Published on March 10th, 2014 | by Katy Evans0
How Tacoma is your granola?
My homemaking behavior trends more toward aesthetics than sustenance, but every once in a while, I get excited to try something culinarily-inclined in the kitchen.
After listening to a recent Slate Culture Gabfest podcast wherein Stephen Metcalf touted the addition of coconut to his homemade granola recipe, I just couldn’t get granola out of my head. My grandma also makes incredible granola so, bolstered by the forces of pop culture and my own family tradition, (and inspired by the dubious history of Tacoma milling,) I figured it was time I gave granola-making Tacoma style a try.
I started with a quick internet search and found that the standard equation for granola is:
(2 tablespoons of oil + 1 tablespoon of sweetener) per (1 cup of rolled oats + 1ish cup of additions like dried fruit or nuts) = granola.
You can add additional sweetener, vanilla, salt, and spices all to taste. I recommend multiplying this equation by at least 2 if you want lots of granola. I upped mine by three.
The variables beyond that are endless — you can choose your sweetener (honey, agave, molasses), have fun with different oils (coconut, hazelnut, macadamia, peanut, sesame), and go crazy on your nuts/dried fruit/seeds additions.
I wanted to take the opportunity to feature some local ingredients in my granola, so I reached for Libertine Tacoma’s Spice Mix (either the Spice is Nice, or Tasty Toast blend would be excellent) and Noble Bourbon Barrel Matured Maple Syrup (ok, it’s from Seattle but still).
Instead of standard canola oil, I used a combination of peanut and macadamia nut oil. I love seeds and nuts (as opposed to dried fruit) so I augmented my oats with coconut, sliced almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. Basically, I decided that granola-making is a way to clear out some of the little-used baking ingredients that have been building up in cabinets.
3 cups of rolled oats
1 1/2 cups coconut
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup pumpkin seeds
¼ cup sunflower seeds
2 teaspoons Libertine Tacoma Spice Mix
2 tablespoons Noble Maple Syrup
3 tablespoons macadamia nut oil
3 tablespoons peanut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sugar (brown or white)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or use a silpat baking mat.
Mix your dry ingredients together in one large bowl (oats, coconut, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds) and set aside. You can include spices and sugar either in the dry mix, or in the oil/maple syrup mix.
In a smaller bowl, mix together the maple syrup, oils, and vanilla extract. I included the sugar and spices with this mix.
Add the oil and maple syrup mix to the dry ingredients, stirring until coated.
Spread the mixture in a thin layer on the baking sheet, and place in the oven. Bake for thirty minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Because I did a larger batch, I baked it for 35 minutes all together.
Once toasted, let granola cool completely before you place it in a container or bag, though I recommend eating at least one hot-out-of-the-oven bowl with a dash of milk of your choice. Nothing better than a toasty-warm granola treat.
The return of Tacoma’s farmers markets is right around the corner (Proctor on March 30, and the three Tacoma markets in May and June) so now is a good time to keep in mind that granola is a great vehicle for fruit. While we’re at it, why not pick up your oats and nuts at the Tacoma Co-op? Supporting as many local businesses and sources as possible in one hearty dish: such is the making of granola.
Once you’ve successfully made granola once, new and different delectable varieties will flood your imagination and you’ll be an oats-toasting aficionado in no time. Enjoy!
(Life is Rad mug by Tumbleweed Handcraft (NOT from Tacoma), but bowl, spoon, decorative tiger cloth, and small pitcher were all sourced from Tacoma yard sales and thrift stores.)