I should’ve renamed this “You’re Almost There, Summer is Coming Strawberry Almond Granola.”
Sorry I’ve been absent lately. I’m just in complete survival mode to get to the end of the school year. It’s such an emotional time for everyone. Students are graduating, there are field trips and celebrations galore, parents are scrambling to find arrangements for the summer and the kids themselves, have gone absolutely nuts. NUTS.
I’m not even fooling. And anyone who works in education, no matter where in the world, can relate to this. As soon as the hot weather or end of term comes, something happens to school age children. They don’t wind down for summer break. They wind up, up, up. Accelerating at a frantic speed, towards summer vacation and all it has to offer. And those of us waving from the classroom door, feel like we’re just getting off the most insane roller coaster ride of our lives. Nauseous, limping, exhausted and disheveled.
And we’ve been on this ride since the first of June.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve told you before, these are hands down the BEST kids ever. Ever. Love them like they are my own. But there is still a little piece of me, come the end of the school year, that can relate to the daily prayer asking for the strength to get through the day without stabbing someone with a fork.
So after the kids have all gone home, and the classroom is cleaned for the break, it’s my turn. I get a “break” too. I’ve put that in quotes because I’m the mom of teenagers, which is another roller coaster ride all together and comes with its own set of daily prayers, but I’ll save that for another post. I usually don’t shower or get out of bed for the first three days (nope, not kidding here either), a luxury of having older, self-sufficient kids who know that the end of the school year almost did mom in. Once I get a grip on myself, I slowly start tackling the summer to-do list. Which can also be written as… sit on the deck with good coffee and a book for copious amounts of time. Travel. Garden. Visit friends.
Granola with Homemade Yogurt is my go-to summer time, deck sitting breakfast. I love Granola, because I can make it every few weeks and customize it with what is seasonally available and in my cupboards. I use it to top yogurt, chia overnight oats, muffins and I often just grab a few handfuls when I need a quick snack. This time, I filled it with some of the dried strawberries that I recently made, with local berries from a field just 5 minutes from home. Drying fruit has very little hands on time and lets us enjoy seasonal tastes even when strawberry time is well over.
This, along with a good read and some great coffee has seriously become the best way to start my summer mornings. I can feel myself recharging and feeling oh so grateful for this holiday break that I’m lucky to have. I start feeling energized to tackle that to-do list we all seem to carry.
Just in time to head back to school and do it all over again.
Happy Summer friends,
Strawberry Almond Granola
- 1 1/2 cups large flake oats
- 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1/4 cup pepitas
- 1/4 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup dried coconut chips or flakes
- 1/2 cup dried strawberries (see note below for instructions)
Preheat oven to 300° and line a baking tray with parchment.
- In a large bowl, mix together the oats, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Set aside. In a microwave safe dish, melt the coconut oil. Stir in the honey and vanilla. Pour the oil mixture over the oats and mix thoroughly to combine.
- Spread oat mixture on parchment lined sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Add the slivered almonds to the oat mixture and stir on the baking sheet. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until oats are golden.
- Remove from oven, and add the seeds, coconuts and berries. Allow the mixture to cool on the baking sheet. It will firm up as it cools. Store Granola in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
- This recipe is easily doubled, but may require two baking trays.
- Mix up the seeds, nuts and fruit using any combination you wish.
- To dry strawberries: Wash, hull, and slice strawberries (I usually do about 4 cups at a time). Layer them on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with a very small mount of sea salt. Bake at 200° for 2-3 hours, turning over at least once until berries are dry. Leave in the oven to cool. Store dried berries in a glass jar.