I didn't used to be a breakfast person. Back in high school, I used to leave the house with a travel mug full of coffee that had been mixed with hot cocoa powder. That's totally acceptable, right? Yeah. I don't think so either. Fast forward to today and I never skip breakfast. Never ever. And if I do, Brad says that I get "hangry" by about 11am. Hangry = hungry + angry.
Some days, it can be difficult to think of eating a morning meal, let alone finding the time to make something healthy. My default breakfast is typically 2 eggs topped with Tobasco sauce and a slice of whole wheat toast, but there are times when I need to mix thing up a little. Stepping out of a daily routine is important. Even if that means changing something as small as breakfast. This homemade granola is the perfect thing to have on hand when you want something quick and homemade in the mornings without any hassle.
In case you need more convincing about homemade granola, here are some other great reasons to DIY: it is much cheaper than a lot of the really good stuff you can buy in the grocery store, it keeps for 2 weeks, and it only takes 30 minutes and one mixing bowl to make. Plus, you can create your own combination of flavors to fit what you love most. My granola is often made with whatever I have in the pantry that needs to be used up. Sweetened shredded coconut and walnuts were the ingredients of choice this time around, but you can add pecans, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dried cranberries, raisins, candied ginger, dried pineapple...I could go on and on but I won't put you through that. You get the idea. Serve it with seasonal fruit, like these apricots that have been cut in half, brushed with a tiny bit of butter and broiled for a few minutes. Or you could go with some sliced strawberries. Or blueberries. Or cherries. Do you see where I'm going with this?
I love lots of cinnamon in my granola, so I've used a heavy hand in my recipe here. The warm flavor seems to transform this creamy, crunchy, juicy combination of flavors from just another yogurt and granola combination to something resembling a breakfast-style fruit crisp.
Here is what you need to do. Take the 30 minutes to make your own granola, sit down for 5 minutes in the morning to eat it at the table, and take note of how the rest of your day changes. A few quiet moments with your breakfast and a cup of coffee or tea can do wonders for how you will manage the craziness that ensues throughout the rest of your day.
Homemade Granola + Broiled Apricots and Yogurt
For the granola:
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey or pure maple syrup
generous pinch of salt
Preheat the oven to 325F. Stir all the ingredients together in a large bowl until the oats, nuts and coconut are well coated. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until the oats are lightly golden. Stir once or twice during cooking time.
Allow the granola to cool completely before transferring to an airtight container or large jar. Keeps for up to 2 weeks.
For the apricots:
1 teaspoon melted butter
Take one or two fresh apricots and cut them in half, removing the seed. Place them cut side up on a baking sheet and brush with a little melted butter. Place the baking sheet on the top rack of the oven under the broiler. Broil for 3-5 minutes or until the apricots are golden and bubbly on the top. Serve on a place with Greek yogurt and granola.