With New Year’s Day brunch right around the corner, we’re researching recipes to kick off 2016 on a delicious and healthy note. We love the idea of baking a batch of fresh granola to serve our guests, or give to our hosts as a tasty thank you. Michelle Pusateri, the creative mind behind San Francisco-based granola company Nana Joes, makes a recipe that “tastes just like a mix of Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal and Cocoa Puffs,” she says. The so-called Bay Leaf Kitchen Blend, named after a Bay Area-based nonprofit that teaches kids to cook with local, sustainable ingredients, combines notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon, and berries for a sweet and satisfying breakfast or snack. Whip up the vegan, gluten-free recipe below—your New Year’s resolution will thank you.
Bay Leaf Kitchen Granola
4 cups organic rolled oats (you can sub certified gluten-free)
¼ cup organic ground flax seeds
¼ cup organic puffed millet
¼ cup organic puffed brown rice
1 vanilla bean (scraped to remove seeds)
2 tsp of sea salt (feel free to adjust the salt after mixing it all together)
1 tsp organic cinnamon
½ cup organic maple syrup
¼ cup organic olive oil
Add in after baking:
½ cup organic fruit juice sweetened cranberries
½ cup organic dark chocolate
1. Preheat oven to 250°F. In a large bowl, combine the oats, ground flax, puffed millet and puffed rice.
2. In a small bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, cinnamon, ground flax, vanilla bean and salt. Mix together so the salt and cinnamon are evenly distributed. Combine both mixtures and mix until all ingredients are coated.
3. Pour onto two separate sheet pans. Bake for roughly 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color (this granola recipe is better well-toasted).
4. Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add cranberries and chocolate so it melts and is evenly distributed (mix with a spatula so you don’t burn your hands).
If you have a nut preference in your granola, feel free to add ½ cup chopped nuts to this recipe with your bowl of dried ingredients. You can also add more dried fruit to your batch. If possible, choose organic fruits that are naturally sweetened.