Grain-free Granola

Have you ever stood in the fridge eating buttercream with your fingers and hoping a little bit that you don’t run out of buttercream to put on your cupcakes but hoping a lot that no one catches you in such a shameful act?

Is that just me?

 Grain-free granola |

Or what about when you are at a potluck and you seriously, seriously want thirds of that amazing quinoa thing and even though it’s quinoa it’s THREE servings and you’re secretly wondering if everyone is going to be watching you dislodge yourself from your deck chair and guiltily saunter over to the picnic table and sneakily thrice-serve yourself because you can’t resist but you’re awfully worried about the disdain of others.  (Although, you do it, and you eat the quinoa, because you’re convinced that everyone else wanted to go up for thirds too and you’re the only one who was brave enough and that your actions might empower others towards fuller tummies and greater overall satisfaction).

Grain-free granola |

That’s why we have grain-free granola on the menu today.  I realized that I posted three (three!) dessert recipes last week.  In a move similar to the stealthy picnic table approach, laden with the potential of oncoming guilt, I want you to know – because I care that you know – that I didn’t actually eat three desserts last week.  Like many bloggers with busy lives, I make food to post to this blog whenever I possibly can (and hopefully, at least when it comes to things like cupcakes, whenever I have somewhere to take them for someone else to help me indulge!) and post whenever is inspiring me from my roster on that particular day.

Grain-free granola |

I eat this grain-free granola every day lately.  It’s a lot healthier than all of last week’s dessert.  More of an everyday indulgence, if you will.  And protein-packed and hearty and all of that.  Splash it with some almond milk and top it with some fresh berries and you have the kind of breakfast that you will want to eat before everyone in the house wakes up, so that you can slowly – ever so slowly – crunch, and taste and (sip your tea) and chew and (slurp) and savour (without a small, lime green plastic spoon attached to a granola-loving toddler worming its’ way into your bowl).  

It’s that good.

Grain-free Granola
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  1. 1 cup sliced almonds
  2. 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  3. 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  4. 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  5. 1/3 cup coconut oil
  6. 1/4 cup honey
  7. 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  8. 1 tsp. salt
  9. 1 cup dried fruit of your choice (I usually end up with raisins or dried cranberries)
  1. Preheat your oven to 300F.
  2. Mix all the ingredients except the dried fruit in a bowl, ensuring that you coat all of the dry ingredients with the coconut oil and honey.
  3. Spread the mixture out on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until it has browned. (Remember to stir it every so often to ensure even browning and to prevent burning).
  4. Cool the mixture, stir in the raisins and serve! This granola can be stored in an air-tight container for at least a week.
Purple House Café

To Perfect Mornings: Ginger Raisin Muesli

I have this dream of being a writer.  I guess, when I think about the things that have remained consistent in my life, writing has been one of them.

When I was about 10, I decided to write a novel.  I sat in a sheltered corner outside during recess, trying not to get hit by flying dodgeballs, and wrote in the awkward slant of an elementary school kid on looseleaf in a multi-coloured binder.  It was a terrible story about ghosts and alternate realities which occupied 217 precious pages.

Ginger Raisin Muesli |

Later, I fancied myself a poet and, wearing the requisite combat boots, wrote angsty poetry riddled with metaphors that only a teenage mind could interpret.

I now have dreams of days spent writing at an antique desk in front of the French doors of my oceanfront home, the cool salty air playing with the tendrils of steam rising from my afternoon tea.

Sometimes I wonder if my love of writing is so intertwined with the idyllic scenarios that I wish it occurred in that I’m not quite sure whether I love the writing or love the possibility of writing from my perfectly appointed writing cave in my seaside mansion.

Ginger raisin muesli |

The reality is that I usually write during my lunch hour, interrupted every 3.2 seconds by emails pinging in and salad dressing/shirt emergencies, or late at night to the hush of the baby monitor, my fingers hammering out ideas before the inevitable “doggy? birdie? daddy?” emanates from upstairs, indicating that a snuggle back to sleep is required.

Ginger raisin muesli |

Occasionally, I am able to create the kind of atmosphere that reconnects me with that romanticized image of myself as a writer.  The other day, after a beautiful yoga class, I took the long way to one of my favourite cafes, driving down a winding road by the ocean, passing through fog banks and dipping into fishing villages.  When I got there I ordered a coffee and alternately typed away at a few blog posts and listened to customers’ conversations and watched their comings and goings.  I left the cafe that day with a sigh of relief, feeling like I’d had at least one “perfect” writing day this month.

Ginger raisin muesli |

I guess the same thing happens each morning when I wish I could wake up to sun streaming magnanimously through my windows, birds chirping, and a few quiet moments with breakfast and a cup of tea before my adorable and cheerful baby (who obviously slept through the night) gives me a big hug and a kiss and we make it off to daycare on time.  In reality, it’s raining and I’m in need of an espresso IV drip from being up at intervals throughout the night, and there’s egg on the floor and yogurt on my shirt and oatmeal on the dog, and we’re out of clean diapers.  But, usually, I can grab a mason jar full of this muesli on my way out the door and bite through soft, grainy candied ginger and sweetly earthy coconut while I’m on my morning commute or checking emails at the office, and I’m able to grasp that sliver of perfection to start my day.

Ginger Raisin Muesli
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  1. 4 cups rolled oats
  2. 1 cup unsweetened or sweetened coconut flakes
  3. 1 cup slivered almonds
  4. 1 cup raisins
  5. 1 cup coarsely chopped candied ginger
  6. 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  8. 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  9. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F. Spread the oats, coconut and almonds on a cookie sheet and toast until they are all golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool. Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. Store in an air-tight container. Mason jars work great!
  2. You can prepare this muesli even as early as the night before. Just cover with milk and a bit of maple syrup or jam for sweetness and seal in an air-tight container. Or you can throw it together in the morning - I would just recommend letting the oats soak in the milk for 5-10 minutes before you eat them because it softens them a little.
Adapted from Adapted from Joy The Baker
Purple House Café