I start and stop. Backspace. Backspace. Start again.  Write a paragraph and delete once more.  How do I explain where I have been, how do I pick up where I left off?  It might have only been a month, but lifetimes have passed and my heart has been through hell and back again.  The worst may not yet be over and I try to brace myself, but there is no way to prepare for what life brings.  One frigid morning I couldn't take it anymore.  I needed a break from the constant chatter inside my own head.  A thermostat reading one degree did not manage to deter me from what I needed to do.  I needed to take a walk, get some fresh air, and still my heart.   
    I knew where I wanted to go so I grabbed my camera and hiking boots.  Have you ever walked in the woods after a snowstorm?  I take a few steps off the marked trail and the rest of the world just fades away.  I instantly find tracks, lots of them.  All the creatures that live here can no longer hide.  These impressions quickly expose warm dens, hollowed out logs and dark holes in the ground.  Some tenants are home and others prefer to be left in peace.  I eventually pick up deer tracks.  My father is a hunter and visions of him teaching us as children momentarily keep my heart warm.  The tracks, though unmistakable, are reaffirmed by a quick whiff of musk.  I walk on, not wanting to disturb anyone further.  I was only out for about two hours, but that short amount of time in the chilling silence was all that I needed.  A transitory escape.  The weight of the world lifted for an instant.  A chance to loose myself in the majesty and surrounding beauty.  Gently reminding me that I need to do this more often.   
    So if you made it this far with me and are wondering where granola came into the picture, your guess is as good as mine.  After my little walk along the river, for some reason I started thinking about lingonberries.  There is actually a perfectly cromulent reason, but lets just continue on anyway.  To my delight I found a website that sells wild lingonberries, but the price of shipping such beauties from so far away was a little more then I wanted to pay.  If the order was over a certain amount shipping would be free.  So I added some huckleberry syrup and dried lingonberries to my order of six pounds of fresh frozen wild lingonberries.  And there you have it!  I'm still not sure why granola was first on my list, but I did tell you that it was only inevitable.  Inevitable granola, that is what I should have titled this post.
    How adorable is that little jar with the face on it.  It is for separating eggs.  A little gift from one of my sisters on Christmas.  This is the pottery shop she brought it from.  I think everyone should have one! 
    There are so many granola recipes out there, and so many of them don't work.  I have tried countless recipes with no success until I stumbled upon this one about a year ago.  I have made it several times, always changing the ingredients and it never disappoints.  If you aren't ready to ship lingonberries across the country then by all means substitute regular dried cranberries.  Throw in some coconut or pumpkin seeds.  Use chia instead of flax.  Be bold, be adventurous, and by all means make some homemade granola, any food blogger would tell you the same.       

Granola with dried Lingonberry (Low Bush Cranberry)

adapted via Whole Living Going Granola

6 cups of old fashioned rolled oats (I used 4 cups of oats, 2 cups of flaked spelt and an extra 1/3 cup of quinoa flakes) *Want to keep it gluten-free - use 6 full cups of certified GF rolled oats
1 1/4 cups of chopped nuts (I used 3/4 cups of pecans and 1/2 cup walnuts)
1/3 cup flax seed meal
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of cardamom (optional of course)
3 large egg whites
3/4 teaspoon flaked sea salt
3/4 cups of organic brown rice syrup
(or use honey)

1/3 cup coconut oil in liquid form
1 cup dried fruit, coarsely chopped if large pieces

Preheat oven to 350°F.  In a large bowl combine the oats, nuts, flax see meal, cinnamon, and cardamom and set aside.  In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and the salt until frothy.  Continue to whisk in the brown rice syrup and coconut oil.  Add the wet ingredients to the large bowl of dry ingredients and stir until all the oats are evenly coated.  Spread the mixture out onto two rimmed baking sheets.  Bake for twenty minutes.  With a spatula toss the granola moving the outer edges to the center and carefully spreading it back out.  Place the granola back in the oven and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until golden brown.  Let the granola cool completely on the pan, then transfer to a large bowl and toss in the dried fruit.  And then toss some more for the heck of it!

 


Comments

01/10/2014 11:48am

Sandra! Welcome back! We've so missed you. I've been waiting for a new Kitchen Apparel post! Glad to see you're back :)

Okay....

1) that photo with the squirrel in the tree. Amazing. Love it.
2) that pottery with the face on it. I need it. Immediately.
3) this might be shocking, so you may want to sit down. I've never actually made granola. I know. I told you to sit. It's pretty crazy, right?! I definitely NEED to make granola soon, and I'm so glad you found a recipe that's worked for you consistently... because now it's going to work for me!

Pinning :)

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01/10/2014 1:39pm

haha...Thanks Chris...it was good that I was sitting ;) I'm not sure why but I am imagining some sort of speculoos granola coming out of your kitchen :) Nothing short of spectacular I'm sure!!!

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01/11/2014 4:07pm

Thanks for the great pictures and the nice recipe - I will try the dried Lingonberries tomorrow with my family.

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01/12/2014 11:53pm

Thanks for stopping by Elisa :)

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01/13/2014 1:40pm

Sandra, I'm sorry to hear that it's been a tough month or so but happy to see that you have found some relief in nature. I love how you pick up your camera and find your soul in the great outdoors and are able to share a piece of that with us through your spellbinding photography. Happy to see you back at it and your inevitable granola is not only a beautiful recipe but a perfect reflection of you -- I love how you pursue your desires even when it's not always convenient. That pottery mug puts a huge smile on my face - adorable! :). Stay well - xo.

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01/13/2014 6:37pm

Thanks Kelly. It was a beautiful day outside :) Everyone needs a break every once and a while right ;)

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01/16/2014 4:12pm

What a great recipe Sandra! I love that you use brown rice syrup too (my fave!) I'm sorry to hear that things haven't been going so well for you- I can only imagine what it's like. But thank you for taking us along on your journey and sharing your beautiful photos. Always very inspiring xo

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01/16/2014 11:44pm

Thanks Emilie :) Isn't brown rice syrup great...although I haven't found many other recipes that use it. But if I ever only use it for granola it still has a reason to be stocked in my pantry.

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08/27/2014 12:47pm

our progress in opening

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This is such a great content to share with most of my intelligent friends, I am very grateful that I can learn so much from you guys.
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01/21/2014 10:21pm

Omg! The squirrel. Beautiful :)
Love your pictures and am really curious to try the whole egg whites in granola thing.

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01/22/2014 3:43pm

Isn't he so cute!...and yeah you don't normally hear egg whites in granola but this recipe just works for me! I never had good granola until I tried this recipe.

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07/14/2014 12:23pm

I really like your blog content the way you put up the things…I’ve read the topic with great interest.

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09/01/2014 9:01am

I am very happy to read this Article

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