One of the biggest challenges for Type-A personalities is accepting there are some (many?) things in life that we can’t control.
We can’t prevent the morning traffic jam.
We can’t manipulate other people’s habits and behaviours.
We can’t direct the weather to be sunny and warm when we want it to be.
We can’t regulate whom we love.
We can’t always avert illness or disease, even if we follow a healthful lifestyle.
That last one, as you know, has been an ongoing struggle for me. I’ve written several posts about my personal control issues, frustration with chronic illness despite my best efforts, my fight to tame the voices in my head and my aspirations to surrender to what is and what will be.
In the face of all the things we can’t control, there are a few things we can. Our attitude, for sure. But on a practical level, we have agency to choose the foods we eat. Sometimes this control over food can become extreme and unhealthful and downright dangerous, but it can also be liberating, empowering, nourishing, therapeutic, not to mention delicious.
Our food choices reflect our values, wants and needs. Every time you spend a dollar on food, you express what is important to you. Here in Canada, we’re about to head to the polls. It’s super important to vote for our leaders, yet it’s also significant to remember that we vote with our cash, too.
(I sat down to compose a light and fun post about customizing granola, and ended up with this. I guess I can’t always control what I write, either!)
Nevertheless, this Choose Your Own Adventure Granola offers you a ton of options to pick from. I’ve included my basic gluten-free and vegan recipe below, which you can tailor to your heart’s content.
- Make it grain free: use all nuts and seeds instead of oats
- Make it nut-free: substitute sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds (if you’d like to use hemp, flax or chia seeds, add them after baking)
- Dry add-ins: cranberries, raisins, Medjool dates, figs, apples, cherries, blueberries, cacao nibs, chopped dark chocolate
- Fresh add-ins, for serving: coconut yogurt, coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, oat milk, fresh fruit
- Spice options: nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, ginger, peppermint, lavender, rosemary, curry powder (yep, it’s awesome!)
- Sweetener options: maple syrup, coconut syrup, raw honey, molasses
Happy granola making!
PS – this fantastic cookbook hits the shelves on Tuesday. I’ll be posting a full review in a few weeks, but in the meantime, check out a sample of these chocolate chocolate pancakes to rev your engines).
- 2 cups gluten-free oats
- ½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup nuts or seeds
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp vanilla powder, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- In a large bowl, combine the oats, coconut, and nuts or seeds. Stir in the remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat. Spread the granola evenly onto the pan.
- Bake for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until the granola is golden and crunchy.
- When the granola has cooled, mix in your dried fruit, chocolate, etc.