I have one of the most loveliest friends in my life that parents her children with the most beauty I have ever seen. She is one of those kind of people that moves about the earth very thoughtfully and purposefully, there is an ease about her. Her children’s spirits reflect the love she gives them, they are sweet, imaginative, little humans. Our paths crossed many times throughout my life here in Seattle but we never really seemed to connect at the farmers market, at her store or while our children played together at the park; even though we always found ourselves falling into conversation with each other. It wasn’t until our older children started kindergarten that our souls were ready to befriend each other. She is careful with her words, thoughtful and can comfort the saddest of tears. She unknowingly, (surprise, Jenn!), inspired me to create a family rhythm, a weekly flow for our family so that our lives run a little bit smoother and are less chaotic. And knowingly, she showed me that its okay to say ‘no’ to things as to not over extend myself and my family.
So now our usual Monday rhythm is to bake a little something simple, like muffins and make a batch of granola for the week. Something that Lucy can help with or do on her own for the most part. This is one that we keep coming back to time and time again or like every week for the past 3 months. I try to keep it the same most of the time but I usually use whatever we have on hand when making granola and this recipe seems to be forgiving with substitutions. Its a great late night snack when you want something sweet and crunchy and goes really well with yogurt in the mornings.
The original recipe calls for cooked quinoa but I found quinoa puffs at our local market which omitted one extra step for us and I prefer the puffs better. I also took out the ground flax and added hemp and chia seeds, I find my family needs a bit more protein in the mornings. Lastly, I found that I liked mixing in the chocolate chips immediately after removing it from the oven, this allowed them to melt and coat the granola rather than having whole chocolate chips which just sunk to the bottom of our container.
BROWN BUTTER CHOCOLATE COCONUT GRANOLA WITH QUINOA PUFFS (adapted from How Sweet It Is)
3c old-fashioned rolled oats
1.5c unsweetened coconut flakes
1c quinoa puffs (I found ours in the bulk section)
1c sliced almonds or crushed whole almonds
1/4c hemp seeds
3 TBS chia seeds
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
4 TBS unsalted butter
3/4c maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1c dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees . Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper. Add butter to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat. Whisk constantly until brown bits appear on the bottom, about 5-6 minutes, it will start to smell nutty ; then immediately stir in maple syrup, let it come to a bubble, remove from heat and add vanilla. Set aside.
In a large bowl add oats, almonds, quinoa, hemp seeds, chia seeds, cinnamon and salt. Stir well to combine. Pour butter mixture over the oat mixture, stirring with a large spoon until the entire thing is equally moistened. Spread evenly on the baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 10 minutes, toss and then bake for 10 minutes more. Toss again, then bake for about 10 more minutes or until golden brown, at this point I check the granola about every 5 minutes to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Remove and pour chocolate chips over your granola, gently fold them in letting them melt and coat the granola. Let cool for at least 30 minutes and then find your favorite granola vehicle, whether it be milk, yogurt or by the handfuls. Enjoy!
|side note| please excuse the iphone photos, I accidentally deleted my memory card- it was just one of those days |