefits to homemade granola: control over sweetness and the quality and safeness of ingredients, etc. But in my quest to find a go-to granola recipe, this is the only method I’ve found that makes a really good and clumpy cereal, which is something that I miss in most homemade granolas.
You will have to turn your oven on, but only for about a half hour. The ingredients mix up quickly, and once you’ve got your granola, you’ll have a solid week (or not quite if you’ve got a significant other who also likes to eat occasionally) of customizable breakfasts. Have it with yogurt (or your milk of choice), dried cherries, fresh figs, maybe even with some tiny bits of dark chocolate as a dessert (if you’re feeling virtuous).
Today I decided to go with roasted strawberries. I love this recipe because it’s an easy way to rescue that box of overly-ripe strawberries that’s been sitting in your fridge for just a little too long (it’s okay, I won’t tell anyone). Also these would be great on french toast, ice cream, or muddled in a cocktail, perhaps?
adapted from “Fresh Uses for Fruit ” in the June 2012 issue of Martha Stewart
I went very light on the honey here, maybe 1 Tablespoon. As the strawberries cooled in the fridge, they made a thicker syrup. If you’d like more syrup now, use about 2 Tablespoons. Brown rice syrup or agave nectar would both be fine substitutes for the honey.
1 lb of strawberries
1- 2 1/2 Tablespoons honey (or substitute as mentioned above)
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Wash, dry, and hull your strawberries and spread them out in a single layer in a glass or ceramic dish, making sure they aren’t too tightly packed.
Drizzle the strawberries with honey (or honey substitute) and toss.
Bake for about 45- 90 minutes. Strawberries will shrink as they lose some of their moisture, creating a syrup in the bottom of the pan. Allow to cool.
Store strawberries with syrup in a sealed container in the refrigerator for about 2 weeks.
A Good and Clumpy Granola
Recipe adapted from Honest Fare
makes enough for 8-10 small servings
I think this granola is just sweet enough. If you like things on the sweeter side, you can substitute maple syrup or honey for the brown rice syrup.
1/3 cup good quality olive oil
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3 tsp flax seeds
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/3 cup pepitas
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup brown rice syrup
Preheat oven to 325.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
Spread mixture onto a shallow 11″ x 17″ baking sheet. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the oats have just turned golden brown. Check after 12 minutes of baking, and every 3 minutes after that to make sure nothing has started to burn. You may need to rotate the pan if one side is browning more quickly, but don’t stir.
Remove the granola from the oven. Again, don’t stir! Instead grab another baking sheet and press firmly on the top of the granola, compacting it.
Let cool completely then break into pieces and store in the freezer in a well sealed container for several months.
Editor’s Note: this post is part of the series “Texas Toasted” by guest blogger Grace Steinel Jones.