Thursday, May 27, 2010

Diabolical Vanilla-Scented Granola

I peer down into my bowl of vanilla Greek yogurt, blueberries and banana.

“That’s all I get?” I think, pressing my lips into a thin, dissatisfied line.

The one-fourth cup of vanilla-scented almond granola from Bon Appetit magazine (via Dishing Up Delights) looks rather paltry amidst the thick mass of yogurt and fruit. I contemplate inflating the serving size, but remind myself that I’ve already piled 150 calories on to my breakfast and will be meeting friends for lunch at Huckleberry Cafe in just a few hours.

Eggs, cinnamon-sugar donut holes and a food coma are in my future.

Resigning myself to a virtuous, nutritionist-approved breakfast, I carry the bowl to the table with a large pot of strawberry vanilla green tea.

“It’ll be fine. I really don’t need a lot – just a little crunch for textural contrast.” I reason, readying my spoon for the first bite.

I dish up a plump blueberry and sliver of yogurt-covered banana and cautiously let a few flakes of the granola ease onto the spoon as well. I raise it to my lips and bite.

“This is why I stopped eating granola after college.” I think, as I blissfully close my eyes to savor the sweet vanilla cereal that is reminiscent of cobbler topping. I could easily go back and devour the entire cup and a half I’d made the night before.

And eight years ago, in the days when I’d regularly eat two-collegiate sized bowls of granola sans milk after cross-country practice, I would have done just that.

Today, as a 26-year-old with a decent amount of self-control (sometimes), I stretch that fourth a cup out as long as possible – ruminating over every perfectly toasty nibble.

I’m ultimately satisfied when I scrape up my final bite of yogurt, but the granola has left an indelible mark on my tongue that I know won’t be erased until I have more.

Granola this good shouldn’t be legal.

And I blame the evil temptress Esi from Dishing Up Delights for bringing it into my recipe repertoire. I may never be able to make another dish from her site ever again.

Vanilla-Scented Granola
Adapted from Dishing Up Delights who adapted it from Bon Appetit, March 2002

Makes approximately 1 1/2 cups

Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds
2 tablespoons golden brown sugar (unpacked so I could feel “healthy”)
1/4 teaspoon salt (original recipe calls for less)
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (original recipe calls for less)
1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 tablespoon honey (I used orange blossom honey because I didn’t have regular)
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Position rack in middle of oven and preheat to 300 degrees. Lightly spray large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Mix the oats, almonds, brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon in large bowl. Combine oil, honey, and sugar in small saucepan; bring to simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour hot liquid over oat mixture; stir well. Using hands, toss mixture until thoroughly mixed.

Spread granola on prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes (Note: Mine was done in 25 minutes). Transfer sheet to rack; cool granola completely. (Can be made 2 weeks ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.)


Esi said...

I think I went through this granola in about a day...which is why I haven't made it since. Too much temptation.

FS said...

I think you have more than a decent amount of self-control!! :D

Also, you should turn this recipe into cookies!

Anna A. said...

Homemade granola is the best! I made hoards of it for x-mas gifts this past xmas. Greek yogurt, plus 2 points for TALF

stuffycheaks said...

Looks dangerously good. Excited to switch out my regular pumpkin granola recipe just in time for the summer

Diana said...

Esi - I'm glad I'm not the only granola gorger! Gah that stuff is good!

Meg - I think you may be on to something... ;)

Anna - I knew you'd appreciate my Greek yogurt tendencies.

Stephanie - Oh yum - pumpkin granola sounds so good! Will have to try that next!

bagnatic said...

mmm, granola. you do have a lot of self control.

Hyacinth Marius said...

Made these Monday nite & they are to die for!! Great recipe! Highly recommend!