Summertime Staple Granola

Now that summer has finally made its appearance here in Deutschland its time to switch up my breakfast routine. In the winter, I opt for hearty oats with a little bit of honey that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside and prepare me to venture out in the frigid wasteland that is Munich.

But summer is here! {Rejoice people!} Bring on beer garden season, runs in the park, and the granola. My absolute favorite summertime breakfast is granola and yogurt sprinkled with fresh summer berries. Life doesn’t get much better than that. Except, maybe, if its homemade granola you’re sprinkling on your yogurt.

The Kiwi and I are a bit picky when it comes to our granola. We want it toasted, but we don’t like the hard clumps that feel like they are going to break your teeth. We weren’t really finding a granola here that was to our liking, so I thought I’d whip up some of my own. There is a ton of refined sugar in the supposedly healthy granola we buy at the shops {in Germany and in the States}. By making our own, I was able to eliminate the highly processed refined sugars and berries that don’t even resemble berries anymore and replace them with just the goodies we like best. The Kiwi says that there is no going back now.

The best thing about making it yourself is that it really is completely customizable to your taste {or to whatever you have in the pantry}. Not a fan of apricots? Try dried apples. Love crasins? Add extra. Go wild y’all, and share your granola combinations in the comments down below. I can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Kiwi+Peach: Homemade Granola

Kiwi+Peach Homemade Granola

The Wet Stuff
1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 tbsp vanilla

The Dry Stuff
5 cups spelt oats
1/2 cup dried berries {mix of cranberries, cherries, and blueberries}
10 dried apricots, quartered
1 cup seeds {pumpkin, flax, sesame, sunflower}
1 tbsp cinnamon
1 tbsp nutmeg
2 tsp allspice
2 tsp ginger

Preheat oven to 300°F/150°C.

Over medium heat, mix your liquids together in a small pot and bring to a boil.

In a large bowl, mix together all of your dry ingredients. Add the boiling liquids and mix well.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread the granola out. Bake for 20 minutes. Get the pan out, give it a stir, and then put it back on for 20 more minutes. Remove, stir and then return to the oven for 5 more minutes. Remove it from the oven and let it cool.

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Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

I will preface this post with a disclaimer. These are not healthy cookies. I repeat. These are not healthy cookies. However, the original old family recipe was worse {health wise, taste wise they were phenominal}.  These at least have some fiber and there certain health benefits in dark chocolate {thank goodness}. However, they still have some refined sugar and they still have saturated fat, but, lets be honest, that’s what makes them taste so good.

And they are good. I have about 1,000 middle schoolers {and a few teachers} that will tell you how good they are. When I was teaching, I used a version of this recipe to test my middle schoolers on our measuring and food safety unit. On the first day of class, the most popular question was always “When are we making the cookies?” When the day came, they were giddy; some even brought milk to enjoy them with and all across the classroom a heard a chorus of “Mmmmm. These are so good.” So there you have it, from the mouths of babes.

To settle the inevitable conflict about who’s version of the English language is correct, the Kiwi and I have an agreement about cookies vs. biscuits. If its chewy and soft, its a cookie. If it breaks your teeth, its a biscuit. These, my friends are definitely cookies. And they are absolutely perfect with a glass of {soy} milk. Even better, make yourself an amazing ice cream sandwich. {Take a cookie and flip it over. Spoon a layer of frozen yogurt on it and then top it with another cookie. Freeze for at least 20 minutes.}

Dark Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

{makes 9 big cookies}

The Dry
2/3 cup flour {I use whole wheat.}
2/3 cup oats
1/4 cup dark chocolate, chopped into chunks {I use 85%.}
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pecans, chopped {optional}
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt

The Wet
¼ cup butter, melted
2 Tbsp veggie oil
¼ cup honey
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C.

In a large mixing bowl, measure the dry ingredients. Melt the butter in the microwave and add it, the veggie oil, honey and vanilla to the dry ingredients and mix it all together. Spoon onto a lined cookie sheet and bake for 10 minutes. When they are finished let cool for a bit to help improve their structural integrity {which the Kiwi questions}.

{substitutions}

For a fluffier and admittedly prettier cookie {see below}; in the same amounts, use all purpose flour instead of whole wheat and white sugar instead of the honey. While the whole wheat flour and the honey are less processed, they do make the cookie a bit dense and give the cookie a strong honey flavor. I love that flavor, but if you don’t, use the sugar!  The original version also used an egg instead of veggie oil, but for this amount of cookies you would need a half of an egg and thats just a pain.