Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Of Champions

Breakfast, a word originating in the 1400s, or so Encarta Encyclopedia tells me, means to break the fast imposed by slumber. Another interesting fact: Seventh Day Adventists, such as Kellog, promoted breakfast cereals to further their belief in a vegetarian diet. They earned millions of dollars on mass produced breakfast cereals in the process. It seems we’re still haunted by their idolization of the carbohydrate. I for one, tend to prefer a carb in the morning. Nothing breaks my fast better than home made bread, toasted and slathered with peanutbutter or jam, or a couple buttermilk pancakes topped with maple syrup and yogurt. I was just so lucky this morning when my loving husband clicked off my alarm at six twenty seven, mere minutes before beeping time (six thirty one, oddly enough), and whispered, “pancakes?” Me: “oh yes, love.”

So I entered the day in a puffy, deliciously-overly full, slightly disembodied state, which can be dangerous when you teach a room full of twelve-year olds. They’re small but they’re quick.

In the spirit of breakfast, and because the cereal jar was dangerously low, I baked a batch of granola this evening. My apartment smells of cinnamon, toasted oats, and warm nuts. Yum. I can hardly wait for tomorrow morning. It has taken me some time to balance my granola recipe. What follows here has been influenced by too many recipes to count, not to mention my own fixation. I think finding one’s own granola recipe is rather like discovering one’s heart song (watch Happy Feet—yes, animated penguins that sing and dance) you just know.

Rachel's Granola

Mix together in a large bowl4 cups oats
½ cup flax
1 cup pumpkin seeds
½ cup wheat germ
1 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1 cup coconut
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp salt

Then add:
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup honey
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp honey
¼ cup apple sauce

Mix after you’ve added all of the sweeteners and oil. Stir until the moisture is evenly distributed, breaking up big clumps as you go.

Bake at 250 on two baking sheets lined with parchment paper for 40 minutes. Place one in the bottom third of the oven and one in the top third. Rotate the sheets every ten minutes. Mix the granola half way through the baking time. Allow to cool, and then add 1 + ½ cup dried cranberries before scooping.

Variation: Add 1/4 cup of cocoa along with the spices


  1. I'm in my winter porridge phase right now, but as soon as I wake up and it is light outside I will try this. I like the adding cocoa idea. Just what I need to make my life complete, chocolate for breakfast.

  2. The day that Mike voluntarily wakes up before me and offers to make pancakes, that will be the day that I know that something is very, very wrong with my husband.