I can talk granola for days. But outside of what’s currently humming in the kitchen, I’ve always been a little shy about sharing too much about my personal life online … a quality that is not very well embraced by today’s standards of self promotion! Just like a person might be on the cusp of astrological signs, so am I on the cusp of two generations: right on the very edge of being considered a millennial, but still heavily laden with what some may consider old-fashioned sensibilities. I use social media but am not particularly enamored with it; I have an entrapenourial spirit but am always ready to put in the work; I wouldn’t know how to drive without the Maps app but still keep a physical paper calendar for my schedule and appointments; I use the word “literally” often but in the actual literal, correct context …. do you get the confused picture here?
Nevertheless, this summer was an absolute explosion of wonderful big life events, which included buying our first little house and moving in exactly 5 weeks ago to the day. It’s a wonderful home, just minutes away from the ocean, but it does need some love. We’ve painted, removed old carpet, and filled up the yard waste bin ten times over with dead branches and overgrown hedge clippings. But now comes the big project: the kitchen. The kitchen is severely outdated, and I had hoped to avoid working it as much as possible until after our remodel. But my clients had a different schedule in mind, and with great apprehension, I was forced to daintily step in and put the dinosaur appliances — including the oven that’s definitely older than me — to the test. To my surprise, everything worked absolutely FINE, and it was a good reminder/note-to-self that aesthetics have nothing to do with great-tasting food! As I get more comfortable in this temporary workspace by the day, I’ve also been putting to use my best “make ahead” meal strategies – the foods I can make once, and enjoy many times over (yes this has included a lot of soup.) It’s also included a couple of baked items, and this granola — which is one of my absolute favorites — has proved to be an invaluable recipe to have on hand (particularly good for nervous munching while planning the details of the kitchen to come).
Sesame & Nib Granola
With subtle flavors of sweet sesame, balanced by crunchy cacao nibs, this granola is as irresistible on breakfast bowls as it is by the handful.
Makes 3 cups
2 cups rolled oats (regular or gluten-free variety)
3 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 teaspoons chia seeds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons maca powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons melted coconut oil
2 tablespoons tahini
¼ cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons coconut sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons toasted black sesame seeds
3 tablespoons cacao nibs, chopped
Preheat the oven to 300°F.
In a medium bowl, combine oats, hemp seeds, sesame seeds, and chia seeds. Add cinnamon, maca powder, and salt, and stir to combine.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, tahini, maple syrup, 2 tablespoons coconut sugar, and vanilla extract. Pour the dry mixture into the wet, and stir well to evenly coat ingredients. Spill granola out onto a baking sheet in a flat layer. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until golden brown, tossing the ingredients every 9-10 minutes. Remove from oven and immediately toss with sesame seeds, cacao nibs, and remaining 1 tablespoon coconut sugar. Let cool to fully crisp up.