I should be studying for finals, but by the time you’re in your third year of dental school it’s just so difficult. Focus is waning, exams become few and far between, and you are so much more confident in your knowledge and skills. So here I am, baking when I should be studying. I know not to study at home but I never seem to learn. And thus, I bake. Keeping an abundance of nuts and seeds in my pantry comes in handy for baking projects, snacks, or breakfast toppings. I love the crunch and the variety they provide and I’ll never tire of finding new ways to use them.
If you haven’t tried making your own granola before — start now. Homemade always wins and this version is so easy and delicious. Plus, it makes your home smell like Christmas morning. Quite fitting with all this snow we’re having (fellow Mid-Westerners). I like to change up my granola recipe every time, sticking with the basic ratio of 3 cups of dry ingredients : 1/2 cup of wet ingredients. This time I used a mixture of coconut oil, maple syrup, and tahini (sesame seed butter) and LOVED it! Try it out, or sub any butter/oil, liquid sweeter, and nut butter you fancy. Getting creative in the kitchen is so much fun and granola is the perfect recipe to start out with!
For this batch of granola I wanted seasonal spices so I added vanilla, cinnamon, and maca. If you haven’t tried maca, it’s easily omitted, but I love the malty flavor it lends. Maca is a Peruvian root that’s considered an adaptogen, a natural substance that aids in the bodies response to stress and helps achieve homeostasis (aka balance). It contains a wide array of vitamins and minerals and aids in hormonal regulation, energy, and mood balance, especially in women. I first tried it, I start by adding 1/2 tsp to my oatmeal, and have since come to love the flavor and added it to many different recipes.
My favorite part of this recipe turned out to be the coconut chips. When toasted up they became crunchy, sweet, and absolutely irresistible. I highly recommend including them. With the addition of oats, hemp hearts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and almonds this recipe has a good dose of protein and healthy fat to keep you full and energized all morning long. Enjoy! xx Karlie
- 1½ cups oats
- ¼ cup raw, shelled sunflower seeds
- ¼ cup raw, shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
- ¼ cup hemp hearts
- ¼ cup raw almonds, sliced or chopped
- ½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp maca
- 3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 3 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 Tbsp tahini (sesame seed butter)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking pan with parchment paper or silpat.
- Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Melt coconut oil and combine with maple syrup, tahini, and vanilla. If it seems to clump up- put in the microwave until its smooth (30 seconds).
- Pour wet mixture over dry and combine well.
- Spread out on baking pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- Toss the granola around, then bake 8-10 more minutes until just browning.
- Let it cool for about an hour, the granola will harden as it cools.
Change around ingredients to your preference, remembering the basic ratio of 3 cups dry ingredients to ½ cup wet ingredients.
Psst.. also makes a great gift!