Mega Clump Granola + The First Mess Cookbook
- 5 cups certified gluten-free rolled oats (not quick-cooking oats)
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
- 2/3 cup liquid virgin coconut oil
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 1 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 1/4 cup flaxseed meal
Preheat the oven to 350. Line a baking sheet (ideally a half-sheet pan with 1-inch rim) with parchment paper.
Spread the oats out on the baking sheet and slide into the oven to toast for about 15 minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Lower the oven temperature to 325.
In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and sea salt. To the maple mixture, add the toasted oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and flaxseed meal. Stir together until completely combined.
Dump the granola mix onto your baking sheet. Spread it out into the corners of the pan. Then, press down on the granola to really compact it together on the baking sheet, almost as if you were making granola bars.
Once you have the granola evenly pressed and compacted, slide the baking sheet into the oven. Bake the granola for 40 minutes, rotating the baking sheet halfway through. The granola should be golden brown and firm to the touch. Let the granola cool completely before extracting it from the baking sheet in chunks and breaking if up for storage.
The granola will keep in a sealed container in the cupboard for up to 2 weeks.
Reprinted from The First Mess Cookbook by arrangement with Avery Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2017, Laura Wright
Photos copyright © 2017, Laura Wright
Someone once told me that if you were eating granola for breakfast, you might as well be eating a donut. “Because, like, the calories and sugar are the same” – or whatever they told me. And I believed it. I didn’t ask questions, I didn’t think for myself – I simply reacted. And gone was granola from my diet. Before that moment it had been one of my favorite foods, a breakfast constant of mine. But my disordered mental state caused me to not see the flaws, and cling to any piece of restriction I could enforce onto myself.
I wasn’t taking into consideration that a donut breakfast is usually accompanied by sugary drinks and coffee and more sugar, as opposed to granola breakfasts that are usually accompanied by yogurt and fruit and milk and honey. I wasn’t considering that granola has nutritional benefits that donuts will never have. I wasn’t thinking about the fact that I could make a health-ier version for myself at home. (I mean, Laura’s cookbook a hadn’t come out yet, and I didn’t know about MEGA CLUMP granola yet.) No I wasn’t thinking. I was reacting irrationally to a health claim that someone else imposed on my body.
I see that happening so often in the world. Gluten-free. Whole30. Low carb. High fat. Whatever the hell it is, they are just health standards that may or may not work for you. Someone else’s version of health shouldn’t be yours. Just as their body isn’t yours. And no one should be imposing their health views as the one and only fix. Everyone has their own journey. Everyone has their own version of health.
What if health was instead guided by our self kindness? What if we made ourselves mega clump granola out of The First Mess’ beautiful cookbook simply because it was health-ier for us, and because it made us happy. (And I promise – if you like clumpy granola, this recipe is guaranteed to make you happy.) What if we made our own food rules based on our own happiness?
I am so tired of this cultural obsession with food rules, and the need that people feel to impose their rules on you. I’m done with that ish. You have more important things to do with your life and your body than obsessing over food. Eat the damn granola, and then pick yourself up and do something awesome with your life. F*** the rules. Make your own kind of healthy.
RECIPE NOTES : Y’all this recipe is literal heaven if you like granola clumps. It’s the perfect sweetness, it’s packed with nuts and grains, and it’s just straight up clumpy goodness. When you take it out of the oven and let it cool, it forms into one giant sheet pan sized clump that you can break into pieces. I almost cried I was so happy about that. I served my granola with yogurt, fruit, honey and bee pollen. But should make your own granola choices/rules.
And ALSO ALSO, you should go pre order Laura’s book. It’s gorgeous from start to finish and full of really unique and comforting plant-based recipes. Everything in this book is amazing and I’m so so excited to have it on my shelf to reference. If you’re looking for plant-based foods or you’ve been wanting to try eating less meat and more plants, this is a great place to start. It’s really un-intimidating and full of food you actually want to eat.