I made a big batch yesterday afternoon, fed a few extra kids after school, and then served it to my own kids again this morning for breakfast. It's nearly gone already. It has a nice sweet-and-salty element to each bite. There's no added refined sugar (unless you count what's in the chocolate chips). The nutty, toasty crunch of the nuts and seeds mixed with the oats makes a really filling meal or snack.
Lately I've been thinking a lot about change - not just the turning of the seasons, but the changes and shifts in daily life that happen unexpectedly. I tend to turn to baking and writing when I feel uncertain about changes. I look out the window at the faded, rust-toned leaves and dappled sunlight - so indicative of autumn - and I think about what's changing and how I can control it more. It's difficult for me sometimes to give up control. But each morning, as I listen to the wind whispering through the dying leaves, in that moment everything is okay.
Double Chocolate Granola
My kids love eating this for breakfast in a bowl with milk. I like it with Greek yogurt and berries. (It's also really good sprinkled on ice cream.)
Yields: about 6 1/2 cups
3 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
1/2 cup raw organic sunflower seeds
3/4 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tbsp neutral-tasting coconut oil
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
1/3 cup chocolate chips (milk or dark)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment and set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the oats, almonds, seeds, salt and cocoa powder.
In a small heat-proof bowl, warm the coconut oil for 20-30 seconds in the microwave on high heat, just until melted. Remove from the microwave and whisk in the maple syrup.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and stir well to combine.
Divide the mixture between the 2 prepared baking sheets and spread out in an even layer on each one. Bake for 18-20 minutes, rotating the pans and stirring the granola halfway through the baking time (when doing this, pay attention to the edges as they will begin to toast very quickly). Don't go past the 20-minute mark; you want the granola to smell toasty and fragrant but not scorched, and to be slightly crisped up.
Let the granola cool on the pans, stirring occasionally. It will crisp up more as it cools. When it is mostly cool, scatter the chocolate chips evenly over both pans.
Store in an airtight container for about a week.