Ok, guys, I need your help on two fronts. But first, let me share with you this beautiful recipe from The First Mess Cookbook. You might already be following fellow Canadian Laura Wright’s blog by the same name. If you’re not, you should! She and I have been instagram friends for probably years now. Her work is lovely, and her vegan recipes feature beautiful in-season produce. Although I am not vegetarian or vegan, our daily meals are plant-centric with meat taking a more peripheral role. I often turn to veg cookbooks and blogs for inspiration on what to cook with my farmer’s market bounty.
From Laura’s book, I’ve made the “Casually Specific Green Smoothie” which is so good, and this granola, which is uhhhhhMAZING. I’ve also bookmarked Creamy Harissa Lentils, a couple of salad dressings (one with cashew butter and one with sunflower seeds), a Broccoli Caesar with Smoky Tempeh Bits, Cookies for Breakfast, and Tempeh Bacon (I really love tempeh). Her photography is gorgeous, too.
Now for the help. We are headed to Melbourne for a few weeks in April/May, and I would love any and all suggestions on things to do, especially if they’re kid friendly. I have had zero time to research as of yet and it’s coming up quickly. Send me an email or leave a comment or come see me on Instagram (that’s where I hang out all day).
Secondly, in order to get there, we need to fly across the pacific ocean with a 3-year-old and 18-month-old. The flight is ten bajillion hours. Ok, exaggeration. It’s only nine bajillion. But the baby will not sit still for five seconds and that is not an exaggeration. HELP ME. Any tricks, tips, things to pack – please share. I flew to India and Dubai with my older son when he was this age, but he’s a totally different kid.
This granola though. The granola of my dreams. I firmly believe clumps are the best part of any granola, and this one? 100% clumps. And I love Laura’s extra touch of toasting the oats separately first, it really boosts the flavour, especially since we aren’t tossing the granola as it bakes. I shared with several neighbours and they all went totally bonkers for it.
I adapted the recipe to pack in all the yummy things I had in my pantry. Keep the total amount of dry ingredients the same and you can adapt, too! (Laura originally used 5 cups oats, 1 cup each of almonds, sunflower seeds, and pumpkin seeds. I reduced the amount of oats and seeds to make room for cocoa nibs and currants).
Note on coconut oil: I don’t use virgin very often because it has a strong coconut odour that I find overwhelming in food. Refined coconut oil doesn’t have this strong flavour and smell, which I prefer. It has the same nutrition benefits.
Recipe adapted from The First Mess Cookbook by Laura Wright.
Mega Clump Granola
- 4 cups old-fashioned large flake oats
- 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/2 cup maple sugar or coconut palm sugar or you could swap in brown sugar, honey or more maple syrup
- 2/3 cup melted coconut oil
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 heaping tsp kosher salt
- 1 cup blanched almond slivers
- 3/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 3/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
- 3/4 cup cocoa nibs
- 3/4 cup currants
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the oats out on the baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes.
- Lower the oven temperature to 325ºF. In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, sugar, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Add the toasted oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, cocoa nibs, currants and ground flaxseed. Stir to combine.
- Spread the granola mixture out on the parchment-lined baking sheet, pressing down to really compact it and push it into the corners. Bake for about 40 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through, until golden brown and firm. Cool completely in pan, then break into chunks and store in a sealed container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks (or up to 3 months in the freezer).