Something about growing up in the Northern Foothills of California has given me an appreciation and pride for all things earthy and natural. Living among the old pines and streets lined with Victorian homes, from an era come and gone, is like taking a step into history. A history I respect and appreciate. Any opportunity to buy farmer direct, local or fair trade is one that I seize with anticipation. My reasons for these choices are purely logical. For me, this is how it should be. It feels so unnatural to not know where my resources are coming from. To buy without a care or a thought seems irresponsible and strange. Living like this has become a lost art, one that I am constantly seeking and learning more of with each passing day.
Many of the things that we buy out of habit are things that can easily be made at home, with locally sourced ingredients. I find that the reward is so much greater when we take the time to prepare things with our own hands.
One of my more recent discoveries is something I like to call The Makers Pantry, this is the pantry that is filled with jars of homemade jam, pickles, tomatoes and other kitchen staples, curated and well thought out provisions.
One of the simplest things you can make for your pantry is homemade granola, a breakfast staple for many. If you have access to a bowl, a wooden spoon and an oven, you can make granola. It requires little to no skill and only takes a small amount of time to reap the rewards of incomparable flavor.
5 cups rolled oats
1 1/2-2 cups chopped raw nuts (I used a combination of pecans and sprouted almonds)
1-2 cups raw coconut flakes (optional, but so delicious!)
4 TBSP. brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Three finger pinch of salt
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup coconut oil
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Combine all dry ingredients in a large bowl, mix well.
In a separate bowl combine the oil, honey and vanilla, stir to combine.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir together, completely coating the oats, nuts and coconut.
Pour the mixture onto a non-greased sheet pan (this is really the best pan because of the edges) spread evenly.
Bake 30-40 minutes stirring every 5-10 minutes until the desired darkness is achieved.
Let cool in pan until slightly set, but be sure to break it up before its completely cooled or you will have a giant granola bar!
Store in an airtight container 2-3 weeks.