Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Granola. As a kid, I didn’t eat granola. Granola was for hippies and “crunchy” types. It was good for you, they said — which to my little Frito-addicted mind was the worst thing a food could be. Those unlucky friends with hip, health-conscious parents were to be pitied. What, you don’t get a big bowl of ice cream with loads of chocolate sauce on top every night for dessert? Parental abuse, in my book.

Despite my early malnutrition, I managed to become a healthy adult with a healthy respect for all kinds of food. I don’t eat much junk these days, though Fritos are still one of my desert-island requirements. I prefer to know what’s in my food. I prefer not to read a list of words I can’t pronounce to get to the few real ingredients on the nutrition label. I know I am not alone in this.

Which gets me back to granola. As an adult, I eat granola. And I have too many to choose from in my local market. Which ones are the best? Which pack a nutritional punch (I’m making up for lost time, after all) and which are loaded with sugars that aren’t called sugar? I found it overwhelming until I realized just how easy it is to make my own.

In the cookbook Mad Hungry, there is a terrific recipe for Golden Granola. Once I tried this, I was hooked. It has almonds, sesame seeds, and wheat germ and uses honey and dried fruit for its sweetener. I make up a full batch and put it into a glass storage jar, and it lasts and lasts. It’s one of those recipes I can fiddle with if I feel like more raisins than dried cherries, or I leave out the coconut but put in more almonds. I like the fact that it’s all within my control.

I am master of my granola.

— Zan Farr

Zan Farr loves good, simple food and likes to write about it. She is also an avid reader, gardener, and dog and cat parent.

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