It's a four-day weekend and everyone's out of town. After a seeming eleven months of summer, it's grey and raining outside. A few weeks ago, when I made fesenjoon and had friends over to watch Bourdain in Iran (Did you watch it? Did you also discover that it in fact was possible to love him more than you already did? Did you watch Vice's even-more-awesome 3-part Munchies Guide to Tehran?), a friend brought me some homemade granola, and it reminded how satisfying homemade granola is. Then, over at Sabzi, Sara wrote this evocative post, with those photos in that cozy cold-weather light.
You guys, I ate so much in the last week. It wasn't just Thanksgiving (though, my goodness was it Thanksgiving), it was amazing slices at Jim and Jason's newest Fairfax spot, Prime Pizza (followed by Scoops at Golden State, natch), it was three servings of truffle mac and cheese at work, it was In-n-Out for dinner, Grandma Nanny's apple pie for breakfast...just a bad scene. An extremely delicious bad scene.
And in my case, this kind of marathon gorging leads to sore throat and Harvey Fierstein voice. Really sexy. Everything I read about what to eat to combat a sour stomach led me to two places: ginger and oatmeal. And that's been guiding my diet the last few days: ginger-miso soup with leftover turkey, chai-spiced oatmeal with fennel seed, ginger, and cardamom, and lots and lots of ginger tea.
And this. Finally, today, I made granola. I started with the Early Bird / Orangette recipe, the same one I was gifted, the same one Sara used, the same one I always make, because it's empirically the best. But, I went a little "island" with it: in addition to adding both fresh and powdered ginger, I replaced the olive oil with coconut oil, the brown sugar with coconut sugar. And I sprinkled the finished product with fresh lime zest. A little "lime in the coconut" action. And as usual, I left it in the oven as long as possible. Admittedly, this technique leads to some casualties, but a couple pecan burn victims are well worth the deep flavor you get as the granola really browns.
The result was great. It had all the familiar toastiness of the original recipe, with brighter pops throughout from the lime and ginger. And the lime and ginger go really well with the coconut. The best part of the process was adding the lime zest: it audibly sizzles and hisses (!!!) as it hits the hot granola. I think the original recipe remains my go-to for every day, but when you need something special to brighten a grey day, throwing some ginger and lime flavors into a coconutty granola is a good way to go.
Coconut Ginger Granola
Makes about 7 cups.
Adapted from Orangette.
The coconut oil will solidify at room temperature, so once you've added it, keep the mixture moving, and get it to the baking sheet quickly.
3 C old-fashioned oats
1 C pumpkin seeds
1 C sunflower seeds
1 1/4 C unsweetened coconut flakes
1 1/4 C pecans, halved or chopped (I used a combination, as that's what I had on hand)
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground ginger
2 Tbs grated fresh ginger
2 Tbs ground flax meal (optional)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C maple syrup
1/3 C coconut sugar
1/2 C coconut oil, melted
zest of one lime
Preheat oven to 300F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, mix first ten ingredients (oats through vanilla) to combine evenly. Add maple syrup and coconut oil, and stir to thoroughly combine.
Spread mixture evenly on prepared baking sheet. Bake, stirring every 15 minutes, until the granola is deep brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from heat, and add lime zest. Allow granola to cool before stirring lime zest through. Store in an airtight container.
A note on gluten: I've added the gluten-free label to this post. If you avoid gluten, you'll know better than I do to read labels to be extra sure. But, if you make this with gluten-free oatmeal, then the recipe is gluten-free.