Wow. I took a trip today and went back to the seventies when I used to make my own granola. Yeah, those were the good old days. In my early 20s, I used to bake a lot. Picture this: I was clad in blue jean overalls, sleeveless T-shirt, long curly locks, tanned, and barefoot. My pooch at the time was Stonefox, a beloved black Labrador retriever.
And, we were wanderlusts. I made homemade healthy granola in Eugene, Oregon to Hollywood, California. I took it with me when we hitched and hiked across America--including the Greenwich Village, Florida Keys, Quebec Canada, Wyoming, Idaho, and even south of the border to Mexico. I remember when I was in the Deep South asking for yogurt to go with my granola. It didn't go over well. Grits was the breakfast of choice. I was tagged a wayward West Coast longhaired post sixties "hippie chick." Yep, I was one more free spirit on the road with a dog experiencing life and humming those Simon and Garfunkel lyrics "Feelin' Groovy".
These days, I'm still a tree hugging hippie girl at heart. Today, I was wearing blue jeans, a T-shirt, and barefoot in the kitchen. Two Brittanys stayed underfoot as I concocted a high quality granola complete with olive oil and pricey maple syrup. The best part: The homemade, warm out of the oven and sweet scent of the wholesome granola (without any chemicals, preservatives, salt or long cat tail words I can't pronounce) made me smile today like it did more than 30 years ago.
So, tomorrow morning I'll mix the crunchy granola with healthy all-natural plain yogurt and fresh fruit. Instead of hitching a ride though, I will be in my own private sanctuary surrounded by pine trees, with my two dogs fed all-natural premium food, and eager for their walks (on leashes). Times are a changin' but some things stay the same, they just get better--like gourmet granola. And that's groovy.
Homemade Gourmet Granola
2 cups rolled oats, uncooked
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup almonds, sliced
Dash of ground cinnamon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup raw honey, warm in microwave
1/4 cup pure all-natural maple
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup raisins (add after cooked)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Mix the mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Drizzle the wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix well. Put mixture into a baking dish. Bake for approximately 40-45 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add dried raisins after you put in container for storage. Cool for an hour. The granola will become chewy, crispy clusters--even more than store bought brands. Store in the refrigerator.