i hit my four year mark in the bay area a couple days ago.
four years ago, i packed my life in a car and drove up the five (with the help of a gracious friend!). i missed a couple merges and ended up on the wrong side of the bay (oops). keep in mind that at the time i also thought that norcal consisted only of san francisco and san jose.
there are days when i’m just as confused as when i first moved up. there are days when it’s hard to live here, when i question the pace of life and whine about things that should and could have been. there are also good days when i understand why god placed me here and molded me to become the woman i am today. this is life- messy, tricky, and an emotional rollercoaster, but also sweet, joyful, and exciting. but i’m learning! i’m pushing through the darkness and looking for those streaks of light.
to year five!
….and honey fruit and nut granola. i’m sharing a basic recipe with you guys that i found online- i may venture out to other types of granola later! but this is a good starting point for your granola needs. i’ll share adjustments in a bit!
this granola comes together in less than 45 minutes. it contains no added sugar, whatever mixture of nuts and fruits you want, and whatever oil (healthy options work well!) you like. it’s a one-bowl, one-pan type thing- mix together in a bowl, pour into a pan, bake, stir, and serve. you can adjust it to be a crunchy or clustered, on the softer side. throw it on top of ice cream, yogurt, or by itself for a quick snack.
baker’s notes: as stated above, this is a good base recipe, because you can adjust the things you throw in. I’ll list it in the recipe, but here are some ideas:
nut options: try pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, or walnuts! you can use seeds too, such as pepitas or sunflower seeds.
fruit options: try dried apricots, blueberries, cranberries, raisins, or currants! chopped dried figs also sound like a good idea.
oil options: olive oil for a slightly savory taste, or coconut oil for a healthier version.
honey fruit and nut granola
makes about 8 cups granola
slightly adapted from cookie and kate
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 cups raw nuts and/or seeds (i used hazelnuts and sliced almonds!)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup oil (i used vegetable)
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup dried fruit, chopped if large
(i used dried blueberries and chopped dried apricot!)
preheat the oven to 350 f. line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (use a half sheet if you want crunchier granola, jelly roll pan if you want softer bites).
in a large bowl, mix together the oats, nuts, salt, cinnamon, and ginger. if you’re using a smaller seed such as sunflower seeds or a thinner nut such as sliced almonds, hold off on mixing those in.
in a large measuring cup, stir together the oil, honey, and vanilla. pour that into the oat-nut mixture, and stir well until all pieces are lightly coated. pour the granola into the lined pan, and spread it into an even layer. press granola clumps tightly together for granola clusters!
bake the granola for 22-26 minutes, stirring halfway. if you are using sliced almonds or small seeds, stir them at the halfway mark. the granola will turn lightly golden and will crisp up as it cools.
when the granola is cool, stir in the dried fruit. store the granola in an airtight container at room temp for up to two weeks. otherwise, eat it with yogurt, ice cream, or on its own! enjoy!