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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, November 29

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Recipe Tue Sep 01 2009

Granola, A Reason to Wake Up

Some people go to sleep so they can wake up for that morning cuddle. Others bounce out of bed energized for work. Still more enjoy the morning time because of the first cup of coffee... and then the second. I go to sleep with a childish excitement for the morning's feast known as breakfast. Breakfast often loses in the fast-paced American capitalist society. I do not blame people for choosing that extra 15 minutes of sleep and 5 minutes of hot shower over making an omelet. I reserve in depth breakfast gorging almost exclusively for weekends. Thus, my solution to the demands of a quick paced morning coupled with my desire for a delicious healthy breakfast is homemade granola. It is especially enticing when you put the granola in a large counter top mason jar so it can greet you as you brew your coffee and rush to the shower.

I have been playing with granola for a few years now. I prefer to bake a large batch on a weekend and then have it for a couple of weeks. My recipes have varied... I highly encourage experimentation in the production of granola. Using different types of oil, sweetening with brown sugar vs. honey, adding flax seed, mixing in dried berries, dousing with a bit of vanilla or cinnamon, sprinkling in some coconut shreds. The possibilities are truly limitless. I will share the latest recipe I used as I found it to be particularly hearty and satisfying. This recipe produces a granola that is not too sweet and especially healthy given the large quantity of flax seed. My disclaimer is that I often cook by adding things until they seem "right," so measurements may need a little adjusting.

-4 cups quick oats
-2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 cup flaxseeds
-3 cups coarsely chopped almonds
- 1 cup, packed dark brown sugar
-½ cup canola oil (may need more)
- 1/3 cup water
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
-1 tsp cinnamon
-1 tsp ground cardamom
-a drizzling of honey

Set oven for 300° F. Throw all of the ingredients in a bowl. Mix it up. Clump it together. Lay it out on baking sheets. Bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring about half way through. (Adapted from 64 Sq. Ft. Kitchen).

I like to combine my granola with plain yogurt or milk, a cup of coffee to the side and a moment of relaxation on my deck prior to entering the face-paced, exhilarating Chicago world.

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Jessica Knobbe / September 2, 2009 8:51 AM

This sounds delicious! I also love granola but am often put off by the amount of sugar it contains- so I tend to save it for special occasions. Do you have any suggestions or trials with a low sugar granola that still actually tastes good?

Will / September 7, 2009 6:50 AM

If you want a lower sugar granola you can substitue fresh fruit (still sweet and sugar in the fruit but less refined sugar). The base recipe I follow is available at (so google and granola). It's Michael ruhlman's website a great resource for other cooking basics as well.

Jessica Knobbe / September 8, 2009 2:46 PM

Thanks Will- I will have to give the Ruhlman recipe a try- sounds interesting and a bit more healthy.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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