January 7, 2013 | By matt | Comments
I am not overly fond of New Year’s Resolutions. They feel arbitrary. They loom large and grey in an already cold and blue January.
Of course, not all resolutions are constructed the same. I have a dear friend (who will remain nameless) who makes bizarrely self-serving and broad resolutions (i.e. make a million dollars this year, vacation more often, star in a movie – no, she is not an actress). I applaud her vigor, but there is something off-putting about the whole endeavor.
I doubly praise the kinder/gentler resolutions. The “be nicer to people” and “call my parents more often” type of resolutions, but I generally don’t think of those as resolutions. I think of them as rules of living EVERY DAY of the year. I don’t think they should be attended to only after December 31.
But the truly scary resolutions, the ones that really freak me out are the juice/fasting type of resolutions. One, they don’t work. And two, have you ever noticed that people on a fast give off an unpleasant odor? I believe in a healthy diet with some fun (i.e. cookies, cakes, etc…). Life is too short to forgo small pleasures. True, I believe in moderation. A little bit of cake goes a long way to improving your day. So I dip my toe in – ever so slightly – to all this resolution madness and I’m going to cut my cake intake just a bit during January and I am going eat more homemade granola with Greek yogurt. And I am going to resist loading up that granola with chocolate chunks (oh, this is going to be hard). Instead, I am going to make this Almond Butter/Almond/Flax based granola. And so should you. It makes the house smell heavenly and it tastes kind of amazing and it feels like a perfectly fine (not scary, not ridiculous) resolution. Happy New Year!
Recipe adapted from our first book, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking.
ALMOND BUTTER, ALMOND, and FLAX GRANOLA
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup all natural almond butter (try to find one without added sweeteners or salt)
¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
¾ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons flax seed
Preheat oven to 325 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. In a bowl, toss together the oats, cinnamon, and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, almond butter, and brown sugar (optional: add a teaspoon of pure vanilla extract). Pour the wet mixture over the oat mixture and use your hands to mix completely: gather up some mixture in one hand, make a fist, repeat until all the oats are coated with the wet mixture. Scoop the mixture out onto the prepared pan. Spread into an even layer, though leave a few clumps for texture (if you like that sort of thing).
Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola. Return to the oven and bake for 5 more minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, lift and flip the granola one more time, then sprinkle with the almonds. Return to the oven and continue baking for 10-12 more minutes. Remove from oven, cool completely on baking sheet. Use your hands to transfer the granola to an airtight container or serving bowl and sprinkle with flax. Gently (don’t break up the big chunks) toss the granola and serve with milk or yogurt (or ice cream) or store for up to one week in the airtight container.