Chai Coconut Granola

May 2015

A bright, lobster-like redness covered my legs unevenly, an odd roadmap of a morning spent crouching low and weeding. Tan lines, humidity, open windows, grass taller than my dog…all the signs of summer were falling into place. Then came the rain.

Chai Coconut Granola // www. WithTheGrains.com

The blank sky filled with gray. A few drops on the tattered screen quickly escalated into a downpour. The curtains fluttered dramatically as water hit the windowsills, and the view disappeared in a wall of water. I sat by the window and paused to absorb the cooling breeze and the smell of the fresh precipitation. I come from a long line of farmers whose thoughts were consumed by rain and food, food and rain. Too much rain, not enough food. Not enough rain, not enough food. Is it time to eat yet? Then I fell for the Urban Farmer, and now I too must think of rain and food, food and rain.

Chai Coconut Granola // www. WithTheGrains.com

This was a needed rain. On the farm, the rain meant an afternoon free of wrestling foot after foot of hose. At home, the rain meant a cool breeze and an excuse for a warm oven. It meant scents of vanilla and spices hit him at the stairwell, as he came home from growing greens, fences and the most beautiful rainbows of vegetables. The rain was vital.

Chai Coconut Granola // www. WithTheGrains.com

In addition to valuing the rain’s place in the farming system, I appreciated the break in the heat, sleeping under a feathery, down comforter, wearing a flannel, and the quiet rain brings to a neighborhood. Take advantage of these rainy days. Turn on your oven. Make this granola. Fill your cooled home with the scents of baking oats and sweet, peppery spices. Hold your mug of hot coffee near to you, and then take the last sip of milk from your granola- the best sip, the sip that tastes like chai and let’s your mind wander to truly hot locales with beautifully adorned elephantsornate temples and Chai Wallahs.

Single-Grain

Happy Rainy Days!
-Quelcy

Chai Coconut Granola

About This Recipe:
This recipe uses an organic chai tea concentrate to impart a hint of chai flavor to your morning bowl. My favorite is Tazo Chai. Most chai concentrates are sweetened, so I didn’t add any extra sweeteners to the recipe. If you make your own concentrate with tea bags, add maple or honey to the wet ingredients. If you want to emphasize the chai flavor even more, add the contents of a chai teabag or two to the dry ingredients.

(more…)

2 Comments

Chocolate Coconut Almond Granola & A Book Recommendation

March 2015

“You mean I don’t have to be dumb anymore?” was the quote that tugged at my heartstrings and like so many TED talks, it made my eyes blur with inspired tears and a renewed faith in humanity.

We all know the type of kid who would utter such a line. In my first grade class, he repeatedly would have earned “Red Lights” on our traffic themed disciplinary system. Perhaps in your class, he held the time-out record, or he routinely sat in the corner like a sinner indeterminately condemned to purgatory. There he lurked, stuck in labels, categorized as bad, troublesome, and uninterested in learning. Teachers merely tolerated him. Principals expected him, and parents were exasperated by him.

But this type of kid, when equipped with the right mindset, could be the next influential mathematician, the next Nobel Peace Prize winner, the next Michael Phelps…or the next Next. Mindset is that powerful.

Chocolate Coconut Almond Granola // www.WithTheGrains.com
Chocolate Coconut Almond Granola

This is the encouraging premise of Carol Dweck’s TED talk entitled The Power of Believing That You Can Improve. I looked back on my own mindset as a kid. I feared a wrong answer like wallflowers fear contact with the opposite sex. I excelled in the arts, where concepts were less likely to be labeled wrong. Biology and Algebra stressed me to the point of nausea. In my mind, working harder in these subjects meant I wasn’t smart anymore. This is exactly what Dweck calls the Fixed Mindset. Wanting to understand her concepts on a deeper level, I dove into her book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.

Dweck proposes that everyone has either a fixed mindset or a growth mindset (and sometimes both). In a fixed mindset, you are who you are, your intelligence and talents are fixed, and your fate is to go through life avoiding challenge and failure. With a growth mindset, you see yourself as fluid, a work in progress. Your fate is one of growth and opportunity. The good news, says Dweck, is that mindsets are not set: at any time, you can learn to use a growth mindset to achieve success and happiness. Which mindset do you possess?

Chocolate Coconut Almond Granola // www.WithTheGrains.com
Chocolate Coconut Almond Granola

The book changed my life, and I want it to change everyone’s lives. From coaches, to parents, to teachers, to spouses, to all of us as individuals, we all stand to achieve more of our potential when we approach life with a growth mentality. Once you read this book, you will overwhelmingly observe how we praise success and “natural talent.” Spend one moment around a baby, and you’ll hear adults swoon with the best of intentions, “You’re a genius! You’re so brilliant,” but you’ll be hard pressed to hear, “I’m so proud of how you persevered with that block set. You really put in the effort!”

Malcom Gladwell, the author and New Yorker writer, has suggested that,  “As a society, we value natural, effortless accomplishment over achievement through effort. We endow our heroes with superhuman abilities that led them inevitably toward greatness. It’s as if Midori popped out of the womb fiddling, Michael Jordan dribbling, and Picasso doodling.”

Chocolate Coconut Almond Granola // www.WithTheGrains.com
Chocolate Coconut Almond Granola

These ideas of growth, progress and transparency resonate with me deeply. Occasionally, I look back on old blog posts, and I cringe. I want to hide these inferior attempts at styling, storytelling and photography in the dark recesses of some internet closet, but I resist that urge for perfection. This blog is a journal of my life through food, and that life is one of exploration, progress and growth. It’s also a life with the occasional brick of a cookie or failed dough, but we learn, and we grow. It takes effort to apply this growth mentality to all aspects of our lives, which is why I recommend reading Dweck’s guide to improving your mindset. I like to read while eating breakfast, so I also recommend baking this batch of granola to accompany you as you embark on this journey.

Single-Grain

Happy Reading!
-Quelcy

About This Recipe: Granola is surprisingly simple to make and simplifies your morning breakfast routine. The use of almond butter and cocoa yields thick clusters with layers of flavor. The unsweetened coconut adds a light hint of coconut flavor, and the coconut oil adds lots of healthy fats to your breakfast bowl. Serve with raw milk if available, or homemade almond milk. Those last sips of chocolatey milk after your last bite are a bonus treat!

(more…)

9 Comments

Gingerbread Granola

January 2015

Good friends of mine just returned from a transforming three weeks in Peru (my cold toes are reaping the rewards of souvenir alpaca slippers!!!). They departed on New Year’s day, so their living room exists in a preserved holiday state. Rather than rush to take down their expired Christmas tree and decorations, the Urban Farmer and I are pushing for Christmas, Part Deux! In the spirit of expired holiday celebrations, I bring you this Gingerbread Granola recipe!

Gingerbread Granola // www.WithTheGrains.com

Apparently when it comes to extending the Christmas spirit long into January, my inner 8-year-old stylist emerges, but this granola deserves its place in your breakfast rotation long after the limelight has faded on gingerbread men and other holiday treats.

Gingerbread Granola // www.WithTheGrains.com

If you typically eat your granola plain (?) or with yogurt, I recommend serving this recipe with the organic milk of your choice (cow, almond, etc). The lingering spices yield a chai-like drink at the end. You may even want to add more milk than necessary so as to savor those last flavorful sips.

Single-Grain

Bon Appétit!
-Quelcy

(more…)

10 Comments

Pumpkin Cranberry & Pecan Granola

October 2014

I often divide the world into two types of people: knot people and not-knot people. I am a not-knot person. I know no fancy knots, and beyond a slipknot, I am what you may call limited.

Pumpkin Granola 01

Another way to divide the world is into pumpkin people and pumpkin people.

Ie: We are all pumpkin people. Even the self-proclaimed, fall/pumpkin haters who get allll “oh god, if I hear one more person talk about pumpkin spices…,” would be hard pressed to refuse freshly baked pumpkin bread, or a slice of bright orange pumpkin pie. They may hate the game, but they love the player.

Pumpkin Granola

I can’t tie fancy knots, but I can do delicious things with pumpkin. I am a not-knot, pumpkin person. I am going to cook and bake with pumpkin and squash and all the associated fall flavors. I might even wax poetic about changing leaf colors, so don’t hate. Just join me. Crank up your ovens, mix some pumpkin and oats, and let’s all start our day with a spoonful of autumn!

(more…)

2 Comments
Close Menu
%d bloggers like this: