Saturday, November 10, 2007
Greenie hippy granola types
Chris and I often joke that the above is how our friends and families describe us. Okay, mostly our families. Plenty of our friends are way farther along the hippy greenie scale than we are, in their various amazing ways. But we try – we’ve given up plastic bags in favour of cloth ones and grocery bins; we use recycled TP and paper towels (insert my Dad joking about “re-used TP” here); we’re slowly, slowly in the process of changing over from chemical cleaning products to natural ones (I’m having a hard time letting go of my beloved Mr. Clean and Windex); we try to eat mostly whole foods and buy organic or local when it’s affordable and practical to do so. We like farmer’s markets. We conserve energy (CF lightbulbs all the way, baby) and wear sweaters and drink (herbal) tea instead of cranking up the heat.
But it’s been a long while since either of us has eaten granola. Mostly, I’ll admit, because it’s really high in calories, due to the sugar, oil, dried fruit and nuts that make it up. Also due to laziness – years ago we used to make our own, from scratch, and it was all right, if not fabulous; but we got out of the habit and never started again, until last night.
A couple of weeks ago I was reading my New Favourite Foodblog, Smitten Kitchen, and she posted a recipe for pepita granola. I admired the technique and the relatively low fat content, and tucked it away in my mind for later. Until yesterday, when I read a recipe elsewhere for thickened flavoured yogurt, and began craving crunchy cerealy goodness topped with said yogurt. Since we had to go out to make a Costco run anyway, I decided we should stop in at Bulk Barn for almonds and dried cranberries so I could make up my own variation of that pepita granola.
Mine subs all sliced almonds for the almonds, walnuts and pepitas, and uses only dried cranberries instead of a mix of diced dried fruit. Hey, what can I say? We like it simple. Maybe next time we’ll branch out, but I doubt it. In any event, it toasted up beautifully, made the whole house smell incredible, and was unbelievably crunchy and tasty over yogurt this morning. I’m grateful to have learned that one can toast granola at a higher temperature, as long as one remembers to stir it frequently, and that it should be stored in the freezer so as to maintain its crunch for long periods of time. I now have two lovely containers (ex-cored-pineapple holders, reused) of cranberry-almond granola in my freezer, waiting for breakfasts to come.
And now, a question for readers in Canada: does anyone know if I can get Greek-style non-fat yogurt anywhere in this country? There’s a brand called Fage in the States, but I have seen nothing to compare it with here; only weak and sour zero-fat yogurts made by the huge conglomerates, that are too sharp to eat when drained, unless severely sweetened. Help a yogurt-loving gal out?