First off, I have to say a huge belated thank you to everyone who came out, in Chicago or elsewhere, for the National Food Blogger Bake Sale and to local wine shop The Poison Cup for generously hosting our Chicago sale. Share Our Strength is an organization that is dear to my heart so I’m thrilled that we were able to continue to support this organization. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find the national total raised, but can only imagine with the array of baked goods we had at our Chicago sale that the end total was pretty spectacular.
I wanted to share my contribution for the sale with you. I will admit that the bake sale fell during a particularly busy stretch at work, (I’m very relieved that at least for awhile my 12-17 hour workdays are behind me.) so I only ended up bringing one thing to share, but thankfully it’s pretty delicious on its own.
Because the last couple years I’ve focused on bars and cookies I wanted to do something different this year – granola. Like the muffins I just posted about, it’s been a couple of years since I’ve made a proper batch of granola. Sad, I know. Granola is one of those foods that is special to me because it was one of the first things that allowed me to truly experiment in the kitchen. I loved that I could change up ingredients here and there without adverse effects, and end up with what felt like an entirely new recipe. In fact, Mango Berry Granola was one of the first things I posted just two months into blogging.
This time, I was inspired to turn tropical flavors – coconut, pineapple, and banana – into a sweet and salty granola. Joined by crunchy pepitas, oats, and my favorite grain of the moment – millet – they make for a granola that’s both hearty and indulgent, perfect for sprinkling atop yogurt for a morning parfait or eating straight out of the bag. It’s almost like the cereal version of a pina colada, minus the alcohol of course. Though in the future I may need to try it again, with a little rum extract for good measure.
-1/2 cup vegetable oil
-1/2 cup honey
-1 cup raw millet
-1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-3 1/2 cups rolled oats
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-1 cup unsweetened coconut chips
-1/2 cup pepitas
-1 cup chopped dried sweetened pineapple
-1 cup chopped dried bananas
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Stir together vegetable oil, honey, millet, vanilla extract, oats, coconut chips, and pepitas. Spread mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake 15 minutes and then stir and continue to bake checking every few minutes until the mixture is lightly golden.
Remove from the oven and stir in the dried pineapple and dried bananas. Let cool and then serve.