As we forge through this first month of 2023 feeling a sense of renewal and hope for the coming year, I find nothing feels more renewing than paring down some of my food choices and simplifying my pantry.
I go for simple egg dishes, comforting roasted veggies, and meals that pack a healthy punch. My breakfast staple during these January days: whole-fat Greek yogurt topped with this simple and satisfying classic granola and garnished with seasonal fruit and honey.
A good granola goes the distance: crunchy, sweet, a pinch salty, aromatic, comforting, light yet filling. As a baker, I don’t have a lot of time during workdays to sit down and enjoy any meals, but this granola is my daily go-to and the meal that packs enough energy to keep me going for eight-plus hours. Packed full of healthy fat nuts and seeds, maple, honey and coconut oil, this recipe is a lot lighter than ones you might see with butter or partially hydrogenated oils like canola oil or seed oils.
A few tips: First, go low and slow. Baking the granola at 300 degrees without your convection fan will ensure you won’t burn the expensive nuts and seeds. Give the mixture a stir when you rotate the baking sheet to help mitigate burning. Second, heat your sweeteners and fat together, whisking to make sure it’s homogenized before pouring it on your nuts and seeds to get equal flavor and crunchiness throughout. And finally, fold in your dried cranberries or other dried fruit while the granola is still warm. The heat allows that yummy dried cranberry flavor to melt into your warm granola mix, creating the most delightful aromatic experience.
Sarah Dodge is an Atlanta-based bread baker, pastry chef and baking instructor. She is the owner of Bread is Good, which offers bread subscriptions to the general public and wholesale baked goods to local markets and restaurants.
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