This morning feels like a Thursday despite being Wednesday. It feels like a nice morning, of clean hair, slightly sleepy eye-lids and a favourite, worn shirt against my skin. Over this thin grey thin top I'm wearing a new to me old jumper. My nana gifted me a bunch of sweaters she knitted more than thirty years ago for herself. I love that I'm now keeping warm with clothes that feature in our family photographs.
This morning sounds like a surprisingly gentle wind and small bird conversations. I like to leave the window open in the morning because it sounds so clean. The threat of a bird flying inside (holy mother of God) is worth the breeze and breathe. But these days I only manage a minute or two before the chill gets mean.
This morning tastes like two large mugs of coffee, made on the weak side so as to justify the keen serving of morning comfort. The holding of my coffee mug, full and dark and blisteringly hot, is of equal enjoyment as the coffee itself. This morning also tastes like nutty crunch and toasted oats with sure maple sweetness and cinnamon stewed apples.
Today I have a gratifying granola recipe for you, swiftly prepared on a mid-week morning. This is for those days when you want granola now yet cannot fathom preheating the oven, toasting the oats for 45 minutes and stirring intermittently before allowing it to cool. Nah-uh. Now, when you want granola sooner rather than later, you can make stovetop granola.
It will make your morning feel, sound and taste really really good.
I like to mix up the ingredients each time I make this recipe. You can use either honey or maple syrup as the sweetener. I dance between the two based on my mood. Lately it's been maple syrup. Both work well, though honey makes a thicker coat. Be sure to not drown your pan in sweetener, as this will make it difficult for the granola to harden upon cooling and as a result, it won't be crunchy (and will be too sweet). When adding the sweetener use a wooden spoon to distribute it as swiftly as you can over the oats and nuts. If it doesn't cover the mixture easily, put it back on the heat briefly and add a touch more sweetener until it's all coated and sticky. Then lay it out on baking paper as above and try not to pick at it while it cools.
1/2 cup Rolled Oats
2 tablespoons roughly chopped Almonds (or almond flakes or alternative nut)
2 tablespoons Sunflower and Pepita Seeds (or 1 tablespoon seeds and 1 tablespoon unsweetend coconut flakes)
2 tablespoons Pure Maple Syrup or Honey
A small sprinkle of Sea Salt, if you're so inclined
Optional: a pinch of ground Cinnamon or cardamom, chia seeds or ground flaxseeds.
1. Dry toast the oats and almonds in a large pan over low-medium heat for a few minutes until they begin to brown, tossing the pan at intervals to allow for even toasting. Add the seeds and toast for a further few minutes until everything is nicely toasted and golden.
2. Turn off the heat (but leave on the stovetop) and add the maple syrup, stirring with a wooden spoon until all the oats and nuts/seeds are coated and sticky. If it's too dry, add a touch more sweetener and put the pan back on the stove to melt it and help it combine.
3. Scrape the mixture onto a piece of baking paper. Using a spoon, spread the mixture out so it's not all on top of each other. This will allow the mixture to get a nice crunch. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the top then leave it to cool and harden while you have a shower or listen to the birds. Once hard (I leave mine for about 10-15 minutes), break it up with your hands and serve in bowls with milk or yoghurt or both. Banana soft serve is a lovely base for this granola too.