As promised here is the recipe for the granola for Valiant. I wish I could take credit for this but I can’t – and I can’t even take credit for discovering it. My mother-in-law made it for me a while ago and it changed my life forever. If you, like me, shy away from dates (the fruit, that is – who would avoid the other kind?!) then I implore you to resist ‘forgetting’ to put them in. They really make it special and it doesn’t end up too sappy sweet at all.
P.S. the apples are completely unrelated – I just liked the punch of color. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the granola because it is very elusive and disappears too quickly to get a good photo.
Granola – adapted from a Bon Appetit recipe
2 cups old fashioned oats
3/4 cup whole almonds, halved
1/2 cup sweetened (I used unsweetened) flaked coconut
1/2 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 stick salted butter (I use coconut oil and it is very tasty that way)
2 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup pitted, chopped dates (packed and can use up to 1 cup depending on taste)
I throw in an assortment of dried fruit/nuts depending on what I have around the house or what strikes my fance.
Heat the oven to 300.
Mix the first 9 ingredients together (feel free to be generous with the spices). Melt the butter or coconut oil with the honey in a saucepan over low heat (I am the queen of shortcuts and use the microwave instead). Pour over granola mixture and mix well. Spread mixture on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes stirring occasionally. Add dates while it is still warm and mix to separate the clumps. Continue to bake until golden brown, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes – be careful not to over toast the granola!
Enjoy with yogurt, milk, or by itself while standing in the kitchen in your slippers late at night while your husband is sleeping (my personal favorite).