April 06, 2019

Some people eat when they are stressed.  I make things...

Fifteen years ago when I started graduate school, my monthly grocery budget was $20.  I had two main objectives with that money: to make it go as far as I could, and to eat as healthy as I possibly could.  My choices may have appeared limited, but I made the most of it.

Thankfully, the stress of graduate school helped my creativity juices flow rather regularly.  Every Saturday, it was my ritual to wake up early and make something.  It usually involved the oven… the white enamel-coated oven that walked right out of the 1950’s, complete with bread warmer.

That oven taught me a lot.  It made me a better baker.  It gave me lots of hard lessons.  And it did only one thing… it heated up to whatever temperature suited it every Saturday morning.  Sometimes it was off by 50 degrees, and other times almost 200 degrees.  But after weeks and weeks of practice, I was beginning to get the hang of things.

While it was annoying, it was all I had, so getting upset wasn’t exactly an option.  Instead, I saw it as war - me versus the oven - and I was going to win.  I knew the cost of every item in that recipe… $20 didn’t go far, and I wasn’t about to lose my entire grocery budget to an inanimate object that couldn’t maintain a steady temperature.

Hyssop Tree's Saturday Morning Granola Finding baking recipes that gave me an advantage over that oven were incredibly difficult in those pre-pinterest days.  When I took trips to visit my family in Eastern Kentucky, we would pour over recipes the entire weekend.  During one of those trips, I found the beginning to my Saturday Morning Granola.  A few battles with the oven helped me perfect it.  Now, with modern conveniences and a slightly larger budget, this recipe is a snap for just about anyone.  

Saturday Morning Granola

  • Mix together the following: (I mix the spices, honey and oil together and pour it over the other ingredients to get an even distribution... be sure to mix well!)
    • 3 cups oats (I prefer old fashioned)
    • 1 cup nuts (I used pecan pieces)
    • ½ cup unsweetened flaked coconut (I like unsulfured)
    • 3 Tablespoons brown sugar (I used organic)
    • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon powder ginger (if you have it, it’s incredible)
    • ½ teaspoon table salt
    • 1/3 cup local honey (someone please try 50:50 molasses & maple syrup!)
    • 2 Tablespoons oil (I prefer a neutral-flavored oil like sunflower oil or liquid coconut oil)
  • Heat your oven to 300 degrees, line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and pour the above into a single layer.
  • Bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven, mix the contents well, and replace the baking sheet.  Bake for another 10 minutes.  Repeat for a total of 40 minutes.
  • Remove the baking sheet from the oven and cool.  Mix in 1 cup dried fruit and store in an air-tight container.

My favorite part is to change the spice mix and to use different mix-ins.  Here are a few thoughts:

  • 1 ½ teaspoons apple pie or pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon and ginger, with 1 ½ cups total pecans and coconut.  At the end, add 1 cup dried apples/cranberries
  • Hyssop Tree's Saturday Morning Granola in a bowlTry cashews, pecans, or walnuts (my favorite is pecans).  For fruit, raisins & cranberries are my standbys.  I often find great deals on nuts and fruit in the bulk-bin section of my grocery store.

If you make my Saturday Morning Granola, leave a comment below… I want to know what combination you made so I can try it!

Dorathy

 




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