Ambiverts. Have you heard of them?
They are people whose personalities have a balance of extrovert and introvert features. I've often thought of myself as an ambivert. Naturally, I enjoy settings where I can comfortably socialize with friends, meet new people and make new memories based on social experience, but I also value alone time; those times where I can recharge and sit in quiet, relaxed stillness and gather the energy that's been drained from me from spending too much time with others. It's all a balancing act.
That's, where I believe, granola plays a starring role. You see where I'm going with this?
I've always had a hard time placing granola into one food group. Is it a breakfast served on top of yogurt, dessert served with ice cream, or is it a snack served by a single spoonful?
And what about the seasons! Is this best during winter when the aroma of cloves, cinnamon and pumpkin seeds help to ease the cold? Or is it a spring and summer food, welcoming each warm morning with raisins and coconut flakes?
Granola has no one category; it soars beyond those limits. It's versatile, blended and is welcome in any setting, naturally.
Granola: It's an ambivert. I guarantee it.
Maple Pecan Granola
2 1/2 cups rolled oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 tablespoon cimmamon
pinch of all-spice
pinch of salt
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 cup whole pecans, chopped
brown sugar, for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 340 degrees F and coat a baking sheet with a thin layer of butter or canola oil. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together and combine with a wooden spoon.
Spread the mixture evenly onto the baking sheet, patting down softly with the back of the spoon. Bake in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring once during the middle (for chunkier granola, just rotate the pan without stirring.
Once the granola is golden brown, remove from the oven and place on the counter to cool. Transfer to an airtight container to store. Granola should keep for a few weeks.