One of my favourite breakfasts and snacks is granola with Greek yogurt. I don’t know if I’ve copped into Bobby Flay’s Fage commercials (Faiii-yayyy), or if it’s the fact that yogurt is creamy and dreamy all in one, but I suspect it has more to do with the blank canvas that is plain Greek yogurt. One could add anything: fruit, nuts, grains, syrup (of course), chocolate bits (obvi), coconut flakes…the world is your oyster! Or, shall we say, the world is your yogurt… :)
In the morning, when I’m late for school and trying to make coffee and pour it into the mug and get dressed and get some breakfast in a Tupperware to eat in the car and make sure I’ve got my umbrella and my shoes and my phone and my keys….I need something quick and easy to take for breakfast. Et voila, a yogurt parfait! I like to top my yogurt with some fresh berries (I prefer them over fruit like apples because they are a bit sweeter, and over bananas because I don’t need to chop them!), and some homemade granola. If it’s a weekend, I might throw in some semisweet chocolate chips or Greek honey (yes, so much better than any other honey I’ve tried) as a lil treat. The best part is that the granola can be made many days ahead; I kept mine for probably about two weeks in a resealable plastic bag (to be completely honest, I may have even kept it for longer as I did some travelling in-between), but only keep it as long as you are comfortable/until staleness becomes a problem/until it runs out. I would suggest a glass jar to store it as well (you know, one of those super cute old-fashioned ones for the counter).
I adapted this recipe from a few I found on Epicurious, most notably the Honey Almond Granola from the December 2008 issue of Gourmet. The great thing about this recipe is that you can customize it to whatever you have on hand.
– 4 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used grapeseed because it has a mild flavour, but canola would be fine too; I wouldn’t use olive, as it has a more pronounced flavour)
– 2-4 Tbsp of sweetener, depending on taste/preference (I used a mixture of agave syrup and maple syrup)
– 1 tsp ground cardamom (or if you have the whole pods, crush them to release the seeds and just throw those in)
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon or small cinnamon stick
– small pinch of salt
– 1/2-1 cup sliced kumquats or oranges (optional)
– 3 cups old-fashioned oats (steel-cut oats will not work here)
– add-ins: dried fruit (cherries, blueberries, cranberries, apricots), nuts (pecans, pistachios, walnuts, pine nuts), seeds (sesame, flax) -> I like to use a 1:2 ratio of add-ins to oats, but adjust this to suit your taste
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Heat the first 5 ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once they have come together, add in the kumquats/oranges, if using. Let them cook, keeping an eye on the pan and swirling occasionally, for 5-8 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats and any nuts or seeds you would like to add. Stir in the oil and sweetener mixture, along with the kumquats, and toss to coat. The oat mixture will look a bit soggy; if it’s really really soggy, toss in a few more oats.
Top a sheet pan with a piece of parchment paper (NOT wax paper, as I found out to my detriment…cue massive amounts of smoke), and spread the oat mixture in one even layer.
Bake for about 20 minutes, taking the tray out at the halfway mark to give it a good stir.
This would also be great as a hostess gift or for a casual brunch!
Stay delicious folks ;)