A few months back, when we were making a packing list for our vacation, I noticed @adjoa had granola on her listâ€¦ right there between dental floss and her noise-cancelling headphones
â€œWait, weâ€™re taking food to Paris now?â€ I asked confused.
She told me she made the decision during our vacation last year, of how every time she dug into a pot of delicious French yoghurt sheâ€™d wished she had some good homemade granola to go with it.
I couldnâ€™t argue with that and we had the space, so a few nights before our departure we stayed up to make a batch of granola, with ginger and cardamom. It smelled like warm ginger, aromatic and sweet; we triple bagged it, rolled it in one of our sleep shirts and tucked it between @adjoaâ€™s clothes.
We had the granola over a few mornings in Paris, sprinkled over thick potted yoghurt and fresh fruits for @adjoa, and for me, with oat milk, chopped berries and figs from the market. When we got home late one night, hungry and tired from Luxembourg; we stayed up watching Criminal Minds in French and finished the granola.
Such is our relationship with the humble granola; we always have some around somewhere, and have fun experimenting with new flavours.
Then thereâ€™s my friend M, mention granola and sheâ€™ll bring up the story of the honey lavender granola she ate at a B&B once. She had me thinking about it so muchâ€¦ lavender in granola… until one day it just made sense, and I wanted to make it so badly.
Fragrant lavender, tart cherries and sweet maple syrup and dried mangoes make this cherry and lavender granola spectacular.
The cherry sauce is unusual, but that and the maple syrup are a fine pairing.
I made the sauce, used only a quarter of a cup and saved the rest to use on oatmeal, yoghurt and ice cream; I did a similar thing with blueberries for this amaranth porridge.
To make cherry sauce you need a jar of cherries in syrup (I used Trader Joeâ€™s Dark Morello Cherries in Light Syrup). Dump the cherries (with its syrup) in a small saucepan, and add one to two tablespoons of maple syrup (optional depending on how sweet your cherry syrup is) and a tablespoon of lemon juice.
Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil, lower heat and let it simmer uncovered for a few minutes, until liquid is reduced and syrupy.
Cherry and Lavender Granola
- 2 cups rolled oats
- 1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut flakes
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup cashews
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1/8 cup dried lavender, divided
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (2 oz.)
- 3 tablespoons maple syrup (use 1/4 cup if not using cherry sauce)
- 1/4 cup cherry sauce (optional)
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/4 cup dried mango, chopped (or pineapple, apple etc.)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
- Combine the oats, coconut, sunflower seeds, cashews, ground pepper, salt and half of the dried lavender in a large mixing bowl
- Melt the coconut oil in small saucepan over low heat and stir in maple syrup
- Remove from heat and whisk in cherry sauce and vanilla
- When thoroughly combined pour the maple/cherry sauce mixture over the oat mixture and mix until it is well coated
- Spread onto the baking sheet in a thin layer
- Bake, stirring a couple times along the way, for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the granola is toasty and deeply golden
- Remove from oven, mix in dried cherries and mango and let cool completely
- Sprinkle with the remaining dried lavender
- Store in an airtight container at room temperature.