Day 36: Granola on the plane

The last 8 1/2 hours I’ve spent in a cab in slushy rush hour Toronto, in a packed, grumpy airport, and in the middle seat (despite the fact that I arrived for my flight 2 hours early) of an equally crammed and irritated plane. Plus I have a cold, and have completely lost my voice.

The last thing I ate that vaguely resembled a meal was with Malcolm Jolley, a fantastic guy and the founder of Gremolata.  We ducked into a really cool little place that I now can’t remember the name of – Malcolm, are you reading this? What was it? – where we had espresso and I ate a bowl of black bean soup swirled with cilantro crème fraiche. I suppose it would be more appropriate to say I talked while my soup got cold. Then we left, Malcolm walked me back to my hotel to grab my luggage and cab at 4:30 EST, and it has taken me since then (it’s now 1:30 am EST) to get myself back home.

So technically, any food consumed between then and now could be considered dinner. A Tim Horton’s coffee at the airport, some toasted almonds I had in my bag, a tomato juice when they came around with the drink cart (confession: I always feel so virtuous and worldly that I have a regular drink that I order on the plane, and that it’s such a smart one compared to the pops and other juices), and the stash of granola I always bring when I travel because it fits the bill whether I wake up hungry (it’s such a pain to go seek out something for breakfast when you’re trying to get yourself ready for stuff) or need a snack in between events, or on the plane. If I can find a container of yogurt somewhere, it comes closer to a real meal.

Once a month or so, I make a batch of granola. If you have never done this before, try it; it’s the only way to understand how truly easy it is. Whittling down the amount of oil in the recipe was effortless… although a lot of recipes out there call for up to a cup of butter, I’ve discovered you don’t really need any at all. Of course you do get the healthy fats from the nuts and seeds, but if you want to boost your omega 3 intake though, add a drizzle of flax oil. The best part: you can add whatever nuts, seeds and dried fruit suit your mood.

My Granola

6 cups old fashioned (large flake) oats
1-2 cups chopped or sliced nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, pecans, green pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, ground flax seeds)
1/4 tsp. salt
Pinch cinnamon (optional)
1/4-1/3 cup honey
1/4-1/3 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup
2-4 Tbsp. flax oil (optional)
1 tsp. vanilla, almond or coconut extract
1 cup dried fruit, such as raisins, cranberries, cherries, blueberries, or chopped dried dates, apricots, apples and pears

Preheat the oven to 300° F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts and seeds, salt and cinnamon. In a small bowl, stir together honey, maple syrup, flax oil and vanilla. Pour over the oats and toss to coat them well.

Spread the mixture on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes, stirring a few times, when you think of it, until the mixture is golden. Remove from the oven and stir in the dried fruit. Let the granola cool completely on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container or individual zip lock bags to stash in your desk, car or gym bag.

Makes about 8 cups.

Per 1/2 cup: 179 calories, 3.3 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 1.6 g monounsaturated fat, 0.9 g polyunsaturated fat), 4.4 g protein, 24.6 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 3.3 g fiber. 16% calories from fat.



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10 comments on “Day 36: Granola on the plane

  1. Dana
    February 6, 2008 at 2:58 am

    Yum! Glad you are home safe.

  2. dana
    February 6, 2008 at 6:03 am

    Last week it was me who was in sink with Orangette and this week it is you: http://orangette.blogspot.com/

    I’d say it was a ‘freaky friday’ but it was Tuesday so I shant.

    Glad you made it home safely.

  3. Colleen
    February 6, 2008 at 9:29 am

    I’m always running out the door without breakfast although I try to eat something at work. I will definitely make this. Thanks.

    Made the wontons for SuperBowl – stuck a bit to the pan but were delicious. Next – the no knead bread.

  4. Christina
    February 6, 2008 at 9:38 am

    I just saw in your list of “good books for your shelf”, the Julie & Julia book. I am currently reading that, and actually half way through the book, and it’s cute because now you have the blog (like the character Julie) and now I can comment on your blog.

    Hopefully, you’ve read the book and don’t think I’m a complete lunatic. lol


  5. lasja
    February 9, 2008 at 6:03 am

    i was just reading your granola recipe and it sounds really great but you say to put flax oil in it and then you baked it. i wanted to say that you should never ever ever ever heat flax oil. it breaks down with the littlest heat and becomes rancid. terribly bad for you. otherwise the recipe is the dopes. im gonna make it for a birthday present. yum.

  6. JulieVR
    February 9, 2008 at 3:58 pm

    Hey – thanks for bringing that subject up! Oil does not become rancid with heat, but it does in fact break down. The low temp. of baking the granola (300F) won’t harm it though. Really, it’s frying with oil that really breaks it down, but it’s a myth that it actually makes it harmful for you, or that it creates trans fats. If you’re worried, use some canola oil (or none at all), which contains 13% omega 3s.

    Last year I spoke with the owners of a flax farm, who produce flax oil, canola oil and other products, about what exactly happens when flax oil is heated. This is what they had to say:

    Frying with oil subjects the oil to a much higher heat level than baking does. High heat frying will damage any oil.

    The internal temperature of baking (cookies, cakes, muffins, etc.) does not reach a high enough temperature to harm the oil the way that direct frying does. Apparently the Chinese have been frying with flax oil for thousands of years with no ill effects… but with the advent of flax oil as a health supplement, the common belief is that it should not be used for cooking and especially not frying.

  7. Marty
    February 4, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I mix flax oil with honey and vamilla and toss with the grains at the end of roasting. I don’t normally roast the nuts I put in and have read that the heat will destroy much of the antioxidants they contain.

  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I truly appreciate your efforts
    and I will be waiting for your next write ups thank you once again.

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