Normally I'm pretty upbeat here, but something has been weighing on me for a while now. You know me, and though I feel I can be honest, I totally understand if you want to sail on by this little intro and move onto granola, because that's why you're here. I get it. Toooootally understand. No hard feelings if you skip on to crunchy, sweet things. But if you're interested, then here we go.
I've been feeling really off-center lately. I'll go through these periods of feeling in control and on top of my game, and then the pendulum swings the other way and it's like a huge wave pushing me under. When someone asks me what's wrong, it's hard to pin point an exact reason for feeling negative and bluesy, though I do my best to work it out and explain. Some of the time I can suppress it, but some of the time it's impossible. My brain can't pull out of the murky gray cloud its fallen into, and everything seems wrong/difficult/upsetting/too much. It affects my relationship, the way I move through the world, my friendships, the state of the house... There's nothing I dislike more than losing control, and in these low moments I feel I've lost all of it.
When someone says "Don't think that way" or "It'll all work out/be okay/be fine", it makes me feel worse. It's like being blind, taking confident strides forward, and then suddenly falling into a deep hole. Gradually and then suddenly buried in the dark.
Do you ever feel this way? How do you pull yourself out? Are you finding yourself in this place, too? I hope you're doing okay. Reach out if you need to, okay?
Okay, enough of that. Let's move onto breakfast with honey, and oats, shall we? Yes, let's.
Vanilla Almond and Coconut Granola
160 grams whole raw almonds
375 grams old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
70 grams brown sugar (the level of dark/light is up to you)
3 oz honey
3 tablespoons unrefined coconut oil
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
3 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes (optional)
Position oven racks in the upper half of the oven and preheat to 350℉. Line two unrimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.
In a food processor with the blade attachment, finely chop half the raw almonds and then pour into a large bowl. Pour the second half of the almonds into the food processor and pulse until roughly chopped (I love the occasional whole almond in my granola - if this isn't your thing, pulse them a bit further).
Add the oats, salt, and brown sugar to the bowl. Stir to combine with a rubber spatula.
In a separate microwave safe bowl, combine the honey and coconut oil. Microwave for roughly 40-50 seconds. Remove the container from the microwave and stir together until the coconut oil has dissolved. Add the vanilla and almond extracts to the honey mixture and stir again until combined.
Pour the honey mixture over the oat mixture and fold together until evenly combined. Add in the coconut flakes, if using, and fold again to combine.
Divide the granola evenly between the two baking sheets and spread out into an even layer from edge to edge. Bake in the oven for twenty minutes, rotating every five minutes and stirring with each rotation for even browning.
Once evenly browned, put a long sheet of parchment paper down on the counter and spread out the granola on the paper to cool. The granola should be no deeper than 1/2 inch thick on the paper. Once completely cooled, gather together (if any clumps stick, break them apart with your hands) and put into an airtight container to store.