The Rumbly Tummy: One-to-Grow-On Homemade Granola
It's Mallory's Birthday! Which may lead you to believe that today's Rumbly Tummy would be a special birthday cake recipe. But instead, we are celebrating by bringing you a recipe for her homemade granola! Sure, birthday cereal may not be a tradition in your house, but here in Rough & Tumble Land, it's a staple. Also, we've been spending a lot of time at Mallory's sister Devon's house. She lives in Tallahassee in a place that has electricity and... get this.. an OVEN! And if you know anything about tiny folk bands, you know that they can hardly resist making homemade granola when confronted with an oven opportunity.
Birthday Cereal solidified later in Mallory's life, when she took a trip up to Michigan in college with her pal, Annaliese. It was over her birthday weekend, and while she didn't have much expectation (or any other birthday plans), she thought a road trip sounded like as good a plan as any. She and Annaliese spent their time riding through Ohio and across Michigan listening to Mallory's favorite band, The Weepies, and to a book on tape read by Dave Eggers. It was already Mallory's ideal. The road. Music. Books. A good pal. And at the end of the trip north, a loving family who welcomed her for a whole weekend in a pretty lake house near Holland, MI.
Annaliese told Mallory all about how her family tradition was that on your birthday morning, you get your favorite cereal for breakfast. Mallory never had birthday cereal before, but the idea of waking up to her favorite box on the table sounded like a present unto itself. That's when the disappointment set in. No one knew her favorite cereal. She'd spend her birthday in a strange land with a strange family, and not even a box of Cracklin' Oat Bran to commemorate it.
Of course, Annaliese knew better. Mallory woke up on her birthday morning and did her usual birthday routine-- she called her mom to wish her a "Happy Giving Birth Day!" then prepared herself for a day of cereal-less aging. She trudged into the kitchen and scanned the boxes-- Honey Bunches of Oats, Lucky Charms, Grape Nuts. Oh, well.
That's when Annaliese's mom turned from the table-- "What's this?" she said, a little too loud. "My goodness-- there seems to be a box of cereal here in the bottom of the cupboard!" Mallory's eyes widened as the blue box emerged. Cracklin' Oat Bran! Mallory laughed in relief and spent the rest of the day feeling cared for, happy, and a little bit older. And the tradition now stuck.
With age came dietary restrictions, so Cracklin' Oat Bran didn't quite make the cut into her thirties. So this year, we celebrate by making our own Birthday Cereal-- Homemade Granola (with extra cinnamon) with some Macadamia Nut Milk. Yum.
We hope you start your morning celebrating, too, even if it's not your 32nd birthday. Eating this tasty treat will help. Or, if you just can't wait (like Mallory's family), you can eat it right out of the pan on your birthday eve.
One-to-Grow-On Homemade Granola
3 c oats
3/4 c almond meal
1/4 c Gluten Free Flour Blend (we use Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1)
1 c raisins or dried cranberries
3/4 c coconut flakes (unsweetened)
1/2 c raw pepitas
1/8 c flax seeds
2 - 2 1/2 TBSP cinnamon
1/8 tsp each nutmeg & ground ginger
pinch each of salt & ground cloves
1/3 c coconut oil, melted
1/2 c maple syrup
2-4 TBSP honey (depending on sweetness preference-- we did 2)
1 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
2. In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients (through spices). Mix thoroughly.
3. In a smaller bowl, combine all wet ingredients (all remaining) til mixed completely.
4. Gradually combine wet ingredients with dry ingredients.
5. On a large baking sheet, spoon out mixture in a single layer. Bake for 30 minutes.
6. Remove from oven, toss and mix the granola, and place back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes depending on crunch and browning preference.
7. Remove from oven, let cool completely. It will get crunchier as it cools. Eat for your birthday breakfast, as an after dinner snack, or over ice cream.